Author Topic: History of Scottish People  (Read 7192 times)

Thomas Thompson

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History of Scottish People
« on: August 31, 2014, 02:39:40 PM »
  Recently we participated in a Celtic event and, frankly Irene, I was shocked at the misinformation put forth by the supposedly 'expert' speakers. I wonder just how many of our members would be interested in discovering  their true history. What I have in mind is a collection of historical accounts of Scottish people. This will have to be a member participation project. I not only welcome your inputs,but require your help. I will start with an overview. Following articles will be placed in the members only section which is being setup.If you are not interested we'll drop the project.

                  SCOTLAND
                                   
                           A very, very concise History of Scottish People


   In the beginning was the Wall. It runs from Solway to Tyne, An enduring monument from 122 A.D. Built by Emperor Hadrian as a defensive barrier against the raiding tribes. This great 73 mile rampart, 20 feet high and 10 feet wide, with castles and garrisons was a symbol of power and civilization that  shaped the future Scotland. Then 20 years later the dividing line between civilization and barbarism was extended with yet another smaller wall; the Antoine Wall from Forth to Clyde, but Rome had other problems that caused Rome to abandon the effort of conquering Scotland about the end of the 4th century.
     At this time the country was divided between 4 different races. The most powerful was the 'Picts' of Celtic stock said to be of Scythian origin. Centered in the area from Cathness in the north to the Forth in the South. The neighboring Britons of Strathclyde, also a Celtic race with a kindred tongue, controlled the area from the Clyde to the Solway into Cumbria. To the East and South of the Forth into Northumbria were the Teutonic Anglo/Saxons of the Rhine and Baltic origins. Finally, to the west, the area of Argyle, Kintyre and islands were controlled by the Scots - a Celtic race from Northern Ireland with a different language. This race eventually gave their name to Scotland which was then know as Alba. Though by the end of the seventh century all four of the kingdoms of Alba had been converted to Christianity, they were still far from being united.
     A common enemy, the Norsemen, invaded the coastal lands and islands in the 8th century. By the end of the 9th century the Norsemen had conquered Orkney, Shetland, the Western Isles, Caithness and Sutherland.
     In 843, King MacAlpin of the Scots defeated the Picts and established  the monarchy over the whole of Alba which was then called Scotia. The Picts (a race tattooed or painted) who had ruled over most of Scotland for a thousand years quickly faded from history.
     The 1066 Normand Conquest of England brought the foundations of feudalism to the Lowlands and imposed the English religious practices and court customs on Scotland, thereby seriously offending the Celtic North.
    Then, as today, the Muslims were murdering, raping and enslaving the Christians in the Mid-East. The urgent appeals of help to save the holy Lands led to the Crusades (1095-1270). The Scottish Kings gave the Templars possessions from Galloway to Aberdeenshire. King Malcolm IV donated to the Brothers of the Hospital of Jerusalem and a complete homestead in every burgh throughout the Kingdom to the soldiers of the Temple of Solomon.
     Prior to the Crusades, the common man had no surname (last name). They only had a given/personal (first) name. Usually the ruling class (nobility) were identified by place. Robin of Sherwood Forest, Arthur of Camelot. The English surnames were usually derived as a result of one's occupation. Some were patronymic in that the surname refers to the son of a man's personal name. For example: John the 'trapper' became John Trapper and his son, Adam, became John's son or Adam Johnson. Women didn't even have an identity – a wife was known simply as John's woman. It should be noted that the clergy and a very few of the ruling class were the only ones educated to read and write. Eventually the tax collectors and the preachers needed a permanent record by more specific name. Thus the surnames became set or established as spelled in the tax roles or parish records....first in the lowlands and about 300 years later, in the highlands.
     The Scottish Kings ruled from the lowlands and adopted the Scots-English language and culture. Therefore, what evolved were two different peoples, using the same name and nationality, but being fundamentally different both racially and linguistically. The Highlander had retained the native Irish (Gaelic) language, manner of clothing and was by culture, tribal in every aspect and ruled by a Chief not greatly different from today's warlord. The lowlander was not markedly different from the commoner of England in both culture and language. The highlander saw the lowlander Scot as a 'foreigner' and more like the English than Scot. While the lowlander saw the Highlanders even worse - as tribal barbarians tied to a clan system. They were mutually incompatible even in their religion. The Tudor accession brought about the abrupt reversion to Roman Catholicism. Knox and the new Church 'the Kirk' slowly reduced the authority of the Pope in Scotland. The Kirk was austere.  Soon Christmas and Easter were no longer observed. The influence of the parish ministers became paramount in lay as well as Church matters. This challenge was not the factionalism of truculent noblemen, but the more sustained assault of royal authority by a Church over which the crown had lost control. King James VI used the Presbytery courts to gradually extend an unprecedented means of intruding control into the localities. However, local society was itself in the throes of a major transformation. Lowland society was eroding the kin-ties that had traditionally bound local communities together and made the private justice of the feud both meaningful and workable
