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The Devon Commission, County Clare, 1845:
extracts from Digest of Evidence taken before Her Majesty’s Commissioners of Inquiry into the State of the Law and Practice in respect to the Occupation of Land in Ireland

Topics:
Agriculture; Draining and Subsoiling;
Farm Buildings; Permanent Improvements; Capital; Tenure;
Tenant Right, or Sale of Good-Will;
Agrarian Outrages; Farmers;
Subdivision of Farms; Consolidation of Farms; Labourers; Con-acre;
Waste Lands; Valuation; Rent;
Recovery of Rent; Ejectment;
Public Works; Cess and Other Charges;
Estate Management.

Witnesses who gave evidence relating to Clare

  In 1843 a royal commission was appointed to inquire into the occupation of land in Ireland. Known as the Devon Commission after its chairman, the Earl of Devon, it collected evidence from landowners, land agents and tenant farmers. The commissioners’ report - ‘State of the law and practice in respect to the occupation of land in Ireland: evidence taken before Her Majesty's Commissioners’ - was published in 1845. The investigation of the commissioners was thorough with emphasis on the legal aspects of land leases and confirmed the benefits of tenant-right where it existed. The report is a valuable source of detailed information on local conditions. In 1848 a digest of the report was published by Thom, Dublin - ‘Digest of Evidence taken before Her Majesty’s Commissioners of Inquiry into the State of the Law and Practice in respect to the Occupation of Land in Ireland’ - from which the Clare-related extracts presented here are taken.

[Page 19]
Agriculture: Agricultural Societies

Marcus Keane, land agent, County Clare.

28. Agricultural societies have been established; but they were of very little use to the cottier tenants – they were for the higher class of farmers. But I think the foundation for improvement has been laid, and that a few years will make a very great change in the agricultural condition of the small tenants in the County Clare.

Robert O’Brien, esq., land proprietor, and agent to properties in the counties of Clare and Limerick.

6. A farming society, professing to be for the counties of Limerick, Clare and Tipperary, has been in existence for the last few years, and has certainly produced some good in inducing cattle breeders to take more pains about their stock than they would otherwise do; but every effort to extend its application to the small farmers has been attended with failure from want of co-operation, arising from its sphere of action being too extended. When I was manager, in 1841, I endeavoured to establish branches in every barony, for the benefit of small farmers, making the condition that £10 should be contributed to the parent society out of that barony. Though three baronies were qualified, no application for the premium was made from anyone. In 1842, I endeavoured to get up a ploughing-match, and though I advertised for land could get none. I also, that year, had the prizes placed at our disposal by the Royal Agricultural Society offered for competition in the Limerick district alone; and though I circulated the papers largely, no claim for competition was [Page 20] made. Again, in 1843, I applied to the local society, and obtained a grant of money for premiums, in addition to what was given by the Royal Agricultural Society, to be offered for competition in each poor-law union in the counties of Clare and Limerick. The union of Ennistimon was the first on the list, and though I sent the premium sheets to every resident gentleman and clergyman, yet hardly any notice was given to the small farmers to prepare themselves, and only a few competitors appeared; nor had it the effect which was intended, of inducting residents in the union to attempt to form a local society. One of the reasons that a farming society, whose object is the improvement of tillage, has not succeeded here is that the gentry generally hold rich lands, which are kept for pasture, and do not, as a class, feel so direct a sympathy with those who occupy the waste and poor lands. It is, therefore, only a few landlords who, taking an interest in the improvement of the tenantry, would be willing to support such a society; but they, finding no general interest in the subject, confine their exertions to their own estates, on which several are engaged in extensive improvements.

[Page 34]
Agriculture: Agriculturalists

James Moloney, esq., land proprietor and deputy lieutenant of the county Clare.

7. What is the state of agriculture? The state of agriculture is improving in drainage, and in the growth of artificial grasses, turnips, and mangel-wurzel.
8. Are they being generally introduced into the farms in the district? Their introduction is as rapid as could possibly have been expected, considering how few capitals there are equal to the improved mode of tillage.
9. What are the manures principally used? The manures used are, of course, animal manure, whenever it can be had; sea manure, meaning by that sea-weed, and sea-weed has become of late much more used than it was formerly; burning of land, which has been on the decline, except in the instance of coarse land, the truth being, that most of the grass lands of the country have been gradually converting into tillage. There are no farming societies, but some gentlemen have agricultural superintendents.
10. What effect have they produced in the district? I attribute to those agricultural superintendents the introduction of all the improved methods of cultivation.

[Page 48]
Agriculture: Agricultural Schools: Belvoir

David J. Wilson, esq., land proprietor, county Clare.

4. In 1836 I recommended the formation of agricultural schools, according to Captain Kennedy’s plan, and every day tends to convince me, that it is the primary object we should seek to carry out. I have lately succeeded in obtaining a competent master for the Belvoir School. The small piece of land attached to it (three and a half statue acres) is the greater part of it very poor land, at the foot of a mountain, and with a very thin surface; the labour in clearing and subsoiling is very great. The energy, and in most instances, the steadiness, with which the boys labour is astonishing, and very gratifying; they take a pride in their work, and watch the progress of the crops with the greatest interest. The little farm, being in operation only fifteen months, is yet in its infancy; but I have with me a specimen of mangel-wurzel, grown on a part of it where the surface was not originally three inches deep, the substratum being gravel and sand, containing a good deal of oxide of iron. Indeed a more barren spot, or one presenting greater difficulties, could scarcely have been chosen; but independent of its contiguity to the school-house, the difficulty of reclamation was its great recommendation, for if good crops could, by a proper application of labour, be produced from such land, it left the tenants possessing a superior soil without any excuse; whereas, had a good piece of land been selected, the observations would have been, “It is easy for Mr. Wilson and the master to get good crops off such land as that; but if he had such land as ours, I’d like to see what he could do with it.” The boys were to be seen taking away the plants of Sweedish turnips and mangels, which they had thinned out, to their homes to transplant them; and I am informed they are succeeding well. The crops this year consist of potatoes, one acre seven perches; turnips, twenty-nine perches; mangels, ten and a half perches; cabbage, three and a half perches; oats, one rood nineteen perches; meadowing, three roods twenty-nine perches; and the remainder in grass.

[Page 63]
Agriculture: Manures: Sea sand and sea-weed

Mr. James Shannon, farmer, county Clare.

4. What is the state of agriculture in the district? In a very backward state, and not improving, owing to the land being continually under crops; no drainage, no regular rotation of crops, manures almost entirely sea sand and drift sea-weed, which was heretofore free to the peasantry, the patronage being in the crown, but is within these sixteen years monopolized by the owners of the adjacent lands, to the great detriment of the poor, and a great bar to the improvement of this mountainy locality; though in 1823, the government engineer, Mr. Kilally, made a road, which was to communicate with the bay heads as near as possible. He left a small [Page 64] distance from his roads to the different bays, for which the land-owners charged an exorbitant trespass to the peasantry; and this could be put a stop to by the Board of Public Works, at a small expense to the country, as no presentment would be granted at road sessions, for the same short roads, by magistrates who influence the rate-payers. The government, by taking the prerogative of this weed as their due, and giving it at a fair price to the peasantry, or gratis, as heretofore, would in a great measure stop and decrease pauperism, and is now a great grievance and imposition on the public in general. The communications are kept closed by the authority of the petty sessions, who grant warrants for trespass.
5. Have there been any decisions in law, or appeals from the petty sessions court, in respect to the right to sea-weed or sea sand? Yes, there have been appeals, and I was present when Judge Jackson said, in the town of Ennis, that sea-weed ought to be free; and at a trial at Cork, he said, as I saw by the public papers, that sea sand is considered free warren, and is not included in any patent, and no man has any right to withhold it.

[Page 65]
Agriculture: Sea-weed

David J. Wilson, esq., land proprietor, county Clare.

12. It gives a good crop of potatoes, a middling crop of wheat, but does not benefit any, and injures some lands. Relying on the sea-weed, a tenant is often induced to defer collecting and preparing his manure heap until, driven to the last moment, he is forced to raise the price of the sea-weed either from the usurer or the pawnbroker, thus paying a high price for a bad article.

[Page 70]
Agriculture: Stock: House-feeding

Appendix to Land Commission Evidence, No. 92. Table showing the comparative order of the Amount of Property invested in Live Stock in each County, in proportion to its extent. From the Census of Ireland, 1841.

Table showing the comparative order of the Amount of Property invested in Live Stock in each County, in proportion to its extent.

[Page 71]
The Rev. Jeremiah Vaughan, Roman Catholic Clergyman, county Clare.

