Thursday, 24 April 2014

The Making of the Ulster Scot (pt3)

The Flemish Advent

So much with regard to the Saxons and Normans, who, for more than a century and a half, continued to flood Scotland, and to make the race predominant in the country.

(6) But the entrance of yet another Teutonic element has now to be recorded. "One great cause of the wealth and prosperity of Scotland during these early times," says the well-known historian, Mr. Fraser Tytler, "was the settlement of multitudes of Flemish merchants in the country, who brought with them the knowledge of trade and manufactures, and the habits of application and industry. In 1155 Henry II. banished all foreigners from his dominions, and the Flemings, of whom there were great numbers in England, eagerly flocked into the neighbouring country, which offered them a near and safe asylum. We can trace the settlement of these industrious citizens during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries in almost every part of Scotland, in Berwick in St. Andrews, Perth, Dumbarton, Ayr, Peebles, Lanark, Edinburgh, and in the districts of Renfrewshire, Clydesdale and Annandale, in Fife, in Angus, in Aberdeenshire and as far north as Inverness and Urquhart" (Tytler's "History of Scotland," Vol II., c. iii., § 4).

Try now to realise the transformation which in the course of more than 1,000 years of eventful history -- of repeated slaughterings, emigrations, and colonisations -- the inhabitants of Galloway and Strathclyde have undergone. We have, first of all, as aborigines the Picts, who were not Celts, but who continued to survive in considerable numbers. We have next the British, or Brythonic, Celts, akin to the Welsh, who subjected, but did not expel the Picts. We nave the numerous Roman campaigns against the British, in which large numbers of the latter were slain or carried captive, and in the courts of a Roman occupation of 300 years' duration the addition of more or less of a Roman element. We have next for a long period measured by centuries its possession and domination by the Teutonic Northumbrians, an immense reduction of the number of the native inhabitants by war, captivity, and actual emigration, and the settlement there of many Angles. We have, then, its capture and occupation by the Northmen, and a powerful addition of Danish and Norse blood to the population. Most important of all, we have for a period of more than a century pouring into the country a continuous stream of Saxon and Norman colonists, who, in conjunction with other Teutonic settlers, soon took the upper hand and became predominant. And finally, we have the inflow of a multitude of Flemings, who were also Teutons.

There was unquestionably in "the remains of the old Midland Britons" a Celtic element, which, however, through intermarriage and fusion of the races in the twelfth and thirteen centuries, soon ceased in the Lowlands to be a separate and appreciable quantity. By that inter-marriage race distinctions were obliterated, and the Scottish people of the Lowlands amalgamated and consolidated into a compact unity, in which the Celtic element had become decidedly exiguous. As Mr. Andrew Lang puts it: "A Dumfries, Ayr, Renfrew, Lanark, or Peebles man, as a dweller in Strathclyde, has some chance of remote British (Brython) ancestors in his pedigree; a Selkirk, Roxburgh, Berwickshire, or Lothian man is probably for the most part of English blood" (Article on "Scotland" in "Encycl. Britannica").

"Since the twelfth age," says Father Innes, "We have no further mention of the Walenses or Welsh ["the remains of the old Midland Britons"] in those parts as a distinct people, they being insensibly so united with and incorporated into one people with the rest of the inhabitants of that country, that in the following age they appeared no less eclipsed or vanished than if they had left the country." "Thence come," he adds, "the expressions of the 'preface to the Chartulary of Glasgo, that the remains of the old Britons or Welsh in the Western parts of Scotland had been by the invasions and ravages of the Picts, Saxons, Scots, and Danes forced to leave the country" ("Critical Essay on the Ancient Inhabitants of the Northern Parts of Britain or Scotland," Book I., c. ii., p. 41, in Vol. VIII. of the History of Scotland"). Father Innes is recognised as one of the most learned, best informed and accurate of Scottish historians.

The Second Territory

II. We turn now to the second territory, including Edinburghshire, Haddingtonshire, and Berwickshire, which provided a considerable number of the Ulster colonists of King James's Plantation. These are all named in the records as having supplied not a few of the Ulster undertakers and settlers. Now, the whole district from the Tees to the Forth, embracing these counties, was early taken possession of by a Teutonic people. Prior even to 449, a tract of country south of the Forth had received a considerable settlement of Frisians, a Teutonic race. But under a leader of the Angles called Ida an English kingdom was founded there in 547 called the kingdom of Bernicia. Later, with Deira added, it became the kingdom of Northumbria, consisting of a thoroughly Teutonic people, Angles or English both in blood and speech. Later still, Northumbria was taken by the Northmen, who added another powerful ingredient to the Teutonic blood of the people there, which was still further strengthened by two causes already noticed -- first, by the immigration of the discontented refugees who followed Edgar, the Atheling, from England on the invasion of the Normans, and, secondly, by the numerous captives carried into Scotland by Malcolm Canmore.

By the victory of the Scottish King, Malcolm II., over Northumbria at Carham in 1018, the whole territory from the Tweed to the Forth, containing the counties named, was ceded to Malcolm. This cession of what was now called Lothian was one of the most momentous and epoch-making events in Scottish history, for it added rich, fertile, Teutonic, and English-speaking province to the Scottish kingdom, which before long became the central and predominating influence in the nation. "It involved nothing lets than the transference to another race of the main destinies of a united Scottish people," and the Anglicising of all Lowland Scotland (Hume Brown, p. 43).

But what I ask you very particularly to notice is that the people occupying that region of Lothian, which sent a very considerable number of colonists to Ulster. were Angles or English, so that it is quite certain that the Ulster immigrants from that area were to all intensive purposes of purely Teutonic blood. "The annexation of Lothian," says Paterson, "occupied for centuries chiefly by the Angles, brought them into closer contact with the inhabitants of the adjacent districts, while a body pf Saxons actually effected a settlement in Kyle and Cunningham . . . The many Saxons brought into Scotland by Malcolm Canmore . . . must have tended greatly to disseminate a language already constituting the vernacular tongue of the East Coast from the Forth to the Tweed . . . In the next, or Angle-Saxon period, the growth of the Scottish dialect can be still more distinctly traced" ("History of County of Ayr," Vol I., pp. 16. 17).


