Scotch-Irish-L ArchivesArchiver > Scotch-Irish > 1998-08 > 0904103753
From: linda garrett <>
Subject: 1880's description of "Scotch-Irish"
Date: Tue, 25 Aug 1998 20:55:53 -0700
I was looking at "The History of Bedford, Somerset, Fulton Counties" (PA) on microfilm at the library the other day and wanted to share what this book written in the late 1880's had to say about the term: "Scotch-Irish"
The term "Scotch-Irish" is one so frequently used, and so little understood, that it is considered appropriate in this place to explain its derivation. It appears that in the time of James I, of England, the Irish Earls of Tyrone and Tyrconnell conspired against his government, fled from Ireland, were proclaimed outlaws, and their estates, consisting of about five hundred thousand acres of land, were seized by the crown. The king divided these lands into small tracts and gave them to persons from his own country (Scotland) because they were Protestants, on the sole condition that they would cross over into Ireland within four years and reside upon them permanently. A second insurrection soon after gave occasion for another large forfeiture, and nearly six counties in the province of Ulster were confiscated, and taken possession of by the officers of the government. King James was a zealous sectarian, and his primary object was to root out the native Irish, who were all Cathol!
ics hostile to his government, and almost constantly plotting against it, and to re-people the country with those whom he knew would be loyal. The distance from Scotland to County Antrim, in Ireland, was but twenty miles. The lands thus offered free of cost were among the best and most productive in the Emerald Isle, though blasted and made barren by the troubles of the times and the indolence of a degraded peasantry. Having the power of the government to encourage and protect them, the inducements offered to the industrious Scotch could not be resisted. Thousands went over. Many of them, though not lords, were lairds, and all were men of enterprise and energy, and above the average in intelligence. They went to work to restore the land to fruitfulness and to show the superiority of habits and belief to those of the natives among whom they settled. They soon made the counties of Antrim, Armagh, Caven, Donegal, cown, Fermanagh, Londonderry, Monaghan, and Tyrone - names familia!
r to Pennsylvanians - to blossom as the rose.
These, the first Protestants introduced into Ireland, at once secured the ascendancy in the counties which they settled, and their descendants have maintained that ascendancy to the present day against the efforts of the government church on the one hand and the Romanists on the other. They did not intermarry with the Irish who surrounded them. The Scotch were Saxon in blood, and Presbyterian in religion, while the Irish were Celtic in blood and Roman Catholic in religion, and these were elements that would not readily coalesce. Hence the races are as distinct in Ireland today, after a lapse of more than two hundred and fifty years, as when the Scotch first crossed over. The term "Scotch-Irish" is purely American. It is not used in Ireland, and here it was given to the Protestant emigrants from the north of Ireland, simply because they were the descendants of the Scots who had in former times taken up their residence there.
In after times, under Catholic governments, the descendants of the Scots in Ireland were bitterly persecuted, and prior to 1764, large numbers had immigrated and settled in New Jersy, Pennsylvania, Maryland and North Carolina. In September, 1736 alone, one thousand families sailed from Belfast because of their inability to renew their leases upon satisfactory terms, and the most of them settled in the eastern and middle counties of Pennsylvania. They hoped, by a change of residence to find an unrestrained field for the exercise of their industry and skill, and for the enjoyment of their religious opinions. They brought with them a hatred of oppression, and a love of freedom in its fullest measure, that served much to give that independent tone to the sentiments of the people of the province which prevailed in their controversies with the home government years before they seriously
|1880's description of "Scotch-Irish" by linda garrett <>|