CELT document E703001-009

Contemporary Diary of Siege of Limerick, 1691

Colonel Michael Richards

Edited by John T. Gilbert

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Contemporary Diary of Siege of Limerick, 1691, by colonel Richards

Tuesday, the 25th August, 1691, after…

Tuesday, the 25th August, 1691, after my tedious journey unto brigadier O'Donel, I arrived at Carrickinlish just as our army was  p.283 decamping to invest Limerick. Here I found the heavy cannon and the three mortars from Athlone, where we were forced to leave one eighteen-pounder and a mortar for want of draught horses. We found the enemy posted in the old forts made in Cromwell's times, when Ireton besieged this place, on all which they were at work as if they would maintain them. Their horse they passed immediately on the other side of the river. A party of foot, horse, and dragoons, commanded by Sir John Hanmer, attacked the forts and carried them with the loss of three or four of our men. We took about twenty of them prisoners, besides a sergeant, and four of them ran in to us. By one of the forts on the gallows was by the enemy just hanged a man, supposed to be one of their own officers that attempted to desert. The rest of this day was spent in viewing anew the grounds and river. By their own works, now demolished, it appears they designed to take in as much ground on this side as to encamp their army. Our camp is to the left of the town, where also it is believed we shall carry on our attack. The river below the town is about eight or nine hundred paces over.

Wednesday, the 26th August.—Two hundred horses…

Wednesday, the 26th August.—Two hundred horses this morning were sent to Carrickinlish to the heavy cannon there, which all arrived safe in our camp about 2 p.m. Towards night two twelve-pounders were sent to the left to major-general Tettau, to be put on the river side. This day colonel Goor represented to the general that so few cars were sent to Athlone, that they did not bring to the camp above twelve hundred eighteen pound balls; at the same time acquainted him with what we had still remaining there of bullets, which he desired might be transported hither with what expedition the lords justices could.

Thursday, the 27th August.—Early this morning…

Thursday, the 27th August.—Early this morning the general went to the left to the water side, where we had begun a sort of a trench, gaining to the right on the old line of contravallation. The enemies brought down two pieces of cannon to a house on the other side of the river over against the left wing of our camp, so that two or three of our regiments were obliged to change their ground, being incommoded by their shot. Four three-pounders were immediately sent from the artillery to the opening of our trenches, to check some little insults the p.284 enemies sometimes attempted to make on our workers. This morning went away a detachment with three twelve-pounders, under the command of the prince of Hesse, to take Castle Connel, with orders to hang all the officers and to put the soldiers to the sword, when reduced. Another party was also sent with two twelve-pounders, under the command of lieutenant-general Scravemoer, to reduce Castle —; but before we arrived before that place they submitted themselves prisoners of war. The company of miners were also sent, but all returned to the camp before two o'clock, p.m. About five in the afternoon, the prince of Hesse sent to acquaint the general that the place was of that strength as not to be forced, upon which the general sent me to his assistance. I took with me more powder and ball, a petard and petardier. I arrived there by the night, gave orders for the removing of our guns, that the next morning we might batter an envelope that took in a stone house, just by the gate of the castle, which, if possessed by us, cut off their water and gave room to petard the gate. The prince, at my request, ordered a captain, two lieutenants, and fifty grenadiers with a captain, a lieutenant and ensign with fifty fusiliers, to lodge themselves by the favour of the night under a high hedge near the castle, there to lie till the next morning, and to expect a signal for attacking the house and petarding the gate according to the directions I gave them in writing. All being well posted, I returned to the prince's tent and sent to colonel Goor for what we wanted, which was tools, etc.

