During semester one of the academic year, 1982-83, Robert Hunter was on study leave from the University of Ulster. The ultimate aim of this research sabbatical was, in Robert’s words, the production of a ‘calendar and edition of a uniquely-surviving group of Irish port books from the early seventeenth century’.[1]

This collection is held by the West Yorkshire Archive Service, as part of the Temple Newsam MSS, among the papers of Sir Arthur Ingram, who was involved in the farm of the Irish customs in the early seventeenth century.[2] Having made a preliminary investigation in the early 1970s of these records, which were made up of the port books for Londonderry, Coleraine, Carrickfergus and the Lecale ports during the years 1612-15, Robert decided that they were important enough to justify the calendar mentioned above. He made xerox copies of the port books and transcribed them in their entirety – initially copying them exactly as they were laid out and then later editing them and modernising the spelling for publication into a form which he felt would be most readable and accessible.[3]

Robert was forced to confront various difficulties with the port books, however, which ultimately stymied their publication. Raymond Gillespie has described the customs records of sixteenth-century Irish ports as being ‘fragmentary and rendered almost useless by the exemptions given by the government to the port towns and individuals’.[4] For the seventeenth century, Robert found it difficult to identify some of the more obscure ports (possibly in the islands of Scotland), as well as some of the goods which were being imported and exported to and from Ulster. The biggest issue, however, was Robert’s concern regarding the reliability of the port books, both in England and Ireland. Robert had discovered in some of the English port books, occasional differences in destinations and cargoes. The destinations were reasonably accurate, with Robert discovering only one discrepancy – a Welsh port book, detailing a ship from Londonderry which docked at Carnarvon in 1615, but for which there was no corresponding record in the Londonderry port book.[5]

Much more problematic, however, were the ships’ cargo listings recorded in the port books, both in their place of origin and destination. Although often similar, when comparing the goods on a ship bound from Coleraine to Chester, for example, the goods listed in Coleraine could often be very different from the goods listed in Chester. Other entries again could not be compared due to the damaged state of the English books. Finally, many of the inventories listed in the port books merely state ‘unnamed goods’ or end in the frustrating and tantalising phrase, ‘and other wares’.[6] Was this a sign of laziness on the part of the clerk assigned to record the goods, or do the divergent accounts recorded on both sides of the Irish Sea point to a system rife with smuggling and corruption?[7]

As it turned out, despite referring to his edition of the port books as forthcoming for many years, Robert, it seems, had never sought out a publisher, and his interest in the project waxed and waned throughout the 1970s. Indeed, as early as 1982-83, he seemed resigned to the fact that the poor economic climate would make their publication extremely unlikely, if not downright impossible.[8] Robert’s edition of the port books would never be published in his lifetime.[9]


Port books were the records of trade kept by customs officials at the ports. As alluded to above, they may not always provide a total picture of a port’s trade – smuggling and falsified returns make this unlikely.[10] And as Sven-Erik Åström has noted, the books of the seventeenth century were designed merely as a record of dues paid to the Crown, and were ‘not meant … as a mirror of commercial trends or as a register of the volume and value of goods passing in and out of the country’. Moreover, the Crown had no expectation of customs revenue from Londonderry or Coleraine, as they had both been granted to the City of London as part of the Ulster Plantation scheme, so had no real need to record the figures from Londonderry.[11] Yet the port books nevertheless offer a valuable indication of the pattern of trade, the needs of the pioneer colonial society and the value set upon various goods inUlster in the early seventeenth century.

Customs duties were assessed on commodities in accordance with fixed valuations. Lists of goods were drawn up, each given a specific value and the duty was assessed on that value. These lists, which were printed, were known as Books of Rates. In 1604, the administration of the customs in Englandwas reformed, and a new Book of Rates issued. Shortly afterwards, the customs system in Ireland, which was disorganised and unprofitable, was reformed and received an overhaul.[12] In 1608, a Book of Rates forIreland was promulgated inDublin, this new rating system becoming the customs standard for the Ulster Plantation. The basic duty at this time was one shilling to the pound, that is, 5% of the stated value of the goods.

