Irish Scottish Timeline of History

A Downhome Perspective on All Things Southern

Home About Us Blog Genealogy Recipes Gardening Manners and Etiquette Real Estate Destinations History
Hunting and Fishing Photojournalism Southern Furniture Maker Inspiration Write Life Opinion Contact-

Ireland Timeline of History                   Scotland Timeline of History


Invasions of the kingdom of Dalriada, Kintyre and the neighboring islands by the Scotti, from northern Ireland who will later give their name to the whole country.


The Roman legions from Britain withdrawal and the Scots further establish and strengthen their hold by slowly winning lands away from the native Picts by invasions under Fergus MacErc and his brothers.


St. Columba and a small band of Irish monks arrive to establish a monastery at Iona and to inaugurate Aidan as king of Dalriada. Iona becomes the ecclesiastical head of the Celtic Church in Britain and an important political center.

At the Synod of Whitby, in northern England, the Celtic Church is forced to adopt the rule of St. Peter and the Church of Rome rather than that of St. Columba.


Kenneth MacAlpin dies. He united Picts, Scots, Britons and Angles to create a kingdom of Scotland.


Brian Boru, son of a leader of one of the royal free tribes of Munster, defeated Vikings.


Malcolm II defeats the Angles to bring Lothian under Scottish Control

Duncan becomes king of a much-expanded Scotland, including Pictland, Scotland, Lothian, Cumbria and Strathclyde.


King Malcolm III, whose wife was an English princess responsible for introducing many of her country's fashions and customs to Scotland, is forced to pay homage at Abernethy to William I, King of England and Duke of Normandy.


Turloch More O'Connor, a king of Connacht, who had become High King
in 1119, and who was the greatest of Brian Boru's successors - died.


King David I ascends the Scottish throne, introduces the Anglo-Norman feudal system into the south of Scotland, creates a central administration, establishes many castles and burghs and reorganizes the Scottish Church to conform to English and continental standards. He also introduces a feudal system of land ownership founded on a French-speaking Anglo-Norman aristocracy that will remain aloof from the majority of the Gaelic-speaking population.


David reasserts old territorial claims to the borderlands, including Carlisle, which he retains by the Treaty of Durham


At a second Treaty of Durham, due to the troubles of English king Stephen, David is able to gain most of the lands he had lost at the Battle of the Standard one-year earlier (when he was defeated in his attempt to support Empress Matilda against Stephen).


Malcolm IV, who succeeded David in 1153, is forced to give up his northern counties to the powerful Henry II of England


William I, 'the Lion,' becomes King of Scotland succeeding Malcolm IV, but is captured, imprisoned and forced to recognize Henry II's feudal superiority over Scotland. After the death of Henry, Richard I's dire need for funds to finance his Crusades and his lack of interest in Scotland meant that William was able to enjoy a period of independence for his country.


Arrival of Normans at Baginbun, Co. Wexford,
thus started 800 year struggle between English and Irish.


Arrival of Richard de Clare, known as Strongbow.


Strongbow becomes king of Leinster. Arrival of Henry II, end of the Milesian kings;
thus began the political involvement of England in Ireland's affairs.


Reign of Rory O'Connor, Last native High King of Ireland



Richard de Burgo conquered Connacht.


Gallowglasses (mercenary soldiers) come to Ulster from Scotland


At the Battle of Largs, Alexander III, King of Scots, defeats King Haakon of Norway to unite Scotland as an independent kingdom.


Walter de Burgo was made Earl of Ulster.


- The Treaty of Perth confirms the Western Isles and the Isle of Man as parts of Scotland, freed from Norse control.


The English had now conquered Ulster, east of Lough Neagh, in Meath,
as well as most of Connacht and of Munster.


Earl of Carrick, Robert Bruce is born at Turnberry Castle, Ayrshire, of both Norman and Celtic ancestry.


There are many claimants to the throne of Scotland after the death of the young princess Margaret, the infant daughter of the King of Norway. Margaret had been betrothed to the son of English King Edward I. Under Edward's influence, John Balliol is declared as rightful king of Scotland.

October 23 1295

Treaty between King John Balliol of Scotland and King Philippe IV of France which promised mutual help against the English - the start of the "Auld Alliance".

March 30 1296

King Edward I of England over-ran Berwick-upon-Tweed.

April 27 1296


After Battle of Bannockburn, Edward Bruce of Scotland invaded Ireland but failed in his attempt to overthrow Norman Rule.


Edward Bruce killed by the English, near Dundalk, after having failed to become the Ard Ri, so long sought after by the Irish.


An edict bans pure-blooded from becoming mayors, baillifs,
officers of the king or clerygmen, serving the English.


Statutes of Kilkenny forbade Irish/English marriages and preventing
English to use Irish language, custom or laws.


October. King Richard II, landed at Waterford, and marched up to Dublin.


Line of "the Pale" at Clongowes. This was a small enclave around Dublin,
which became the area of English rule.


Accession of Henry VIII.


Anarchy in Ireland.


Henry VIII made his great breach with Rome, and set himself up as
head of the Church in England.


Kildare rebellion.


Henry VIII declares himself king of Ireland.


1542--Accession of infant Mary Stewart (she later changed name to Stuart) to Scottish throne. Regent Arran was inclined to Reformation, Church was Roman Catholic, court was opportunistic.


The Council of Trent gives Catholics a greater sense of purpose.


--Earl of Hertford (Engl.) ravages Southern Scotland for Scots' refusal to commit to a marriage contract between Mary and Henry VIII's son. Scotland leans toward France.


Henry VIII dies, succeeded by the boy king Edward VI. England and
Ireland were ruled by the senior nobility of England.


--Hertford as Lord Protector Somerset invades 3rd time, winning Battle of Pinkie, but losing Mary to the French. Age 5, she is sent to France. Lives there 13 years.


Mary ascends the Throne.


Accession of Elizabeth I.





--Mary marries French Dauphin


--He becomes King of France. Protestant leaders in Scotland (Lords of the Congregation) resent French influence--Mary of Guise, Mary's mother, as Regent brings in French troops. Denounces the protestant leaders as heretics. John Knox's sermon in Perth sets off destruction of religious houses

-Mary of Guise deposed. Scottish protestants seek Elizabeth I protection so long as their queen is married to French king.


