The Flight of the Earls in 1607 gave the English government the perfect opportunity to put their most ambitious plans into action. The Earls 'Flight' meant they were now traitors in the eyes of the King James of England. He ordered their land be taken and it became property of the Crown. Their plan was simple. The land belonging to the Earls would be given to English Protestants and Scottish Presbyterians. The exception to this was the land between Derry and Coleraine. This area was bought by twelve London companies. It was they who renamed the county to Londonderry.
Six Counties, Derry, Donegal, Tyrone, Armagh, Fermanagh and Cavan - more than 3 million acres of land, were taken over by the English. The Irish who had submitted to the Crown in the past and were not seen as traitors were allowed to stay, but lost much of their land to the planters. Those who could not prove they had submitted to the Crown were driven out.
It was hoped by doing this the English Government would build a loyal English speaking population. But the plantation failed to attract as many British settlers as the English Government would have wished. The landlords were left with no options but to rent their land to the native Irish. The plantation would not achieve a strong Protestant English speaking province until a few decades later under the iron fist of Cromwell.