In the sixteenth century, Gaelic Ireland was divided into a number of lordships, and many merchants did not engage in undertaking economic activity with more than one lordship.[13] It was felt by the merchants that to do so, and abide by the differing tariffs and customs imposed  upon them by often competing lordships, would incur far more cost and trouble than it was worth. Outside the Pale, Waterford, Galway and the other port regions under English rule, Dublin Castle attempted in a fitful fashion to assert its interests upon the Gaelic lordships and the Old English earls, such as Desmond, but mostly to no avail. Pirating was also a constant source of worry and concern for the traders and merchants, with a number of incidents taking place during this period.[14] Once, however, the entire country came under of the rule of the British state in the early seventeenth century,  and trading rights were resumed by the crown in 1613, all of the island was opened up to greater trading activity, as the transaction costs for wholesale trade for the merchants were now significantly reduced.[15]

Bucking European trends of economic distress in the early seventeenth century, the Irish economy actually improved and began to strengthen following the end of the Nine Years’ War in 1603. Its close economic and political ties to England, which did not suffer as much in the economic downturn then engulfing Continental Europe, also sheltered Irelandeconomically.[16] The port towns grew dramatically in response to the growth in trade in the early seventeenth century, although the growth of towns such as Londonderry was relatively slow pre-1650.[17] Nevertheless, in Londonderry, trade seemed to pick up quicker and benefit from the plantation in a shorter timeframe than was the case with nearby Coleraine, whose growth actually seems to have retarded immediately following the plantation.[18] Sir Thomas Phillips, who, as a previous owner of Coleraine, perhaps had a vested interest, declared that prior to the plantation, ‘the Scots resorted thether in great number, for every summer there came between 40 & 60 barkes and boats into the Band [Bann], which brought merchandizes & carried away timer and boards and other commodities such as the Country did yeeld’.[19] From June 1606 to March 1607, customs receipts at Coleraine and Ballyshannon combined (unfortunately the two ports are not differentiated between in the report) came to £35 3s. 10d. Nevertheless, Coleraine was believed by 1637 to have been the ‘port of the greatest consequence in the kingdom for coast business’.[20] Similarly, in Derry by 1612-13, the customs had almost quadrupled in value to £130 11s. 8d.[21] The wide-reaching influence of Londonderry as a port can be illustrated by the fact that areas as far as Dungannon, north-west Fermanagh, Strabane (and presumably also Lifford) and much of north Donegal, used Derry as a trading centre.[22]


Ulster’s close links with Britainbut especially Scotland, are also evident throughout the port books. Michael Perceval-Maxwell has stated that ‘there can be no question that it was the Scottish settlements that were largely responsible for the flourishing condition of commerce between Scotland and Ulster’.[23] The record of imports into Coleraine from 1 April to 30 September 1614 state that twenty-eight separate loads were registered as entering into the docks there (Table 1). Of these loads, at least three and possibly four, ships docked twice during this period.[24] So of these twenty-four (possibly twenty-five) boats, eighteen were from Scotland, three fromChester and one each from one of the Scottish Isles,London andBarnstaple. Of the thirty-eight ships which were recorded as docking at Coleraine between 6 April 1615 and 12 September 1615, two docked twice (Table 2). Twenty-seven boats came from Scotland, two each from France and Chester, and one from Barnstaple and London. The place of origin for seven of the ships was unaccounted for. Most of these ships, therefore, confined their trade to either side of the Irish Sea, normally carrying their wares from Scotland to Ulster.

Table 1: Coleraine Ingates 1 April 161430 September 1614

Loads Number of boats How many boats   used more than once Origin of boats
28  24


Boat of William   Gaulte; boat of Robert Borne; boat of John Taylor; boat of Duncan   Alche/Leche.

18 Scotland

3 Chester

1 Isles of Scotland

1 London

1 Barnstaple

Table 2: Coleraine Ingates 6 April 1615- 12 September 1615


Number of boats

How many boats used more than once

Origin of boats



Boat of John Longe in twice; boat of Robert Forrest in twice.

