Beginning of the Settlement
James was a Protestant convert, and was distrusted by Scottish Calvinists. He was lenient toward Catholicism. Considered to be an open thinker James later in his life studied witchcraft, which he considered as part of theology. He at one point became somewhat obsessed with it, personally overseeing the torture of women condemned as witches. After 1599, he became more skeptical of their threat.
He was also the first monarch of the House of Stuart to rule all three countries. One of his greatest contributions to England was the Authorised King James’s Version of the bible in 1611. He was also a major advocate of the “Ulster Plantation”.
Who Were the Ulster Scots
Most of the migrators in the early 17th century were ordinary folk hoping for a better life abroad. They came from Ayrshire, Dumfries and Galloway, and Lanarkshire. Others like my Bell family, came from the Borders area of south-east Scotland also including the Armstrongs, Beattys, Elliotts, Grahams and Johnstons
The Plantation of Ulster
By 1630 Ulster was widely settled and a demarcation between the Anglos and the Scots was apparent. The Scots settled mainly in th north Antrim, northeast Down, east Donegal and northwest Tyrone. The English settled more in Londonderry, south Antrim and north Armagh. The more mountainous areas, far from the main British settlements, remained almost exclusively Irish.
Most of the Ulster settlers were of the Protestant faith and the Church of Ireland following Episcopalian lines was considered the state church, however the Presbyterian faith was also prevalent. By 1630 the government began to oppress the Presbyterian ministers and those who did not renounce their Presbyterianism were excommunicated. This resulted was an exodus of some of these men and their followers in the year 1636. Others returned to Scotland. By 1638, Scotland declared Presbyterianism as the only true form of church government and many in Ulster followed suit by signing the Covenant.