Friday, 28th August. —About six o'clock…

Friday, 28th August. —About six o'clock we began to batter the envelope with two cannon only, one being split. At eight o'clock arrived the other two pieces and materials that colonel Goor ordered hither, so that now we have four pieces to batter with. About this time about four or five hundred horse and dragoons of the enemy drew up on the other side, made signals to the castle, and told them they should be relieved immediately. I ordered the broken gun to be drawn on the top of a hill, with which we beat the horse from their ground. At this time came also a horseman from the pass where the king William III. went over last year 1690, two miles from Limerick, over against Foxon's house, and said the party left there by the prince p.285 were beaten off, and that the enemies were coming over, upon which we immediately put ourselves in order to receive them. The envelope is now ruined enough, so that, the signal being given (which was the distinct discharge of four cannon and three huzzas), captain Johnson, of Trelawny's regiment, who commanded the grenadiers, and captain —of the same, who commanded the fusiliers, advanced and made themselves masters of the house, the enemies quitting it immediately. They flung many hand grenades and stones by which they killed five of our men and wounded seven. The petardier, with two grenadiers, fixed the petard to the gate with very good success, upon which the enemies beat a parley, but their demands being extravagant, the prince did not hearken to them. The news of the enemies' coming over was again confirmed, so that the prince thought it not prudent to play a hazardous game; therefore granted them to march out without their arms, and, according to their capitulations, they are to be subsisted till sent into Hungary to fight against the Turks in the emperor's service. At night they marched out, and our party, posted at the gate, took possession for king William. In it were about fifty barrels of barley and meal, a stack of hay and about thirty cows, two casks of brandy, and one of claret, with several barrels of powdered beef and but little ammunition. After the rendition of this place, major Ogle came from the general to acquaint the prince that the enemies on this side were cut off by a party sent from the camp, so that we might be at rest on that side; however, this did not hinder us from keeping under arms all night. Colonel Goor at the camp made a review of all pressed horses and oxen sent from Dublin, and has sent those fit for service to Athlone, to transport the remainder of our stores; the others are discharged. Mr. Meesters is returned from the ships, which now lie within two miles of the town, having given orders for the unloading first what is most necessary, as twenty-four pound balls, powder, planks for batteries, tools, etc. The night passed we have worked hard at the line of contravallation, and another line is carrying on to the left to gain a rising ground before the retrenchment of the line made the preceding night. The cannon that was ordered to Castle — is now advanced three miles further on the road to Cork, to reduce a castle thereabouts.

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Saturday, the 29th August.—The prince of…

Saturday, the 29th August.—The prince of Hesse with his party and cannon, returned to the camp. The artillery ships being now come nigher into a little canal, we begin to discharge the ammunition and other little necessities; the place of landing being very marshy, it will be difficult to land the heavy cannon and mortars of eighteen inches thereabouts. The general having ordered that the batteries for cannon should be begun, for the cannon and mortars nigh or on the line of contravallation to bombard the place, five hundred men are ordered for the said work. Colonel Goor has this night ordered the continuation of discharging the vessels, and that the cannon and mortars be drawn to their several batteries now in hand; the line of communication, forts, and retrenchments are continued against the town.

Sunday, the 30th August.—This morning came…

Sunday, the 30th August.—This morning came news that the Maid of Dort, laden with planks and timbers for our batteries, was taken out of Kinsale by a French privateer, the seamen having first made their escape by their long boat on shore. This loss incommodes us very much by the little necessaries wanting in a siege. The last night a battery for nine twenty-four pounders was very much advanced, only wanting its wooden platforms; all the rest was finished in the daytime, and this latter had also been, had not those few planks brought in our ships been stowed under our powder. Our lodgment for nine mortar pieces was completed, and this night began to play bombs and carquasses, which put fire in several places of the town; but was soon put out by reason our cannon was not ready to annoy the said houses.

Monday, 31st August.—Horses were sent to…

Monday, 31st August.—Horses were sent to Nenagh to fetch five wagons, loaded with timber, which was left there as we passed. The battery of nine twenty-four pounders is now augmented to fourteen. Another battery begun last night for eight pieces more was wrought up only to the embrasures; two hundred men this morning were demanded to finish the same; but they came late after dinner. As those ordered last night came but at midnight, the five new twenty-four pounders sent from the Tower of London, and the two great mortars of eighteen inches, with some other necessaries, are ordered to be landed this night. About noon this day we began to play with seven of the fourteen pieces of cannon, whilst the platforms for the other seven were planking; we p.287 endeavoured to shoot at the great bridge, but the distance was too great to effect any good, and it was not thought convenient to approach nigher so as to engage in a siege, but only to cannonade and ruin the houses, which was the order of the major-general that commanded the trenches.

