Plaque tribute to ‘Moses of the Scots-Irish’

Fundraisers at Bow Street
Fundraisers at Bow Street
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An Ulster History Circle blue plaque is to be erected in Aghadowey, Co Londonderry, on July 28 to the Rev James MacGregor, a Presbyterian minister who led a convoy of Ulster Presbyterians from the Bann Valley region to America in 1718.

MacGregor, from Magilligan and who fought alongside his father at the Siege of Londonderry, was instrumental in the establishment of the Scots-Irish township of Londonderry in New Hampshire.

As well as their strong Presbyterian faith, the Bann Valley Presbyterians brought Irish potatoes to the American colonies, cultivating the crop at Nutfield, over a 144-square mile wilderness they had been given by the colonial authorities.

The MacGregor Presbyterians, who sailed from Londonderry to Boston, came from congregations in the Coleraine, Aghadowey, Macosquin, Garvagh and Ballymoney area.

The blue plaque ceremony on the night of July 28 will be conducted by Gregory S Burton, the US Consul General for Northern Ireland, and by Aghadowey Presbyterian minister, the Rev Robert Kane.

The blue plaque has been organised by the Ulster History Circle together with the Ulster Scots-Agency.

Chris Spur, chairman of the Ulster History Circle, said: “James MacGregor was a man who saw and made history.

“In the Siege of 1689, he is believed to have signalled the relief of Derry; in 1718 he led the great Migration and in 1722 he founded Londonderry.

“The ‘Moses of the Scots-Irish’ brought his people to a new beginning, in a land where their mark is still firm.”