From Derry and Enniskillen in the Year 1689 by Thomas Witherow

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Since the first edition was published, the Author has had an opportunity of examining two original authorities, which he had not seen before. For one of these, the Diary of Captain Ash—now a tract so rare as to need republication—he is indebted to H. Tyler, Esq., of Limavady. The other, Negotiations de M. Le Comte D'Avaux en Irlande, he owes to the kindness of Lieutenant-Colonel Conyngham, of Moneymore. The latter is specially valuable, as being the correspondence of an intelligent man who came with King James to Ireland in March 1689, attended at his Court as French Ambassador up till February 1690, knew thoroughly all that occurred on the Irish side during the interval, and whose business was to report it faithfully to the French Government. Advantage has been taken of these works to bring into the narrative anything contained in them bearing on the subject and likely to interest the reader; and everything the Author can do has been done, to make this edition more accurate and complete than the former. The acceptance which the first issue has obtained from Protestants, and even from Roman Catholics, makes him still more desirous to present the present generation with a record on whose truth they can rely, and which may prove, he hopes, a not unworthy memorial of the bravest of the brave.

MAGEE COLLEGE, Nov. 17th, 1875.


The third edition has been subjected to a careful revision; while advantage has been taken of additional information supplied by the Macpherson Original Papers and by the Journal from London to relieve Londonderry, discovered by the Author among the Ashburnham Manuscripts in the Royal Irish Academy, and which, it is believed, is now used for the first time by any historian of the Siege.

COLLEGE HILL, March 25th, 1885.

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Derry and Enniskillen in the Year 1689

Thomas Witherow's thoroughly researched and well-annotated work is a classic account of the Siege of Derry, from the shutting of the gates against the Jacobite forces by the thirteen apprentice boys to the relief of the city by Major-General Kirke's fleet in July 1689. The defence of Enniskillen and the counteroffensive actions of the Enniskilleners is also ably documented.

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Fighters of Derry

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.

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The Actions of the Enniskillen-men

While the epic siege of Derry is usually accorded its proper place in history, the contemporaneous exploits of the Enniskillen men are often overlooked. This is manifestly unjust because the Enniskilleners demonstrated bravery and heroism in battle at least equal to that of the defenders of Londonderry. Some, of course, rate the actions of the Enniskillen men more highly. As far as Revd Andrew Hamilton, the Rector of Kilskeery and author of A True Relation of the Actions of the Inniskilling Men (1690), was concerned ‘The Derry men saved a city but the Enniskilleners saved a kingdom.’

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