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where were they to find farmers and agriculturists to till the soil, or even erect the necessary buildings and farmhouses? The land indeed was to be had on easy terms. So is it now, at no greater distance than Ireland was then, to the English settler. But farmers do not even now emigrate freely or in large numbers; and Ireland then, if not more distant, was less safe for emigrants than Canada or the United States. So the employment of Irish labour was unavoidable; for either these lands must have been left uncultivated, or would have been occupied by Irish squatters. No wonder the results proved so different from what had been anticipated. These errors were avoided by James in the plantation of Ulster. At p. 251 of this volume the reader will find a most interesting account of the distribution of the lands, the proportions of acreage granted, and the names of those to whom the grants were made. The total number of acres in the escheated counties of Tyrone, Armagh, Coleraine, Donegal, Fermanagh, and Cavan consisted of 511,465. Of these 209,800 were granted to the English and Scotch undertakers, including the Londoners, and 110,330 to servitors and natives. Reservations were made for free schools to be erected in the several counties;* for the clergy; and for corporate towns; for which no provision seems to have been made in the settlement of Munster. Among the list of undertakers, whose names are given at p. 231, we find 50 Englishmen dividing 81,500 acres among them, and 59 Scotchmen holding 81,000; these lands fortunately providing James with the means of gratifying his Scotch adherents without burthening his English subjects. Lord Say and Lord Audley are the only names of English noblemen who
* 9,600 acres were appropriated to the College of Dublin. See p. 235
figure in the list of the former. Lord Ochiltrie, the Earl of Abercorn, the Duke of Lenox, Lord Minto, Lord D'Aubigny, with others, whether lairds or lords I am unable to determine, are found among the latter. No Scotchman and no Englishman was allowed to hold more than 3,000 acres; and of these there are only two among the English, and five among the Scotch.* There is this peculiarity to be noticed, that at the head of the English proportions the names of certain English noblemen of high rank are found to whom no grant is made; and what privilege they enjoyed by this nomination does not anywhere appear, unless it was as patrons or protectors. With the exceptions already mentioned the extent of the grants varies from 1,000 to 2,000 acres, never falling below the former; f and the wisdom of this arrangement may be seen in the fact that the larger proportion by far of these new settlers were squires and gentlemen, who were not unwilling to settle in Ireland and cultivate their lands, at a time when living had grown much more expensive and extravagant in England, and a fair estate in Ireland opened to them a chance of escape from poverty, of which there was no prospect in their native country. The depreciation in the value of money, consequent upon the discovery of the new world, was now beginning to tell in England. All hope of place and employment, in a Court so beset as that of James I. with importunate suitors, was extinguished; especially for a class who were pressing and quarrelsome, and were therefore banished by James, to avoid the disputes that were sure to arise between his old and his new subjects. Moreover the old frugal habits
* The number 15,000, at p. 232, is only a clerical blunder for 1,500, f These proportions seem to have been derived from the old Irish division of land, called ballibetagh = 16 taths, containing in all 960 acres.
of Elizabeth rapidly gave way before the increasing luxury of the times; and commerce was as yet too much the occupation of the citizen for the gentleman to engage In it. It was fortunate therefore that in the new colonists of Ulster James found a set of men better qualified than any others for the new sphere of labour in which they were called to engage. Raised by birth and education above the condition of those who seek in a new settlement the bare necessaries of life they have failed to secure in their native land, and content with no higher aspirations, these new colonists naturally aimed at something more. They brought over into their new country their own superior cultivation; they surrounded themselves with the same conveniences of life as they had been accustomed to enjoy before they settled among uncivilized races, to whom all the amenities of life were unknown. Castles, mansions, bawns, sprang up where there had been nothing but mud hovels before. Ladies with their families, their orderly habits, their cheering influence, were for the first time to be seen among a population which Sir John Davy's rightly describes as “the most rude and unreformed part of Ireland.” If the reader will turn to the survey of this plantation of Ulster, made in 1619, at p. 392 of this volume, he will find such entries as these: “On the allotment of Lord Aubigny, held by Sir James “Hamilton, is built a strong castle of lime and stone, “ called Castle Aubigny, with the King's arms cut in free“stone over the gate. This is five storeys high, with four “round towers for flankers; the hall is 50 feet long and “28 broad; the roof is set up and ready to be slated. “Adjoining one end of the castle is a bawn of lime and “stone, 80 feet square, with two flankers 15 feet high, “very strongly built. In this castle he himself, his lady, “ and family dwell” (p. 392). Of another: “John “Hamilton has built a bawn of lime and stone, 80 feet “square and 13 feet high, with round towers for “flankers. He has also begun a stone house, now one “storey high, and intended to be four, being 48 feet long “ and 24 broad; besides two towers, which are vaulted, “flank the house. Also a village of eight houses adjoin“ing the bawn, inhabited by British tenants, a watermill “ and five houses adjoining it.” Of both these and others it is specially stated that the “tillage was after the English manner.”. A little after, of Capt. Culme, another undertaker, we learn that he has not only built a house of lime and stone to the second story, but he is allowed 250 acres to erect a town called Virginiae; upon this he had already built eight timber houses; “of “which town there is a minister who keeps school, and “ is a very good preacher” (p. 394). Of Thomas Waldron it is stated that he had finished a castle or house of stone, which he inhabited with his family and his mother, Lady Waldron. “He has built a town of 31 “houses, all inhabited with English, a windmill, and a “ thoroughfare.” Such entries as these occur repeatedly. Of Sir Stephen Butler we learn, at p. 396, that he had erected a castle and bawn of great strength, two corn mills, and one fulling mill, and was able to bring into the field 200 armed men. Sir James Belford had laid the foundation of a bawn of lime and stone 70 feet square, also a castle of the same length. “All materials in the “ place both strong and beautiful; a plot laid out for a “ church, which must be 75 feet long and 24 broad, now “ in hand, and to be finished this summer. A school, “64 feet long and 20 broad, two storeys high, of good “stone; roof ready framed, and shall presently be got “up. Near to the castle is a house in which Sir James ‘ and his family now dwell, adjoining a town of 48
“houses of timber-work and mud walls, inhabited by “British ’’ (p. 398). It would be easy to multiply instances, but these must suffice. The contrast thus offered to the plantation of Munster, which made no progress and disappointed bitterly all the expectations formed of it, cannot have escaped the observation of my reader, nor will he fail to recognise the superior prudence and sagacity in this respect of James I.—sagacity rewarded by results, some of which he lived to witness, but the full extent of which Ulster was destined to reap in a measure of prosperity beyond the rest of Ireland. Such a prosperity was not due to the native genius or customs of her people," but were wrought out by English rule in spite of them, and in the face of all the opposition they could offer. For Ulster was the last to be subdued, and never did any country more obstinately resist every measure, from which it now dates its wealth, order, and industrial progress, or adhere more pertinaciously to its original and primitive misrule. Exposed to the tyranny and imperious exactions of his native chiefs— awed into submission to arbitrary dictates by turbulent and idle retainers—with no right in his small and wretched patch of miserably cultivated land, beyond that which his lord would allow, and from which his
* The custom of Ulster before the plantation of James I. was for the chief and his followers to oppress the cultivator (!) of the soil—for tenant he was not—as much as they pleased. The custom of Ulster, since the plantation of James, has no foundation whatever—so far as I can find—in the original laws and contracts of the colony. For the tenure of land in Ireland, of which, properly speaking, there is no trace to be found among the native Irish, was introduced from England, and subject precisely to the same conditions as here. It was the great object of the English Sovereigns to provide that no difference should exist, in this respect, between the two countries.