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On this day : 24th March 1603


Keith-M

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James VI and I - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

On this day 410 years ago James VI of Scotland, also assumed the role of monarch of England and Ireland, thus becoming the first person to rule the entire British isles. Dismissed as something of an intellectual lightweight at the time, he saw off the Gunpowder Plot and is not considered to be one of the better monarchs.
 


Malcolm Redfellow

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Bring it on, Keith-M!

Dismissed as something of an intellectual lightweight at the time ...

Now, there's a statement crying out for justification.

One would need to account for the natural reticence and self-protecting suspicions of James Stewart (the Stuart thing was a French-acquired affectation of his mother).

Consider his infancy:
  • born three months after the Riccio murder;
  • with his dissolute and inane father, Darnley (who refused to attend the child's baptism, although present in the same building), dismissed by his mother, then murdered at Kirk o' Field;
  • his mother effectively on-the-run from Stirling to Holyrood to escape her father-in-law, Lennox;
  • his mother's disaster of a remarriage to Hepburn, her surrender to the confederate lords, her miscarriage, and abdication, and his succession;
— all that before he was thirteen months old.

Then the regency of his minority:
  • his mother, wafting in the background for another couple of decades, a constant focus for plot and counterplot;
  • two of his regents (Moray and Lennox) dying violently;
  • a low-key civil war running through the early 1570s;
  • his tutor, George Buchanan, may have been one of the great humanist intellects, but was also an advanced sadist who believe that sagacity came via savage whippings— and, to the end of his own life, James admitted to nightmares about Buchanan,
  • all a time when the likes of Melville were rejecting all forms of royal or episcopal authority, and militant prebyterianism was on the advance.

When, at the age of not quite twelve, he announced his capacity to rule (1579), he was:
  • determined, decisive and unpredictable — that, and more, is evident in his rejection of Elizabeth I's support for Morton (1578);
  • very well educated— he inherited a substantial library from his mother, to which his tutors (Buchanan apart) contributed, and for which he himself purchased (sporting and romantic works included) — they gar me speik Latin ar I could speak Scotis — so, if anything, he was exceptional among contemporary monarchs for his learning.
English ambassadors, Henry Carey, Lord Hunsdon, and Thomas Randolph, repeatedly reported back to Elizabeth, commending James's judgement, his utterances — and his ability to dissimulate wherein he is in his tender years more practised than others forty years older than he.
 
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On this day 410 years ago James VI of Scotland, also assumed the role of monarch of England and Ireland, thus becoming the first person to rule the entire British isles. Dismissed as something of an intellectual lightweight at the time, he saw off the Gunpowder Plot and is not considered to be one of the better monarchs.
He also oversaw the Plantation of Ulster and the Flight of the Earls, thus consigning Ulster to its fate of a bitter ethno-religious conflict that has persisted ever since in that part of Ireland and he also instigated the harsh anti-Catholic policies that were the begginings of the penal laws, and his successors would follow up on these thus ensuring a more fervent hatred between the two communities so yeah, from an Irish perspective a pretty god awful Stuart monarch and the first of many god awful Stuart monarchs.
 

james5001

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I remember it well.
 

eoghanacht

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From whose perspective?
Anglo-Irish CoI, Magaret Thatcher, Glasgow Rangers fans like Keith.

I too am curious to know how Keith reached that conclusion.
 

Malcolm Redfellow

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An Fear Réabhlóideach @ 10:30 pm

Yes, that's the orthodox take; but I'd be wary of imposing what amounts to 20th-century propaganda on 16th-17th century history.

Scottish settlements in Ulster predate the Plantation: Irish chieftains had long recruited Scottish mercenary "gallowglasses". While many returned to Scotland, the MacDonnells didn't, occupying parts of modern Antrim. That was why, as early as 1556, the Irish parliament attempted to outlaw all Scots in Ireland.

Thanks to the warfare and depredations of the late-1500s, by the start of the 17th century, particularly with the flight of Tyrone and Tyrconnell, large parts of Ulster were underpopulated — and effectively ungoverned. If the intent was simply to supplant native Irish with imported protestants, it singularly failed. By the time of James VI & I's death, the Plantation amounted to 6,402 "British" male settlers (roughly 50-50 English and Scottish) in Ulster — and they concentrated in the newly-established towns [source: Nicholas Canny, Making Ireland British, 1560-1650]. Nor were the Scottish settlers confined to Ulster: they turn up in Sligo, Galway, Cork, Mayo and Wexford. Oddly these settlements don't receive the publicity nowadays afforded Ulster.
 

