Pear Tree Brooch

Pear-Terr-Brooch-600

‘…all that tym was I threatened with 100 kynds of death’

This is a brooch made from the pear tree which Lundy climbed down and escaped from Derry in April 1688. Whilst there’s no doubt the brooch is made from the wood of a pear tree, it’s unlikely that this is how Lundy escaped the city. As part of his preparation for the defence of the city Lundy ordered that all outlying buildings and suburbs surrounding the city be demolished leaving no cover for the enemy. He ordered the removal of two giant dung-heaps (a 17th Century sewerage system) that rested against the walls so it’s unlikely that a pear tree would have been left standing for the enemy to climb up.

Walker wrote:  “Governor Lundy could not so easily make his escape, being conceived  more obnoxious than any of the rest…The Commission he bore, as well as their respect for his Person, made it a duty in them( Walker and Baker)  to contribute all they could to his safety; and therefore, finding him desirous to escape the danger of such a Tumult, they suffered him to disguise himself, and in a Sally, for the relief of Culmore, to pass in a boat with a load of Match on his back, from whence he got to the Shipping.

Could Lord Macauley in “The History of England-from the Accession of James II” have started the rumour?  He writes that Lundy “…made his escape in the disguise of a porter. The part of the wall from which he let himself down is still pointed out; and people still living talk of having tasted the fruit of the pear-tree which assisted him in his descent.

St Columb’s Cathedral