Walker, George

, an Irish divine, celebrated for his military courage, was born of English parents in the county of Tyrone in Ireland, and educated in the university of Glasgow in Scotland. He became afterwards rector | of Donoghmore, not many miles from the city of London* derry. When king James II. after the revolution, landed in Ireland, Mr. Walker, alarmed at the danger of the prctestaut religion, raised a regiment at his own expence to defend the cause he was bound to espouse. Apprehensive that James would visit Londonderry (for he had taken Coleraine and Kilmore), he rode full speed to Lundee, the governor, to apprize him of the danger. That officer at first slighted the information, but was soon convinced h’ow much he was indebted to him. Walker, returning to Lifford, joined colonel Crafton, and by Lunclee’s direction, took post at the Long Causeway, which he defended a whole night; but at length, obliged to give way to a superior force, he retreated to Londonderry, where he endeavoured to inspire the panic-struck governor with -courage to brave the storm, but in vain; he left the place either through fear or treachery. Walker, however, bravely united with major Baker to defend the place, which would have appeared bordering upon rashness, if they had been able generals. James commanded a numerous army in person, which was well supplied with every requisite for a siege. The besieged had no means for a long defence; they were men who, flying from their houses, had taken shelter in this place; they had not more than twenty cannon, nor more than ten days’ provision, and had no engineers, nor horses for foraging parties or sallies. Still resolved to suffer the greatest extremities rather than yield, they did all that desperate men could effect. They sent to king William to inform him of then-determination, imploring speedy relief. Major Baker dying, the command devolved chiefly on Walker, who exercised it with a stoic philosophy that has few parallels. Horses, dogs, cats, rats, and mice, were devoured by the garrison, and even salted hides were used as food. Mr. Walker suffered in common with his men, and even prompted them to make several sallies; and as the Irish constantly fled, the officers suffered dreadfully. Londonderry having a good harbour, he hoped that the king might be enabled to raise the siege that way, for by land there were no hopes of succour. But the fatality which frustrated every attempt of James, prevented him from storming the place, which might at any time have been done; on the contrary he determined on a blockade, and to starve the garrison into a surrender. With this view he had a bar made across the arm of the sea, which, | as be supposed, would prevent vessels from entering the town. This succeeded, and all hope to the besieged seemed to be destroyed. Walker, perceiving the danger of a general defection, assembled his wretched garrison in the cathedral, and endeavoured to inspire them with a reliance on Providence. In this he was so successful, that they returned to their labours invigorated, and immediately had the happiness to discover three ships, under the command of major-general Kirk, who had sent a message to Walker before, intimating that when he could hold out no longer, he would raise the siege at the hazard of himself, his men, and his vessels. Whilst both parties were preparing for the dreadful trial, Kirk sailed round the bar, under a heavy discharge from the enemy, and succeeded in crossing it, by which the siege was raised in the night of July 21, 1689.

Resigning now the command of the regiment, he came to England, where he was most graciously received by their majesties, and in Nov. 1689, received the thanks of the House of Commons, having just before published an ac-' count of the siege. He was also created D. D. by the university of Oxford, and was nominated to the bishopric of Derry. But he was induced to return to Ireland with king William, and was killed July 1, 1690, at the battle of the Boyne, having resolved to serve that campaign before iie took possession of his bishopric. “The king,” says Tillotson, in a letter dated April 1689, “besides his first bounty to Mr. Walker, whose modesty is equal to his merit, hath, made him bishop of Londonderry, one of the best bishoprics in Ireland; that so he may receive the reward of that great service in the place where he did it. It is incredible how much every body is pleased with what the king hath done in this matter; and it is no small joy to me to see, that God directs him to do wisely.

Mr. Walker published “A true Account of the Siege of Londonderry,London, 1689, 4to; and some attacks being made on it, he published the same year, “A Vindication,” while an anonymous writer produced “An Apology for the failures charged on the rev. G. Walker’s printed account of the late siege of Derry, &c.” same year, 4 to. One John Mackenzie, chaplain to a regiment at Derry during the siege, wrote “A Narrative of the siege, &c. or, the late memorable transactions of that city faithfully represented, to rectify the mistakes, and supply the omissions of Mr. Walker’s account,” Lond. 1690, 4to, which was answered | by a friend of Mr. Walker’s, in a pamphlet entitled “Mr. John Mackenzie’s narrative a false libel,” ibid, same year. 1


Harris’s edition of Ware. Noble’s Continuation of Granger. BircU’i Life of Tillouon. —Ath. Ox. vol. II. Smollet’s Hist, of England.