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The History of Ulster
The Siege of Londonderry


Londonderry invested - Commanders of the Various Jacobite Regiments - Disposition of the Jacobite Forces - Divided Counsels - Arrival of Captain Adam Murray - He supports the Citizens - Lundy and the Council defeated - Lundy deposed and Baker elected Governor - Rev. George Walker, Assistant Governor - James and his Army greeted with Cannon-balls - He leaves for Dublin - Surrender of Culmore Fort and Castlederg - First Sally from the City - Maumont killed - The Jacobites lose 200 Men and some Officers - Murray rescued by Walker.

Londonderry was now surrounded, except on the water side, by horse and foot, which presented a most formidable appearance to a garrison to whom warfare was unfamiliar, and who were distracted by fierce faction fights within the city walls. The Council, led by Lundy, signed an offer of surrender and entrusted it to Captain White for delivery to General Hamilton, instructing him at the same time to stipulate that the besieging army should not, until its conditions were fulfilled, advance within four miles of the city. Rosen had, in the meantime, distributed his forces in such a way as to invest the city from the river under Ballougry to the shore at Culmore.

The commanders of the various regiments included Colonel Richard Hamilton; Lord Galmoy, at the head of a troop of guards; Sir Michael Creagh, Lord Mayor of Dublin and paymaster of the Jacobite army, who held the rank of Colonel of the 33rd regiment of foot; Donough, Earl of Clancarty, Colonel of the 4th regiment of foot, who on James's arrival in Ireland received and entertained him, and was made a lord of the bedchamber; Jenico Preston, Lord Gormanston, premier Viscount of Ireland, Colonel of the Qth regiment of foot; Sir Maurice Eustace (son of the Lord Chancellor of Ireland), Colonel of the iQth regiment of foot; Edward Butler, related to Viscounts Ikerrin and Mountgarret, and to Lord Dunboyne and other Butlers of the Barrow, Colonel of the 27th regiment of foot; Charles Cavanagh of Wicklow, Colonel of the i6th regiment of horse; Ramsay, Colonel of a Scottish regiment which bore his name and which had served with distinction in Holland; Nicholas Fitzgerald, Lieutenant-Colonel of the 12th regiment of foot, of which Lord Bellew was Colonel; Dudney Bagnal, Colonel of the 30th regiment of foot; and Lord Slane.

According to a map of Londonderry, drawn at |the time of the siege by Captain Francis Neville, the order in which the troops of the Jacobite army were stationed was as follows: Lord Galmoy's horse and Sir Michael Creagh's regiment of foot extended from Ballougry hill to the water; then came the regiments commanded by Colonels Barrington, Butler, Ramsay, Lord Slane, Hamilton, and Gormanston. Sir Maurice Eustace and his regiment had charge of the magazine, between Hamilton's quarters and a mill a little to the north of the Bishop's demesne. The Bishop himself had left the scene of battle and was now officiating in a chapel in London.

In Hamilton's front was a strong post, and between it and Pennyburn mill were Cavanagh and his regiment. Butler's was encamped near Charles-fort, and round to the bank of the river, and on the opposite side a little lower down, was a regiment of dragoons under the command of Sir Neill O'Neill. Lord Clancarty and his men occupied a position on the road to Greencastle, about half-way between Charles-fort and an old chapel on the rising ground above Culmore; and between this chapel and the river Fitzgerald's and Bagnal's regiments shut out all communication by land between Culmore and the city. The fort had a mound of sod-work for its protection on the land side, and the batteries on the side towards the water were very formidable to vessels coming up the river.

Londonderry at this juncture presents the strange spectacle of a city divided against itself, and it would undoubtedly have succumbed to the fate to which all so situated are destined, had not a succession of deliverers arrived to avert the catastrophe. The first to appear on the scene was Captain Adam Murray, a brave officer in command of one of the outposts of the city, who, on learning the state of affairs, advanced at the head of a strong body of horse, followed by his infantry, determined to oppose the surrender. Lundy and the Council immediately sent him orders to retire out of sight of the citizens; but seeing soldiers and civilians beckoning from the walls he marched to one of the gates, which was at once thrown open to him by Captain Morrison, who commanded the guard. As Murray rode through the streets he was greeted by the populace with enthusiastic shouts of welcome, to which he responded by declaring that his life and his sword were at their service, and calling upon all who cried "No surrender!" to tie a white band on the left arm as a badge betokening their principles. In adopting this plan he was joined by other officers, and the white sign soon appeared on every arm.

