BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

18 September 2014
Accessibility help
Wars and Conflict - The Plantation of Ulster

BBC Homepage
History
Wars and
Conflict

»
  The Plantation
  Ireland before the Plantation
  Planters
  Cartographers
  London Companies
  American connection
  Architecture
  Tully Castle
Religious legacy
  Perspective
  Ulster Scots
  Settlement map
  Bardic poetry
  Audio gallery

 

  Go further
 

Contact Us

by topic by time by people
Printable version   1 2 3

the bishop himself was accused of involvement in the murder, and narrowly escaped conviction...

But the Church of Ireland in Ulster faced considerable problems and difficulties. Although the settlers were the natural allies of the Church of Ireland, relations with them were not always cordial, as disputes over money and land could create tensions. Indeed, in one famous dispute in the late 1620s, the Scottish Bishop of Clogher, James Spottiswood, was involved in open warfare with a prominent Fermanagh landowner, Lord James Balfour. When his servants and allies killed a local sheriff, the bishop himself was accused of involvement in the murder, and narrowly escaped conviction.

In the initial stages of the Plantation some Catholic clergy did conform to the Church of Ireland...

There was still another problem which the Church of Ireland encountered in Ulster – the threat posed by nonconformity, by those fellow Protestants who refused to accept the authority of the Church of Ireland, but preferred to establish structures for their own churches. Initially, up to the 1630s, the Church of Ireland, led by Ussher, managed to preserve a united Protestant front in Ulster, encompassing nEarly the entire Protestant population. This was possible thanks to its relatively flexible attitude to the enforcement of disciplinary regulations. As a result Presbyterian clergymen from Scotland, who disliked episcopacy (rule by bishops), and the liturgy (Prayer Book) of the Church of Ireland were nevertheless able to serve as Church of Ireland clergy.

But in the 1630s, under the new regime of Charles I and his Archbishop of Canterbury, and their Irish agents, the Lord Deputy Thomas Wentworth and the Bishop of Derry, William Bramhall, such toleration was ended. In the mid 1630s Bramhall saw to it that the Presbyterian clergy were expelled from the ministry of the Church of Ireland. As a result separate Protestant churches subsequently sprang up in Ulster, a development accentuated by the religious free-for-all during the Commonwealth period in the 1650s when the Church of Ireland was temporarily disestablished. As a result, the Church of Ireland was faced in Ulster by the end of the 17th century with a separate and numerically powerful Presbyterian church.

the native inhabitants of Ulster turned on the English settlers and clergy and drove them out ...

Finally, the assumption that the example of the settlers and their clergy would lead to the native population conforming to the established church – that the Plantation would turn Ulster Protestant – was utterly misplaced. In the initial stages of the Plantation some Catholic clergy did conform to the Church of Ireland, but they were exceptions. The local population remained resolutely Catholic, and, indeed, as their land was taken away, and the state tried to force them to come to the established church, and make them pay tithes to Protestant clergy, they became increasingly embittered at the settler presence. The result was the famous rising of 1641, when the native inhabitants of Ulster turned on the English settlers and clergy and drove them out with considerable loss of life and property, beginning a turbulent period of strife and warfare in Ulster history.
 

<< Previous   Next >>
  Index
Index

 
 
Other articles in this section
Top of Page


Reading room Multimedia zone For kids How to


About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy