The Ulster Plantation

You are here

 
Within a decade after the "Flight of the earls" came the Ulster Plantation ------ a scheme of fatal and far-reaching consequence for the Island ever since.
It was the Sixth James of Scotland who, after he became James I of England, perpetrated this crime.
The land-greedy and gain-greedy among his Scotic fellow-countrymen, and among the English, were the instigators.
Upon Ireland the covetous eyes of such people were ever turned. The flight of the Earls proved a welcome excuse for the wholesale robbing of the clans.
It was a very simple matter to find that all the Northern chiefs had been conspiring to rebel - against England. Hence they were "traitors" - to England! And naturally their estates were forfeit and for distribution among James' hungry followers.
That the clan-lands did not then, or ever at any time, belong to the chieftain, but to the whol clan community, was a matter of no consequence.
According to English law and custom it should belong to the people's lords ( chiefs ). And if "civilised" law did not obtain in Ireland it must be imposed wheresoever British profit could be reaped from such imposition.
The English Lord Lieutenant, Sir Arthur Chichester, and the Attorney General, Sir John Davies, were the instruments, under James, for giving effect to the great Plantation.
The lands of the six counties of Donegal, Derry, Tyrone, Fermanagh, Cavan and Armagh --- four million acres - were confiscated. The lands of the three remaining Ulster counties, Antrim, Down and Monaghan were bestowed upon Britons at other times.
The true owners, the natives, were driven like fowl or beasts, from the rich and fertile valleys of Ulster, which had been theirs from time immemorial, to the bogs and the moors and the barren crags - where it was hoped that they might starve and perish.
English and Scotch Undertakers ( as they were called ), and Servitors of the Crown, scrambled for the fertile lands which were given to them in parcels of one thousand, one thousand five hundred, and two thousand acres. The County of Derry was divided up among the London trade Guilds, the drapers, fishmongers, vintners, haberdashers, ect who had financed the plantation scheme.
The Church termon-lands were bestowed upon the Protestant bishops. and thus a new nation was planted upon the fair face of Ireland's proudest quarter.
The new nation was meant to be the permanent nation there. The written conditions upon which the new people got their lands specifically bound them to repress and abhor the Irish natives, conditions which through hundreds of years since the new people have faithfully endeavoured to carry out. They  were bound never to alien the lands to Irish, to admit no Irish customs, not to intermarry with the Irish, not to permit any Irish other than menials to exist on or near their lands.
And they were bound to build castles and bawns, and keep many armed British retainers - thus constituting a permanent British garrison which would help to tame if not exterminate the Irish race.
Sir John Davies said, the multitude having been brayed as it were in a mortar with sword, pestilence and famine, altogether became admirers of the Crown of England.
And when they were made true admirers of the Crown it was their fertile possession were given to the stranger, and they were sent to co - habit with the snipe and the badger among the rocks and heather.
 
The character of the Planter who were given the lands of the hunted ones is recorded for us by the son of one of them, and also by a later one of their own descendants.
Reid in his " History of the Irish Presbyterians " says: Among those whom divine Providence did send to Ireland ... the most part were such as either poverty or scandalous lives had forced hither."
And Stewart, the son of a Presbyterian minister who was one of the Planters, writes: " From Scotland came many, and from England not a few, yet all of them generally the scum of both nations, who from debt, or breaking, or fleeing justice, or seeking shelter, came hither hoping to be without fear of man's justice."
Sore indeed was the lot of the poor Irish in the woods, and mountains, and moors. Thousands of them perished of starvation. Other many thousands sailed away under leaders to enlist in the Continental armies. To far Sweden alone went no less than six thousand swordsmen.
But the lot of those who lived and remained in Ireland, was sorer by far than those who went either to exile or to  death .
 

About

This is the Offical web site of the O'Neills of Ulster. With the support of our kinsmen, we are coming together to form a strong Celtic community  in Ireland and across the world.

Join us

Become a member today and find out more about our history culture and geneolgy, and join in on all the discussions.

Sign up with us now!

Flickr Widget