     The Scottish King Bruce was able to drive the English from the lowlands, leaving Stirling alone in English hands. Belatedly England's King Edward II then lavishly equipped an army and marched north to reenforce Stirling. At Bannock Burn (a deep,wet marsh) early on the 24th of June 1314, Bruce was outnumbered three to one but by noon, the English were in full flight. The unheard of had happened - little Scotland defeated the mighty England. However, peace was not to last. The two neighboring countries continued to wage war.
     The lowlanders were particularly devastated by the 300 years of war between England and Scotland. The common man was prohibited from owning land.  In reality he had NO property he could call his own. Not house nor field,  his livestock subject to plunder by armies, himself conscripted to service by his overlord, exorbitant taxes and tenant fees, guild/union rules limited entry into the trades. Beset on all sides by foes and grinding poverty were the crucible that refined his values. His loyalty was to family, not country, king nor overlord. Centuries of unjust abuse created a sense of contempt for law. He became a man born to unrelenting self reliance and independence. The lowlander's culture that defined them evolved about 200 years before the highlanders developed their defining culture.
     Meanwhile in the north-west, beyond the Highland line, life continued as it had for nearly 500 years. What happened in Edinburgh and the Anglicized Lowlands had little relevance. Here the Chief prevailed. He had the power of life and death, and he demanded absolute loyalty. The clan system was patriarchal rather than feudal. All who bore their chief's name like to believe themselves descended, as he was from the name-father of the clan.”Though poor, I am noble' ran an old saying.
     By the 16th century the armies of both countries had destroyed nearly all of Scotland's agricultural capabilities in all three border 'Marshes'...designated areas lying along the Scottish/English border.  Those entering the growing middle class tradesmen status were able to relocate further north into the larger cities. Those unable to migrate, adopted thievery as the only method for survival. They were known as 'Reivers' or sometimes as the riding clans. I should point out here that the lowlanders were families not clans in the Highland sense, rode horses and dressed appropriately. Clans, kilts, and chiefs are traits of the highlanders; however, the popularity of the highland myth has fueled a false identity now attributed to all Scotsmen.
     King James I of England who was also King James VI of Scotland inherited many problems; a divided country, beset with religious antagonism, growing debt and fractured peoples.  He instituted peace in the border (Reiver) area by use of the sword, rope and exile of the lawless ones, translated and distributed a new bible (1611 King James Bible) increased taxes, and created the Plantation of Ulster.
    The Ulster Plantation was a buffer zone to strengthen royal control of the North of Ireland from the generally hostile native Irish Roman Catholic population. The Earls of Tyrone and Tyrconnell fled Ireland and left the crown with the “escheated” lands of about six of the nine counties of Ulster. Antrim, Down, Fermanagh, Tyrone, Coleraine (renamed Londonderry) and Donegal. The English Protestants were not easily persuaded to migrate; however, the Lowland Scots were eager the make the move. It was the Lowlanders not Highlanders! He considered the Highlanders to be too wild and unruly. The early settlers were from the shires of Ayre, Dumfries, Renfrew, Dumbarton, Lanark, the Lothians and Berwick with a much small contingent from Aberdeen and Inverness. The Plantation was a real success. Prior to the Protestant migration, Ireland had been a very poor, primitive country. After a century of Protestant ascendancy, Ireland  (particularly Ulster) had become economically prosperous. By the year of 1717, the persecuted Presbyterians began a new migration. This time to the American Colonies. It is estimated that nearly a quarter of a million Scotch-Irish emigrated to America between 1717 and 1775. The early destinations were to Maryland, Delaware, and Massachusetts, but the majority congregated in Pennsylvania. From that base, some went south into Virginia, the Carolinas and across the South into the Appalachian region. Others went West into Ohio, Indiana and the Midwest or south down the Shenandoah valley.
    I'll close with a final migration to America: The Highlanders. The revolution of the 1715s and the 1745 (Jacobite Culloden Battle). The isolation and tribal character of this poverty-stricken society were destroyed in the Jacobite struggle for the throne of England and Scotland. The battle broke the clan system by destroying the old patriarchal links between the Chief and his clan. Legislation turned the surviving chiefs into mere landed proprietors with no responsibility for their clansmen. The account of persecuted Highlanders fleeing to N. Carolina immediately after the 45 is contradicted by a study of contemporary documents. The current studies show that the transformation of agriculture and the imposition of tax / rent was the motivation for the migration into the Carolinas. John Knox stated that 20,000 Highlanders left for America between 1763 and 1773. Thomas Garnett, estimated in 1800 that 30,000 had emigrated to America in the years 1773-1775. There were two major waves. The first, beginning in 1749 was stemmed in 1775 by the Revolutionary War. The second wave followed in the first half of the 19th century. The first wave was led by 'tacksmen' the second was spontaneous (or led by ships agents). the poverty of the migrants was attested to as they were so poor they could not pay their passage – becoming indentured in exchange for the fare. The Cape Fear records show that 691 Highlanders by name received land grants from the crown in the years of 1732 to 1775.                  

