Colony of exile

Arrivals & departures

From 1609 to 1625, England had English and Scottish people (from Lowland Scotland) to settle in the plantations on the forfeited lands of the Ulster barons. They brought their language (English and Scottish) as well as their culture and religion (Anglican Protestantism and Presbyterianism). The English had invested large sums of money to buy land, and in the North, the Scottish, who were often poor farmers, formed the tenant farmer and labourer classes.

Poitiers, Bibliothèques universitaires, Fonds ancien, FD 2209

A – Irelands excise by the lords, iustices, and councell there.- London : F. Leach for Michaell Sparke Senior and Iunior, 1643

After a new revolt in 1641, when Irish-Catholics butchered the English and Scottish settlers, ways to finance “so great an Army kept up in it [ Ireland], as may make the Irish desist from doing themselves or the English harm by their future Rebellion” (doc. A, p. 2-3). Note the symbols of the four nations: the rose (for England), the thistle (Scotland), the fleur-de-lys (Wales) and the harp (Ireland).

The alliance of Irish-Catholics with the English royalists during the English civil war (1642-1651), forced Cromwell’s army controlled by the English Parliament, to go to Ireland to recover the lands which posed a threat for the young Republic. Because of the battles, slaughter, executions and contagion (plague) during this time, the Irish population decreased by 40% in ten years. Moreover, the flight of defeated Irish soldiers and the deportation of thousands of Irish to the British West Indies (Guyana, Montserrat, Antigua) in the following years contributed to this. More than ten thousand veterans of Cromwell’s army settled on the forfeited lands.


Situation économique en conséquence

Poitiers, Bibliothèques universitaires, Fonds ancien, FD 2228

B – Treatise of taxes & contributions / William Petty.- London : Nath. Brooke, 1667

Poitiers, Bibliothèques universitaires, Fonds ancien, FD 378

C – The Political anatomy of Ireland / William Petty.- London : D. Brown and W. Rogers, 1691

To draw up a global picture of the country’s wealth, William PETTY (1623-1687) came to Ireland with CROMWELL (1649-1650) as Surveyor General, in charge of surveying the area to determine the size and nature of the forfeited estates. He there and elsewhere developed what he called “political arithmetic”, the foundation of political economy. His Treatise of taxes & contributions. Shewing the nature and measures of crown-lands, assesments, customs, poll-moneys, lotteries, benevolence, penalties, monopolies, offices, tythes, raising of coins, harth-money, excize, &c. With several intersperst discourses and digressions …, the same being frequently applied to the present state and affairs of Ireland dates from 1662 (doc. B : 1667 edition in this collection) and he produced detailed maps of the island and its estates (Trinity College Dublin).

Petty delivered his initial statistical estimates of the condition of Irish economy and society at the end of the 17th century (1691): the population numbered 1.1 million (doc. C, p. 6-9) and was mainly self-sufficient, with little trade and few imports. According to this survey and following the events of 1640 and 1650, one quarter of the population was Anglo-Scottish and owned 75% of the land, property and trade. Six hundred thousand Irish, representing two thirds of the population, lived in extreme poverty, except in regard to heating and dress, according to PETTY, since peat and cheap wool clothes (prohibited export wool flooded the Irish market) gave them an advantage, compared to English labourers. The exports of beef and sheep remained strong (doc. C, p. 56-57).


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