Page images

was called a " secret intention/' enjoining them to stand ready armed to obey their orders; and as a friar had preached at Derry on the destruction af the Amalekites by Saul, emphatically deputing the iniquity of sparing- those whom the divine vengeance had devoted to excision, this and other letters of the like import, conveyed to gentlemen of Ulster, whether they were the contrivance of artifice, or the effect of credulity, produced a great and surprising perturbation. In a moment the capital became a scene of uproar and distraction: the guards of the lord-deputy were struck with astonishment: the draw bridge of the castle wu raised, while a tumultuous crowd of both sexes and all ages rushed precipitately to the shore, imploring to be conveyed away from the daggers of the Irish. In vain were two lords dispatched by Tyrconnel to assure them of protection: their remonstrances were drowned in shrieks and clamour. An unusual number of vessels, which happened then to lie in the harbour, were filled with fugitives, who crowded on board in an ecstacy of terror and impatience, leaving their less successful friends in a state of despair and stupefaction. A similar effect; was produced elsewhere throughout Ireland, particularly in some places where the intelligence was not received till the very day stated to be the appointed time of massacre. Starting from their devotion, they fled in amazement, leaving all their property to the

mercy mercy of the catholics. Some gained places of Chap. strength, others the coast, and an opportunity of <w^_s escape hy sea. In the northern counties they collected what arms they could, and resolved on defence.

[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors]


Description of DerryResistance of this townProtestant associationsTreachery of Hamilton and TyrconnelProceedings of the protestantsConduct of LundyProceedings of JamesGeorge WalkerProceedings at DerrySiege of Derry Appearance of KirkCharaMer of KirkAtrocious cruetty of RosenRelief of DerryOperations of the EnniskillenersDefeat of Lord Galmoy His treacheryTliree armies sent against EnniskiltenDefeat of SarsfieldRetreat of FitzjamesDefeat of Macarthy near Newtown-Butler.

Chap. J[N the perturbation and flight of the protestants, v—v—' occasioned by the letters mentioned in the foregoing o/Demr1.°" chapter, the principal place of refuge in the northern province was the city of Derry, new named, in the time of James the first, Londonderry. This city stands on a singularly situate hill, insulated and of an oval form, which rises from the bottom of a valley, on the western side of the river Foyle, whose waters wash its foot through more than half its extent, and form with the bason, called logh Foyle,. an excellent harbour. This beautiful town, conspicuous by its situation and the lofty spire of its

church, church, is hardly an English mile in circuit within Chap. the wall, in which are four gates, whence run the v_^—> four main streets, meeting near the summit of the hill, in a square called the Diamond, where stands the exchange. The highest point of the ground is near Bishop's gate, where in latter times has been erected a triumphal arch with an equestrian statue of king William the third. The wall was firm, and strengthened by bastions, but totally insufficient to resist the attacks of a regular army, particularly since the town is commanded by hills. The communication of the city with the county of its name, formerly maintained by a ferry, has been rendered more commodious, in the latter part of the eighteenth century, by a wooden bridge, constructed by Lemuel Coxe, an American artist, eleven hundred and sixty-eight feet long, forty broad, supported by upright piers fifty-eight feet in length, and furnished with a draw-bridge, twenty-five feet wide, for the passage of vessels.

On the first alarm of an invasion of England hyResisUnce the prince of Orange, Tyrconnel had withdrawn theof *gwgarrison of this town, a garrison agreeable to the citizens, as consisting of a well disciplined regiment, mostly protestant, commanded by lord'Mountjoy, son of primate Boyle. Soon sensible of the oversight of leaving this post in the hands of the townsmen, the lord-deputy had sent thither the earl of Antrim's regiment, composed entirely of Romanists, Irish aad Scottish Highlanders, twelve hundred in number. At the moment when the citizens had received intelligence of the intended massacre, and were deliberating

e A A p. liberating oh measures fbr their safety, they were


'i alarmed to the highest pitch by a letter from Limavady, a village twelve miles distant, giving them art account of the arrival there of 'the destined g*rrisoft tra its march, a body of men of a terrible appear* ance, tall, ferocious in aspect, turbulent in demeanour, and followed by a disorderly crowd of women and children. In the midst of tumult perturbation, and discordant counsels, wbea submission seemed to be the general design, when two officers had entered the city to provide quarters, and an advanced party appeared within three hundred yards of the ferrygate, nine young men of the populace drew their swords in a paroxysm of ardour, snatched the key* fcf the city, raised the draw-bridge, locked the ferrygate, were soon joined by numbers of their ©wo rank, secured the other gates, and seized the magazine. The enthusiasm of the nine youths, communi* cated immediately to the populace, soma pervaded all ranks; and the citizens, reinforced by a conflux from the country, resolved Oh defence, choosing Philips for their governor, who had sent them the intelligence from Limavady. While Cairnes, the principal person among them, was commissioned to represent their situation i« London, and to solicit succours from the prince of Orange, the magistrates and graver citizens addressed the lord-deputy, through the medium of Mountjoy, ascribing the exclusion of the king's troops to the ungovernable fury of the populace, frantic by the fears of massacre; and declaring their resolution to confine themselves to the defence of their lives against a


« PreviousContinue »