Hamilton’s Ball

hamiltons-ball

“Dead Bomb”

As the siege entered its final stages the Jacobites became increasingly desperate to secure the City’s surrender. In an effort to undermine the established channels of communication and deal directly with the soldiers and citizens of Londonderry, Lieutenant General Hamilton sent his terms of surrender in a ‘dead-bomb’, a hollowed out cannonball fired into the city.

Walker noted in his Diary: “Among the Bombs thrown into the Town, there was one dead Shell, in which was a Letter declaring to the Souldiers the Proposals made by the Lieutenant General; for they imagined them Strangers to their Condescensions, and that their Officers wou’d not communicate such things to them.”

Hamilton’s Letter offered gifts and threats-“You shall be restored to your estates and livings, and have free liberty of religion, whatsoever it be…”

He also added “…expose yourselves no longer to the miseries you undergo, which will grow worse and worse if you continue to be opinionate; for it will be too late to accept of the offer now made you, when your condition is so low that you cannot resist the King’s forces longer”

Walker’s Diary continued: “Copies also of these Proposals were conveyed into Town by Villains who disperse them about the town but all to no purpose; for they will not entertain the least thought of Surrendering, and it would cost a man’s life to speak of it, it was so much abhor’d.”

St Columb’s Cathedral