Trail to America…

THE News Letter had a supplement on Thursday, Ulster-Scots: Trail to America, which told the “epic story of settling in the New World”. Any US Sluggerettes wanting to learn more about the 1718 movement of Scots-Irish to America might want to visit this website, while the earlier settlement of Scots in Ireland is detailed here.

  • cthulhu

    They were Disco, the mid-nineteen brought us Punk.

  • Garibaldy

    National identity is based to a large extent on the invention of tradition. Fascinating to watch it occur under our very eyes.

  • 1718 is a little better than 1690. Now the Orangies are only 288 years behind the rest of us.

  • martin

    Idinanowhatafuck yer all on about so I,ll awayanweshmekecksinasheugh. ps send cash only please yours lardy boy lord that is

  • Rory

    I have a fascinating history called “Glencoe and the Indians” by James Hunter (Mainstream Publishing, Edinburgh,1996. £9.99) – an account of the relationship between survivors of the Glencoe Massacre and, especially, the Nez Perce tribe among whom they intermarried. It also deals with Scots settlers in general from the mid 18th century.

    There is a terrific Western of the period of the early exploitation of the West called “Across the Wide Missouri” (which turns up on TCM every now and then) with Clark Gable and Jean Peters (drool, drool!) as the “Indian princess”. It is a well told story, most beautifully shot and most sympathetic to the native American. But the Scots presence among the trappers is well established and the presence of a half Indian-half Scots character in mixed Highland and tribal attire and sporting a moustache is very strong and treated with due but everyday,unremarkable seriousness instead of the debasing butt of humor he might have become in less sensitive hands. I cannot recall the director’s name – possibly King Vidor? Catch it if you can.

  • martin

    yip when they slaughtered and stole what they could here they ,turned their attention to the new world where they were instrumemtal in helping fuck up that country as well

  • gg

    I wouldn’t mind a united Ireland, but the sniggers at Ulster Scots culture on here again and again make me wonder what the reception would really be like in real life.

    I mean, would my Ulster Scots accent be acceptable or should I rent out a Darby O’Gill DVD and start practising?

  • lib2016

    No-one denies the validity of the Scots-Irish identity. What causes hilarity is the denial of one half of it in a deathbed attempt at revisionism. It’s in the same league as German Charley dressing up in a kilt.

  • Garibaldy


    If you want Sean Connery with an “Irish” accent, you could try The Untouchables instead of Darby O’Gill.

    My own 2 cents’ worth is that a large part of this Ulster Scots thing is motivated by political and financial concerns. Look at that 1718 website, which presents the movement of several hundred people along a well-worn path as a pivtoal moment. A joint effort of several vested interest groups, political and academic.

    In a post-imperial Britain, and in an era where the certainties of unionist identity have been breaking down over a long period, the notion of Ulster-Scots as a separate language/ethnicity/identity is clearly attractive. Particularly given the financial incentives.

    And as for your accent, I’d say all northern accents sound the same to lots of people down below, and many people in Belfast look down on all rural accents equally. So not much will change on that front.

  • McGrath

    “would my Ulster Scots accent be acceptable”

    Your Ulster Scots accent gets teased even in the current situation, I suspect this will continue, it is after all a source of great fun. ie. passion = heavy rain.

  • Betty Boo

    The dawn of the Ulster Scots in 1606!??!
    One would think with books and internet people would do their homework first before raising issues like viagra addicts.

  • Rose Tyler

    The usual inverted snobbery from the obviously “more cultured” republicans, just shows the rest of us that a United Ireland just aint going to happen.

    Keep it up morons.

  • Garibaldy

    I had a look at that website after what Betty Boo said. It is totally mad. Note that it implicitly defines Scots as lowland Scots only, and that it ignores thousands of years of migration between Ireland and Scotland, which seems to have started in 1606.

    The typical rhetoric of colonists from centuries ago in claiming that east Ulster was a deserted wasteland. The fact that such claims are being repeated today is ridiculous, and does nothing for the credibility of that website. And the idea that Virginia was planted a year after 1606 because of the success of this movement to Antrim and Down is absurdly laughable. No-one had any idea whether it would be a success so early, and it took a lot longer than this timeframe allows to organise something as complex as a transatlantic plantation.