Tuesday, the first of September.— The…

Tuesday, the first of September.— The general sent very early this morning for colonel Goor, and ordered him to re-embark all our heavy cannon, mortars, tools, ammunitions, etc., keeping only ashore the field pieces, with a proportion of powder and ball, for a battle. The artillery consulted the sea captains, and it was concluded that in three days this might be incompassed. The artillery ships not being able to receive any other loading than what they brought, the general ordered all the long boats of the fleet to receive in our cannon; etc., to be transported on board the several men-of-war lying down twelve miles from hence. Towards night the general sent orders that six mortars and nine twenty-four pounders should be left in battery till further orders; the rest was sent towards the ships. One hundred men of Foulk's regiment were sent this night to assist the embarkation.

Wednesday the 2nd September .—This morning…

Wednesday the 2nd September .—This morning the general went to see the ground where Cromwell Ireton made his bridge into the island on which the Irish town stands, as also a fort by them i.e. the Irish begun last year, which from this place was perfectly discovered, but at about fourteen hundred yards distance. The river hereabouts is very narrow, which I believe gives room for some new design, for now the embarkation of our cannon and mortars is counter-ordered. The cannon and mortars in battery continue playing. In the evening came a messenger from brigadier Levison (that was sent with six hundred horse and dragoons into Kerry) to acquaint the general that he had wholly routed a great party of the enemies near to Newcastle, and had taken my lord sl and his lady prisoners, etc.

Thursday, the 3rd September.—The duke of…

Thursday, the 3rd September.—The duke of Wirtemberg, with major-general Tettau, went to view the same ground that the general saw yesterday, and it was ordered that all things should be ready as well to embark as disembark, to draw off six mortars and nine twenty-four-pounders,  p.288 and all pieces of lesser calibre, unless the four three-pounders, all ready on the line of contravallation, that the pontoons, with all the field pieces, be in a readiness to march this night with their dependencies; this colonel Goor ordered and went likewise to see a road somewhat wide of the town, by which all the cannon, etc., might be brought off in case it was so ordered after our bombarding the town. The enemies' horse now makes a motion, and have camped on the side of a hill three miles above the town, over against Foxon's house, where the king William III. last year forded over the Shannon. A design was immediately on foot to cut between the town and them, but this changing, orders were given for the further bombarding the town by transporting the cannon and mortars from the right to the left of last year's attack. This night all were drawn off. The general has ordered me to go and visit the river Shannon, and to make a report of its islands and places of hold on the river side, and how, with a small squadron of ships, it may be so blocked up as to hinder any succours to be thrown into the town that way.

Friday, the 4th September.—Colonel Goor took…

Friday, the 4th September.—Colonel Goor took Major Sehtundt and Mr. Cock, battery-masters, to show them the ground where our new batteries were designed; but before they began, the generals also gave their opinions to make them on a rising ground to the right of some old houses, where last year we had four pieces of cannon, to shoot into the island. Orders were given for the unloading and sending to the camp several necessaries for the artillery, and a way was made from the ships straight to the general's quarters, by which we avoided going about a bog. This night we began our new batteries with about seven hundred workmen; it was about midnight before we got them to work, this place being above two miles from the camp. Some little disorders happened this night by a false alarm, the regiments of Verner and Meath not being at their post to cover the pioneers, which the general took very ill. This put the whole army under arms, and great detachments of both horse and foot were sent towards the right. The general and duke of Wirtemberg continued in the works till midnight.

