Dawn of The Ulster-Scots

You might have heard the adverts on the radio…………Greyabbey hosts the Dawn of the Ulster-Scots festival this Saturday. The festival aims to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the 1606 Hamilton and Montgomery plantations of Down and Antrim. There will be a Hollywood connection with the festival taking place in the Montgomery ancestral home of Rosemount House where Flora Montgomery (who was an actor in Basic Instinct 2) will also be filming footage for a forthcoming Straightforward Productions documentary entitled – 1606 – The birth of Ulster Scots – at the festival. The Ulster-Scots Agency seems to have been given new direction and drive since Mark Thompson was installed as the chairperson, including new genealogy research and links in the US.

  • fair_deal

    “given new direction and drive”

    It has indeed and well done to him. The kindest description of Laird’s era was a lack of focus, an over-emphasis on what the RoI was or wasn’t doing, too involved in matters that were not directly Ulster-Scots, excessive PR to the detriment of cultural development and viewing lots of events as the be all and end all of cultural development.

  • Henry Mancini

    I always think of Yoda when I hear Ulster Scots

    Ignorant I be……….

  • Carson’s Cat

    <i>”The kindest description of Laird’s era was a lack of focus,……….

  • Garibaldy

    Given the movement of population between Ireland and Scotland that went on for centuries before this, does anyone else find the 1606 date as the birth of Ulster Scots more than a little artificial?

  • Stephen Copeland

    Garibaldy,

    Given the movement of population between Ireland and Scotland that went on for centuries before this, does anyone else find the 1606 date as the birth of Ulster Scots more than a little artificial?

    I agree, and given that the ‘scots’ themselves (the Scottii?) were originally of Irish origin, and colonised much of western Scotland a millenium earlier, it should really be called ‘1606 – the return of the Scots’.

  • Dave

    “Given the movement of population between Ireland and Scotland that went on for centuries before this, does anyone else find the 1606 date as the birth of Ulster Scots more than a little artificial?

    Posted by Garibaldy on Jul 27, 2006 @ 12:34 PM”

    What date would you have put on the (birth) of the Ulster-Scots? I though it was clearly indicated that this date 1606 was defined as the dawn of the Ulster-Scots. Not being an historian I would have no reason or motivation to disagree with this date.

    Why would anyone wish to put an artificial date to this event and what would be the notivate to do so?

    Maybe all those Scots who for centries travelled to Ireland should now go home, which has been suggested on other threads. This is of course a ridiculous notion as what is good for the goose is also good for the gander and would leave the (true Irish if their is such a person) with a problem.

    Good luck to the Ulster-Scots, and best wishes to those from both communities who define themselves as such.

  • Garibaldy

    Dave,

    I was making the point that there has always been population movement, so to pick a date is artificial as there was a slow process of population movement that cannot be accurately dated. I assume the point about moving back to Scotland isn’t aimed at me as never once have I ever even hinted at such a thing, but just to be clear any attempts to divide the population here along ethnic groups are ridiculous given the mixture that you refer to yourself in your post.

    As for picking 1606, there is a clear motive here. What they are really talking about is the movement of larger numbers of protestants from Scotland. Aside from the fact that this defines the Scots in a disgraceful and exclusive way, it also has dangerous implications for society here, in that it suggests that nationality and religion are integrally tied. Which they aren’t.

    This is a part of the whole Cruitin/Ulster-Scots agenda that I find just as repulsive and dangerous as attempts to link Catholicism to Irishness.

  • Stephen Copeland

    The artificial picking of 1606 as the ‘dawn of the ulster scots’ amounts to nothing more that a silly attempt to set up a ‘creation myth’, somewhat akin to the nonsense that the Americas were ‘discovered’ in 1492, and so on.

    Tactically it is a very poor date to chose, because their opportunity to use it (for centenary purposes) is over in 5 months, until 2106 anyway. If they had picked, say 1609, then they could have built up to some kind of a celebration.

    As ever, they seem to be led on this by fools.