27   Scotland

7   Unknown

2   Chester

2   France

1   London

1   Barnstaple

Exports from Coleraine between 21 April 1614 and 20 September 1614reveal a slightly different picture, however. Of thirteen shipments to leave Coleraine during this period, six went to Scotland, two to Chester, one to Londonand one to Barnstaple. But one went to Bilbao and another to an unspecified port in Spain(their loads containing salmon and pipe staves respectively, of which Spainwas a major customer). The thirty-seven loads exported from Coleraine between 5 April 1615 and 27 September 1615 were made up of twenty-three to Scotland, seven to Chester, one apiece to Glasgow and Barnstaple, one which went stopped at both London and Chester, and three which travelled to Spain, the goods again being not only salmon, but also hides, both tanned and salted. Salt, including French salt, used in the preparation of hides was in high demand in Ulsterand a regular feature in import lists, and the salted hides exported to Spainhad possibly been treated with imported salt from the continent before being exported back to the continent again.[25]

The Lecale ports of County Down, which can be sometimes be overlooked in favour of the larger ports such as Derryand Coleraine, also reveal a buzz of activity in the 1610s. This conglomeration of ports listed fifty-six exported loads between 29 January and 30 September 1614. Of these, three ships docked twice during this period, while one ship (Trinity of Ardglass), docked three times, possibly under two different captains.[26] Of their destinations, ten ships travelled to Kirkcudbright, ten to Ayr, nine to Workington, six to Whithorn, Wyre andChester respectively, three to Largs, two each toBristol andLiverpool and one to Tenby and Rosses respectively. Of these fifty-six loads from the Lecale ports, twenty-eight were from Ardglass, twenty from Strangford, six from Dundrum and two from Killough. Of thirty-one loads from Lecale ports during the period26 March 1615-September 1615, eleven were from Ardglass, seven each from Ballintogher and Strangford, and three each from Dundrum and Killough. Ardglass was the busiest of the Lecale ports during this period, followed by Strangford.

The Lecale outgates from 3 October 1614 to 23 March 1615 record twenty-seven loads leaving for foreign ports – eight to Wyre, four each to Lancaster and Workington, three to Ayr, two each to R. Wyre, Beaumaris and Whithorn, and one each to Parton and Wales. Four of these boats were used twice during this period, with one of these ships using different captains during both of its journeys. One of the captains, John Boyde, docked three times in two different ships, the Jelleflower of Fairlie and the Jelliflower of Irvine. Despite the business of these ports, it was reported in October 1637 by Charles Monck, surveyor general of the customs, that more ships from English and foreign, i.e. mainland Europe, ports, docked at Londonderry than any other Ulster port.[27]


Table 3: Export values from Carrickfergus, Coleraine and the Lecale ports, 1614-1615

Lecale 29 January 1614–30    September 1614 Fifty-six £2251 8s.
Lecale 3 October 1614–23    March 1615 Twenty-seven £983 2s.
Lecale 26 March 1615– September 1615 Thirty-one £1650 8s. 4d.
Carrickfergus 3 October 1614–16    September 1615 Forty-five £3170 13s. 8d.
Coleraine 21 April 1614–20    September 1614 Thirteen £1067 5s.

Table 4: Import values from Coleraine and the Lecale ports, 1613-1615

Coleraine 15 March 1613–12    September 1615 Ninety-one £3485 5s. 13d.
Lecale 18 April 1614–25 April 1614 Two £10 7s.
Lecale 26 November 1614–15    January 1615 Two £20 6s. 8d.
Lecale 11 June 1615–14    September 1615 Five £128 2s.