7. There are some few individuals who are adopting the new system, but they are all the fee-simple proprietors. I do not know of any [Page 72] farmers adopting the same system. There may be a few adopting the system of house-feeding, who may grow green crops, but very few.

Jonas Studdert, esq., land proprietor, farmer, and magistrate, county Clare.
7. There is little or no house-feeding, except in some very few cases among the gentlemen, who are very thinly scattered through the country.

[Page 105]
Draining and Subsoiling

Colonel Charles Synge, land proprietor.

16. My system is to give no leases. I find a steward at my own expense for the whole of the tenantry, and oblige them to follow his instructions; and if they drain according to his instructions, he lays out the drain for them, and I pay so much per perch for the drain, which is paid in lime, quite distinct from rent, and paid immediately. I see that the drains are made.

17. What proportion of the expense do you calculate you so allow? I should think two-thirds of the expense. I allow 2d., and [Page 106] they cost about 3d. One of the reasons I give no leases is, that I find there is so little advance in education and science, it would be impossible to get some of the parties to follow the instructions, if I was to give them a lease. For instance, two or three days ago, I proposed to drain a man’s land, and make it good land for him. His answer was: “It bears very little now, and if you were to take the water off it would bear none at all.” I consider, if I gave that man a lease, he would do nothing; he holds thirty acres of land.

18. Is there any other system adopted by any of the other landlords? Yes. Colonel Wyndham’s system is better than mine; he is rich and can afford it; I cannot. If a tenant wishes to have his farm drained, he will send drainers to drain it for him to a certain extent.

19. What proportion of that is borne by the landlord? The whole of it. These are new takings. I believe he would do so to old tenants.

20. Do you add any per centage for the draining? No. Mine is in its infancy. In fact, they are so poor I must first see what they can do. I think it better not to add a percentage to it. If I gave leases, I should.

Draining and subsoiling: Temporary substitute for Furrow-Draining
Appendix 30

Letter to the Editor of the Farmers’ Gazette
Belvoir, County Clare, 19th March, 1844

Sir,
The oat-sowing season having commenced, I beg to recommend to the attention of such of your readers, being small farmers, as have to deal either with a cold, wet soil, not yet drained – or a dry soil, which may have become exhausted by constant cropping, and shallow ploughing – the following mode of tillage, which I have adopted for two years with the most complete success: -

I lined out the ground to be tilled in ridges, four feet wide, and furrows two feet wide. I then dug out the parts lined off for the furrows, and put on the ridges all the active soil which could be taken up by the spade. The seed was then sown, and covered by the earth which had remained in the furrows, and which were for this purpose cleanly shovelled.

By this mode I obtained a dry seed bed in moist ground – a fresh active soil in exhausted ground – and a depth of surface in light land. The increased returned in the crops far more than repay for any little additional labour, or loss in extent of surface (as least I found it so), for my crops thus tilled were pronounced by a number of competent judges to be extraordinary, considering the description of land which produced them, and the circumstances under which they were grown.

In one instance, on a cold, retentive soil, not drained, where there had been a very poor crop of potatoes the previous year, and the soil not stirred from the time the potatoes had been dug out, until the oats were sown.

In the other case, a second crop of oats was taken off the same field, the stubbles having been ploughed in October. This crop was much superior to the former; it produced fine grain and was so luxuriant, that the greater part of it was lodged when I called on [Page 107] the gentlemen to view it, a few days previous to reaping, which was on the 9th of August.

Should the surface or active soil be very shallow, the breadth of the ridge may be narrowed, or the breadth of the furrow increased. The wide furrows allow of loosening the subsoil, either with crowbars, picks or spades and I carefully resolve all stones which appear for drains, where draining is necessary; and where it is, I now drain, whenever I find the stones at hand – sometimes before tilling. I make the drains at forty or sixty feet apart, and put in my intermediate drains in each succeeding year, as I obtain stones in loosening the subsoil. The drains are run, according to Mr. Smith’s plan, down the incline, and I now run the ridges and furrows also down the incline, the two first years of cropping, instead of diagonally, as in my former plan – splitting the ridges the second year. The third year I run the ridges and furrows diagonally, or with a slight incline across the field, sinking the diagonal furrows two or three inches deeper than those running down the incline, that the diagonal furrows, which will be the deeper, may receive the water from the other furrows, and conduct it towards the drains at an angle.

I lay out my ridges for potatoes the same breadth as for oats, and till according to Mr. Barklie’s plan, putting the sets in rows across the ridges, five sets in each row, and the rows varying from eighteen to twenty-one inches apart; thus saving seed, being enabled to hoe and keep the plants free from weeds, to dig out the potatoes at less cost without injury, and increasing the produce over the old lazy-bed system, in the proportion of one-sixth. The greater part of my land having a retentive substratum, or being exhausted from constant cropping and bad cultivation, I require all the occupants to till in the above mode – allowing the full cost for drains and subsoiling.

Mr. Smith never tills until he has obtained a permanent dry seedbed, by frequent furrow drains. How many thousands of acres are there under cultivation in Ireland requiring furrow-draining, where, in wet seasons, vast quantities of seed perish, the land not yielding half a crop. Now, as (even though we had sufficient capital to employ the entire of our superabundant population on furrow-draining) it would take several years to drain the land at present under cultivation, is it not desirable to insure a temporary dry seed-bed, until we are enabled to obtain one which shall be permanent?

Yours, &c.,
D.J. Wilson.

[Page 108]
Draining and Subsoiling: Plan for Loosening Subsoil:

Each diagram represents four statute perches. Scale thirty-three feet to an inch.

Draining and Subsoiling

First Year

Ridges four feet wide to run diagonally, sloping to one side. Furrows two feet wide to be loosened with either spade or crowbar, according to the nature of the soil, to the depth of ten or twelve inches. The lighter the surface the wider the furrows, and consequently the narrower the bar.

First Year

Second Year

The ridge and furrow are reversed by splitting the ridge; the furrow of the first year forming the centre of the ridge of the second, and the furrow of the second year being placed in the centre of the ridge of the first, a mode frequently adopted by the peasantry. The same process of loosening the soil as before.

Second Year

Third Year

Plough in eight, nine, or ten feet courses down the incline, sinking your drains in every second furrow as narrow as you can, but to the full depth of two feet and a half, scattering what you take out as widely and lightly as possible over the adjoining surface. As soon as circumstances permit, put in the stones or tiles; the cleaning of the bottoms of the drains and the paring of the sides, will afford sufficient covering. The furrows which had been loosened occupying two-thirds of the field, the bars one foot each constituting the other third; thus all incline towards the drains, the bars acting as conductors for the water.

[Page 109]
Draining and Subsoiling
Appendix 30 – Plan for loosening subsoil

Plan for loosening subsoil

a Furrow loosened first year
b Furrow loosened second year
c Bars not disturbed, but will be reduced two or three inches
d Line of surface four inches deep
e Increase of surface two inches obtained from furrow

Third Year

Take every particle of good soil out of the furrows before you begin to loosen the subsoil; the increased return in your crop by the increased depth of surface will more than repay for your trifling increase of labour and apparent loss of ground by the wide furrows. The stones thrown up in the tilling should be heaped at the points it is ultimately intended to run the drains; those thrown up in the subsoiling may remain in the furrows until the crop is off, and then removed to those points.

To meet the views of those who wish to till in drills, I would plough in diagonal courses of seven feet, gathering the soil as much as possible to the centre; then harrow, plough again, leaving three feet in the centre of the course untouched, but ploughing on both sides of these three feet, so as to bring the entire course nearly to a level; harrow again, and clean out your two feet furrow to its proper depth. The courses will then allow you to open four drills on it; loosen the furrow as before. In the second year you do not place your furrow in the centre of the course, but within one foot of the furrow of the former year. By this mode it takes three years to loosen the subsoil; but as the land will be much more easily cleaned, it is the process I would prefer.

The cost of loosening subsoil according to this plan will not (strange as it may appear) in ordinary cases be more than from 10s. to 15s. per statute acre, calculating labour at 8d. and 10d.a day; and the cottiers and small farmers will be enabled to accomplish this most desirable end without capital, without skill, with little labour, while their land is bearing a crop.

Several acres may be in progress at the same time, and the subsoil exposed to the atmosphere for six or seven months, counting the period before and after loosening. So much of the soil is loosened that the furrow drains are subsequently sunk at very small cost, and the process is performed at what is called the idle time of the year, and during the long days.

The plan having met the unqualified approval of experienced gentlemen and Scotch agriculturists, who witnessed the process, and can testify to the cost, I would urge proprietors to put it in general operation upon their estates in the ensuing spring, allowing their [Page 110] tenants one-half, two-thirds, or event the entire of the cost, according to circumstances, when it is so very trifling, and spread over a period of two years.