Saturday, the 5th September.—One hundred and…

Saturday, the 5th September.—One hundred and fifty dragoons p.289 were sent to make the ways for our cannon from the camp to these new batteries. Four hundred workmen were also ordered to relieve the seven hundred employed last night, and to continue the same works by day, being now under cover. The general sent one hundred and fifty of their own horses to bring stores from the ships. They went to see the batteries and King's Island, in which is a fort well frized and palisadoed, environed with a handsome counterscarp. Several projects were conceived to attack it, it being first proposed to make a very good battery at the water's edge to cover our passage; but this ground is very low and swampy, which, I apprehend, will put an end to this new design; besides, the fort is so large that all our cannon planted on one battery on this side cannot hinder the enemies from sustaining the said fort with their whole force on the other side, having advantageous ground for it, and a double line of communication to the town, as is marked in the plan. The left wing of our camp changes; therefore the general orders our artillery ships to draw out of the creek into the channel to be in more security, and that three hundred rounds of powder and ball be taken first on shore for all our guns.

Sunday, the 6th September.—The English and…

Sunday, the 6th September.—The English and Dutch men-of-war sent on shore about forty gunners to assist at our batteries, and the Danish regiments sent several officers skilled in fireworks to help our bombarding, the batteries for our mortars being now ready, as also a battery of sixteen twenty-four pounders, besides another of six, very much advanced. The general ordered colonel Goor to keep in readiness eight field-pieces and all the pontoons, that in the night we might fling a bridge over the river. The mortars now in batteries are two of eighteen inches, three of thirteen inches, and three of ten inches, besides two of ten inches taken out of the 'Salamander,' bomb ketch.

Monday, the 7th September.—The mortars and…

Monday, the 7th September.—The mortars and cannon are now in battery, but the general has deferred the playing of them till to-morrow morning. Three hundred men are ordered to make a battery for ten three-pounders, to shoot red-hot bullets. The wool-sacks are ordered from on board the ships, to make and cover a lodgment on  p.290 the waterside, designed for a battery mentioned the 5th instant. Beaumont's regiment arrived here three days ago, and being without tents are ordered into Kerry to join Levison, where they will find cover. Eight twelve-pounders and the two mortars from the 'Salamander' are to be in battery on Cromwell's fort.

Tuesday, the 8th September.—By break of…

Tuesday, the 8th September.—By break of day the battery of sixteen pieces, and that of eight mortars, began to play; one of the great mortars' carriage broke the first shot, but another was fixed to her before night. About six in the morning the general and duke of Wirtemberg came upon the batteries, and ordered the cannon to play on the side of the English town in the island, to see if a breach could be made. Towards night a great part of the wall was ruined, upon which it was thought we should attempt the passing into the island and attack the town this way. But men of experience thought this unpracticable, for the reasons before mentioned, considering, too, that from our battery to the water was above two hundred paces of ground, the greatest part of which, upon high tides or any rain, overflowed above three feet high, and that from the other side was near four hundred paces more to the wall. The battery for six pieces of cannon and that of six twelve-pounders are finished.

Wednesday, the 9th September.—By break of…

Wednesday, the 9th September.—By break of day all our batteries of cannon and mortars played, and the breach on the wall augmented very much. We endeavoured to ruin an earthwork of the enemies, on which were planted three pieces of cannon, but the distance was so great, and our not shooting in front with it could not hinder their annoying us. They also brought three pieces of cannon to the right of the town, which flanked the breach and river. The general this day spent his time with the rest of the generals on the batteries, and a kind of council of war was held about the passing this part of the river into the island, which met with so many difficulties that it is believed it will not be attempted, but rather keep to our first resolutions of cannonading and bombarding the town, and after that pass into the county of Clare. Advice is come of more stores on the road from Athlone.

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Thursday, the 10th September.—Colonel Goor early…

Thursday, the 10th September.—Colonel Goor early this morning went to view some other roads, and the riverside, to see how a new way may be made to the ships, they being now ordered to draw out of the creek into the channel for their better security in case the left wing moves, as a project now is on foot. Our mortars and cannon continue playing, and this last night were successful in putting fire into several parts of the town, but by four o'clock this morning they were put out. Our artillery ships got out of the creek this night, though late, and fell down the river about a mile over against the white house.