    Overall, a foolish website, on a par with the idea that Gaelic Ireland was an egalitarian paradise, or that homophobia was imported into Ireland by the British, as I saw an article by a member of PSF once argue.

  • Garibaldy


    what do you mean by inverted snobbery?

  • Betty Boo

    I can give you another website, one of many good ones about the history of this part of the world.

  • McGrath


    The usual inverted snobbery from the obviously “more cultured” republicans, just shows the rest of us that a United Ireland just aint going to happen.

    Keep it up morons.

    You don’t think the Dubs don’t tease the Corkmen, or those from Tipperary? Or the folks from Dinigaal don’t slang the people from Bawnbridge, Co Dounn?

    Its an aspect of life, its hardly republicanism!

    I have many friends with a distinct Ulster Scots accent, and they dont call me a Moron! (most of them anyway)

    Also, that 20% demographic that live in Ballymena we keep referring to on Slugger, most of them speak with an Ulster Scot accent. So Rose, why are you so offended?

  • Betty Boo

    Garibaldy triggered my memory buds. Six or seven years ago American students were send out on a questionnaire field trip and came back with the astonishing news that there was nothing in Ulster before the plantation, the land was empty and therefore up for grasp.
    Banging your head against the 12″ stone wall of Grianan Aileach denying its existence would explain though “intellectual” hick ups by some.

  • gg

    “Also, that 20% demographic that live in Ballymena we keep referring to on Slugger, most of them speak with an Ulster Scot accent.”

    Indeed – so it’s not the old “DIY language for Orangemen”, although I do recongise that crackpots do try and politicise the issue.

    It is a great dialect, despite what all the urban elitist snobs say (does NI have a real urban élite?!). As a modern linguist myself who has picked up a foreign dialect and loves the richness of expression it provides, I think everyone in the places where Ulster Scots is spoken should be proud of it. And I fully support the learning and preservation of Irish as well.

  • Garibaldy


    I’m surprised American schoolkids think anywhere other than the States still isn’t empty.

    It is disturbing though the type of things floating about. For example the notion that the Cruithin were here, then the Gaels forced them to flee to Scotland, then they came back in the C17th. I saw this argument made in a PUP-linked cultural group pamphlet. This type of thinking can only further our divisions. The Ulster-Scots thing has the danger to spread it. It’s as bad as suggesting that unionists are an alien implantation.

  • Betty Boo

    any misinformation and the spread of it, is dangerous and turned people against each other on countless occasions. Unfortunately these misinformations are much easier digested by most then going through the process of finding out themselves what is behind those emotion stirring lines.
    I don’t recall the name of the dictator but one of his first orders: “Kill the historians first.”

    Knowledge is power, the abstinence of it a weapon used against you.
    After all, how else can you rule if you don’t divide?

    BTW, did we loose wee jack?

  • Garibaldy


    Haven’t heard that quote about historians. While I can think of numerous historians I might like to kill, I wouldn’t want to wipe them all out.

    On wee jack, afraid I dunno what you mean.

  • Betty Boo

    It seems the input of history kills the thread anyway.
    And wee jack is in the business of misinformation. So much he can’t even decide on one name.

  • Garibaldy


    Think it depends on what history is under discussion. I remember one thread that ran to I think 400+ comments, many of which were on the famine, or whether Ireland was a colony.

    So, some of the people on this thread are one person. Interesting. Have to try and guess who are the sock puppets.

  • Betty Boo


    Maybe I was a bit to cynical but interest disappears usually when you introduce some better researched items about the history of Ulster and the Ulster Scots. Although it’s fascinating stuff.
    Those “sock puppets” have even a different email address for each name. They must have an entire address book just full of themselves.

  • Garibaldy

    Ah. I think I see who you mean.