Lundy, being advised of what had happened, summoned Captain Murray to appear before the Council, who endeavoured when he came to induce him to sign the resolution to capitulate, which he not only refused to do, but, boldly addressing the Governor, he told him that his actions proved him to be a traitor to his commission, and pointed out to him his culpability in not securing the passes, and in not giving military aid to outlying districts. Finally he called upon Lundy to prove his loyalty by making a sudden sally from the city to drive the Jacobites away. Lundy, disconcerted, was silent, and Murray stalked from the council-chamber threatening to apprise the citizens of the treachery of their governor. This he did, and strengthened his own position by bringing into the city all the men under his command. He then replaced the guards at the gates with his own men, and took all possible measures to secure the safety of the city during the night.

The treacherous governor and craven council continued their deliberations regarding surrender undeterred by the threats of Murray. They determined, as requested by James, to send a score of citizens to treat for terms. But their deliberations were rudely interrupted speedily by an uproar in the streets surrounding the building in which they were assembled shamefully to sell the city, and, their very lives being threatened by the indignant crowds, they broke up the meeting and fled by devious ways to escape the fury of the maddened multitude who demanded their blood. Lundy, successful in reaching the governor's house, dared not again to leave it, and on the morrow the citizens assembled and, formally deposing him, proceeded to elect a governor whose actions would be more in accord with their wishes.

Their choice fell on Captain Murray, but that gallant soldier declined the honour, saying that he was more fitted to take the field than to direct the defence of the city. Murray, however, offered to command the horse. The first council of war was then held, at which another officer, distinguished by his ability and bravery, Major Henry Baker, was unanimously elected Governor. Baker, a descendant of the Lieutenant Baker who so ably held his own in the attack made on Deny by Sir Cahir O'Dogherty, in April, 1608, begged, on accepting office, to be permitted to have a colleague in the discharge of the duties; whereupon the assembly at once selected the Rev. George Walker, Rector of the parish of Donaghmore, who, seized with military ardour, had when danger first seemed imminent raised a regiment himself, and had thrown himself into the city to support the Protestant cause with swordsmanship as well as sermonizing. Baker took the chief military command, Walker's duty being the doling out of supplies from the magazines and the preservation of internal tranquillity. Those capable of bearing arms were distributed into eight regiments, to which officers of various ranks were appointed. Thus within a few hours a complete revolution was affected in Londonderry, and all attempts to surrender were stultified.

Ignoring, or ignorant of, these proceedings the Council met on the morning of the 10th of April, 1689, and nominated the twenty commissioners to be sent to the Jacobite camp; but when this peace-at-any-price party presented themselves at the city gate, and sought egress, they were not only refused permission to leave, but were ignominiously and violently driven back by an irate mob, and had perforce to abandon their mission. The council had held its last meeting, and the majority of the members returned to the obscurity from which they sprang; others, however, although they had signed the resolution to surrender, hastened to correct their errors and joined the popular movement. Lundy, realizing that he was defeated, and possibly having reason to believe that his life was in jeopardy, "stole off", says Dalrymple, "with a load upon his back, a disgraceful disguise, and suited to him who bore it". Walker says that he got out with a burden of matches on his shoulders, in a sally towards Culmore, and that his last act was a successful endeavour to persuade the officer in command to surrender that fortress. Captain Ash accuses Mr. Galbraith, an attorney, and two persons named Adair of selling Culmore to the Jacobite army. It is not, however, probable that such a transaction should have escaped the notice' and condemnation of Walker and Mackenzie, who neither of them refer to it.

The officers of the besieging army, as well as James himself, appear to have been ignorant of what had occurred on this and the preceding day in the city which they hoped to gain so easily. Rosen, regardless of the stipulation made

by Richard Hamilton, ordered the troops to advance towards the city, and they posted themselves very near to it, under the shelter of a windmill and a house near it. He detached other bodies of his men along the low lands called the Bogside, near the Butcher's gate. This movement being ob- served, a trumpeter was dispatched from the city to the King with a demand that the troops should advance no farther. Rosen took no notice of the request, and the trumpeter later was killed. The army continued to advance, and James, who, confident of success, had approached within a hundred yards of the southern gate, was received with a shout of "No surrender!" and with a fire from the nearest bastion. Several of the besieging army fell by this fire, and Captain Troy, an officer of the King's staff, dropped dead by His Majesty's side. James and his suite therefore hastened to get out of reach of the cannon-balls. This salutation, on account of Lundy's representations, was totally unexpected, he having the pre- ceding night caused the gates of the city to be left open, till Major Crofton secured them and doubled the guard. It had such an effect on the Jacobite forces that they were thrown into great confusion.

