Siege of Derry Begins

  • April 18, 1689

The siege of Derry in 1689 was the first major event in the Williamite War in Ireland. The siege was preceded by an attempt against the town by Jacobite forces on 7 December 1688 that was foiled when 13 apprentices shut the gates. This was an act of rebellion against James II.

The second attempt began on 18 April 1689 when James himself appeared before the walls with an Irish army led by Jacobite and French officers. The town was summoned to surrender but refused. The siege began. The besiegers tried to storm the walls, but failed. They then resorted to starving Derry. They raised the siege and left when supply ships broke through to the town. The siege lasted 105 days from 18 April to 1 August 1689. It is commemorated yearly by the Protestant community.