Catalpast

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James was a queer fish alright

While he did Ireland no favours he was a reasonably good King of the British Isle

IIRC he kept England out of War for all of his Reign

He also ensured the Succession

- though that was not a success...:?
 

picador

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Keith M said:
Dismissed as something of an intellectual lightweight
Where did he stand on the Celtic v Rangers issue, Keith?
 

eoghanacht

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Yes, that's the orthodox take; but I'd be wary of imposing what amounts to 20th-century propaganda on 16th-17th century history.

Scottish settlements in Ulster predate the Plantation: Irish chieftains had long recruited Scottish mercenary "gallowglasses". While many returned to Scotland, the MacDonnells didn't, occupying parts of modern Antrim. That was why, as early as 1556, the Irish parliament attempted to outlaw all Scots in Ireland.

Thanks to the warfare and depredations of the late-1500s, by the start of the 17th century, particularly with the flight of Tyrone and Tyrconnell, large parts of Ulster were underpopulated — and effectively ungoverned. If the intent was simply to supplant native Irish with imported protestants, it singularly failed. By the time of James VI & I's death, the Plantation amounted to 6,402 "British" male settlers (roughly 50-50 English and Scottish) in Ulster — and they concentrated in the newly-established towns [source: Nicholas Canny, Making Ireland British, 1560-1650]. Nor were the Scottish settlers confined to Ulster: they turn up in Sligo, Galway, Cork, Mayo and Wexford. Oddly these settlements don't receive the publicity nowadays afforded Ulster.
Those settlers were happy to become Irish, Ulsters weren't so keen.
 

Trampas

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Scottish settlements in Ulster predate the Plantation: Irish chieftains had long recruited Scottish mercenary "gallowglasses". While many returned to Scotland, the MacDonnells didn't, occupying parts of modern Antrim. That was why, as early as 1556, the Irish parliament attempted to outlaw all Scots in Ireland.

Any idea why the Scots didn't bring their language with them, which of course is very similar to our language ? Perhaps they did but then lost out to the overwhelming numbers of English planters.
 

Keith-M

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Any idea why the Scots didn't bring their language with them, which of course is very similar to our language ? Perhaps they did but then lost out to the overwhelming numbers of English planters.
The Scots who came over were not Gaelic speakers. They tended to be lowland Scots with their own language/dialect.
 
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Yes, that's the orthodox take; but I'd be wary of imposing what amounts to 20th-century propaganda on 16th-17th century history.

Scottish settlements in Ulster predate the Plantation: Irish chieftains had long recruited Scottish mercenary "gallowglasses". While many returned to Scotland, the MacDonnells didn't, occupying parts of modern Antrim. That was why, as early as 1556, the Irish parliament attempted to outlaw all Scots in Ireland.

Thanks to the warfare and depredations of the late-1500s, by the start of the 17th century, particularly with the flight of Tyrone and Tyrconnell, large parts of Ulster were underpopulated — and effectively ungoverned. If the intent was simply to supplant native Irish with imported protestants, it singularly failed. By the time of James VI & I's death, the Plantation amounted to 6,402 "British" male settlers (roughly 50-50 English and Scottish) in Ulster — and they concentrated in the newly-established towns [source: Nicholas Canny, Making Ireland British, 1560-1650. Nor were the Scottish settlers confined to Ulster: they turn up in Sligo, Galway, Cork, Mayo and Wexford. Oddly these settlements don't receive the publicity nowadays afforded Ulster.
Yes I'll agree there was a fair amount of migration already ongoing between both areas already before the Ulster Plantation, but most Gallowglasses were seasonal migrants aside from the MacDonnell Clan whom you have mentioned, but there's quite a difference between coming over to fight for a few months and then leaving and taking up permanent residence here.

Plus the majority of those gallowglasses would have came from Catholic families because they came also as part of marriage alliances between the likes of the O'Neills and MacDonnells and so there's more of a common interest there than the Protestant settlers that arrived under the Plantation and imposed themselves in an environment fairly hostile to their presence, and eventually this resulted in a fairly substantial backlash of atrocities against Protestant settlers in Ulster in 1641.