It had been suggested by Oliver St John in 1614 that ‘great good will come into this kingdom by transporting cattle and corn from hence into England; for this kingdom will be able to spare great quantities of both, which will bring money into it, and make this barbarous nation feel the sweets thereof, for the love of it will sooner effect civility than any other persuasion whatsoever’.[28] Indeed, livestock and grain were the main goods exported from the northern ports during this period. Of twenty-one recorded exports from the Lecale ports between October 1614 and March 1615, eight contained livestock, three carried hides, and eleven had oats and barley.[29] Again the fifty-two loads recorded as having left the Lecale ports between 29 January 1614 and 30 September 1614 were entirely made up of either livestock or grain. The most important export products from Derry were also those of an agricultural nature, as well as fish, and by the 1630s at least, timber. As has been noted elsewhere, ‘livestock products, hides, sheepskins, wool, beef and tallow; grain, especially oats and rye and barley; linen yarn and salmon predominate in the early port books’.[30] So large were the numbers of cattle being exported across the Irish Sea in the early seventeenth century, that in 1625-26, measures were taken to prevent the export of cattle and cattle products, such as hides, from Ireland.[31] The planters were rarely the cattle farmers themselves, producing the livestock for sale on the British mainland – rather they were the middleman, procuring for sale the cattle so abundant in Ireland and making a hefty profit for their trouble.[32] As mentioned above, grain was an important export commodity which was extremely profitable for merchants during the early plantation period. The appearance of grain in the trade returns in the early seventeenth century points to an overhaul in customs duties rather than an innovation in trade and the further development of the Irish economy. It also seems to have been sold at a cheaper price than Scottish and English grain. But high rates of duty imposed by a protectionist Scottish council in 1618 put paid to much of this exportation, and also reduced the incentive to undertake arable farming in Ulster. Barring oats and other grainstuffs, the only other major non-pastoral product to be exported was linen yarn, which was mostly headed to Lancashire, Manchester in particular, where it was used in the production of fustian products.[33]

Other hides, such as stagskins, sealskins and goatskins were exported from Derryto Francein March 1614. The timber trade, which began to grow and expand from the 1550s, experienced a significant but short-lived period of growth in the early seventeenth century.[34] It was reported that in Derry in May 1609 that ‘all materials for building of ships (except tar) is there to be had in great plenty’, and it was later hoped that Irish timber products may eventually be cheaper than those sold by the Dutch.[35] Charles Moncke reported in 1637 that the woods around Carrickfergus contained ‘the best timber that ever I saw’, and bemoaned the fact that such high quality timber was used to make pipe staves.[36] Other goods exported in large quantities from the northern ports in the early seventeenth century included large amounts of barrel staves, pipe staves and hogshead staves, these timber products travelling as far as Spain. Ireland has been identified as a major source of supply for products of this nature in the early seventeenth century, a source which was largely depleted by the end of that century.[37]

Initial imports toLondonderryincluded building materials associated with the construction of new buildings, towns and villages as part of theUlsterplantation. Large amounts of ridge tiles, tilestones, spades, chisels, iron tools, slates, nails, lead, door locks and unnamed ‘household goods for the use of the plantation’ were imported into Londonderry and Coleraine between 1612 and 1615. Once the houses and buildings had been constructed, they needed to be kept warm and comfortable, and glass for windows (described as glass ‘allowed for the use of the plantation by warrant of Lord Treasurer’ in April 1614), lanterns, candles, fire shovels, tongs, bellows were all imported from Britain, as well as vast amounts of coal and some slack.

A significant amount and wide variety of luxury food items were imported into the northern ports for the new settlers, including white candy, currants, prunes, figs, ‘raisins of the sun’ and Malaga raisins, indicating the relative prosperity of some of the settlers. There were also a large number of spices and other foodstuffs for added flavour, such as ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, saffron, cloves, pepper, liquorice, sugar, salt and vinegar. Brass kettles, frying pans and drinking glasses were also imported, as well as reams of ‘pott paper’. Large amounts of wine, especially from France, but some from Spainalso, and Scottish whiskey was also imported into Ulsterports, indicating the Scottish origins of many planters.[38] Tobacco and pipes were also in high demand among the new settlers in Ulster, and by the 1680s, Irish ships were using the Isle of Man as a base for their tobacco smuggling operations.[39]

Despite the huge amount of beef being exported from Ireland, there was still some imported, along with some grain, salmon, herrings, cod, bacon, onions and apples. The appearance of salmon, herrings and cod, along with ‘nets and ropes for fishing’, in the list of imports implies an underdeveloped fishing industry, that now under the influence of the new settlers, was perhaps beginning to strengthen.[40]  One aspect of trade which becomes clear, however, is the lack of regional specialisation of goods or produce throughout the sixteenth century. While the exportation of cloth and wool increased throughout that period, the importation of cloth from Scotland and England also rose accordingly. In 1611, it was recorded that linen yarn and wool were among the principal exports from Dublin, while linen and woollen cloth numbered among its main imports. This, as alluded to above, points to an inability on the part of the Irish, either of the Pale, or Gaelic Ireland, to process the raw materials themselves into usable products. As Raymond Gillespie has noted, this implies both an easy availability of land which precluded the need of the Gaelic Irish to diversify and complement their skills set, as well as the lowly status of tradesmen or craftsmen in the seventeenth century.[41]

