Williamite War in Ireland





The Rosamonds and the McDowells fought at the Battle of Boyne. Did they know each other? I live in the Williamite Valley that John Fremont explored, and Jessie Benton Fremont wrote about. In the marriage of Garth Benton, and Christine Rosamond Presco, the blood of the Protestant cause flows together.

Jon Presco


Mary Jane Loya of California, whose mother was born in County Leitrim, Ireland, still has cousins living in England, some of whom are also researching the family history. Her family there has the same story of Sergeant Rosamond except that they show his name as James, and say that he took part in the Battle of the Boyne on 1st July 1690. He distinguished himself during the battle and William III, following the battle, knighted him.

In 1825, in the village of Fenagh in county Leitrim in Ireland, a
gang of Catholic youths attacked the Rosamond home. The Rosamonds were
staunch Protestants. James, aged 20 (born 1805) and his brother Edward, aged
15, attempted to protect their mother. A shot was fired by Edward and a
youth was dead. The boys fled to Canada. James went to Merrickville where he
worked for James Merrick as a weaver. Edward, still fearing arrest, worked
his way eventually to Memphis, Tennessee.

Notes for Ephraim McDowell:
Fought at the Seige of Londonderry, against James II, Boyne on December 9, 1688 at age 16. When McDonnel of Antrim approached the walls of Londonderry. He fought at Boyne River as well. Emigrated from Scotland to America on the ship “George and Anne”, reached land on September 4, 1729. Met John Bordon who offered him a thousand acres of land to anyone who would conduct him to his land grant. Offer accepted by John McDowell. Ephraim, John Greenlee, son-in-law and son James, they were the first three settlers in that part of the valley.





Ephraim McDowell (son of Abraham McDowell and — Calhoun) was born March 1671/72 in Longford County, Northern Ireland, and died 1780 in Rockbridge County, Virginia. He married Margaret Irvine on 1702 in Conner, Antrim, Ireland, daughter of Robert Irvine and Margaret Wylie.


Ephraim McDowell was born in Rockbridge County, Virginia, the ninth child of Samuel and Mary McDowell. His father was a veteran of the French and Indian War and a colonel during the American Revolution. In 1784 Samuel McDowell was appointed land commissioner and moved his family to Danville, Kentucky. There, he presided over ten conventions that resulted in the drafting of the Kentucky Constitution.[1]
Ephraim McDowell received his early education at the classical seminary of Worley and James, then spent three years as a medical student under Dr. Alexander Humphreys in Staunton, Virginia. He attended lectures in medicine at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, from 1793 to 1794 and studied privately with John Bell. He never received a diploma, but in 1825, the University of Maryland conferred on him an honorary M.D. degree.[1]

In 1795, he returned from Scotland, settled in Danville, Kentucky and began his practice as a surgeon. In 1802, he married Sarah Shelby, daughter of Isaac Shelby, war hero and twice governor of Kentucky. They had two sons and four daughters.[1]

Williamite War in Ireland

Williamite–Jacobite War in Ireland
The Battle of the Boyne depicted by Jan Wyck.

The Williamite War in Ireland (Irish: Cogadh an Dá Rí, meaning “war of the two kings”) was a conflict between Jacobites (supporters of Catholic King James II) and Williamites (supporters of Protestant Prince William of Orange) over who would be King of England, Scotland and Ireland. It is also called the Jacobite War in Ireland or the Williamite–Jacobite War in Ireland.

The cause of the war was the deposition of James II as King of the Three Kingdoms in the “Glorious Revolution” of 1688. James was supported by the mostly Catholic “Jacobites” in Ireland and hoped to use the country as a base to regain his Three Kingdoms. He was given military support by France to this end. For this reason, the War became part of a wider European conflict known as the Nine Years’ War (or War of the Grand Alliance). Some Protestants of the established Church in Ireland also fought on the side of King James.[2][3]

James was opposed in Ireland by the mostly Protestant “Williamites”, who were concentrated in the north of the country. William landed a multi-national force in Ireland, composed of English, Scottish, Dutch, Danish and other troops, to put down Jacobite resistance. James left Ireland after a reverse at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690 and the Irish Jacobites were finally defeated after the Battle of Aughrim in 1691.