Ernestt481

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Re: History of Scottish People
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2014, 04:19:14 PM »
An excellent overview. Thank you Tom.

Donna

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Re: History of Scottish People
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2014, 12:03:54 AM »
Thank you Tom   :-*

Donna
ANY DAY ABOVE GROUND IS A GOOD DAY !

MICHAEL the Canadian

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Re: History of Scottish People
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2014, 10:30:04 AM »
Thank you Tom I love it. It was great to actually read an account of the beginning to the end to say. It was nice to read and be able to travel along in my mind with the history I know and to be able to connect let say cut and paste with what you wrote. Super thank you again.

Thomas Thompson

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Re: History of Scottish People
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2014, 02:48:31 PM »
The forum administrator is unable to create a separate history topic. Until I can devise a system for the home page this be the second article.  Several of our members voiced their approval of this project, but wanted to know; 'where did the Picts go?  I found the answer is a booklet by James Thompson.
          Royal Clans of Scotland, 1988 Scotpress, Bruceton Mills, 26525
   This is a brief book report. Please refer to the booklet for further details.
This book traces the origins of the clans whose chiefs claim to be directly descended from the royal houses of Scotland. It includes several instances where even long standing traditions do not match the facts.      The word clan is from Irish 'cland' which means children. The Celtic tradition is that a clan (or tribe) comprises the male descendants from a common forefather. This is nothing more than a pleasant historical fiction. The Irish system was strictly limited to blood descendants, but Scotland was an endless series of small valleys and long coastlines. The coastal areas supported a rising central authority, but the small valleys limited the size of the mountain clans. These chiefs found it essential to recruit manpower, needed for agriculture and war. They got the manpower by offering clan membership. Any person willing to follow a leader and fight for him could become a full-fledged clan member.  Among all the many true clans there are a few able to trace ancestries to royalty.  Some to early Scottish rulers, others from the O'Neill monarchs of Ireland and still more from the Norse Vikings.
    The history begins with the Roman accounts of the 'Picti' or painted men. The Picts-- we don't know what they called themselves may have been descendants of the Bronze Age. Nothing survives from the pre-Pictish period. There is no family that can show they are of Pictish origin. Since the end of the Pictish kingdom happened in historic times around 900 A.D., we know nothing happened to the Picts as a people. Their kings were probably were killed or fled, but the average Picts lives just continued. In a real sense, the Picts as a people are an illusion.
Chapter 3.  The monarchs of the Roman occupied period were the 'Votadini'. Their tribes were Welsh not Scottish. The Votadini occupied the east coast between Hadrian's and The Antonine Walls. (IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT AT THIS TIME THE INHABITANTS OF IRELAND WERE CALLED SCOTS, THE TERM IRISH DEVELOPING MUCH LATER.) The migration of the Votadini unbalanced the Scottish area they abandoned.  A number of independent rulers arose filling that power vacuum : kings of Edinburgh, the Lothians, and the Pennines. All of which passed quickly from history.
Chapter 4. There were no descents from the Pictish rulers of Albu; however, the Dal Riatans did leave records. The kings of Dal Riata were a cadet branch of the Royal House of Ireland. Founded by Fiachu, the Man of the Sea; younger son the the Irish High King Angus. Their capital was Dunseverick; however the little kingdom of Dal Riata was never a major force in Ireland. Later King Big Fergus transferred his capital from Ireland to the west coast of Argyll in about 498. From this base the three brothers and their descendants united the scattered Scottish settlements into an aggressive force against the Picts creating Scots land. To the north, the Kindred of Loarn ruled the modern Ardnamurchan, Lorn, Mull, Coll and Tiree. The least influential, the Kindred of Angus, held only Islay. The southern kingdom of Cowall, Bute, Arran Kintyre, and Jura was the land of the Kindred of Gabran, a grandson of Big Fergus. The Dal Riata army in Ireland was destroyed in 637. Unable to conquer the British kingdom on the Strathclyde He ended his reign in death on the field of Strathcarron in 642. Only the failure of the Picts to act saved Dal Riata from disaster. Kenneth mac Alpin finally and forever united the kingdoms of the Scots and Picts; his reign (843-858).  While Kenneth's family ruled the South of Scotland, the area north of the Dee was held by kindred of Loarn (monarchs of Moray). The Norse rulers of Orkney and Caithness spent decades trying to win Moray-- and ultimately failed. The wars resulted in the exploits of the celebrated King MacBeth (1040-1057).
Chapter 5. More than 20 chiefly families descended from Loarm. Clans Duff, MacIntosh, Abernethy and Wemyss. Several other clannish families trace their descent to Fife through cadet descent from the chiefs of MacIntosh. Clan Chattan members such as Shaw of Rothiemarchus, Farquharson of Invercauld, and MacThomas of Glenshee likewise claim descent from them. Four clan claim descent from King MacBeth: MacQuarrys, MacKinnons, MacMillians, and MacLennans, and possibly MacGregors.
Chapter 6. King Malcolm II of Dal Riata (1005-1034) had three daughters. The eldest married Crinan. Duncan, elder son of Crinan & Bethoc sired Clan Donnnachaidh and MacKays.
Chapter 7. The true pedigree of the Campbells begins with the grandfather of Gillespic, Duncan MacDuine in a charter of King David II in 1368. Somerled son of Gillebride led native forces in expelling the Norse King Godfrey of Man and the Isles. He also was the founder of the MacDougalls, MacDonalds, MacAlisters, Alexanders MacDonells, MacClains, MacRanalds, and others.
Chapter 8. The Viking age began in earnest in 794. About 874, King Harald I subdued the Hebrides, Shetland, and Orkney. Tradition is that descendents of the King of Denmark founded the Clans Gunn, MacLeod and Ross. This appears very doubtful, since the Rosses have a Celtic pedigree in the old genealogies, and the founder of the Gunns was a nobleman in the Orkneys, but not royal ancestry.
Chapter 9. In the 9th century the Scots replace the Picts rule. The seven provences were governed by a King (Earls) who only answered to the ruler of Scotland itself. Fofar & Kincardine, north and east Perth, southern Perth, Fife, Aberdeen and Banff, Iverness and Ross, north and south Cathness and Sutherland. Six of the Earls rose and were defeated by King Malcolm IV in 1160.
Chapter 10.An Irish O'Neill branch migrated to Scotland and founded Clans Lamonts, Sween, MacEwens, and MacNeils.
Chapter 11 (misnamed in the booklet). The Bruces themselves were not of royal blood, being descended from the Norman knight Robert. The Bruce dynasty lasted only 65 years.
Chapter 12. The Stewart monarchs failed to produce clans. Their legendary royal Celtic origin are pure myth. The Stewarts came from a race of professional administrators from Brittany.
For further reading: Burke's Peerage and Landed Gentry are both good starting placed for the researcher. ( there are subtle errors in both).

Donna

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Re: History of Scottish People
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2014, 06:10:44 PM »
Thank you, Tom, this is very interesting and I can't wait for the next
history lesson!
Donna
ANY DAY ABOVE GROUND IS A GOOD DAY !

MICHAEL the Canadian

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Re: History of Scottish People
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2014, 06:08:19 AM »
Super reading wow alot to let soak into the head, great reading, thank you

Thomas Thompson

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Re: History of Scottish People
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2015, 10:48:36 AM »
A bit of trivia from the Scotland Magazine;because not all of our members subscribe.

                                                            BURNING OF THE CLAVIE

    "The significance of the 11January dates back to the 1750s when the Julian calendar was reformed in Britain and the replacement Gregorian calendar was introduced. People rioted, demanding back their 11 days - but not in Burghead in Morayshire. Brochers decided to have the best of both worlds, by celebrating New Year twice - on 1 January and the 11January. And therefore, every 11 January, the flaming Clavie (a barrel full of staves) is carried around the town followed by a large crowd. The final destination is the Doorie Hill on the ramparts of the ancient fort, where the Clavie is firmly wedged and, after refueling, allowed to burn out and fall down the hill where the still smouldering embers are eagerly gathered. Possession of a piece of the Clavie is said to bring good luck for the coming year and pieces are sent around the world to exiled 'Brochers'."
   www.burghead.com/clavie.html

Tom

Thomas B. Thompson

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Re: History of Scottish People
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2015, 03:01:20 AM »
Fantastic history lesson. Thank you. :)

cheryllwith2ls

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Re: History of Scottish People
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2015, 10:27:04 PM »
How interesting! Thank you!
The best and most beautiful things cannot be seen or even heard. They must be felt with the heart. - Helen Keller

Thomas Thompson

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Re: History of Scottish People
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2015, 04:50:31 PM »
                                     THE TAKING OF THE STONE OF DESTINY
                                              by Ian Hamilton Q.C.

