Page images

of the attempt of relieving the town, he hesitated, Chap.


returned no chearful signals in answer to those of vi_vJ the garrison, and, having thus encouraged the enemy, who had been terrified almost into a dereliction of the siege at his appearance, to fortify the passage against him, he at length sailed away on thirteenth of June. After somc time the besieged received intelligence from him, that, unable to force his way to their city, he had sailed round to LoghSvvilly, to try whether he could make a diversion in their favour, and send supplies to the protestants posted at Enniskellen. He endeavoured to comfort them with assurances that he would still relieve them, that in Britain all went in favour of king William, that more forces from England were hourly expected, and that the enemy would not be able to continue the siege much longer; but he at the same time advised them " to be good husbands of their provisions," a counsel of no very consolatory nature.

When, in the increasing distresses of the garrison, Atrocity Baker, one of their governors, died, and an officer,° Roscn* named Mitchelburne, was elected in his place, general Hamilton endeavoured to move them by persuasion to a surrendry; but, instead of yielding to his advice, they reproached him with his treachery; and, though many were scarcely able to support their arms, they threatened death to any who should mention a capitulation. Marshal Rosen, a German officer, who had accompanied James from France in the quality of lieutenant-general, and was condueting the siege with vigour and skill, enraged to

-. ■. H4 fury

CXhXaX[; fbry aft the obstinacy of the" besieged, dedaYed tnaf, >-v—' If the town should not be surrendered ofl or before the first of July, all of their faction through the whole country to Batlyshannon, Charlemo'u'nt, Delfast, Irinishowen, protected and unprotected iridisfcfiminately, should be consigned tb plunder, and driven urider the city walls, there to perish by huhA . gery unless relieved by the surfendry of the tbwft. As on the day appointed rib" symptom* of subtriissiob appeared, the threat was executed with all the cifcUrristartces of hbrfdr. All the prbtesta'h'ts through a great extent of country, most of WhOm had protections from king Jatrfcs, were, without the least exceptidn Iti favbut Of sex, dge,- weakfless, Or siehness, collected and driven under the. walls, 6n tfte second of July, by soldiers, who goaded them forward with precipitation. Ob the first appearance of this confused and shrieking hiiiltitude, hurrying toward the town, the garrisbft fired on theni; in a mistake, as enemies; but were transported into the extremity of resenthierit, when they discovered the reality, and confirmed in the resolution of perishing rather than' tHey should subtilit f o an enemy destitute of humanity and every gerieroifs principle. Many of tlie miserable pebple, thus dbdmed to suffer a hidcbtis death of hunger beneath the walls, had the magnanimity tb implore the gatrison to persevere, without regard tb their afflietidti, iti an Obstinate defence against ati atrocious foe, Whose Object Was the exterthinatibh of them all. A gallbwS wis ereeted In view bi* thfe besiegers, and assunltices sent ttiemi that all the prisoners takeri by the garrison

should sfcoaldf b6 immediately frariged, unless their friends ciiAf. were' allowed to depart; and confessors wete htt-° y' inanely admitted to prepare these prisOriers for death; hut the execution was prevented by the* release of the people in consequence of orders from James, to whom in Dublin intelligence had been rapidly conveyed of the infamous transaction. Sofrite of the ablest men of this devoted crowd, notwithstanding thfe enemy's vigilance, had stolen into the tOWn, and With them about five hundred useless persons to increase the distress of the garrison. Those who, without the walls, had survived the miseries at three days, destitute of sustenance and shelter, were permitted t6 return to their empty habitations, where most of them perished, as the ravages of the enemy had left them tit* means at subsistence.

Reduced to the extremity of distress, and endea^R^ of VOUritig to support the remains of life by such mi-0'"*'" serable food as the flesh Of dOgs arid vermin, even talloW and hides, nor able to find thofe than two days' provisions of sUch substances, the garrison was still assured by the harangues of Walker, in a prophetic Spirit, that God Would relieve thetil; and irieri, reduced almost to shadows, made desperate sallies, but were unable to pursue their advantage. On the thirtieth of July, wheti theif minds were yet Warm with onfe of these harangues, they descried three ships in Logh-Foyle, steering directly towards them. Fearing a surrendry of the town, and consequent blame to himself, fork had at length resolved to make a hazardous attempt for their relief,


Chap, which he might have made at first with much less

danger. The anxiety of. the besieged was roused
to the highest pitch, while the besiegers rushed ar-
dently to their batteries on the shore to prevent the
passage of the vessels, which consisted of two ships
loaded with provisions, and the Dartmouth frigate,
their guardship. Where the lake narrowed into the
harbour of the cky, the shore was lined with artil-
lery; and a boom, formed of strong timber, joined
by iron chains, and strengthened with thick cables,
extended across the channel between two opposite
batteries. While the besiegers poured a tremendous
fire of cannon and musketry on the ships, which
was answered with all their might by the crews, the
foremost of the victuallers struck with velocity against
the boom, and broke it, but, rebounding with vio-
lence ran aground. The besieged on the crowded walls
were struck with dumb consternation, while the ene-
my, rending the air with shouts, were preparing to
board the victualler; but, by the recoil of her own
guns, as she fired at the assailants, she was again set
afloat, and, passing the boom, was followed by the
other vessels, to the relief of the famished garrison.
The enemy retired in despair toward Strabane, having
lest eight thousand men in the siege; and the miser-
ably emaciated defenders of the city scarcely waited
to taste food, till they exerted their small remain of
strength to pursue them, and some lost their lives
in adventuring rashly on the rear guard. Four thou-
sand three hundred of the garrison had survived the
hardships of this memorable siege of a hundred
• . . and


and five days duration; but of these above a thou- Chap. sand were incapable of service. *-■'-'

The flight of the besiegers was precipated by the oP«ra


news of a great victory gained by the protestantsLkMeners. collected at Enniskillen, who had from the first greatly embarrassed the adherents of James. This little town, situate in the county of Fermanagh, on an island in the narrow part of Logh Erne, or the connecting channel of the two lakes, was inhabited by some resolute protestants, who had refused admittance to two Romish companies of Tyrconnel's army, and afterwards afforded protection to the protestants of the north-western parts, who took refuge there. These protestants, electing Gustavus Hamilton for their commander, proclaimed William and Mary; and, happily free from the embarrassment of any such treacherous or cowardly officer as Lundy, they acted with a spirit formidable and destructive to their adversaries. Lord Galmoy marched to reduce them, and invested Crom Castle, their frontier fortress, situate on Logh Erne: but, unable to bring.his cannon to the scene of action, he attempted to intimidate the garrison into a surrendry by counterfeit great guns. Having employed eight horses to draw two pieces formed of tin, and so coloured as to resemble cannon, he threatened to open a battery immediately on the fort; but a defiance was returned; a man with a long fowling piece shot one of the pretended engineers from the castle; and the garrison, reinforced from Enniskillen, sallied, drove the enemy from their trenches, and returned in triumph with much booty. The courage and


« PreviousContinue »