  • Gonzo-san,

    That web site deals with but a splinter group of the Scots who left the Ulster Plantations in the early Eighteenth Century. That they fell into disfavor with the Yankees is no wonder since the sole reason for the existence of the Massachusetts Colony was to provide a exclusive haven for the chosen Puritans and their pipeline to God. I’d say the Scots got off easy if you keep in mind that the Yankee Puritans made Roger Williams take the “long walk” after a wee doctrinal dispute..

    The rest of the colonies may not have been as nutty as Massachusetts but they were formed by Englishmen molded in the religious attitudes of the day: They didn’t cotton to either Catholics or dissenters.

    This is why the main force of Scots found themselves in Pennsylvania after Maryland surrendered to The Dark Side. The Quakers were light years more receptive to other religions than the surrounding and provided a more favorable climate to catch their breath.

    The movement of the group can be traced geographically, politically and religiously by following the valley just over the Blue Ridge Mountains in the Appalacians called, very appropriately, The Great Appalachian Valley. Over the years this was the migration route as they spread south and west to West Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee, shedding their Presbyterian beliefs for Baptist ones and eventually finding themselves on played-out, near vertical farms and enslaved by the Coal Trusts.

    A footnote to that history is that Michael Harrington wrote a book partly about them, The Other America. JFK read it and spawned the genesis for The Great Society in the belief that, while Congress would never provide antipoverty legislation for black people, it would if they were white. We only saw the white faces from Appalachia when they talked about it on TV.

    The Civil Rights struggle of the 60’s and LBJ’s resurrection of the New Deal refocused the program on rural and inner city blacks and the Scots Irish of Appalachia got butkus.

    We came truly full circle when Bobby Kennedy’s kid, Rory, made American Hollow, a film about a family scratching out a living in Appalachia.

  • Rory


    It is not an uncommon definition that of “Scots” as being Lowlanders only. This was the common perception and common usage certainly up to and after the Hanoverian succession.

    Highlanders were generally known as “Gaels”, “Irishmen”, “savages” or “barbarians” and sometimes by all of these terms at once. The Carolinian uprising of 1745 and the disastrous defeat at Culloden (or glorious victory as others might have it) was referred to in English government dispatches as the “Irish Rebellion” and the traitorous upstart rebels as “Irish”. And indeed many of the young pretender’s troops were indeed from Ireland who came to support, not so much Charlie, as their family, their clansmen of blood and marriage. The MacDonald clan for example owed fealty, by virtue of blood descent, to the clan of Ian Mor of Tir Connell and his people in turn owed a duty of protection to the MacDonalds.

    Because Lowlanders were largely in favour of George and the promise he offered of protection at last from these raiding, rieving , plundering Irish bandits from the Highlands was comfort indeed. Eventually with the post-Culloden Pol Pot style eradication of Gaelic culture and then the clearances to make way for profitable sheep farming and the hunting and fishing delights of a safe Scotland opening up to Englishmen of society enter Sir Walter Scott who romanticised Scottish history completely with Highland dress (the wearing of which by Highlanders after Culloden opened them to the risk of summary execution) being cheerfully depicted as a quaint colourful garb worn by all “Scotsmen” highlander and lallander alike and soon became popular with the English jet set of that time as it remains today.

    John Prebble’s trilogy of Scottish history “Culloden”, “Glencoe” and “The Highland Clearances” are a most useful, if not essential guide, besides which they are so immensely, fascinatingly readable – a historian in the great tradition – he brings the period and the characters alive before you.

  • Betty Boo


    besides the books you’ve mentioned, do you have any other sources documenting this time?


  • gg

    This thread has become very erudite. I am pleased.

  • Garibaldy


    Great stuff. Appreciate it. I’m still somewhat concerned at the use of Scots like this in a modern website, given the context of the website.
    It’s a falsification of the links between Ireland and Scotland.

  • Betty Boo

    And it’s most likely intentional, Garibaldy. Although it might be able to create a diversion towards segregation in the short term but in its presented form looks more like the drowning man grasping for the straw while in knee deep water.

