General Propositions for the Ulster Plantation


These “Propositions” were to be notified to the Undertakers of all sorts:

1. “There shall be Commissioners appointed for the setting forth of the several Proportions; and for the ordering and settling of the Plantation, according to such Instructions as shall be given unto them by his Majesty in that behalf.”

2. “That all the said Undertakers shall by themselves, or by such as the States of England or Ireland shall allow of, attend the said Commissioners in Ireland, at or before Midsummer next, to receive such Directions touching their Plantations as shall be thought fit.”

3. “That every Undertaker, before the ensealing of his Letters Patent, shall enter into Bond and Recognizance, with good Sureties, to his Majesty’s use, in the Office of his Majesty’s Chief Remembrancer, in England or Ireland; or in his Majesty’s Exchequer, or Chancery, in Scotland; or else before two of the Commissioners to be appointed for the Plantation, to perform the aforesaid Articles, according to their Several Distinctions, of Building, Planting, Residence, Alienation within five years, and making of certain estates (or leases) to their Tenants in this manner, viz.; the Undertaker of the greatest Proportion to become bound in four hundred Pounds; of the middle Proportion, in three hundred Pounds; and of the least Proportion, in two hundred Pounds.”

4. “That in every of the said Counties there shall be a convenient Number of Market Towns and Corporations erected for the Habitation and settling of Tradesmen and Artificers; and that there shall be one Free School, at least, appointed in every County for the education of youth in Learning and Religion.”

5. “That there shall be a convenient number of Parishes and Parish Churches with sufficient Incumbents, in every County; and that the Parishioners shall pay all their Tithes in kind to the Incumbents of the said Parish Churches.—See Harris’s Hibernica, pp. 123-130.

Of the Ulster Plantation Hill says: “The undertakers would have neither act nor part in the plantation if required to hold their lands by oppressive feudal tenure of Knight’s service, and they were consequently released therefrom; but the benefit which they thus secured for themselves they were obliged to share with their tenants, by letting their lands on the most liberal terms—some in fee-farm, some by long leases, and none for shorter terms than twenty-one years. … The division and allotment of the lands, therefore, were not made merely that the undertakers, who had been generally needy men, should become wealthy at the expense of their tenants; nor were the latter brought here (to Ireland) to live simply as feudal serfs, reclaiming the soil in which they had no permanent right or interest. On the contrary, all these Conditions and Articles imply a mutual interest between the undertakers and the settlers on their estates, and are now of extreme importance as explanatory of the scope and purpose of the grants then made by the Crown.”

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