NI: Lecture recalls 400 year old Derry trial
Raymond Gillespie, Professor of History at Maynooth University and Judge Philip Babington, the Recorder of Londonderry, addressed around 80 people at the 2015 Walls400 History Lecture in St Columb’s Cathedral in Derry on Saturday.
The lecture was given on the subject of “The Great Northern Plot of 1615” and the subsequent trial, which took place 400 years ago this year.
The plot, aimed at undoing the Plantation, was of major political concern in the Irish Parliament in Dublin and the Court of James I in London, and led to the construction in earnest of the historic Derry Walls.
Judge Babington’s predecessor, George Carey of Redcastle, played a key role in events.
The audience was 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.
Mark Lusby, project co-ordinator for the Friends of the Derry Walls, said: “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 , 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.”
Plans are now underway to publish a booklet about the Great Northern Plot of 1615 and to add to the monies raised on Saturday for the Walled City Archaeology Fund.