Ulster Presbyterians

Margaret Anne Cusack
start of chapter | Chapter XXXIII

Ulster was principally peopled by Protestant Presbyterians, from the north of Scotland. They were not likely to be very loyal even to a Stuart, for the Irish had been called over to Scotland before now to defend royal rights; they had not very defined religious opinions, except on the subject of hatred of Popery and Prelacy. It cannot be a matter of surprise, therefore, that these men hailed the prospect of a new sovereign, whose opinions, both religious and political, coincided with their own. If he, too, had very general views as to the rights of kings, and no very particular view as to rights of conscience being granted to any who did not agree with him, he was none the less acceptable.

Tyrconnel had neither men, money, nor arms, to meet the emergency. He had to withdraw the garrison from Derry to make up the contingent of 3,000 men, which he sent to assist the King in England; but they were immediately disarmed, and the young men of Derry closed their gates, and thus were the first to revolt openly against their lawful King. The native Irish had been loyal when loyalty cost them their lives, without obtaining for them any increased liberty to exercise their religion; they were, therefore, not less likely to be loyal now, when both civil and religious liberty might depend upon their fealty to the crown. The Enniskilleners revolted; and the whole of Ulster, except Charlemont and Carrickfergus, declared for William of Orange.