This volume details the history of Ireland's County Leitrim during its most formative and violent period since medieval times. Leitrim, being the only link between Connacht and Ulster, was greatly affected by events in the north. The Defender disturbances of 1793 and 1795 marked the beginning of rebellion in Leitrim. The suppression of these disturbances by the military was both brutal and effective. Following the battle of the Diamond in Armagh and the formation of the Orange Order in 1795, large numbers of refugees from Ulster descended into Leitrim, bringing with them a sense of anger and outrage which helped to keep the flame of rebellion alive. The language and ideas of the French and American revolutions permeated the county by 1795. Jimmy Hope and William Putnam McCabe, from their Presbyterian case in County Antrim, set up branches of the United Irishmen in Leitrim and swore many of its people into its secret organization founded by Wolfe Tone and others. The 1798 rebellion would have by-passed Leitrim were it not for General Humbert's French army and his Irish allies, who marched the full length of the country from 6-8 September before being defeated at Ballinamuck.
Three Armies, Humbert's, Lake's and Cornwallis's, marched across the county leaving in their wake a waste land, and by the time reprisals, punishments and executions were over, the flame of rebellion was truly quenched.