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The History of Ulster
From the Earliest Times to the Present Day by Ramsay Colles (1919)







God's Frontiersmen: The Scots-Irish Epic
A landmark TV mini-series first aired nationally in 1988 on Channel Four. This Docu-Drama tells the story of the Ulster-Scots, the Presbyterian pioneers from Scotland that settled the dangerous frontiers of Ulster, and then later many of whom journeyed to the wild frontiers of colonial America to help shape a new nation.

Episode 1

Episode 2

Episode 3

Episode 4

Elizabethan Ulster by Lord Ernest Hamilton (pdf)


No apology is required for producing a history of Ulster planned on a scale sufficiently liberal to allow of a thorough treatment of the subject. The Province's magnificent record and the greatness of her achievements in so many spheres of activity have long clamoured for such a work; and it is in answer to the call that the present History of Ulster is now published.

The work was begun and was far advanced towards completion before the war. After the outbreak of hostilities, the issue was necessarily postponed and preparation for it interrupted. Just as this long period of enforced delay was drawing to a close, the gifted author's death occurred. It is matter for deep regret that he should have been deprived of the legitimate satisfaction of seeing the publication of the work which he had undertaken with enthusiasm and to which he had devoted years of zealous labour. It has been left to another pen than his to record, as a fitting close to her story, the honourable part which, true to her traditions, Ulster has played in the momentous struggle for the liberty of, the world.


Volume I

  1. The Early Irish
  2. Religion and Law in Early Ireland
  3. The Mission of St. Columba
  4. The Scandinavian Scourge
  5. Change and Decay
  6. The Betrayal of Ireland
  7. The Anglo-Norman Invasion
  8. King Henry in Ireland
  9. The Earldom of Ulster
  10. King John in Ulster
  11. Ulster and the Bruce Invasion
  12. Ulster Independent
  13. O'Neill, Prince of Ulster
  14. An Able Viceroy
  15. The New Legislation
  16. Progress of Ulster
  17. The Geraldine Revolt
  18. The Submission of Ulster
  19. The Policy of Conciliation
  20. The Religious Element
  21. Bad Money and Misery
  22. The Scots in Ulster
  23. Shane O'Neill and the Crown
  24. O'Neill the Great visits Elizabeth
  25. Shane again in Ulster
  26. Sussex v. Shane
  27. Sir Henry Sidney and Shane O'Neill
  28. Death of Shane O'Neill
  29. Attempted Plantation
  30. Essex in Ulster
  31. "Scotching" the Scot
  32. The New Earl of Tyrone
  33. State of Ulster: Civil and Military
Volume II

  1. Martial Law in Ulster
  2. "Coming Events——"
  3. Tyrone becomes "The O'Neill"
  4. Wars and Rumours of War
  5. Tyrone proclaimed Traitor
  6. Negotiations ad nauseam!
  7. Tyrone's Catholic Crusade
  8. "The Tide of Battle"
  9. Tyrone in the Ascendant
  10. After the Battle of the Yellow Ford
  11. "The Real King of Ireland"
  12. The Errors of Essex
  13. The Downfall of Essex
  14. Mountjoy's Methods
  15. The Turn of the Tide
  16. A Spanish Invasion
  17. The Siege of Kinsale
  18. Tyrone Submits: Death of Elizabeth
  19. King James and his Irish Subjects
  20. The Flight of the Earls
  21. Some Results of the Flight
  22. The O'Dogherty Insurrection
  23. The O'Dogherty Defeat
  24. The Plantation of Ulster
  25. The Progress of the Plantation
  26. A Precedent for Parliaments
  27. The Romanists Remonstrate
  28. Tyrone and Tirconnell Attainted
  29. Chichester Retires
  30. The Closing Years of James's Reign
  31. Charles I and the Three Graces
  32. "Like Master, like Man"
  33. The Wiles of Wentworth
  34. The Scottish Scare
Volume III

I. The Mutterings of the Approaching Storm
II. The Bursting of the Storm-cloud
III. The Horrors of Civil War
IV. The Fortunes of War
The Triumphs of Tichborne
VI. The Scots Army in Ulster
VII. King Charles and the Confederates
VIII. Castlehaven's Invasion of Ulster
IX. Glamorgan and the Great Seal
X. The Battle of Benburb
XI. O'Neill and his Ulstermen in Leinster
XII. Defeat of the Royalists
XIII. Oliver Cromwell, Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland
XIV. Cromwell's Campaign in Ulster
The Last Efforts of Ulster
XVI. Charles II repudiates the Peace
Close of the Cromwellian Campaign
XVIII. A "Wild and Woeful Land"
XIX. The Cromwellian Settlement
XX. The Restoration
XXI. "New Presbyter" and "Old Priest"
XXII. The Arts of Peace in Ulster
XXIII. "The Old Order Changeth"
XXIV. Tyrconnell, Lord of Misrule
Londonderry and Enniskillen Revolt
XXVI. The Brave Inniskillings
XXVII. King James in Ulster
XXVIII. The Siege of Londonderry
XXIX. The Siege of Londonderry (Cont)
XXX. The Siege of Londonderry (Cont)

Volume IV

I. The Relief of Londonderry
II. The Inniskillings
III. Arrival of Schomberg
IV. Schomberg commences his Campaign
V. An Inactive Army
VI. King William in Ulster
The Battle of the Boyne
VIII. After the Battle
IX. The New Life
X. Linen and Latitudinarianism
XI. Unhappiness and Halfpence
XII. French Attack on Carrickfergus
XIII. The Ulster Volunteers
XIV. The Volunteer Movement
XV. Defeat of the Volunteers
XVI. Coercion and Conciliation
XVII. The Rebellion of 1798
XVIII. The Insurrectionary Counties: Antrim and Down
XIX. Insurrectionary and Legitimate Fights for Independence
XX. After the Union
XXI. Catholic Emancipation
XXII. Reforms in State and Church
XXIII. Early Victorian Years
XXIV. "The Ulster Custom"
First Home Rule Bill
XXVI. The Second Home Rule Bill
Sir Edward Carson and the Covenant
Ulster in the War

