Siege of Derry
Overview
 
The Siege of Derry
Derry
Derry or Londonderry is the second-biggest city in Northern Ireland and the fourth-biggest city on the island of Ireland. The name Derry is an anglicisation of the Irish name Doire or Doire Cholmcille meaning "oak-wood of Colmcille"...

took place in Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

 from 18 April to 28 July 1689, during the Williamite War in Ireland
Williamite war in Ireland
The Williamite War in Ireland—also called the Jacobite War in Ireland, the Williamite-Jacobite War in Ireland and in Irish as Cogadh an Dá Rí —was a conflict between Catholic King James II and Protestant King William of Orange over who would be King of England, Scotland and Ireland...

. The city, a Williamite
Williamite
Williamite refers to the followers of King William III of England who deposed King James II in the Glorious Revolution. William, the Stadtholder of the Dutch Republic, replaced James with the support of English Whigs....

 stronghold, was besieged by a Jacobite
Jacobitism
Jacobitism was the political movement in Britain dedicated to the restoration of the Stuart kings to the thrones of England, Scotland, later the Kingdom of Great Britain, and the Kingdom of Ireland...

 army until it was relieved by Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 ships. The siege is commemorated annually in August by the Apprentice Boys of Derry
Apprentice Boys of Derry
The Apprentice Boys of Derry is a Protestant fraternal society with a worldwide membership of over 80,000, founded in 1814. They are based in the city of Derry, Northern Ireland. However, there are Clubs and branches across Ireland, Great Britain and further afield...

.
In the "Glorious Revolution
Glorious Revolution
The Glorious Revolution, also called the Revolution of 1688, is the overthrow of King James II of England by a union of English Parliamentarians with the Dutch stadtholder William III of Orange-Nassau...

" of 1688, James II
James II of England
James II & VII was King of England and King of Ireland as James II and King of Scotland as James VII, from 6 February 1685. He was the last Catholic monarch to reign over the Kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland...

 (King of England, Ireland and Scotland), a Roman Catholic convert, was ousted from power by his Protestant
Protestantism
Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

 daughter Mary
Mary II of England
Mary II was joint Sovereign of England, Scotland, and Ireland with her husband and first cousin, William III and II, from 1689 until her death. William and Mary, both Protestants, became king and queen regnant, respectively, following the Glorious Revolution, which resulted in the deposition of...

 and her husband William of Orange
William III of England
William III & II was a sovereign Prince of Orange of the House of Orange-Nassau by birth. From 1672 he governed as Stadtholder William III of Orange over Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Guelders, and Overijssel of the Dutch Republic. From 1689 he reigned as William III over England and Ireland...

.
Encyclopedia
The Siege of Derry
Derry
Derry or Londonderry is the second-biggest city in Northern Ireland and the fourth-biggest city on the island of Ireland. The name Derry is an anglicisation of the Irish name Doire or Doire Cholmcille meaning "oak-wood of Colmcille"...

took place in Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

 from 18 April to 28 July 1689, during the Williamite War in Ireland
Williamite war in Ireland
The Williamite War in Ireland—also called the Jacobite War in Ireland, the Williamite-Jacobite War in Ireland and in Irish as Cogadh an Dá Rí —was a conflict between Catholic King James II and Protestant King William of Orange over who would be King of England, Scotland and Ireland...

. The city, a Williamite
Williamite
Williamite refers to the followers of King William III of England who deposed King James II in the Glorious Revolution. William, the Stadtholder of the Dutch Republic, replaced James with the support of English Whigs....

 stronghold, was besieged by a Jacobite
Jacobitism
Jacobitism was the political movement in Britain dedicated to the restoration of the Stuart kings to the thrones of England, Scotland, later the Kingdom of Great Britain, and the Kingdom of Ireland...

 army until it was relieved by Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 ships. The siege is commemorated annually in August by the Apprentice Boys of Derry
Apprentice Boys of Derry
The Apprentice Boys of Derry is a Protestant fraternal society with a worldwide membership of over 80,000, founded in 1814. They are based in the city of Derry, Northern Ireland. However, there are Clubs and branches across Ireland, Great Britain and further afield...

.

Background

In the "Glorious Revolution
Glorious Revolution
The Glorious Revolution, also called the Revolution of 1688, is the overthrow of King James II of England by a union of English Parliamentarians with the Dutch stadtholder William III of Orange-Nassau...

" of 1688, James II
James II of England
James II & VII was King of England and King of Ireland as James II and King of Scotland as James VII, from 6 February 1685. He was the last Catholic monarch to reign over the Kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland...

