Plantation in Ireland and Scottish migration

There had
long been movement of Scots across the Irish Sea to the
shores of Ireland by way of trade and as galloglass
(mercenary soldiers). But there were also small
settlements on the Antrim coast which increased in number
when the authority of the Lords of the Isles was broken in
the fifteenth century. The intrusion of the Scots was very
unwelcome to the English government at the time and many
attacks were made on them. However, it seems that by the
late sixteenth century the presence of  the
McDonnells in particular, led by Sorley Boy, was
inevitable and in 1586 Queen Elizabeth granted him a large
portion of Antrim in return for submission and
acknowledgement of the Crown`s superiority

As  a
Scot Sir Randal MacDonnell was a favourite of  James
VI/I and received the area called the Glynnes  and
the Route in 1603. For his achievements as a planter he
was made Viscount Dunluce, and then Earl of Antrim in
December 1620. What this marked was the beginning of
colonisation of Ulster. It meant also a greater direction
in Irish affairs which until then had been more of a
feudal dependency. The indebtedness of Earl of Antrim to
the Crown is later reflected in the provision of troops to
join with the Marquis of Montrose in his campaign against
the Covenanters in 1644-5.

principle of Planting peoples on sequestered land evolved
from Henry VIII `s accession to the throne of Ireland in
1541 and it was under his policy of `Surrender and
Regrant` of lands that the Irish princes received English
titles. Con  O`Neill became Earl of Tyrone; Murrough
O`Brien  the Earl of Thomond; and  Macwilliam
Burke of Galway, Earl of Clanrickard. The significance of
the policy is that having the land regranted to them meant
that in any subsequent default of misbehaviour the lands
were liable to seizure by the Crown. Under Edward VI a
more aggressive policy led to seizure of lands in reprisal
for insurrection and in 1556 under Queen Mary a plantation
scheme for most of Leix and Offaly was declared with the
counties being renamed Queens County and Kings County. The
policy of seizure and grant to English landlords continued
under Elizabeth I.

and Hamilton

Scottish migration to Ireland was initiated by the
granting of land to two Ayrshire familes – Hugh Montgomery
Sixth Laird of Braidstone, and Sir James Hamilton 
from Dunlop. Both men were private adventurers before the
formal Plantation scheme commenced in 1610.There was much
wheeling and dealing after the first allotments were made
in 1603; but by 1606 the situation was resolved and
settlement began in earnest with both taking Scottish
settlers with them to their lands in Counties Antrim and
Down. Such a good job was done that these two counties
were excluded from the Plantation scheme of 1610 having
already accomplished the substantial Scottish / Protestant
settlement that James I of England (VI of Scotland)

Sir James
Hamilton, later Viscount Clandeboye came from the Dunlop
area of Ayrshire, where his father was the Rev Hans
Hamilton. The family had owned lands in Raploch,
Lanarksshire for some 400 years which they seemed to have
lost at some stage hence James` enthusiasm for taking up
as much he could in Antrim and Down. He was the eldest of
six sons James, Archibald, Gawin, John, William and
Patrick. He was largely tutored by James Ussher, later
Bishop of Meath. Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of

Montgomery was the eldest son of Adam, fifth Earl of
Braidstane b ca 1560 made Viscount Montgomery of the Great
Ards in 1622. The Montgomery lands and the lordship of
Braidstane was in the bailliary of Kyle, county of Ayr.
Until the middle of the 17th century the lands were within
the Parish of Beith consisting of two divisions –
Braidstane and Giffen. There were changes to boundaries
after 1649.

Montgomery Manuscripts, written as memoirs by William
Montgomery, son of Hugh, 1680 – 1700 quotes some details
of tenants who are mainly family. The manuscript goes on
to record that in June 1606 settlers began to arrive
including the brothers of Hamilton – Gawin and John. Other
families included Maxwell, Rose, Barclay, More, Baylie

On the
Montgomery lands settlers included John (or James) Shaw of
Greenock, brother of Sir Hugh’s wife (Elizabeth Shaw);
Patrick Montgomery of Black House or Craigbowie (husband
of Christian Shaw, sister of Elizabeth, and thus Hugh
Montgomery’s brother in law) and Cunningham of Glengarnock
– related to the Shaws. George Montgomery, brother of
Hugh, was appointed to bishoprics of Derry, Raphoe and
Clogher in 1605.

Significantly (for the Montgomery`s) in 1607 tenants began
to arrive to settle church lands. Proclamations in
Glasgow, Ayr, Irvine, Greenock and other south western
parts of Scotland, especially around Braidstone, declared
leased land on easy terms. This drew numbers of Scots to
Ulster and later many went to Donegal and what is now
Londonderry.  On 4 September 1607 The Earls of Tyrone
and Tyrconnel with 30 relatives and 60 friends and
followers fled into exile. These included Maquire, owner
of half Fermanagh, It was decided that all the lands of
Shane O’Neill were forfeit, as a result large portions of
Tyrone Donegal, Coleraine, Armagh, Cavan and Fermanagh
became available for plantation. On 29 September 1607 The
Privy Council approved the Plantation scheme.

Co. Antrim
was the main centre for the Scottish settlers during the
17th century with settlement of the MacDonnell land in
Antrim and the Baronies of Dunluce and Glenarm.

In Co. Down the Hamilton and
Montgomery estates were the main Scottish areas up to
about 1614. Hamilton recruited tenants for his Cavan
estates from Clandeboye while lands passed to tenants who
themselves recruited Scots Thereafter further land
disputes probably adversely influenced growth. This period
also saw the Incorporation of Bangor, Newtown and
Killyleagh to ensure there was a Protestant majority. Most
of the burgesses came from the Lowlands with about 200 –
300 males in Co Down by 1614. In all it is estimated that
some 10,000 Scotsmen were brought to Ulster by the
Montgomery and Hamilton plantations.

Under the
patronage of George Montgomery, more influence in the
Church was exercised by the appointment of Scottish
Bishops such as Andrew Know, Bishop of Raphoe, 1610. There
were 7 ministers from Scotland in 1612 and 15 ministers of
which 12 were from Scotland in 1622.  An interesting
sidelight was the volume of denizations granted to Scots –
denization was necessary in order to have the rights and
privileges of an Englishman and therefore eligible to have
title to land. Thus there were some 300 denizations
approved and thus 300 families planted in 1619.