--Mary, a Roman Catholic, a widow, under age 20, returns to Scotland. Interviews with John Knox seeking toleration for Roman Catholicism are unsuccessful.


Elizabethan Wars in Ireland.







-Mary, infatuated, marries Henry, Lord Darnley who conspires with and ultimately betrays all sides in seeking his own ambitions. Darnley is killed. Mary is forced to abdicate in favor of her infant son, James. Lord Moray is made regent.

May 1568--Final defeat of Mary at Langside, escape to England. Imprisoned for 20 years; executed in 1587


Spanish Armada sent by Philip of Spain, to conquer England.


August. Hugh O'Neill defeated a small English force at the Ford of
Biscuits near Enniskillen.


Rebellion of Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone.


O'Neill's great victory at Yellow Ford in Ulster


Defeat of O'Neill, O'Donnell and Spaniards by Mountjoy at Battle of Kinsale.


Accession of 
James 1.

Surrender of Hugh O'Neill. Enforcement of English
Law in Ireland.

--On Elizabeth's death, James VI of Scotland became James I of England as well, but the countries were not united. Church quarrels spring from opposing views:


  • 1) Protestant Presbyterianism (Covenanters) focus on simplicity, separation of church from civil power, equality of ministers and little formal worship. (Lowlanders, supporters of Parliament)


  • 2) Protestant episcopacy believes in a more formal liturgy and a hierarchy with bishops, possibly holding authority from the Crown. (Highlanders, Royalist and Jacobite)


  • [The Highlands & the Hebrides continued to harbor a fair number of Roman Catholics, adherents of the "Old Religion".]


  • James VI/I succeeded in grafting episcopacy onto the Presbyterian Church, but Charles I destroyed his compromises.



Settlement of Scots in Ards Peninsula.
Land in six counties of Ulster confiscated by English.


Flight of O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone,and O'Donnell, Earl of Tyrconnell.
"The flight of the Earls" to Spain.1607--IN IRELAND: Ulster: The earls of Tyrone and Tyrconnell had been restored in 1603 but felt their positions were untenable. They and 100 other chiefs of the North left Ireland forever in 1607. The "flight of the earls" left Catholic/Gaelic interests in Ulster without support. Ulster was to become the most British of the provinces. A plantation of Ireland was urged to protect the state and provide congregations for the State church (Protestant). The earls and their adherents were found guilty of treason and the six counties were escheated. The escheated lands were divided among undertakers (English who would lease only to English and Scottish tenants and take the oath of supremacy), servitors (mainly Scots, who could take Irish tenants, but if so their rents were increased), and natives. Native Irish grantees paid twice the quitrents, but weren't required to take the oath. Colonists were given the best lands. Irish were made tenants-at-will, denied their freehold rights under the attainted earls. The plantation and others that followed elsewhere in Ireland proved a practical success (farming and manufacture) but culturally a timebomb.


Plantation of Derry and others confiscated counties planned. Lands of the six counties of Donegal, Derry (then called Coleraine), Tyrone, Fermanagh, Cavan and Armagh--four million acres--were confiscated.  (The lands of the three remaining Ulster counties, Antrim, down and Monaghan were bestowed upon Britons at other times.  The County of Coleraine (Derry) was divided up among the London trade Guilds, the drapers, fishmongers, vintners, haberdashers, etc.--who had financed the Plantation scheme.  The Church termon lands were bestowed upon the Protestant bishops.  And thus a new nation was planted.  

Reid, History of the Irish Presbyterians:  "Among those whom divind Providence did send to Ireland...the most part wee such either poverty of scandalous lives had forced hither."
Stewart, the son of a Presbyterian minister who was one of the Planters, writes:  "From Scotland cme many, and from England, not a few, yet all of them generally the scum of both nations, who from debt, or breaking, or fleeing justice, or seeking shelter, came hither hoping to be without fear of man's justice."

The Ulster Plantation

Within a decade of the ‘Flight of the Earls’ came the Ulster Plantation. It was the excuse needed for the wholesale robbing of the clans. That the lands belonged to the whole clan community was of no consequence to the English. According to English law and custom it should belong to the lords (chiefs). The English Lord Lieutenant, Sir Arthur Chichester, and the Attorney General, Sir John Davies, were the instruments , for giving effect to the great Plantation. The natives were driven to the bogs and the moors where it was hoped that they would starve to death. The conditions upon which the new people got their land bound them to repress and abhor the Irish natives , admit no Irish customs, never to intermarry with the Irish, and not to permit any Irish on their lands. As a result many of the Irish starved to death. Many others sailed away and enlisted under continental armies.

It is one of the ironies of British empire rule that having settled Ulster with people of the Protestant faith, it was not long until the British were persecuting these Scotch Irish residents of the Plantation for holding to their dissenting Presbyterianism.

Even more galling to the Orangemen (as they came to be called after the Revolution of 1688 ) were the trade restrictions imposed by the English as though on "foreigners." The transplanted Scotch-Irish had made agriculture and stock-raising thrive on the rocky hills of Ulster. They had introduced flax growing and built a high-quality linen industry, and were engaging in superior woolen manufacture. Deprived of the right to export their goods even to the motherland or the other English colonies or to import from anywhere but England, their source of a livelihood was narrowed to bare subsistence.

 In 1609 there was an increasing hardship occasioned by the spread of a British form of land tenure, called the feu , which had the effect of dispossessing many farmers of their traditional lands in Scotland. These farmers were attracted to the lands visible across the channel from the shores of southwestern Scotland. Any Scot who had the inclination might now take the short journey across to Ulster and there, acquire a holding of land reputed by current Scotch Irish men to be far more fertile and productive than any he was likely to know in his own country. In an effort to gain control, England also in the early 1600s created a huge plantation in Northern Ireland, by opening up an area for settlement by "true Englishmen."Few from England took up the challenge, but it was a rare opportunity for the poor people of the Scottish lowlands who had been traveling back and forth anyway to improve their lot, and thousands of Scots made the move.

