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Old 27th March 2011, 12:17
Cadbren Cadbren is offline
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Bell is one of the great Reiver families of the borders. The reiver families were like the highland clans, they raided each other for cattle and other goods and they had contacts on both sides of the border. Many of the Scots who became planters in Ireland were not given the choice, they were kicked out to reduce the lawlessness.
I recall that much of the settlement through places like the Appalachians were made up of these Scots Irish, that is lowland Scots rather than actual Irish.
Before the plantations though, there were centuries of Scottish mercenaries (gallowglass) going to Ireland to serve in Irish armies, many settling down to form their own mercenary families.
I've no idea how the firery cross that the KKK use ended up being planted outside someone's house, but its origins was as a rallying symbol in Scotland to raise men for battle or defence; it was used in both the highlands and lowlands. The cross would be carried across the land in a similar way to the olympic torch to let the people know that fighting men were needed.
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Old 27th March 2011, 12:56
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Originally Posted by Cadbren View Post
Bell is one of the great Reiver families of the borders. The reiver families were like the highland clans, they raided each other for cattle and other goods and they had contacts on both sides of the border. Many of the Scots who became planters in Ireland were not given the choice, they were kicked out to reduce the lawlessness.
I recall that much of the settlement through places like the Appalachians were made up of these Scots Irish, that is lowland Scots rather than actual Irish.
Before the plantations though, there were centuries of Scottish mercenaries (gallowglass) going to Ireland to serve in Irish armies, many settling down to form their own mercenary families.
I've no idea how the firery cross that the KKK use ended up being planted outside someone's house, but its origins was as a rallying symbol in Scotland to raise men for battle or defence; it was used in both the highlands and lowlands. The cross would be carried across the land in a similar way to the olympic torch to let the people know that fighting men were needed.
Fascinating... thank you so much. You've helped clarify a good many thoughts for me that have been rolling around for decades.

Two questions, and a comment in response then:

> When one says, "lowland Scots" - what exactly does that mean? I assume it has to do with location in Scotland - but, where would that be?

> What were the Irish fighting about that they would have needed mercenaries prior to the Irish Plantation?

Some further elucidation re: the relationship of American Scots-Irish to the Confederacy and KKK. As you probably know, the eventual Confederate battle flag was based upon the Scotch Bonnie Blue national flag in basic design. That flag, also a St. Andrew's cross, was given our familiar red-white and blue coloring, which in turn we got from the British King's Colors that flew over these colonies for quite awhile. It is to be distinguished from what we call the "Stars and Bars" first flag of the Confederacy - although many/most Americans do not even realize the difference, and call the one the other constantly. The confusion is not helped by the fact that our public schools barely mention the Confederacy except to associate it with racism and slavery. As a consequence, and not without additional encouragement by the KKK (such as it is today), every time most Americans see a Confederate battle flag, they immediately think of Hitler and Nazis; unfortunately.

It is true that many Scotch-Irish settled in Appalachia which became a major part of the Confederacy at various times and in a variety of ways. One puzzlement I have had, even after studying the matter a number of years, is the tradition that it was Catholics (therefore Cavalier) who comprised the majority of those who headed southerly upon arrival here. I do "know" that a great many Protestant/Presbyterian Scots tended to keep north of the Mason-Dixon line, preferring Ohio, Pennsylvania and Maryland to the Carolinas, Virginia and Tennessee. My own Scot and Scotch-Irish ancestors split in that regard - father's line keeping North, and mother's South; to this day. So, King James VI-I's role in trying to turn Scotland away from Rome comes into play - and I still find myself wondering what percentage of 21st century Scottish are Protestant and how many Catholic? Even more, I wonder what role religious preference played in landing Scots in Ireland at ANY time, if any. From what you've said, it doesn't sound like faith was a big influence at all in most cases?

Your description of the firey cross is very enlightening, and makes a lot of sense both in its traditional symbolism for warring Scots, and in terms of ways that it could easily have found an application by the KKK - particularly during what we call "Reconstruction" following our Civil War. That was when the KKK was founded, of course, as a reactionary movement against what was truly brutal suppression in the South. I dare say, the cross on fire in this country never fails to bring about repulsion in most of us owing to the extreme violence connected to it since 1865.

