Derry to King William, 1689

From Derry and Enniskillen in the Year 1689 by Thomas Witherow

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May it please your Majesty,

Having made the most humble, hearty, and sincere tender of our loyalty and duty to your Majesty, by the hands of your Majesty's most faithful subject and servant Colonel George Walker, we did not think it would again be easily excusable to importune your Majesty by any other writing of that kind; but the Lord-General of your Majesty's army, and General Governor his Grace the Duke of Schomberg, having transmitted hither your Majesty's letter of the 26th [16th] of August last, it so raised and transported us, that we could scarcely believe our eyes to see or ears to hear what is contained therein: and we should be as stupid and senseless as the walls we governed, if silent on so extraordinary occasion, for certainly never did so great a Prince condescend so much to a poor handful of his unworthy subjects. Never was sovereignty and goodness, the wisdom of a King, and bowels of a Father of the people, better manifested and exemplified, than by this example your Majesty set to posterity, the like perhaps not known to former ages. Your Majesty without our motion or application, hath at once outdone and prevented our expectations; nay, almost our very wishes. Your Majesty mentions services, to the performance of which our necessities and extremity of dangers, as well as our loyalty, compelled us, and placed such a high value on them, as all our lives had they been spent therein would be too mean to answer. What shall we say on an occasion for which we can find no suitable words or expressions? even thus much truly, that those lives which your Majesty, out of your transcendant goodness, is pleased to take care of and to provide for in measure, so infinitely exceeding their worth, shall with all imaginable cheerfulness, resolution, and loyalty be laid down in your Majesty's service, whensoever your affairs can be advantaged thereby. In the meantime, that your Majesty may be ever happy, and may triumph over your enemies by your victorious arms, and ever be blest with obedient and faithful subjects, shall be some of those prayers which the soldiers and citizens of this poor city daily and devoutly send to Heaven on your Majesty's behalf; and which we shall never be so impious and ingrateful as to neglect or omit, being most entirely and resolvedly Your Majesty's dutiful, faithful, and humble

Subjects and Servants.

« Appendix 19 | Contents

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 into identifying participants at the siege which the author undertook when suffering from ill-health in the latter part of his life.

The book is essentially divided into two parts: the first contains 1660 biographical entries relating to the defenders of Derry, tracing, where possible, the family lineage; and the second part includes 352 entries 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., there is also background given to many of the most influential families involved in the conflict.