Friday, the 11th September.—Colonel Goor, with…

Friday, the 11th September.—Colonel Goor, with captain Van Esp, bridge-master, went to view anew the river, to find a place to cast over a bridge, and at his return made a report of it, upon which the general ordered all our pontoons to be ready this night, as also four twelve-pounders; two long six-pounders, and ten three-pounders, with fifty rounds of powder and ball, etc. To cover this new designed bridge, a battery for six pieces was ordered to be made to the right of all looking to the caussé on the other side the river, over which the enemies continually pass, and it is thought the battery will oblige them to go about eight miles round, to have communication with the town.

Saturday, the 12th September.—The miners were…

Saturday, the 12th September.—The miners were sent to Castle-Connell and to Castle-Carrick-a-gunnel, with orders to make several chambers ready for the blowing up those places when ordered. A Danish swimmer was sent over the water, in the night; with a rope to measure the breadth of the river where we design our bridge. It proved so rocky that he could not haul the said rope over, which, with the rapidness and breadth of it, the captain of the bridges concludes we have not boats enough to reach over, or that our anchors will hold.

Sunday, the 13th September.—Captain Van Esp…

Sunday, the 13th September.—Captain Van Esp was sent up the river as high as Brian's bridge, to find a narrower place for our bridge. At night, very late, he returned, and made report that there was no place fit for the same, they being all marshy on the other side, or kept by retrenchments by the enemy.

Monday, the 14th September.—Colonel Goor and…

Monday, the 14th September.—Colonel Goor and myself went early this morning to see what progress the miners had made at Castle-Connell,  p.292 and at the same time to view the river to make a bridge. At our returning, we met the general with duke Wirtemberg, etc., and went back with them to this castle again, over against which the generals concluded to make a bridge under the favour of our cannon. This seemed to be resolved on, having at our coming back to the camp ordered colonel Goor to keep still in readiness the sixteen field-pieces and the pontoons, to march with the close of the evening to Castle-Connell, but this before night was counter-ordered by the general. At eight this night we fired all our cannon three times for the victory obtained against the Turks on the Danube.

Tuesday, the 15th September.—Colonel Goor and…

Tuesday, the 15th September.—Colonel Goor and I went again to remark well where the cannon should be placed at Castle-Connell to cover the bridge, if resolved on. At the same time comptroller-general Meesters, with major-general Tettau, went to the right of all our camp to the river-side, where it divides itself into four streams by three islands. The two first and last streams were fordable, the third not, which will take up twenty-five pontoons. The ground on the other side seemed very good; a little lower down the river came the road from Brian's bridge to Limerick, on which, four miles above the river, the enemy were encamped on the side of a hill with their whole cavalry. This place being thought the convenientest of all for our bridge, everything was ordered to put it into execution, as well pontoons as artillery. But about two o'clock the horses brought up to this intent were ordered to their pasture, for reasons known to the general; and about four Mr. Meesters brought orders from the general to have all again in readiness to march to this place by night, and the better to cover the making of the bridge, six pieces of cannon were put into battery to shoot on the caussé coming from Limerick. Six twelve-pounders and six three-pounders were placed on a rising ground to the left of the bridge, to annoy any horse that should come down on the other side, and four three-pounders were placed at the beginning of the bridge to defend the same. As the night fell, the pontoons, artillery, etc., marched, and though we had not above two miles to go, yet the several accidents that attended us caused delay in our getting to the place designed for our  p.293 bridge, but at one o'clock past midnight our artillery were all placed as designed.

