Tully Castle, Fermanagh, Ireland

Tully Castle must have one of the shortest and bloodiest history of any castle in Ireland with it only being occupied for just over 20 years. The castle itself is a striking Scottish T-shaped Plantation castle on a hill overlooking Lower Lough Erne. The castle was built in 1619 for a Scottish Planter Sir John Hume of North Berwick. The area in which Tully Castle is situated is named Blaney, the area takes its name from Sir Edward Blaney, one of the advance party sent to Fermanagh to organise the Plantation. I mention this to perhaps inform the end of Tully’s short life. The Maguires had been the Irish family that had originally occupied the region, and the area of the nearby Monea Castle (featured previously on the site). During the Irish Rebellion of 1641 Rory Maguire attacked Monea Castle, ‘slew and murthered eight Protestants’, though he couldn’t take Monea he set is sights on Tully Castle. He arrived on Christmas Eve with a large party of men. Most of the men in the castle were away and Lady Mary Hume surrendered quickly believing the women and the children would be spared, however this was not to be. On Christmas Day the Maguires murdered 60 women and children along with 15 men, sparing only the Hume family itself. The castle was brunt and the Humes never returned. One of the most interesting testimonies is from Captain Patrick Hume who stated about the events of Christmas 1641 at Tully,

“”And afterwards that same day, the rebels having stripped the Protestants of all their clothes (except the said Lady Hume), they imprisoned them in the vaults or cellars of the said castle, where they kept them with a strong guard all that night, and the next morning, being the Lord’s Day, and the 25th day of December, 1641, they took the Lady Hume, Alexander Hume, John Grier, and this examt., with their wives and children, away from the rest of the prisoners, forth of the said castle, and placed them in the barn of one John Goodfellow at Tully, aforesaid, within a stone’s cast from the castle, putting them in hopes that they meant to convey them to the Castle of Monea, upon horses which they provided for them, but as for the rest that were then left behind in the Castle of Tully, the rebels told those in the barn that they should go on foot after them to Monea aforesaid. But immediately after, upon the 25th of December, 1641, at Tully Castle and within and about the bawn and vaults of the same, in the county of Fermanagh, the rebels did most cruelly and barbarously murder the said Protestants, to the number of men and 60 women and children or thereabouts, the names of the persons so murdered followeth, viz.: Francis Trotter, Thomas Trotter, Alexander Sheringfield, Alexander Bell, George Chearnside, Robert Black, James Barry, Thomas Anderson, Robert Lawdon, John Brooke, David Anderson, James Anderson, and many others – men, women, and children – whose names this deponent doth not now remember. The actors in this massacre, this examt. saith, for the most part are since that time dead, or slain as he heard, and as for such of them as survive, this examt. remembers not their names. And this examt. saith, after the said rebels did pillage and plunder the said castle, they did burn it on the day and year aforesaid. And further this examt. deposeth not anything material.”

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