LEADING ARTICLE: Ulster-Scots A Solid Part of Ulster's History

The News Letter (Belfast, Northern Ireland), April 9, 2004 | Go to article overview

LEADING ARTICLE: Ulster-Scots A Solid Part of Ulster's History


ULSTER-SCOTS have been a highly influential part of society in this northern part of Ireland for 400 years and even centuries before (as far back as 2,000 years), when there was a regular two-way trek across the North Channel, the cultural links between Ulster and Scotland were binding and meaningful.

In Skene's Chronicles of the Picts and Scots, it is recorded that the geographical generic term of Scotia "embraced the people of that race, whether embracing Ireland or Britain".

While the term fluctuated, applying first to Ireland where the designation Hibernia was more commonly used by the native population, it eventually settled in Scotland during the reign of Malcolm the Great (1004-1034).

The Presbyterian Calvinist tradition, created from the Protestant Reformation, was first brought to Ulster from lowland Scotland in the early 17th century and, in the period since, this has manifested itself in so many aspects of life in the Province.

The Scottish Plantation of Ulster concentrated in counties Antrim, Londonderry, Down, Tyrone and Donegal, with the first Proclamation, inviting Scottish settlers to move to Ulster, signed in Edinburgh in March 29, 1609.

A dozen generations on from those Scottish Plantation settlements the rich culture (music, language, literature, poetry and dance) of a distinctive people has become very deeply embedded in the soil and psyche of Ulster, finding a rightful space alongside the traditions of the native Irish population, which is largely identified with the Roman Catholic Church and nationalism, and the inheritances of the English Plantation which is largely attached to the Anglican forms of worship.

The Ulster-Scots tradition is not exclusively centred in Ulster - it has been transported with vigour to America, where 17 of the 43 United States Presidents can trace family links to the Province, and to Australia, Canada and New Zealand. …

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LEADING ARTICLE: Ulster-Scots A Solid Part of Ulster's History
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