The Scot in Ulster
Sketch of the History of the Scottish Population of Ulster by John Harrison (1888)


These sketches of the history of the Scottish settlers in Ulster were published in the columns of the 'Scotsman' during this spring. They have been recast, and are now published in a permanent form, as I think they may interest some who care to examine the Irish question for themselves. Their English and Scottish origin seems to me to give to the men of Ulster an inalienable right to protest, as far as they are concerned, against the policy of Separation from Great Britain to which the Irish, —with the genius for nicknames which they possess —at present give the name of Home Rule.

My thanks are due to many friends in Ulster and at home for kind assistance; and more especially to Professor Masson for allowing me to have access to those sheets of the ninth volume of the ' Privy Council Records of Scotland,' now in the press, which bear on the Scottish share in the settlement of 1610.

J. H.

7 Greknhill Place, Edinburgh,
16th October 1998.


Chapter I - The Scot gains a footing in County Down
Chapter II - The Scot settles North Down and County Antrim
Chapter III - The Great Plantation in Ulster
Chapter IV - The Scot brings with him his Scottish Church
Chapter V - The Scots and the Irish Rebellion of 1641
Chapter VI - Ulster from the Restoration to the Union
Chapter VII - The Scottish Blood in the Ulster Men of Today

The Scotch Settlers in Raphoe County, Donegal, Ireland
By William M. Mervine (1912)

Annals of Ulster

A Chronicle of Irish Affairs edited by William M. Hennessy, M.R.I.A., The Assistant Deputy Keeper of the Records also edited with translations and notes by B. MacCarthy, D.D., M.R.I.A. Published by the authority of the Lords Commissioners of His Majesty's Treasury, Under the direction of the Council of the Royal Irish Academy from 1887 to 1901 in 4 volumes.

Volume 1
From A.D. 431, TO A.D. 1540.


The Editor was desirous that the important publication of which this forms the first volume should be published in a complete form, and not in separate volumes, for the reason that, considering the great value of the Chronicle, the questions so often discussed regarding the compilers and the sources from which the work was compiled, and the relation to each other of the MSS. from which the text has been formed, it seemed necessary that those subjects should be dealt with in an Introductory Essay. But it would be obviously impossible to write an Introduction of the nature required before the whole work was in print. The Council of the Royal Academy, under whose direction the publication of the work has been placed by the Lords Commissioners of Her Majesty’s Treasury, having ordered the immediate publication of this volume, the Editor submitted respectfully to their directions. The Introduction must therefore appear in the last volume of the work—in that, namely, containing the Appendices and Index.

W. M. H.

Volume 2
A.D. 1057-1131: 1155-1378.

Volume 3
A.D. 1379-1541.

Volume 4
Introduction and Index

Ulster Biographies
Relating Chiefly to the Rebellion of 1798 by W. T. Latimer, B.A. (1897) (pdf)


THE following biographies have already appeared in the columns of various Ulster newspapers. They are now revised, enlarged, and offered to the public in a more permanent form.

It is certain that great civil and religious oppression existed in Ireland during the last century; but we must remember that measures of reform have now been granted more radical than Porter was hanged for demanding. From this fact a strong argument may be drawn for maintaining the supremacy of the Imperial Parliament by which these grievances have been removed.

The Irish people have no longer to support a Church to which they do not belong; rents are no longer fixed by the landlords themselves, and justice is no longer administered by the “Agent” and the Rector, but by impartial tribunals.

While I condemn the system of landlordism that prevailed in the past, I have no intention of making any attack on the present landlords. Almost all the conditions of their ownership have been so much modified that very little of what applied to their political position in 1798, has any reference to it now.

My own experience of modern landlordism has been derived chiefly from the management of the estates of the Earl of Erne, the Earl of Belmore, and of Mr. James Bruce, D.L.; and inasmuch as I have denounced the abuses of the past, I think it only right to say, with regard to these gentlemen, that their justice and kindness to their tenants is an example for other Irish landowners.

The Land Acts, which have not gone far enough to enable the tenants to live and thrive in the altered conditions of agriculture, have pressed very heavily on many landowners. I have often wondered why a Government which spends such vast sums on useless armaments, will not devise and carry out a scheme of land purchase that would still further reduce the yearly payments of farmers, and give landlords a reasonable compensation for their losses.

It may be thought strange that I so often refer to the religion of those whose actions I narrate; but in Ireland— especially in Ulster—a man’s religion determines so many of his social and political relations that it must be taken into account in order to estimate the motives by which he has been guided.

In the districts of Antrim and Down that “turned out,” in the year 1798, the great majority of the people were Presbyterians. It was with them the movement began before it was taken up by the Roman Catholics; and, therefore, in giving an account of the causes from which it sprang, it is absolutely necessary to deal with the misgovernment and persecution which drove so many of these loyal Presbyterians into rebellion.

Eglish, Dungannon, 1st June, 1897.

A History of the Irish Presbyterians
By W. T. Latimer, B.A. (1893) (pdf)

A True Relation of the Actions of the Inniskilling Men
From their first taking-up of Arms in December, 1688. for the Defence of the Protestant Religion and their Lives and Liberties, Written by Andrew Hamilton, Rector of Kilskerrie and one of the Prebends of the Diocese of Clogber, in the Kingdom of Ireland, an Eye-witness thereof, and Actor therein (1690) (pdf)

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