Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 59.djvu/62

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chancellor of the university, the second Duke of Ormonde, wrote to recommend him for the doctorate. On 26 Feb. 1689–90 Vice-chancellor William Jane presented him to convocation as a divine of the church of Ireland, governor and preserver of Derry city, champion of liberty, ‘utraque Pallade magnum ut a militia ad togam redeat’ (ib. p. 326). The diploma says that by saving Derry he saved Ireland (Dawson, p. 272).

Walker was at Belfast on 13 March 1689–1690 (contemporary account in Benn, Hist. of Belfast, p. 178), when Schomberg and the Duke of Würtemberg were there. William landed at Carrickfergus on 14 June, and was met by Walker outside the north gate of Belfast (ib. p. 181; Dean Davies, Diary, 31 May and 15 June). Walker was again presented to the king by Schomberg and Ormonde (ib.) He followed him to the Boyne, and fell at the passage of the river on 1 July. ‘What took him there?’ is said to have been the king's comment; but Story, the historian, who was himself present as a regimental chaplain, had heard that Walker was shot while going to look after the wounded Schomberg. If this was the case, William's sarcasm was unjust, and it is doubtful whether he ever uttered it. Walker was buried where he fell. Some years later his widow had the remains disinterred, as she believed, and buried on the south side of Castle Caulfield church with a suitable inscription, but it is not certain that the bones so transferred were really Walker's (Witherow; Dawson, p. 273).

Walker had several sons, four of whom were in King William's service (Vindication; Pedigree in Dwyer, p. 135 n.)

While in London Walker was asked to write an account of the siege of Londonderry, which he did in the form of a diary. It appeared as ‘A true Account of the Siege of Londonderry’ (London, 1689, 4to). Second and third editions were speedily called for in the same year; and also in the same year a German translation was published at Hamburg, and a Dutch version at Antwerp (Brit. Mus. Cat.) Mackenzie saw Walker's ‘True Account’ in December, and his ‘Narrative’ in answer to it was not long delayed (London, 1690, 4to). His object was to minimise Walker's share in the defence, and he even goes so far as to make the absurd statement that Walker was not governor of Londonderry. A more serious accusation is that he claimed too much credit for himself, and gave too little to others, especially to the presbyterian ministers, whom he does not name. Walker in his ‘Vindication’ (dated London, 1689, 4to, though Mackenzie's ‘Narrative’ is dated 1690) is able to answer most of the charges brought against him. Perhaps he was not careful enough to give credit to others, and especially to the heroic Adam Murray [q. v.]; but his book, which makes no pretence to completeness, was written in a hurry to meet a pressing demand, and the general tone of it is not egotistical. The whole facts of the siege can be arrived at only by a careful comparison of several narratives, but of these Walker's is by far the most vivid. The ‘True Account’ and ‘Vindication’ should be read together.

In Burnet's manuscript there is much praise of Walker (printed by Dwyer, p. 130 n.), and Macaulay, Swift, and others wondered why it failed to appear in his printed history.

While in London Walker sat to Kneller by the king's desire, and the engraved portrait has been reproduced by Canon Dwyer, who mentions various relics (p. 135 n.) Another print is given in the ‘Journal of the Ulster Archæological Society,’ vol. ii. It was also engraved by Peter Vanderbank in 1689, by Loggan, R. White, Schenck, and others (Bromley, p. 184). In 1828 a pillar was raised at Derry in memory of the long-buried governor, and his statue was placed on the top. ‘In one hand,’ says Macaulay, ‘he grasps a Bible. The other, pointing down the river, seems to direct the eyes of his famished audience to the English topmasts in the distant bay.’

[Authorities as for Murray, Adam; Michelborne, John; and Mackenzie, John. Siege of Londonderry in 1689, by the Rev. P. Dwyer, London, 1893, contains a reprint of Walker's ‘True Account’ and ‘Vindication,’ with sermons, speeches, letters, and valuable notes. There is a memoir by the Rev. A. Dawson in the Ulster Journal of Archæology, vol. ii. Everything that can be raked up against Walker is set forth in Witherow's Derry and Inniskillen, 3rd ed. Belfast, 1885.]

R. B-l.

WALKER, GEORGE (d. 1777), privateer, as a lad and a young man served in the Dutch navy, and was employed in the Levant apparently for the protection of trade against Turkish or Greek pirates. Later on he became the owner of a merchant ship and commanded her for some years. In 1739, he was principal owner and commander of the ship Duke William, trading from London to South Carolina, and, the better to prepare for defence, took out letters of marque. His ship mounted 20 guns, but had only thirty-two men. The coast of the Carolinas was infested by some Spanish privateers, and, in the absence of any English man-of-war, Walker