   Found an old (1952) book in a garage sale that I thought you might find interesting.
Ian was an unknown law student at Glasgow University until Christmas Eve 1950. On that night, 4 young Scots – Alan Stewart, Gavin Vernon, Kay Matheson and Ian took the Stone of Destiny from beneath the Coronation Chair in Westminster Abbey.
    He begins his story as a small boy who saw a picture of Wendy Wood in a sandwich board,
“England disgorges some of the Loot, but where is the Stone of Destiny?” Then, the ordinary Scot, as is true in America today, were taught little about their country's history. He had to rely on the old legends and Scottish folk stories passed down to his mother about the Stone of Destiny.
    It was supposed to be Jacob's pillow, on which he rested his head when he had the dream of the angels ascending and descending their heavenly ladder. Including the Gaelic rhyme:
                                 Unless the fates shall faithless prove,
                                 And prophets voice be vain.
                                 Where'er this sacred Stone is found,
                                 The Scottish race shall reign.
     The Scottish peoples had carried it with them as they migrated across Europe. All migrations take place westward, and the Celtic peoples thought so much of the Stone that they carried it with them as the symbol of their nationality wherever they went. It had been brought to Argyll before the time of Saint Columba, and how since then every King of Scotland had been crowned sitting on it, until it was carried south to London during Edward I's invasion or 1296. The 1320 Declaration of Arbroath declared that there had been 110 kings, and not one foreign born among them. When the English had been driven out, and the battles won, and the people's homes made secure, The English had promised
to return the Stone, and had broken their promise. That promise had been made by the treaty of Northamption in 1328.
   An empty chair speaks louder than a full house. Much louder than a full house if that House is a House of the Westminster Parliament. In fact, it just might speak loud enough to awaken the people of Scotland. For two thousand years The Stone had been the talisman of the Scottish people. It must be returned to Scotland!
   The secret group expected to be caught – it would be the crime of the century. Scotland Yard would sift every clue until it got their man. Wrong. Instead of using induction and deduction, in the scientific methods of criminal investigation; they conferred with a clairvoyant, and a water-diviner.  They might as well have used a bubbling pot, but the Glasgow Serious Crime squad were a different lot.
   With a loan of 10 Pounds, a reconnaissance was made in mid December. The Stone was contained in a box-like aperture under the Coronation Chair, which stood in Edward the Confessor's Chapel. The Stone itself was a block of rough-hewn sandstone twenty-six and three quarters long by ten and three quarters deep, by sixteen and three quarters broad. He estimated the weight to be about three hundred-weights; however, it was more than four. On either end were a length of chain ending in an iron ring.
    A few hours later, back in Glasgow they decided that Christmas Eve would provide the necessary distractions. The scheme was launched with very little additional planning. After being caught by a patrolling cop, they decided to carry on. The separation of a large chunk made it somewhat easier to drag the remaining chunk to the car. After fits and starts they had done it, but where to hide it?
  They found a few trees and a bit of grass large enough to cover it. Then off to Scotland if they could avoid Scotland yard's road blocks. The theft was a full front page headline and remained there for weeks. They decided to bring the Stone to Scotland over the New Year holiday, but when they got to the hiding place they found two gypsie caravans were camping on the Stone. After a long discussion over a fire, they explained that they need to get something out of the wood. It's not wrong, but it's illegal, and if we are caught we'll likely go to jail. The gypsy then said, “ You can't get it just now there's a local man there who isn't a gypsy at the next fire and you can't trust him.” “Shortly the stranger will be gone.”  When the gpsies saw the weight we were carrying, the two men rushed to our assistance, and would not take any money for their help. The Stone ended up in a packing crate in a Bonnyridge factory.
    The authorities finally caught the them. 

On the morning of 11 April 1951, they carried the Stone sown the grass-floored nave of the Abbey of Arbroath to the High Altar under the blue and white of Saltire:
     'For so long as one hundred of us remain alive we will yield in no least way to the domination
      of the English. We will fight not for glory nor for wealth nor for honours, but only and alone
      for freedom, which no good man surrenders but with his life.'


This adventure taught Ian that non-conformity in thought and deed is the only vital life. The individual is more important than the mass. Any single person can change history. Mps are the least effectual of citizens. Political parties are for sheep-minds.

The book was published by Lochar, Moffat, Scotland Ian Hamilton 1991.
   

Thomas Thompson

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Re: History of Scottish People
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2015, 09:28:12 PM »
During a review of Ulster Scots, we found a rather long article I thought our members might find interesting.


The Scots-Irish: The Thirteenth Tribe
Thanks to Raymond Campbell Paterson

 

"A man with God is always in the majority"
 John Knox

"I love Highlanders, and I love Lowlanders, but when I come to that branch of our race that has been grafted on to the Ulster stem I take off my hat in veneration and awe"
Lord Rosebery

Let us begin by asking a simple question-who are the Scots-Irish?  Simple questions very rarely have simple answers, and the answer to this one is more complex than most.  Much depends, moreover, on where in the world it is posed.  In Britain the term is virtually unknown, and most people would assume that it meant some kind of hybridisation between the Irish and the Scots.  Only the Protestant communities of Northern Ireland would generally recognise what is meant, though very few would now accept the designation for themselves, preferring to be described as British or Ulstermen.  Only in North America, where the term was invented, would one be likely to encounter an immediate recognition; but even here there are problems.  Many of the descendents of the original Scots-Irish settlers would happily wear kilts and tartan on commemorative days, though this would have been a shock to their ancestors, who took particular trouble to distance themselves from all things Celtic and Gaelic.  The task of this article is to attempt what is always a dangerous endeavour: the separation of myth and reality, and thus uncover the roots of one of the most remarkable branches of the Scottish-and Irish-race.

The story begins with an ending.  In March 1603, the same month that James VI of Scotland began James I of England and Ireland, the earls of Tyrone and Tyrconnell, chiefs of the O’Neills and the O’Donnells, the leading families of the ancient province of Ulster, surrender to the English.  Thus concluded the Nine Years War, the latest in a long line of struggles to arrest the steady expansion of English power in Ireland.  It was in Ulster that Celtic Ireland had made its last stand against a foreign invader, all the more unwelcome because he now came garbed in a cloak of militant Protestantism, a direct challenge to an ancient Catholic tradition.  It had been a particularly bitter struggle, and Ulster had been devastated.  The northeastern counties of Antrim and Down, within sight of the coast of Scotland, are described by contemporary writers as ‘all waste’.

