Ulster Scots people

Last updated

Ulster-Scots
Scots-Irish, Ulstèr-Scotch
Regions with significant populations
United States
Northern Ireland
Republic of Ireland
Languages
Ulster English, Ulster Scots,
Scots Gaelic (small numbers historically)
Religion
Mainly Presbyterian, some Church of Ireland and other Protestant denominations
Related ethnic groups

The Ulster Scots (Ulster-Scots: Ulstèr-Scotch; Irish : Albanaigh Uladh), also called Ulster Scots people (Ulstèr-Scotch fowk) [6] or (in North America) Scotch-Irish (Scotch-Airisch [7] ), are an ethnic group [8] [9] [10] [11] in Ireland, found mostly in the province of Ulster and to a lesser extent in the rest of Ireland. Their ancestors were mostly Protestant Presbyterian Lowland Scottish settlers, [12] the largest numbers coming from Galloway, Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, Ayrshire and the Scottish Borders including nearby parts of Northern England, with others coming from further north in the Scottish Lowlands and, to a much lesser extent, from the Highlands. Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. The majority of people living in Northern Ireland are British or Irish citizens.

Contents

The Ulster Scots migrated to Ireland in large numbers both as a result of the government-sanctioned Plantation of Ulster, a planned process of colonisation which took place under the auspices of James VI of Scotland and I of England on land confiscated from members of the Gaelic nobility of Ireland who fled Ulster, and as part of a larger migration or unplanned wave of settlement.

Ulster Scots emigrated onwards from Ireland in significant numbers to what is now the United States and to all corners of the then-worldwide British Empire—what are now Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, the West Indies, to British India and to a lesser extent to Argentina and Chile.[ citation needed ] Scotch-Irish (or Scots-Irish) is a traditional term for Ulster Scots who emigrated to America. [13]

History

Early development

Royal Standard of Ireland from 1542 to 1801 Royal Standard of Ireland (1542-1801).svg
Royal Standard of Ireland from 1542 to 1801
Traditional provincial Flag of Ulster Flag of Ulster.svg
Traditional provincial Flag of Ulster
Scottish Saltire (St Andrew's Cross) Flag of Scotland.svg
Scottish Saltire (St Andrew's Cross)
Flag of England (St George's Cross) Flag of England.svg
Flag of England (St George's Cross)

The first major influx of border English and Lowland Scots into Ulster came in the first two decades of the 17th century.

First, before the Plantation of Ulster and even before the Flight of the Earls, there was the 1606 independent Scottish settlement in east Down and Antrim. It was led by adventurers James Hamilton and Sir Hugh Montgomery, two Ayrshire lairds. Montgomery was granted half of King of Tír Eógain Conn O'Neill's land, the largest and most powerful Gaelic lordship in Ireland, as a reward for helping him escape from English captivity. Hamilton forced himself in on this deal when he discovered it and, after three years of bickering, the final settlement gave Hamilton and Montgomery each one-third of the land. [14] [ failed verification ]

Starting in 1609, Scots began arriving into state-sponsored settlements as part of the Plantation of Ulster. This scheme was intended to confiscate all the lands of the Gaelic Irish nobility in Ulster and to settle the province with Protestant Scottish and English colonists. Under this scheme, a substantial number of Scots were settled, mostly in the south and west of Ulster, on confiscated land. [ citation needed ]

While many of the Scottish planters in Ulster came from southwest Scotland, a large number came from the southeast, including the unstable regions right along the border with England (the Scottish Borders and Northumberland). These groups were from the Borderers or Border Reivers culture, which had familial links on both sides of the Anglo-Scottish border. The plan was that moving these Borderers to Ireland would both solve the Borders problem and tie down Ulster. This was of particular concern to James VI of Scotland when he became King of England, since he knew Scottish instability could jeopardise his chances of ruling both kingdoms effectively. [15]