Wednesday, the 16th September.—About six this…

Wednesday, the 16th September.—About six this morning, the bridge was finished, and we began to pass the bridge with a detachment of twenty men of a troop of the horse and dragoons. Six hundred foot detached followed, backed by three hundred others, and a little time afterwards were followed by two hundred more. The enemy, now having the alarm, marched three regiments of foot that lay at Foxon's house, the place where the king William III. last year forded over, as also several squadrons of horse and dragoons. These latter, with their foot, they immediately posted within musket-shot of us by favour of some hedges. But, as soon as some of our horse and foot that were passed had put themselves into order, a detachment was made which marched straight to them, and drove them from their advantages till such time as that we gained a high ground of them, and then they entirely broke. The foot took to the bog on our right, and their horse took several ways. None were killed on our side, and but few on theirs. We took a lieutenant-colonel and two captains prisoners, with about twenty private men. After this we took to the left and right by two défilés, and made ourselves masters of a small camp of four regiments. Their tents were all standing, and their saddles and accoutrements left in them. When the foot were come up, about one thousand horse and three regiments of foot advanced towards their other camp on the side of a hill above two miles from us. They moved as if they would dispute our coming thither, but this was only a feint, whilst the rest raised their tents and got off their baggage; which being done, they all retired to the hills, leaving us two complete field-pieces. This being done, we also drew towards our bridge, summoning by our way an island and stone redoubt, in which were forty dragoons and sixteen foot, who surrendered themselves and offered to serve. We have orders to bring the bridge lower down to this island, and by this means close the town more, which has suffered very much by our cannon, bombs, and carquasses. A gentleman that came this night out of the town says all the inhabitants are retired from it; that there is not a whole house in the town; p.294 that we have burnt two magazines of biscuit of above three thousand barrels, with a great magazine of brandy; and that, by what he could understand, there was not above three weeks' more provisions in the town for the garrison.

Thursday, the 17th September.— We began…

Thursday, the 17th September.— We began our new bridge into the island, where Cromwell's fort was when Ireton blocked this place up. The general de Ginkel and major-general Tettau chose this place as the most convenient, being assured of a good ford over the other stream for horse. The first water took all our pontoons up, so that we were forced to make a bridge of boats for the foot to pass over. But the ford, upon a second trial, was judged to be so bad as not to be made use of, by reason of the unevenness of the ground, and great stones that were there; so that it is thought a third removal will be made of the bridge. Orders came for two twelve-pounders, two six-pounders, and ten three-pounders, with ammunition, tools, etc., to be in readiness near the place where the bridge is now, which was done.

Friday, the 18th September.—The bridge is…

Friday, the 18th September.—The bridge is ordered to be removed a musket-shot higher up the river, between the place where the first bridge was made and this latter. At the same time came orders to us to draw off the heavy cannon and mortars down to the artillery ships for embarkation, leaving only three or four mortars, and six twelve-pounders in Cromwell's fort.

Saturday, the 19th September. — We…

Saturday, the 19th September. — We worked hard at this new bridge, as also at a horn-work on the other side to cover the same. Colonel Goor with myself went to see in what forwardness the embarking the cannon was in, and likewise to consult the commissaries of the stores on board, in what time it could be performed, which was concluded to be four days. The several commanders of the men-of-war had orders to send up their long boats well manned to assist at this; but the orders not being well understood, they came without provisions, so that they returned for the same with orders to make no delay in their return. The rest of the heavy cannon should have been drawn off this night, and the horses were ready for it, but at eight at night the general ordered our continuing to fire all night.

 p.295 Contemporary Diary of Siege of Limerick, September, 1691

Sunday, the 20th September.—Early this morning…

Sunday, the 20th September.—Early this morning our bridge was finished. There arrived some wagons from Dublin and Carrick with ammunition, but the carquasses from Carrick are not yet come, though it is now above ten days since colonel Goor sent orders for them. Lieutenant-general Scravemoer, colonel Goor and I went down to our artillery ships, over against which, at the foot of the hills, the enemies' horse yesterday were encamped. The masters of the vessels say they marched early this morning towards Six-mile-bridge, and a deserter says they took six days' bread with them. It was observed that about a thousand foot marched with them. The long boats sent back to get their provisions are not yet returned. However this did not hinder our own artillery boats from loading several cannon and mortars.

Monday, the 21st September.—The long boats…

Monday, the 21st September.—The long boats now of the men-of-war are ordered somewhere else, and we make the best shift we can with our small boats. The line of contravallation is traced anew nearer the town, and we continue to finish our horn-work that covers the bridge. Three hundred tools are sent to Tettau's fort to demolish it. The general has ordered that the seven heavy cannon left on the great battery be removed to Cromwell's fort, and that the two six-pounders and eight three-pounders, with ammunition, etc., pass the bridge tomorrow by break of day.

