Siege of Crom

From Derry and Enniskillen in the Year 1689 by Thomas Witherow

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CHAPTER VI...continued

SIEGE OF CROM.—24th March.

Meanwhile, Galmoy, taking encouragement from the terror with which his presence seemed to have inspired the whole country, had reached Belturbet, from which he sent a party to besiege Crom, on the east side of Lough Erne, and which was the most remote outpost of the Enniskilleners on the side of Dublin. His lordship had no cannon to enable him to capture any place of strength; but he hoped to make up for his lack of artillery by an invention of his own. He made two cannon of tin, bound them round with whip-cord, covered them with buckram, so as to give them the appearance and colour of real guns, and had them drawn in the direction of Crom with great noise and apparent difficulty by eight horses a-piece. So soon as he had his mock guns planted in position, he threatened to batter down the castle if it was not immediately surrendered. But the little garrison was not so much intimidated as he had expected: their only answer to his threat was a volley of fire-arms. They knew well that if it was at all possible, Enniskillen would send them relief. Nor were they mistaken in their hope.

On Saturday, 23rd of March, on the day that the Cavan men left for Derry, Enniskillen drew out all its horse and foot to measure its strength with Galmoy, who had now advanced to Lisnaskea, within ten miles of the town. The enemy did not make his appearance that day; but in the evening the intelligence arrived that Galmoy and his men were engaged in the siege of Crom. Governor Hamilton decided to send relief to the little garrison. Choosing out two hundred of his best armed men, he sent some of them in boats and some by land, in hope that they would reach Crom and get into the castle before daylight; but the day had already dawned before they succeeded in reaching the place of their destination. The besiegers were aware of their arrival, and fired at them; but their aim was so ill-directed that they killed only one of the boatmen, and failed in preventing the relieving party from entering the castle and uniting with the garrison. The united body then sallied out of the fortress, attacked Galmoy and his men with the greatest violence, beat them out of the trenches, killed thirty or forty, captured the two tin guns, and compelled him to raise the siege and to retire to Belturbet.[23]

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NOTES

[23] Hamilton, p. 11; MacCarmick, p. 31.


Fighters of Derry: Their Deeds and Descendants, Being a Chronicle of Events in Ireland during the Revolutionary Period, 1688–91

William R. Young's Fighters of Derry has for decades been one of the most overlooked works on the Siege of Derry and as a local genealogical resource. First published in 1932, the book was the product of ten years’ research which the author undertook when suffering from ill-health in the latter part of his life.

Fighters of Derry

The book is essentially divided into two parts: the first contains 1660 biographical entries relating to the defenders of Derry and the second has 352 on the Jacobite side. Apart from individual accounts of eminent protagonists in the siege, such as David Cairnes, Rev. George Walker, the Duke of Schomberg, Patrick Sarsfield, etc., and the not so eminent too, there is also background given to many of the most influential families involved in the conflict.


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