During the Irish Rebellion of 1641, the native Irish gentry attempted to extirpate the English and Scottish settlers in revenge for being driven off their ancestral land, resulting in severe violence, massacres and ultimately leading to the deaths of between four and six thousand settlers over the winter of 1641–42. [16] Native Irish civilians were massacred in return. [17] By 1642, native Irish were in de facto control of much of the island under a Confederate Ireland, with about a third under the control of the opposition. However, many Ulster-Scots Presbyterians joined with the Irish in rebellion and aided them in driving the English out. [18] [19] [ failed verification ]

The Ulster-Scottish population in Ireland was quite possibly[ weasel words ] preserved from complete annihilation[ peacock term ] during the subsequent Irish Confederate Wars, when a Scottish Covenanter army was landed in the province to protect the Ulster-Scottish settlers from native Irish landowners.[ citation needed ] The war itself, part of the Wars of the Three Kingdoms, ended in the 1650s, with the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland. At the head of the army, Oliver Cromwell conquered all of Ireland. Defeating the Irish Confederates and English Royalists on behalf of the English Parliamentarians, he and his forces employed methods and inflicted casualties among the civilian Irish population that have long been commonly considered by contemporary sources, historians and the popular culture to be outside of the accepted military ethics of the day (see more on the debate here). After the Cromwellian war in Ireland was over, many of their soldiers settled permanently in eastern Ulster. [20]

Under the Act of Settlement 1652, all Catholic-owned land was confiscated and the British Plantations in Ireland, which had been destroyed by the rebellion of 1641, were restored. However, due to the Scots' enmity to the English Parliament in the final stages of the English Civil War, English settlers rather than Scots were the main beneficiary of this scheme.[ citation needed ]

There was a generation of calm in Ireland until another war broke out in 1689, again due to political conflict closely aligned with ethnic and religious differences. The Williamite war in Ireland (1689–91) was fought between Jacobites who supported the restoration of the Catholic James II to the throne of England and Williamites who supported the Protestant William of Orange. The majority of the Protestant colonists throughout Ireland but particularly in Ulster, fought on the Williamite side in the war against the Jacobites. The fear of a repeat of the massacres of 1641, fear of retribution for religious persecution, as well as their wish to hold on to lands which had been confiscated from Catholic landowners, were all principal motivating factors.[ citation needed ]

The Williamite forces, composed of British, Dutch, Huguenot and Danish armies, as well as troops raised in Ulster, [21] [22] ended Jacobite resistance by 1691, confirming the Protestant minority's monopoly on power in Ireland. Their victories at Derry, the Boyne and Aughrim are still commemorated by the Orange Order into the 21st century.

Finally, another major influx of Scots into northern Ireland occurred in the late 1690s, when tens of thousands of people fled a famine in Scotland to come to Ulster. [23] [24]

It was only after the 1690s that Scottish settlers and their descendants, the majority of whom were Presbyterian, gained numeric superiority in Ulster, though still a minority in Ireland as a whole. Along with Catholics, they were legally disadvantaged by the Penal Laws, which gave full rights only to members of the Church of Ireland (the Anglican state church), who were mainly Anglo-Irish (themselves often absentee landlords), native Irish converts or the descendants of English settlers. For this reason, up until the 19th century, there was considerable disharmony between Dissenters and the ruling Protestant Ascendancy in Ireland. With the enforcement of Queen Anne's 1703 Test Act, which caused further discrimination against all who did not participate in the established church, considerable numbers of Ulster-Scots migrated to the colonies in British America throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. [25] In fact, these 'Scots-Irish' from Ulster and Lowland Scotland comprised the most numerous group of immigrants from Great Britain and Ireland to the American colonies in the years prior the American Revolution, with an estimated 150,000 leaving northern Ireland at the time. [15]

Towards the end of the 18th century, many Ulster-Scots Presbyterians ignored religious differences and, along with many Catholic Gaelic Irish, joined the United Irishmen to participate in the Irish Rebellion of 1798 in support of republican and egalitarian ideals. [26]

Scots-Irish

Andrew Jackson, seventh President of the United States, was the first of Scots-Irish extraction. Andrew Jackson.jpg
Andrew Jackson, seventh President of the United States, was the first of Scots-Irish extraction.