Tuesday, 22nd September.—A disposition being made…

Tuesday, 22nd September.—A disposition being made yesterday for the passing the greatest part of our horse and dragoons with about seventeen regiments of foot, with the artillery before mentioned, early this morning the artillery passed, and about noon the whole party was passed. The general continued his march at the foot of the hills on the road going to Six-mile-bridge. At the same time several numbers of men drew out of the town and posted themselves in an old fort at the head of their bridge. The general halted and drew up, and, finding they continued to come out of the town, thought it best to attack them before they were two much increased. Two regiments of foot and about two hundred dragoons were immediately ordered to perform this service. It was a dispute of about two hours, in which time the enemies were very liberal of their cannon from their walls and small shot; but, being so p.296 opinionatively pressed by us, they gave way. We followed them to the bridge, over which about eighty got; but the governor, apprehending our entering pell-mell with them, ordered the bridge to be drawn up. Two or three hundred of the Irish took the water, most of whom were drowned; the rest, being about five hundred, fell a sacrifice to the fury of our men at the end of the bridge and under the whole fire of the town. We lost in this action three officers and about two hundred men killed and wounded. We took prisoners, one colonel, three lieutenant-colonels, nine captains, six lieutenants and three ensigns, with about sixty private men. This action ended with the night.

Wednesday, the 23rd September.—Last night we…

Wednesday, the 23rd September.—Last night we had some whispering as if the town would parley, which this morning did confirm, for lieutenant-general Scravemoer and major-general Ruvigny were desired to meet major-general Sarsfield and {} at the river side. They owned a mutiny in the town by the resentment of the garrison for the French general shutting the gates, and letting so many of them to be cut off, and were for flinging all the French over the walls. Discoursing of several matters, nothing was concluded on. They desired that the general would give them four blank passports to send to Dominick Sheldon at their horse-camp at Castle Clare, for that, without him and others there, they could not talk of any accommodation. The passes are granted, and a cessation of arms is to be for three days or longer, as is agreed to. Six eighteen-pounders were ordered to be landed on the other side, to be sent with the general to Castle Clare or Six-mile-bridge, as was at first designed, but this is counter-ordered, this last fortunate action promising more than that designed enterprise. Last night a lodgment was made just at the bridge, so that now the town is entirely blocked up.

Thursday, the 24th September.—These twenty-four hours…

Thursday, the 24th September.—These twenty-four hours past we had a most severe stress of wind and rain, which has raised the river three or four foot higher than any of the inhabitants hereabouts remember it. Our bridge of boats suffered by it, for this morning, about eight o'clock, the farther end broke and caused some disorders. The duke of Wirtemberg had but just passed as this happened. Major-general Talmach coming after, was retarded above an hour before we could put  p.297 him and his horse over. In few hours after these disorders were remedied, two boats are ordered to attend below the town, for the sooner receiving orders from the other side, the way by the bridge being above five miles, and this not two. In the evening Sarsfield, now called lord Lucan, sent to the general all the prisoners they had in town of ours, as well officers as soldiers. A list was sent to him of what we had, that he might nominate as many from us of the same character; but it is believed their officers now are in such a condition as that they will ask none, till more is agreed on, which I believe they are as desirous of as we can be, for in the town very little rest could be for them, and I am confident their outworks are worse than those we are in, being confined to the same ground.

