Great Northern Plot of 1615

The historic surroundings of St Columb's Cathedral added greatly to the telling of the story of the Great Northern Plot of 1615.

The historic surroundings of St Columb's Cathedral added greatly to the telling of the story of the Great Northern Plot of 1615.

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The historic surroundings of St Columb’s Cathedral was the ideal setting last Saturday night for the 2015 Walls400 History. ‘The Great Northern Plot of 1615’ was the subject for the lecture which was delivered by Raymond Gillespie, Professor of History at Maynooth University. The audience was also addressed by his Honour Judge Philip Babington, the current Recorder of Londonderry, whose predecessor in that post, George Carey of Redcastle, played a key role in the events of 1615.

The plot and subsequent trial took place in the newly renamed city and county of Londonderry 400 years ago this year. Beyond the immediate effects on relationships between the Settlers and Native Irish, the story of the Plot was of major political concern in the Irish Parliament in Dublin and Court of James I in London. It is no coincidence that the building of the Derry Walls, a task largely neglected, prior to the Plot, by the London Companies, was begun in earnest in 1615.

The Dean of St Columb's Cathedral, Very Rev Dr William Morton opening the 2015 Walls400 History Lecture.

The Dean of St Columb's Cathedral, Very Rev Dr William Morton opening the 2015 Walls400 History Lecture.

Mark Lusby, Project Coordinator for the Friends of the Derry Walls explained the significance of the Plot and of last night’s lecture: “The dramatic story of the plot and trial seems to have continually slipped from public memory over the 400 years since 1615. If such historic events had occurred in Belfast or Dublin, they would now be the subject of books, plays and documentaries. As Professor Gillespie explained last night, the surviving 30 depositions or witness statements from the trial, provide a unique insight into the lives of English and Scottish Settlers and into the lives of the Native Irish in Derry in 1615.”

The audience in the Cathedral were also addressed by the Dean of Derry, Very Rev Dr William Morton, as host for the evening; by Niall McCaughan, chairperson of the Friends of the Derry Walls, who organised the lecture; and by Arleen Elliott, President of the Law Society of Northern Ireland, main sponsor for the lecture.

Students from the Ulster University’s School for Creative Arts also provided a dramatic interpretation of the Plot for the audience.

Plans are now underway to publish a booklet about the Great Northern Plot of 1615 and to add to the monies raised on Saturday evening for the Walled City Archaeology Fund.

Pictured at the lecture, front from left: Danny O'Kane, respresenting the O'Cath�ins of Glenullin; Rev Dr William Morton, Dean of St Columb's Cathedral; David Arbuthnot and Lauren McGinty, School of Creative Arts at Ulster University, Magee; Back from left: Professor Raymond Gillespie of Maynooth University; Niall McCaughan, Chairperson, Friends of the Derry Walls; Arleen Elliott, President, Law Society of Northern Ireland and His Honour Judge Philip Babington, Recorder of Londonderry.

Pictured at the lecture, front from left: Danny O'Kane, respresenting the O'Cath�ins of Glenullin; Rev Dr William Morton, Dean of St Columb's Cathedral; David Arbuthnot and Lauren McGinty, School of Creative Arts at Ulster University, Magee; Back from left: Professor Raymond Gillespie of Maynooth University; Niall McCaughan, Chairperson, Friends of the Derry Walls; Arleen Elliott, President, Law Society of Northern Ireland and His Honour Judge Philip Babington, Recorder of Londonderry.

Raymond Gillespie, Professor of History, Maynooth University who delivered the lecture pictured with Judge Philip Babington, Recorder of Londonderry and  Niall McCaughan, chairperson, Friends of the Derry Walls.

Raymond Gillespie, Professor of History, Maynooth University who delivered the lecture pictured with Judge Philip Babington, Recorder of Londonderry and Niall McCaughan, chairperson, Friends of the Derry Walls.

Drama students from University of Ulster pictured during rehearsals  for Ulster Plot 1615 at St Columb's Cathedral. Included  are Mark Herbison, Robert Forshaw, creative director, Footsteps, Lauren McGinty, Aoibh Johnson, Katie Laverty, Matt Jennings, lecturer in drama, Magee, Niall McCaughey, Playhouse and David Arbuthnot.

Drama students from University of Ulster pictured during rehearsals for Ulster Plot 1615 at St Columb's Cathedral. Included are Mark Herbison, Robert Forshaw, creative director, Footsteps, Lauren McGinty, Aoibh Johnson, Katie Laverty, Matt Jennings, lecturer in drama, Magee, Niall McCaughey, Playhouse and David Arbuthnot.