Saturday, 30 October 2021

Round the Coast of Northern Ireland

The Rev Canon Hugh Forde, sometime Rector of Tamlaghtfinlagan (Ballykelly), and a canon of St Columb's Cathedral, Londonderry, was author of SKETCHES OF OLDEN DAYS IN NORTHERN IRELAND and the book I am going to quote from, Round the Coast of Northern Ireland.

Canon Forde wrote the latter book in 1928, and the foreward was written by the RIGHT HON SIR JOHN ROSS, 1st Baronet, last Lord Chancellor of Ireland.

LORD ROSEBERY, speaking of the Scottish settlers in Ulster, at the Edinburgh Philosophical Institute in 1911, said of them:-
"We know that the term Ulster-Scot is generic, and simply means Scoto-Irish. 
I love the Highlanders and I love the Lowlanders, but when I come to the branch of our race that has been grated on the Ulster stem, I take off my hat with veneration and awe. 
They are, I believe, the toughest, the most dominant, the most irresistible race that exists in the universe at this moment."
The passage is quoted by Sir John Ross in his book Pilgrim Scrip.

"It is true that the people are dominant and irresistible.

On the terrible day of Thiepval, 1st July, 1916, they exhibited a gallantry and sacrifice that have never been surpassed.

In the early part of the 18th century the Anglican bishops most unwisely proceeded to enforce the Act of Uniformity, the result of which was that about 100,000 Ulstermen of the Scottish breed migrated to the country that afterwards became the United States of America.

Here they were planted on the Indian frontier, where massacres of the settlers were matters of frequent occurrence.

In spite of the tomahawk, and the scalping knife, the dour race held its ground till it had driven back the savage foes.

The dour race did not forget  how they had been treated  by England and the English Bishops.

When the War of Independence came on they formed the backbone of Washington's army.

FURTHER, there was a time when peace could easily have been effected between the mother country and the revolting States, but the Ulster men would hear of no compromise and insisted on independence.

"As separation was inevitable some time," Sir John goes on to say, "perhaps their persistence did real service to England itself. They have left their mark upon the United States to this day in the peculiar intonation of their accent and in the Puritanical character of their ideals."

First published in April, 2019.

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