 Only 30 miles separated the lower coast of Scotland from the coastline of Ulster , so they didn't have far to go. By 1612 ships were traveling back and forth with the frequency of a ferry. It should be noted here that people in Ulster and Scotland had been interacting for many years across this small stretch of water, the reason for this is simple, it was an easy crossing compared to "Black Pig's Dyke"

In 1632, Charles I demanded the Presbyterians join the Church of England. All those who disagreed with his demands were called "Dissenters." This policy met with such resistance that an army was raised to force Scots out of Ulster. Some emigrated to America; others went home to Scotland. Those who remained faced imprisonment. The Irish resented the intrusion of Scottish interlopers in Ireland, and their resentment exploded in 1641 in bitter insurrection, when an estimated 250,000 Scotch Irish Protestants where massacred by the Irish.


The Church of Ireland (same as the Church of England, except in name), laid a heavy hand on the Dissenters. Presbyterian ministers could only preach within certain limits, and were liable to be fined, deported, or imprisoned. They could not legally unite a couple in marriage, and at times could only preach at night and in a barn. The "Black Oath" of 1639 required all Protestants of Ulster above the age of 16 to bind themselves to an implicit obedience to all royal commands whatsoever.


As already stated, in 1641, the Catholic clergy decided to wage an all out religious war against the Scotch-Irish. Catholic priests declared Protestants to be devils and deemed it to be a mortal sin for a Catholic to protect a Protestant. The Pope even supported the plan to destroy the Scotch-Irish. On 23 October 1641, Catholics undertook a campaign to wipe out Ulster homesteaders. Less than two months later the Scots sent a desperate letter to the English Parliament asking for help. They stated they were in a miserable condition, and the rebels increased in men and munitions daily. All manner of cruelties and torment were brought upon the Protestants. "Cutting off their ears, fingers, and hands, boiling the hands of little children before their mother's faces, stripping women naked, and ripping them up."

Within 10 years, the population of the Scotch Irish in Ulster, had reached around eight thousand plus what was already there from many years of . Despite every vicissitude, including massacres and war, the Plantation gradually grew strong and proved to be a success. If one cause more than any other can be singled out for its success, it would be the presence, the persistence, and the industry of the Scots in the region.

 After thousands of years of interaction with Scotland and several generations actually living in Ulster, these people could no longer be correctly called Scotsmen, yet nor could they be called Irishmen. Their pioneering spirit, and the environment of Ireland had changed them. Yet, they were also much different from the native Irishmen who were staunchly Catholic.

The Presbyterian Scotch Irish did not intermarry with the Catholic Irish in Ulster. The rector of the Parish of Dungiven, in county of Derry, writing in 1814 says:

"The inhabitants of the parish are divided into two races of men, as totally distinct as if they belonged to different countries and regions. The Scotch Irish include the descendants of all the Scotch and English colonists who have emigrated hither since the time of James I and the Irish comprehending the native and original inhabitants of the country. Than these, no two classes of men can be more distinct. The Scotch Irish are remarkable for their comfortable houses and appearance, regular conduct, and perseverance in business, and their being almost entirely manufacturers; the Irish, on the other hand, are more negligent in their habitations, less regular and guarded in their conduct, and have a total indisposition to manufacture. Both are industrious but the industry of the Scotch Irish is steady and patient, and directed with foresight, while that of the Irish is rash, adventurous, and variable."

 James I had encouraged the planting of Ulster with new settlers to make Ireland a civil place. Archbishop Synge estimated that by 1715, 50,000 Scotch families had settled in Ulster since the 1641 revolution (civil war).

 The reasons for the Scotch Irish exodus from Ireland are numerous and complicated. Loss of the one hundred year leases they were originally granted by the King of Ireland, high taxation, fever and sickness and, most importantly, religious persecution, combined to make their adopted homeland a less than hospitable host. The 18th century witnessed a steady migration of the Protestant inhabitants of Ulster, and by estimation a third of the population crossed the Atlantic. This exodus was led by several energetic and non-conformist Presbyterian ministers who maintained ongoing communications with supporters in New England from as early as the 1630s

Although more than a quarter of the population of Ireland in the eighteenth century was Protestant, the Anglo-Irish Anglicans formed a minority of this number. It was the Ulster settlers and their descendants, overwhelmingly Presbyterian, who were in the majority. The Penal Laws, designed as they were to protect the privileges of members of the Church of Ireland, disenfranchised and discriminated against Presbyterians, though the effects for the Presbyterians were mitigated to some extent by their superior economic strength and the tight-knit communities in which they lived. Nonetheless, to a people who had fled Scotland originally to escape religious persecution, the impositions of the Penal Laws were intolerable. They also had to endure repeated attack's from the Irish and that ingrained hostility between the Irish community and the Scots-Irish in Northern Ireland which still exists to this very day, although the truth of this hostility has been heavily tarnished by Irish Nationalists propaganda.

The first phase of immigration took place between 1630, more than a century before the US became an independent country, and the time the American Revolution, which started in 1776. Beginning in the 16th century, the English began sending settlers to Ireland, many of them from Scotland. These as you know were known as the Scots-Irish.

 England had separated from the Catholic church in the 16th century and formed the Church of England. Most of the native Irish people were Catholics, and most of the Scots Irish were Presbyterians, that is, they belonged to a Protestant church other than the Church of England. Under Queen Anne (1702 - 1714) the Presbyterians in Ireland became by the Test Act of 1704 virtually outlaws.

 Their marriages were declared invalid and their Churches were closed. They could not maintain schools nor hold office above that of a petty constable. Reason enough to leave was that the Presbyterians could practice their religion freely in Ulster.

 Another reason was the digest of atrocities committed by Irish Catholic rebels against Protestant settlers, such as the earlier massacres of 1641 in which an estimated 200,000 Protestants were murdered, its little wonder the Scotch Irish left for the new world with such vigor.

