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Londonderry, siege of

Londonderry, siege of, 1689. When William of Orange landed at Brixham, Lord-Lieutenant Tyrconnel, to furnish Irish troops for England, had weakened his Ulster garrisons. In December both Londonderry and Enniskillen shut their doors against fresh garrisons, and, after the rout of the Ulster protestants at Dromore in March 1689, became crowded with refugees. In April James II himself advanced against Londonderry. Governor Robert Lundy was prepared to surrender, but was overthrown by a popular rebellion and replaced by Major Henry Baker and the Revd George Walker.

The besiegers lacked artillery, and their communications were harassed by the aggressive Enniskillen men. Londonderry, however, was ill provided and had 30,000 mouths to feed. It was in extreme danger before a Williamite supply ship broke the besiegers' boom on Lough Foyle on 28 July, terminating the siege. Apart from securing the Williamite bridgehead in Ulster, the siege became a symbol of populist defiance and distrust of official leadership in protestant Ulster.

Bruce Philip Lenman

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