III. We pass finally to that wide territory north of the Forth, known in early times as Pictland, and which gave many emigrants to Ulster. It is known that a good many years later than the actual Plantation under King James, a large number of people came from the region that lies between Aberdeen and Inverness, the ancient province of Moray. In a curious book of "Travels" by Sir William Brereton, the author states that in July, 1635, he came to the house of Mr. James Blare, in Irvine, Ayrshire, who informed him that "above 10,000 persons have within two years last past left the country wherein they lived, which was betwixt Aberdine and Enuerness, and are gone for Ireland; they have come by one hundred in company through this town, and three hundred have gone thence together, shipped for Ireland at one tide." Now, what is the previous history of that province of ancient Moray, lying between Aberdeen and Inverness, from which they emigrated? It was originally inhabited by Picts, a non-Celtic people. But its later history is noteworthy. It was one of the territories which the Northmen took possession of and made their own. In 875 Thorstein the Red, a Danish leader, added Caithness, Sutherland, Ross, and Moray to this dominions. Later the same territory was seized by the Norse Jarl Sigurd, who ruled over it till his death at the battle of Clontarf, when he was succeeded by his son Thorfinn, so that for a long period it was practically a province of Norway. Skene says that the Mormaers and men of Moray "had as often been subject to the Norwegian earls as they had been to the Scottish kings." It is known that, occupying that province for so long a series of years, the Northmen added a strong Norse element to the blood of the residents; while it was the scene of many conflicts which must have greatly diminished the native population.

But another vigorous Teutonic ingredient was still to be given to it. The old province of Moray was one of those specially favoured by a large and liberal Norman colonisation. The Mormaer of Moray and his brother in 1130 took advantage of David's absence in England to raise a force hostile to the King's interest, and they were defeated with heavy loss -- the "Annals of Ulster record that 4,000 of the Morebh were slain," "and so complete was the victory," says Dr. Hume Brown, "that the district of Moray was definitely attached to the Scottish Crown, and its lands divided among the Normans, and such of the natives as the King could trust" ("History of Scotland," Vol. I., p. 76). He adds that it "was largely colonised by Norman settlers." Another rising was attempted in 1162 under Malcolm IV., "who," we are informed, "expelled very many of the rebellious inhabitants of Moray, and planted new colonists in their place, chief among whom were the Flemings or natives of Flanders" ("Critical Essay," &c., by Thos. Innes, M.A., p. 102). In those 10,000 emigrants who went to Ulster from this region there may have been some infusion of Pictish blood, but it is probable that by that time its main ingredient was Teutonic.

Variety of Races

In the rapid survey I have given the thing that most strikes one is the great variety of races that have combined to produce the Lowland Scot, whether he resides on the other side or on this side of the Channel. Pict and Celt, Roman, Frisian, Angle, and Saxon, Dane and Norwegian, Norman and Fleming -- ten different nationalities -- have all gone to the making of him. It is not to any one constituent, but to the union and combination in himself of such a great variety of vigorous elements that he owes those distinctive traits and qualities which distinguish him from other men. If you ask what proportion the Celt bears to the other nationalities which have united in the amalgam which we call the "Ulster Scot," my own impression is that the Angle and the Saxon, the Dane and the Norwegian, the Norman and the Fleming, all of which have gone to his formation, when taken together, make a combination by which, I imagine, the Celt in him is overpowered and dominated. That is my impression, but you can gauge the justice of it by the facts which I have placed before you. And the course of the subsequent history seems to justify this view. It is significant that, after the amalgamation of the races to which I have referred, the people of the Lowlands should be habitually regarded and spoken of as Sassenachs, and the Highlanders of the West as Celts. After the Teutonisation of the former, and the fusion of the races, and when the unabsorbed Celtic population was confined mainly to the Western Highlands and Islands, it was almost inevitable that there should be a determined and final struggle on the part of the latter to maintain, if not their predominance, at least their independence. Such a decisive struggle actually occurred at the famous and desperate battle of Harlaw in 1411. Donald, Lord of the Isles, a Celtic chieftain, with many Highland chiefs at the head of their clans, and an army of 10,000 men, set out to seize Aberdeen, bent on making himself master of the country as far south as the Tay, when he was met at Harlaw by the Earl of Mar, son of "the wolf of Badenoch," defeated in "one of the bloodiest battles ever fought in Scotland," driven back to his fastnesses, and compelled to make submission. By both Highland and Lowland historians the battle of Harlaw is described as "a decisive contest between the two races," the Saxon and the Celt. The authors of "The Clan Donald" assert that "Donald's policy was clearly to set up a Celtic supremacy in the West;" and Dr. Hume Brown affirms that "as a decisive victory of the Saxon over the Celt," the battle of Harlaw "ranks with the battle of Carham in its determining influence on the development of the Scottish nation," and in "ensuring the growth of Teutonic Scotland" (" History of Scotland," Vol. I., p. 206).

Sir Walter Scott was more than a mere writer of romance. From his early years he had given special interest and continued attention to antiquarian pursuits, and to the past history of his country, an interest which appeals in the historical cast and character of so many of his tales. It is true he wrote under a personal bias against the men of the Covenant, but that he was exceptionally familiar with antiquarian lore, and had an intimate knowledge of the past history of Scotland is beyond question. Now, Sir Walter Scott habitually represents the Lowlanders as "Saxons" (which he uses as an equivalent for "Teutons") and the Highlanders as Celts. In the "Fair Maid of Perth," for example, the Booshalloch says to Simon the Glover from Perth, "These are bad manners which he [the young Celtic Highland chief] has learned among yon Sassenachs in the Low Country." Then at the desperate combat oa the North Inch of Perth between the warriors of the two Highland Clans, Clan Qubele and Clan Chattan, when the latter discovered the absence through funk of one of their heroes: "Say nothing to the Saxons of his absence," said the chief, MacGillie Chattanach; "the false Lowland tongues might, say that one of Clan Chattan was a coward." To the great literary artist, the Lowlanders are to all intents and purposes "Saxons." Was an antiquarian expert, such as Scott was, likely to put into the mouth of a Highland chief what he believed to be a gross historical blunder?

