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William III and the War in Ireland in Twelve Objects: 10. Sarsfield’s Sword

Updated: Jun 1, 2020

This large medieval sword belonged to the Sarsfield Family. Patrick Sarsfield, 1st Earl of Lucan, was an energetic commander of Jacobite forces during the Williamite and Jacobite war in Ireland.


Sarsfield was a professional soldier and remained loyal to James II during the Glorious Revolution. He was in command of a party of English soldiers that engaged the Dutch at the town of Wincanton on 20 November 1688. This was one of the few engagements that blighted an otherwise bloodless revolution in England. During the wars in Ireland he led several successful cavalry actions against Williamite forces.

In 1690 he surprised the Williamite artillery and baggage train at Ballyneety, resulting in William having to cut short the first siege of Limerick.


After the signing of the Treaty of Limerick, which brought the war to an end, Sarsfield chose to leave Ireland and seek service in the French Army. He died of his wounds after the Battle of Landen (modern day Belgium) in 1693.


This remarkable family sword is on display at the Museum of Orange Heritage, Sloan’s House, Loughgall.


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