The Scottish antecedents of many of the settlers in Ulster is plain to see in the large amounts of cloth being imported into the Ulster ports, including ‘Scots grey cloth’,  ‘Scotch hats’, blue bonnets, blue cloth, broad cloths. But cloth from Yorkshire was also popular, along with some Genoa fustian, hats, stockings, ‘coloured hats for children’, silk, velvet, men’s wool knit stockings, ribbon and shoes. Along with the cloth, large amounts of dye, soap[42] and starch was also imported. Dressed in the latest fashions using material fromBritain and occasionally the continent, many of these planters had no intention of ‘going native’.  Another indication of new innovations introduced intoIreland by the planters can be seen in the importation of equine equipment such as stirrups, horseshoes, girdles, saddles, despite the fact that not many horses are recorded inUlster’s import records, with more exported than imported.

Books only appear once in the port books investigated as part of this study, and perhaps unsurprisingly given the reforming aspect of the plantation, they are religious in nature. On 23 October 1614, four bibles and four psalters were imported into Derryas part of a larger consignment. There does not seem to be any other mention of books entering the northern ports during this time, with only one mention in 1632 as part of a load from Chesterto Derry.[43] Literacy was poor at this time,[44] with writing paper in low demand. Very little of what is described as ‘ordinary paper’, and what appears to be writing paper (as opposed to ‘pott paper’), is mentioned in the port books investigated here. They entered theport ofDerry fromChester as part of a larger consignment on an unspecified date between 25 July and12 August 1615.

On 10 July 1615, the city of Londonentered a consignment which illustrates some of the prevailing tensions associated with the plantation. By the beginning of the year, plans were being formulated by members of the O’Cahan family to mount a rebellion. The Dublingovernment was made aware of these plans, and were worried about the possibility of foreign intervention, or worse yet, the return of Hugh O’Neill. A series of arrests were made between February and June 1615, during the course of which, it was discovered that the first steps in the proposed rising were to have been the capture of Londonderryand Coleraine. On 1 May that year, the Irish Society in London,[45] alarmed by the threat to their interests in the Londonderry Plantation, raised money for arms to contribute to the defence of these towns. The consignment from the city of London, which docked at Londonderry on 15 July 1615, comprising of a large variety and amount of weapons, gunpowder and shot, is the probable result of this fundraising. Gunpowder had also been imported into Derry in January and April 1615. Robert Hunter also believes that the arrival of these arms ‘probably rendered the holding of the assizes in Londonderry on 31 July, at which several of the ringleaders were sentenced to execution, the more secure’.[46]


The port rolls for Londonderry, Coleraine, Carrickfergus and the Lecale ports are an underrated source which have been underutilised by historians of the early seventeenth century. As Robert Hunter himself stated, ‘they can be used to establish the character of the merchant class of the merging plantation towns and the incipient commercialisation which was one of the characteristics of plantation. … They can also be used, as names are gradually identified, to indicate the hinterlands of the Ulsterports, for example, Strabane merchants trading through Derry. … The commodities exported illuminate the plantation economy; the enormous range of imports indicates that Ulsterparticipated in the contemporary consumer society. The port books also provide fairly exact information about the places of origin of the ships that traded with Ulsterand indicate the size of local Ulstermerchant fleets’.[47] Many of these avenues of enquiry are beyond the remit of this short essay, but the work undertaken by Robert Hunter in transcribing and editing the Ulster port books should serve as an indispensable guide for those interested in pursuing these and other topics further and in greater detail.


[1] PRONI, D4446/C/1.