But Scott is not alone in this representation. I have given the statements of Dr. Hume Brown, the Historiographer Royal of Scotland, and Professor of Ancient Scottish History and Palaeography in Edinburgh University. I shall only trouble you with the deliberate judgment of another modern historian, who has traversed the whole field of Scottish history. "The Scots, originally Irish," says Mr. Andrew Lang, "have given their name to a country whereof, perhaps, THE GREATEST PART OF THE NATIVES ARE AS ENGLISH IN BLOOD AS THEY ARE IN SPEECH" ("History of Scotland," Vol. I., p. 37).

In Conclusion

The exact proportion of the Celt in the Lowland Scotsman or the Ulsterman it is now impossible to measure with precision. It is the fact that so many different races have united in producing him -- that the blood not only of the Pict and the Celt, but of the Frisian, the Angle, and the Saxon, the Norwegian and the Dane, the Norman and the Fleming, all intermingled, is flowing in his veins -- that seems to me the main thing to be noted in the making of him, the secret to which he owes the distinguishing features in his character. What are they? To summarise them in a sentence, are they not something like these? An economy and even a parsimony of words, which does not always betoken a poverty of ideas; an insuperable dislike to wear his heart upon his sleeve, or make a display of the deeper and more tender feelings of his nature; a quiet and undemonstrative deportment which may have great firmness and determination behind it; a dour exterior which may cover a really genial disposition and kindly heart; much caution, wariness, and reserve, but a decision, energy of character, and tenacity of purpose, which, as in the case of Enoch Arden, "hold his will and bear It through;" a very decided practical faculty which has an eye on the main chance, but which may co-exist with a deep-lying fund of sentiment; a capacity for hard work and close application to business, which, with thrift and patient persistence, is apt to bear fruit in considerable success; in short, a reserve of strength, self-reliance, courage, and endurance which, when an emergency demands (as behind the Walls of Derry), may surprise the world. Where did he get these traits Did he get them from the Celt? I rather think not. The qualities which, in his "Religion of the Ancient Celts," MacCulloch specifies as in all times the distinctive characteristics of the Celt are -- "loquacity, vanity, excitability, fickleness, imagination, love of the romantic, sentimental love of country, religiosity passing easily over to superstition" -- most of them the exact antithesis to what you find in the Ulster Scot. I conclude that the Celt in the Ulsterman is treated by the other races that unite in him very much as the "daft body" in Dean Ramsay's story was treated by the turkey-cock. He was "sairly hadden doun," he said "wi' the bubbly jock." It is evident that the Celtic strain in the blood of the Ulster Scot is "sairly hadden doun" by that varied conglomerate of powerful Teutonic ingredients which/have conspired in the making of him, and which set him in the most obvious, glaring, and piquant contrast with the typical Celt, Irish or other!

This article was originally published in The Witness of 10 April 1913.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

The Making of the Ulster Scot (pt2)

The Scandinavian Invasion

(4) But we come now to another Teutonic invasion which must have still more profoundly affected them -- the seizure and occupation of both Galloway and Strathclyde by the Scandinavians. There is a record in the Ulster Annals to the effect that in 822 "Galloway of the Britons was laid waste with all its dwellings and its Church." But in 870 again both Strathclyde and Galloway were devastated by the terrible Northmen; Alclyde was taken and demolished, and many captives and much booty carried away. And the chronicler, Symeon of Durham, records another desperate invasion of the same territories by the Danes in 875, when they laid waste the country and "made great slaughter" of the inhabitants; and this is confirmed by the Ulster Annals. Referring to the same incursion in his "History of the County of Ayr" (p. 15), Paterson says that they "laid waste Galloway and a great part of Strathclyde," and that thus harassed by the insatiable Northmen, many of the inhabitants "resolved on emigrating to Wales. Under Constatin, their chief, they accordingly took their departure... The Strathclyde kingdom was, of course, greatly weakened by the departure of their best warriors, and it continued to be oppressed both by the Scots and the Anglo-Saxon princes." "And with the retreating emigrants," says Robertson, "the last semblance of independence departed from the Britons of the North ("Scotland Under Her Early Kings," Vol. I., p. 54). But in 944 we find the Danes, Ronald and his sons, in possession of Galloway, and continuing in possession till the end of the century, when the Danes are displaced by the Norwegians, who remain in occupancy till the end of the next century (see Sir Herbert Maxwell's "History of Dumfries and Galloway," p. 48; Skene's "Celtic Scotland," and the "Annals of the Four Masters"). "From the end of the ninth century," says Rait, "Norse settlements continued for 300 years. The districts of Dumfriesshire and Galloway, all of the Western islands, the West coast of the Firth of Clyde northwards, and the coasts from Caithness and Sutherland to the Moray Firth were deeply affected by the influx of a Scandinavian population" (Rait's "Scotland, p. 7). As was inevitable, these Northmen left their mark deep on Galloway and Strathclyde, and added a strong Teutonic ingredient in the population. "It is plain," says Sir Herbert Maxwell, "from the place-names of Norse origin scattered through the stewartry and the shire that there was a permanent Scandinavian settlement there" ("History of Dumfries and Galloway," p. 38).