  • Garibaldy – but those people “assimilated”. The 1606 date saw an influx of 10,000 lowland Scots into lowly populated Down and Antrim. From this date onwards Ulster language and culture was heavily influenced by the influx of Scottish settlers (an others). Presbyteriansim being a major factor also – a thorn in the side of the Anglican establishement in Scotland and Ireland.

  • fair_deal

    There is the possible risk of over analysis – it is possible over the stretch of history for a community to have more than one dawn

  • Garibaldy

    Aughavey,

    I’m all for commemorating important events, which this population transfer was, though the meaning attributed to them is often questionable. I think this is such a case. We’ve seen other examples recently, particularly during the 1990s in the south with the various commemorations there. WWI is another case in point.

    The problem I have with the line being spun here (and in fairness I think there’s a hint of it in you saying Antrim and Down were sparsely populated) is that it hints that Scots coming to Ireland was unheard of, and that they shaped a virgin territory in their own image. Which is historically very suspect to say the least, and which also has clear political undertones suggesting that people in Ulster who are protestants are somehow fundamentally different from their catholic neighbours.

    On top of that, Scottish Presbyterian influence really only got seriously going in the 1690s, when huge numbers moved due to dire economic conditions in Scotland.

    Basically, I’m unhappy about the chronology and the intent behind much of this sort of stuff. I don’t like nationalist myths, no matter what country they are in.

  • Stephen Copeland

    Garibaldy,

    … it hints that Scots coming to Ireland was unheard of, and that they shaped a virgin territory in their own image…

    The ‘virgin territory’ myth comes over very strongly in the web site, and is very political. It attempts to justify the plantation by saying ‘there was nobody there, so we just walked in’, when the reality was that that was clearly not the case. They keep repeating a phrase from some book in 1860 or so, that implies that the area was uninhabited, and that therefore it was not a conquest, but a settlement.

    Sorry, but that is not true. Place name evidence, if nothing else, shows clearly that the ‘settlers’ arrived to an area with a considerable native gaelic-speaking population, and co-existed with them for at least a period of time. Where those people then went, I cannot say, but I guess the various wars of the seventeenth century might have had some influence.

  • George

    Now that the nordies have decided to claim the Ulster-Scots for themselves, I for one think it’s time we full use of the opportunity presented and claimed the Scots-Irish as our own.

    Preparations should start now for the 1700th anniversary of the arrival of King Fergus Mor in Scotland around 350AD.

    Or maybe we can start small and claim as our own the “newer” Scots-Irish in West Scotland of the last two centuries.

    The Republic of Ireland and West Scotland has a lovely ring to it.

  • fair_deal

    “Place name evidence, if nothing else, shows clearly that the ‘settlers’ arrived to an area with a considerable native gaelic-speaking population”

    No that proves they had been there, that doesn’t prove they were still there.

  • Garibaldy

    Are we seriously going to have an argument over whether large parts of Ulster were inhabited or not before the Scottish planters arrived? Not, of course, that large numbers were actually planters, they just moved there.

    Having said that, I want to ask fair deal something. As for placename evidence, how would those Gaelic names have survived had not there been a population there?

    The fact this debate has even raised its head demonstrates many of the problems with the whole thrust of the way the Ulster-Scots thing is handled, and helps explain the hostility many people have to it that was being discussed on the Cork blog thread.

  • Shuggie McSporran

    Fair Deal

    “No that proves they had been there, that doesn’t prove they were still there.”

    No, it proves they were still there – how else could the colonists find out the names of places unless there were people there to tell them?

  • IJP

    That’s basically correct, Garibaldy, though I thing Aughagavey is entirely correct to note that the Ulster-Scots Agency seems a slightly better place with Mark Thompson at the helm.

    Certainly Mark has left a very good impression on the range of people from all ‘sides’ I know who have met him on issues such as Hamilton-Montgomery. That, at least, is good news.

    Frankly he has, probably wisely, steered away from language for now – although the fact the Agency falls within the ‘Language Body’ means he’ll have to steer back there at some stage.

    Good luck to him and the Board.

  • fair_deal

    garibaldy

    “As for placename evidence, how would those Gaelic names have survived had not there been a population there?”