[2] West Yorkshire Archive Service, WYL 100/PO/7/I/1-4. The manuscript numbers are as follows: 100/PO/7/I/1 (Coleraine); 100/PO/7/I/2 (Lecale); 100/PO/7/I/3 (Carrickfergus); 100/PO/7/I/4 (Londonderry). See also Brian C. Donovan & David Edwards, British sources for Irish history, 1485-1641: a guide to manuscripts in local, regional and specialised repositories in England, Scotland and Wales (Dublin, 1997), pp 290-1; Victor Treadwell, ‘The establishment of the farms of the Irish customs 1603-13’ in English Historical Review, 93 (1978), pp 580-602; Hugh Kearney, Strafford in Ireland, 1633-41: a study in absolutism (Manchester, 1959; 2nd ed., Cambridge, 1989), pp 161-2.

[3] PRONI, D4446/C/1. Copies of the original transcripts ordered from what was then Leeds City Reference Library by Robert and which are now kept in PRONI are: D/4446/B/6/1 (Carrickfergus); D4446/B/6/2 (Coleraine); D4446/B/6/3 (Lecale); D4446/B/6/4-5 (Londonderry). Robert’s transcripts of these manuscripts can be found in D4446/A/6/20-21 (Londonderry); D4446/A/6/22 (Carrickfergus); D4446/A/6/28 (Coleraine); D4446/A/6/29 (Lecale). Leeds City Reference Library became part of the West Yorkshire Archive Service in 1982:, accessed11/07/12.

[4] Raymond Gillespie, The transformation of the Irish economy, 1550-1700 (2nd ed.,Dundalk, 1998), p. 5.

[5] PRONI, D4446/C/1. For a study of trade from the English side, see Donald Woodward, The trade of Elizabethan Chester (Hull, 1970); idem, ‘The overseas trade of Chester, 1600-1650’ in Transactions of the Historic society of Lancashire and Cheshire, 122 (1970), pp 25-42.

[6] See in particular the large majority of cargoes moving throughLondonderry between Michaelmas 1612 and Michaelmas 1613.

[7] PRONI, D4446/C/1. This was also the case with seventeenth-century records of trade between England and Scandinavia: Sven-Erik Åström, ‘The reliability of the English port books’ in The Scandinavian Economic History Review, xvi, no. 2 (1968), pp 125-136 at pp 133-5.

[8] PRONI, D4446/C/1; John Morrill, ‘Introduction: Bob Hunter’s Ulster’ in John Morrill (ed.), Ulster Transformed: essays on plantation and print culture c.1590-1641 (Belfast, 2012). My thanks to Professor Morrill for sharing with me his wonderful assessment of Robert’s life and work prior to publication.

[9] See his correspondence with Donald Woodward throughout the 1970s: PRONI, D4446/A/6/1. That Robert may have been interested in reviving the project in the 1990s is implied through the inclusion in his papers now held by PRONI of a memo sent around the history department at Magee in April 1991, informing the scholars there that the Royal Historical Society were seeking proposals to publish documentary sources as part of its Camden Series. Robert, however, does not seem to have pursued this avenue any further. He did, however, make his transcript of the port books available to his students, a number of whom wrote undergraduate theses based upon the port books, as well as to fellow scholars such as Donald Woodward, who referred to them in ‘Irish Sea trades and shipping from the later middle ages to c.1660’ in M. McCaughan & J. Appleby (eds), The Irish sea: aspects of maritime history (Belfast, 1989), pp 35-44.

[10] The customs collector at Derry in the 1630s admitted that only 60% of the legal duty on beef was paid: T.W. Moody, The Londonderry plantation (Belfast, 1939), p. 350. Numerous accounts of smuggling and piracy can be seen in John Appleby (ed.), A calendar of material relating to Ireland from the high court of admiralty examinations, 1536-1641 (Dublin, 1992), pp 104-6, 126-39; Cal. S.P. Ire., 1608-10, p. 473; Woodward, ‘Irish Sea trades and shipping from the later middle ages to c.1660’, p. 35; Charles Moncke, ‘Report on the customs in the northern ports of Ireland, 1637’ (unpublished, PRONI, 1974), unpaginated. See also Evan Jones, Inside the illicit economy: reconstructing the smugglers’ trade of sixteenth-century Bristol (Ashgate, 2012).