William defeated Jacobitism in Ireland and subsequent Jacobite risings were confined to Scotland and England. However, the War was to have a lasting effect on Ireland, confirming British and Protestant rule over the country for over a century. The iconic Williamite victories of the Siege of Derry and the Battle of the Boyne are still celebrated by the (mostly Protestant) Unionist community in Northern Ireland today.

Main article: Glorious Revolution

The war in Ireland began as a direct consequence of the Glorious Revolution in England. James, who was a Roman Catholic, attempted to introduce freedom of religion for Catholics and bypass the English Parliament to introduce unpopular laws. For many in England, this was an unpleasant reminder of the rule of Charles I, whose conflict with the Parliament ended with the outbreak of the English Civil War. The breaking point in James’ relationship with the English political class came in June 1688 when his second wife gave birth to a son, which opened the prospect of an enduring Catholic Stuart dynasty. This fear led some political figures to conspire to invite William III of Orange, stadtholder of the main provinces of the Dutch Republic, to invade England. William had indicated that such an invitation would be a condition for a military intervention, which he desired primarily for military and strategic reasons.

The Dutch Republic was at the brink of war with the France of Louis XIV, then the greatest military power in Europe. English Stuart Kings Charles II and James II had fostered a close alliance with France since the English Restoration, and William wanted to detach England’s resources of men, money, and arms from France and put them at the disposal of his League of Augsburg.

William invaded England in November 1688. William’s invasion fleet was aided by favorable weather (the “Protestant wind”) that gave him weather gage over the British fleet, allowing him to outmaneuver them and land unopposed. James fled to France after putting up only a token resistance. In 1689, Prince William and his wife Princess Mary Stuart became co-regents as King William III and Queen Mary II of England.

William III (“William of Orange”)
King of England, Scotland and Ireland, Stadtholder of the Netherlands. Assumed James’ thrones in the “Glorious Revolution” of 1689, with the support of the mainly Protestant “Williamites”, but had to fight to subdue the Jacobite stronghold of Ireland in 1689–91.
However, while James II was unpopular in England, he had widespread popular support in Ireland. The Irish were almost all Roman Catholics and had fought en masse for the Stuart dynasty in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms in the 1640s, in the hope of securing religious toleration and political self-government. They had been defeated by 1652 and were punished by the English Commonwealth regime with land confiscations and penal legislation. They were largely disappointed with the failure of King Charles II to completely reverse this situation in the Act of Settlement 1662.

James had given them some concrete concessions in the 1680s by appointing an Irish Catholic, Richard Talbot, 1st Earl of Tyrconnell as Lord Deputy of Ireland, and by re-admitting Catholics as Army officers and into other public offices. When James fled England in 1688 he looked to Ireland to muster support for a re-conquest of his Three Kingdoms. In 1689 he held what became known as the “Patriot Parliament” in Dublin which reversed the confiscations of the 1650s and confirmed his support from most of the Irish landed gentry.

Ironically, while Irish Catholics supported King James en masse, the Papal States had joined the League of Augsburg. Pope Innocent XI had lent William of Orange 150,000 Scudi for war purposes through his family’s bank before his death in 1689.[4]

Campaign in Ulster [edit]

James II and VII
King of England, Scotland, and Ireland, deposed by William in 1689, but supported by the mainly Catholic “Jacobites” in Ireland
After William’s landing in England, James’ Lord Deputy in Ireland, Richard Talbot, 1st Earl of Tyrconnell took action to ensure that all strong points in Ireland were held by garrisons of the newly recruited Irish Catholic army, loyal to James. The northern province of Ulster, which had the heaviest concentration of English and Scottish settlers, was the only part of Ireland where Talbot encountered significant resistance.

