Scotch-Irish-L ArchivesArchiver > Scotch-Irish > 1998-08 > 0904162296
From: Edward Andrews <>
Subject: Re: Meaning of Scotch-Irish
Date: Wed, 26 Aug 1998 21:11:36 +0100
There are one or two errors in this posting, which I would like to
take the liberty of correcting.
> This is due to the poverty of these hard working farm people, as it is
> to have much time for recording your family tree when you are working
> seven days a
> week on hard farm land with poor wooden tools, have no family bible as
> you cannot afford one, or are perhaps illiterate. I thought that some
> of the Bell list subscribers might want to see something about the lives
> that the Scotch-Irish Bells might have lived, in the event that they
> have no records of their own.
I am not sure that this is totally accurate.
Very often it is the illiterate who do know their family tree. Oral
tradition was very strong, and it is only lately that we have lost it.
The problem however was that the records have not survived. Actually,
because of the tradition it is probable that the SI were the most
literate community in Ireland.
While the SI were relatively poor they seemed to have acquired enough
capital to set up industries, and of course to migrate to America.
> The Ulster Plantation consisted of nine counties set aside in Northern
> Ireland for "settlement" by English and Scottish settlers.
No. Ulster as a whole consists of 9 counties in the north of Ireland
-not NOrthern Ireland which is a Political entity.
The Plantation did not include Antrim and Down which were planted by
> They resisted futilely, and later
> assaults were crushed by Cromwell's ruthless forces.
A better, and more accurate way of saying something like this would
While initially the native Irish, who were effectively leaderless,
took no action against the settlers, events in Great Britain led to a
rising of the Native Irish (officially in support of the King against
Parliament). There were a number of massacres of the Settlers in 1641.
This unsettled situation remained until Cromwell was able to attack
his enemies in Ireland, who consisted by then not only of the Native
Irish, but also the Scots in Ulster who were not over keen on the
Cromwell carried out a further settlement, but generally
not in the areas previously planted. Subsequently, after his
James II and VII went to Ireland where the final stages of his attempt
to recover his throne were played out. The S-I were prominent in the
Sieges of Londonderry and Enniskillen. After the war ended many Irish
went to France, and there was again resettlement of more colonists.
> The purpose of the Plantation was to expand the wealth and power of
> Britain's empire by displacing the "mere Irish", and is at the core of
> the troubles Northern Ireland still has today.
Britain did not yet have an Empire. The settlement was partly to
provide military security to keep unfriendly powers from having
influence in Ireland.
> In the case of the bulk of the Scots, they were Presbyterians. Many of
> the Scotch were devout followers of John Knox and his forebear John
John Knox was not a Presbyterian, and Calvin was a contemporary, not
>and spent endless hours discussing details of the Covenant and
> Calvinistic philosophy. They talked religion in the same quantities of
> time that we use today watching television, namely, a lot! They were
> not persecuted in any way for their beliefs,
No. From an early stage in the Plantation, the Scottish settlers were
in conflict with the Established, Episcopalian Church. While some
Bishops demonstrated toleration, by the 1620s Presbyterians were
seriously thinking of going to America. Until well into the 19th
Century the Presbyterians were liable to civic disqualifications.
Depending on when, the treatment varied from active persecution and
physical suffering to being unable to take part in local government.
> The perimeter of the Ulster Plantation was guarded by English soldiers,
> and the protected area was called the Pale.
No the Pale was around Dublin and dated back to an earlier
settlement. Neither was there a standing Army. The Undertakers were
supposed to build Forts (Bawns) and supply their own security.
> They were tenants under lairds that expected a lease payment and a
> percentage of the farms' proceeds in exchange for use of the land, which
> was divided into long strips called "runrigs". The runrigs were randomly
> assigned in order to fairly allot the good land with the poorer parcels.
I am not sure that this is right. Was Runrig not the native way of
farming? Was the point of the Plantation not that it was consolidated
> Although the Covenanters were perhaps a little extreme by our standards,
> religious freedom was not the reason for the Ulster plantation or for
> the later exodus from Ulster to the Colonies.
There was a strong religious motivation in part for the move to
> The Lowland Scots had
> lived in Ulster for several generations until the early 1700's when a
> reduction in the taxes on livestock touched off a movement to convert
> many small farms to large sheep ranches.
No not sheep ranches, you are confusing the Scottish clearances. It
was the falling in of leases, and the high cost of new ones which was
the main reason for the move.
> The Scotch-Irish (now called this because they were neither Scotch nor
> Irish, after three generations in the land, but a distinct new culture)
> were driven off the land by huge increases in rent which they could not
> afford to pay.
St Nicholas Buccleuch Parish Church Dalkeith
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