The Apprentice Boys
From the early 18th century clubs have celebrated the role of the 13 apprentices who locked the gates of the city in December, 1688 rather than admit the new Jacobite garrison. Local architect, John Guy Ferguson, designed The Apprentice Boys' Memorial Hall in the mid 1870s. The 1937 extension in Society Street was dedicated to those who died in the First World War. The Hall houses the headquarters of the Apprentice Boys of Derry Association. Every December the Apprentice Boys celebrate the locking of the gates and, in August, the relief of the 1689 siege.
The Beaux' Stratagem
Famous playwright, George Farquhar was a pupil at the school in what is now Society Street. In 1617, Mathias Springham, Master of the Merchant Taylors' Company had set up a free school to 'the honour of God and the spreading of good literature'. Born in Shipquay Street in 1678 Farquhar may have witnessed the 1689 siege as a child: his last play 'The Beaux' Stratagem' of 1707 reveals his knowledge of these tumultuous times.
Psalms and Sermons
Many Scots settled in the Plantation city, introducing their own simple form of worship. In 1690 Queen Mary donated money towards the first meeting place on this site to reward the bravery of the Presbyterians during the siege. In the 18th century many parishioners emigrated to North America to escape the Penal Laws. These deprived members of faiths other than the Church of Ireland of many civil and economic rights. The First Presbyterian Church was rebuilt on a much grander scale in 1777, its present frontage being added in 1903.