 (King of England, Ireland and Scotland), a Roman Catholic convert, was ousted from power by his Protestant
Protestantism
Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

 daughter Mary
Mary II of England
Mary II was joint Sovereign of England, Scotland, and Ireland with her husband and first cousin, William III and II, from 1689 until her death. William and Mary, both Protestants, became king and queen regnant, respectively, following the Glorious Revolution, which resulted in the deposition of...

 and her husband William of Orange
William III of England
William III & II was a sovereign Prince of Orange of the House of Orange-Nassau by birth. From 1672 he governed as Stadtholder William III of Orange over Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Guelders, and Overijssel of the Dutch Republic. From 1689 he reigned as William III over England and Ireland...

. The majority of the Irish population were Catholic, and James had given them some real concessions during his reign. He had appointed an Irish Catholic as Lord Deputy of Ireland
Lord Deputy of Ireland
The Lord Deputy was the King's representative and head of the Irish executive under English rule, during the Lordship of Ireland and later the Kingdom of Ireland...

 (Richard Talbot), and re-admitted Catholics into the Irish Parliament, public office, and the army. Irish Catholics also hoped that James would re-grant them their lands, which had been seized after the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland
Cromwellian conquest of Ireland
The Cromwellian conquest of Ireland refers to the conquest of Ireland by the forces of the English Parliament, led by Oliver Cromwell during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. Cromwell landed in Ireland with his New Model Army on behalf of England's Rump Parliament in 1649...

 (1649–53). James thus looked to Ireland to muster support in re-gaining his kingdoms.

Richard Talbot, who was acting as James' viceroy
Viceroy
A viceroy is a royal official who runs a country, colony, or province in the name of and as representative of the monarch. The term derives from the Latin prefix vice-, meaning "in the place of" and the French word roi, meaning king. A viceroy's province or larger territory is called a viceroyalty...

 in Ireland, was anxious to ensure that all strongpoints in the country were held by garrisons loyal to James. He focused on the northern province of Ulster
Ulster
Ulster is one of the four provinces of Ireland, located in the north of the island. In ancient Ireland, it was one of the fifths ruled by a "king of over-kings" . Following the Norman invasion of Ireland, the ancient kingdoms were shired into a number of counties for administrative and judicial...

, which had been the most heavily planted by British Protestant colonists
Plantation of Ulster
The Plantation of Ulster was the organised colonisation of Ulster—a province of Ireland—by people from Great Britain. Private plantation by wealthy landowners began in 1606, while official plantation controlled by King James I of England and VI of Scotland began in 1609...

.

By November 1688, Enniskillen
Enniskillen
Enniskillen is a town in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. It is located almost exactly in the centre of the county between the Upper and Lower sections of Lough Erne. It had a population of 13,599 in the 2001 Census...

 and Derry were the two garrisons in Ulster that were not wholly loyal to James. The elderly Alexander MacDonnell, 3rd Earl of Antrim
Alexander MacDonnell, 3rd Earl of Antrim
Alexander MacDonnell, 3rd Earl of Antrim was an Roman Catholic peer and military commander in Ireland. He was the son of Randal MacDonnell, 1st Earl of Antrim and his wife, Alice O'Neill .After coming of age, MacDonnell spend three years abroad in Europe before returning to Ireland just before the...

, was ordered to replace it with a more reliable force. He agreed, but wasted several weeks searching for men who were at least six feet tall. A force of around 1,200 Scottish Catholic "Redshanks
Redshank (soldier)
Redshank was a nickname for Scottish mercenaries from the Highlands Western Isles. They were a prominent feature of Irish armies throughout the 16th century. They were called Redshanks because they went dressed in kilts and waded bare-legged through rivers in the coldest weather...

" then set out for the city. On 7 December, with the army a short distance away, thirteen apprentice boys
Apprentice Boys of Derry
The Apprentice Boys of Derry is a Protestant fraternal society with a worldwide membership of over 80,000, founded in 1814. They are based in the city of Derry, Northern Ireland. However, there are Clubs and branches across Ireland, Great Britain and further afield...

 seized the city keys and locked the gates.

On 10 December, King James fled London. He was caught, but escaped a second time on 23 December and made his way to France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

. James' first cousin, King Louis XIV of France
Louis XIV of France
Louis XIV , known as Louis the Great or the Sun King , was a Bourbon monarch who ruled as King of France and Navarre. His reign, from 1643 to his death in 1715, began at the age of four and lasted seventy-two years, three months, and eighteen days...

, gave him support to retain his crown. In London on 13 February 1689, William and Mary were crowned.
On 12 March, James landed in Kinsale
Kinsale
Kinsale is a town in County Cork, Ireland. Located some 25 km south of Cork City on the coast near the Old Head of Kinsale, it sits at the mouth of the River Bandon and has a population of 2,257 which increases substantially during the summer months when the tourist season is at its peak and...