  • Rory

    Betty Boo,

    I’m afraid I can’t recall any that I would recommend from the top of my head and anyway my reading into the matter is not all that extensive. However if you simply pick up one of Prebble’s accounts and torn to the list of resources there you will find references to enough reading on the matter for a lifetime. But Prebble is the man and if he has detractors they certainly don’t seem to be making enough sensible noise that anyone cares to hear.

    Of course I would always recommend anyone to read “Kidnapped” by RL Stevenson, because not only is it such a wonderful well written tale but it allows, like nothing else I have read, such a sympathetic insight into the mindset, motives and concerns of the dour, thrifty, pro-Hanoverian Lallan Scot. Alan Breck, highlander and cavalier of spirit is romantic, daring, recklessly brave but he is not the hero and it his ways and his ethos, whatever of our admiration of the man, that loses the reader’s sympathy in the end. Davy Balfour, to attain peace and contentment must embrace the new status quo and the highland ways threaten that order of civility.

  • Betty Boo

    thanks for that. It looks like I’m going to enjoy the trip down history lane and you never know what might come up.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    I love it when a thread comes together…

  • Betty Boo

    One of the above mentioned sites “The Dawn of the Ulster-Scots” presents the following statement in its timeline:
    Sir Henry Sidney: east Ulster “all waste and desolate”
    Sir Henry Sidney was the Queen’s Lord Deputy in Ireland. He visited the O’Neill lands in 1575, after Sir Brian’s scorched earth tactics, and declared the region to be “all waste and desolate”, due to the wars and rebellions which had taken place during the failed settlement attempts by Sir Thomas Smith in 1571 and the Earl of Essex in 1573.
    (quote from The Montgomery Manuscripts, page 79)”

    So if your “settlement” fails you apply “scorched earth tactics”, then you ” declare the region all waste and desolate” and you “settle” again.
    Fascinating approach.

    Do the Royal Galloglas sound familiar? I found this site and the time in question is towards the end.

  • Nevin

    I have a theory ….

    Scotus is a Latin name for Irishman and Scotia, the Latin name for Ireland. Skotos/Scotus is associated with darkness and gloom so perhaps the smaller island was thought of as the land of the setting sun, the isle to the west, and the larger island, Alba, the isle to the east, was the land of the rising sun.

    These islands were labelled the Pritanic Isles by Pytheas and this Greek mariner and geographer also noted that the Picts brewed a potent drink. Now that puts the claims of Old Bushmills into perspective. The Ballymena Picts ….

    The link between the two Dalriadas gets more historical attention than the link between south-west Scotland and Antrim and Down. It would appear that many of the ‘Norman lords’ came to north Antrim via south-west Scotland rather than Dublin. Later on we had the influx of gallowglasses. Curiously enough, the ‘Ulster-Scots’ posters in Bushmills fail to reflect such movements of population.

    And what about the Ulster-English ….

  • Rory

    Yes, Betty, the Galloglas are indeed familiar. As schoolboys our more gaelic minded teachers would hold them up to as fine examples of proud Irish warrior stock But it often got confusing as, when we got a bit out-of-control in the playing ground, other teachers would abuse us as “a bunch of galloglas rowdies”. Secretly I think that description quite pleased us as well.

    This has been such a lovely thread with a very helpful and co-operative sharing of knowledge (and limits of knowledge). There certainly is a wealth of easily accessible resources on the web and of course one discovery only leads on to further questions. For example if we do a search for “Brehon Law” we are faced with such a voluminous list of references that we could spend a week just in selecting which one(s) to visit. The old “information overload” alarm starts buzzing in my brain but then that excitement of realising just how little one knows , the amazing depth of my ignorance generates the desire to know more. It’s worse than bloody drink or sex betimes.

  • Nevin

    [i]Alexander Pope (1688-1744) – An Essay on Criticism, 1709:

    “A little learning is a dangerous thing; drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring: there shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, and drinking largely sobers us again.”