    It’s straighforward really. 1606 was not the advent of ‘english’ rule here. They already had records of the placenames and the boundaries they applied to before the settlement of Antrim and Down and the later plantation began. For bureacratic simplicity they kept the names and boundaries rather than redsignate everywhere. It’s one of the ironies that an event that contributed to the decline of the Gaelic language preserved the placenames until this very day.

    Anyway the quote SC mentions about no one being there actually applies specifically to the Ards peninsula/East Down area. No one is claiming the entire place was empty but the self-inflicted ravages of the period immediately predating that era get air-brushed so all the troubles can be heaped on one source.

  • Garibaldy

    Fair Deal,

    I appreciate the good explanation, though not necessarily 100% foolproof. There was indeed violence and depradations in the period beforehand. Equally, large parts of everywhere were sparsely populated because there were so few people compared to what we’re used to, so I don’t really see the relevance of it myself. Apart from attempts to say the land didn’t belong to anybody. In the same way that the Aborigines allegedly had no concept that Australia belonged to them.

    I’m glad to hear that Thompson is doing a good job. I like to see public money used efficiently. I hope he can address some of the concerns I and others obviously feel.

  • Benny Cake

    Anything which challeneges the traditional Anglicised version of history in Ireland is to be commended. Even if the Ulster-Scotch put a spin on the history before we see it at least people will begin to realise that mnay distinct cultures combined to create this place as it is.

    I have a madcap theory that if Irish and Ulster-Scotch enthusiasts worked together they could put pressure on the government to have both languages (yes languages!) recognised here. Then we could have three official languages. Imagine tri-lingual placenames for the Falls and Shankill. Am I really mad in the head?

  • Stephen Copeland

    Fair_deal,

    … For bureacratic simplicity they kept the names and boundaries rather than redsignate everywhere …

    Come off it. If the place was ravaged and empty, and a new crowd arrived off the boats at Donaghadee, they would not have access to the sorts of documents that may or may not have existed, because these would have been in Dublin or London. They would have given their own new names to places, especially at the lowest, most local areas, like townlands, that would not have ever had ‘officialised’ names. Yet, of all the names, it is the townlands that show the most evidence of continued gaelic Irish presence.

    Antrim and Down in 1606 had not been controlled in any real way by the English crown, and so there were very few records, or charters or whatever. And that was not as bureaucratic a period as now – the only way most of them could ever have learned the gaelic names is from the pre-existing population, who must therefore have been there in significant numbers. The website (and thus the whole initiative) glosses over that in an overtly political and dishonest way.

  • Shuggie McSporran

    Fair_deal

    I’d like to see your sources / proof for the existence of contemporary records for the names of the townlands, streams, hills and fields of south Antrim and northe Down that the colonists referred to in the absence of any living informants.

    I think your clumsy attempt to airbrush the native inhabitants of south Antrim and north Down out of history illustrates an unwillingness to engage fully with the subject.

    It’s a pity because the story of “the mere Irish” of the 16th C is inextricably linked with that of the Ulster Scots – it’s an integral part of the Ulster Scots story.

  • Stephen Copeland

    To continue on the subject of townland names, if we just look at the ones in the immediate area around Donaghadee (surely the first and most densely settled area?). If fair_deal’s theory is right, then we should see very few new names, yet we find, to name but one – Ballycopeland! Now since the Copelands are very much a planter family, this name could not have pre-dated the plantation. But yet it appears with a gaelic prefix. Explain that one, fair_deal, if, as you say, there were no gaelic speakers in the ravaged wasteland of Ards. It appears that there wwere actually so many gaelic speakers that the newcomers adapted to their customs initially.

  • Garibaldy

    Benny Cake,

    This already happens at some places. Like the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, where the signage at the front, and the headed notepaper, has all three on it. Which makes for enormous signs.

  • fair_deal

    SC and Shuggie

    ” they would not have access to the sorts of documents that may or may not have existed, because these would have been in Dublin or London.”

