Tuesday, 10 September 2013

PRONI talk - Ulster Presbyterianism’s First Historians

From the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (www.proni.gov.uk) in Belfast:

Ulster Presbyterianism’s First Historians, by Dr Robert Armstrong, Senior History lecturer in the Dept of History, Trinity College, Dublin
Tuesday 17th September 2013 at 2pm

How does a community understand its own past? By the 1660s there had been an organized Presbyterian presence in Ulster for over twenty years, and individuals with Presbyterian convictions for much longer. But it was now that the ministers and elders, meeting together, decided to sponsor an account of their history, drawing from their records and the memories of those who had taken part in stirring events and patient building up of their cause. There were lots of fits and starts to follow, but two ministers – Patrick Adair and Andrew Stewart – did produce lengthy texts, though neither of them were published in their authors’ lifetimes. Adair relied heavily on an account written by one of the first Presbyterian ministers in Ireland, Robert Blair. In the last years of his life Blair wrote a memoir of his earlier experiences, including his years in Bangor. His colleague, John Livingstone of Killinchy, did the same, in his case as an exile in Holland.

This lecture will look at the stories told by these four men – Adair, Stewart, Blair and Livingstone. It will ask what went to make up the ‘Presbyterian Story’ in seventeenth-century Ulster. How did these men understand the events they had experienced in their own days? Or those of much earlier times? How did their version of the past challenge those told from other perspectives within Ireland? How did the stories they told shape Presbyterian memories for later generations?

WHEN: 17th September 2013
ADMISSION: Admission is FREE, booking is essential. Please contact PRONI to secure your place at proni@dcalni.gov.uk

(With thanks to Gavin McMahon)


My wife Claire is planning to swim from the Scottish island of Cumbrae to the town of Largs on September 14th to raise money for local charity Gillian's Saltire Appeal, providing respite for families affected by cancer (Claire's mum and sister in Ireland have previously come through cancer, whilst my mum, based in England, currently has bladder cancer). Her Just Giving sponsorship page, with further details, is at http://www.justgiving.com/Claire-Paton1. If you can help to sponsor her, even by a wee amount, we'd be very grateful - many thanks!

1 comment:

  1. Oh my, I wish I could be there. My Gillespie, Armstrong, and Morrison ancestors lived in Ulster area up until about 1880. Time to do more research I see.