Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Lundy

From A Compendium of Irish Biography, 1878

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Lundy, Robert, Lieutenant-Colonel, was in December 1688 received into Derry as Governor, being thereto appointed by the citizens and Lord Mount joy, who had decided upon holding out in favour of William III. According to Walker's account of the siege, Lundy from the first endeavoured to damp the enthusiasm of the inhabitants, and of the Protestants who were arming themselves in the surrounding country. On 17th of April 1689, when the news of James's approach at the head of an efficient army reached the town, Lundy called a council, and pointing out the small means available for defence, recommended immediate surrender as the wisest course for the inhabitants and garrison. He also advised some English reinforcements to return. Most of the inhabitants, however, headed by the Rev. George Walker and Major Baker, determined to hold out to the last.

"The commission he [Lundy] bore, as well as their respect for his person, made it a duty in them to contribute all they could to his safety; and therefore, finding him desirous to escape the danger of such a tumult, they suffered him to disguise himself, and, in a sally for the relief of Culmore, to pass in a boat with a load of march on his back, from whence he got to the shipping." His conduct is generally supposed to have been due to deliberate treachery and an understanding with James II. In that case it might reasonably have been expected he would have immediately joined the Irish army; instead of which he soon afterwards appeared in London. Macaulay says: "It is probable that his conduct is rather to be attributed to faintheartedness and poverty of spirit than to zeal for any public cause. He seems to have thought resistance hopeless; and in truth, to a military eye the defences of Londonderry appeared contemptible." We have no particulars of Lundy's life. He is still annually burned in effigy at Londonderry.

Sources

223. Macaulay, Lord: History of England, from the Accession of James II. [to 1702]. 5 vols. London, 1849-'61.

337. Walker, Rev. George: Account of the Siege of Londonderry. London, 1689.

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