The Battle of Macroom
was fought in 1650, near Macroom
, County Cork
, in southern Ireland
, during the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland
. An English
Parliamentarian force under Roger Boyle, 1st Earl of Orrery
defeated an Irish Confederate
force under David Roche.
Boyle had taken Cork city
for the English Parliamentarians by inducing its English Royalist garrison to defect to the Parliamentary side, which they had served up until 1648. This was a major help to Oliver Cromwell
's campaign in Ireland, as it secured for him most of Munster
and its port towns. The Irish and Royalist troops in the province retreated to western county Kerry
, which is a natural stronghold due to its remote and mountainous terrain.
David Roche, an Irish officer, organised an offensive, out of Kerry with 2000 men in May 1650, in an effort to relieve the siege of Clonmel
. Cromwell sent Boyle to intercept Roche's force with 1,200 infantry and 800 cavalrymen. When Roche realised that he was being pursued, he turned back. Rather than let the Irish force escape, Boyle followed them with his cavalry alone. He caught them at Macroom
on the 10th of May. The English surprised the Irish with a cavalry charge before they could form up for battle and routed them. Between 5-600 Irish soldiers were killed, including the prisoners Boyle had taken. The Parliamentarian's losses were light. Roche's force broke up in disorder and fell back towards the mountains of Kerry.
The following day, Boyle besieged and took Carrigadrohid
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