‘Derry in Revolutionary Times’

A re-enactment of the Georgian period in Derry. Prof. Kevin Whelan's lecture will focus on this tumultuous era in Derry's history. Photo: Lorcan Doherty.
A re-enactment of the Georgian period in Derry. Prof. Kevin Whelan's lecture will focus on this tumultuous era in Derry's history. Photo: Lorcan Doherty.

Next week Derry’s St Columb’s Cathedral will be the venue for the Autumn Hill of Derry History Lecture.

On Tuesday evening (October 23), Professor Kevin Whelan, who acted as historical advisor to the Irish government on the Famine and the 1798 Rebellion, will deliver a lecture entitled “Derry in Revolutionary Times”.

In his lecture, Prof. Whelan will situate Derry in the wider context of events occurring in the rest of Ulster, America and France at the end of the 18th century.

“The period from 1776 to 1800 was a transformative period in Ireland’s history, when the island was being buffeted by revolution in America and then France,” he says. “The political culture of Derry was impacted profoundly by these events. My illustrated lecture will explore how Derry fits in the wider context of four revolutions: the Glorious Revolution of 1688-1690, the American Revolution of 1776, the French Revolution of 1789 and the failed Irish Revolution of 1798.

“I emphasise that there has been an excessive focus on Belfast in this period to the detriment of Derry’s pivotal role.”

The lecture - organised by Holywell Trust as part of its City Walls Heritage Project - will take place at St Columb’s Cathedral on Tuesday, October 23 at 7.30pm. Afterwards the audience will proceed to the former Bishop’s Palace, now the Freemasons’ Hall, for a Georgian Soirée of period music, dancing and food. Tickets £5 (£3 concessions) are available in advance from The Playhouse Box Office on Tel: 028 7126 8027. Proceeds from the event will be used to conserve the Annesley Malley Book Collection.