And if a doubt could exist upon the success of the plan, it is removed, for it is now sanctioned by the approbation of that powerful and experienced advocate for subsoiling, Mr. Smith of Deanston; our only material difference being that he would first complete the drains, while I would first loosen the subsoil, as being more suited to the state of the country, and therefore more likely to be brought into the general operation. But as every suggestion on the subject coming from him should be almost considered as law, where proprietors can afford the outlay his advice should be followed. And though that practical and scientific improver, Captain Kennedy (to whom we all, whether proprietors or occupiers, owe so much), coincides with Mr. Smith, my opinion remains unchanged; convinced as I am, from my knowledge of the country, that for one acre that will be thorough-drained before being sub-soiled, there will be 100 sub-soiled before being drained. And I would beg of those who may see objections to parts of my system (and which I am far from saying may not be well founded), to remember that my primary object is the Irish cottier. I want to loosen subsoil, and drain in the speediest and least expensive manner, as being that which will be most generally adopted throughout Ireland.

Annexed is an extract from the very clear and accurate account of the experiment, drawn up by William Homley, of Rich Hill, esq., which appeared in the Farmers’ Gazette, of 16th July, which will show how very trifling is the expense in ordinary soils:-

“Four men were directed to dig out the subsoil with an even bottom, and they completed the two perches allotted them in thirteen minutes; but supposing the average to be fifteen minutes (in a sub-soil with a hard indurated crust it might be longer), this would be two perches an hour for one man, or twenty perches for the day of ten hours; twenty perches, being half a rood, multiplied by eight will give 160 perches, or one statute acre. Thus it will take eight days from one man to finish one acre of the first year’s, which at 8d. a day, the wages of the locality, will come to 5s. 4d.; and the price of executing the furrows of the second year being 5s. 4d. more, will make a total of 10s. 8d. as the expense of one statute acre.”
D. J. Wilson 1842

[Page 110]
Thomas Crowe, esq., agent.

107. Colonel Wyndham has instructed a number of men in draining; and he sends them free of all expense to the tenants, in different parts of the county, and leaves them with them till their land is drained, without any expense or increase of rent, except that he asks them to cart the stones to the spot where the drains are to be, and break them and put them in.

108. Do you find the tenants desirous of having the assistance of those drainers? Very desirous.

[Page 140]
Farm Buildings
Appendix 29.

Papers delivered in by D. J. Wilson., esq., referred to in Minutes of Evidence, No. 625. Q. 7.

Cottiers’ Cottage

To the Editor of the Farmers’ Gazette
Belvoir, 8 December, 1843

Sir,
In compliance with your wishes I have endeavoured to give an explanation of my plan of a cheap cottage for a cottier, the model of which was exhibited at the late meeting in Belfast. The want of capital prevents some landlords – the want of energy, others – from turning their attention to the improvement of the houses of their tenantry, but by far the greater number of us are prevented by a dread of the expense to be incurred, in providing what would be considered even moderate accommodation for a cottier’s family. To meet this difficulty has been my object; and I beg to place in your hands the accompanying model and plans, for the inspection of such proprietors as take an interest in the condition of their tenantry, and may be desirous of contributing to their comforts, at what, it is hoped, will prove (for the accommodation to be afforded) a very moderate outlay. What I try to attain are, separate sleeping-places for the family, instead of having all its members crowded into one room, sometimes into one bed – a warm pig-sty, to prevent the custom of bringing the sow into the house at the time of farrowing – a warm hen-house, to dispense with roosts over the kitchen door-ways – another place for the milk than the kitchen or bed-room – a small store-room – a place for two cows; and a northern gentleman having suggested that a place for a loom would be desirable, at a very small additional expense I give a room for that purpose, ten feet by eight.

The length of the house in the clear, it will be observed, is but 23½ feet – its breadth but 14 feet – height 9 feet. The kitchen is 14 feet by 12 feet; the bed-room (or loom-room as the case may be) 10 feet by 8; both dairy and store-room (to be divided at pleasure) occupy but 10 feet by 4 feet 8 inches, the height of the room is 7½ feet. 1 floor over the bed-room, dairy, and store-room, and get two additional sleeping-places, by running a boarded partition ½ inch thick, and 8 feet high, from the centre of the gable-end window, towards the kitchen. On the wall running across the house, separating the bed-room and store-room from the kitchen, I place a wall plate, and from it, to the roof, run up slight poles, at 18 inches apart, between which I weave rods of hazel, or sallow, and thus form a partition, separating these sleeping-places from the kitchen, leaving an ope of 3 feet in the centre, and immediately opposite the window in the gable. From this ope, a landing 3 feet long, and 2 feet wide, extends into the kitchen, up to which is placed a subdivided step-ladder, 2 feet wide, with a hand-rail, by which an easy access, even for children, is afforded to these sleeping-places.

Front Elevation
Front Elevation

[Page 175]
Permanent Improvements

Jonas Suddert, esq., land proprietor and magistrate.

40. You have said that there is a want of leases, which is a bar to improvement; do you think that that evil would be in any degree remedied, if there was a provision by law, that the tenant making improvements of a permanent nature, by building, or extensive draining, should be sure of being repaid for those improvements if he was turned out? I am sure that would have a most beneficial effect, particularly where the generality of the tenants have to deal with absent landlords. They have no confidence whatever in doing any thing. It would be the most excellent law that could be. It might not be necessary where the tenant was acquainted with the honour of the landlord; but in this country it would be most beneficial. I have known where there are grazing farms – roads made through the farms – where the tenant has no interest but from year to year, and paying very heavy rates. If a road is made through it, it is detrimental to him in the highest degree; but he gets no compensation by law for breaking up his ground. I do not think in any instance, as to roads, that a landlord takes that into consideration. He says, “You are compelled to do it; it is for the good of the country, and I will not give you a thing.”

The Rev. Malachi Duggan, Roman Catholic clergyman.
608

12. You have stated that, in your opinion, tenancy-at-will diminishes the amount of rent the people would be disposed to give; [Page 176] what effect has it upon the condition of the tenants, or the improvement of their farms? It paralyzes the industry of the tenantry, for I know in the last thirty-two years I have known many turned out; after improving the condition of their holdings, and building handsome houses, they were, for some cause or other, turned out, and I remember in one instance it did injury to the whole population. A poor man built a nice dwelling-house; he had no lease. The farm was given to a middleman, and he took a fancy to the house, and he picked a quarrel with the man, and threw him out on the highway. He built himself the house, and his wife died, and the man himself died.

13. What was the name of the man? Crotty.

14. How long ago was that? About twelve years. There was no improvement made in my parish for eight or nine years afterwards, for everybody liked the house; it was a pretty thing, and paved all round, and back offices built next to it. We have at the present moment a better order of things established. Mr. Nicholas Westby, of London, divided the land of the tenantry into divisions, and put each man’s division by itself, and reduced the rent so low that they could not complain if they got leases at the present moment.

[Page 203]
Capital: Banks

William Daxon, esq. agent and farmer.

54. Have they sufficient capital for the increased size of their farms? Generally they have not.

55. How do they supply that want? By attention and labour. They are obliged to go to the banks at the recommendation of some gentlemen, who will represent them as honest and proper people: they get £15 or £20 at six per cent.

[Page 271]
Tenure
William Daxon, esq., farmer.

38. Do the tenants hold generally by lease or from year to year? Generally from year to year now; previous to this they used to [Page 272] get leases, but in consequence of the disturbed state of the country the landlords do not give leases now.

39. Is there any anxiety on the part of the tenants for leases at their present rents? Yes; there are no tenants I think who would reject a good lease at their present rents.

40. What effect has the mode of tenure upon the condition of the tenants, or the improvement of their farms? I saw districts yesterday in a most astonishing state for want of tenure; they were not worth a shilling an acre, and on the other side of the ditch there was as nice land as I saw between this and that, and that is forty miles – only on the other side of the ditch; but there they had leases.

Rev. Malachi Duggan, parish priest.

10. Do the tenants in general hold by lease, or from year to year? From year to year. We have not many leases at all.

11. Is there an anxiety for leases, in your opinion, on the part of the people, at the present rate of rent? They would rather have leases and pay a high rent, than have the land without a lease at a low rent. The reason is, when they have leases they have credit, they have a stake in the country, and can get money from the banks; but when they have no lease they have no credit in the country, and when they die their widow is likely to be turned out. I think it much better for the people to get the money from the banks rather than the country usurers. In dealing with the banks they are very punctual, but in dealing with the usurers, the interest is so high they cannot pay interest and principal; the interest is often fifty per cent.

David John Wilson, esq., land proprietor.

