Wednesday, 4 December 2013

325 years later: Lundy finally goes on trial

Lundy's ultimate fate is unknown
A new website will be launched at the Tower Museum Derry~Londonderry on Friday 6 December that might help prove a man’s innocence - 325 years later. Or it may confirm his guilt.

The site – – is the result of a year-long intensive search to unearth the evidence in the case of Lieutenant Colonel Robert Lundy. Dr Andrew Robinson and Dr Billy Kelly of the University of Ulster’s Magee campus have produced a definitive and intriguing account of one of the most controversial and iconic characters in the history of these islands. That evidence may provide the foundation that could grant Lundy the trial he so desperately pleaded for.

Lundy was Military Governor of Derry during the great Siege of 1688/9 but his name is now synonymous with that of a traitor. His effigy, emblazoned with the placard LUNDY THE TRAITOR, is hanged and burned in front of tens of thousands each December in the very streets he once commanded. To this day, the term ‘Lundy’ or ‘latter day Lundy’ is a highly effective weapon of intimidation against those who would question the orthodoxy of Ulster Protestantism and Unionism.

Lundy, himself, was outraged at the slur on his reputation “…'which is deirer to me then my life, for I am called papest, traytor or cowarde,”. He was sure that King William and Queen Mary would reward him for “…being the principal if not the Instrument under God of preserving Londonderry to them’

But King William locked him up in the Tower of London, and the fair trial Lundy demanded was denied to him because, so he assumed, those in power “…haue a minde to make me a sacrafice for their owen faults'.

The authorities at that time decided it was “…neither safe nor practicable to send Lundy into Ireland to be tryed”

But who was at most danger from putting Lundy on trial and what is hidden in the ‘can of worms’ that has been sealed tight for over 300 years?

Produced for the Derry/Londonderry City of Culture2013 by Derry based Besom Productions, the website will also host a brand new online-comic, ‘The Banishment of Doubt’. It picks up the story of the siege from the night Lundy left the city. Based on an original story by Paddy Stevenson and produced by Uproar Comics, it will be serialised in eight episodes over the coming months and promises to be a spectacular adventure. is an innovative way of telling a complex and intriguing story. It offers an opportunity to share and resolve Lundy's story and the wider story of the Siege itself with new audiences, local and worldwide.