For James the conclusion of the Nine Years War came as a welcome addition to his new glories; it also presented him with a problem and an opportunity.  As a man and a king he was no more sympathetic to Gaelic traditions and culture than his Tudor predecessors on the English throne.  While still King of Scots he had been preoccupied with the problems posed by his own minorities in the Highlands and Islands, whom he once described as ‘utterly barbarous.’  In the 1590s he had even sponsored a scheme of internal colonisation or plantation, handing over the island of Lewis to a party of Lowland adventurers.  These men were to bring civilisation and commerce to the western Isles, in a project that allowed for the wholesale extermination of the local Gaelic clans.  Faced with the widespread hostility of the Highland communities, the Lewis plantation was a costly failure: the idea, however, remained fixed in the royal mind.

In Ulster, unlike the Scottish Highlands, the local people had been severely demoralised.  Plantation was not a new idea in Ireland, but past schemes had achieved very little.  To begin with James showed little interest in a fresh project but for a series of unusual opportunities.  The first involved two rather shady Lowland opportunists, the kind of men all too attractive to the enterprising king.  James Hamilton was a university don and a spy; and Sir Hugh Montgomery, his partner, was an Ayrshire laird.  Together they helped Conn O’Neill, an Irish chieftain, escape from Carrickfergus Castle, where he had been imprisoned for rioting, and offered to obtain a royal pardon for him in return for a share of his substantial estates in Antrim and Down.  James, originally hostile to the proposal, became the fourth partner in the enterprise, no doubt amused by the audacity of Hamilton and Montgomery.  Both men proposed to bring over large parties of Scots Lowlanders to replenish the depopulated areas, thus reviving the hitherto discredited idea of plantation.  James now had a way of driving a Lowland, Protestant and English-speaking wedge into the heart of a Gaelic and Catholic world.  In granting Hamilton the territory of Upper Clandeboy and Great Ardes, James emphasised the intention "…of inhabiting the same, being now depopulated and wasted, with English and Scottish men; and the carrying of men, cattle, corn and all other commodities from England and Scotland into the said territories.  Also, to have liberty to alien [grant] to any English or Scottish men, or of English and Scottish name and blood, and not to have the mere Irish."

Ireland was formally an English possession, so it was important to emphasise English as well as Scottish settlement, though for reasons of geography and temperament, the new plantation was almost exclusively Scottish, as James himself clearly recognised it would be: ‘The Scots are a middle temper, between the English tender breeding and the Irish rude breeding and are a great deal more likely to adventure to plant Ulster than the English.’

Taking the lead of Montgomery and Hamilton, land hungry Scots crossed the North Channel in ever increasing numbers.  What they found would have daunted all but the hardiest spirits: ‘…parishes were now more wasted than America (when the Spanish landed there)…for in all those three parishes [Glenabbey, Donaghadee and Newtonards] thirty cabins could not be found, nor any stone walls, but ruined roofless churches, and a few vaults at Grey Abbey, and a stump of an old castle in Newton, in each of which some gentlemen sheltered themselves at their first coming over.’  But the land was good and largely unfarmed, as the native Irish economy had been pastoral rather than arable.  Settlers were also encouraged by the promise of long leases, far better than the unfavourable terms in their native Scotland, where short leases acted as a disincentive to good husbandry and improvements.  Plantation, the Scots were soon to show, could be made to work, especially when it was supported by adequate military force.

A second and more significant opportunity came in September 1607.  Although Hugh O’Neil, Earl of Tyrone, and Hugh O’Donnell, Earl of Tyrconnel, had made their peace with the government some years before, they had been subject to almost continual harassment by the Dublin authorities.  Fearing for their safety, the two chiefs left for the continent, never to return, an episode famous in Irish history as ‘The Flight of the Earls.’  James now had huge territories in central and western Ulster: Hamilton and Montgomery’s free enterprise scheme was supplemented by the Plantation of Ulster.  Land was granted to men known as ‘undertakers’, who pledged themselves to bring over settlers from England and Scotland; only the more inferior lands were to be allotted to the native Irish.  This time more English settlers began to make an appearance, though they continued to be numerically weaker than their Scottish cousins.  This is hardly surprising: England was richer and far more settled than Scotland, and Ireland remained a dangerous frontier.  Native Irish chieftains, deeply resentful of their changing circumstances, took to the wilds as outlaws, and as ‘woodkernes’ represented a real threat to the more isolated settlers, many of whom were wiped out in midnight raids.  The descendants of the Scots migrants were later to face a similar threat on the American frontier.  While the Irish raiders were tough, the Scots were even tougher.  Many of the early migrants came from the Scottish borders, men with names like Armstrong, Bell and Elliot, where they had been hardened in an age-old struggle with the English.

