The Plantation of Ulster took place around 1609 under James i and vi just after two dramatic events would take place and bring to an end Gaelic rule in Ireland. The Nine Years War (1594-1603) would see Ulster, the last remaining Gaelic stronghold in Ireland, fall under English rule for the first time.
Elizabeth i would wage war in Ulster in an attempt to break the native Irish and introduce Anglicization and Protestantization in to this part of Ireland. In the way of this were Hugh O’Neill 2nd Earl of Tyrone and Hugh O'Donnell of Donegal amongst others. The war ended with the defeat of the native Irish and the signing of the Treaty of Mellifont in 1603. In 1607 the Flight of the Earls took place from Rathmullan in County Donegal, in which most of the Ulster chieftains fled Ireland for France and Spain, which effectively ended Gaelic rule in Ireland and left the Ulster Irish that remained, leaderless. And so began the plans for the plantation.
The Plantation of Ulster was under the reign of James i and vi of Ireland, England and Scotland in an attempt to lessen the chances of further rebellion in troublesome Ulster. Under the plantation native Irish land was confiscated by the crown and given out to Undertakers, so called because the would undertake to plant the areas allocated to them, and further parcelled off to Protestant planters from England and Scotland who by the 1630s would number around 80,000. One of the main strongholds of the Plantation would be Derry or Londonderry as became known in 1613.
Although the Plantation was an attempt to introduce a Britishness amongst the English and Scots it does not work to begin with. Most English and Scots planters would live in separate towns and villages and Derry was no exception. The walled city of Derry was an English living area where Scots and native Irish were not allowed and only English was to be spoken.
When the walled city of Derry was built in 1613 it became the last walled city to be built in Europe and the first city in Ireland to be built using a plan or blueprint. Even today Derry still boasts the only fully walled city in Ireland and is one of the finest examples of a walled city in Europe.