‘No friend for sorrow but memory’: commemorating children in early Post-Plantation Ulster, Ireland

Lynne McKerr*, Eileen Murphy

*Corresponding author for this work

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This paper explores the social visibility of children from Gaelic Irish and settler families during the 17th and 18th centuries given the very significant economic and cultural changes which followed the Plantation of Ulster. Predominantly Protestant settlers from Britain ousted native Catholic congregations from traditional places of worship, which became Protestant churches, and graveyards were now shared with Planter families. Using information from the south and west of the province of Ulster, it examines how children’s memorials may signify the religious, social and/or ethnic identity their families wished to express. It explores how distinctive familial plots were perhaps one means of maintaining complex Gaelic Irish kin relationships in danger of erosion and may have helped settlers replace or strengthen social networks from their original homes. High status interments which included children in prestigious native burial grounds may also have been a means of control and a powerful symbol of subjugation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-143
Number of pages34
JournalChildhood in the Past
Issue number2
Early online date24 Jul 2023
Publication statusPublished - 05 Sep 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)

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