Pdf Rev. Sampson, G. Vaughan. Statistical Survey Of The County Of Londonderry, With Observations Of The Means Of Improvement; Crawn Up For The Consideration, And By The Direction Of The Dublin Society. Dublin: Graisberry and Campbell, 1802
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Statistical Survey of The County of Londonderry by Reverend G. Vaughan Sampson was published in 1802. At the time the United Kingdom had recently been created in the Act of Union 1800, a year later war would recommence with France while the industrial revolution had just begun. The Dublin Society produced a series of surveys of the counties of Ireland to create a snapshot of the state of their agriculture, industry, topography, geography, politics, government, religion, living conditions and much more.

Ancient Derry had been inhabited for thousands of years but among the earliest historical references come from the 6th century when a monastery was established on the hill of Doire to the east of the Foyle by St. Colmcille also known as Columba. During the late medieval period it became the site of a Dominican monastery.

Following the 12th century Norman conquest of Ireland , the brief Earldom of Ulster brought Norman settlers to the area before a Gaelic resurgence kept much of Ulster independent of English rule until the 16th century. Firstly under the English Protestant King Henry VIII and finally under his daughter Queen Elizabeth the Catholic Gaelic Irish were defeated by 1603.

In 1609 James I began his plantation of Ulster including Gaelic Derry with English and Scottish Protestants. County Londonderry received its charter in 1613 while the walled 'City of Londonderry ' was also built with its grid pattern of streets later copied by colonial cities in America . The 17th century witnessed bloody religious wars including massacres of Protestant settlers in 1641 by Catholic rebels and an invasion led by Oliver Cromwell that subdued a confederation of Gaelic Irish and Old English. Later the Protestant King William III of Orange defeated the Catholic forces of James II in 1691. Protestant Londonderry was besieged many times but its walls never breached earning it the nickname 'The Maiden City.' The fortress walls remain intact into the 21st century.

The principle towns of County Londonderry in the early 19th century were Coleraine, Limavady, Magherafelt, Portstewart and Culmore. Industrialisation saw Ulster overtake the rest of Ireland with the flax industry becoming a major employer while Londonderry was an important port due to the proximity of Lough Foyle. The Presbyterian population suffered under the penal laws until the 18th century and for a time found common cause with Catholics in the south. However the rise of the Orange Order, loyalism and industrial prosperity found Northern Protestants increasingly identifying with the United Kingdom rather than the secular republican values of the defunct United Irishmen who were defeated in 1798.

Unlike their counterparts in southern Ireland , across much of Ulster tenant farmers had improvements to their farms recognised and rewarded. In the remainder of the country tenants lived in constant fear of famine and eviction. Social and economic disparities such as these explain why County Londonderry and Ulster generally was not hit as hard by the Great Irish Potato Famine of the 1840s as Connaught, Leinster and Munster were.

During the 18th and 19th century there was high emigration from Londonerry to America . It is said that Scotch Irish character traits such as loyalty to kin, extreme mistrust of governmental authority and legal strictures, and a propensity to bear arms and to use them, helped shape the American frontier identity. These traits also contributed to a fierce hostility to Roman Catholicism and Irish republicanism at home that endured into the 21st century.

Londonderry City as it is referred by Protestants, unionists and loyalists or called simply ' Derry ' by Catholics, Irish nationalists and republicans, became divided roughly east and west into Protestant and Catholic areas respectively. Later Ireland was partitioned into the six county Northern Ireland and the twenty-six county Free State following the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1922. Decades of sectarian discrimination inspired civil disturbances in the Catholic Bogside area beginning in the late 1960s. The killing of thirteen Catholics in the city by British troops on 30th January 1972 was a major contributor to decades of tit for tat sectarian paramilitary violence. Following the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, the violence came to an end and a slow process of reconciliation had begun.

Reverend George Vaughan Sampson (1763-1827) was a native of County Antrim and studied at Trinity College , Dublin . He was employed as the headmaster of Foyle College , Derry for a period of four years before taking up the post of Rector of Aghaboe.

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