John Black III b 1590 – First Black into Ireland from Scotland

John Black III was born 1590 in Canongate, Midlothian, Scotland, and died 1653 in Belfast, County Antrim, Ireland . He was the son of John Black Jr and Elizabeth Bessie Locart. He married Janet Osborne born   1594 in Ashford, Kent County, England


Daniel Black b: 1620 in Canongate, Midlothian, Scotland

John Black IV b: 1620 in Canongate, Midlothian, Scotland

John’s son, John Black, was the first Black in our line born in Ireland. He was born 1620 in Broughshane, Antrim, Ireland. He Married Mary Martin b 1626 Comber, Downs County, Northern Ireland.


John Black b 1656 Belfast, Ulster Province, Northern Ireland. He Married Jane Eccles b 1651 Malone, Ulster Province, Northern Ireland.

When the Black family moved down from the Highlands to the more densely populated area of Scotland they settled in Canongate, Midlothian, Scotland.  During this time Canongate was a separate burgh (Borough).  It was formally absorbed by Edinburgh in 1856. The Canongate Kirk (Church) still serves the Parish of Canongate in Edinburgh’s Old Town. It is a congregation of the Church of Scotland. It still serves as the parish church of the Edinburgh Castle.

In the 16th century the English were seeking to extend their control over Ireland. One of the ways they tried to do this was by driving the Irish landowners off their land and replacing them with English or Scottish settlers, which was called a “Plantation.” Between the years of 1550 and 1650 four Plantations took place. Each plantation was the result of a rebellion by the Irish who were trying to resist the extension of English control over Ireland. With the Scottish settlers being Presbyterians and the English settlers being Anglican, the intention was to create a Protestant majority. These Plantations created high religious tension with the Catholics, which continues to this day.

John Black arrived in Ireland about 1618 as a colonizer in county Antrim. This was at the time of the Ulster Plantation. Although county Antrim was not part of the Plantation, they did follow Plantation guidelines. Records shows that he and his wife leased property from Sir John Clothworthy, one of the largest landowners in the county.




Between 1594 and 1603 the leading Chieftains in Ulster, Hugh O Neill and

Hugh O Donnell led a rebellion against the Govt. of Queen Elizabeth. This was known as the Nine Years War and included some spectacular victories for the Irish such as the

Battle of the Yellow Ford in 1598. The final battle took place at Kinsale on Christmas day 1601 and was a huge defeat for O Neill and O Donnell. In 1603 they surrendered when they signed the Treaty of Mellifont . Under the terms of the Treaty they were allowed to keep their land but had to allow English Sheriffs into Ulster to enforce the Treaty. By 1607, fed up with this restriction on their power they left Ulster forever in what has become known as The Flight of the Earls.The lands of the Earls were confiscated and prepared for a massive scheme of Plantation.

Rules of the Plantation;

King James I of England was determined to avoid the mistakes of the previous Plantations. Under the rules drawn up there were three types of Planters.


English or Scottish Gentleman to receive estates of between 400 and 800 hectares at the cost of €6.00 per year to the King. The Undertaker had to build a Castle, Stone house or Bawn and they could only take English or Scottish tenants, which they had to bring with them from Britain.


Civil Servants or army officers to receive estates of between 400 and 800 hectares at the cost of €10.00 per year to the King. The Servitor had to build a Stone House or Bawn. They were allowed to take Irish tenants and this meant they had an easier time than the Undertakers.

Deserving Irish

Irish men who had remained loyal to the Crown during the nine years war to receive estates of 400 hectares at the cost of €12.70 per year to the King. They were allowed to take Irish tenants also.The first problem with the Plantation was that they could not persuade enough Planters to go to Ireland. As a result King James I forced 12 London Trade Guilds to form The Honourable Irish Society.These were given the County of Derry and allowed to rent the land out to tenants. They built two towns, Coleraine and Londonderry. Each guild then built a village such as Draperstown on their allotted land. Motivated by profit they rented the land to Irish tenants. The Impact of the Plantation;

The Plantation transformed the face of Ulster especially in the following ways;

Land Ownership

Almost all Irish landowners lost their land. The Planters became the new landowning class. They became very wealthy and enforced the law as Judges. They helped the British control Ulster until the 20 Century.

The Countryside

The Planters cleared forests and drained the land. Farming for profit replaced the subsistence farming of the Irish. Wheat, Barley, Oats and Potatoes were grown for sale. New styles of housing of stone and slated roofs were introduced.


The Government built 16 new towns in Ulster including Donegal, Dungannon and Enniskillen. Each town had a central square or Diamond. A network of roads was built to link the towns. The native Irish were forbidden to live in them.


The Scottish settlers were Presbyterians while the English settlers were Anglican. This created a Protestant majority. This created high religious tension with the Catholics, which continues to this day.


The Irish way of dress and living was banned -by law. English language,music, dancing and fashions became more widely used as Gaelic culture faded away.