Immortal memory

Immortal memory

In Brief

"Glorious, pious and immortal memory": in Nestor Stephen thinks of the Orange toast that Protestant loyalists made (and still make?) to their savior William of Orange, who defeated the Catholic King James II at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690.

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There are many forms of the toast. One of them, recorded on FinnegansWiki (, goes as follows: "Here's to the glorious, pious and immortal memory of the great and good King William III, Prince of Orange, who saved us from rogues and roguery, slaves and slavery, knaves and knavery, Popes and Popery, brass money and wooden shoes. And whoever denies this toast may he be slammed, crammed and jammed into the muzzle of the great gun of Athlone, and the gun fired into the Pope's belly, and the Pope into the Devil's belly, and the Devil into Hell, and the door locked, and the key in an Orangeman's pocket, and may we never lack a brisk Protestant boy to kick the arse of a Papist, and here's a fart for the Bishop of Cork."

The site glosses the "wooden shoes" as referring to French Catholic persecutors of the Huguenots, and "the Bishop of Cork" as the Protestant Bishop of Cork who preached against the practice of toasting the dead, "believing it to be akin to the Popish custom of saying Mass for the dead."

JH 2012
Loyalist mural on the corner of Oak Way and Donegall Pass, Belfast, depicting the triumph of William over James II at the River Boyne. Source: