#OTD in 1651 – Siege of Limerick: Henry Ireton, Oliver Cromwell’s son-in-law, lays siege to Limerick city.

Limerick is besieged by Cromwell forces under the leadership of his son-in-law, Henry Ireton. As with most of the Cromwell campaign in Ireland, it was a brutal affair. Limerick would finally fall in October mainly as a result of starvation and plague. English casualties were actually greater than the Irish (including Ireton who would die shortly after the surrender) amounted to an estimated 2,000 troops dead. The Irish lost an estimated 700 troops but up to 5,000 civilians due to the ravages of the siege.

After months of siege, Limerick finally surrendered 27th October. The garrison was allowed to march away to Galway although several of the officers in command were executed. The leader of the defense Hugh Dubh O’Neill was spared because he was a subject of the King of Spain and had served in the Spanish Army. Ireton dies of the plague shortly afterwards.

Photo: The Treaty Stone on which the treaty of Limerick may have been signed in 1691.

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