Historic relocation of Scots to Ireland

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Xenophon PCDGS, 7 Sep 2019.

  1. Xenophon PCDGS

    Xenophon PCDGS Veteran Member

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    It may be useful to this thread if one of our forum members well versed in historical matters would explain the reason why it was deemed politic for many people from Scotland to relocate to Ulster some hundreds of years ago.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 8 Sep 2019
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  3. krus_aragon

    krus_aragon Established Member

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    I may not be that well versed in the relevant historical matters, but I can give it a go...
    • Henry VIII claimed Lordship over Ireland, in much the same way that many of his Plantaganet predecessors had claimed the Kingship of all France. He established control of an area around Dublin known as the Pale. He had little control of areas outside this region (or "beyond the pale" ).
    • While England, Wales and Scotland largely converted to Protestantism during the Tudor and Stewart era, Ireland remained resolutely Catholic.
    • Over the next century, the English crown confiscated land in many areas of Ireland, and brought in loyal workers to live there, in a method known as plantation. The most successful of these was the Plantation of Ulster (mainly with English-speaking protestants). Making Ulster a more English-speaking area served to cut-off the Gaelic speaking areas of Ireland and Scotland.
    • Evictions and fears of an anti-Catholic invasion of Ireland prompted an uprising in 1641. The fallout of this uprising help bring about the English Civil War. After that war was resolved (by the execution of Charles I), Oliver Cromwell led an army to Ireland and re-conquered it.
    • Severe crackdowns and curtailments on the rights of Irish natives were introduced, similar in many ways to those imposed on Wales by Edward I. The difference in religion (as well as language) meant that these laws remained in force for much longer than in Wales: Henry VIII gave the Welsh equal rights when he merged England and Wales, this never happened in Ireland.
    • While the Glorious Revolution of 1688 that deposed the catholic James II in favour of the protestant Willam and Mary was largely bloodless (and thus glorious) in England, it led to war between catholic Jacobites and protestant Williamites in northern Ireland. Williamite victories in the siege of Derry and the Battle of the Boyne are commemorated by members of the Orange Order to this day.
    • Having deposed James II, catholics of any nationality were forbidden from inheriting the throne of England/Ireland/Britain from 1701 until 2013(!)
    • The Act of Union 1800 brought England & Wales, Scotland and Ireland together as one nation. Emancipation and equal rights for Irish catholics were promised and anticipated, but for various reasons it got kicked into the long grass. Little happened until 1829 (when Catholics were permitted to become MPs), but the years of waiting for action had disillusioned many in Ireland.
    • Irish Home Rule became an increasingly important issue in the Victorian era, advocated by Charles Stewart Parnell and the Irish Parliamentary Party. This was fiercely opposed by the Protestant/Anglican popuulation of Belfast and Ulster, who faced becoming a minority in a restored (and emancipated) Irish Parliament.
    • A Home Rule Act was finally passed in 1914, but its implementation delayed due to the Great War. Growing frustration and distrust between the Ulster Volunteers and Irish Volunteers (opposing paramilitary forces) led to the Easter Rising in 1916. The Rising was not very widely supported among the general population, but the British reaction after quelling the rebellion (executing the leaders of the Rising) turned Irish public opinion against the British.
    • The Government of Ireland Act of 1920 created two parliaments for Ireland, one in the North (for Ulster) and one in the South (for the rest of Ireland). The Southern Parliament was never formed, as it was overtaken by events in Ireland, as the Sinn Fein had formed a breakaway Government and declared independence in 1919. Hostilities ensued between the Irish Republican Army and British forces.
    • After the end of hostilities, the Anglo-Irish Agreement formed an Irish Free State in 1922, with Northern Ireland remaining part of the United Kingdom.
    • Disagreements in "Southern" Ireland about the role of the Crown in the new Free State turned into civil war, which eventually led to the Republic of Ireland, independent of the British Crown, Empire, and Commonwealth.
    • In Northern Ireland, the reaction to the catholic minority's civil right movement in the 1960s sparked the Troubles that are still a recent memory for many who live there.
    There, a potted history of Ireland, and some reasons why Ulster is so different to the rest of the island.

    Apologies for any mistakes of omissions: it's a summary written by an interested outsider.
     
  4. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    @krus_aragon - the edited highlights you give are near enough spot on.

    Also this history is part of the reason why the glib Brexit throw away lines about borders is so frustrating because it, and the potential for "trouble" seems so poorly understood by the people leading the brexit charge.
     
  5. 433N

    433N Member

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    Of course, the Scots were Irish celts who originally relocated to Scotland hundreds of years before that ... and were probably composed of Picts who had migrated from Scotland to Ireland a few hundred years before that ...

