A view of
the state of Ireland and the Plantation of Ireland.
W.E.H.Lecky,  History of Ireland Vol 1. p 25-27 (1916).]

point to be understood is that land tenure was the deep seated and root
cause of discontent; religion was a supplementary irritation which is
emotive and sometimes taken out of context as the prime cause of the slaughter in the
1641 rebellion.

 “A new
and energetic element was introduced into Irish life. English law was
extended  through the island. The Judges went their regular circuits, and
it was hoped that the resentment produced by recent events would be
compensated or allayed by the destruction of that clan system which had
been the source of much disorder, by the abolition of the exactions of the
Irish chiefs, and by the intro­duction of skilful husbandmen, and
therefore of mate­rial prosperity, into a territory half of which lay
abso­lutely waste, while the other half was only cultivated in the rudest
manner.’ It was inevitable that the English and the Irish should look on
the Plantation in very different ways. In the eyes of the latter it was a
confis­cation of the worst and most irritating description; for, whatever
might have been the guilt of the banished earls, the clans, who, according
to Irish notions, were the real owners of the soil, had given no
provocation; and the measure, by breaking up their oldest and most
cherished customs and traditions, by banishing their an­cient chiefs, by
tearing them from their old homes, and by planting among them new masters
of another race, and of a hostile creed, excited an intensity of
bitterness which no purely political measure could possibly have produced.
In the eyes of the English the measure was essential, if Ulster was to be
brought fully under the do minion of English law, and if its resources
were to be developed; and the assignment of a large part of the land to
native owners distinguished it broadly and favourably from similar acts in
previous times.It met with no serious resistance. Even the
jury system was at once introduced, and although it was at first found
that the clansmen would give no verdicts against one another; jurymen were
speedily intimidated into submission by fines or imprisonment.’ In a few
years the progress was so great that Sir John Davis, the able
Attorney-General of King James, pronounced the strings of the Irish harp
to be all in tune, and he expressed both sur­prise and admiration at the
absence of crime among the natives, and at their complete submission to
the law. ‘I dare affirm,’ he wrote, ‘that for the space of five years past
there have not been found so many malefactors worthy of death in all the
six circuits of this realm (which is now divided into thirty-two
shires at large) as in one circuit of six shires, namely, the western
circuit, in England. For the truth is that in time of peace the Irish are
more fearful to offend the law than the English or any other nation
whatsoever.’ ‘The nation,’ he predicted, ‘will gladly continue subjects,
without adhering to any other lord or king, as long as they may be
pro­tected and justly governed, without oppression on the one side or
impunity on the other. For there is no nation or people under the sun that
doth love equal or indifferent justice better than the Irish; or will rest
better satisfied with the execution thereof, although it be against
themselves; so as they may have the protec­tion and benefit of the law
when upon just cause they so desire it`.

 But yet
it needed little knowledge of human nature to perceive that the country
was in imminent danger of drifting steadily to a fearful catastrophe. The
unspeakable horrors that accompanied the suppression of the Irish under
Elizabeth, the enormous confiscations in three provinces, the abolition of
the land customs most cherished by the people, the legal condemnation of
their religion, the plantation among them of an alien and hostile
population, ever anxious to root them from the soil—all these elements of
bitterness, crowded into a few disastrous years of suffering, were now smouldering in deep resentment in the Irish mind. Mere political changes
leave the great body of the community un­touched, or touch them only
feeb]y, indirectly or superficially; but changes which affect religions
belief or the means and conditions of material subsistence are felt in
their full intensity in the meanest hovel. Nothing in Irish history is
more remarkable than the entire absence of outrage and violence that
followed the Ulster Planta­tion, and for the present at least the people
showed themselves eminently submissive, tractable, and amen­able to the
law. But the only possible means of securing a permanence of peace was by
convincing them that justice would be administered with impartial
firmness, and that for the future at least, under the shadow of’ English
rule, their property and their religion, the fruits of their industry, and
the worship of their God, would be scrupulously respected. Had such a
spirit animated the Government of Ireland, all might yet have been well.
But the greed for Irish land which had now become the dominating passion
of English adventurers was still unsated, and during the whole reign of
James [1603-1625] a perpetual effort was made to deprive the Irish of the
residue which remained to them.”

 The subsequent searching out of land for settlement by Wentworth in 1633
– 40, included the Irish nobility and gentleman land owners who had
acquired land by fair means and foul in both Elizabeth`s and James`

John Davis’s letter to the Earl of Salisbury ~ concerning the State
of Ireland

Plantation of the natives is made by his Majesty rather like a father than
like a lord or monarch. The Romans transplanted whole nations out of
Germany into France. The Spaniards lately removed all the Moors out of
Grenada into Bar­bary, without providing them any new seats there; when
the Eng­lish Pale was first planted, all the natives were clearly
expelled, so as not one Irish family had so much as an acre of freehold in
all the five counties of the Pale; and now within these four years past,
the Greames were removed from the borders of Scotland to this kingdom, and
had not one foot of land allotted unto them here; but these natives of
Cavan have competent portions of land assigned unto them, many of them in
the same barony where they dwelt before, and such as are removed are
planted in the same county, so as his Majesty doth in this imitate the
skilful husbandman who doth remove his fruit trees, not with a purpose to
extirpate and destroy them, but that they may bring better and sweeter
fruit after the transplantation.’—Sir J. Davis’s second Letter to the Earl
of Salisbury.

– land and religious policies.