The Ulster Plantation was still far more successful than any of the previous attempts like the Laois/Offaly or the Munster plantations, and the power vacuum left by the flight of the earls meant that it was far more successful at establishing the Protestant Hegemony there than in any other part of the country and eventually that hegemony would gain control of the country after the later Cromwellian Plantations. When I say Protestant now I mean the established church or church of Ireland because Presbyterians and Non-Conformists were practically second class citizens in this country too as well as Catholics and this process of alienating these other groups was helped along by the wide variety of anti-Catholic and anti-non-conformist laws introduced by successive English administrations until the reign of James II when admittedly he did a lot to rescind the xenophobia that existed against these groups though that was only as he was a Catholic himself.
 

Malcolm Redfellow

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An Fear Réabhlóideach @ 112:16 am:

No, I don't want a one-on-one ping-pong game, so nothing personal …

However …

1. I'm trying to be specific in focusing on the period of James's kingships (else I'd be pointing out that the main immigration from Scotland into Ulster was towards the other end of the 17th century);
2. I'd stand by my assertion that the original Ulster Plantation was no great success in the longer term, if the main intent was to generate a non-Catholic society in Ulster.
3. I find your 'Protestant Hegemony' a very dubious, even somewhat-anachronistic assumption, and precisely what I'd see as a 20th-century gloss on 17th century history: see below.

So …

Can we agree that Jonathan Bardon's account (chapter 5 of his History of Ulster) is accepted common ground? I notice that your summary is not dissimilar to Barton's [pp.115-6 in my 2005 paperback]:

Elizabethan conquest was therefore followed by Jacobean planation, a colonising enterprise matching in scale and character the contemporary English migrations to the New World. Unlike native Americans, who were all but wiped out by disease and slaughter, the Ulster Irish survived; when the settlement faltered they wreaked vengeance on the planters in 1641. As Ireland was sucked into the vortex of the English Civil War, the province once more was reduced to destitution by protracted warfare …
No need to revisit his account, then?

Where we may differ is that thing you have about James VI and I planning a 'Protestant Hegemony': if anything, James was ambivalent, even wavering, in his enforcement of religious (i.e. Anglican) orthodoxy. Let's leave that aside at this moment.

I'm suggesting that the motive for the Ulster Plantation was not religious, not denominational, but primarily military — and specifically to insure against a repeat of the 1590s. After all, Tyrone and Tyrconnell hadn't fled Ulster for a quiet life — they were actively seeking French and/or Spanish support for a return match. That they didn't get that expected support testifies to another success of James's reign: a more pacific, more balanced European diplomacy.

The Plantation was designed on a military basis: twenty-three defensible towns, and the 1615 Highways Act to ensure mobility. After that, the colonisation was left to private enterprise. Leave 1641 (and denominational issues) out of the immediate argument, and one can see the point Barry Coward, and his Anglophile bias was making:

… until then the plantation went on apace peacefully , and was one of the most successful schemes of the reign of James I.
 

Catalpast

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No, I don't want a one-on-one ping-pong game, so nothing personal …

However …

1. I'm trying to be specific in focusing on the period of James's kingships (else I'd be pointing out that the main immigration from Scotland into Ulster was towards the other end of the 17th century);
2. I'd stand by my assertion that the original Ulster Plantation was no great success in the longer term, if the main intent was to generate a non-Catholic society in Ulster.
3. I find your 'Protestant Hegemony' a very dubious, even somewhat-anachronistic assumption, and precisely what I'd see as a 20th-century gloss on 17th century history: see below.

So …

Can we agree that Jonathan Bardon's account (chapter 5 of his History of Ulster) is accepted common ground? I notice that your summary is not dissimilar to Barton's [pp.115-6 in my 2005 paperback]:



No need to revisit his account, then?

Where we may differ is that thing you have about James VI and I planning a 'Protestant Hegemony': if anything, James was ambivalent, even wavering, in his enforcement of religious (i.e. Anglican) orthodoxy. Let's leave that aside at this moment.

I'm suggesting that the motive for the Ulster Plantation was not religious, not denominational, but primarily military — and specifically to insure against a repeat of the 1590s. After all, Tyrone and Tyrconnell hadn't fled Ulster for a quiet life — they were actively seeking French and/or Spanish support for a return match. That they didn't get that expected support testifies to another success of James's reign: a more pacific, more balanced European diplomacy.

