July 29th, 2006 was the day Rosemount Estate in Greyabbey celebrated the 400th anniversary of the settlement of the Hamilton and Montgomery families in Ulster.
The rapid development of the Ards and north Down was due to James Hamilton, Hugh Montgomery and their Scottish tenants, known as “The Founding Fathers of the Ulster-Scots”. They arrived in May 1606, and these Ulster Scots settlers, Hamilton and Montgomery, acquired two thirds of the huge O’Neill estates; one third was given to Hugh Montgomery by the O’Neills as a reward for freeing Con O’Neill from jail in Carrickfergus and for securing him a Royal pardon from Montgomery’s friend the new King James I.
James Hamilton, friend of the King used his influence to acquire one third of the O’Neill estate. These new Ulster Scots settlers arrived several years before the Plantation of Ulster occured.
A rainy day did not prevent people from all over Ulster having fun day out.