Wednesday, October 22, 2008

So when exactly was Ulster-Scots invented?

This was brought to my attention a few weeks ago. This is a still image from the recent BBC documentary "The Day the Troubles Began" which was broadcast earlier this month. In the middle of the archive footage was this close-up - a placard being carried by the civil rights marchers, using the term "Ulster hyphen Scots", and as might be expected, linking it to politics (unionism) and discrimination (racialism):


Nowadays the opponents, sceptics and critics of Ulster-Scots regularly allege that it's all false, and was invented in 1997 - and one of the callers to Talkback yesterday repeated this stereotype.

However, the opponents, sceptics and critics of forty years ago were clearly very aware of the term.

So when did this alleged invention take place?

Few of these lemming-like critics will be convinced by the inconvenient truth that the term was first recorded in 1640, around the high point of Scotland's National Covenant and its impact on the Ulster Scots population. Click here for the full reference.