[Champ de bataille à Aughrim]

Artist(s) : Charles-Étienne Coquebert de Montbret (Draughtsman)

Sketch plan of the battlefield at Aughrim, with compass rose.
Notations include an indication of the lands of the MacNevens, acquaintances of the author, who visited the area in May 1789.
Sketched on facing pages of notebook, turned upside down.

Inscribed in Image

  • Text within boundaries of image –
    [upper page, f. 94v]
    orougheri [Urraghery]. Colline ou etoit l’armee angloise. / la gauche. / Fort danois / le centre. / marais / marais. / marais / echelle un mille anglois. [trait] / champ couvert de morts. / cavalerie irlandoise / redoute / gort na athiach le champ de la Penitence où les irlandois recoivent l’absolution. / ruines du couvt. de St. Comodon. / ballyaoun a M. McNevin
    [lower page, f. 95r]
    riviere d’aghrim. / colline avec les ruines d’un chateau. / 74e mile. / orougheri [Urraghery].
  • Text outside of boundaries of image –
    [upper page, f. 94v (bottom right, upside down): extraneous text relating to St Patrick's Purgatory]
    [lower page, f. 95r (right, upside down): extraneous text relating to natural history]

Image Details

Genre Scientific or Technical illustration
Technique Pen and ink drawings
Subject(s) Forts and fortifications
Keywords(s) Battlefield, Castles, Children, Churches, Hills, Plans, Rivers, Ruins, Soldiers
Colour Monochrome
Published / created 1789

Bibliographical Details

Travel Account Carnets de voyage
Contributor(s)
Print or manuscript Manuscript
Location of image in copy NAF 20098, ff. 84v-85r
Source copy Bibliothèque nationale de France, Département des Manuscrits NAF 20098-20100
Permalink
Rights Bibliothèque nationale de France

Related text from travel account

À 4 miles [de Ballinasloe] est Aghrim [Aughrim] ou Eachrim. […] Étymologie inconnue. Entre ce village et l’ancien couvent de filles de Kill Comodan, dont il ne reste rien, était le champ de bataille. L’armée irlandaise, aux ordres de St. Ruth, avait sa droite à Kill Comodan, sa gauche à Aghrim, le centre autour d’un fort danois dont on s’était servi. Les Irlandais n’avaient que 9 canons. L’armée anglaise était à l’est de l’autre côté du marais et de la petite rivière qui le traverse. L’affaire eut lieu un dimanche 12 juillet et fut, dit-on, engagée par hasard. Les Anglais avancèrent un canon par le marais et St. Ruth fut tue à l’entrée du fort. Luttrel, 2e en commandement, qui avait la gauche et de la cavalerie à l’entrée d’Aghrim, livra le passage par là aux Anglais tandis que la cavalerie anglaise ayant tourné le marais par le sud mettait en déroute l’aile droite. Les Irlandais, placés entre deux feux, s’enfuirent par l’ouest. Charles McDermot, alors Lt., a dit à M. O’C. que les balles françaises n’étaient pas de calibre pour les fusils des Irlandais qui étaient dans le château d’Aghrim et ne purent tirer sur la cavalerie anglaise. Sarsfield les ayant ralliés, passa le Shannon à Portumna, rompit le pont de bois sur le Shannon, tandis que Ginkel alla faire ouvrir les portes de Gallway. St. Ruth était du choix de Jacques II et connu par quelques actions d’éclat. Louvois voulait son fils et aurait alors tout fourni. La bataille de Fleurus gagnée par Luxembourg en même temps aurait ouvert les Pays-Bas à Louis XIV qui s’y trouva à combattre l’armée d’Irlande [Hollande].
Les morts qui couvraient les champs à l’ouest de la colline ne furent point enterrés. Le colonel Henri Luttrel demeura Catholique et fut exempt des lois pénales ainsi que les Martins, ce qui confirma les soupçons. Un inconnu le tua d’un coup de pistolet dans sa chaise à Dublin plusieurs années après. Sarsfield aurait préféré, dit-on, d’attendre les Anglais à Knockbarron près de Lough Rea.
[f. 16v] La terre d’Eachrim, aujourd’hui possédée par un M. Handi, était le chef-lieu de la principauté de la branche aînée des O’Kellys qui allait de Carik Dromrusk à Tom grené, suivant les chroniques en vers. Les terres des Burkes Clanricarde comprennent tout le midi du comté de Gallway. Cette famille va s’éteindre et le titre passera à un homme qui n’a pas cent pieces. [NAF 20098, ff. 16r-16v]
[Spelling and punctuation updated, abbreviations expanded]

Translation:
4 miles from there [Ballinasloe] is Aughrim or Eachrim. […] Etymology unknown. Between this village and the old nunnery in Kilcommodan, of which nothing remains, lay the battleground. The Irish army, commanded by Saint-Ruth, had its right flank in Kilcommodan, and its left in Aughrim, its centre was around a Danish fort, of which they made use. The Irish had only 9 cannons. The English army was to the east, on the other side of the marsh and the small river which flows through it. The engagement took place on Sunday July 12th and, it is said, was begun by chance. The English brought up a cannon across the marsh and Saint-Ruth was killed at the entrance to the fort. Luttrell, the second in command, who was in charge of the left wing of the cavalry at the entrance to Aughrim yielded passage at that point to the English, while the English cavalry, having circled round the marsh to the south, routed the right flank. The Irish, caught in the crossfire, fled westward. Sarsfield, having rallied them, crossed the Shannon at Portumna, [and] broke the wooden bridge over the Shannon, while Ginkel went to open the gates of Galway.
Charles McDermot, who was a lieutenant at the time, told Mr O’C. that the French bullets were the wrong calibre for the muskets/rifles of the Irish who were in Aughrim castle and could not fire on the English cavalry. Saint-Ruth was the choice of James II and known for some brilliant military exploits. Louvois wanted his own son and would have provided everything if he had been given command. The battle of Fleurus having been won by Luxemburg at the same time could have opened the Netherlands to Louis XIV who was there fighting the [Dutch] army.
The bodies of the dead who lay all over the fields on the western slope of the hill were not buried. Colonel Henry Luttrell remained a Catholic and was exempted from the Penal Laws, as were the Martins, which confirmed people’s suspicions. An unknown individual shot him dead with a pistol in his chaise in Dublin, several years later. Sarsfield, they say, would have prefered to wait for the English at Knockbaron near Lough Rea.
The territory of Eachrim, at present in the possession of a Mr Handy, was the capital of the principality of the older branch of the O’Kellys, which stretched from Dromrusk to Tuamgraney, according to the verse chronicles. The lands of the Clanricard Bourkes comprise the entire south of Co. Galway. This family is on the verge of extinction and the title will pass to a man who has not 100 penny pieces to his name.