Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all. 

As you are aware, there is a great connection between Elliots and Ireland. Like many stories of the Scottish Borderers, the Scottish-Irish migration was rooted in banishment and blood.

On March 24, 1603, the King of Scotland, James VI, the only son of Mary, Queen of Scots, achieved his lifelong ambition when Queen Elizabeth I died and James inherited the throne of England. James, now also the newly crowned “King James I” of England, moved South (he would only visit Scotland one more time in his lifetime) and unified the crowns under one “United Kingdom.”

The lawlessness of the Scots/English borders was over. To James, the Scots Borders now represented his ‘Middle Shires’. All six Marches now fell under his single jurisdiction. It is instructive that, faced with the daunting task of uniting two nations, his first policy decision was for the ‘pacification’ of the Borders. They had been a thorn in his side throughout his reign and having always had a ‘special regard to the Marchis and Bordouris’, he decreed that ‘the verie hart of the cuntrey sail not be left in ane uncertaintie’. 

The ‘pacification’ was ruthlessly pursued. The clans replied in their time-honored fashion but against the powers of two states gathered in a single authority, it was only a matter of time. What had been ‘a lawless people, that will be Scottish when they will, and English at their pleasure’ had nowhere to hide. It took seven years to fully impose the rule of law on the Borders but their back was broken in only four. In the first year alone. almost 200 of the principle offenders, the clan leaders, were dealt with. Thirty-two Armstrongs, Batys, Elliots, Johnstons and others were hanged. Fifteen more were sent into exile and 140 outlawed and in that year alone a force of 2,000 Riding Scots left the region to fight for the Dutch in their war with Spain.

Ireland and the Great Transplantation of 1609

That “wicked race”, the Elliots, like many of their fellow “reivers,” were outlawed and banished, and fled across the Irish Sea, primarily to Ulster county of Fermanagh. Here they formed strong communities on the confiscated lands of the ancient Irish noblemen and built fortifications as well as new homes.

During the uprising of 1641, the Elliots defended their colony against the native Irish. By the time their first century in Ireland had passed, they had become part of the English ruling class known as the Protestant Ascendancy. Eventually their name was spelt with two L’s and two T’s — distinctive only to the Irish Elliotts.

Our Earliest Elliott:  Michael Elliott of Annaghilly, Fermanagh

Michael first appears in public records in 1832. He was in his mid-forties, living in the Parish of Clones (pronounced with two syllables: clo’-nis — today’s inhabitants say Clones rhymes with ‘bonus’) straddling the counties of Fermanagh and Monaghan in the province of Ulster. At this time, Elliotts had lived in the area for over 200 years. 

Many Elliott’s Thus many, many Elliotts’ (which in my circles, seem to be the most common spelling of the name) boast Irish blood and temper. So, even though we are all proudly “Scottish”, we too can raise a glass as proud sons and daughters of Ireland. 

Know that being both Briton and Irish, we’re all probably born of the two angriest island people in the world has ever known, but also those of great generosity and humor. 

It is our toast to boast:

“The double L and single T  
descend from Minto and Wolflee.  
The double T and single L  
mark the old race in Stobs that dwell.  
The single L and single T  
The Eliots of St. German’s be.  
But the double T and double L  
who they are, no one can tell…For double L and double T, the Scots should look across the sea.”

Happy St. Patrick’s Day and Slàinte Mhaith,