CITY OF LONDONDERRY, CO. DERRY. -This famous city which during the Jacobite war, was to the Protestants of Ireland what Limerick was to the Catholics, stands on a rising ground above the western bank of the river Foyle. Its ancient Gaelic name was Daire-Calgaich – the Oak Wood of Calgach. After the Flight of the Earls, in 1607, James I. “granted” the town and surrounding territory, as part of the “confiscated” lands of the native Irish, to certain London corporations, whence the name Londonderry. The national Irish peak of it as ‘Derry.” In 1609, the English strongly fortified the town, and most of the gates, and the thick wall, are still well preserved. The chief celebrity of the place is derived from the long and successful defense made in 1688-89, from December to July, by the Williamite garrison and inhabitants against he investing army of King James II, under General Richard Hamilton, Marshal de Rosen and, finally the King himself. At one time, the city was on the pont of surrendering to Hamilton, on favorable terms, when with his usual fatuity, King James interfered, appeared before the town, was fired upon, had an officer killed by his side and was at last, compelled to withdraw, chagrined and discomfited. On July 30, 1689, the relieving expedition, under General Kirke, sailed up the Foyle and the siege was at an end. The defense throughout was most gallant, and the Irish Protestants, from a military standpoint, have good reason to be proud of it. Said the Catholic orator, Meagher, in 1846. “We do homage to Irish valor, whether it conquers on the walls of Derry, or capitulates with honor before the ramparts of Limerick!”

Londonderry Today


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