7. The tenure has been generally by lease for lives or years, but latterly most settings are at will. The covenants are usually against subletting or subdividing; attempts to enforce covenants but rarely succeed. I have found, by experience, that leases are positive bars to improvement, however low the rent; and I hand in several cases as proving my assertion. I now give no leases, and more has been done in the way of improvement within the last fourteen months than had previously been in the last fourteen years, when leases existed, as agricultural report books will show.

[Page 308]
Tenant Right, or Sale of Good-Will

G. O’Callaghan, esq., land proprietor.

50. Is the sale of the good-will of farms at all known in this country? It occurs; but it always occurs without the knowledge of the landlord. It occurs in the cases of emigration generally. There are very few instances of it.

55. Was there any compensation given to the parties turned out, or what became of them? In some cases they were encouraged to emigrate. Colonel Wyndham, on his estate, shipped them off to Canada, such as were disposed to go; but numbers of them would not go, and to those who would not go he gave a compensation in money.

John Patrick Molony, esq., land proprietor.

41. Does the sale of the good-will of farms prevail in the district? Indeed it does.

42. Is it recognised by the landlords? Generally the sale of the good-will of farms occurs where the poor tenant gets into arrear, and is unable to pay. The landlord cannot afford to lose the money, and he allows the man to sell his good-will to a man who will pay up the rent, and the tenant puts something in his pocket going out.

43. In case the landlord took the land for his own use, would the custom of the country require him to pay the tenant in the same way an acreable sum for the good-will? No

Thomas Crowe, esq., agent.

60. In the course of those proceedings was there any understanding held out to the people, that those who purchased from their neighbours, and so raised their farms, were to be continued as tenants? No, there was no promise of the kind; they used, for peace sake, to get a great deal of money, besides what I gave them. I was present when a person receiving £10 from me before he left the land got £30, and all for peace sake. The person I was to give the land to, for peace sake, gave him a sum of money to get the good-will.

61. Was there any understanding, or any thing held out from your office, that those who purchased out the holdings of others would thereby acquire a title to the land? No; on the contrary, we did not suffer any such agreement to be made; if it was made, it was without knowledge.

[Page 309]
62. Was there any expectation held out to those who paid the arrears of rent to the middleman, that they would be continued if they did so? Never. On the contrary, we set our faces against any dealings of the kind between the parties in that way.

[Page 341]
Agrarian Outrages

Mr. John Horan, farmer.

23. Have there been any agrarian outrages in the district? Very few, except where a man was turned out of a farm. In one parish there was one that was in consequence of the landlord, when he got into possession, turning out the tenants; and a man was murdered there some time ago – a life was lost. The man had between thirty and forty acres of land. He was not satisfied with that, but [Page 342] turned out twenty or thirty for the sake of getting all the land to himself, and that man was murdered.

24. When did this take place? About six years ago.

[Page 381]
Farmers

Mr. Benjamin Cox, farmer.

57. With respect to the condition of the farming population, are the larger class of farmers getting better in the world? Of this class there are few in the district; their condition is rather comfortable.

58. Are the small tenantry getting better off? For the most part their condition is very low, and not getting better.

63. By what means are the younger children provided for at the death of their parents? There is no certain provision for children who have lost their parents; we have not much custom of dividing the farms among the children. The farms are not leased, and if the father dies, the widow generally takes the management of the farm under a high profession of affection for her children, and very soon gets married, and the children are thrown upon the world; that is the case in nine instances out of ten.

David John Wilson, esq., land proprietor.

12. With respect to the condition of the farming population, do you consider that the large farmers are improving in their circumstances? The condition of graziers and large farmers, I should say, is decidedly improved. I know instances in which respectable and even large capitals have been accumulated from very small means. The small tenantry are to a very little extent improved - in many instances not at all so; and all, I conceive, owing to the want of a proper system of cultivation and house-feeding, and which became the more necessary as the population increased, and the ground became impoverished by constant cropping. From the impetus now given, I anticipate an improvement of the small tenantry; and that of the labourer, I look upon it, must follow. Children are generally put among their friends on the death of their parents. I have eleven or twelve widows on my property, and those who hold land are some of the very best tenants I have. Tenants of small holdings are, in general, the labourers employed by the gentry, and hold directly from them.

[Page 433]
Subdivision of Farms

John P. Molony, esq., land proprietor.

52. Does the subletting or subdividing of farms still continue? Yes, indeed it does.

53. Is it permitted by the landlords? Not where they can prevent it: but it is generally done without being brought under the eye of the landlord, and sometimes in consequence of a man having a large farm – as his children marry off he gives them a portion of it. If he has eight or ten acres he will give one son four or five, and another thee, and in that way.

[Page 458]
Consolidation of Farms

James Molony, esq., land proprietor, magistrate and deputy-lieutenant.

17. The consolidation of farms is carrying out to a very great extent in this neighbourhood. Encouragement to emigration, or by gratuities, is given in several cases. In other cases, no compensation has been given. The general consequences of consolidation of farms have been great distress and poverty among those who have been turned out.

18. Do you consider, with your experience, that a tenant going from a small holding of five or six acres at once, to a twenty-acre farm, without an increase of capital, is likely to do much good to himself? The reverse; he can do no good to himself nor to his landlord. If a landlord proposes to consolidate farms, he must find capital to work the extra quantity of land he puts into the hands of one tenant. I would add here to this, that where this consolidation [Page 459] of farms takes place on the estate of an absentee proprietor, distress is produced always upon the few resident proprietors.

George O’Callaghan, esq., land proprietor.

51. Has there been any consolidation of farms in the district? Very considerable.

52. With what object, and by what means accomplished? With the object of getting rid of the dense population on the farms, and with the object of enabling those who remain to be more comfortable.

53. To what size are the farms increased? They have been increased from five to twenty acres.

54. Do you mean that they were five before, and now are twenty? Yes.

55. Was there any compensation given to the parties turned out, or what became of them? In some cases they were encouraged to emigrate. Colonel Wyndham on his estate, shipped them off to Canada, such as were disposed to go; but numbers of them would not go, and to those who would not go he gave a compensation in money.

56. How had that dense population been introduced upon his property? There were large tracts of land that had been in the hands of middlemen, and he bought them. There is a very large tract between me and Mr. Molony’s residence, I should suppose 1,200 or 1,300 acres; that operation was carried on there.

Thomas Crowe, esq., agent.

24. Since Lord Egremont’s death, when any large tract has fallen out of lease what has been the course taken? Colonel Wyndham was desirous to increase the holdings to the respectable portion of the tenantry, and he removed these paupers and small holders, and added to those he thought would be good tenants.

25. To what extend did he generally carry the farms he enlarged? That depended upon the number that happened to be on the land. He reduced the number left on each farm according to its extent.

26. Was there any particular sized farm it was his wish to create? He would be anxious to give them each about twenty acres, if he was able to accomplish it, but he was not, such was the opposition he met with.

27. What did he accomplish? Sometimes ten, and sometimes twenty; and some more, and some less.

28. Did he take any particular course of inquiry as to the time that the small tenants had been upon the land, or any claim from any circumstance they might have to be continued in the land, or what guided him in the selection? The small holders and the poorer tenants, he paid them all upon going out.

29. Have any farms been re-let under ten acres? Yes, I believe there have been some, about seven acres or thereabouts.

30. What was the largest quantity of land held by a tenant ejected? I am not able to answer you particularly. I know they were all small.

31. Were any ejected who held eight acres? Not that I recollect, unless they were paupers, and broken tenants, and it was necessary to remove them.

[Page 460]
34. It was not with reference to the number of acres a man held, but according to his circumstances and his means, that you decided? Yes; because if his means were not good, we would not keep him.

35. What means did you take to ascertain the relative circumstances or means of the different tenants? I made every inquiry upon the subject, and examined them upon the spot, as far as I could, and obtained information from others.

36. Who did you employ to obtain that information? No one, only the persons upon the premises.

37. Were there any persons in your employment? No. I got the best information I could collect from people I thought I could depend upon. There was such a number of people, we could not keep them all.

38. Have you any objection to state to the commissioners what was the instruction, or what was the scheme laid down by Colonel Wyndham, upon which to remodel the estate? The scheme was, to increase the holdings to the respectable tenantry, and to remunerate those going out, who did not give opposition to him.

39. On what scale was that remuneration fixed and regulated? Two pounds an acre, up to five acres.

40. That was £2 an acre, not exceeding £10? Yes.

41. If a man was removed, though he held more than five acres, he only received £10? Yes. He offered also, if they chose to emigrate, he would send them there at no expense to themselves, and give £2 to an adult to take him up the country, and give them clothing for their children, and pay for their provisions, and pay for their passage; and if they chose to go to Upper Canada, he would recommend them to a gentleman there to look after them, and to endeavour to get them employment.

