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B-) by Minnesota Scots • "Plantation People-Part 6"


“…from Scotland came many and from England not a few, yet all of them generally the scum of both nations, who, for debt, or breaking and fleeing from justice, or seeking shelter, came hither……
The words of Andrew Stewart (d. 1671), Presbyterian minister in Donaghadee, have often been quoted to describe the early settlers to Ulster. But is this a true reflection of those who came here in Plantation times? The answer is no. The criminal element among the incomers was quite small and in actual terms the settlers from Scotland came from a wide range of backgrounds reflecting the full spectrum of Scottish society.
In the years that followed the allocation of the lands to the undertakers, hundreds of families from Scotland began to arrive in the “planted counties”. Their reasons for making the journey varied. Many were brought by the Scottish lords to their new estates. For example, in 1611 it was noted that Lord Ochiltree, afterwards Lord Castlestewart, had traveled to his proportions in east Tyrone “accompanied with 33 followers, (gentlemen), of sorts, a minister, some tenants, freeholders, and artificers”. When Sir James Hamilton acquired Plantation land in County Cavan he introduced Scottish families previously living in County Down to his new estate. When Hamilton later sold this estate these families returned to County Down.
Om many of the Scottish-owned estates, there is evidence that bonds of kinship existed between the landlord and his tenants. Other settlers came independently in search of a better life. Some no doubt thought that Ulster would provide an opportunity to revive the family’s economic fortunes and recover status lost in Scotland. For example, Alexander Cairns of Kearns was an impoverished Scottish laird who left his home country to seek a better life in west Donegal. Here he prospered, acquiring lands and wealth for himself.
The majority of the Scottish settlers came from the south-west of Scotland and in particular Ayrshire, Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire and Dumfries and Galloway. WE know very little about any of them and in only a relatively small number of instances is it possible to identify the precise place in Scotland from where they originated. In the case of the lands leased to Sir Robert McClelland in north County Londonderry it is possible to show that some, if not most, of the tenants came from the Kirkcudbright area, from where Sir Robert himself originated.
There was also a strong contingent from the Boarders. The latter included families such as Armstrong, Elliott and Johnston. This was an area that had been associated with lawlessness – hence the use of the word Reiver (from reive- to rob or plunder) to describe the people of the area. In the years immediately prior to the Ulster Plantation, James VI of Scotland began a concerted campaign to stamp his authority on the Boarders and bring to an end the disorder for which it was infamous. Many Boarder families were attracted to Fermanagh as a potential new home. Here, in an area that was remote from Britain and close to the frontier of the Plantation, they would be free from the restrictions of state authority and immune from the Scottish justice system. These families were also resilient, able to survive the upheavals of the seventeenth century, and adapt to the circumstances in which they found themselves.
The contributions of Highland Scots to the Plantation should not be overlooked either. In areas such as east Donegal, Plantation records include names that originated in Argyll and elsewhere in this region. Some of these Highland Scots were new arrivals, but others would have been descended from Redshanks that had settled in Ulster in the late sixteenth century. On Sir John Drummond’s estate in Strabane barony it was observed in 1622 that of his tenantry “all but four or five are Redshanks”.

Reprinted completely from the pamphlet “The Story of the Scots, The Plantation of Ulster 1610-1630", Ulster-Scots Agency, Board of Ulster-Scots.

[x]keywords: Scotland, clans, history, periodical, diaspora
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# 43 - Ulster Scots • by Minnesota Scots - 12/13/2014 - 13:18 - - Minnesota - USA
B-) by Minnesota Scots • "Number of Scots in Plantation Ulster-Part 5"

Despite inconsistencies in the progress of settlement, it has been calculated that by 1622 there were some 3,740 Scottish men in the six planted counties and a total adult Scottish population – based on there being three women for every four men – of just over 6,500. Philip Robinson’s map based on the muster rolls of C. 1630 serves the best indicator of the distribution of Scots in early seventeenth-century Ulster. From this several key areas of settlement in the escheated counties are identifiable. The most important area of settlement was the Foyle Valley straddling counties Donegal and Tyrone where between the precincts of Portlough and Strabane there were by 1619 over 1,000 Scottish men.
Other areas of significant Scottish settlement were the precincts of Mountjoy (Tyrone) and Fews (Armagh) where there were, respectively, an estimated 210 and 220 Scottish families by 1622. Scottish settlement was, however, less impressive in counties Cavan and Fermanagh. In County Cavan there were probably no more than 100 Scottish families between the two precincts allocated to Scots in 1622, in County Fermanagh there may have been around 120 Scottish families on the proportions originally granted to Scots, most of them living close to Upper and Lower Loch Erne.
What is also clear from looking at the settlement pattern of the Scots in the officially planted counties is that by the 1620s some 40% of Scottish settlers lived in areas that had not originally been allocated to Scottish undertakers. Many of these settlers lived on English-owned estates or estates that had been acquired by Scots from English. In fact nearly all British-owned estates had some Scottish tenants. This highlights the fact that there were various factors at play in determining the distribution of Scots in Plantation Ulster.
One of the areas not granted to Scottish undertakers in which Scottish settlement was heaviest was the north county of Londonderry. The influx of Scots to this area was largely due to the efforts of one man- Sir Robert McClelland from Kirkcudbright. He leased the lands allocated to two London companies – the Haberdashers and Clothworkers – and began to introduce settlers from south-west Scotland as his tenants. By 1622 there were 120 British settlers on the Haberdashers’ proportion and another 86 on that owned by the Clothworkers. These figures were higher than those for the other estates in the county and meant that northern County Londonderry now had a distinct Scottish tinge.