    Rory, could similar comments be made about ‘bloody drink and sex’? 😉

  • Betty Boo

    ” Add hereunto that those nations who live in the same country have not always the same names. that which the Latins call Hispania, the Greeks Iberia, the poets Hesperia, St. Paul in his Epistle, Theodoret and Sozomen in their history call Spania, i. e., Spain. The name of the Greeks, so celebrated by the Latins and all nations of Europe, is more obscure to the Greeks themselves. The Hebrews and Arabians keep their old words almost in all nations, which were not so much as heard of by other people. Scot and English are the common names of the British nations, which at this day are almost unknown to the ancient Scots and Britains, for they call the one Albines, the other Saxons. And therefore ’tis no wonder if in so great an uncertainty of human affairs, as to the names of men and places, writers who were born at several times, far distant one from another, and having different languages and manners too, did not always agree amongst themselves. Though these things have occasioned difficulties great enough in searching out the first original of nations, yet some of the moderns too, being acted by a principle of ambition, have involved all things in more thick and palpable darkness. For whilst every one would fetch the original of his nation as high as he could, and so endeavour to enoble it by devised fables by this immoderate licence of coyning fictions, what do they but obscure that which they ought to illustrate? And if at any time they speak truth, yet by their frequent and ridiculous untruths at other times they detract from their own credit, and are so far from obtaining that esteem which they hoped for that, by reason of their falshoods, they are laughed at even by those whom they endeavour to cajole into an assent.”

    From The Memories Of British Affairs

  • Betty Boo

    I know what you mean with “information overload.”.
    What bugs me is the utter incompetence of some who call themselves historians (they are actually getting paid for doing this research)and they come up with disorganised bundles of selective copying, selling it off as our history and heritage and driving a very dangerous wedge between people. I believe Garibaldy in an earlier post was referring to them and his feeling towards them.
    And thread is very enjoyable indeed. It is most certainly a refreshing change.

    I will look it up in a moment but I remember only one Kingdom of Dalriada.

  • Nevin

    Betty Boo, er, weren’t the ‘scorched earth tactics’, on this occasion, those of Sir Brian O’Neill?

  • Rory


    Pope already draws the comparison with drink in the quotation you gave.

    On the annoyance and frustration of having to choose between all the available information rather than having it all now how about this comparison with a sexual allusion from Sophocles:

    The eyes of men love to pluck
    the blossoms from the faded flowers
    they turn away.

    The Women of Trachis

  • Betty Boo

    Yes, Nevin but in this context:
    “Following a series of failed military expeditions aimed at dislodging the Scots from Ulster, Queen Elizabeth agreed to support an English colonial settlement in the region. In 1571 Sir Thomas Smith, the Queen’s Principal Secretary of State was given a royal grant in Clandeboye and the Ards Peninsula. Smith envisaged a settlement led by the younger sons of English gentlemen who would develop the urban and commercial infrastructure of the Ards and exploit its natural resources of fish and timber. The indigenous Irish community were to be employed as labourers in the colony. The scheme was financed partly through private investment and partly through state sponsorship, largely in the form of military support. Smith’s natural son, Thomas, was given the task of implementing his father’s plans and he travelled to the Ards Peninsula in August 1572. Smith encountered considerable local opposition particularly from Sir Brian MacPhelim O’Neill, the Gaelic lord of Clandeboye who was supported by other lords in Ulster, notably Turlough Luineach O’Neill. In October 1573, Smith was killed by a supporter of Sir Brian having failed to make any progress with his father’s colonial scheme.

    Plans to establish an English colony in Ulster were not, however, abandoned following Smith’s murder. In 1573, Walter Devereux, Earl of Essex received a grant of land in north east Ireland from Queen Elizabeth. Like Smith, Essex agreed to invest his own money in his colonial project but his ambitions were wider than those of Smith as he envisaged taking control of an extensive territory from Belfast to Coleraine and establishing himself as Captain General of Ulster. Essex recruited 400 adventurers for his colony but only a small number of them travelled to Ireland and Essex spent most of his time in the province engaged in military encounters with Gaelic lords opposed to his plans. Frustrated by his lack of progress, Essex in 1574 seized Sir Brian MacPhelim O’Neill, his wife and brother and arranged for their execution in Dublin Castle. The following year, aware of the Queen’s increasing impatience with his failure, Essex authorised a notorious raid on the Scottish settlement on Rathlin Island by John Norris and Francis Drake. Shortly afterwards, the Queen relieved Essex of his command in Ulster.

