The Advisors of James II

Listed in order of importance.
It is suggested that had the advisors of James II been able to sway him from his decisions he would have been more successful. Unfortunately these individuals were more interested in their own personal goals than those of the king or indeed of the people of Ireland.

John Drummond Earl of Melfort
A Catholic extremist and zealot who was an advocate of firmess toward protestants. Jame's Scottish secretary. He was a convert to Catholicism and emerged as the most powerful advisor winning over both the King and queen by 1688.(his brother Perth assisted him)

He was a brazen liar, insufferably vain and v indictive who insisted on handling all business himself while lacking the memory or application to execute it properly. His main objective was to perpetuate his own influence and to this end he flattered andencouraged Jame's misconceptions and slighted all criticism, however constructive. "He has a blind complaisance for whatever he sees that the King wants," wrote d'Avaux,W hat Lord Melfort tells him always seems to him so good and so well considered that he does not consider the representations of others. Melfort Played on Jame's stubbornness and flattered him even when he was wrong. This made James believe that Lord Melfort is almost the only man who advises him well and loves his interests; a nd Melfort, to confirm the King in this opinion, makes him d istrust everyone. else.-John Miller, James II A Study in Kingship.p.225.
Melfort lead the king with lies and slandars and turned him abainst both the French and the Irish. Even at times when James perceived Melfort's incompetance he found do to Melfort's own efforts no one else was present at court who could assist him.
Melfort was eventually forced to resign and was helped to flee to Rome by Louis and the Queen without James' knowledge. The resignation and departure of Melfort which occured after the siege of Derry and the Battle of the Boyne deprived James of an advisor who truly understood the fact that the French could not be counted upon to provide sufficient assistance. Melfort was always very good at assessing that which was in his best interest!
The dominance of the court by such Catholic extremists ensured that James had access to only one perspective. This had the effect of limiting and distorting the information upon which he based his decisions. In placing his trust with the Catholic extremists James abandoned the broad base of opinion and understanding required for the successful rule of a pluralistic country.
The defeat of Catholic extremist tyranny was an important victory of the Boyne

Richard Talbot Earl of Tryconnel (Viscount Baltinglass,Baron of Talbotstown

From an Old English (Catholic) Irish Family, he was highly articulate and skilled at advancing specious arguments,childless he was not motivated by greed or ambition. His goal was the restoration of the power of the "Old English" Catholics. His mission was the utter distruction of the Protestant ascendancy. He was concerned with their dissarmament,and restoration of estates confiscated since 1641.
Richard Talbot was the son of Sir William Talbot, a Roman Catholic lawyer and politician. Richard fought with the Royalist forces in Ireland during the English Civil wars . In November 1655 he was arrested in London for plotting to overthrow Oliver Cromwell's Protectorate but soo he escaped to Flanders.
Richard Talbot (created Earl of Tryconnell in 1685, appointed Lieutenant general of the Irish Army in 1686 and lord deputy of Ireland in 1687,became Marquess and Duke of Tryconnell in March 1689)
was regarded by some as a ranting buffoon, but behind the explosions of rage and dyspeptic inconsistency lay an acute political brain--John Miller,James II-a study in Kingship,p.149.
He filled the army and administration of Ireland with Catholics.
While Tryconnel could face down Sunderland his plans for Ireland ran counter to the strategies required by James for success in England.
Replaced Clarendon as Lord Deputy in 1687-Goes to Ireland. There he convinces James to disarm the militia and disaffected private citizens. Tryconnel turned James against Irish Protestants. James was concerned about revolt. By 1688 the Army of Ireland was completely Catholic and so trusted that regiments were brought from it into the English army.
Tryconnel was at first against the decision to do battle at the Boyne however, James won him over and he served with distinction leading several charges and fighting a skillful and brave rearguard action which allowed James to escape.
It has been speculated that Tryconnell had all along planned to use his power in Ireland to eventually revolt against English rule should James die. The birth of an heir and then the invasion of William of Orange made any such plans unpractical. In sum Tryconnel's actions and philosophy tore apart Ireland as he set out to move the pendulum back and persecute Protestants. As a result Ireland was not healed but was further disrupted. Additionally the actions of Tryconnel were noted in England and as a result there was greater concern that James (who was actually more tolerant) would bring the same persecution of Protestants should he gain the upper hand. The defeat of the intolerance and tyranny of Tryconnel at the Boyne was one of the greatest treasures of victory.
Manipulator of the king. Pushed for elimination of Protestants at court and their replacement with Catholics.

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