Just a few generations after arriving in Ulster, considerable numbers of Ulster-Scots emigrated to the North American colonies of Great Britain. Between 1717 and 1775, an estimated 200,000 migrated to what became the United States of America. [27] Around the same time, the British took control of the territory of New France, allowing many Ulster-Scots to migrate to these areas as well. These people are known as the Scotch-Irish Canadians.

In the United States Census of 2000, 4.3 million Americans (1.5% of the population of the United States) claimed Scotch-Irish ancestry. Author and former United States Senator Jim Webb suggests that the true number of people with some Scots-Irish heritage in the United States is more—over 27 million—possibly because contemporary Americans with some Scotch-Irish heritage may regard themselves as either Irish, Scottish, or simply American instead. [28] [29] [30]

Culture

Over the centuries, Ulster Scots culture has contributed to the unique character of the counties in Northern Ireland. The Ulster Scots Agency points to industry, language, music, sport, religion and myriad traditions brought to Ulster from the Scottish lowlands. In particular, the origin of country and Western music was extensively from Ulster Scots folk music, in addition to English, German, and African-American styles.

The cultural traditions and aspects of this culture including its links to country music are articulated in David Hackett Fischer's book, Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America . In 2010's documentary The Hamely Tongue, filmmaker Deaglán O Mocháin traces back the origins of this culture and language, and relates its manifestations in today's Ireland. The film's title refers to James Fenton's book, The Hamely Tongue: A personal record of Ulster-Scots in County Antrim.

Most Ulster Scots speak Ulster English as a first language. Ulster Scots is the local dialect of the Lowland Scots language which has, since the 1980s, also been called "Ullans", a portmanteau neologism popularised by the physician, amateur historian and politician Dr Ian Adamson, [31] merging Ulster and Lallans —the Scots for "Lowlands" [32] —but also an acronym for "Ulster-Scots language in literature and native speech". [33]

Hereditary disease

The North American ancestry of the X-linked form of the genetic disease congenital nephrogenic diabetes insipidus has been traced to Ulster Scots who travelled to Nova Scotia in 1761 on the ship Hopewell. [34]

See also

Related Research Articles

Northern Ireland Part of the United Kingdom situated on the island of Ireland

Northern Ireland is a part of the United Kingdom that is variously described as a country, province, territory or region. Located in the northeast of the island of Ireland, Northern Ireland shares a border to the south and west with the Republic of Ireland. In 2011, its population was 1,810,863, constituting about 30% of the island's population and about 3% of the UK's population. The Northern Ireland Assembly, established by the Northern Ireland Act 1998, holds responsibility for a range of devolved policy matters, while other areas are reserved for the British government. Northern Ireland co-operates with the Republic of Ireland in several areas.

Ulster Traditional province in the north of Ireland

Ulster is one of the four traditional Irish provinces, in the north of Ireland. It is made up of nine counties: six of these constitute Northern Ireland ; the remaining three are in the Republic of Ireland.

Irish Confederate Wars Ethno-religious conflict within Ireland between 1641 and 1653

The Irish Confederate Wars, also called the Eleven Years' War, took place in Ireland between 1641 and 1653. It was the Irish theatre of the Wars of the Three Kingdoms, a series of civil wars in the kingdoms of Ireland, England and Scotland – all ruled by Charles I. The conflict had political, religious and ethnic aspects and was fought over governance, land ownership, religious freedom and religious discrimination. The main issues were whether Irish Catholics or British Protestants held most political power and owned most of the land, and whether Ireland would be a self-governing kingdom under Charles I or subordinate to the parliament in England. It was the most destructive conflict in Irish history and caused 200,000–600,000 deaths from fighting as well as war-related famine and disease.

