Earth: The Riches of Clare

Terry Alts Sword

The Terry Alts were a secret society of agrarian agitators founded in Clare in 1828.

The society sprang up following the collapse of the tillage system after the Napoleonic Wars and the widespread introduction of livestock farming by strong farmers. This less labour intensive farming method resulted in many labourers losing their means of making a living and lead to widespread unrest in the countryside.

Engaged in terror activities by night, the labourers maimed livestock and attacked farmers. Their actions peaked in the first half of 1831 when 19 murders were committed, leading to the introduction of martial law. As a result, 119 prisoners were convicted and 21 condemned to death with the rest either transported or jailed.

This sword was used by the Terry Alts to attack a farmer in Ballyvaughan during this period.

The Terry Alts
Clare Champion, Friday, November 15, 2002

Ref: 2001.150

Land War and Agrarian Disorder Collection
Weapons Collection

Terry Alts Sword 2001.150