Instructions to Mr. David Cairns

From Derry and Enniskillen in the Year 1689 by Thomas Witherow

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You are, with what convenient speed yon can, forthwith to repair to Londonderry, in the kingdom of Ireland.

At your arrival there you are to acquaint the Governor and magistrates of the said city, of His Majesty's great care and concern for their security, which he hath shown not only in sending thither at this time men, arms, and ammunition, but in the further great preparations he is making, as well for the particular defence of that place, as for the safety and protection of that whole kingdom.

You are particularly to inform yourself of the present condition of Londonderry, both as to men, arms, and ammunition, and whether the country thereabout can be able to furnish provisions for a greater force intended to be sent thither without carrying provisions from England; an exact account whereof you are to bring yourself with the best speed you can, or to send it with the first conveniency to me, or to the Committee of Council appointed for Irish affairs.

You are to get the best informations you can, what force the emeny has, as well horse as foot; in what condition the troops are and how armed, and what care is taken for their subsistence, whether by providing magazines and stores, or by trusting to the provisions they shall find where they march.

You are to inquire what new levies have been made, of horse, foot, or dragoons, by those colonels who had their commissions sent them some time since by Captain Layton, of what numbers they are, and how disposed of.
Given at the Court of Whitehall,
this 11th day of March, 1688-9.

« Appendix 6 | Contents | Appendix 8 »

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.