Battle of (1601)
the decisive battle of the Nine Years War, 1594-1603. Having previously
inflicted a series of heavy defeats on English forces, Hugh O’Neill, earl of
Tyrone, finally succeeded in securing the assistance of Spanish forces.
Unfortunately for the Irish leader, the Spaniards landed in Kinsale, Co. Cork.
Tyrone’s failure to negotiate a liaison with the Spaniards who were besieged
at Kinsale proved to be decisive in determining the outcome of the war. Having
succeeded in marching his army hundreds of miles from Ulster in the depths of
winter, exhaustion may well have played a part in the events which unfolded. A
poorly co-ordinated attempt to combine a Spanish break-out with an Irish assault
on the English lines resulted in Tyrone’s forces being isolated and subjected
to a cavalry charge. A rout ensued in which Tyrone’s army offered
uncharacteristically poor resistance. Tyrone’s army suffered large-scale
casualties with the English suffering minimal losses.
depiction of Kinsale