Following the Flight of the Earls in 1607, the crown seized Irish land in Ulster and granted it out to English and Scottish Planters on condition that they build settlements and provide strongholds loyal to the king. Sir John Hume of Berwickshire was granted 2000 acres at Tully. It was here, in County Fermanagh on the southern shore of Lower Lough Erne that he built Caisleán na Tulaí, his”Castle on the hill” in 1612. It was a fortified house with a rectangular bawn – an enclosure of stone walls about the castle. Nearby Sir Hume built a village for 24 tenant families.
On Christmas Eve, 1641 Rory Maguire set out to recapture his family’s lands upon which Tully Castle sat. He arrived with a large following to find Lady Mary Hume alone in charge of the castle where the villagers had taken refuge as most of the men were away. To secure the safety of her charges, Lady Mary surrendered the castle.
Captain Patrick Hume later testified …
“. . . the rebels having stripped the Protestants of all their clothes (except the said Lady Hume), they imprisoned them in the vaults or cellars of the castle, where they kept them with a strong guard all that night, and the next morning . . . the 25th day of December, 1641, they took the Lady Hume, Alexander Hume, John Grier, with their wives and children, away from the rest of the prisoners . . . and placed them in the barn of one John Goodfellow at Tully . . . within a stone’s cast from the castle, putting them in hopes that they meant to convey them to the Castle of Monea . . . but as for the rest that were then left behind in the Castle of Tully . . . the rebels did most cruelly and barbarously murder the said Protestants, to the number of men and 60 women and children or thereabouts . . .”