army, brave and well disciplined men, whose place could not easily be supplied. William gave strict orders that there should be no unnecessary bloodshed, and enforced those orders by an act of laudable severity. One of his soldiers, after the fight was over, butchered three defenceless Irishmen who asked for quarter. The King ordered the murderer to be hanged on the spot.
The loss of the conquerors did not exceed five hundred men : but among them was the first captain in Europe. To his corpse every honour was paid. The only cemetery in which so illustrious a warrior, slain in arms for the liberties and religion of England, could properly be laid was that venerable Abbey, hallowed by the dust of many generations of princes, heroes and poets. It was announced that the brave veteran should have a public funeral at Westminster. In the mean time his corpse was embalmed with such skill as could be found in the camp, and was deposited in a leaden coffin.
Walker was treated less respectfully. William thought him a busybody who had been properly punished for running into danger without any call of duty, and expressed that feeling, with characteristic bluntness, on the field of battle. "Sir," said an attendant, the Bishop of Derry has been killed by a shot at the ford." "What took him there?" growled the King.
The victorious army advanced that day to Duleek, and passed the warm summer night there under the open sky. The tents and the baggage waggons were still on the north of the river. William's coach had been brought over; and he slept in it surrounded by his soldiers. On the following day, Drogheda surrendered without a blow, and the garrison, thirteen hundred strong, marched out unarmed.
Meanwhile Dublin had been in violent commotion. On the thirtieth of June it was known that the armies were face to face with the Boyne between them, and that a battle was almost inevitable. The news that William had been wounded came that evening. The first report was that the wound was mortal. It
- Baden to Van Citters, July 8/18, 1690.
- New and Perfect Journal, 1690; Narcissus Luttrell's Diary.
- Story; London Gazette, July 10, 1690.