 (on Ireland's south coast) with 6000 French soldiers. He took Dublin and marched north with an army of Irish and French Catholics.

The siege

The City Governor, Lieutenant Colonel Robert Lundy
Robert Lundy
Robert Lundy, , was Governor of Derry during the Siege of Derry.Nothing is known of Lundy's parentage or early life; but he had seen service in the foreign wars before 1688, when he was at Dublin with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel in the regiment of Lord Mountjoy...

, wrote on 15 April that "without an immediate supply of money and provisions this place must fall very soon into the enemy's hands". Lundy called a meeting with several of his most loyal supporters to discuss surrender. News of the meeting spread, enraging many of the citizens. That night, Lundy (in disguise) and many others left the city and took ship to Scotland. The city's defence was overseen by Major Henry Baker, Colonel Adam Murray, and Major George Walker
George Walker (soldier)
Sir George Walker was an Irish soldier and Anglican priest, known as the Defender of Derry. He was joint Governor of Derry during the Siege in 1689. He was killed at the Battle of the Boyne while going to the aid of the wounded Duke of Schomberg.- Family :George Walker was born in about 1618 in...

 (also an Anglican
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

 priest). Their slogan was "No Surrender".

As the Jacobite army neared, all the buildings outside the city walls were set alight by the defenders to prevent them being used as cover by the besiegers.

The Jacobite army arrived at Derry on 18 April. King James rode to Bishop's Gate and asked the city to surrender. He was rebuffed, and some of the city's defenders fired at him. James would ask thrice more, but was refused each time. This marked the beginning of the siege. Cannon and mortar fire were exchanged, and disease took hold within the city. James returned to Dublin and left his forces under the command of Richard Hamilton.
Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 warships under Admiral Rooke arrived in Lough Foyle
Lough Foyle
Lough Foyle, sometimes Loch Foyle , is the estuary of the River Foyle in Ulster. It starts where the Foyle leaves Derry. It separates the Inishowen Peninsula in County Donegal, Republic of Ireland from County Londonderry in Northern Ireland.-Transport:...

 on 11 June, but refused to smash through the boom (floating barrier) across the River Foyle
River Foyle
The River Foyle is a river in west Ulster in the northwest of Ireland, which flows from the confluence of the rivers Finn and Mourne at the towns of Lifford in County Donegal, Republic of Ireland, and Strabane in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. From here it flows to the City of Derry, where it...

 at Culmore
Culmore
Culmore is a village and townland in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland. It is between Derry and Muff, at the mouth of the River Foyle. In the 2001 Census it had a population of 2,960 people.- History :...

. On 28 July, under the orders of Major General Percy Kirke
Percy Kirke
Lieutenant General Percy Kirke , English soldier, was the son of George Kirke, a court official to Charles I and Charles II.In 1666 Kirke obtained his first commission in the Lord Admiral's regiment, and subsequently served in the Blues...

, three armed merchant ships called the Mountjoy, Phoenix and Jerusalem (a cutter) sailed toward the boom, protected by the frigate HMS Dartmouth under Captain John Leake
John Leake
Sir John Leake was an English Admiral in the Royal Navy and a politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1708 to 1715.Leake was born at Rotherhithe, the second son of Richard Leake, Master Gunner of England....

. The Mountjoy rammed but did not break the boom. Instead, it was broken by sailors in a long boat from the frigate HMS Swallow, allowing the fleet to sail upriver and relieve the city.

The city had endured 105 days of siege during which some 8000 people of a population of 30,000 were said to have died.

Remembrance

The siege is commemorated annually by the Apprentice Boys of Derry
Apprentice Boys of Derry
The Apprentice Boys of Derry is a Protestant fraternal society with a worldwide membership of over 80,000, founded in 1814. They are based in the city of Derry, Northern Ireland. However, there are Clubs and branches across Ireland, Great Britain and further afield...

 who stage the week long Maiden City Festival
Maiden City Festival
The Maiden City Festival takes place in Derry, Northern Ireland in the second week in August each year. In 2008 the Festival was described as a "diverse, varied programme of events that underscores the organisers' desire to provide something for everyone", as well as a "showcase for Protestant...

 culminating in a parade around the walls of the city by local members, followed by a parade of the city by the full Association. Although violence has attended these parades in the past, those in recent years have been largely peaceful.

The song Derry's Walls
Derry's Walls
"Derry's Walls" is a historical song sung in Northern Ireland. It commemorates the Siege of Derry in 1689.The author of the words is unknown, and it is sung to the tune of "God Bless the Prince of Wales".-Lyrics:Verse 1...

 was written to commemorate the siege.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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