    1. Yes they did. They could communicate with the authorities in Dublin and London. (In fact a Scots translator had to be appointed to deal with the correspondence from the Scots settlers in Dublin)
    2. The recruitment and movement of 10,000 didn’t happen on a whim it required planning.
    3. A means of distibuting the land was needed else everyone would have spent the time fighting one another for land. The exisitng system made a natural choice. Also this approach of using the existing townland structures was NOT a new approach:
    “In 1111, the Synod of Rathbreasail established the Catholic dioceses of Ireland, which vaguely resemble the later counties. In the 12th century, the Kings of England began their first of many invasions (commonly referred to in Ireland as the Norman Invasion). The English governed Ireland in a like structure as they did themselves, by dividing the country into shires or counties in the late 12th and early 13th centuries. To correspond with the subdivisions of the English shires into honors or baronies, Irish counties were granted out to the Angle-Norman noblemen in cantreds, later known as baronies, which in turn were subdivided, as in England, into manors or townlands. (However, in many cases, both baronies and townlands correspond to earlier, pre-Norman, divisions.)”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Counties_of_Ireland
    4. There had been varying degrees of English Rule and control since Norman times. This included granting title and lands for example in 1507
    “Enrick the VIII comes to the throne and he tries to strengthen his control on Ireland: all the Irish gentlemen must give up their lands to the English Crown that will give them back to the old owners as benefits.”
    When you grant land and titles you tend to keep records of it
    5. The immediately preceding Elizabethan era saw extensive map producing in Ireland with the corresponding research
    http://www.nli.ie/co_maps.htm
    http://www.ria.ie/cgi-bin/ria/papers/100197.pdf
    http://www.ria.ie/cgi-bin/ria/papers/100215.pdf
    6. An academic paper on the existence of extensive documentation
    http://muse.jhu.edu/cgi-bin/access.cgi?uri=/journals/journal_of_medieval_and_early_modern_studies/v031/31.2netzloff.html

    “to airbrush the native inhabitants of south Antrim and north Down”

    What part of “No one is claiming the entire place was empty” did you not understand?

    “They would have given their own new names to places, especially at the lowest, most local areas, like townlands, that would not have ever had ‘officialised’ names.”

    1. And so what? If the legal document granting you title will have the official name whether you choose to call it timbuktoo or not. Local names did develop and used commonly, that is why they have been used as heritage signs in the Ards peninsula but they have never been used in official records.
    2. As for ballycopeland, there are a number of possibilities. Subsequent surveys and re-distributions of land that could have seen some new names introduced e.g the Down Survey of 1655. It is perfectly possible the name predates the 1606 settlement, the Northumbrian surname being brought over before them, this was far from the first movement of people across the narrow North Channel. It could be that the anglicisation of the irish sounded similar to copeland.

  • fair_deal

    Point 1 should end
    from the Scots settlers to the Dublin office)
    Source for point 4 above
    http://www.emmedici.com/journeys/eire/storia/estorianor.htm

  • Having read some of the pieces on the site about “desolation and waste” it rather strikes me that the Scottish settlers are being painted (presumably accidentally) as some sort of scavengers feasting on the spoils of anothers kill. It comes accross to me that they were a crew of opportunists, letting the English and Irish battle it out and then swooping in and thieving the remnants like some dastardly grave robbers.

    That’s if you choose to believe the narritive of occupying empty lands of course, which I don’t.

  • harpo

    ‘and which also has clear political undertones suggesting that people in Ulster who are protestants are somehow fundamentally different from their catholic neighbours.’

    Garibaldy:

    But they are fundamentally different. Their ‘Catholic neighbours’ certainly thought so in 1641, didn’t they?

  • Of course even if it were true, there’s not much wrong with it. Left alone they would more than likely have integrated just as everyone who immigrated to Ireland had in the past (Vikings, Normans, English) mixed with the natives to the point where none could tell which were men and which were pigs (to paraphrase Orwell). The problem with this particular ethnic community was (according to the site) “They created the bridgehead through which the Scots were to come into Ulster for the rest of the century…” AKA the Plantation of Ulster or Government controlled population transfer and settlement. Which, by the by, would be considered a war crime by todays standards…

    See article 49 of the Geneva Convention:
    “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.”