By November 1688, only the walled city of Derry had a Protestant garrison. An army of around 1,200 men, mostly “Redshanks” (slang for kilt-wearing Highlanders), under Alexander MacDonnell, 3rd Earl of Antrim, was slowly organised (they set out on the week William of Orange landed in England). When they arrived on 7 December 1688 the gates were closed against them and the Siege of Derry began. While the Jacobites appeared to have great advantages in terms of numbers in Ireland, in fact, the troops raised by Tyrconnell were mainly hastily conscripted peasant bands, most of them poorly armed and trained. Nevertheless, a Jacobite force under Richard Hamilton routed a Protestant Williamite militia in an encounter at Dromore, County Down (known as the Break of Dromore) on 14 March 1689 and occupied eastern Ulster.

When James was deposed and fled to France, King Louis XIV of France (already at war with William of Orange) supported him with troops and money to help him regain his crown, though he stipulated that the French troops he sent to Ireland would have to be made good by the sending of the same number of Irish recruits to France.

On 12 March 1689 James landed in Kinsale, Ireland, with 6,000 French soldiers. He first marched on Dublin, where he was well received and, with a Jacobite army of Catholics, Protestant Royalists and French, then marched north, joining the Siege of Derry on 18 April. James found himself leading a predominantly Irish Catholic movement, and on 7 May he presided over an Irish Parliament composed almost entirely of Catholic gentry. He reluctantly agreed to the Parliament’s demand for an Act declaring that the Parliament of England had no right to pass laws for Ireland. He also agreed, again reluctantly, to restore to Irish Catholics the lands confiscated from their families after the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland, by confiscating the lands of those (predominantly Protestants) who opposed him and supported William. This parliament was later named the Patriot Parliament by Irish nationalists.

Map of Ireland showing the major battles of the war
British Williamite warships arrived off Derry to relieve the besieged city on 11 June, but refused to risk shore guns until, ordered by Marshal Frederic Schomberg, they broke through and ended the siege on 28 July 1689.

In nearby Enniskillen, just south of Derry, armed Williamite civilians drawn from the local Protestant population organised a formidable irregular military force. Operating with Enniskillen as a base, they carried out raids against the Jacobite forces in Connacht and Ulster. A poorly trained Jacobite army led by Justin MacCarthy, Viscount Mountcashel assembled at Dublin and marched against them. On 28 July 1689, MacCarthy’s force was defeated at the Battle of Newtownbutler. Many of the Jacobites’ troops fled as the first shots were fired, and up to 1500 of them were hacked down or drowned when pursued by the Williamite cavalry. Partly as a result of this defeat and partly because of a major Williamite landing in the east of the province, most Jacobite troops were withdrawn from Ulster and encamped near Dundalk.

Schomberg’s campaign [edit]

On 13 August 1689 William’s army under Marshal Frederick Schomberg, 1st Duke of Schomberg landed at Ballyholme Bay in County Down and, after capturing Carrickfergus, marched unopposed to Dundalk. James’s viceroy Tyrconnell, commanding the main Jacobite army, blocked Schomberg’s passage southwards but did not give battle. The two armies remained encamped opposite each other in cold, wet weather for several weeks before they withdrew to winter quarters. The Williamites lost several thousand men from disease in this campaign, even though they did not fight a single major engagement with the Jacobites. Moreover, they found themselves harassed throughout the winter of 1689 and in the following two years by Irish Catholic guerrillas known as rapparees. Schomberg’s troops continued to die from disease in their winter quarters because of the harsh weather and poor food supplies. The lack of food was partly from bad management, but also because the Jacobites devastated the countryside as they retreated. The local civilian population also suffered terribly from this tactic.