42. Was that in lieu of £2 an acre? Yes.

43. Was there any allowance in money for children? No.

44. What means were taken to communicate those terms to the tenants upon the estate? I communicated it to them regularly, and they knew it as well as I did.

45. How many tenants were removed altogether from the estates of Colonel Wyndham, under this arrangement, with this offer? A great many; I do not know now.

46. Were there 100? Yes, a good many more. The first year he began, a number went of their own free will. I do not remember the number, but it was more than 200 who accepted the money.

47. What number of the persons removed, accepted the offer of going to America? I believe more accepted the offer of the money than went to America.

48. Did more than 50 accept the offer of going to America? I can tell the number of persons who accepted the offer of money; I cannot tell how many went to America. I have about 200 here that accepted the compensation.

49. That 200 does not include those that went to America? No.

50. Can you give any idea of the extent of the land to which this system applied? Yes; some thousand acres. There was one townland of 1,700 acres – Lissafin.

51. From this payment of £2 an acre, was any deduction made? [Page 461] Yes, a deduction was made from those that were in arrear, up to a certain time, and then the rest of the rent was forgiven them.

52. Up to what time? Sometimes leaving half a year’s rent due, and at other times a year’s, where I thought they were more distressed; some owed two years, or three years, which we never got.

53. What proportion of those £2 an acre actually remained in the hands of the out-going tenant? That depended on the amount of rent due.

54. Was there a deduction made from the man who had only one acre? No, I do not think there was. I do not remember such a thing as a reduction in that case.

55. In some instance an apparent allowance of £10 might amount in effect to the payment of only £1, if a man owed £9 rent? It never went to that extent. When it went to that, we gave them the whole money, and never looked after the rent, nor any thing else.

56. How long has this system been in operation? Since 1838.

57. Has it been carried out as far as it was contemplated? No, not at all. It has not been as far as was contemplated. Whether we shall proceed I do not know.

58. Among the number of people who received payment from you, at the rate you have mentioned, are you able to state at all what became of them generally, whether many of them got land? Yes, a great many of them, that I knew anything of.

59. From other proprietors? Yes, or from persons under the proprietors generally.

Cornelius O’Brien, esq., M.P., land proprietor.

47. Has any consolidation of farms taken place to any great extent in this district? No, I do not think it has occurred in this neighbourhood; but it has in others. I can give an instance where it would be better to set it out in small quantities. I think it was about the year 1810, I found upon two farms three families upon each farm, holding in common about forty acres in each farm. The families increased, and the children increased; and when the lease was out, I determined there should be only one house upon each division. I divided each of those farms into ten-acre divisions, and some of the divisions less than that – the smallest division was six acres. That increased the number of divisions; but they are held by separate bounds, not mixed up; and I found that the man who had six acres to himself was much more comfortable after a few years than the man who had twenty before, though paying a higher acreable rent. Those persons had their land mixed up; they had an acre here and there, and another on the outside; that was the way they divided it; it was held in common and rundale; and they had no inducement to treat the land properly, because in that sort of division they might be ousted, and they did not feel secure.

Marcus Keane, esq., agent.

14. Has any system been pursued for encouraging improvements of a permanent nature upon any one of those properties? I have myself made greater changes in the management of the cottier tenants in the county of Clare than have been made by any body [Page 462] else. The farms were hitherto (and are up to this day, where the changes have not been made) held by tenants in several different divisions scattered over the district, some divisions being as far as a mile distant from other divisions. In some cases, one man held so many as ten, twelve, or fourteen divisions; and it has been my business to go through the estates and divide them out again, giving to each tenant his holding in one lot, of a convenient size, and extending to the high road; and I have found the effects of it to be of much greater benefit than I had anticipated even myself. I consider that part of the property which has been so divided to be worth one-fourth more than it was before, and to produce one-third more than it did before the division took place. The industry of the tenant is stimulated by his having his farm immediately under his own eye; and his exertions are increased, and so in proportion he becomes wealthy: the land is worked very much better. I commenced first upon a small scale; but I have done several thousand acres; and I am now engaged in doing it in several other parts of the country.

15. Have you encountered much opposition in doing it? Yes, I did at first, from the fear of the people (the fear of a change); but of late the people themselves wish to have the changes made.

16. Can you take upon yourself to speak positively from your experience that the people, in proportion as they have seen the good effects of the alteration, have been disposed to acquiesce in it? Yes, most certainly. There was one case of a large farm of 1,000 acres held among 200 tenants nearly, and they gave me much opposition. It was two years before I completely satisfied them all, and satisfied myself; and it is a common expression now, that they are more comfortable than they can mention – that they are rendered comfortable in spite of themselves. And among the tenants upon many thousand acres, whose farms I have so divided, I do not know more than two or three who complain that they have not as good a division as they had before. The value of the land was so much increased, that though a man’s holding might be of less extent than before, it is of more value to himself; and they are more content with ten acres now than they were before with a larger holding.

17. In performing this operation, have you had occasion to remove many persons, or to bring in any new persons upon the land? I never brought a new person upon the land, and I have generally found that the land is quite enough for the tenants upon it – of course there are exceptions; but there is so much to be done upon cottier farms, and so much labour to be expended before they can be brought into good condition, that I do not see the great necessity for removing tenants; though, as a choice, I would rather have some of them removed, if it could be done without cruelty, and with their own consent. But my employers are men who do not wish to enrich themselves at the expense of the feelings of the poor; and where it can be avoided, they do not wish to turn people out.

18. Have you been constantly resident in the country, and superintending these operations? Yes, it is all done under my [Page 463] superintendence. I go and walk over the whole farm, and lay out the plan of operations upon maps, and leave it to some intelligent men, chosen from the farm, to judge, as between the tenants, the different complements of land which may be necessary to remunerate them for the land they had before; and that is rather done among the tenants themselves, with the assistance of intelligent men, and with my own assistance (of course, subject to the control I always reserve to myself of deciding); but it is done among themselves by arbitrators, instead of being done arbitrarily by me.

19. What do you mean by cottier tenants? Men holding very small portions of land, perhaps under fifteen acres, and residing in cottages.

[Page 483]
Labourers

Burton Bindon, esq., land proprietor and tenant.

8. What is the rate of wages you pay? The more general wages I paid was 8d.; then I reduced it, according to the currency, to 7d. I give 7d. to the men and 4d. to the women, with the exception of another description of work, in which I am deeply engaged on the sea shore; and with respect to that description of work, the women come in at eleven o’clock, and remain till two, for which they get 3d., at the rate of 1d. the hour; and many of them often travel several miles in order to earn that 3d.

9. What is the employment of which you are now speaking? The oyster trade. I first commenced it in order to get employment for the people. Now I employ a good many from the 1st of September to the 1st of May.

10. Is that in collecting oysters? Yes; from the time you leave Tralee up to Belmullet, there is scarcely a man who is not more acquainted with me than his own landlord. I have been often the medium of upwards of 2,000 people being at work along the coast in that part of Ireland, besides what I employ myself at home.

11. You have spoken of a number of people depending upon mock land; in what condition are they generally? They are in a wretched state, no one having a blanket of any kind; and their children are perfectly naked.

George O’Callaghan, esq., land proprietor.

64. Are the labourers, in your opinion, getting richer? No, they are in the most wretched condition. They are completely out of employment for four months in the year, sometimes five.

65. What is the rate of wages when they can procure employment? Eightpence a day, without diet.

[Page 532]
Con-acre

James Molony, esq., land proprietor and deputy lieutenant.

18. The con-acre system, known in this country by the name of mock ground (whence the denomination comes I do not know), prevails extensively, but from various causes the ground applicable to con-acre has become so scarce as not to meet the demand. I must say for myself, the origin of agrarian outrages very much arises from the want of the con-acre land; and the lower orders of the people conceive that the farmers and landed proprietors ought to make sacrifices to give them the means of subsistence, for which they are unable to pay, because their labour is not required on the farms, the former having the usual set of labourers sufficient for his purpose. The price of con-acre land varies from £3 10s. to £8 per Irish acre, from £2 to £5 the English acre; the high rate is where permission is given to burn, or where the farmer furnishes the manure. The quantity of grass land applicable to burning has decreased, while the population has increased. Stubble ground fetches £2 10s. an acre ready money. This description of land used to be given rent free, and ready ploughed, to persons who had dung to put upon it. Payment of con-acre rent is recovered by distress and sale of the potatoes or by civil bill process.