  • idunnomeself

    i did research on the ards peninsula at uni

    Donaghadee was largely Catholic until the mid 1600’s

    The settlement archeology and the written records both point to an area where established high population areas retained their existing population (Catholic, or ex-Norman, whatever you will) and the Scots filled in the gaps between them in what had been ‘waste’ land before.

    EG the areas around Portaferry, Greyabbey and Donaghadee were longer settled. The bits between were boag and waste.

    You have to bear in mind that in the past the big issue about land was drainage. The best land was the best drained land. This was on hillslopes. Flat land in river valleys was generally therefore the worst land.

    Nowadays people talk about Catholics being chased to the hills and Settlers taking the best land in the valleys, but this is putting a modern view on history. At the time the hill land would have been considered the best land, therefore it was farmed when the setters arrived and they took what was left.

    I don’t know how far you can extend my research out of the Ards area (and the Montgomery-Hamilton settlement) into the rest of Ulster.

    re place names.. well they were collected off landlords I’d say (and they aren’t all as old as 1600..), just because somewhere had a name didn’t mean it was inhabited. The origin of Townland names is in their use to designate property. ‘Waste’ areas still have economic value

  • Shuggie McSporran

    idunnomeself

    “I don’t know how far you can extend my research out of the Ards area (and the Montgomery-Hamilton settlement) into the rest of Ulster.”

    I’ll tell you – not very far.

    Fair_deal

    “What part of “No one is claiming the entire place was empty” did you not understand?”

    You yourself previously hinted that the place was empty when you said “No that proves they had been there, that doesn’t prove they were still there”.

    I see your predicament, you want to avoid any suggestion that something like ethnic cleansing of the native Ulster people happened so you cautiously hint that there may have been nobody there to ethnically cleanse. You realise that this would be a preposterous claim so you try to cover your ass either way – understandable, but a bit lame.

    Thanks for the links. Some of them are quite fascinating though they in no way back your contention that detailed records of the Irish names of townlands, streams, hills etc existed in south Antrim and north Down in 1606.

  • Alan2

    “The ‘virgin territory’ myth comes over very strongly in the web site, and is very political. It attempts to justify the plantation by saying ‘there was nobody there, so we just walked in’, when the reality was that that was clearly not the case.”

    Is it not the case that the land was largely unfarmed in many areas and that huge swathes were owned by Irish upper class families ( O`Neils…Flight of the Earls etc etc) and that the plantation actually redistributed much land to the planters and native Irish Gaelic speaking poulation?

  • idunnomeself

    S McS

    Well I saw a map of the plantation of the Clougher valley and the ‘Protestants’ were in the river valley and the Catholics were on the hill slopes (and there weren’t many dissenters)

    Which was the pattern I was expecting to see

  • james orr

    The reading list on the site is pretty impressive. Maybe we should all do some homework before trotting out the usual robot responses.

    This is a new story to me, and very interesting. It deserves attention and I hope the tv documentary (I presume BBCNI?) is a good piece of work. We could all do with understanding our history better and I’m glad to see this effort to do just that.

    May 1606 was the start of the first large-scale permanent Settlement of Scots into Ulster, so 2006 hasn’t been arbitrarily chosen. It would be stupid to pick (as some have suggested) 2009. The 403rd anniversary hasnt much of a ring to it. A quick look at various pages on the site shows they’ve been running a range of events since February and will continue throughout the year.

    Had a flick through my copy of Perceval Maxwell – he calculates the population of Antrim and Down was about 2,000 people in 1606, compared to between 25,000 and 40,000 for nine county Ulster as a whole. Therefore, relatively speaking, Antrim and Down had indeed been heavily depopulated by the wars of the late 1500s. I dont think the site claims anywhere that these counties were completely vacant.

    Re mapping and townland names, Antrim and Down had also been the major part of the Anglo-Norman Earldom of Ulster since the 1200s and had been well mapped time and again. Sir Thomas Smith had published detailed maps before his failed attempt at Settlement of Co Down in the 1570s, so I guess a lot of the names could well have been recorded on these maps anyway.

    Certainly warrants further research and study. I hope a suitable academic conference is being lined up for the autumn to give the story scrutiny and depth.

    I am glad to see the note on the home page which says that the content will be refined as more research takes place.

    In general, a good job being quite well done.