"A sore and certain test of a colonisation of this description," says Robertson, "is afforded by the topography of the districts occupied, the 'caster' and 'by' invariably marking the presence of the Northmen not only as a dominant, but as an actually occupying class." He then proceeds to give clear evidence of such colonisation by the Northmen in the South-West of Scotland. Sir Herbert Maxwell also refers to "the remains of Scandinavian occupation preserved in the place-names of the South-West. Many hills," he says, "bear the title 'fell' -- the Norse 'fjall' -- as in 'Fell a' Barhullian' in Glasserton parish, or disguised as a suffix, as in 'Criffel.' The well-known test syllable, 'by,' a village, farm, or dwelling, so characteristic of Danish rather than of Norse occupation, takes the place in southern districts which 'bolstadr' holds in northern. 'Lockerby,' the dwelling of Locard or Lockhart; Canonby and Middleby in Dumfriesshire, Busby, Sorby, and Corsby in Wigtonshire are instances in point. 'Vik,' a creek, or small bay, gives the name to Southwick (sand-vik-sandybay), and 'n'es,' a cape, appears in Sinniness (south point), and Borness (burgh or fort point). Pastoral occupation is implied in Fairgirth (sheep-fold). . . Tinwald, like Dingwall in the North, is the Assembly-field, and Mouswald the Mossfield" (Maxwell's "Dumfries and Galloway," pp. 44, 45). A Norwegian writer, quoted by Mackerlie, states that "the language of the Lowlands of Scotland is so much like that of Scandinavia that the Scottish seamen wrecked on the coasts of Jutland and Norway have been able to converse without difficulty in their mother-tongue with the people there."

In short, nothing in Scottish history is more certain than that a very large infusion of Danish and Norse blood has been given to the people of Galloway and Strathclyde. In view of the repeated devastation and depopulation of the country by war and by emigration of the natives, and the large influx and colonisation by Scandinavians, that infusion must have been very large indeed.

The Normans and Saxons

(5) But we have to notice in the next place the greatest revolution of all in the history of this region, and of nearly all Scotland, the revolution caused by the influx of Saxons and Normans.

"Through the troubles in England consequent on the Danish and Norman invasions," says Dr. Hume Brown, a "succession of Saxon settlers crossed the Tweed in search of the peace they could not find at home. In itself this immigration must have powerfully affected the course of Scottish history; but under the Saxon Margaret and her sons the southern influence was directed and concentrated with a deliberate persistence that eventually reduced the Celtic element to a subsidiary place in the development of the Scottish nation." And here it is most important to take note of and to carry in our memory the emphatic statement of Dr. Hume Brown with regard to the district under consideration when the Saxon and Norman colonisation began. "From all we know of Strathclyde and Galloway previous to the time of the Saxonised and Normanised kings" (Dr. Brown says) "extensive districts must have consisted of waste land" ("History of Scotland," Cambridge Historical Series, pp. 50, 89).

The movement which began under Malcolm II. (1005-1034) went on on a still larger scale in the time of Malcolm Canmore (1057-1093). He had long resided as an exile at the Court of Edward the Confessor, and had become thoroughly English in sentiment and sympathy. It was in his time that the Norman Conquest took place, and had a profound influence on the history of Scotland -- an influence which appears not only in the copious inflow of Englishmen into Scotland, but in the gradual transformation of Scottish society and Scottish institutions. "The form in which the Conquest was first felt in Scotland," says Dr. Hill Burton, "was by a steady migration of the Saxon people northward. They found in Scotland people of their own race, and made a marked addition to the predominance of the Saxon and Teutonic elements" (Hill Burton's "History of Scotland," Vol. I., p. 373),

On the death of their King at Hastings, Edgar the Atheling had been chosen by the English people to succeed him, but he and his mother and two sisters, driven from England by the Conqueror, took refuge at the Court of Malcolm Canmore. And not only the Royal family, but "many of the Saxons fled into Scotland," says Cunningham, "to escape from their Norman masters . . . From this period," he adds, "we find a stream of Saxon and Norman settlers pouring into Scotland. They came not as conquerors, and yet they came to possess the land. With amazing rapidity, sometimes by Royal grants, and sometimes by advantageous marriages, they acquired the most fertile districts from the Tweed to the Pentland Firth; and almost every noble family in Scotland now traces from them its descent. The strangers brought with them English civilisation' (Cunningham's "Church History of Scotland," Vol I., p. 105). Edgar's sister, Margaret, who became Malcolm's Queen, was an able and ambitious, as well as an intensely religious woman after the Roman fashion, bent on the predominance of the English interest and of the English, that is, of the Roman Church. In 1070 Malcolm, her husband, made a raid into England, harried Cumberland, and carried back with him to Scotland as captives large numbers of young people of both sexes. "So great was the number of those captives," says the chronicler, Symeon, of Durham, "that for many years they were to be found in every Scottish village, nay, in every Scottish hovel. In consequence, Scotland became filled with menservants and maidservants of English parentage; so much so that even at the present day," says Symeon, writing in 1120, "not only is not the smallest village, but not even is the humblest house to be found without them." "And besides the Saxons, many of the Norman nobility, dissatisfied with the rule of the Conqueror, retired to Scotland, where they were encouraged by every mark of distinction that could be heaped upon them" (Paterson's "History of the County of Ayr," Vol. I., p. 18). After referring to Symeon's testimony, Dr. Macewen adds that "in the next half-century there arrived with the monks a stream of settlers engaged in trade and agriculture, who frequented the towns or markets which were usually established in the vicinity of monasteries. According to another chronicler, William of Newburgh, all the inhabitants of Scottish towns and burghs were Englishmen" ("History of the Church in Scotland," Vol. I., pp. 172, 173). It is certainly not going too tar to say, as Mr. Andrew Lang does, that "the long reign of Malcolm Canmore intensified the sway of English ideas, and increased the prepotency of the English element" (Article on "Scotland" in "Encyclop. Brit.").

And the policy of Malcolm was followed by his successors. Of his son Edgar (1097-1107) we are informed that "he welcomed the stream of settlers who poured into Scotland in ever-increasing volume," while Edgar's brother, Alexander I. (1107-1124) "did his utmost to Anglicise both Church and State to the north of the Forth."