The Plantation was designed on a military basis: twenty-three defensible towns, and the 1615 Highways Act to ensure mobility. After that, the colonisation was left to private enterprise. Leave 1641 (and denominational issues) out of the immediate argument, and one can see the point Barry Coward, and his Anglophile bias was making:
Mountjoy suggested such schemes even before his 'Scorched Earth' tactics against the Irish of Ulster

As you know Plantations were not a Jacobean Invention

But it is only in the north east of Ireland that they really succeeded

Though perhaps Dublin in the 18th Century may be considered one - even though there was no 'official' policy
 

Lain2016

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Dismissed as something of an intellectual lightweight at the time ...

Now, there's a statement crying out for justification.

One would need to account for the natural reticence and self-protecting suspicions of James Stewart (the Stuart thing was a French-acquired affectation of his mother).

Consider his infancy:
  • born three months after the Riccio murder;
  • with his dissolute and inane father, Darnley (who refused to attend the child's baptism, although present in the same building), dismissed by his mother, then murdered at Kirk o' Field;
  • his mother effectively on-the-run from Stirling to Holyrood to escape her father-in-law, Lennox;
  • his mother's disaster of a remarriage to Hepburn, her surrender to the confederate lords, her miscarriage, and abdication, and his succession;
— all that before he was thirteen months old.

Then the regency of his minority:
  • his mother, wafting in the background for another couple of decades, a constant focus for plot and counterplot;
  • two of his regents (Moray and Lennox) dying violently;
  • a low-key civil war running through the early 1570s;
  • his tutor, George Buchanan, may have been one of the great humanist intellects, but was also an advanced sadist who believe that sagacity came via savage whippings— and, to the end of his own life, James admitted to nightmares about Buchanan,
  • all a time when the likes of Melville were rejecting all forms of royal or episcopal authority, and militant prebyterianism was on the advance.

When, at the age of not quite twelve, he announced his capacity to rule (1579), he was:
  • determined, decisive and unpredictable — that, and more, is evident in his rejection of Elizabeth I's support for Morton (1578);
  • very well educated— he inherited a substantial library from his mother, to which his tutors (Buchanan apart) contributed, and for which he himself purchased (sporting and romantic works included) — they gar me speik Latin ar I could speak Scotis — so, if anything, he was exceptional among contemporary monarchs for his learning.
English ambassadors, Henry Carey, Lord Hunsdon, and Thomas Randolph, repeatedly reported back to Elizabeth, commending James's judgement, his utterances — and his ability to dissimulate wherein he is in his tender years more practised than others forty years older than he.
Did he speak Gaelic?
 

Lain2016

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Yes, that's the orthodox take; but I'd be wary of imposing what amounts to 20th-century propaganda on 16th-17th century history.

Scottish settlements in Ulster predate the Plantation: Irish chieftains had long recruited Scottish mercenary "gallowglasses". While many returned to Scotland, the MacDonnells didn't, occupying parts of modern Antrim. That was why, as early as 1556, the Irish parliament attempted to outlaw all Scots in Ireland.

Thanks to the warfare and depredations of the late-1500s, by the start of the 17th century, particularly with the flight of Tyrone and Tyrconnell, large parts of Ulster were underpopulated — and effectively ungoverned. If the intent was simply to supplant native Irish with imported protestants, it singularly failed. By the time of James VI & I's death, the Plantation amounted to 6,402 "British" male settlers (roughly 50-50 English and Scottish) in Ulster — and they concentrated in the newly-established towns [source: Nicholas Canny, Making Ireland British, 1560-1650]. Nor were the Scottish settlers confined to Ulster: they turn up in Sligo, Galway, Cork, Mayo and Wexford. Oddly these settlements don't receive the publicity nowadays afforded Ulster.
Werent the McSweeneys a gallowglass clan that had become 'more Irish than the Irish'?

The northern plantation seemed to present an opportunity for London to 'kill two birds with one stone', in that they wanted to reduce the ever complaining Presbyterians and to create a buffer for the Pale. The solution was to send the Presbyterians to the new plantations in East Donegal, Tyrone, Monaghan and south armagh...

The Munster plantation seemed to have been a greater success than the others...
 

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