  • Garibaldy

    Harpo,

    How are people in NI today fundamentally different from one another in ethnic terms? They are not, and culturally they are more similar than different in the realities of everyday life. Trying to drive a wedge is not helpful.

    As for 1641, people were more different then than today. But even that story has been exposed as more complicated than the traditional version.

  • Shuggie McSporran

    Alan2

    “Is it not the case that the land was largely unfarmed in many areas..”

    No that’s not the case, people in Ulster had been farming the land since the neolithic, some 5,000 years before the plantation. It is inconcievable there were still “virgin territory” areas of Ulster where agriculture had not yet penetrated. Indeed.

    The native Ulster people depended on agriculture for survival, that’s why the English adopted a “scorched earth” policy of destroying their crops in their efforts to pacify/eradicate them in the years immediately prior to the plantation.

    “.. and that huge swathes were owned by Irish upper class families”.

    I think, if you do a little bit of research, you’ll find that the entire world (including Scotland) was owned by upperclass families at that particular time.

    “…the plantation actually redistributed much land to the planters and native Irish Gaelic speaking poulation?”

    Where are you going with this? The land already belonged to the native Irish Gaelic speaking population, are you saying that they benefitted from having all their land taken away from them and given to planters, and a small bit redistributed back to a couple of individuals among them?

  • Colonel_Grim

    Shuggie,

    Actually your wrong, Historically the celtic Irish agricultural system was largely based around pastoral farming and relatively little arrable farming was taking place, largely subsistant, the Scots settlers introduced a whole different system of farming which made the agricultural system profitable!

    I read allot of spurious non-sence on this thread about who is native who is right etc etc…. examine the historical facts, not the romantic notions of a great nation down trodden by evil Protestants!

    The overwhelming truth is that unlike the Norsemen, the Normans and the old English the Scots were never assymilated as a people thats why there are sooo many people who identify themselves as Ulster-Scots on many levels and to many different degrees.

    We must remember that the Celtic Irish were not the native inhabitants they were just the latest invaders bar one!

  • Low Country

    As someone who attended the event in Greyabbey it was very well organised even if the weather was terrible. Plenty for the kids and the music and dancing was good. The event they ran in Donaghadee was good as well so I think they are starting to do a pretty good job.

  • Shuggie McSporran

    Colonel Grim

    “Actually your wrong, Historically the celtic Irish agricultural system was largely based around pastoral farming and relatively little arrable farming was taking place..!”

    Colonel, thanks for confirming my revelation that the irish practised arable farming! Now explain how I’m wrong when agree with what I said!!!

  • Globetrotter

    “I am glad to see the note on the home page which says that the content will be refined as more research takes place”.

    Or until we find out a bit more about what we are promoting, or make something else up!

    Totally amateurish. It’s all just a frantic scrabbling around for some sort of culture and seperate identity. How come we didn’t have a celebration of this in 1906? Perhaps “themmuns” weren’t getting as much and we didn’t need to invent something like a language to try and get a slice of the pie?

    Is “themmuns” an Ulster-Scots word, or should I say Ullans?

  • Garibaldy

    Colonel,

    The identity adopted by the overwhelming majority of Irish protestants from the C18th to the late C19th/early C20th was an Irish one, sometimes in conflict with Britain, but more often not. It’s far too simplistic to say that people whose roots lay in Scotland never assimilated. As for the notion of a Celtic invasion, there are theories as to whether this is the case or not, but we cannot simply talk or historical facts or truths on this point.

  • colonel_grim

    Garibaldy,

    Yes we can historically and factually talk about celtic invassion as the archeological community both North and south agree about celtic invasion. Where do you think they came from?

    I have to disagree to a great extent with your assumption that all or most Protestants on the Island viewed themselves as Irish, a romantic notion indeed but please there has always been an independent Ulster and Scots identity, Bishop Percy commented in the 18th Century that there were too many Scots in Ulster speaking their own language, wearing their own clothes and following their own religion. Does this sound like a people assymilated? I dont think so.

  • Colonel_grim

    Shuggie,

    Your statement was that the Scots added nothing to the agricultural system because there was already wide spread farming but there clearly was not thats my point.

