Enniskillen and Newtownbutler 1689 - 1690

The armed civilians of Enniskillen had not felt bound by an order from Governor Lundy that they should fall back to Londonderry. Williamite parties sallied out to plunder Trillick, burn Augher castle and raid Clones and much of the countryside to the south-east.

An aerial view of Augher castle,

captured by Williamite forces


Lieutenant-General Justin MacCarthy, recently created Viscount Mountcashel by James II, meanwhile advanced north from Dublin with a formidable Jacobite army, and by 28th July was bombarding Crom castle to the south east of Enniskillen. In response, the 'Inniskillingers' advanced from Enniskillen on Mountcashel at Newtownbutler.

With 3,000 men facing 2,000 Williamites, Mountcashel should have won; but a confused order to his cavalry caused them to turn tail, and the Jacobite foot was driven to the shores of Upper Lough Erne. Of 500 men who tried to swim across the lough only one survived; the rest of the foot were hunted down and slain. Quarter was given to only around 400 officers and almost 2,000 other Jacobites were put to the sword. Soon after most of Ulster was cleared of Jacobites, ensuring that a landing by the Duke of Schomberg in County Down in August 1689 was unopposed.


The Watergate at Enniskillen Castle.

 ©Fermanagh County Museum


The Flag of St. George.

Flying from the Watergate is the flag of St. George, which was the national English banner until 1606.  The long established tradition of flying this flag was  to honour Enniskillen’s two famous regiments, the Royal Inniskilling Dragoons and the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.  Originating as mounted and foot soldiers who volunteered to defend Enniskillen from Jacobite forces in 1689, the two regiments fought under this flag and distinguished themselves during the Williamite Wars.  The right to use this symbol is said to have been conferred by King William on account of the valour of the Enniskillen troops at the Battle of the Boyne.

Enniskillen Castle

Enniskillen Castle was first built in the early 15th century by Hugh Maguire, to command the Erne.  It saw many battles during the Gaelic rebellions, and fell after an eight day siege in 1594. It was refurbished and remodelled in 1607 under Captain William Cole. It was again remodelled in the 18th century as the Castle Barracks. Today the keep houses the Fermanagh County Museum and the Regimental Museum of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

Enniskillen Cathedral

In 1637, a new church was built in Enniskillen, but it was not dedicated until 1842.   It then became St Anne's Parish church.  Because the Cathedral in Clogher was so remote to the majority of parishes, St Anne's was dedicated, by an Act of the General Synod of the Church of Ireland in 1921, to be the Cathedral of the Diocese.

The Cathedral is today noted for it's bells one of which was cast from a cannon used at the Battle of the Boyne.