    Seems that there have been ferries across the Irish (Scottish ?) Sea for time immemorial.
     
  6. Cloud Strife

    Cloud Strife Member

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    I would say that the reaction itself didn't spark The Troubles, but the breakdown in relationships between the Catholic/Nationalist minority and the British Army. The Army was seen as a force for good in 1969, but that slowly changed as the Army was seen to support the overwhelmingly Protestant RUC rather than to act as peacekeepers.

    From my perspective as an amateur historian, I place the blame firmly at the hands of the UK government for not reforming the RUC after the August 1969 riots. It was obvious that the NI Parliament was incapable of doing it, and the RUC were so deeply mixed with the Orange Order and Loyalist groups that they simply couldn't police effectively. The Army has their share of blame - they simply didn't control the ordinary troops, some of whom believed Catholics to be an external enemy.
     
  7. krus_aragon

    krus_aragon Established Member

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    That you for the alternative perspective. I agree that your expansion of that point is probably closer to the truth; by the time I got to the end of that list I was getting a little bit tired!
     
  8. Arctic Troll

    Arctic Troll Established Member

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    The Army were just as embedded with Unionist terrorists as the RUC were. The single worst atrocity of the Troubles- the Dublin/Monaghan bombings in May 1974- was carried out by British Army soldiers, as were the murders of the Miami Showband. It wasn't a lack of control, either, but a deliberate tactic. Look at the Glenanne Gang.

    It's a big part of the reason why the British government are so opposed to a truth commission.
     
  9. Elwyn

    Elwyn Member

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    There was a huge wave of Scottish migration to Ireland in the 1600s. They came for different reasons. Many came as part of the Plantation which was a device intended to ensure that Ireland wasn’t used as a backdoor for an invasion of England by filling it with folk likely to be loyal to the Crown. (The Spanish Armada had not long been dispersed and there were fully justified fears that they or the French might attempt another invasion). King James I of England and VI of Scotland was a Scot, hence his favouring Scottish settlers. Then in the 1640s, General Monro’s Scottish army was disbanded in Carrickfergus. He had 10,000 Scots, many of whom decided to remain in Ireland rather than return to Scotland. Then in the 1690s there was a major famine in Scotland and this caused a huge surge in migration to Ireland. Another group were the Border Reivers. In the early 1600s the Borders area between Scotland and England had been lawless for 300 years and travellers were very likely to be robbed if crossing the border. Farmers would have cattle stolen and there were all sorts of local feuds and murders. This was having a detrimental effect on commerce and society generally. King James 1/VI being sovereign of both countries decided to stop this, and he was able to kill two birds with one stone by sending lots of the Reivers to Ireland (notably to Fermanagh) where he needed new settlers.


    Some estimates are that 200,000 Scots moved to Ireland in the 1600s, representing something like 15% of the entire Scottish population. Conditions in Scotland generally weren’t great in the 1600s (famines, poor weather, bad crops) and thousands of them went all over Europe, notably to Poland, Sweden and other slightly surprising places. Those that moved to Ireland weren’t compelled to go there (save perhaps for the Border Reivers) and most were content to get a better life in Ireland.


    Many English & Welsh also settled in Ireland in the 1600s often for similar reasons.
     
  10. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    While it's widely believed that the attack was carried out by British military personnel, I don't believe that has ever been conclusively proven.
     
  11. Arctic Troll

    Arctic Troll Established Member

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    It wasn't, and can't, be conclusively proven, but enquiries in Ireland have concluded it is highly likely British military personnel committed the atrocity.
     
  12. Arctic Troll

    Arctic Troll Established Member

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    Pretty much, it was the Lowland Scottish, mostly Protestant, who were incentivised to move there.

    The Highland Scottish, evicted from their land under the clearances, were the ones who had the bad living conditions though.
     
  13. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    I don't doubt this, but there's a difference between "was carried out by British Army soldiers" and "it is highly likely British military personnel committed the atrocity".

    As an aside, I suspect it could be proven (one way or the other) if the UK government released all the info that they have on the matter.
     
  14. Arctic Troll

    Arctic Troll Established Member

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    Quite, and one would additionally suspect that they would have done so a long time ago if there was no evidence of British military involvement.
     
  15. Butts

    Butts Established Member

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    It's not just the English that invaded Ireland - checkout Edward Earl of Carrick brother to Robert the Bruce King of Scotland - he was at it nearly 400 years before James VI/I was even born.

    Edward became High King of Ireland for a few years before he was defeated.
     

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