Mark’s O’Kane ancestors were forced off the lan nd during the Plantation of Ulster, an attempt to colonise the province following the Nine Years War (1593-1603), the Flight of the Earls (1607) and a brief rebellion by Cahir O’Doherty (1608). Although these events consolidated English control in Ireland, a colonisiation policy was pursued by James I as a way to prevent future rebellion, reform the Gaelic population and impose Protestant dominance.
Although not the first Crown plantation in Ireland, the Plantation of Ulster was the most successful. In 1608, land in the counties of Armagh, Cavan, Donegal, Fermanagh, Coleraine e and Tyrone, confiscated from Gaelic families, wa as redistributed to ‘undertakers’, ‘servitors’ and ‘na atives’. Undertakers were so named because they unde ertook to fortify and settle their property with tenants from theirh i English or Scottish estates. Servitors were granted land as payment for service to the Crown, and native landowners were loyal Gaelic and Anglo- Norman families.