"The lands of the Irish in Ulster were the most rude and unreformed part of Ireland, and the centre of the last great rebellion. They are now better organised and established, than any of the lands in the other provinces...
The organisation of those lands happened with the special providence of God, who cast out those wicked and ungrateful traitors, the enemies of the Reformation in Ireland...
His Majesty did not utterly exclude the natives out of this plantation ... but made a mixed plantation of British and Irish, that they might grow up together in one nation. The Irish were in some places transplanted from the woods and mountains into the plains and open countries, that being removed (like wild fruit trees) they might grow the milder, and bear the better and sweeter fruit.
When this plantation hath taken root, and been fixed and settled but a few years, with the favour and blessing of God . . . it will secure the peace of Ireland, assure it to the Crown of England for ever; and finally, make it a civil and a rich, a mighty, and a flourishing Kingdom."
About the Source
Extract from Sir John Davies, 'A Discovery of True Causes why Ireland was entirely subdued', written in 1612.
Sir John Davies (1570-1626) was an English nobleman who gained from the Plantation of Ulster. He held a number of important official posts in Ireland and served in both the Irish and English Parliaments. He also wrote several books praising Elizabeth I and James I, although he did sometimes disagree with their policies on Irish trade.
The author is writing about the benefits which, in his opinion, Plantation brought to Ulster. He points to the fact that the land is farmed more efficiently and that the population of Ulster is loyal to the Crown. He also argues that Ulster and the rest of Ireland will soon be able to live in peace and harmony once the Plantation policy has had a few years to settle down.
- Do you think this version of the story gives a fair report of the facts. How much of this is factual and how much is someone's opinion.
- If you were an Irish farmer, which words and phrases would you disagree with? What might you say?
- Imagine you are an English planter, trying to justify your settlement on a plantation in Ireland. What might you say?