Battle of the Boyne [edit]

Main article: Battle of the Boyne

Impatient with Schomberg’s slow progress, William decided to take charge. He arrived with a fleet of 300 ships at Belfast Lough on 14 June 1690. He landed at Carrickfergus, having mustered an army of 36,000 soldiers (including English, German, Dutch, Danish, and French Huguenot troops), which then marched south towards Dublin. After some resistance near Newry the Jacobites withdrew to the south bank of the River Boyne, where they took up a defensive position at the village of Oldbridge, near Drogheda. On 1 July, William attacked their position, fording the Boyne at several places, forcing the Jacobites to retreat to avoid being surrounded. (As a consequence of the adoption of the Gregorian calendar in 1753, the battle is now commemorated on 12 July).

The Battle of the Boyne was not militarily decisive and casualties on both sides were not high—around 1500 Jacobites and 500 Williamites were killed. However, it proved enough to collapse James’s confidence in victory in Ireland. He rode ahead of his army to Duncannon, and from there returned to exile in France. Because he deserted his Irish supporters, James became known in Ireland as Séamus an Chaca or James the Shit.[5] The Jacobite army retreated to Dublin, little damaged, but demoralised and badly hit by desertion. The next day, they abandoned the city and marched to Limerick. The Williamites marched into Ireland’s capital on the same day, and occupied the city without a fight. News of the defeat at the Boyne contributed to the Scottish Jacobites abandoning their struggle.

William’s victory at the Boyne, taken together with James’ flight, might have been the end of the war in Ireland. However, William published very harsh peace terms in Dublin, excluding the Jacobite officers and the Irish Catholic landed class from the pardon he offered to Jacobite foot-soldiers. As a result, Irish Jacobite leaders felt they had no choice but to fight until they received guarantees their lives, property, and civil and religious rights would be respected in a peace settlement.

First Siege of Limerick [edit]

King John’s Castle and Thomond Bridge at Limerick City. Limerick was besieged by the Williamites in 1690 and 1691.
As a result of Williamite intransigence, the war continued. The Irish Jacobites retreated to Limerick, where they repulsed a Williamite assault, inflicting heavy casualties, in August 1690. The Williamites retreated from the west of Ireland but consolidated their hold on the south of the country in late 1690. Their forces, under the Earl of Marlborough, took the southern ports of Cork and Kinsale

The Irish Jacobites’ position was now defensive, holding a large enclave in western Ireland, including all of the province of Connacht, bounded by the River Shannon. The Jacobites’ successful defence of Limerick encouraged them to believe they could win the war with help from France (though many of the French troops sent with James were withdrawn after his flight). William left Ireland in late 1690, entrusting command of the Williamite forces to the Dutch general Godert de Ginkell.

Athlone, Aughrim and the Second Siege of Limerick [edit]

Main articles: Battle of Aughrim and Siege of Limerick (1691)

Ginkell broke into Connacht via the town of Athlone, after a bloody siege there. He then advanced on the key Jacobite strongholds of Galway and Limerick. The Marquis de St Ruth, the Jacobite’s French commander, attempted to block Ginkell’s advance at Aughrim, County Galway, but Ginkell’s army inflicted a crushing defeat on the Irish at the Battle of Aughrim, where the Jacobites lost up to 8000 men—about half their army—killed, wounded, or taken prisoner.

Memorial cross on the site of the Battle of Aughrim. 7000 men died here on 12 July 1691 and the Jacobite cause in Ireland was defeated
St Ruth himself, the Jacobite General, was among the dead. Ginkell took Galway, which surrendered on terms. He went on to besiege Limerick. The Siege of Limerick ended with Irish surrender on 23 September 1691, when Patrick Sarsfield, despairing of any hope of victory, overthrew the French officers in command of the city and opened negotiations with Ginkell.

Treaty of Limerick [edit]

The peace Treaty of Limerick signed on 3 October 1691 offered generous terms to Jacobites willing to stay in Ireland and give an oath of loyalty to William III. Peace was concluded on these terms between Sarsfield and Ginkell, giving toleration to Catholicism and full legal rights to Catholics that swore an oath of loyalty to William and Mary.