Despite the woodkerns-and the wolves-the Plantation survived and prospered.  In 1634 Sir William Brereton, in a journey through Ayrshire noted that: ‘Above the thousand persons have, within the last two years past, left the country wherein they lived…and are gone for Ireland.  They have come by one hundred in company through the town, and three hundred have gone on hence together, shipped for Ireland at one tide…" By 1640 it is estimated that as many as 100,000 Scots had settled in Ulster compared with some 20,000 migrants from England.

As well as new modes of farming the Scots brought a strict Calvinist doctrine, which by the late 1630s was taking a firmly Presbyterian shape, as opposed to the episcopacy favoured by the king.  Later in the century an Anglican opponent of the puritans detailed the impact of Scottish Presbyterianism on Ulster:

"Hereupon followed the plantation of Ulster, first undertaken by the city of London, who fortified Coleraine and built Londonderry, and purchased many thousand acres of land in the parts adjoining.  But it was carried on more vigorously, as most unfortunately withal, by some adventurers of the Scottish nation who poured themselves into this country as the richer soil; and, though they were sufficiently industrious in improving their own fortunes there, and setting up preaching in all churches wheresoever they fixed, yet whether it happened for the better or the worse, the event hath showed.  For they brought with them hither such a stock of Puritanism, such as contempt of bishops, such a neglect of the public liturgy, and other divine offices of this church, that there was nothing less to be found amongst them than the government and forms of worship established in the church of England."

Charles I, James son and successor, in attempting to force Scotland to accept the English forms of worship, took a path that led directly to the Civil Wars.  This had a profound effect on the Protestant settlers in Ulster.  Although the Scots had originally been made welcome by the English Lord Deputy in Dublin, their enthusiasm for Presbyterianism made them politically suspect.  Confronted by official hostility they faced an even greater threat in 1641 when the native Irish rose in revolt, venting years of frustration on the bewildered and badly frightened settlers.

The colony survived, though it entered a prolonged period of stagnation and crisis, which only really came to an end with the defeat of the Catholic Jacobites in the war of 1689-1691.  During the wars the Ulster Scots had played a full part, assisting, amongst other things, in the famous siege of Londonderry.  Among their rewards they could expect, at the very least, a measure of religious toleration: after all, the revolution settlement had at last conceded the right of Scotland to a Presbyterian church after years of Stewart persecution.  But the Ulster Presbyterians were in caught in a paradox: though the reign of William of Orange brought a measure of calm, they were still subject to a religious establishment in Dublin, which remained strictly Anglican in outlook. During the reign of Queen Anne the Presbyterians, though part of the victorious Protestant party, were to find themselves just as outcast as their despised Catholic neighbours.

The successive wars had the effect of once again depopulating the fields of Ulster: many of the original settlers had been killed or had returned to Scotland for their own safety.  An appeal was made for fresh settlers, with twenty-year farm leases being held out as bait.  Thus began the last great wave of Scots migration to Ulster.  In the decade up to 1700 an estimated 50,000 people made the crossing.  Politically this last wave was among the most significant, especially for the future of America and the creation of that unique outlook that was in time to be known as Scots-Irish.

By 1707, the year that the Scottish parliament merged with its English cousin, the Protestant colony of Ulster was a hundred years old.  The differences that had existed between the original settlers, whither Scots or English, had largely ceased to exist.  It is now possible to discover a distinct Protestant Ulster identity, recognisably unique and distinct from the sources of origin.  With the absence of outmoded feudalism, still present in Scotland, looser kinship ties, and a freer labour market the Ulster Protestants began to develop in an unanticipated direction.  If anything religion provided the common bond, rather than race, uniting dissenters of differing faiths, though it is also true to say that the Scots settlers had acquired a cultural domination over their English counterparts.  Though loyal to the crown, they were a people who, through decades of adversity, had become self reliant, and never quite lost the feeling that they were surrounded by a hostile world: ‘They learned from hard experience’, one commentator noted ‘that one must fight for what he has; that turning the other cheek does not guarantee property rights; in short, that might is right, at least in the matter of life and land ownership.’ In the early years of the eighteenth century they found themselves once again under attack, though this time from a totally unexpected direction.

In 1704 the government of Queen Anne, dominated by the Anglican High Church party, passed an act that had a direct bearing on the Ulster Scots.  All office holders were obliged to take communion in the Established Church, a measure which at a single stroke virtually wiped out much of the civil administration in the north of Ireland.  It was even seriously suggested that Presbyterian ministers could be brought before Anglican church courts, charged with fornicating with their own wives.  The worst features of the new legislation was removed by the Toleration Act of 1719, but the damage had been done, and full discrimination against the Presbyterians was not finally ended until the middle of the nineteenth century.  The irony and unfairness of the new policy was pointed out, amongst others, by Daniel Defoe, the author of Robinson Crusoe:

‘It seems somewhat hard, and savours of the most scandalous ingratitude, that the very people who drank deepest of the popish fury, and were the most vigorous to show their zeal and their courage in opposing tyranny and popery, and on the foot of forwardness and valour the Church of Ireland recovered herself from her low condition, should now be requited with so injurious a treatment as to be linked with the very Papists they fought against…There will certainly be no encouragement to the Dissenters to join with their brethren the next time the Papists shall please to take arms and attempt their throats.  Not but they may be fools enough as they always were to stand in the gap.’

