Summary of the Ulster Plantation - Irish Pedigrees

“From perusing the foregoing lists of Grants to the Native Irish in the Ulster Plantation, we find,” says Hill, “that only a very few of them in each county were admitted to partake in the plantation-scheme; and that whilst they had previously held the rank of gentlemen—and, were, indeed, so styled in their Patents—they were obliged to accept the merest shreds of their own soil … But there were fiery spirits among the youthful gentry and nobility of Ulster—young men who could not brook the new order of things, and who, after coshering[26] for a time among their father’s former tenants, betook themselves to the great green woods, adopting that craft or occupation (known as Tory or Rapparee,) which has been made comparatively respectable, under such circumstances, by men like Robin Hood, Redmond O’Hanlon, Shane Crossagh O’Cahan, and several others that might be named.”

The following is a summary of the “Plantation” in each of the six counties in Ulster which were confiscated in the reign of King James the First, of England; and of whom Pynnar in his Survey states, that at least 8,000 (eight thousand) were of “British” birth and descent:

The “Planters in Ulster,

From A.D. 1608 to 1620.”

Description of Planters.

In the County of

Total.

Armagh

Tyrone

Derry

Donegal

Fermanagh

Cavan

Freeholders

39

84

25

59

59

68

334

Lessees for Lives

18

26

25

10

20

99

Lessees for Years

190

183

78

217

117

168

953

Cottagers

43

154

16

46

75

130

464

Families that had no Estates (or Leases)

70

70

Bodies of Men with Arms

642

2,469

642

1,106

645

711

6,215

Totals

932

2,916

761

1,523

906

1,097

8,135

Summary of the Planters:

Freeholders

334

Lessees for Lives

99

Lessees for Years

953

Cottagers

464

Families that had no Estates (or Leases)

70

Total Families

1,920

Total Men with Arms

6,215

Grand Total

8,135

Of those Planters, Hill, in his great work, the “Ulster Plantation,” p. 590, writes:

… “But the paradise of plenty, if not of peace, to which these strangers at times attained, was only secured by a very heavy and dreadful sacrifice of the general interests of Ireland as a nation; for, to this settlement in Ulster, and, in a minor degree, to similar settlements or plantations in other provinces of Ireland at the same period, may be traced the awful scenes and events of the ten years’ civil war, commencing A.D. 1641; the horrors of the revolutionary struggle in 1690, and the reawakening of those horrors in 1798—not to mention certain less notable phases of the struggle during the intervals between those disastrous eras. The dragons’ teeth so plentifully, and, as if so deliberately, sown in this Ulster Plantation, have, indeed, sprung up at times with more than usually abundant growth; yielding their ghastly harvests of blood and death on almost every plain, and by almost every river side, and in almost every glen of our northern province.”

Notes

[26] Coshering: By “coshering,” the Irish people meant giving their lord a certain number of days’ board and lodging, gratis.

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