Monday, July 27, 2020

1798 Rebellion - the nuances of the 'Turn Oot'

Ballyclare author Archibald M'Ilroy's 1897 book When Lint Was In The Bell has two references to the 1798 Rebellion, on the cusp of the centenary. One is a reference to his grandfather who prayed for the 'misguided rebels' as well as the soldiers –

The other is M'Ilroy's own sense of the events of 100 years before, of oral tradition and also subsequent smears. His use of the term 'Turn Oot' is significant (which also crops up in the poetry of Cullybackey's Adam Lynn as this previous post shows - 'the turn oot fecht').

I had seen 'Turn Oot' used in more recent publications, and I must admit I had thought it might be an Ulster-Scots neologism. But not at all, it is a term with rich County Antrim pedigree. A few searches in the British Newspaper Archive confirm this.

1798 is not simple. It is more interesting than that.