The Protestant-dominated Irish Parliament refused to ratify the articles of the Treaty in 1697, and from 1695 on, updated the penal laws, which discriminated harshly against Catholics. Catholics saw this as a severe breach of faith. A popular contemporary Irish saying was, cuimhnigí Luimneach agus feall na Sassanaigh (“remember Limerick and Saxon treachery”). The Papacy was an enemy of Louis of France and therefore did not support James in 1691, but the new Pope Pope Innocent XII changed its policy to support for France, and therefore James, from 1693. This factor hardened Protestant attitudes towards Catholics and Jacobitism in Ireland.

Part of the treaty agreed to Sarsfield demand that the Jacobite army could leave Ireland as a body and go to France. Ships were even provided for this purpose.[6] This event was popularly known in Ireland as the “Flight of the Wild Geese”. Around 14,000 men with around 10,000 women and children left Ireland with Patrick Sarsfield in 1691. Initially, they formed the army in exile of James II, though operating as part of the French army. After James’ death, the remnants of this force merged into the French Irish Brigade, which had been set up in 1689 from 6000 Irish recruits sent by the Irish Jacobites in return for French military aid.

Long-term effects [edit]

The Williamite victory in the war in Ireland had two main long term results. The first was that it ensured James II would not regain his thrones in England, Ireland, and Scotland by military means. The second was that it ensured closer British and Protestant dominance over Ireland. Until the 19th century, Ireland would be ruled by what became known as the “Protestant Ascendancy”, the mostly Protestant ruling class. The majority Irish Catholic community and the Ulster-Scots Presbyterian community were systematically excluded from power, which was based on land ownership.

For over a century after the war, Irish Catholics maintained a sentimental attachment to the Jacobite cause, portraying James and the Stuarts as the rightful monarchs who would have given a just settlement to Ireland, including self-government, restoration of confiscated lands and tolerance for Catholicism. Thousands of Irish soldiers left the country to serve the Stuart monarchs in the Irish Brigade of the French Army. Until 1766 France and the Papacy remained committed to restoring the Stuarts to their British Kingdoms, and Irish soldiers in the French service fought on the Jacobite side in the Scottish Jacobite uprisings up to the Battle of Culloden in 1746.

Protestants, on the other hand, portrayed the Williamite victory as a triumph for religious and civil liberty. In Ireland, many in the Protestant community believed that their victory saved their community from massacre and annihilation at the hands of Roman Catholics. For this reason, the battles of the Williamite war are still commemorated by Protestant Unionists in Ulster, principally by the Orange Order on the Twelfth of July

1. SERGEANT WILLIAM (JAMES ??)1 ROSAMOND was born 1655 in Normandy District, France. He married ANN D’ORR.

Information about Sergeant Rosamond to parents of Nonimus Rosamond provided by Jimmy Dale Rosamond. Locate with the help of Barbara Morgan, who had contacted Colleen Rogney, who passed on the information to me.



