Cairnes, David (DNB00)

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CAIRNES, DAVID (1645–1722), defender of Londonderry, was born in 1645. He was a lawyer in the city, and a person of considerable property and influence. On the approach of Tyrconnell's troops against Londonderry in December 1688, he advised the citizens to concert measures for its defence. On the 11th he was sent to London to ask assistance on its behalf from the Irish Society of London and William III. He was detained for several months in London before obtaining success in his mission, but at last returned on 11 April 1689 with special instructions from the king in time to thwart a design that had been entertained of delivering up the city. He was appointed lieutenant-colonel of a regiment, and took a prominent part in its defence until it was relieved in the following August. At the conclusion of the war he was chosen member of parliament for Londonderry, which he continued to represent till the close of his life. He was also appointed recorder, and held various other offices. He died in 1722, and was buried in the cathedral church.

[Wills's Illustrious Irishmen; Hempton's History of Londonderry; Derriana.]

T. F. H.