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Lieutenant Farmer’s Military Career 

Back to Sir John Bolle's Young Lieutenant Farmer
While serving as Sir John’s Lieutenant, Farmer would have served at the following commands:  
This list shows Sir John’s company with Sir Henry Docwra in garrison at Lough Foyle in Dec. 1601
In December 1601 Sir Henry Docwra marched his 6 companies of foot overland from Derry to Donegal Castle to relieve the English garrison there which had been weakened by a major explosion and fire in their storehouses in September which had blown a hole right through the castle’s outer walls. (ref below)  He left two new companies there and then had a look at Ballyshannon’s defenses.  Realizing that more artillery would be needed to take the castle, he left two of his companies a short way up the Erne River from Ballyshannon at Ashrowe Abbey under Captain Digges command and then returned to Derry to send the cannons. 
This list of the companies serving under Sir Henry Docwra in January 1602 shows Sir John Bolles and Captain Gore with their companies at O’Boyle’s Castle which is on the coast on the edge of Donegal. It also shows the two companies at Donegal and Digges and Bassett’s companies at Ashrowe
A single large cannon arrived at Ballyshannon on March 20 and by March 25, 1602 Captain Digges had taken the castle.  This marked the fall of the last major bastion of the rebels in the north and the limit of Docwra’s offensive in the Nine Years War.  That summer they established garrisons at even the minor strongholds in the area but for all intents and purposes the offensive was being wound down although Tyrone would still hold out from the wilder interior of the island until 1607.
   The List of the Army as it stands on September 30, 1602 has, under the heading ‘In Leinster and the borders of the Pale’, Docwra back at his headquarters at Lough Foyle, with his Captains Gore, Bassett (mentioned above) and others including a new Captain Farmer at Belleek (just up the river from Ballyshannon). However, Sir John Bolles is no longer there.  (Calendar of State Papers, p. 488) Earlier, Sir John had requested that he be removed from his company and that Lieutenant Farmer be put in command in his place.  I believe it can be safely assumed that Bolles has left his command which is now under his, now promoted, Captain Farmer.
The Abstract Shewing How the Horse and Foot in her Majesty’s Army in Ireland is Distributed on November 20,  1602 has Captain Farmor ‘about the side of Lough Erne’ in the Carrickfergus section.  (same, p. 525) Lough Erne is about 3 miles upriver from Belleek.  
With the completion of the campaign in the north the army’s field units were largely wound down.   The list of discharges from the Irish Army in November and December 1602 includes a Captain Farmer at Ballyshannon with 150 men.  (same, p. 534) 
However, many of the discharged officers were kept on pay (‘entertainment’) by order of the Lords of the Council.  The Apr. 30, 1603 ‘List of Lately Discharged Officers Whose Entertainments Are Still Continued to Them’ includes a Captain Thomas Farmar.  Sir John Bolles’ Lieutenant and brother-in-law Farmer finally has a first name and it’s Thomas.
p. 109, 110

This site was last updated 01/29/21