Plantation of Ulster 17th century colonisation of northern Ireland

The Plantation of Ulster was the organised colonisation (plantation) of Ulster – a province of Ireland – by people from Great Britain during the reign of King James I. Most of the settlers came from southern Scotland and northern England; their culture differed from that of the native Irish. Small privately-funded plantations by wealthy landowners began in 1606, while the official plantation began in 1609. Most of the colonised land was stolen from the native Gaelic chiefs, several of whom had fled Ireland for mainland Europe in 1607 following the Nine Years' War against English rule. The official plantation comprised an estimated half a million acres (2,000 km²) of arable land in counties Armagh, Cavan, Fermanagh, Tyrone, Tyrconnell and Londonderry. Land in counties Antrim, Down and Monaghan was privately colonised with the king's support.

Wars of the Three Kingdoms Civil wars in England, Ireland, and Scotland (1638–1651)

The Wars of the Three Kingdoms, sometimes known as the British Civil Wars, were an intertwined series of conflicts that took place between 1639 and 1653 in the Kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland – separate kingdoms which had the same king, Charles I. The wars were fought mainly over issues of governance and religion, and included rebellions, civil wars and invasions. The English Civil War has become the best-known of these conflicts. It ended with the English parliamentarian army defeating all other belligerents, the execution of the King, the abolition of the monarchy, and the founding of the Commonwealth of England; a unitary republic which controlled the British Isles until 1660.

The Irish Rebellion of 1641 was an uprising by Irish Catholics in the Kingdom of Ireland, who wanted an end to anti-Catholic discrimination, greater Irish self-governance, and to partially or fully reverse the plantations of Ireland. They also wanted to prevent a possible invasion or takeover by anti-Catholic English Parliamentarians and Scottish Covenanters, who were defying the king, Charles I. It began as an attempted coup d'état by Catholic gentry and military officers, who tried to seize control of the English administration in Ireland. However, it developed into a widespread rebellion and ethnic conflict with English and Scottish Protestant settlers, leading to Scottish military intervention. The rebels eventually founded the Irish Catholic Confederacy.

Act for the Settlement of Ireland 1652 English law that punished participants in the Irish Rebellion of 1641

The Act for the Setling of Ireland imposed penalties including death and land confiscation against participants and bystanders of the Irish Rebellion of 1641 and subsequent unrest.

Tudor conquest of Ireland War of conquest by the Tudor kings of England

The Tudor conquestof Ireland took place under the Tudor dynasty, which held the Kingdom of England during the 16th century. Following a failed rebellion against the crown by Silken Thomas, the Earl of Kildare, in the 1530s, Henry VIII was declared King of Ireland in 1542 by statute of the Parliament of Ireland, with the aim of restoring such central authority as had been lost throughout the country during the previous two centuries. Several people who helped establish the Plantations of Ireland also played a part later in the early colonisation of North America, particularly a group known as the West Country men.

Plantations of Ireland History of British colonisation of Ireland

Scotch-IrishAmericans are American descendants of Ulster Protestants who immigrated from Ulster in northern Ireland to America during the 18th and 19th centuries, whose ancestors had originally migrated mainly from the Scottish Lowlands and Northern England. In the 2017 American Community Survey, 5.39 million reported Scottish ancestry, an additional 3 million identified more specifically with Scotch-Irish ancestry, and many people who claim "American ancestry" may actually be of Scotch-Irish ancestry.

Scottish Americans or Scots Americans are Americans whose ancestry originates wholly or partly in Scotland. Scottish Americans are closely related to Scotch-Irish Americans, descendants of Ulster Scots, and communities emphasize and celebrate a common heritage. The majority of Scotch-Irish Americans originally came from Lowland Scotland and Northern England before migrating to the province of Ulster in Ireland and thence, beginning about five generations later, to North America in large numbers during the eighteenth century.

History of Ireland (1536–1691)

Ireland during the period 1536–1691 saw the first full conquest of the island by England and its colonization with Protestant settlers from Great Britain. This established two central themes in future Irish history: subordination of the country to London-based governments and sectarian animosity between Catholics and Protestants. The period saw Irish society transform from a locally driven, intertribal, clan-based Gaelic structure to a centralised, monarchical, state-governed society, similar to those found elsewhere in Europe. The period is bounded by the dates 1536, when King Henry VIII deposed the FitzGerald dynasty as Lords Deputies of Ireland, and 1691, when the Irish Catholic Jacobites surrendered at Limerick, thus confirming British Protestant dominance in Ireland. This is sometimes called the early modern period.