The Known History
of the
Rosamond Family

The Huguenots was a name given to the Protestants of France from about 1560 to 1629. Protestantism was introduced into France between 1520 and 1523, and many members of the nobility, the intellectual classes, and the middle class accepted its principles. At first the new religious group enjoyed royal protection, notably from Queen Margaret of Navarre and her brother, King Francis I of France. Toward the end of his reign, however, Francis persecuted the Protestants; his successor, Henry II, followed his example. Nevertheless, the French Protestants increased in number. At their first national synod (1559), or council, 15 churches were represented. At the next, held two years later, more than 2000 churches sent representatives.
The rise in the number of French Protestants excited the alarm and hatred of the French Roman Catholics. The religious hatred was intensified by political rivalry between the house of Valois, then in possession of the French throne, and the house of Guise. Catherine de Médicis, widow of Henry II, who governed in the name of her son, King Charles IX, at times, allied herself with the Huguenots for political reasons, but generally sided against them. The Huguenots were persecuted severely in Charles’s reign, and they in turn made reprisals upon the Roman Catholics. Finally, open civil war broke out. Between 1562 and 1598 eight bitter wars were fought between French Roman Catholics and Protestants.
The Huguenot leaders in the first of the nearly four decades of conflict were Louis I de Bourbon, prince de Condé, and the French admiral Gaspard de Coligny; subsequently they were led by Henry of Navarre, later Henry IV, king of France.
The principal Roman Catholic leaders were Henri I de Lorraine, 3rd duc de Guise; Catherine de Médicis; and King Henry III. Each side from time to time called on foreign help. The Huguenots obtained troops from England, Germany, and Switzerland; the Roman Catholics, from Spain. The treaties that concluded the wars usually granted the Huguenots some measure of tolerance, but the government’s subsequent ignoring or outright repudiation of the terms of the treaties led to a renewal of hostilities. The greatest act of treachery of the period took place in 1572. Two years previously, Catherine and Charles IX had signed a treaty with the Huguenots granting them freedom of worship; they had remained on friendly terms with the Huguenots, calling Coligny to court, where he enjoyed great influence. Having lulled the Huguenots into a feeling of security, on August 25, 1572, St. Bartholomew’s Day, the queen mother and the king caused thousands of them to be massacred in Paris and elsewhere in France. Coligny was found and killed by the duc de Guise himself.
The eighth civil war took place during the reign of Henry III, successor to Charles IX. The Huguenots, now led by Henry of Navarre, inflicted (1587) a crushing defeat upon the Roman Catholics at Coutras. Strife among the Catholics themselves, which resulted in the assassinations of the duc de Guise in 1588 and Henry III in 1589, helped the Huguenot cause. With the death of Henry III the house of Valois became extinct, and Henry of Navarre, the first of the Bourbon line, became king of France as Henry IV. To avoid further civil strife, he conciliated the Roman Catholics by converting to Catholicism in 1593. In 1598 Henry IV issued the Edict of Nantes, by which the Huguenots received almost complete religious freedom.
Under Henry IV the Huguenots became a strong power in France. To break this power, which stood in the way of the absolutist type of government that the next two kings of France, Louis XIII and, particularly, Louis XIV, wished to impose on the country, both monarchs instigated new persecutions of the Huguenots, and new civil wars took place. The French statesman Cardinal Richelieu caused the political downfall of the Huguenots with the capture (1628), after a long siege, of their principal stronghold, La Rochelle. Thereafter he sought to conciliate the Protestants. Louis XIV, however, persecuted them mercilessly, and on 18th October, 1685, he revoked the Edict of Nantes. Finding life in France intolerable under the ensuing persecutions and evaporation of religious liberty, hundreds of thousands of Huguenots fled to England, Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the English colonies in North America, including Massachusetts, New York, and South Carolina. The total emigration is believed to have been from 400,000 to 1 million, with about 1 million Protestants remaining in France. Thousands of Protestants settled in the Cévennes mountain region of France and became known as Camisards; the attempt of the government to extirpate them resulted in the Camisard War (1702-05). The enlightened and religiously sceptical spirit of the 18th century, however, was opposed to religious persecution, and during this time the French Protestants gradually regained many of their rights. Although Louis XV issued an edict in 1752 declaring marriages and baptisms by Protestant clergymen null and void, under Louis XVI the edict was recalled. After 1787, Protestant marriages were declared legal, and Protestants were granted other rights as well. Several laws passed later in the 19th century gave full religious freedom to all French sects, including the Protestants. In the 19th and 20th centuries French Protestants, although comparatively few in number, have been influential in French life, playing an important part in education, law, and finance, and in general taking a liberal stand on social reform.
