Sir Cahir O'Doherty's rebellion 1608

Sir Cahir O'Doherty, one of the remaining Donegal chieftains, had allied himself to the English, and for five years was under the patronage of the English military commander Sir Henry Dowcra. He was knighted in 1607, and was foreman of the jury that pronounced the absent earls as traitors.

Dowcra was succeeded as Governor of Derry by Sir George Paulet, who mistrusted Sir Cahir, and showed his contempt by punching him in the face. O'Doherty, in retaliation, seized the fort of Culmore on the shores of Lough Foyle, and the following night, 19th April, 1608, he sacked and burned Derry city. Paulet was killed in the fray, and Strabane was burned soon afterwards.

The revolt threatened to spread across the province as factions of the O'Cahans and O'Hanlons came out in rebellion, and O'Doherty invaded mid-Ulster. However, during a counter-attack by the King's Marshal, Sir Richard Wingfield, the burnt city of Derry was recovered, and on July 5th, 1608, Sir Cahir was killed at the Rock of Doon, near Kilmacrenan, Co Donegal. Sir Arthur Chichester crushed the remaining rebels.

Afterwards, he received a grant of O'Doherty's entire lordship of Inishowen for himself. Following O'Doherty's rebellion, the Summer Assizes of 1608 had judged that almost all of the counties of Tyrconnell (Donegal), Coleraine (Co London/ Derry), Tyrone, Armagh, Fermanagh and Cavan were in the king's hands.

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