[Page 582]
Waste Lands

County of Clare: This county contains altogether about 296,000 acres of unimproved land, the principal part of which is situated to the west of a line drawn from Corofin by Ennis to the river Fergus. The subsoil of this tract consists generally of a cold clay; and the surface is, for the most part, covered by shallow bog. The greater part of the waste lands of this district are capable of improvement, either for cultivation or by draining for pasture. The more elevated waste lands, situated in the mountain district to the north and south of the valley of Scariff, being those which must be considered of a doubtful character as a theatre for improvement; but these latter views must be confined to the lands which are [Page 583] situated near the summits of the mountains at considerable elevations above the level of the sea. On the whole, the county of Clare contains about 296,000 acres of unimproved land; of which 60,000 acres might be improved and cultivated; 100,000 acres might be drained for pasture; and 136,000 acres must be considered as incapable of improvement.

[Page 614]
William Daxon, esq., farmer and land agent.

67. Have you any suggestions of any measures of improvement in the law and practice regarding the occupation of land? There is an immense tract of waste land; we have as much barren land as is producing food at present. Our county is about 450,000 acres; of that we have 150,000 mountain and bog; about 200,000 producing green crops; the remainder is under stock and meadowing. I would propose to have the land drained and allotted out to a number of tenants who are obliged to go to America now; and I would propose to have a certain fund produced in some mode, to give them an opportunity of setting to work under a proper engineer, and to repay this loan by instalments.

68. Are you aware of any attempts having been made to take land in, or to improve land? I saw twelve acres of land the day before yesterday, which, in my recollection, was not worth 1s. an acre, and now producing £6 an acre. I have land myself that was not worth 1s. an acre but to grow sedges upon, and it is now as good as any land I have.

69. How was that reclaimed? By draining, and paring the land afterwards, and well treating it.

[Page 615]
70. Is there much land of that kind in the country? Yes; there is not a bog we have in this country that is not from 50 to 150 feet above the level of the sea, and all these bogs have rivers running through them; and if canals were made, they could be drained, and when they were drained, the thing would be over.

71. Is there clay near there? Yes, these bogs are surrounded by hills of clay, and very high hills of clay too, but it would be done much better under and engineer; our men do not understand it.

72. Are there many farms that are held by large proprietors? No; there are twenty acres of arable, and ground sufficient for the stock to be upon; then there are fifty or sixty acres of bog given in with this; the part above is not reckoned in the rent; the bogs are not charged for; and there is quite sufficient disposition to bring this bog into a state of culture, if there was capital, for the residences are quite near enough to it. The only other suggestion I have is, to find employment for the people, and till they are employed they will never be quiet. I am acquainted with most parts of this county, Tipperary, and Limerick, and I see a want of employment almost every where; there is not a strong farmer’s house, or gentleman’s house, in twenty miles from this to Milltown. There are four or five excellent mansions now vacant in Clare. I think in many cases the tenants of absentees are better off than others, and invariably the land is set better for its value. I think the principal cause of outrage in this country is the want of employment.

Mr. Thomas Gibson, farmer.

4. There is a great deal of waste land in the country near me. If the legislature could make any enactment as to the waste land, to give employment, it would do a great deal of good.

5. What enactment would you consider necessary? The land being taken by commissioners into their own hands, by arrangement with the landlords, and laying out capital, it would repay fifty or 100 per cent.

6. Have many improvements been made in the district in the mountain land? I have a good deal of mountain land on my farm, and have laid out a good deal. My landlord is Mr. Westby, of London. He gives a good deal of encouragement. He gives the land at the value in the first place, and then he has given me an abatement of £40 a year, besides paying me my improvements. A great deal of land could be reclaimed at about £5 an acre, which is not worth more than 1s. an acre.

7. To what value have you raised that land, in your opinion? The part I reclaimed is the very best part. It is worth 30s. an acre. It was not worth 2s.

8. In how many crops do you consider that that outlay was repaid you? My plan is, first, to burn the mountain land, then put down rape, then I take two crops of potatoes and a crop of corn, and lay it down with grass seed.

9. How long was it before you broke it up again? Some of it has not been out twenty years, but I have used it for meadow. It requires top dressing in nine or ten years. The top dress has been [Page 616] lime. I burn a good deal of lime and mix it with compost, and top dress it; and then I have a new one again.

10. When you planted it with potatoes did you put any thing on it? I put dung, and lime, and ashes for the rape, and dung and lime for the potatoes.

11. Has much land been reclaimed in that way in that neighbourhood? No, except small spots, an acre or so, by poor tenants. They have not capital in the country. The land is very spewy. We are obliged to sink drains three feet deep in the hard ground. I am sometimes obliged to sink six feet in bog.

[Page 668]
Philip Reade, esq., land proprietor.

125. Have you made any estimate of the cost of your improvement, and what you consider a return for it? Yes, I have; the land I improved in the counties of Galway and Clare amounted to upwards of 500 acres; I speak now of statue acres; a considerable tract of it was valued, by sworn commissioners appointed by the court of Chancery, to me as worth 2s. to 6s. an acre; it is now worth 20s. an acre at a modern rent.

126. What has been the cost of that improvement? I divide it into two classes; the cost of reclaiming moorland and the cost of reclaiming high mountain land. The cost of reclaiming the moorland, including the manure and the seed to be put into the ground for the first crop, came to from £9-5s. to £10-2s., the highest. The cost of reclaiming in a very perfect manner the mountain and wood land, putting in the crop, and all the other attendant expenses, manure and every thing else, came to £17-7s. The produce on the moorland of the first crop, which was potatoes, in every instance amounted, at 1½ d. a stone, to £8-10s; and at 2d., £11-6s-8d, per acre, thus covering the expense of reclaiming the moorland in the first year; 8½ tons of potatoes to the acre, I consider, on the average, was the produce. On the upland, which was mixed with wood, it became extremely difficult to reclaim it on that account, and the expense of reclaiming, as I mentioned before, was £17-7s; the first crop; at 1½d., amounted to £19-11s-6d. Thus also, in that instance, covering the expense in the very first crop. The return is very enormous and surprising, the quantity produced being 3,136 stones on the average, amounting to 19 tons 12 cwt. per acre.

127. What is the difference between the mountain and the moorland? Moorland I consider to be where the subsoil within the reach of cultivation is still moor; the other is hard, generally strong subsoil. On the moorland, the trenching by statue acre was from ten to fifteen shillings; this was all done with the spade; the draining 160 [Page 669] perches to the acre, from £2 to 50s. the manure was thirty tons, at 2s-6d. a ton, £3-15s; the seed was from £1-5s to £1-10s; the expense of putting in the crop and carrying it was £1-15s; that, according to the highest and lowest prices, amounted to from £9-5s to £10-2s. Now, with regard to the upland, the draining, subsoiling, or digging a second pit, and opening drains, was done by task-work; the person taking the one was obliged to take the other, for it facilitated the labour; eighty perches of drains to the acre. The whole of these works was at the rate of £16 an Irish acre, which is £9-12s the English acre. Filling and covering the eighty perches of drains I calculated at £1; the stones were on the spot; manure the same as for the moorland, £3-15s; the seed the same, from 25s. to 30s.; and the labour £1-15s. The reason that labour is not higher is, that ploughs were able, when the land was cleared of stones, to do some of the work. That is the most expensive reclamation I have ever practised myself, and it was the most profitable. The second year, the same land was marled with Shannon marl, a very fine description of manure – thirty loads, which I calculated at 1s. a load; we had it very close to us. The total cost of the second year amounts to £6-7s-6d. an acre; the moorland is £1 higher, that is, £7-7s-6d. This is the usual course of farming; there is nothing extra. The produce was very great. On the moorland I take it at the same as the first year, but the potatoes are of a better description. In the first year, the crop produced is never fit for human food, they are too soft. In the second year, they are perfectly good for human food, and are worth 2d. a stone, at the least; the produce the same as the year before would give £11-6s-8d., at that price. I consider £8-10s is the safest to take as the value of crop for the first year. The reason that the moorland costs £1 more the second year is, that we are obliged to use spade labour.

128. What was the produce on the mountain land? I took that the same as the year before, £19-12s, which, at 2d. a stone, produces £26-2s.

129. You valued them at 1½ d. a stone before? Yes, producing £19-11s-6d. The third year, on my own system of reclamation, the crop was oats and grass seeds, and additional drains, if required, the cost of seed and labour £2-10s., the produce was £9. I take this as the same in both descriptions of land, it may be something better upon the upland, the profit was £6-10s., and I have made this note: “The tenant may and does execute the same work infinitely lower.” The first crop produced from maiden land is always extraordinary, if properly drained, in my experience never again to be equalled by any effect of manuring. Sometimes the rotation, according to the nature of the land, was, first crop, rape or potatoes; second crop, oats; third crop, turnips or potatoes; and the fourth crop, oats; with grass seeds, according to the character of the land.