Immediately after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685, one William Rosamond, a Huguenot, fled from France. He was married to a lady whose maiden name had been Anne d’Orr . (French ‘of gold’).
There are a number of researchers looking into the family history.The findings of some are as follows:
1. In 1925 William Sam Rosamond did a relatively complete genealogy. His research indicated that we were descended from a Huguenot born in France sometime in the mid to late 1600s. He discovered that his earliest traceable ancestor was a “Sergeant” Rosamond who left France following the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes on 22nd October 1685. He found that Sergeant Rosamond supposedly travelled to Holland where he joined the army of William III, went to England, and from there went with William’s army to Ireland. He fought in the Battle of the Boyne on 1st July 1690 (by the old calendar – 12th July by the new calendar) and then remained in County Leitrim, Ireland. (There is still a family of Rosamonds in County Leitrim.) He had three sons, two of whom went to the American colonies and settled in the mid-Atlantic region. One of the sons’ names was either John or Thomas Rosamond. Current researchers have not been able to confirm this connection. It appears probable that the American branch of the family are descended from John “The Highwayman” Rosamond who arrived in Annapolis, Maryland in 1725. He was sentenced to be transported into 14 years servitude for robbery from the Oxford Assizes. This John could be the son of Sergeant William Rosamond, and the mix up in names likely stems from the fact that his father-in-law’s name was Thomas Wilson.
2. Mary Jane Loya of California, whose mother was born in County Leitrim, Ireland, still has cousins living in England, some of whom are also researching the family history. Her family there has the same story of Sergeant Rosamond except that they show his name as James, and say that he took part in the Battle of the Boyne on 1st July 1690. He distinguished himself during the battle and William III, following the battle, knighted him. The family in England, specifically her cousin Jane, has a Coat of Arms for the family name, which is supposed to date back to that date.
3. Tom Rosamond, one of the current researchers in the US, had a Heraldry House in Boston do research on a family crest, and a crest was discovered that originated in Ireland. This crest exactly matches the one that Mary Jane Loya has. 4. My father, Robert Henry Rosamond (1909 – 1987), did a great deal of research into the family history. He told me (how I wish I had paid more attention) that we were descended from the Huguenots and that the he had managed to trace as far back as a William Rosamond, a Huguenot who left France in the late 17th century. He said that one of the sons of William Rosamond had settled in Sandwich and started a silk weaving business that had later been moved to Bethnal Green. He had discovered that one member of the family had been deported from Oxford Assizes for Highway Robbery in the 18th century.
I have looked with considerable interest at all the available data and I have come to the following conclusions with some confidence:
1. Sergeant William Rosamond was married to a woman called Anne d’Orr (1) and had at least two or three sons, possibly more. There was a John, a Nathaniel and at least one other son, probably more, as it is thought that one stayed in Ireland.
2. There is no doubt at all, as it is on public record, that John Rosamond was deported having committed either highway robbery or a robbery of some description (both very serious offences for which the perpetrator was usually hanged) in Oxfordshire. He landed in Annapolis, Maryland in 1725 on a ship called the ‘Forward’. He was probably very young and had sufficient money to pay his fare to America and was therefore sent for transportation for life indentured for 14 years labour.
3. It is probable that one of the sons, probably Nathaniel, died in the American War of Independence. There is also little doubt that one of the other sons, I am not sure which, finished up in Sandwich which was then a very important port on the South coast of England (one of the Cinque Ports (2) ) where he started a silk weaving business. No doubt silk would have been imported into Sandwich. Eventually the business moved to Bethnal Green (then known as Bednal Green) a small village that was situated about a mile to the East of the City of London boundary wall. As London grew so Bethnal Green was eventually incorporated as a London Borough of which my father was one time Mayor. There is quite a large family of Rosamonds in London, including my eldest son and his family but after I remarried and moved North I lost touch with them.
4. The Eastern side of Bethnal Green became a well-known centre for silk weaving and my family were originally silk weavers. The trade continued until the 2nd World War during which Bethnal Green was virtually destroyed by bombing. There are, however, still some silk weavers’ cottages standing in the Cheshire Street area. (“Huguenot Weavers Houses in Spitalfields” East London Papers, Volume 1, Number 1, – April 1958) One of the Bethnal Green Huguenot silk weavers, one George Dorée, was the most skilled of the silk workers and was responsible for the weaving of the coronation robe for King Edward VII. My old school, Parmiters’, that was situated in Bethnal Green was founded in 1682 by one Thomas Parmiter, a Huguenot silk merchant.

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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