The Ulster Presbyterians had endured-and survived-past waves of religious discrimination, and would most likely have continued to thrive in the face of official hostility.  But in the early years of the new century they were faced with an additional challenge, one that threatened the whole basis of their economic existence in Ireland.  By 1710 most of the farm leases granted to the settlers in the 1690s had expired; new leases were withheld until the tenants agreed to pay greatly increased rents, which many could simply not afford to do.  Rather than submit to these new conditions whole communities, led by their ministers, began to take ship for the Americas: a new exodus was about to begin.  In 1719, the year after the first great wave moved west, Archbishop William King wrote an account of the migration from Ulster, pinpointing the real source of the upheaval:

‘Some would insinuate that this in some measure is due to the uneasiness dissenters have in the matter of religion, but this is plainly a mistake; for dissenters were never more easy as to that matter than they had been since the Revolution [of 1688] and are at present; and yet never thought of leaving the kingdom, till oppressed by the excessive rents and other temporal hardships: nor do any dissenters leave us, but proportionally of all sorts, except Papists.  The truth is this: after the Revolution, most of the kingdom was waste, and abandoned of people destroyed in the war: the landlords therefore were glad to get tenants at any rate, and let their lands at very easy rents; they invited abundance of people to come over here, especially from Scotland, and they lived here very happily ever since; but now their leases are expired, and they are obliged not only to give what they paid before the Revolution, but in most places double and in many places treble, so that it is impossible for people to live or subsist on their farms.’

As the years passed thousands of people crossed the Atlantic from Ulster, just as their ancestors had crossed the North Channel from Scotland a century or more before.  However, by 1750 the pace of migration began to slow, as relatively normal conditions returned to Ulster after years of economic dislocation.  The period of calm was all too brief.  In 1771 a fresh wave of migration began, once again induced by the greed of the landlords, which was arguably to have serious consequences for the security of the British Empire in North America.  Faced with a fresh series of rent hikes, local people at first mounted some resistance, gathered together in an organisation known as the Hearts of Steel; but the landlords had the law and the army on their side.  In the short period left before the outbreak of the American Revolution a further 30,000 Ulstermen left for the colonies, joining some 200,000 who had already made their homes there earlier in the century.  The contemporary image of the Ulster Protestant is most commonly that of the Orangeman, with all of his exaggerated loyalty to Britain and the Crown.  For the dispossessed of the 1770s the opposite was true: they had lost everything, and came to America with an intense hostility towards all things British.

For the original Quaker and Puritan settlers of the thirteen colonies, largely English in origin, the emigrants of Ulster, an increasingly common sight, were usually described as ‘Irish.’   To counter this misconception the newcomers adopted the older description of ‘Scots’.  It was in this semantic exchange that a new breed took shape: they were the ‘Scots-Irish.’  For many years these people had lived on a frontier in Ireland, and it seemed natural for them to push on to a new frontier, where land was both plentiful and cheap, introducing a new urgency and dynamism into a rather complacent colonial society.  Before long these ‘backwoodsmen’, distrustful of all authority and government, had established a hold on the western wilderness, fighting Indians and wolves in much the same way that they had once fought wolves and woodkern.  In Pennsylvania the Scots-Irish established an almost complete domination of the outer reaches of the old Quaker colony.  It was a dangerous life, but one which has established a lasting image in American history and folklore:

‘He was a farmer so far as was needful and practicable out of the reach of all markets, though as often as not his corn was planted and his grass mown, with the long-barrelled short-stocked ponderous small-bore rifle upon which his life so often hung, placed ready and loaded against a handy stump.  What sheep he could protect from the bears and the wolves, together with a patch of flax, provided his family with covering and clothing.  Swarthy as an Indian and almost as sinewy, with hair falling to his shoulders from beneath a coon-skin cap, a buck-skin hunting shirt tied at his waist, his nether man was encased in an Indian breach-clout, and his feet clad in deer-skin and moccasins.’

With the outbreak of the Revolution in 1775 the Scots-Irish, in interesting contrast to many of their Scottish cousins, were among the most determined adherents of the rebel cause.  Their frontier skills were particularly useful in destroying Burgoyne’s army in the Saratoga campaign; and George Washington was even moved to say that if the cause was lost everywhere else he would take a last stand among the Scots-Irish of his native Virginia.  Serving in the British Army, Captain Johann Henricks, one of the much despised ‘Hessians’, wrote in frustration ‘Call it not an American rebellion, it is nothing more than an Irish-Scotch Presbyterian Rebellion.’  It was their toughness, virility and sense of divine mission that was to help give shape to a new nation, supplying it with such diverse heroes as Davy Crocket and Andrew Jackson.  They were indeed God’s frontiersmen, the real historical embodiment of the lost tribe of Israel.

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