  • Shuggie McSporran

    Colonel Grim

    “Your statement was….”

    Why are you making this shit up?

  • Garibaldy

    Colonel,

    we can talk about population movement. Invasion is a different matter.

    As for Bishop Percy’s comments, look at the discourse of the Irish Parliament and Irish public opinion and it’s clear that the majority of Irish protestants regarding themselves as Irish. That applies to those who opposed the United Irishmen as much as it applied to them.

    On top of that, look at the statues round the City Hall and other parts of Belfast from the early C20th. They refer to Irishmen, only becoming Ulstermen after partition. Hence the famous Erin go Bragh on the Lord Mayor’s chain. Other examples could be cited. No sign there of a lack of Irish identity. We cannot project our assumptions back onto the past.

  • Colonel_grim

    shuggie,

    Thats the assertion you were making unless im mistaken?

    “The native Ulster people depended on agriculture for survival, that’s why the English adopted a “scorched earth” policy of destroying their crops in their efforts to pacify/eradicate them in the years immediately prior to the plantation.”

    Is That not what you said above? The Celtic agricultural system was almost exclusively pastoral not arrable, so what scorched earth policy? And yes there was a great deal of virgin territory which had not been farmed, it had been used for grazing. Over grazing in areas led to population falls as peoples moved to other grazing pastures so it is very likely that there was allot of empty land ready to be farmed.

  • Colonel_Grim

    We certainly can talk about invassion!

    If the Celts didnt invade then neither did the Normans! After all, they were invited the didnt invade!

    The very identification of people as Scots and not Irish defines them as having a seperate identity mate. Im sorry but you cannot assert onto people what you want them to be rather than what they are!The Duke of Wellington is perhaps the most famous example. When did he refer to himself as an Irishman?

    These attempts to brandish anyone who doesnt regard themselves as Irish as just “Miss-guided Irishmen” is ridiculous.

  • Garibaldy

    The Normans were indeed invited. And we have a lot of definite evidence on the Normans. We have less than definite evidence on the Celts. There is dispute about whether there was a wave of invasions or a population movement. Look at the recent thread where the fact that the Celtic identity of Ireland is uncertain, so we can’t talk for definite about anything in relation to that period.

    The point I’m making, Colonel, is that the people themselves identified themselves as Irish at the time. And there is overwhelming evidence to demonstrate that, both in the rhetoric and the actions of protestants in Ireland from the C18th forward.

    I’m not trying to make any points about today’s politics, or to deny that unionists now possess an identity that defines themselves as British. All I’m saying is that that definition of British but not Irish has not existed in unbroken continuity since time immemorial, be that 1606 or before. This is an historical, not a political point.

  • Colonel_Grim

    I would say that the population movement of the Scots to scotland due to celtic invasion is quite hard evidence to surmount wouldnt you?

    I can agree that many Protestants did and do regard themselves as Irish but to state that it was a vast majority would be a certain miss representation of reality.

    Why would Thousands of Ulster-Scots Presbyterians sign the Covenant during the 17th century if they did not identify themselves as Scots and not Irish?

  • Garibaldy

    Colonel,

    I said from the C18th to the late C19th/early C20th, to identify a very clear period, which is different from what went before and came after. I do think that it was a large majority that identified themselves as Irish in this period, but again this changed.

    As for the Covenant, that could have been theological as well as national sentiment.

    On the pict/Scoti thing, I think that’s one of a number of theories, not all of which are plausible. Again, we can argue for them, but not just assert them as fact.

  • Colonel_Grim

    Garibaldy,

    I suppose we can agree to disagree. lol 😀

  • Garibaldy

    Colonel,

    Fair enoughski.

  • Shuggie McSporran

    Colonel

    “Thats the assertion you were making unless im mistaken?”

    Yes, you are mistaken.

    “The Celtic agricultural system was almost exclusively pastoral not arrable…”

    Yeah I know, I agree with you 100%, the Irish practised pastoral and arable agriculture.

    “…so what scorched earth policy”

    The one where crops are deliberately destroyed in an order to starve a resistant population into submission or defeat.