[11] Åström, ‘The reliability of the English port books’; Treadwell, ‘The establishment of the farms of the Irish customs 1603-13’, p. 598.

[12] See Treadwell, ‘The establishment of the farms of the Irish customs 1603-13’.

[13] For more on Gaelic trade, see Mary O’Dowd, ‘Gaelic economy and society’ in Ciaran Brady & Raymond Gillespie (eds), Natives and newcomers: essays on the making of Irish colonial society (Dublin, 1986), pp 120-47 at pp 130-32.

[14] Moody, The Londonderry plantation, pp 351-2.

[15] Gillespie, The transformation of the Irish economy, 1550-1700, p. 23; Treadwell, ‘The establishment of the farms of the Irish customs 1603-13’, pp 580-1.

[16] Aidan Clarke, ‘The Irish economy, 1600-60’ in T.W. Moody, F.X. Martin & F.J. Byrne (eds), A new history of Ireland III: early modern Ireland, 1534-1691 (Oxford, 1976), pp 168-84 at p. 168.

[17] Gillespie, The transformation of the Irish economy, 1550-1700, p. 28. Derry was erected as a port and a military outpost in 1604: Treadwell, ‘The establishment of the farms of the Irish customs 1603-13’, p. 588; Robert Hunter, ‘Ulster Plantation towns’ in D.W. Harkness & Mary O’Dowd (eds), The Town in Ireland: Historical studies XIII (Belfast, 1981), pp 55-80 at p. 56.

[18] Michael Perceval-Maxwell, The Scottish migration to Ulster in the reign of James I (London, 1973), p. 291; Robert J. Hunter, ‘The fishmongers’ company of London and the Londonderry plantation, 1609-41’ in Gerard O’Brien (Ed.), Derry and Londonderry: history and society (Dublin, 1999), pp 205-58.

[19] Quoted in Perceval-Maxwell, The Scottish migration to Ulster in the reign of James I, p. 291; T.W. Moody, ‘Sir Thomas Phillips of Limavady, servitor’ in Irish Historical Studies, 3 (1938-39), pp 251-72.

[20] Moody, The Londonderry plantation, p. 348.

[21] Perceval-Maxwell, The Scottish migration to Ulster in the reign of James I, p. 293.

[22] Hunter, ‘Ulster Plantation towns’, p. 68.

[23] Perceval-Maxwell, The Scottish migration to Ulster in the reign of James I, p. 301.

[24] The boat belonging to ‘Duncan Alche’ and ‘Duncan Leche’ may the same one, but as these boats do not seem to have personalised names, or at least were not recorded using their monikers, it is difficult to say.

[25] Hunter, ‘Ulster Plantation towns’, p. 73. One load of butter and oats left Derry for Norway on 27 February 1615. Butter has been reckoned to be the most important export from Belfast in the seventeenth century: Jean Agnew, Belfast merchant families in the seventeenth century (Dublin, 1996), p. 105.

[26] This may actually be the same person – John Flynne and John Boye a Felyn. There were two main types of ships docking and departing from the Ulster ports – those hired, along with a captain, by a merchant to transport goods for them, or those captained by the man who also the merchant, which would have been cheaper.

[27] Hunter, ‘Ulster Plantation towns’, p. 78.

[28] Cal. S.P. Ire., 1611-14, pp 501-2; Donald Woodward, ‘The Anglo-Irish livestock trade in the seventeenth century’ in IHS, 72, (1973), pp 489-523 at p. 490.

[29] Traders do not seem to have specialised in any particular cargo. John Boyde, for example, exported twenty-five cows from Strangford to Workington on the Jelleflower of Fairlie on3 October 1614, and then exported sixty barrels of oats from Portaferry to Wyre on1 November 1614.

[30] Hunter, ‘Ulster Plantation towns’, p. 77. Fish had been a major Irish export in the sixteenth century, particularly from Wexford and south Munster, but this witnessed a major decline during the seventeenth century: Woodward, ‘Irish Sea trades and shipping from the later middle ages to c.1660’, pp 35, 37.

