Scotch-Irish-L ArchivesArchiver > Scotch-Irish > 2000-03 > 0954537226
Subject: Re: Ulster Scots in Sweden
Date: Fri, 31 Mar 2000 13:13:46 -0800
Still no info on Scots-Irish in Sweden, but I am reading
a book on Scottish mercinaries in Ireland before the
plantation (any left alive at the end of the Nine Years
War got shipped off to Sweden or jumped ship with the
It's fascinating -- speaking of Scottish mercinaries.
Apparently in traditional Irish society there were no
professional soldiers. If you wanted to fight a war you
used your yeomen -- free men -- who were forced by custom
to fight so many days a year for you. At the end of their
obligation, they tended to slip away. Y ou needed another
army to keep your first army in the field. The same was
true in England. Cromwell had the first standing army.
This book on Scottish Mercinaries (full title tonight)
says Eddie the Bruce probably brought the first in with
him in was it the 12th century? Can't recall. Anyhow, by
the 16th, the Irish system had degenerated in to "bastard
feudalism" -- which is what the English system degenerated
into and caused the War of Roses. Ie the leaders had armies
of mercenaries whom they fed and lodged. They used t hem to
war on their neighbors, fend off competition for their
positions, and oppress their septs. Most of these mercenaries
were highlanders. Their weaponry and customs (primogenitore,
for one) suggest a strong Nordic (ie Viking) element in their
past rather than anything Gaelic. Their size suggested
it as well! Huge... As early as the 1400's they were being
settled onto Irish land and serving Irish septs as hereditery
galloglaigh (Oglaigh -- soldiers, gall -- strangers, which the
Scots were never called by the Irish, but the Vikings WERE).
Apparently you had clans of McDonalds in 21 of the 32 counties,
not counting Antrim.
You also had in the mid 1500's lots of McDonalds in Antrim,
fighting with the English and the Irish (O'Neill) for the Route
and more. Apparently they brought with them a large group of
Campbells, which is why you find lots of Irish Campbells,
says this book.
Re the use of the term "Scotch Irish" for galloglaigh soldiers:
earlier times did call the Catholic, highlander mercenary
Scots "Scotch IRish". Queen Elizabeth I called them this, as
did the Scots in Edinburgh, thouogh they were of different
stock and religion than the majority of the Plantation settlers
who were to come later and who have been labeled Scotch Irish.
So maybe the family recall that we were Scotch Irish but also
soldiers in Sweden is "right on" -- if we use the earlier
definition. I don't know if they themselves called themselves
Scotch Irish, but perhaps they did.
The book documents at least one native Irishman who rose to be
a captain of a group of them. As time went on and galloglaigh
became an accepted part of Irish culture, even the English
employed them (to keep them out of the employ of rebellious
Irish), and you did have Irish galloglaigh. I'm beginning to
think most Irish probably have some Scottish blood.
The machinations of two highland women (mother and daughter)
and who married Irish chieftains, bringing dowries of thousands
of soldiers, needs to be made into a movie. I gather in those
days the Irish chieftains wanted to marry a Scottish chieftain's
daughter to get soldiers and ready access to in-laws who would
come over to help when called. Though some of those Scottish
clans began appearing in boats off Galway and plundering the
Hmm...but you marry me all you can hope for is a spoiled cat and
a dog with an attitude.