The Scottish diaspora consists of Scottish people who emigrated from Scotland and their descendants. The diaspora is concentrated in countries such as the United States, Canada, Australia, England, New Zealand, Ireland and to a lesser extent Argentina, Chile and Brazil.

Formation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

The formation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland has involved personal and political union across Great Britain and the wider British Isles. The United Kingdom is the most recent of a number of sovereign states that have been established in Great Britain at different periods in history, in different combinations and under a variety of polities. Historian Norman Davies has counted sixteen different states over the past 2,000 years.

Portadown massacre Massacre of Protestants during the 1641 Irish Rebellion

The Portadown massacre took place in November 1641 at Portadown, County Armagh, during the Irish Rebellion of 1641. Irish Catholic rebels, likely under the command of Toole McCann, killed about 100 Ulster Protestants by forcing them off the bridge into the River Bann, and shooting those who tried to swim to safety. The Protestant settlers were being marched east from a prison camp at Loughgall. This was the biggest massacre of Protestants during the rebellion, and one of the bloodiest during the Irish Confederate Wars. The Portadown massacre, and others like it, terrified Protestants in Ireland and Great Britain, and were used to justify the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland and later to lobby against Catholic rights.

Protestantism in Ireland Religious community

Protestantism is a Christian minority on the island of Ireland. In the 2011 census of Northern Ireland, 48% (883,768) described themselves as Protestant, which was a decline of approximately 5% from the 2001 census. In the 2011 census of the Republic of Ireland, 4.27% of the population described themselves as Protestant. In the Republic, Protestantism was the second largest religious grouping until the 2002 census in which they were exceeded by those who chose "No Religion". Some forms of Protestantism existed in Ireland in the early 16th century before the English Reformation, but demographically speaking these were very insignificant and the real influx of Protestantism began only with the spread of the English Reformation to Ireland. The Church of Ireland was established by King Henry VIII of England, who had himself proclaimed as King of Ireland.

Presbyterian Church in Ireland

The Presbyterian Church in Ireland is the largest Presbyterian denomination in the Republic of Ireland, and the largest Protestant denomination in Northern Ireland. Like most Christian churches in Ireland, it is organised on an all-island basis, in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The church has approximately 225,000 members.

Scottish people Ethnic group native to Scotland

The Scottish people or Scots are a nation and ethnic group native to Scotland. Historically, they emerged from an amalgamation of two Celtic-speaking peoples, the Picts and Gaels, who founded the Kingdom of Scotland in the 9th century. Pictish-Gaels were then displaced by Viking settlers to the north and west, who in turn became Norse-Gaels, and, becoming Gaelicised by the 13th century, left a Norse legacy in places such as the Hebrides.

Ulster Protestants are an ethnoreligious group in the Irish province of Ulster, where they make up about 43% of the population. Many Ulster Protestants are descendants of settlers who arrived from Britain in the early 17th century Ulster Plantation. This was the colonisation of the Gaelic, Catholic province of Ulster by Scots and English speaking Protestants, mostly from the Scottish Lowlands and Northern England. Many more Scottish Protestant migrants arrived in Ulster in the late 17th century. Those who came from Scotland were mostly Presbyterians, while those from England were mostly Anglicans. There is also a small Methodist community and the Methodist Church in Ireland dates to John Wesley's visit to Ulster in 1752. Although most Ulster Protestants descend from Lowland Scots and English, some also descend from Irish, Welsh and Huguenots.

Scottish-Irish Canadians are those who are Ulster Scots or those who have Ulster Scots ancestry who live in or were born in Canada. Ulster Scots are Lowland Scots and Northern English people who immigrated to the Irish Province of Ulster from the early 17th century after the accession of James I to the English throne. This was known as the Plantation of Ulster.

References

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