Sunday, February 03, 2008

Matthew Scott, Ballyhalbert, 1772

My friend Richard MacMaster (now living in Florida), emailed me this info a while back:

Belfast News Letter, October 13, 1772
"Matthew Scott of Ballyhalbert in the County of Down, intending to remove from thence, will on Tuesday the 23rd Inst., sell by Auction all his Household Furniture, Stock of Cattle, and Farming Utensils, also his Interest in a Lease, during the Life of the Revd. Peter Winder, of 17 acres and a half of Land, contiguous to the Village of Ballyhalbert."

He doesn't actually say he's going to America, but disposing of his household furniture, cattle and farming utensils would suggest he wasn't simply moving to another farm a few miles away. He wasn't going to Ballywalter for the day - he was about to go on a lifetime journey. In 1772 America was gearing up for her War of Independence, and as about 1/3 of George Washington's army were Ulstermen, maybe that's where Matthew Scott was heading too?

There was a Captain Matthew Scott in Washington's army - in the 13th Pennsylvania Regiment - and it had at least one Ulsterman in its ranks, an Alexander McCurdy


(pic above is of a soldier of the 13th Pennsylvania Regiment, Continental Line)


Stephen Jamison said...

Hello Mark
Like the new blog always interesting and informative.
I was in the Ards Tourist Information Center the other day and was struck with all the 'Irish' and 'Gaelic' bits and pieces. Nothing wrong with that but where are the Ulster Scot bits and pieces. Are there tea towels, mugs ect celebrating our history and culture. I was thinking that a tea towel with variuos US Presidents with Ulster connections would be a good thing.Is there such a thing?
God Bless
Stephen J

Mark Thompson said...

There's no such thing just yet, but "giftware" is on the to do list. Some of the problem is that the tourist info centres only stick products from particular suppliers.

The "A Taste of Ulster" shops at the two airports are run by a company in London. And sometimes these shops only stock things they know will sell - and sadly shillelagh pencils and fuzzy leprechauns must sell!