It was, however, by David I, (1124-1153), who has been called "the maker of Scotland," that more was done in the way of Anglicising, Teutonising, and revolutionising that country than by any of his predecessors. And now it is by Norman rather than by Saxon agency and influence that the revolution is effected. Instead of describing in my own words the change that was now wrought, I think it better here, for obvious reasons, to put before you the statements of Dr. Hume Brown in his "History of Scotland." "When during the reign of David the Eastern Lowlands became the heart of his dominions," he says, "the future course of Scotland may be said to have been determined; it was then finally assured that the Teutonic races were to be the predominating force in fashioning the destinies of the country." "It was during David's reign that the Norman element attained such a predominance as to become the great formative influence in the Scottish kingdom." "The dominating fact of the period is the extensive assignment of lands within the bounds of Scotland to men of Norman, Saxon, or Danish extraction. Wherever these strangers settled they formed centres of force, compelling acceptance of the new order in Church and State by the reluctant natives. . . . This gradual apportionment of lands by successive kings had begun at least in the reign of Malcolm Canmore; but it was David who performed it on a scale which converted it into a revolution." As examples of what was done Dr. Hume Brown notices the grant of Annandale to de Bruce, of Cunningham in Ayrshire to de Moreville, and of Renfrew, with part of Kyle, to Fitzalan; but these are only specimens of a colonisation which took place on a most extensive scale. Referring to Strathclyde, Lothian, and the East country north of the Forth, Dr. Hume Brown proceeds -- "In the case of these three districts, the revolution was at once rapid and far-reaching. Following the example of his fellows elsewhere, the Southern baron planted a castle on the most advantageous site on his new estate. With him be brought a body of retainers, by whose aid he at once secured his own position, and wrought such changes in his neighbourhood as were consistent with the conditions on which the fief had been granted. In the vill or town which grew up beside his castle were found not only his own people, but natives of the neighbourhood who, by the feudal law, went to the lord with the lands on which they resided . . . In the East country to the north of the Forth a change in nomenclature is a significant indication of the breach that was made with the old order" ("History of Scotland," Vol. I., pp. 88, 89, 90). "Of the nation itself, it may be said)" Dr. Brown adds, "that the Teutonic element had now the preponderating influence in directing its affairs. The most valuable parts of the country were in the hands of men of Norman and Saxon descent, and the towns owed their prosperity to the same people" (p. 131).

To be concluded...

This article was originally published in The Witness of 10th April 1913.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

The Making of the Ulster Scot

Professor Heron said -- The question I propose for consideration in this lecture is -- How did the Ulster Scot come to be what he was before he left Scotland? What were the racial elements which entered into his composition, and what were the formative influences which, before he left his native land, went to create and mould him? The "Quarterly Review" for January last had a well-informed and interesting article on "The Evolution of the Ulsterman," by Mr. R. H. Murray, but the writer confines himself to the discipline and development the Ulsterman has undergone since he came to Ireland. It is another and much more difficult question -- What ingredients and what experiences and influences went to the making of him before he set foot on Irish soil?

I have had the privilege of reading the proofs of an able, scholarly, and very interesting new work on the "Ulster Scot," by the Rev. J. B. Woodburn, M.A., of Castlerock, and, indeed, I expected to see it in the hands of the booksellers before to-day. In the opening chapter of his book, which I can warmly recommend to your perusal, Mr. Woodburn has a brief but careful statement respecting "the race of the Ulster Scot," his conclusion being that the Scottish immigrants to Ulster had fully as much Celtic as Teutonic blood in them, quite as much as the Irishman of the South. Mr. Woodburn does not go into the details of their previous history in Scotland, but the question which he raises and suggests is a deeply interesting one, which it may not be inopportune to carry still farther and examine in more detail. To state with precision, indeed, the exact proportion of Celtic or Teutonic blood in the Ulster settler is probably now impossible, but to take account of the different races which have combined to produce him, and the revolutions and changes through which in the course of a long history he has passed, is not only possible and practicable, it cannot but be an inquiry of deep interest to every one of us, for it is part of our own personal history. And it is of more than personal or local interest at the present moment. For some time past the Ulsterman has had concentrated on him a good deal of attention. He has been giving some moments of anxiety and perplexity to statesmen. His case and claims, I am told, have been a subject of keen debate among the students of German universities; while his decided and very unamiable disinclination to be treated as a mere pawn in the game of politics, or to be tossed about as a shuttlecock of parties, has astonished and even pained some people. Now, this ordinarily quiet and industrious, steady and thrifty, but grimly determined, independent, intractable, unbending, and disobliging person -- who is he? What is he? What were his antecedents before he came to Ireland? What were the constituent elements and manipulations that went to the making of him? Of what some was the laboratory wherein the component parts of him were put together, and formed and moulded? It is these questions I am going to try to answer in this address; but to obtain the right answer to them -- to get at the real facts of the case -- it will be necessary to note briefly the parts of Scotland from which the Ulster colonists came, and then to trace rapidly the history of those regions, and of the people who dwelt in them, and the invasions and additions, expulsions and vicissitudes to which they were subjected.

Whence They Came

As to the parte of Scotland from which the Ulster settlers came there is no controversy, and they may be indicated in a sentence or two. As we gather from such records as the Hamilton and Montgomery MSS., Hill's account of the Plantation, the State Calendars, Commissioners' Reports in the "Carew MSS.," Pynnar's "Survey," and other contemporary documents, the districts of Scotland which supplied the Ulster colonists of the seventeenth century may be grouped conveniently under three heads -- namely, (1) Galloway and the Scottish counties included in the ancient kingdom of Strathclyde -- Dumbartonshire, Ayrshire, Renfrewshire, Lanarkshire, and Dumfriesshire; (2) the counties around Edinburgh -- Edinburghshire, Haddingtonshire, and Berwickshire; and (3) the district lying between Aberdeen and Inverness, corresponding to the ancient province of Moray.