I appreciate your reply.
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Old 27th March 2011, 14:11
Polwarth Polwarth is offline
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A lowland Scot is those of us born below the Highland Line, through the central belt and into the Borders. For instance, Edinburgh and Glasgow are central belt cities, Hawick and Jedburgh are Borders towns.
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Old 27th March 2011, 15:45
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A lowland Scot is those of us born below the Highland Line, through the central belt and into the Borders. For instance, Edinburgh and Glasgow are central belt cities, Hawick and Jedburgh are Borders towns.
Ah yes, now I see it. Thank you... Kirkconnel is there about 30 miles east of the Firth of Clyde, close to the bay.
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Old 28th March 2011, 01:13
Cadbren Cadbren is offline
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> What were the Irish fighting about that they would have needed mercenaries prior to the Irish Plantation?
Since when did the Irish need an excuse to fight?
There had always been clan wars and wars between the various Kingdoms and territories, but things really changed in 1171 when the Anglo-Normans invaded. Pope Adrian IV is the only Englishman to have been a pope and one of the things he did as pope was to "give" Ireland to England as he regarded the place as uncivilized and also because the Celtic Church still had influence there.
The Irish Lords used Scottish mercenaries, mostly from the Isles in their wars against the Anglo-Normans who were eventually confined to small colonies along the coast, the so called Pale settlements. I don't know if Americans use this expression, but to say that something is "beyond the pale" is used in my country to mean something unacceptable, not civilized.

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Some further elucidation re: the relationship of American Scots-Irish to the Confederacy and KKK.
You might find this interesting: News from the Edge | Scottish Horse Whisperers Started KKK | unknowncountry

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...the tradition that it was Catholics (therefore Cavalier) who comprised the majority of those who headed southerly upon arrival here. I do "know" that a great many Protestant/Presbyterian Scots tended to keep north of the Mason-Dixon line, preferring Ohio, Pennsylvania and Maryland to the Carolinas, Virginia and Tennessee. My own Scot and Scotch-Irish ancestors split in that regard - father's line keeping North, and mother's South; to this day. So, King James VI-I's role in trying to turn Scotland away from Rome comes into play - and I still find myself wondering what percentage of 21st century Scottish are Protestant and how many Catholic? Even more, I wonder what role religious preference played in landing Scots in Ireland at ANY time, if any. From what you've said, it doesn't sound like faith was a big influence at all in most cases?
Faith only counts when it's useful to have it count. If you look at the Anglo-Irish Wars, at least at the time of the Battle of the Boyne (1690), the Church in Rome actually supported the English led Protestant army instead of the Catholic army of James VII and II.
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Old 28th March 2011, 01:41
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Lightbulb By golly!

... I do believe I have, for once, asked the correct questions.

"Since when did the Irish need an excuse to fight?"
> What, was I thinking!

"The Irish Lords used Scottish mercenaries, mostly from the Isles in their wars against the Anglo-Normans who were eventually confined to small colonies along the coast..."
> Which coast of where?

"You might find this interesting:"
> Indeed I do! And, was there ever a time when the word "Clan" was spelled with a "K" in Scotland?

"... "beyond the pale" is used in my country to mean something unacceptable, not civilized."
> The Pale counties - first I've heard of them, and this ^ evolution. The only other reference I can recall to "The Pale" had to do with, if memory serves, areas outside of Russian villages which held a similar meaning. Wonder where Ivan got it from?

"Faith only counts when it's useful to have it count."
> Amen, to that.

"... at the time of the Battle of the Boyne (1690), the Church in Rome actually supported the English led Protestant army instead of the Catholic army of James VII and II."
> I could have lived a long time without learning that But, I suppose the old-fashioned double-cross is every bit as much traditional as anything else in war, eh?

My 8th great grandfather, Matthew Bell b. 1652 in Kirkconnel (assuming I got it straight) died in Antrim in 1688, at age 36 - two short years before the onset of the Battle of the Boyne. I've wondered, could his shortened lifespan have meant his involvement, one side or the other, in events leading up to that war? It seems so - without him here to answer for himself...
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Old 2nd November 2011, 08:32
OldeEnglish40 OldeEnglish40 is offline
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yes the Scottish were valued mercenaries in Ireland as they had heavy armored knights and infantry, which was Irelands achilles heel vs England
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