Mr. Hamilton's Instructions

From Derry and Enniskillen in the Year 1689 by Thomas Witherow

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Instructions to our trusty and well-beloved James Hamilton, Esq., appointed by us to carry arms and other provisions of war to the town of Londonderry, in our kingdom of Ireland.

You are to receive into your charge, as soon as they shall be put on shipboard, the arms, ammunition, and stores of war, which we have directed to be sent to Ireland, with a commission and instructions to Lieutenant-Colonel Lundy, and the sum of one thousand pounds, which we have ordered the officers of the customs and excise at Chester to pay unto you, to be delivered by you to the said Lieutenant-Colonel Lundy, who is to dispose thereof for the necessary occasions of that garrison. And you are to take care, that the ship in which the said arms and stores of war shall be laden, do not leave the English coast without the convoy of a frigate, which we have appointed to accompany the said ship to the said town of Londonderry. And at your arrival with the said ships upon or near the coasts of Ireland, you are, if you see convenient, to deliver fifty barrels of powder to any officer commissioned by us within the county of Down or thereabouts, in order to the better defence of those parts, taking the receipt of the said officer for the same. And you are, as soon as may be, to inform yourself in the best manner, at what distance the enemy shall be at that time from Londonderry; and with what safety the said arms and provisions of war may be put on shore, at or near that place, and secured within the said town for the use and defence of the Protestants against the Papists, according to your directions in that behalf; and in case the same may be done without apparent danger, you are to proceed accordingly in the execution thereof, and to deliver the said commission and instructions, money, arms, and stores, to the said Lieutenant-Colonel Lundy, or to the commander-in-chief of the said town, taking his receipt for the same; provided, nevertheless, that before you deliver the said commission, instructions, money, arms, and stores of war to the said Lieutenant-Colonel Lundy, or the commander-in-chief of the said town, you first cause him to take the oaths herewith sent, on board the ship wherein you shall arrive there, in the presence of the mayor, or chief civil magistrate of Londonderry. But if he shall refuse the said oaths or any one of them, or that you shall find the approach to the said town difficult, and the landing or delivery of the said arms and stores insecure, you are then not to land the said stores, or part with the said commission, instructions, and money; but to cause them to be brought back on board the said ship, under the same convoy, to some port in England; whereupon notice thereof being given to us, we shall signify our further orders thereupon, and for so doing, etc.
Given, etc., Whitehall,
the 22nd of February, 1688.
By His Majesty's Command,

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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.