The Massacres were clearly planned, and on 23rd October 1641 the Irish Papists, led by Sir Phelim O'Neill, incited, encouraged, financed, aided and abetted by the Roman Catholic Church, its priests and hierarchy, rose up in an insurrection, the sole purpose of which was the total eradication of Protestants and Protestantism throughout Ireland . Its interesting to note that one of the leaders, P O'Neill is the name that the IRA use today to verify acts of terrorism, or which in correspondence with the media.

The following extract comes from Henry Jones’ Remonstrance of Diverse Remarkable Proceedings Concerning the Church and Kingdom of Ireland (1641). Published as a petition to Parliament on the eve of the English Civil War, it contains a digest of atrocities committed by Irish Catholic rebels against Protestant settlers of which this is a small section.

 "But what pen can set forth, what tongue express, whose eye can read, ear hear, or heart, without melting, consider the cruelties, more than barbarous, daily exercised upon up by those inhumane, blood sucking tigers! Stripping quite naked men, women and children, even children sucking upon the breast, whereby multitudes of all sorts in the extremity of that cold season of frost and snow have perished. Women being dragged up and down naked, women in child bed thence drawn out and cast into prison… a child of 14 years of age taken from his mother, in her sight cast into a bog pit and held under water while he was drowned"

As well as political discontent, this first movement of emigration also had economic causes. The majority of Ulster Presbyterians were poor small holders, artisans, weavers and laborers, and these were most vulnerable both to the succession of natural disasters - crop failures, smallpox epidemics, livestock diseases - these recurred throughout the eighteenth century, and to the increasing commercialization of Ulster, with the constant efforts of landlords to increase the profitability of their lands by raising rents.

 The increasing importance of the linen trade was also influential, and the numbers of emigrants rose and fell as this trade prospered or faltered.

In 1660 Charles II, son of Charles I, was restored to the English throne. Little changed for the persecuted Presbyterians. In the 1680's Charles II dispersed their congregations and invalidated their marriages. Married couples were dragged before ecclesiastical courts and charged with fornication; their children were declared illegitimate. The Presbyterians lost all their property to the Church of England. Ulster Scots again began to emigrate. In 1685 Charles II died, James II, a Catholic, then became King. James II tried to turn Great Britain into a religious state in which only Catholicism could be practiced. In 1689 he tried to recapture the throne by marching an army of Catholics into Ulster.

 They laid siege to the fortress city of Londonderry. Protestants were shot in their homes, women were tied to stakes at low tide, so they might drown when the ocean waves came back. The army which besieged Londonderry was fought off with a desperation. The Ulstermen had no trained army officers, were without sufficient food or ammunition, and faced deadly fevers, yet the invaders were beaten off. James' bid for the throne failed and he was succeeded by William of Orange. James' downfall became known as the "Glorious Revolution," as it spared Presbyterians almost certain massacre. However, persecution continued. Presbyterians were not allowed to sell religious books, teach anything above primary school, and in 1704, Presbyterians were barred from holding major civil and military offices. Presbyterian minister, William Holmes, returned from America with encouraging news that the New England colonies offered refuge to Presbyterians.

In 1718, Governor Samuel Shute of Massachusetts encouraged the Scotch-Irish families to scrape together their savings and head for the New World.

 Meanwhile the Church of England, which now owned all the lands, continued to pile indignities upon the Scotch-Irish. Presbyterian farmers paid excessive rents and then had to use their profits for tithes (donations to the church). The reasons to emigrate from the Ulster region multiplied. Crop failures in the 1720's, famine in 1741, farm rents soared in the 1770's, and the Ulster linen industry collapsed in 1772. And so begin the emigration. The very nature of the business facilitated emigration, since the ships which brought flax seed from America often returned with a cargo of emigrants. Before 1720, the stream of migrants across the Atlantic was steady and almost exclusively Protestant. After that date, the rate of emigration grew, with a peak in the late 1720s, and a decline in the 1730s, when relative prosperity returned to Ulster. The famine of 1740-1741 gave a sharp impetus to the renewal of emigration, which rose steadily through the 1760s, when more than 20,000 people left from the Ulster ports of Portrush, Belfast, Larne and Derry.

The migration reached a climax in the years 1770 to 1774, when at least 30,000 people departed. Over the course of the whole century, it is estimated that more than 400,000 emigrated from Ulster, the vast majority to North America; in 1790, the number of the United States population from Ireland North and South has been estimated to have been 447,000, two-thirds of which were Ulster's Scotch Irish. The Irish rebel's openly and avowedly rejoiced at this impending calamity and use all means and artifices to encourage and persuade the Protestants to leave the nation, and cannot refrain from boasting that they shall by this means have all the lands of this kingdom in their possession.

One important result, significantly different from later Catholic emigration, was the fact that the Scotch Irish move was often carried out by entire families and even communities, allowing the settlers to maintain their way of life in the new world, and providing a continuity of religion and tradition in keeping with the religious and cultural separateness they had already brought with them from Northern Ireland.

 The influence of their culture, their music, religion and way of life, can still be seen in the US today. The blend of Protestant evangelism, fierce self-sufficiency and political radicalism that many Ulster Presbyterians brought with them to the New World, was powerfully influential in the American Revolution.

 In all of the states, but especially in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Delaware and Maryland, the immigrant Scots-Irish and their descendants played a role in the war out of all proportion to their numbers; as an officer on the British side put it,

"call this war by whatever name you may, only call it not an American rebellion; it is nothing more or less than a Scotch Irish Presbyterian rebellion".



Compilation of the Annals of the Four Masters


1638--SCOTLAND: Introduction of new Prayer Book was not well received. Prompted the signing of the National Covenant at Greyfriars, Edinburgh (birth of the Covenanters). Reiterated Reformation principles, abolished episcopacy. Charles trys to enforce the Royal will and fails.


