“Dolly's Brae (III)”


July 12, 1849: Lord Roden invites the Rathfriland Orangemen to march. Priests Mooney and Murphy encourage the "rebels." "The Ribbonmen advantage took and fired upon our rear" but no Orangemen were hit in the battle. The Orangemen claim "glorious victory"


July 12 is the Gregorian Calendar (adopted in England in 1752) date for celebrating the victory of William III of Orange in the Battle of the Boyne, July 1, 1690.

Zimmermann: "There are at least six other ballads on the same subject, most of them with some stanzas in common."

In "A Dream of Dolly's Brae" one priest, named Morgan, is mentioned as leading the ambush.

This song establishes that "Lord Roden was Grand Master of the Orangemen." - BS

The Rodens were strongly linked to the Protestant cause. According to Jonathan Bardon, _A History of Ulster_, Blackstaff Press, 1992, p. 238, they were among the Ulster landowners who had voted for Union in 1800. The Dolly's Brae march, acording to Bardon, p. 303, was to terminate on Lord Roden's land, and p. 341 reports that the Earl of Roden was one of the organizers of a great Protestant revival in that year. - RBW

Historical references

  • July 12, 1848 - Catholics occupy Dolly's Brae, County Down, and divert an Orangemen's march.
  • July 12, 1849 - Catholics occupy Dolly's Brae but the Orangemen would not be diverted. At least thirty Catholics are killed in the fight. No Orangemen are hit. (source: Zimmerman)

Cross references


  1. Graham, p. 14, "Dolly's Brae" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Zimmermann 96, "Dolly's Brae" (1 fragment)
  3. BI, Grah014


Author: unknown
Earliest date: c.1895 (Graham)