It should be noted here, however, that a certain portion of Scotland was expressly excluded from the privilege (if it was a privilege) of sharing in the Ulster Plantation. It was made a necessary condition that the colonists, both of the higher and lower ranks, must have been "born in England or THE INWARD PARTS OF SCOTLAND." This restriction of authorised Scottish settlers to those born in "the inward parts" of the country was evidently designed to exclude Argyllshire and the Isles; that is to say, the Scottish Dalriada, the parts of Scotland inhabited by Celts from Ireland. It was manifestly for the express purpose of excluding them that the restriction referred to was made. They were not the sort of people that were wanted.

Now, let us trace the history of the several regions named, note the successive races by whom they were occupied, the numerous invasions, the incessant conflicts, the devastations and colonisations they passed through, and the probable outcome as regards the blood, race, and moral quality of the residue. A superficial view on a perfunctory survey of the history might be quite misleading. As the history reaches back far so as to touch even prehistoric tracts of time, and as the events and movements to be observed, even within the historic period, are often involved and complex, and extend over more than a thousand years, both patient study and a fair share of trained insight and of the historic imagination are requisite to realise those movements in their operation and outcome. In the present brief statement of the case I can only attempt to place before you the elementary facts of a somewhat difficult problem, and thus put you in a position to judge for yourselves. And for obvious reasons I have thought it better, as far as possible, to state the facts in the words of recognised historians rather than in my own.

As a necessary preliminary, however, to our consideration of the districts I have named some notice must be taken of the Picts, who held almost the whole of the country we now call Scotland when it begins to emerge into the light of history. A keen controversy as to the racial connection of the Picts, in which the Scottish historians, Pinkerton and Chalmers, towards the end of the eighteenth century, were the chief protagonists, raged for many years, Pinkerton maintaining that they were Teutons, and his opponent arguing with equal vigour that they were Celts. Sir Walter Scott, in his tale of the "Antiquary," has a most amusing skit on that controversy. At the dinner table of Monkbarns a sharp debate arises between the Antiquary and Sir Arthur Wardour on this very question, who were the Picts? Mr. Oldbuck asserts with Pinkerton that they were Goths, while Sir Arthur asseverates quite as strenuously with Chalmers that they were Celts. The discussion, like many a similar one, gets more heated as it proceeds, till at length the combatants lose their temper, and Sir Arthur rises from the table in high dudgeon and "flounces out of the parlour." Dr. Hill Burton, in his "History of Scotland," describes the controversy between Pinkerton and Chalmers as quite inconclusive. In fact, the verdict of the latest and best modern experts is that both were wrong, and that the Picts were neither Celts nor Teutons! Dr. Skene, writing more than a generation ago, held that they were Celts; but I suppose the highest living authority on the subject is Sir John Rhys, Principal of Jesus College, Oxford, and Professor of Celtic in Oxford University, and Sir John Rhys, led by philological, ethnological, and topographical considerations, affirms that "the most tenable hypothesis may be said to be that the 'Picts' were non-Aryan, whom the first Celtic migration found already settled" in the country. "The natural conclusion is," he says, "that the Picts were here before the Aryans came, that they were in fact the aborigines." He adds that "it is not too much to say that the theory of the non-Aryan origin of the Pictish language holds the field at present" ("The Welsh People,", pp. 13-16). The judgment of the late eminent Professor of Celtic Philology in the University of Berlin, Professor Zimmer, coincides with that of Rhys. His opinion is that "Pict" was the Roman translation of the name given to the aborigines by the British and Irish Celts. And I see that Dr. Macewen, in the volume of his "History of the Church in Scotland," which has just appeared -- a work of very careful research and scholarship -- adopts this view. Note, then, that, according to such distinguished experts as Sir John Rhys and Professor Zimmer, of Berlin, the original inhabitants of the greater part of North Britain, including the aborigines of Galloway and of the North of Scotland from the Firth of forth to the Pentland Firth, and by the Romans called "Picts," were not Celts.

I. We turn now, then, to the first of the three groups of districts I have named as having supplied a very large number of Ulster colonists -- namely, Galloway and the Northern portion of the ancient British kingdom of Strathclyde, which included the modern counties of Dumbartonshire, Renfrewshire, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire, and Dumfriesshire.


(1) As to Galloway, the remarks just made with regard to the Pictish aborigines have to be kept in mind. Even in the time of Bede we find here a people called by him "Niduari Picts," and at a still later time known as "Galloway Picts." According to Sir John Rhys they wave neither Goidelic nor Brythonic Celts, but non-Aryan aborigines, who had been subdued by the Celts, and had adopted the language of their Celtic invaders. WHEN they were subjugated by a Celtic people, and became in a measure Celticised, is quite uncertain. In Strathclyde also, embracing the counties I have mentioned, there appears to have been a considerable substratum of Pictish aborigines. But overlying them, and constituting the dominant element in the population, were the Britons, or Brythonic Celts, who formed the British kingdom of Strathclyde. They were in close kinship with the Welsh. That, then, is the first thing to be noted with regard to this region -- that prior to the coming of the Romans, and later, Galloway is chiefly populated by Pictish aborigines, and Strathclyde by Britons, who were Brythonic Celts, akin to the Welsh.

(2) The second fact to which I have to direct your notice is the invasion of North Britain by the Romans. The Roman occupation began in the year 80 of our era, continued till 410, and left, without doubt, some lasting effects. The six campaigns in which Agricola sought to subdue North Britain, and the numerous campaigns of later Roman invaders, laid waste the country, and exterminated a considerable proportion of a population which was already sparse, for the forests, moors, and marshes were then extensive; while in the course of the three centuries of the Roman occupation there would be more or less inter-marriage with the Britons, and some infusion of Roman, or at least foreign blood. Remains of Roman camps have been found in various places. We hear of one (at Bar Hill), where, with a cohort of auxiliaries from Germany, about a thousand settlers continued to live for nearly half a century. Dr. Macewen, in his recent "History of the Church in Scotland " (p. 18) says that with the Picts and Britons there was "blended a mongrel, half-foreign element, the residue of the Roman population. This element is difficult to explain in its relations to native life, but it is extremely historical both in itself and in its influences." He describes the people even at this early date as "the hybrid inhabitants of Strathclyde;" while Dr. Zimmer joints out that Patrick in his letter to Coroticus speaks of the subjects of Coroticus in Strathclyde as being of both British and Roman descent.