It was in August of ’40 that Cromwell landed in Dublin. The great leader of the grim Ironsides, himself, was destined to leave behind him in Ireland for all time a name synonymous with ruthless butchery. The first rare taste of the qualities of this agent of God the Just, and first Friend of the Irish was given to the people at Drogheda. Only thirty men out of a garrison of three thousand escaped the sword. After Drogheda, Cromwell in quick succession reduced the other northern strongholds, then turned and swept southward to Wexford - two thousand were butchered here. Cromwell reduced the garrisons of Arklow, Inniscorthy and Ross on the way to Wexford. After Wexford he tried to reduce Waterford, but failing in his first attempt, and not having time to waste besieging it, passed onward - and found the cities of Cork an easy prey. He rested at Youghal, getting fresh supplies and money from England. In January he took the field again, reduced Fethard, Cashel and eventually got Kilkenny by negotiation. Against his new and powerful cannon, the ancient and crumbling defences of the Irish cities were of little avail. The conqueror then - in the end of May - sailed from Youghal for England after having in eight months, subdued almost of Ireland, destroyed the effective Irish forces, and left the country prostate at the feet of the Parliament. He left in command his general, Ireton, who on his death soon after, was to be succeeded by Cromwells son, Henry. It took his successors another two years to finish up the remnant of work that he had left unfinished. Waterford, Limerick and Galway still held out. Scattered bands of fighters here and there, and an army of the North, under Heber MacMahon, kept Ulster resistance still alive. The few towns - Waterford, Limerick, Galway - and the scattered fighting forces were gradually conquered or capitulated. Till on the 12th May ’52, Articles of Kilkenny signed by the Parliamentary Commissioners on the one hand and the Earl of West Meath on the other - yet fiercely denounced by the Leinster clergy - practically terminated the longest, the most appallingly dreadful and inhumane, and the most exhausting, war, with which unfortunate Ireland was ever visited


Great Catholic-Gaelic rebellion for return of lands,
later joined by Old English Catholics in Ireland. Under
leadership of Irish chieftain, Rory O'More, conspiracy was
formed to seize Dublin and expel the English. English settlers were driven out of Ulster. Catholics hold 59% of land in Ireland.

The Rising of 1641

The Irish were not content to starve and die upon the moors. The Rising of 1641 was the natural outcome of this great wrong. Rory O’Moore is chiefly credited for this great resurgence of the Irish race. For years he patiently worked among the leading Irish families, Irish Generals in the Continental armies, and other Irish representatives in the European countries. Plans being matured, the Rising broke in Ulster on the night of the 21st October 1641. Practically in one night they reconquered their province, having sent the Planters scurrying into the few Ulster cities that they still could hold. It was Ulster only that had risen that night - the other quarters remained quiet due to a miscarriage of plans and through a traitor. For the purpose of inciting the English at home , the English invented stories of massacres and Irish cruelty - many of which are still believed today. The fearful cruelties perpetrated by Sir Charles Coote, leader of the English army in Leinster, and by St Leger, English commander in Munster, combined with fear for themselves and their estates, drove the Anglo-Irish Catholic lords and their fellows in Munster to join the Rebellion. When the great and historic Synod met in Kilkenny in May ’42, the Irish practically owned Ireland, English power merely clinging by its teeth to some outer corners of the country.


Confederation of Kilkenny met.


  • --SCOTLAND: Earl of Argyll heads Solemn League and Covenant which sides with Parliament in English Civil War...briefly. Scotland is deeply divided when Cromwell does not follow through on certain promises and then executes Charles I. Scotland sides with Charles II after getting him to sign Covenants.

  • The Westminster Confession of Faith, 1646


The War of the ‘Forties

The Confederation of Kilkenny proved to be perhaps more of a curse than a blessing to Ireland.
The establishing of the Confederation was the establishing of a Parliament in Ireland. In England Charles and his Parliamentary Government were now at bitter odds - beginning the great civil conflict there. They manacled, and thwarted the great Irish figure of the Forties - the truly admirable man and signally great military leader, Owen Roe O’Neill. With Owen Roe’s coming arose Ireland’s bright star of hope - and with his passing, that star set. Owen Roe was a nephew of Hugh O’Neill, ‘Earl of Tyrone’, who fled at the century’s beginning, and had died abroad. Owen Roe was a young man at the time of the Flight of the Earls, had fought in that last disastrous fight at Kinsale and going abroad also, had won signal distinction as a military commander in the Spanish Netherlands. He had never ceased to hope that he would yet be the means of freeing his Fatherland. And through the years in which his sword had been in the service of Spain, his heart was ever with Ireland. He came to his own North, when, close following its first bright burst the clouds of despair had come down, and begun to sit heavy on it again. On the 6th July 1642, with a hundred officers in his company, the long wished for saviour stepped off a ship and was given command of the Northern army. So potent was the name and fame of Owen Roe that even while his army was still in embryo, Lord Levin from Scotland at the head of twenty thousand men refused to meet such a formidable battler and strategist. In June 1646 he fought and won his great pitched battle, the famous victory of Benburb. Here he met and smashed the Scottish General Monroe, who then held the British command in Ulster. All remaining Scottish forces were, by his signal victory sent scurrying into the two strongholds of Derry and Carrickfergus. The province was Owen Roe’s and Ireland’s.
So would the whole country soon have been - but unfortunately the Supreme Council, flinging away the golden opportunity, not only signed a peace with Ormond, acting for King Charles, but went so far as to put under his command all of the Confederate Catholic Army. Owen Rose hurried south with his forces to overawe the traitors and try to counteract the harm they had done. But every move made by Owen Rose, and every combination, was wisely directed toward the great end. Yet the noble man held steadily to his task, and when eventually Cromwell came like an avenging angel Owen Roe was the one great commanding figure to which the awed and wasted nation instinctively turned.
But, as by God’s will it proved, their turning to him was in vain.


Alliance between lords of Pale and native Irishmen came to an end

1648-1660--IRELAND: Cromwell determined to break the Irish; massacres and transplantation to Connaught shifted more land into English hands.


English soldier & statesman, Oliver Cromwell,
landed at Dublin. His troops killed 2,000 men. A
great part of lands in Munster, Leinster and Ulster
(Drogheda and Wexford) was confiscated and divided
among the English soldiers


Catholic landowners exiled to Connaught.


Abortive invasions of England; Cromwell defeats Scots at Dunbar.


