The Success of the Enniskilleners

From Derry and Enniskillen in the Year 1689 by Thomas Witherow

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CHAPTER VI...concluded


The Enniskilleners, elated with their success, determined on Friday, the 3rd of August, to march to Ballyshannon, and to measure their strength with Sarsfield, who was encamped near Bundoran; but while on their way, an express from Captain Folliot met them to say, that Sarsfield, hearing of Macarthy's defeat at Newtonbutler, had raised his camp and withdrawn to Sligo, and that the arms and ammunition, sent by Kirke for the use of Enniskillen, had arrived at Ballyshannon. Their next thought was to try their strength against the Duke of Berwick, but before they had time to take any steps in that direction, the news came, on Sabbath, the 4th of August, that the siege of Derry was raised, and that already the army of King James had marched past Omagh. Lieutenant Charleton, with a troop of horse, was sent out to reconnoitre, and he returned on Monday evening, to tell that he had seen the rear of the Jacobite army pass through Castlecaulfield, within three miles of Dungannon. Therefore, it was now in vain to pursue. And thus it was that Derry and Enniskillen held out for King William and Queen Mary, until victory crowned their efforts at last.

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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.