(3) We have next to record the influx into the whole province of Galloway and Strathclyde of a Teutonic people. In the words of Skene "Galloway was for centuries a province of the Anglian kingdom of Northumbria" ("Celtic Scotland," Vol. I., p. 311); and the same is true of Strathclyde also. Bede informs us, for example, that in the year 603 Aethelfrid, King of Northumbria, "ravaged the Britons more than all the great men of the Angles. He conquered more territory from the Britons, either making them tributory or expelling the inhabitants, and planting Angles in their places than any other king" ("Eccl. Hist.," B. I., c. 34). Mark the policy of the Northumbrian King, as described by Bede, of "expelling the inhabitants and planting Angles in their places" -- a policy which seems to have been pursued by his successors. Bede also states that Oswald, another Northumbrian King (635-642), "brought under his dominion all the nations and provinces of Britain;" and that his brother and successor, Oswiu, even extended his realm ("Eccl. Hist.," B. III., c. 6). As Mr. Andrew Long puts it: "Oswiu dominated Strathclyde and Pictland up to the Grampians, the English element for the time extending itself, and Anglicising more and more the Scotland that was to be" (Article on "Scotland" in "Encycl. Britan."). Under Eegfrid, Oswiu's successor, they tried to throw off the yoke of servitude, but Eegfrid "made so great a slaughter of them that two rivers were almost filled with their bodies, and those who fled were cut to pieces" (Eddi's, "Life of Wilfrid," c. 19). A century later, in 756, "the successes of Eadbert reduced the fortunes of the Britons in this quarter to the lowest ebb," and Cunningham and Kyle were taken possession of, with Alclyde itself, the bulwark of the North Britons (Robertson's "Scotland Under Her Early Kings," Vol. 1., p. 18). By the repeated ravages, slaughter, and expulsion of the native Britons, they must have been immensely reduced in number, while the possession and domination of the province for so long a period by a Teutonic people, whose policy it was to "expel the natives and to plant Angles in their stead," cannot but have added a large and powerful Teutonic element to a population already much reduced and mixed with other than Celtic ingredients.

To be continued...

This article was originally published in The Witness of 10 April 1913.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

The French Settlers In Ireland - No. 9


Few of the present inhabitants of Belfast are aware that there are still amongst them the descendants of French refugees, who settled here, as in other parts of Ireland, in consequence of religious persecutions. The town, which was afterwards to become the prosperous capital of Ulster, exhibited a very different appearance at the time of their arrival from its present one. Thick woods encompassed it on every side; the extensive garden and orchard of the Castle are described, by an English tourist of the time, as reaching down to the Lagan, which was then a wide river; while the Castle itself (of which we know nothing but the site) is mentioned as "a dainty and stately palace, the beauty and glory of the town." A narrow stream flowed down the principal thoroughfare (now High Street), planted at each side with trees, and crossed at intervals by several bridges. The town was regularly fortified and surrounded by a deep fosse. No busy sound of manufacturing industry filled the air; nor was there seen the crowded traffic of populous thoroughfares, nor the shipping of a flourishing port. No factories with their tall chimneys poured forth volumes of smoke into the atmosphere, nor polluted the pure stream with their refuse. Indeed there was nothing to indicate that, after the lapse of two centuries, this third or fourth rate town would reach its present size and eminence. Nevertheless, Belfast had even then mercantile importance sufficient to attract the attention of strangers, and, amongst others, a number of French emigrants were induced to settle here. These may be described as the pioneers of the refugees who afterwards became citizens of the place. One of these bore the well-known name of Le Byrtt,a descended from the brave ancestor who obtained great renown in the French wars of Henry V. of England, by slaying in single combat, the celebrated warrior, De Penicè, and contributing greatly by his gallant conduct to the defeat of the enemy; and who, as the old chronicle says, "so did the King great service" that he was allowed to adopt the coat of arms of his opponent along with his own, and the motto "Loyal au Mort." Another of the early settlers was the descendant of the private secretary of Mary Queen of Scots, and whose heroic sister, Mary Curl, remained with her royal mistress during all her trials, and was her attendant even when she suffered on the scaffold; her conduct and demeanour being in perfect accordance with the motto of her family, "Un Dicu, un Roi, une Foi."b

It may be also mentioned, in connection with the refugees, that Belfast afforded the last resting-place for the remains of the Chevalier De Champagné, a French officer in King William's army, and for those of a Balquière. One of the honoured founders of our Belfast Charitable Society was a Gillan: and there also settled here a Gaussen of the same family that gave to Saumur a professor, and in after times to Geneva another theological teacher of high repute.c It was here, likewise, that De Lolme sought employment at one period of his eventful career. The parish church received as its vicar James Saurin,d nephew of the most celebrated preacher of his day. Here is the grave of a descendant of the noble Chartrese family: his brave ancestor came over to this country with King William III., in whose service he held the rank of colonel. Here too lived and died a descendant of Kins Henry the 4th of France.f Near Belfast resided a lineal descendant of the Count of Thoulouse, whose ancestor escaped from France before the "Massacre of St. Bartholomew," but who assumed the name of Dolling, from a village on his brother's property.g The Belfast Academy at one time had, as its English Master, the son of a Huguenot settler, named Goyer, who was an excellent teacher of the language. A distinguished surgeon of Belfast, named Forcade, who died about twenty-five years ago, was the son of a Huguenot merchant; and the descendants of a French clergyman, named Sueter, are known to have lived in this town.