The Cromwellian Settlement

But Irelands sufferings, great and terrible as they had been, were yet far from ended. "Ireland , in the language of Scripture, lay void as a wilderness. Five-sixths of her people had perished. Women and children were found daily perishing in ditches, starved. The bodies of many wandering orphans, whose fathers had been killed or exiled, and whose mothers had died of famine, were preyed upon by wolves. In the years 1652 and 1653 the plague, following the desolating wars had swept away whole counties, so that one might travel twenty or thirty miles and not see a living creature". In September 1653, was issued by parliament the order for the great transplanting. Under penalty of death, no Irish man, woman or child was to be found east of the River Shannon, after the 1st May 1654. Sir William Petty, in his Political Anatomy of Ireland, estimated that the wars had reduced the population.





Another defeat at Worcester.

--Scotland suffers under Commonwealth military occupation.


Over 60,000 Irish Catholics had been sent as slaves to Barbados, and
other islands in the Caribbean.


The population of Ireland, estimated at 1,500,000, before Cromwell, was reduced by two-thirds, to 500,000, at Cromwell's death in 1658.


Accession of Charles II.


Restoration; Scottish Parliament inexplicably annuls all Church legislation since 1633 reappointing Bishops. Resentment builds.


The Duke of Ormond ruled Ireland as Viceroy.


Extreme Covenanters rebel. Defeated at Rullion Green.


Over 6,000 Irish boys and women sold as slaves since England gained
control of Jamaica.


  • Another rebellion initially successful when they held the Highlander Royalist Claverhouse at Drumclog, but lacking the support of the majority of Scots, they were ultimately defeated (Bothwell Bridge). 


The Killing Time --Covenanters are ruthlessly pursued and slaughtered. Many flee to Ireland and America.


  • 1685.02--Charles II died suddenly and was succeeded by his brother James VII/II who continued to persecute the Covenanters. James, Duke of Monmouth, an illegitimate son of Charles II, asserted his legitimacy and right to be King and was supported by his cousin William of Orange. Campbell of Argyll tried to win over Scotland for Monmouth and invaded Scotland but failed.


  • 1685.09--Those captured after a siege of the Castle at Stranraer were banished and stigmatized, the men by having the left ear lopped, and the women were branded. Argyll was beheaded. Monmouth invaded England but was captured and ordered beheaded by his uncle James II after being defeated at the battle of Sedgemoor.


McWhorters (Scottish) version of the Killing Time


1.  HUGH1 MCWHORTER was born in County Armagh.  He married JEAN.   

Shelley McWhorter Wright, Some Descendants of David McWhorter and his wife Mary (Poston) McWhorter, "Plantation of Ulster," p. 19

"Plantation of Ulster" -- Scotch Irish

Henry VIII of England for his own reasons withdrew from the Catholic Church and established Episcopacy in England, in 1534, and when his daughter Mary (known to history as "bloody Mary” ) , a bigoted Catholic, succeeded him to the throne, in 1553), she re-established the roman church in England and Ireland; but in 1558 Elizabeth, daughter of Henry VIII, succeeded Mar y to the throne of England, and again the religion of England and was changed. "The will of one we a woman determined the future faith of the race which speaks the English tongue." Elizabeth established Episcopacy as the State Church--the same that has endured to this day.

In the year 1550 an Act of English Parliament provided for the uniformity of the Irish Church with the English, in doctrine and worship, and the laws made for the punishment of heretics were repealed.

By the year 1600 the Puritan party had become powerful in England, and its influence had spread to and gained headway in Ireland.

The Reformation in Scotland had produced a vast effect on the inhabitants of Scotland. The Presbyterian principles of John Knox ran kin to their hearts and changed the habits of their lives . An ignorant and changeable people became the foremost race in the world, possessed of all t h equalities necessary to render the Kelts (natives) of Ireland subject to the authority of En g l and. Hitherto, English colonists had been absorbed by the native Irish. Now another kind o f colonist was to settle in Ulster (the lands that had been confiscated from the O'Neil kings ) capable of holding the Kelt in subjection" the great plantation of Ulster movement was set in motion.

Accordingly the Plantation of Ulster began in 1606. The Scots chosen for this initial plantation were chiefly from the western highlands of Scotland--picked men and women. The thrifty Scots made the land that had had a long period of rest produce abundantly. The success of these settlers induced many of their kinsmen and friends from Scotland to follow. The vacant par t s o f t he country were occupied. The native Irish Catholics did not "absorb" these hard-head e d Scotch Presbyterians. They were like the "Jews and Samaritans"-- there was practically no amalgation . The name "Scotch-Irish" most definitely does not mean a mixture; it means the Scotch w ho lived in Ireland. The first time this term is recorded was in1780 when Francis Makemie , a young man from Ulster, matriculated at the University of Edinburgh. The term used in this record is : "Scotticus==Hibernicus." (Latin for "Scotch-Irish")

As a result of the Plantation settlement, Protestantism gained a strong hold in Ulster . As a part of this Protestantism, Presbyterianism got a footing in the province quite as so o n a s Episcopacy--not in the form of ecclesiastical government, but in the hearts of the people , in the doctrines of the Church, and even in the external mode of worship that prevailed.

A large majority of the Plantation settlers were of Puritan or Presbyterian principles (all Calvinistic), and with these principles themselves, made a praiseworthy attempt to embrace the entire Protestant population in one religious settlement.

(In 1615 a convocation of the clergy adopted a Confession of Faith as Calvinistic as the Shorter Catechism, which was formed by the Westminster Assembly some twenty-three years later. It ,therefore, followed that the Irish Church was then Presbyterian in theory, although Episcopal in form, and was so strongly Protestant tha tit was joined by several Scotch Presbyterian ministers, who were recognized as clergymen without re-ordination.

 The Scots knew the character of James VI, and were not afraid to resist his attempts to substitute an Episcopal for Presbyterian form of Church government. (James VI of Scotland, son of Queen Mary and Lord Darnley, became James I of Great Britain in 1603) They knew him to be a tyrant at heart, but a coward in his actions. He had no love for Presbyterianism and expressed his mind on the subject when he made the famous statement that, "Presbytery agrees as well with Monarchy as God and the Devil."