[31] Clarke, ‘The Irish economy, 1600-60’, p. 177. For some figures on the export of livestock from all of the Irish ports in the early seventeenth century, see Woodward, ‘The Anglo-Irish livestock trade in the seventeenth century’, pp 515-17. Sheep were later to become a major export, with the produce of 1.5 million to 2 million sheep exported from Ireland on the eve of the 1641 rising: Woodward, ‘Irish Sea trades and shipping from the later middle ages to c.1660’, p. 38.

[32] Clarke, ‘The Irish economy, 1600-60’, p. 177. The settlers claimed in 1610 that they were better off selling cattle and corn as they had neither the space nor the inclination to develop these industries further: Cal. S.P. Ire., 1608-10, p. 526.

[33] Clarke, ‘The Irish economy, 1600-60’, p. 176; Gillespie, The transformation of the Irish economy, 1550-1700, p. 33; Perceval-Maxwell, The Scottish migration to Ulster in the reign of James I, pp 294-5.

[34] Gillespie, The transformation of the Irish economy, 1550-1700, p. 34.

[35] Cal. S.P. Ire., 1608-10, p. 209; Cal. S.P. Ire., 1611-14, p. 227.

[36] Moncke, ‘Report on the customs in the northern ports ofIreland, 1637’.

[37] Kenneth Nicholls, ‘Woodland cover in pre-modern Ireland’ in Patrick J. Duffy, David Edwards & Elizabeth FitzPatrick (eds), Gaelic Ireland, c.1250-c.1650: land, lordship & settlement (Dublin, 2001), pp 181-206 at p. 199. See also Cal. S.P. Ire., 1608-10, p. 209.

[38] Perceval-Maxwell, The Scottish migration to Ulster in the reign of James I, pp 301-2. Some English beer was also imported. For more on the Irish wine trade, see H.F. Kearney, ‘The Irish wine trade, 1614-15’ in IHS, 36 (1955), pp 400-42.

[39] Gillespie, The transformation of the Irish economy, 1550-1700, p. 53.

[40] However, salmon was being exported fromDerry to as far away asSpain.

[41] Gillespie, The transformation of the Irish economy, 1550-1700, pp 7-8. As Ireland had no mint, it was important to ensure that its exports were always in surplus in order to provide ready cash. This constant monetary requirement was another possible reason why Ireland exported unprocessed goods: Raymond Gillespie, ‘The Irish economy at war, 1641-1652’ in Jane H. Ohlmeyer (ed.), Ireland: from independence to occupation (Cambridge, 1995), pp 160-180 at pp 162-3; idem, ‘Meal and money: the harvest crisis of 1621-4’ in E.M. Crawford (ed.), Famine: the Irish experience (Edinburgh, 1989), pp 75-95.

[42] The Salters company in Derry discussed the possibility of manufacturing soap from wood-ash and oil imported from Spain. It was believed by one of the Salters’ agents in particular, that enough soap could be made to supply the whole of Ireland, but the idea never seems to have been acted upon and it came to naught: Moody, The Londonderry plantation, p. 344.

[43] Moody, The Londonderry plantation, p. 347.

[44] See the marks and signatures of deponents among the 1641 depositions for indications of the level of literacy in Ireland at this time. See, however, examples such as Edward Hatton, a Monaghan-based clergyman, who, upon his death in 1632, held forty books ‘great and small’ in his possession: R.J. Hunter, ‘The Bible and the bawn: an Ulster planter inventorised’ in Ciaran Brady & Jane Ohlmeyer (eds), British interventions in early modern Ireland (Cambridge, 2005), 116-134 at p. 133. See also, Raymond Gillespie, Reading Ireland: print, reading and social change in early modern Ireland (Manchester, 2005), ch. 6.

[45] A standing committee of the City Council of London which was set up for the general management of the lands assigned to them, roughly co-terminus with modern-dayCountyLondonderry.

[46] Raymond Gillespie, Conspiracy: Ulster plots and plotters in 1615 (Belfast, 1987); Robert Hunter, ‘PRONI Education Facsimile No. 169: Plantations’. Gunpowder had also been imported into Coleraine in June 1614.

[47] PRONI, D4446/C/1.