These few names of French settlers are the only ones we have been able to trace with certainty; and we have descendants of all of them among us still. Other French names are met with in the Belfast parish registers of the period, viz.:--

Bruet, Juret, Pimblet, Luney, Guest, Godsell, Mallard,
Culbert, Lisle, Prynault, D'Alton, Floyer, Cuney, Bey,
Dumay, Luney, Pettigrew, Ayres, Latimer, Morrin, Jamphrey,
Delap, Nipe, Sandal, Lackney, Hugart, Delap, Cately?

But, besides the descendants of Huguenots, many other inhabitants of Belfast are of French or Norman extraction. Some of these came over from Scotland or England at a very early period, while others immigrated much more recently. Subjoined are some of the names of the former class.
Charters, La Mont, Montgomery, Joy,
Dunville,h Suffern (Souverain), Sinclair (St. Clair), Lesqueir,
Weir (De Vere), Tomb, Telfair (Taille-fer), Mereci.

Of the more recent class may be mentioned Bourdot, the well-known name of a hair-dresser in Belfast forty years ago. His father landed in Ireland with General Thurot, at his unsuccessful attack on Carrickfergus; and, with a number of other men who were taken prisoners, preferred remaining here to returning home after their release. We trace to a French origin the family of Pottinger, recently distinguished by the eminent services, in the East, of the late Sir Henry Pottinger, as well of his brother Eldred. Another brother, Colonel W. Pottinger, still survives. Thomas Pottinger was the first "Sovereign" of Belfast; and his son Thomas was High Sheriff of the County Antrim at the time of King William's arrival, and is recorded to have raised the county in his favour, to have sold his own plate, and to have induced others to do the same, in order to aid the army of that monarch. The brother of the High-Sheriff, Captain Edward Pottinger, conveyed King William to Carrickfergus in his frigate, the Dartmouth. It was the same intrepid captain, in his vessel of 280 tons, and accompanied by another ship of war, who convoyed the merchantmen who broke the boom at the Siege of Derry. This gallant man and his vessel were shortly after lost by shipwreck off the Isle of Mull, while on the look-out for some French vessels which were expected with supplies for King James's army. From these ancestors the present Pottinger family is descended. The name is still preserved as the appellation of two localities in Belfast and the vicinity, "Pottinger's Entry" in High Street, and "Mount Pottinger" in the suburb of Ballymacarrett.


[a] Le Byrtt. -- The last descendant of this family, which formerly gave, more than once, a chief magistrate to the town, was the late Surgeon W. Byrt, who died in Belfast, after an honourable career as military surgeon. This estimable citizen was a large contributor, by will, to the endowment of Christ's Church, where a monument to his memory exists.

[b] The present John Currell, Esq., of Belfast, is the descendant of Queen Mary's Secretary.

[c] Gaussen. -- The present family of Gaussen resident in the County of Derry, some collateral branches of which also reside in Belfast, trace their descent from this source. Pierre Gaussen, nephew of one of the brothers who came to England, became a Governor of the Bank of England, and a Director of the Hon. East India Company. His high position did not alter the benevolence of his character, as he became one of the directors of the Hospital of Refugees in 1779, and consented to act as its treasurer. The same kindly disposition is perpetuated among the descendants of the brother who settled in Belfast.

[d] For an account of the family of Saurin, see the paper on the Lisburn Huguenot Settlement, in this Journal.
In connexion with the settlement of certain of the Huguenot refugees as religious teachers among the people of this kingdom, the following rather humorous and characteristic anecdote, from the Belfast News Letter of the year 1788, may be not inappropriately introduced:--
"Some time since a Rev. French Huguenot, having been presented to a living in a remote part of Ireland, chose to officiate without the assistance of a curate; and, as his accent and the idioms of his language rendered him scarcely understood, his audience did not restrain their complaints, but brought them before the bishop, who appointed a day for hearing both parties in the presence of each other. The Huguenot, having received an account of their remonstrance to the bishop, took the first opportunity of inviting his discontented parishioners to 'deene with him on rost-beuf and ploom pudang,' which invitation tiny readily accepted, and hugely and heartily did they partake of the fare provided by their venerable pastor. On the day of hearing, the complainants set forth their allegations of his unintelligibility; to which the Huguenot replied:== 'My Lord, my parishioners say, when I read the Liturgy, and from the pulpit exhort them to amendment of life, that they cannot comprehend my meaning; but, my Lord, to put the matter to a test, I asked them to dine with me on rost-beuf and ploom-pudang: this they chose very well to understand, and really performed their parts to admiration; which is a demonstrative proof how groundless are their complaints.'"

[e] Chartrès. -- The descendants of this family exhibit as their crest the fleur de lis.

[f] Documents which go far to vindicate for the late Dr. Purdon, well known in Belfast as an eminent medical practitioner, the pedigree here referred to, are still in the possession of his family, but too long to admit of insertion here. The line is traceable through an immediate descendant of the royal line of France, the Viscount de Lavalle, who was among the Huguenot settlers in Portarlington, of the sixteenth century. Traditions also to the same effect still exist in various branches of the family. -- EDIT.

[g] Dolling was the younger brother of Count Dolling, of the village of Dolling, near Toulouse; but, having embraced Huguenot doctrines, he was obliged to fly to England about the time of the "massacre of Saint Bartholomew." The family chateau was of such magnitude and solidity, that it resisted the ravages of time until the commencement of the present century. The motto of the family, "Spero," was all that remained to the unfortunate emigrant.

[h] Dunville. -- The head of this family came from Normandy with William the Conqueror. Tradition states that the name is taken from a village in that country. The name of the first ancestor referred to above was Hugh; and his great grandson, Sir Roger Dunville, resided at Beyrsheath, in the County of Chester, A.D. 1281. His descendants continued there for many generations. William Dunville, Esq., of said county, left three sons, A.D. 1628, of whom Gilbert and John came to Ireland. Gilbert became Clerk of the Hanaper and M.P. for Kildare, and John became Clerk of the Common Pleas. W. Dunville, Esq., of Richmond, near Belfast, is the representative here of this family.

The above article is reproduced from the Ulster Journal of Archaeology, vol. 9, 1861.