In 1618 James put over his "Five Articles of Perth" in Scotland, which meant conformity with the English Church, in a determined effort to force the Episcopacy on the Scottish Presbyterians. Rather than submit to this Act of Conformity, the Presbyterian clergy and people flocked to Ulster as a place of refuge.

It was during the Plantation of Ulster (1606-1610),and the years immediately following , that the McWhirters—practically all of them—left Scotland for a new home in Ulster, the exact time of removal, my research has failed to disclose. At least a few of them remained in Ayrshire for some years, as John McWhorter was at the Battle of Bothwell Bridge in 1679. But it appears that all of them finally followed the Clan to Ulster--my research failed to find the name in Scottish histories or records after 1700.

James VI of Scotland (James I of England) died in 1625 and was succeeded by his son Charles . For a few years after the accession of Charles, the faithful ministers in Ireland went about their work as usual. Then in 1639 the Black Oath was forced upon the Ulster Scots, that is, all those above sixteen years of age were compelled to take oath, on their knees that they would obey all the King's "royal commands." Troops, who were sent to compel the Presbyterians to swear, executed their orders with ruthless severity.

Charles was having so much trouble with the non-conforming Scots, by 1640, he prepared to invade Scotland. But before he was ready to take the field, the canny Scots, in a surprise move , invaded England, and drove the Royalists in headlong flight before them. Thus began the sanguinary war between the Royalists and the Presbyterians of  Scotland.

After this got into full swing, certain descendants of the northern Chieftains, the O'Neils of Ulster, whose estates had been confiscated at the beginning of the century, decided that while England was so well occupied at home it was a proper time to come back and take possession of those old estates.

Accordingly by correspondence, they plotted with the native Irish to expel all Protestant settlers of Anglo Saxon race. This was the beginning of what is known as the "Killing Time, " or the "Irish Rebellion." lower Ulster the rebellion broke out on that fatal Saturday, October 3, 1641. The native Irish who hated work and loved plunder more than they feared death, sprang to arms on the first call of their new leaders.

At first the rebels acted with comparative moderation, and they very generally refrained from molesting the Scots, but this lasted for only a very short time. The entire population f l e w to arms in multitudes, and they acted more like demons than human beings. The whole Irish Race aimed at exterminating the entire Protestant population. The atrocities of these Irish in 1641 reads much the same as the Hitlerite Germans of 1941,the main difference being in the employment of modern equipment for torture, by the Germans.

The Scots, having been disarmed some time previously were sitting ducks, as it were, unable to defend themselves, perished by the thousands, men, women and children. It was during this awful slaughter of innocent people that the MacWhirter name was almost wiped out.

Our ancestress, Jean McWhirter, (She was a McWhirter before her marriage, but have no record of her father's Christian name) lost her maternal grandparents with nine of their ten children in this bloody massacre. Her mother, an infant, was saved by her nurse, who ran to the hills with her and hid her so successfully the butcherers could not find her. Her parents were hung to a tree in front of their home, and the children were killed in various ways all over the place.

Hugh and Jean McWhorter lived in County Armagh where he was for many years a successful linen merchant. Their eldest son, Alexander, who was a student at the University of Edinburgh preparing for the ministry, decided that he wanted to come to America and finish his course at Princeton, New Jersey. His father and his father's brother (given name uncertain, but have some evidence that it was "James") decided they would remove with their families to America, "the land of the bree" at the same time Alexander came in 1735. Hugh and Jean had ten children--do not know how many, if any, his brother had==when they left Ulster. They landed at New Castle, Delaware.

Hugh settled in the County of New Castle, Delaware and became an extensive farmer and an elder of the Presbyterian church near the village of Middletown, and generally called "the Forest Congregation, "near the Pennsylvania line, on the other side of which was Lancaster County ,which at that time covered a large area.

Alexander, the eldest son, died at the age of twenty-two, before he had graduated from Princeton. About two months after his death another son was born to Hugh and Jean. This baby was named "Alexander" after his deceased brother, but his name was not allowed to bespoken in the family until he was several months old. This son became the Rev. Dr. Alexander McWhirter of Revolutionary fame.

From the records of the Scotch-Irish Congress of America (records in the Historical Foundation Library, Montreat, North Carolina) some old Church records of the Reformed Church and Tax lists in Pennsylvania, the following was gathered;

The Scotch Irish who landed at New Castle, Delaware, for the most part pushed on into Pennsylvania, settling in Lancaster and York, the adjoining counties. They formed the settlements of:"The Barrens," southeastern York county, the "Monaghan" settlement, northeastern York County : "Marsh Creek" and the "Great Conewego" settlements near Gettysburg, York County.

"In 1731 a good number of Scotch-Irish settled at Marsh Creek.  In 1736 the Proprietors determined to survey for themselves a Manor in this territory. In 1741 an order was issued for the survey to be made....1743 ,the settlers strenuously objected, but "John McWirter said he would move out soon. In 1754 the surveyor reported he could not yet make a tolerable draft of it. " And it was not until 1765thatacompromise was effected.

Wherever the Scotch Irish settled, they built their churches as soon as their cabins were finished---all logs, of course. Marsh Creek Church was an organized church in 1747. Buionstion Church, in "the Barrens" in Chanceford township was built about 1753. Moses, Henry and Aron Mc Whirter were members of this church in 1771. An old Reformed preacher's baptismal record  shows that Moses had a baby named "Jean" baptized in1778. He was still living here in 1782.


Accession of James II.


English Revolution
James II deposed in England. Gates of Derry shut in face of James' troops.
Catholics now hold 22% of land in Ireland.


English Revolution against James VII/II; William of Orange (wife, Mary Stuart is James' daughter) ascends throne. He agrees to abolish the bishops. Scottish Episcopalianism is funneled into the Jacobite movement (support of James, the Old Pretender, son of James VII/II). Abolition of patronage (The right of the Crown, landlord or other patron to nominate or 'present' a minister to the local parish [often a political favor to a man in search of income rather than committed to the souls under his care.])


  • Episcopalian ministers were allowed to retain their benefices if they took an oath of allegiance.



