first English garrison established in Derry came about as
a result of hostilities between the forces of Queen Elizabeth
and John OíNeill, chief of
Tyrone. In 1566 Colonel Randolph, commanding seven companies
of foot and a troop of horse, arrived and set up without opposition.
a battle, fought five miles north of Derry, Randolph defeated
but lost his own life in the process. Fortune did not favour
the new garrison for by 1568 English forces were forced to evacuate.
Pestilence and an explosion in the powder magazine put paid to
this first attempt at English colonisation.