130. Is there any great extent of land in that country susceptible of being improved upon equally favourable terms? I should say, there are 200 square miles capable of being improved. I do not mean to say upon equally favourable terms.

131. Was the moorland low or high? Low; it was regular bog, but not red bog; it was of a blackish, moorish nature, but still of a great depth.

[Page 670]
132. Could you cut turf upon it? Yes; but it was of a moory nature.

133. What name would you give to the districts? The Sleive Boughta range of mountains.

134. What are the particular reasons which prevent that land from being reclaimed? The want of spirit in the proprietors; nothing else.

135. Was your reclamation the cause of giving much employment in the neighbourhood? Considerable.

136. How many acres do you think you have reclaimed in any one year? Thirty-five is the greatest quantity. I generally employ fourteen or fifteen sets of men at task-work. I have as many at this moment.

137. Is the district to which you have alluded opened by roads? Latterly, it has been a good deal.

138. How have those roads been made? When I went to that country, there was but one road of any description, and there were no bridges to it; it went over every hill which could be selected, and it was utterly impassable for any wheeled carriage. I got surveys made, in consequence of a circular sent to the different proprietors; they all promised to assist me. I employed an eminent engineer, and got surveys made of the lines of road necessary to open it. I then came before the grand jury of Galway, and they very liberally did their part, although there was some opposition; and having so completed it, I handed it over to the Board of Works for execution; the government having agreed to advance half the money.

139. Was the money advanced as a grant or a loan? It was advanced as a grant in that instance.

140. Has all the money advanced by the Board of Works for roads in that district been by way of grant? No, not half of it. Some of the proprietors repaid me; indeed, I should say all of them, except the greatest, and he left me to pay my share and his own; I shall not name him.

141. Is there still a want of roads in the neighbourhood? Very considerable. That was the main line from Portumna to Mountshannon.

142. Is that the road you are alluding to? Yes. I have opened short roads through my own estate, for some of which the county of Galway gave me 2s. a perch. The rest of the expense I paid out of my own pocket. The county of Clare is extensively opened by roads, or a portion of it; but there were none of them passing within seven miles of the Shannon, except this one. They are all lateral roads; there is no cross roads, so that the country is only partially opened, and does not communicate with the Shannon, except at the extreme ends of the lines of road.

143. Do any of the new roads which have been opened in that district, communicate from the interior of the country to the Shannon? No, very few, indeed. It should be opened by cross lines from the mountains to the Shannon; and I may say that these 200 square miles of country have no cross road whatever to get to the Shannon, and the people are obliged to go to either end of those roads to do so.

[Page 671]
144. Does that district belong to many different proprietors? There are several, but not many; there are half-a-dozen.

145. Has any of the money advanced for the roads to which you have referred, between Clare and Galway, been given a grant by the Board of Works? Yes.

146. Has the greater portion been given by the way of grant or loan? My impression is, that the greater part has been by way of loan.

147. Will you state in what proportion the expense of maintaining the road has been borne by the county and the barony? In every instance, the expense of making a road has been borne by the barony; but the expense of maintaining it is laid on the county.

148. I believe it is all included in one barony? Yes.

149. Does not the expense fall very heavily upon the barony? No, I think not; it was divided into twelve repayments; it did not fall very heavily.

150. Are you aware of the regulation under which the Board of Works have been recently advancing sums of money for making roads of this kind, where the proprietors give an equal sum? I am.

151. Do you think that such a system could be advantageously carried out in so wild a district, or would it be necessary to make an absolute grant? I think the system adopted by the Board of Works exceedingly bad; all roads for whatever purposes throughout these mountains are made as if they were great mail coach roads, with levels almost perfect, by cutting and embanking at a great expense, generally the contracting price was £1 a perch, or one guinea a perch, which is altogether too high for the value of the land through which it runs, or for the proprietors to subscribe to. If the roads were made of a less expensive description, so as to be somewhat equivalent to the value of the land in the country through which they went, and afterwards, in case of very extensive traffic running upon them, improved to a better description, it would be a great improvement on the system. At this moment, I have a road making through my own property, for which the grant jury of Galway granted me 6s.-9d. a perch, upon condition of getting 6s.-9d. from the Board of Works, and making up the difference out of my own pocket to £1 per perch; and I am now actually making the road at 5s. a perch, equally divided between myself and the grand jury, not calling upon the Board of Works, because they would require such a system of perfect inclines, and such a system of expense, that I preferred making the road at my own expense to having it made by the Board of Works.

152. Are you able to state the usual charge of the Board of Works for maintaining such a road as that? It amounts to about 6d. or 7d. a perch; it was 1s. and more, but they have, I believe, lowered it latterly. I remember it reaching higher than 1s. considerably, and I know, in Clare, that it is more than double the usual contracts; but the system altogether is too expensive for general improvements.

153. I need not ask whether the making of these great roads through the country is the first step in reclaiming these waste lands? Without roads, nothing can be done. Unless the government open the country by making roads, it is impossible for any thing to [Page 672] be effected; they will not get many men who will spend twelve years of their lives in opening the country, principally through other gentlemen’s estates, and lay out a great deal of their money, as I have done.

154. Would the value of the land in its present state be able to pay for those roads, so as to induce the proprietors to undertake the making of those roads? Certainly not, particularly tenants for life.

155. What is the population of that district of the Slieve Boughta range? The population is very thin; indeed, in the interior, as an instance of the incredible sufferings of the people for want of roads, I will state what happened this last summer. The inhabitants of a village called Derrygoolan, in the heart of the mountain, had been memorialing and applying to every person they thought able to assist them, to get a road out of that village these twenty years past. They had no means of getting their produce to market, or getting home themselves after nightfall, or of getting manure into the village, and at length the people set to work themselves and commenced making a line of road by their own labour, through the midst of a great estate, and then some assistance was afforded to them; but to my knowledge, for twenty years, they had been in vain petitioning and memorialing every influential person without effect.

[Page 745]
Valuation

Mr. Ralph Cullinan, farmer of 1,200 acres at a rent of £1,500 a-year.

16. Did you form your valuation upon any rule guided by the produce? Yes, I did.

17. What were the rules upon which you acted? I took wheat at about 9s.-6d. or 10s. per cwt., and I took oats at an average of about 5s. to 5s.-6d. per cwt., barley at 6s.-8d., and I took butter at £3-10s., beef at, perhaps, £1-12s. or £1-13s., mutton at £1-14s., and pork at 28s. Those were the articles of produce I took into my calculation.

18. Did you allot any fixed proportion of the gross produce as the rent? No; I did not go into so minute a calculation as that.

19. How did you fix the proportion that should be the value of the ground? From my own knowledge of farming, and matters of that kind, I calculated such land could bear such a rent, and the tenant would have a reasonable remuneration for his capital and labour.

20. Have you never formed any opinion of the tenant’s proportion of the gross produce, so as to be remunerated? For his capital, and toil, and labour he ought to have one-third or one-fourth of the gross produce.

21. What proportion do you allow for rent? I did not calculate; the remainder would go for the rent and the out-goings – rent, taxes, and charges. I did not go into a very minute calculation.

[Page 776]
Rent

William Daxon, esq., farmer and agent.

9. In what manner is the rent fixed in the district; by proposal [Page 777] or valuation? By proposal generally. I do not know of farms in Clare being set by valuation.

10. Is it a gross sum or an acreable sum that is usually offered? Acreable, as far as arable land goes; but in mountain districts it is a gross sum.

11. When a proposal is made for a farm in that way by the acre, what is the course adopted if a public road should run through it; is it deducted? No; we have had many battles with the grand jury upon that subject from time to time. We conceive, as cess-payers, this land for the public use has no right to be charged upon us, where the landlord gets the value for it; they generally traverse at the assizes, and get a certain sum, and the party through whose land the road goes thinks it a hardship to be made pay for it.

12. What is the usual rent of average good land in the district, not immediately the town-parks? I should say the average to good land is from 30s. to £3-10s. an acre; it depends upon the quality of the land, whether it is land that will grow wheat, or such land as will only grow oats, or land that will only rear, and not fatten, cattle.

13. State the average rent of those three qualities? The average of the first quality I am speaking of is 30s., that would grow oats and potatoes; what we call four stone land, it rears stock without finishing them.

14. What is the quantity of oats you may fairly expect from it? About twelve Bristol barrels, fourteen stones to the barrel; or six of our barrels, twenty-eight stones to the barrel.

15. What is the rent of wheat land? From 40s. to two guineas.

16. How much wheat would you expect from that? I should expect 200 stones to the acre, about ten barrels of twenty stones; but, of course, this is a thing that depends upon the culture and the season – that is the general calculation.