James, to use the language of his diary, "had eat nothing for the whole of that day", and notwithstanding that fact, and the fatigue of the two preceding days, had remained during the entire day on horseback, exposed to cannon, and under heavy and incessant rain, waiting for the surrender of which he had been assured. He now withdrew his troops, and retired to St. Johnston to await the arrival of artillery which he expected, and to provide other necessaries for a siege or a blockade. Archdeacon Hamilton left the city, and, taking a protection from the King, entertained him during his stay at the castle of Mongevelin, a short distance from St. Johnston. Here, remembering how much the troops he had with him had been harassed on the preceding day, James permitted them to remain.

On the 20th a portion of the Jacobite army marched towards Pennyburn Hill, and pitched their tents there with the object of blocking the passage to Culmore. An envoy approached the walls in the person of Claude Hamilton, Lord Strabane, one of the few Roman Catholic peers of Ireland. As many among the defenders were his tenants, it was deemed that his lordship's words might carry weight. Murray, who had been appointed to the command of one of the eight regiments into which the garrison was distributed, advanced from the gate to meet the flag of truce, and a short conference took place. Strabane had been authorized to make tempting offers. He promised the King's pardon, protection, and favour to those who would submit to their lawful sovereign and surrender the city. Murray himself should have a colonel's commission and a thousand pounds in cash. "The men of Londonderry", answered Murray, "have done nothing that requires a pardon, and own no Sovereign but King William and Queen Mary," adding, as he observed during the parley the Jacobites draw their cannon forward: "It will not be safe for Your Lordship to stay longer, or to return on the same errand. Let me have the honour of seeing you through the lines."

The first sally from the city was now made by a body of horse and foot, under the command of Murray, the captains of foot being Archibald Saunderson, William Beatty, and Thomas and David Blair. Lieutenant-Colonel Cairnes and Captain Philip Dunbar were posted on an eminence with a body of reserve. The horse, which numbered 300, were divided into two squadrons. With the first of these Murray charged the enemy himself, the second being under the command of Major Nathaniel Bull, to whom, as well as to his father, Major Samuel Bull, the city of Londonderry was indebted for many eminent services. The rear was brought up by Captain Cochran, of Ballyrath, County Armagh, who, when the men under his command fled, advanced to the scene of action at the head of a few gallant fellows, when his horse was killed under him and he himself was wounded. The Jacobites stood their ground resolutely, and a furious and sanguinary encounter took place. Maumont, at the head of his troops, charged with all his chivalry direct to the spot where the fight was raging, but he was struck in the head by a musket-ball and fell dead from his saddle.

In the meantime the Jacobite horse had pursued the Londonderry cavalry towards the walls of the city, to which they had retreated ; but they were almost all killed by a body of infantry who had moved from a mill, where they had done great execution, to the strand, near the Bog-side, in which they lined the ditches and commanded the pass. In the commencement of the action the Jacobites brought a piece of cannon to the point on the other side of the river opposite to the strand, and frequently fired at the besieged with effect; but a gun from the walls at length dismounted the piece, killing the gunner and others in his vicinity. The Jacobites lost, besides Maumont, Majors Taafe and Wogan, Captain Fitzgerald, Quartermaster Cassore, and about 200 men. Murray escaped with difficulty. His horse was killed under him, and he was naturally a target for every marksman. He was beset by enemies, but ably defended himself, until Walker, who perceived the peril he was in, collecting a few horse, rode to his rescue. The total loss of the Londonderry men did not exceed a dozen, among them being Lieutenant M'Phedris, a Mr. Mackey, and one Harkness, but the number of wounded was considerable. Three standards were secured, with a great spoil of horses, saddles, cloaks, arms, valuables, and money. In the Duke of Berwick's Memoirs it is stated: "There was not one among the French engaged this day that was not either wounded himself, or had not his horse wounded".


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