Lundy to Sir John Hume and Others

From Derry and Enniskillen in the Year 1689 by Thomas Witherow

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CHAPTER VI...continued


"GENTLEMEN,—the enclosed is accompanied with several letters intimating the march of the Irish army northward, to oppose which we are making all the preparations possible, although our scarcity of arms, ammunitions, and moneys, render us not so fit as we ought for the undertaking. But we will do what we can, and leave the issue to Divine Providence, which orders all events. On this occasion it is likely that you and all our friends may be alarmed, if not formally attacked, by their forces, were it to keep you from affording us your help, or from giving them diversion in their attempts; wherefore you would do well to be strictly on your guards, and if possible, by espials, to open their counsels and designs; and what you know, pray communicate to your friends in this country and round about you, who, we hope, will observe the like care, and continue a constant correspondence with all friends in these dangerous times. I am resolved to march hence within a day or two, with what force I can raise in this country, to Dungannon, and desire you to have all men ready to march that were designed for it, that as soon as I write for them, they may come immediately to the place assigned for our rendezvous.
"I remain, Gentlemen, your faithful Servant,

"For Sir JOHN HUME, and the rest of the Gentlemen of the County of Fermanagh, these."[21]

Lundy, however, did not go far in quest of the army of King James now invading the North. Instead of marching to Dungannon as he intimated in his letter, he soon afterwards ordered the garrison there to evacuate Dungannon, and to fall back on the Laggan, the name then given to that district of country which lies between the upper part of the Swilly and the Foyle. The result of deserting this outpost was, that the provisions collected in Dungannon fell into the hands of the enemy, and the country people thus left unprotected were obliged to forsake their homes, and to flee in the direction of Strabane and Derry.

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[21] Further Account, p. 25.

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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