Reading before the rebellion – Cahir Rua O’Doherty and Henry Docwra

On August 2, 2013 by admin

For this year’s Heritage Week we present rock art, rebellion and roaring guns.

Much will be heard and seen of Cahir Rua O’Doherty, last of the Gaelic chieftains of Inishowen and Henry Docwra, commander of the garrison of Derry and first governor of the city of Derry. The events between the arrival of Docwra at Derry in 1600 and Cahir’s rebellion in 1608, which failed so gloriously under the unexpected clever leadership of the young chieftain, shaped fundamentally and to this day the geographic and politically setting of Inishowen. In the aftermath would follow the ‘Plans for the six escheated counties of Ulster’, commonly known as the Ulster Plantation, leaving Inishowen in more ways divided than the separation of the island of Derry and adjacent territories from it.

Captain William Smith's drawing of Elagh Castle

There is some interesting background material on Cahir Rua O’Doherty’s rebellion in William James Doherty’s Inis-Owen and Tirconnell. Being some account of antiquities and writers of the county of Donegal’ (1895). The rebellion starts at page 486.
Henry Docwra’s letters and narration were printed in the ‘Miscellany of the Celtic Society’ (1849), pp. 184 – 325, with additional remarks by John O’Donovan.
Both links provide online reading and PDF download.

Ashby's map of Docwra's fortification of Inishowen (1601)


Let’s battle commence. Our call to arms can be found here: Programme for Heritage Week 2013.

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