Sunday, February 27, 2011

A Narrow Sea - A History Program from BBC Radio Ulster

I've just discovered this radio program on the history of the relationship between Ireland and Scotland. The seven minute episodes started airing on January 3rd and will continue to air weekdays until March 25th. They are available as podcasts for 30 days after the initial broadcast. Bummer! I have missed out on about 20 episodes. I really wish the BBC would make all their podcasts available indefinitely.

Coming into the story in the middle as I did was a awkward; like missing the start of a movie. But after two or three episodes I got the swing of the plot so to speak and all was well. I came into the story at the background to the Ulster Plantation and the ensuing movement of Lowland Scots across the sea. I don't know much about the specifics of movement people from Scotland to Northern Ireland, so the brief history has been interesting. As a migration historian, I've been particularly interested the linking of certain regions of the Lowlands with counties in Ireland. I think my favorite episode thus far is the one on the Border Reivers because it includes the amazing curse the Bishop Glasgow placed on the Reivers in 1525. You can read and listen to the curse here.

Episodes that are available, but I've not listened to yet, include the Scots-Irish connection to the Scottish Enlightenment and the migration of Scots-Irish to America and their experiences there.

These podcasts would be excellent for the family historian or student. The establishment of the Ulster Plantation provided a blueprint for English colonization of the Americas. And of course, the Scots-Irish emigrants have loomed large in American history and imagination. Listening to the podcasts provides a painless way to learn about the context of your ancestors lives or to review for an exam.

Subscribe to the podcast here.

2015 Update: The entire series is available to stream from the BBC Ulster Scots site here.

1 comment:

Lolly said...

All of these programmes are available permanently, with their scripts, on the BBC Ulster-Scots website. If you go to
you will find them all there.
Best wishes
Laura Spence
Series Producer for BBC NI


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