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Oldest Use of the Term "Scotch-Irish" in the Americas?

List member John Polk reports:

Despite Hanna's statement, the term Scotch-Irish was already in use at the time of their first entry into the colonies as a recognizable group - viz. the arrival of Rev. Francis Makemie and his followers to the eastern shore of Maryland in 1683. I have found the term used several times in the Somerset County Court records of the time. I quoted one of these before, but since in bears out the point, I repeat it here.

Following is an affidavit recorded on 15 March 1689/90 in a hearing to bring charges against Matthew Scarbrough:

"I William Pattent was at worke at James Minders and one night as I was at worke Mr Matt: Scarbrough came into the house of sd Minders and sett down by me as I was at work, the sd Minder askt him if he came afoot, he made answer again and sd he did, saying that man, meaning me, calling me Rogue makes me goe afoot, also makes it his business to goe from house to house to ruinate me, my Wife and Children for ever. I made answer is it I Mr.Scarbrough(?) and he replyed and said ay you, you Rogue, for which doing ile whip you and make my Wife whipp to whipp you, and I answered if ever I have abused (you) at any time, or to any bodies hearing, I will give you full satisfaction to your own Content. (At which Scarbrough said) You Scotch Irish dogg it was you, with that he gave me a blow on the face saying it was no more sin to kill me then to kill a dogg, or any Scotch Irish dogg, giving me another blow in the face. now saying goe to yr god that Rogue and have a warrant for me and I will answer it. Wm.Patent"

Not intended as a compliment perhaps, but clearly the term was in use and well understood.

John Polk
Havre de Grace, Maryland

 

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