Tuesday, December 21, 2010

UTV documentary: "Plantation - the Truth and the Legacy"

I caught this programme last week, and very much enjoyed it. So here it is, embedded from Lesley Black's blog on the UTV website. For me, the success of the programme is that it is skilfully presented by knowledgable contributors, who paint a thorough and engaging picture of the events which began in 1610. Lots of folk have been talking about the programme, and have asked if it was part one of a series - but sadly I understand it's just a one-off.

I was particularly glad that Hamilton & Montgomery got a mention, and that their private settlement scheme of 1606 was rightly presented as being very different from the later Plantation. An important inclusion in the programme is the story of the Antrim MacDonnells, as is the underlying theme of Ulster's unique cultural triple-blend of English, Irish and Scottish.

If the video whets your appetite and you want to read in more detail about the period, I found Cyril Falls' The Birth of Ulster (London, 1936) to be a good general introduction (click here for the GoogleBooks edition), with Philip Robinson's The Plantation of Ulster: British Settlement in an Irish Landscape, 1600-1670 (1984) regarded as the standard work on the subject - it is currently published by the Ulster Historical Foundation and is available online here. TM Healy's The Great Fraud of Ulster (1917) (available here on Archive.org) gives another perspective on the era, and is an enjoyable read.

The Plantation is sometimes exaggerated. It is not the whole story - there were bigger, and arguably more important, Lowland Scottish migrations to Ulster throughout the 1600s. But it's a key moment and needs to be better understood. Well done to all involved in the programme!