Siege and relief of Derry.
James II's Parliment restored all lands confiscated since 1641


William III appointed the Duke of Hamilton as High Commissioner of Scotland. Claverhouse came to Parliament and claimed he was High Commissioner and called out the Highlanders to arms. Jacobites defeated, Claverhouse (Viscount Dundee) killed at Killiecrankie. Some Highlanders continued to resist Oath of Allegiance to William until 1691.


William of Orange (William III) lands at Carrickfergus and defeats James II
at Battle of the Boyne. 11,000 "WILD GEESE soldiers sail for France.


Catholic defeat at Aughrim and surrender at Limerick.


All the Highland chiefs but MacDonald of Glencoe eventually swear allegiance. The Massacre of Glencoe.


Third conquest of Ireland in a century was completed. Irish owners held 1/7th of the land. Middle classes were excluded from the corporations, trades and professions. Discriminatory penal laws were enacted in 1695, 1698, excluding conscientious Catholics from wearing arms, teaching publicly or practicing law.


  • Penal laws forbade Irish Catholics to acquire land by other than inheritance or to take leases of more than 31 years at crushing rents. If the eldest son conformed, he inherited the whole estate; if not, it was divided equally. The effect was the disappearance of this class. Catholics in general were barred from trades, professions, education, offices, juries, electoral vote, right of arms and a horse.

  • The Presbyterians in the north of Ireland suffered as well during the Episcopalian ascendancy. After the accession of George I the "Regium Donum" was restored to their ministers and a Toleration act allowed them to worship freely and hold petty offices. But they were debarred from Parliament and government. Along with the Catholics, they were forced to support a church they despised.

  • Over the 1700s, under the Hanoverians, both Irish and poorer protestants, ruined by heavy rents and commercial acts fled elsewhere. Both Scots and Irish chaffed under the dominant English.



Exclusion of Catholics from Parliament and all professions.


Anti-Catholic Penal Laws Introduced
Catholics hold 14% of land in Ireland.


William Molyneaux pamphlet against England making laws for Ireland.


After William III's death, Anne, younger daughter of James VII/II (Mary's sister), ascended the thrones of England and Scotland, but left no heir.


Secession of Cameronians (followers of fanatical Covenanter, Richard Cameron); they rejected any supremacy of the State in church matters.


Treaty of Union: Scottish & English Parliaments united. (United Kingdom) Scotland was then represented by a number of Members of the Westminster Parliament and a number of Representative Peers in the House of Lords.    Scotland was given guarantees re: the Presbyterian Established Church & the maintenance of Scottish Law and Courts. Highlands not really subdued.


Act of Toleration allows episcopal dissenters to use English liturgy; restored patronage (a source of much later trouble). Although suspect in the Jacobite troubles, an independent Episcopal Church remained with its Bishops. All the sees except Edinburgh (founded by Charles I) are Pre-Reformation.


Catholics hold 7% of land in Ireland.


Jacobite Rebellion led by Earl of Mar on behalf of James III (Old Pretender.) Lacked Lowland or French support and was defeated.


--Secession Church founded by Ebenezer Erskine over patronage issue. Secessionists wanted local congregations to be allowed to choose their ministers


The Forgotten Famine


Cameronians become the Reformed Presbyterian Church.


Jacobite Rebellion on behalf of Charles Edward (Young Pretender or Bonnie Prince Charlie). Defeated by Cumberland at Culloden. Cumberland earns title of "the Butcher"--another wave of transportations and emigrations.


Lowland Scots joined English in subduing the Highlands once and for all (they had suffered from Highland regiments during the Covenanter era). Act of Proscription (repealed 1782) banned Highland dress.

  • The end of fighting was part of what lay behind the Highland Clearances as much as anything. Clan crofters had paid rent in warrior service (ancient/medieval practice); the landlords, no longer fighting and drawn to urban comforts, now demanded rent in cash--not possible.


  • Secession Church splits into the Burghers & Anti-Burghers--a dispute over a religious clause in the oath required of burgesses in Edinburgh, Glasgow & Perth. Erskine & the moderates tended to be Burghers; stricter secessionists tended to be Anti-Burghers.



Henry Gratten, becomes leader of "Patriot Party".


Daniel O'Connell born at Derrynane,Co.Kerry.Received early schooling from
Parish Priest, then sent to France to receive further
instruction at St. Omer and Douai.


Legislative Independence won from Britain by Irish Parliament.


  • Landlords rented to Lowland and English sheep farmers. Evictions. Highland families dispossessed and dispersed. Filled Lowland town slums and factories; emigrated to Canada and Australia. 


  • There was also considerable merchant/industrial/professional/clerical traffic to Ireland and the Americas and back (more than we'd assume) over the 18-19c.



Events leading up to the Revolution of 1798 small clover



Daniel O'Connell takes law degree at Trinity College, and is admitted to the Bar.


Act of Union passed (effective 1 January 1801)

The information above was gathered from the cited websites.  Please visit these websites for more information, pictures and clarification of the information.

'The Scottish Migration to Ulster in the Reign of James I', by M.Perceval-Maxwell, ISBN 0-901905-77-1. It was reprinted a few years ago by the Ulster Historical Foundation, 12 College Square East,Belfast,BT16DD, No. Ireland . They have a website at and are very helpful. Also of couLodge's Peerage of Ireland, (1764, four
volumes). It's not the easiest to find, but if you can't find a print
copy it is available on Microfiche. As for O'Hart's, it's reputation is
far less than reliable. The Irish Pedigrees you ordered should be used
with caution, if at all, and only use information that can be verified
by other (reputable) sources.

 Irish Pedigrees: The Origin and the Stem of the Irish Nations from NEHGS.  
THE IRISH AND ANGLO-IRISH LANDED GENTRY, When Cromwell Came to Ireland; or, A Supplement to Irish Pedigrees.
The old standby, 'The Scotch-Irish', by James Hanna in two volumes is a must. It's in many libraries, but was reprinted by the Genealogical Publishing co. in Baltimore not long ago. Their website is  

Lodge's Peerage of Ireland, (1764, four
volumes). It's not the easiest to find, but if you can't find a print
copy it is available on Microfiche


A List of Undertakers:  

Irish Lineage

Scotch Irish in Virginia