11th July 1689

11th July 1689

A view through Bishop’s Gate, Derry.


As the siege wore on, problems with military discipline began to emerge as Captain Ash’s Diary illustrates:


“11th [July 1689] Notwithstanding the barricadoe before Butcher’s-gate, a ball came through one of the pieces of timber and killed a man in the street. The same day the enemy sent to know our answer to the Kings declaration, which was brought in the other day by Colonels Lance and Campbell, which was much the same as the proposals Gen. Rosen had sent before. Our answer was sent in the evening by the said persons.


That evening, the Governors caused five or six out of each company to be drawn out, and to march beyond the trench towards the gallows, to alarm the enemy, and to see if there were any great number in the camp. They seeing this, drew up; and Major General Buchan led his men down to the ditch near the gallows, and lined them everywhere after our men had marched round the field above the gallows, and were drawing up in a body near the trenches with colours flying, &c. Some of the enemy came over the ditches and fired a few shots. Governor Mitchelburn commanded our men to retire within the trenches. Immediately you might have seen all the men running over the ditches, as if the Devil drove them, without any cause but a few shots, for no enemy was within a great distance of them: and after pausing some time on what had happened, they dropped one after another towards Bishop’s-gate, nor would they or any of them return, notwithstanding the orders of their Governors and officers; but stood thrusting and thronging each other at the gate, which was kept shut a long time, in order to force them to go back; but all would not do.
That night four bombs were played, which hurt no one.


These three days past, we have heard several great guns shot off at Lough Swilly, which I suppose to be the English. The enemy are very earnest with us to give up the garrison. They have given us three days to consider of it: we demanded fifteen.”