The Ulster Plantation in the Counties of Armagh and Cavan 1608-41 (eBook)

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Originally written in 1968, Robert Hunter’s seminal study of the Ulster Plantation and its impact on two northern counties is recognised as probably the finest scholarly investigation of the subject ever attempted. Following the Plantation from its inception and introduction after the Flight of the Earls to its eventual overthrow in the Irish rebellion of 1641, Hunter left no stone unturned in his quest to discover the answers to key questions that had long perplexed students of early modern Ireland.

Why had James I persevered with the plantation on such a huge scale, against the advice of the royal government in Dublin? How was the forfeiture and redistribution of millions of acres of Irish land actually achieved? How much resistance did it incite among the Gaelic population and how was this overcome? How stable really was the plantation between 1615 and 1641? How well populated was it? To what extent was the economy of Ulster transformed by the English and Scottish planters who arrived, and what were their relations like with each other, with their Irish neighbours, and with the Dublin, London and Edinburgh authorities?

Drawing upon a wide array of primary sources, many of them rarely used, Hunter lifted the lid on the Plantation as it was actually experienced. Writing with elegant assurance, he showed how developments in Armagh and Cavan both chimed with and deviated from those across the wider province. His mastery of local detail enabled him to detect trends no-one had noticed before and to provide a general overview that paid proper attention to regional variety. For over forty years available only through the library of Trinity College, Dublin, Hunter’s study is published here for the first time. It remains compulsory reading for anyone with a serious interest in Irish history and early modern colonisation.

R. J. Hunter

Robert John (Bob) Hunter was born in rural Meath in 1938 and was educated atWesleyCollegeandTrinityCollege,Dublin. After graduation in 1960, he began research on the Ulster Plantation in the counties ofArmaghand Cavan, 1608-41. This interest in thePlantation, and early modern Irish history generally, was to dominate his life.

In 1963 he was appointed Assistant Lecturer in History atMageeCollege, thus beginning an association with the city ofDerrythat was to continue for the rest of his life. The creation of what was to become theUniversityofUlsteralso saw him teaching regularly in Coleraine.

Through his meticulous research, he developed an encyclopedia knowledge of his subject, traversing such themes as the development of towns, the role of the English planters, the history of trade and migration and the intellectual and cultural life ofUlstermore generally.

Though his untimely death in 2007 was to cut short his ambitions for further writing, he was nevertheless to leave behind more than thirty articles, essays, reviews, etc., which were the result of painstaking study conducted with a careful eye for detail and relevance.

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