    Despite the failed colonial projects and the massacre on Rathlin, Scottish migration to north east Ireland continued throughout the late 16th century and intensified in the early 17th century when Sir Hugh Montgomery and Sir James Hamilton acquired property in the Ards Peninsula which they developed as a private Plantation.”

    But fair is fair, you got me there (nearly).

  • Nevin

    [i]. Smith encountered considerable local opposition particularly from Sir Brian MacPhelim O’Neill, the Gaelic lord of Clandeboye who was supported by other lords in Ulster, notably Turlough Luineach O’Neill. (1572)[/i]

    George Hill, who edited the Montgomery Manuscripts, also wrote the “Macdonnells of Antrim”

    A few years earlier, in 1567 (p149), Turlough propositioned the widowed Lady Cantire and her daughter. At that time he was in league with the English and the negotiations did not progress. Turlough eventually succeeded with the widow and they were married in Rathlin in July 1569.

    PS Alliances between Scots, Englishmen and Ulstermen appear to have been fairly ‘flexible’, going by Hill’s history of the Macdonnells.

  • Betty Boo

    “Fairly flexible” is being “economical with the truth”. The late sixteenth and early seventeenth century Ireland seems to have been a place and time where power structures were reorganised and enforced, globally as well as locally and amounting pressure blew the lid right of the pot.
    Have a look at this, from the Annals of the Four Masters: The year is 1572.

    After the aforesaid forces had gathered from all quarters to the sons of the Earl, they and Mac William Burke (John, the son of Oliver) entered into and confirmed a league with each other; and the first thing that they did after that was to set about demolishing the white-sided towers and the strong castle of Clanrickard; so that they destroyed the towns of the territory, from the Shannon to Burren, except a few. Next, they plundered the district lying between the Rivers Suck and Shannon, and also the Feadha; and pillaged every person who was on friendly terms, or in league with the English, as far as the gates of Athlone. They afterwards proceeded eastwards, keeping the Shannon on the right, directly to Sliabh-Baghna-na-dTuath, crossed over to Caladh-na-h-Anghaile, and burned Athliag. They proceeded to burn, lay waste, plunder, and ravage every town, until they came to Westmeath. Among those was Mullingar, from whence they proceeded to the gate of Athlone, and burned that part of the town from the bridge outwards. Thence they proceeded to the other side of the Shannon, into Delvin-Mac-Coghlan, and back to Sil-Anmchadha ; and there was no chieftain of any district, from Slieve Echtge to Drobhaois, whom they did not induce to become their confederate of war. They destroyed the walls of the town of Athenry, and also its stone houses and its castle; and they so damaged the town that it was not easy to repair it for a long time after them. They passed twice into West Connaught, in despite of the people of Galway, and of the English soldiers left there by the President to assist in defending the town. And they slew the captain of these soldiers at the west gate of the town. And it was also against the will of the O’Flahertys that they went on these two occasions into the territory; and they had no road to pass through, when going or returning, excepting Ath-Tire-oilein; and on each occasion they committed great plunders and depredations upon Murrough O’Flaherty. The sons of the Earl continued from the end of spring to the middle of autumn thus injuring the merchants, and destroying whatever they were able upon the English, and upon all their English and Irish adherents. The Council of Dublin and the chiefs of the English at last resolved to set the Earl at liberty, on terms of peace and friendliness, over his territory and lands, on condition that he should pacify his sons. The Earl accordingly returned to his country in the autumn of this year, and pacified his sons, who dismissed their hired soldiers, after having paid them their stipend and wages. During these enterprises, James, the son of Maurice, son of the Earl of Desmond, was along with the sons of the Earl of Clanrickard, awaiting to bring the Scots with him into the territory of the Geraldines; and it is impossible to relate all the perils and great dangers, for want of food and sleep, which this James encountered (he having but few troops and forces), from the English and Irish of the two provinces of Munster in this year.