Friday, the 25th September.—Early this morning…

Friday, the 25th September.—Early this morning I went over to the general with colonel Goor to receive his excellency's further orders for the artillery, which are that all the bombs and carquasses now at Carrick be immediately sent for, and that all the eighteen-pound balls, and twenty-four pound balls, with a number of guns proportionately to what is left of these balls, be also in a readiness, being resolved to bombard anew the town in case it is not surrendered, and that he will not leave till it is in his hands. My brother, Captain Godfrey Richards, is dispatched to Carlow to send whatever cars he can to Carrick, and tomorrow go away from the artillery camp ten draughts of oxen, with wagons, to bring our carquasses, etc., from Carrick. Mr. Perera is likewise dispatched to Kilkenny to meet the lord justice Coningsby, who will give the necessary orders for sending and transporting what bread, meal, etc. he can to the camp. Major-general Dominick Sheldon, with the Catholic archbishop of Armagh and the Catholic bishop of Cashel, arrived from Clare at the general's tent, where they dined, and afterwards went into Limerick by water. The enemies have leave to come over and bury their dead. News came that the rapparees have fallen on forty-four tumbrils of bread, have killed the greatest part of the convoy, which was twenty horse, and drove away the draught horses, leaving all the bread, which is ten thousand loaves, which, if not spoiled, is now ordered up to us. We have four or five days' bread still p.298 left in the camp, and expect every moment two ships with biscuit, having left Castlehaven fourteen days ago, as captain Wright, commander of the Dublin yacht, affirms.

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Title statement

Title (uniform): Contemporary Diary of Siege of Limerick, 1691

Author: Colonel Michael Richards

Editor: John T. Gilbert

Responsibility statement

Electronic edition compiled by: Beatrix Färber and Janet Crawford

Edition statement

2. Second draft.

Extent: 6922 words

Publication statement

Publisher: CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts: a project of the History Department, University College Cork

Address: College Road, Cork, Ireland—http://www.ucc.ie/celt

Date: 2005

Date: 2010

Distributor: CELT online at University College, Cork, Ireland.

CELT document ID: E703001-009

Availability: Available with prior consent of the CELT programme for purposes of academic research and teaching only.

Source description

Manuscript source

  • Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, MS H. 1 .2.

The edition used in the digital edition

‘Contemporary Diary of Siege of Limerick, 1691’ (1971). In: A Jacobite narrative of the war in Ireland‍. Ed. by John T. Gilbert. (First published 1892). Shannon: Shannon University Press, pp. 283–298.

You can add this reference to your bibliographic database by copying or downloading the following:

@incollection{E703001-009,
  editor 	 = {John T. Gilbert},
  title 	 = {Contemporary Diary of Siege of Limerick, 1691},
  booktitle 	 = {A Jacobite narrative of the war in Ireland},
  address 	 = {Shannon},
  publisher 	 = {Shannon University Press},
  date 	 = {1971},
  note 	 = {(First published 1892)},
  pages 	 = {283–298}
}

 E703001-009.bib

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Project description: CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts

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Correction: Text has been proof-read twice and parsed.

Normalization: The electronic text represents the edited text. A few obsolete spellings and usages have been regularized using the reg element. The original is given in the value of the 'orig' attribute. Text supplied by the editor, J.T. Gilbert, is marked sup resp="JTG". In HTML format, both regularized spellings and supplied text are displayed in italics. Words and phrases in languages other than English are tagged; dates are tagged. Encoding is subject to revision.

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Profile description

Creation: by Colonel Michael Richards

Date: 1691

Language usage

  • The text is in English. (en)
  • A word is in French. (fr)

Keywords: political; prose; 17c; Jacobite War; diary

Revision description

(Most recent first)

  1. 2010-05-03: Conversion script run, header updated; encoding improved; new wordcount made; file parsed; new SGML and HTML versions created. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  2. 2008-09-24: Keywords added; file validated. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  3. 2008-07-20: Value of div0 "type" attribute modified, changes to file structure made; 'langUsage' revised. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  4. 2005-08-25: Normalised language codes and edited langUsage for XML conversion (ed. Julianne Nyhan)
  5. 2005-08-04T14:21:25+0100: Converted to XML (conversion Peter Flynn)
  6. 2005-07-15: Header created, file parsed, HTML file created. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  7. 2005-07-14: File proofed (2), more content markup applied. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  8. 2005-05: First proofing of the text; structural and some content markup applied. (ed. Janet Crawford, Co. Tipperary)
  9. 2005-05: Text scanned in. (text capture Benjamin Hazard)

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