Reprinted completely from the pamphlet “The Story of the Scots, The Plantation of Ulster 1610-1630", Ulster-Scots Agency, Board of Ulster-Scots.

[x]keywords: Scotland, clans, history, periodical, diaspora
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# 42 - Ulster Scots • by Minnesota Scots - 11/13/2014 - 17:42 - - Minnesota - USA
B-) by Minnesota Scots • "The Progress of Scottish Settlements-Part 4"

The initial progress made by the Scottish undertakers varied considerably and in some areas very little if anything was achieved in the early stages of the Plantation. Many of the undertakers found that the task they were taking on was simply beyond them. The average Scottish laird was not a wealthy man. In November 1610 the lord deputy of Ireland, Sir Arthur Chichester, made the following observation: “The Scottish come with greater port and better accompanied and attended, but it may be with less money in their purse.”
Some undertakers granted estates in less favorable areas found it virtually impossible to induce Scots to settle on their lands. In east Tyrone Bernard Lindsay’s proportion lay “towards the mountains and is extremely rough and scarcely habitable”. When Scottish settlers arrived there “at the first site of the barrenness thereof (they) made their instant retreat”. A few of the Scottish undertakers never visited their estates at all, while others took possession in person, but sold out soon afterwards. Others attempted to develop their lands, and a few made progress, but for various reasons decided not to persevere.
By 1619 more than half of the Scottish estates – 33 out of 59 – had passed out of the ownership of the original grantees. In their place came men with the energy and determination, not to mention the resources, to make the Plantation a success. For example, in Clankee, County Cavan, three Hamilton brothers, Sir James, John and William, who are more associated with settlements in County Down, acquired five of the six original proportions in the precinct before 1619. John Hamilton in addition acquired three proportions in the precinct of Fews in County Armagh.

The story of the Hamilton brothers highlights the fact that one of the main consequences of the ready market in Plantation land was that it allowed several individuals to build up estates considerably greater that that originally permitted under the rules of the Plantation. One who did so spectacularly was Sir William Stewart who, from relatively unremarkable beginnings, was able to build up a vast estate spread over three baronies in counties Donegal and Tyrone, constructing fortifications at Fortstewart and Ramelton in Donegal and Newtownstewart and Aughentaine in Tyrone. In 1622 he boasted that no undertaker in County Tyrone had “builded and plainted better upon their land”.

Reprinted completely from the pamphlet “The Story of the Scots, The Plantation of Ulster 1610-1630", Ulster-Scots Agency, Board of Ulster-Scots.

[x]keywords: Scotland, clans, history, periodical, diaspora
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# 41 - Ulster Scots • by Minnesota Scots - 10/15/2014 - 17:32 - - Minnesota - USA
B-) by Minnesota Scots • "The Scots in the Plantation Scheme-Part 3"

The so-called “escheated counties” that formed part of the official scheme of Plantations were Armagh, Cavan, Coleraine (renamed Londonderry), Donegal, Fermanagh and Tyrone. The Scots were just one of several groups who received land in these counties. In addition to their English counterparts, there were servitors (only two of whom were Scots), “deserving” Irish, the Church and institutions such as Trinity College. Nine precincts were set aside for Scottish grantees: Boylagh, and Branagh, and Portlough in County Donegal; Strabane and Mountjoy in County Tyrone, Knockinny and Magheraboy in County Fermanagh; Clankee and Tullyhunco in County Cavan; and Fews in County Armagh.
In each precinct there was a chief undertaker (so called because the undertook to plant their lands), who was often related to or in some way connected to the other undertakers granted lands in the same precinct. There were originally 59 Scottish undertakers, who between them owned 70 portions, as the individual land units were known. Several undertakers, particularly the chief undertakers, owned two or, in one instance, three portions, together comprising a single estate.
Much interest in acquiring plantation land had been shown by the wealthy urban middle classes, particularly in Edinburgh, but in the end the government chose, for the most part, middle ranking lairds who would have had greater experience of estate management. The chief undertakers in each proportion were all titled and many of them enjoyed close relationships with the king.
The total plantation acreage granted to Scots came to 81,000, only 500 acres less than granted the English undertakers. The proportions allocated to the undertakers were of three sizes: small (1,000 acres), middle (1,500 acres), and great (2,000 acres). Of all the different groups of grantees, the undertakers alone were expected to colonize. For every thousand acres that he was granted an undertaker was required to introduce 10 families of British origin, comprising at least twenty-four adult males.

Reprinted completely from the pamphlet “The Story of the Scots, The Plantation of Ulster 1610-1630", Ulster-Scots Agency, Board of Ulster-Scots.

[x]keywords: Scotland, clans, history, periodical, diaspora
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# 40 - Ulster Scots • by Minnesota Scots - 09/30/2014 - 20:29 - - Minnesota - USA
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