  • Betty Boo


    An English Earl, the Earl of Essex by name, came to Ireland as President over the province of Ulster in the autumn of this year, and went to reside in Carrickfergus and in Clannaboy. At this time Brian, the son of Felim Bacagh O’Neill, was chief of Trian-Chongail and Clannaboy; and many plundering attacks and conflicts took place between Brian and the Earl from this time to the festival of St. Patrick …


    The son of the Earl of Desmond (John, the son of James) took by surprise a good and strong castle, called Doire-an-lair, and placed in it trustworthy warders of his own people to guard it. When the Lord Justice of Ireland (Sir William Fitzwilliam) and the Earl of Ormond (Thomas, the son of James, son of Pierce Roe) had heard of this castle, it renewed their recent and old animosity against the sons of the Earl of Desmond; and they summoned the men of Meath and Bregia, the Butlers, and all the inhabitants of the English Pale, to proceed to devastate Leath-Mhodha. The summons was obeyed, and they marched, without halting, until they had pitched their tents and pavilions around Doire-an-lair, which they finally took; and the Lord Justice beheaded all the warders. His people and auxiliaries were so much abandoning the Earl of Desmond, that he resolved upon repairing to the Lord Justice, and making unconditional submission to him: this he did, and he was obliged to deliver up to the Lord Justice Castlemain, Dungarvan, and Kenry; and thereupon whatever wrongs had been committed on either side up to that time should be forgiven.

    Peace, sociality, and friendship, were established between Brian, the son of Felim Bacagh O’Neill, and the Earl of Essex; and a feast was afterwards prepared by Brian, to which the Lord Justice and the chiefs of his people were invited; and they passed three nights and days together pleasantly and cheerfully. At the expiration of this time, however, as they were agreeably drinking and making merry, Brian, his brother, and his wife, were seized upon by the Earl, and all his people put unsparingly to the sword, men, women, youths, and maidens, in Brian’s own presence. Brian was afterwards sent to Dublin, together with his wife and brother, where they were cut in quarters. Such was the end of their feast. This unexpected massacre, this wicked and treacherous murder of the lord of the race of Hugh Boy O’Neill, the head and the senior of the race of Eoghan, son of Niall of the Nine Hostages, and of all the Gaels, a few only excepted, was a sufficient cause of hatred and disgust of the English to the Irish.

    I apologise for the long read but there is no way around it.

  • “Do the Royal Galloglas sound familiar? “

    Damned interesting bit of writing.

    It’s a slosh fuzzy on our origins, though.

    We came from the Scottish offshore islands and were thus amongst the first to get hit and ravaged by the waves of Vikings. So for several hundred years it was a constant cycle of burn, rape and kill. With all that raping there was a good deal of inbreeding, producing some which survived the next wave of Vikings..

    The Vikings learned what Rommel was later to learn in Tunisia: If you don’t utterly annihilate your enemy, you eventually teach him how to fight. We learned the berserker ways.

    Before long we could hold our own with our visiting Norse cousins and persuaded them that there were softer targets. A bit later we found that we could do a bit of Viking on the east shore of Ireland as well.

    We were damned good at it, this pirate business of burning, raping and killing unprotected farmers. Too good, in fact, since the Irish noble families, such as they were, made us an offer we could not refuse. Come to work for them for handsome wages or they would mount an expedition and wipe us out to the last man. Such a deal.

    My group of pirates went to work for the O’Reillys in exchange for tax free lands in Cavan, making us the first Intel in Ireland. Although we later became the weapons of mass destruction of the Thirteenth Century, our initial job wasn’t to do the fighting, per se, but to keep the O’Rourkes off our noble clients when the O’Rielly family turned tail and ran.

    Not much romance to it, just strictly business and murder.

  • martin

    Rory Betty Boo and Ssmilin Jim, that was really excellent, I have seen the four masters annals in Rosnowlagh ,Donegal,I think I will get a copy well done everyone this is really good and interesting reading