17. Now, as to the fattening land, what should you reckon the best of that at? Three pounds ten shillings, the best I know of.

18. What would it feed? It would feed and finish a heavy bullock to the acre; a great deal of it is meadow land.

22. How soon after the rent becomes due is it the custom to demand it? Four or five months; one gale under the other generally.

23. Is there any system of paying it by bill among the small tenants? Not any system; in some instances it is; but, generally, there is not, for their bills would not be taken.

30. Are the receipts for rent usually on account, or up to a particular day? They are up to a particular day, when paid up to the day.

33. In what cases of tenants under the middlemen do you think they are better off? Under the proprietors they come under agents, and the agents require payments up to a certain day – that is often inconvenient; but the middleman often pays the rent to the agent, and waits for the cottier tenants to pay him at their convenience, and till they sell their butter.

34. Do you state that of your own knowledge? Yes, I do.

35. Do you mean to say that the middleman is more lenient in exacting his rent? Yes, in many cases. An agent will come into Kilrush for two days; he receives rent the fifth of July, and thirtieth [Page 778] of December; that rent becomes due in the November and May previous; that man cannot spend his time there to wait the convenience of an immense number of cottier tenants; they are obliged to pay it on a certain day to him. I have been agent in that country many years. I have had large sums to receive; and I always found it the case in the county of Limerick, that a man must suit himself to the condition of the tenants.

The Rev. Michael [Maurice] Fitzgibbon, Roman Catholic clergyman.

25. The prices are very low. The prices are so low, and they get no abatement of rent, I think there ought to be a scale of that kind. It is rather unreasonable to expect the tenantry can pay as much now, when they get but 13d. or 14d. a stone for wheat, when they got, a few years ago, 2s-4d or 2s-1½d. It is by the produce of the land that they pay their rent. If they do not get a remunerative price for the produce of their land they cannot pay the same proportion of rent.

52. Did it ever occur to you to consider the mode they adopt in Scotland of a corn rent varying according to the prices of produce? Yes, and I think it would be an excellent plan, indeed.

[Page 815]
Recovery of Rent

John Patrick Moloney, esq., land proprietor.

25. What is the usual mode of recovering rents from defaulting tenants? Distraint and sale of the goods, and in some instances there is a worse mode than that adopted – putting keepers upon them, and charging them 2s-6d a day for them, which is ruinous almost to the tenant; to put a couple of keepers on them, and leave them for fifteen days, for a rent of £1-15s.

26. Do you mean that the keepers are put on to procure emoluments for the bailiff? It is ostensibly to take care of the goods, or to take care of any furniture, but in reality to put money into the pocket of the agent.

27. How does putting on a keeper put money into his pocket? He charges 2s-6d a day, and he will have a man of his own that will do it for £8 or £10 a year.

28. What is the general cost of distraining on a tenant? The cost of distraining is not very much, it is merely the cost of the drivers – they charge 1s. in the pound; then there is the cost of the sale, and bringing out the auctioneer, and the pound-keeper’s fees. They always charge 1s. in the pound for driving, and whether they drive [Page 816] or no, if they only send a caution to the tenant to bring in his rent. These things are only allowed on the properties of gentlemen not resident in the country, and those held under the courts; the resident gentry do not allow them.

29. Are the charges pretty general on all the estates of the absentees? Yes, on every absentee estate that has come under my cognizance.

Mr. Daniel Cullen, farmer.

40. If there is one hardship in Ireland more oppressive than another, it is the power of distress; the landlord walks in and seizes his property, and he can sell it. I think that the law of distress gives too great power to the landlord.

41. Are you able to inform us the usual cost of distraining a tenant? It very often costs him nothing, where there is a good landlord; in many cases it costs him a vast deal of money. I have known a case of a tenant’s property being seized for rent, and there were two men upon the premises for fourteen days, and he was charged 2s-4d. a head, for each man, for twenty-four hours, whereas the usual wages for men at that time was only 8d. a day.

[Page 843]
Ejectment

Daniel James Wilson, esq., land proprietor.

16. The clearing system, as it is called, and which in some few instances has been carried too far, has not been acted upon to the extent which is asserted. It was stated by Sir. R. Bourke, who was a constant attendant at the Limerick board of guardians, that no case of a pauper being driven into town by his landlord had ever come before him; and his statement was corroborated by the then chairman of the board, Alderman Watson. I was myself accused (though not directly by name) of having driven in a widow woman whose husband had been a tenant of mine; whereas I ascertained, on inquiry, that the man had never been a tenant on the property – that for eight or ten years before his death he had lived on the adjoining property of Lord Limerick – that he had never occupied any land of mine from the time of his father’s death, which occurred about the year 1817, and who owed me, when dying, £73-8s-6½d., after making him an allowance of £14-14s-10d.

[Page 921]
Public Works

James Moloney, esq., D.L., land proprietor.

14. Are those improvements which have been introduced effected by yourself and by your capital, or by the tenants partially? By myself and my own capital. These improvements in the parish of Feakle could never have taken place had not the government facilitated, by a grant, the formation of the roads.

15. What assistance did the government give in that respect? The government gave, in every case in which I have been concerned; and I have been the means of bringing forward applications [Page 922] for the making of fifty miles of road, which have opened that district of country. The government, in all cases except the first, gave a moiety; and in the first case, which was in the year 1828, they advanced the money by exchequer bills, they were called the Exchequer Loan Bill Commissioners, but since the establishment of the Board of Works they have uniformly given a moiety.

16. How was the other moiety found? The other moiety has been paid partly by contribution, and partly by assessment on the baronies. Those roads are now the best kept up; and the effect of them has been, to introduce into the country where no wheel-carriage could have been used, the general use of wheel-carriages, and consequently the introduction of lime, without which no improvements can take place in the mountain district, not being a limestone district itself.

Cornelius O’Brien, esq., M.P.

3. When you first became acquainted with this county, was it well opened by roads? A great many of the roads were very bad. I suppose that occurred here which has in every other part of Ireland – they made all the roads against the hills. That has been greatly improved by making new roads, and making them more level.

4. Have the new roads been made by the counties, or with the assistance of government? Entirely by the counties, without any assistance from government; there was no assistance before 1822.

5. Since 1822, have the roads been made without assistance of the government? Yes; they have made a great many roads here under the Board of Works.

6. What do you consider has been the effect upon the condition of the people of the improvement of the internal communication? A considerable improvement undoubtedly. I recollect when in this part of the county it was with great difficulty that a horse would carry four cwt., and the same horse will now carry with greater ease a ton, and that is certainly a great difference; one horse is now equal to four.

[Page 955]
Cess and Other Charges

William Dixon, esq., farmer.

11. I took the farm I live on when the taxes were 8d. an acre. I was quite satisfied with that, and am still satisfied to pay that; but it comes now to 2s-8d. an acre, and the landlord ought to pay some portion of that which I did not contemplate at the time as belonging to my farm.

[Page 986]
Mr. Benjamin Cox, farmer.

78. What difference, in your opinion, has been made to the tenant by placing the tithe rent-charge upon the landlord? I do not think much difference has been made. In one way there has been a benefit – it has removed a bone of contention, but in many instances the tenant has not been much benefited; if the tenancy was in existence at the time of changing it into a composition, the tenant gets a deduction, but if he takes the land anew he pays the tithe in the shape of additional rent.

[Page 1042]
Estate Management

Mr. Daniel Cullen, farmer.

43. Is there any system of the payment of fees to agents upon the acceptance of proposals for farms? Yes, there is.

44. Does that still continue? Yes, it does, and in many cases you have very little chance of a farm without being first able to bribe the agent.

45. Have any recent instances of that come within your knowledge? Yes.

46. In what district? In the county of Clare, on the lands of Quinpool, on the property of Benjamin Finch White. I had occasion to make application to the landlord to take up ten acres of land from him. I had to give the agent £20; it was never introduced into the receipt or into the deed I received.

47. Did you take it upon a lease? Yes, I had a lease of twenty one years.

48. Who was the agent? The agent was a brother to Mr. White., the landlord.

49. Where does the agent reside? He resides on a part of the lands of Quinpool, about two miles and a half or three miles from the town. I have heard of other tenants who got leases at the same time had to give money, more or less.

50. Is there, in your opinion, any general system of making payments of that kind to agents connected with the management of property in the county of Clare? I have heard a vast deal of people say, “I have had to give the agent so and so, before I could get the land.”

Statement of Benjamin Finch White, esq., in reply to the evidence of Mr. Daniel Cullen.

Appendix B
In reference to the evidence of Mr. D. Cullen, I beg to state, for the information of the Land Commissioners, that in 1838 I set a farm to Mr. D. Cullen, which contained about 12½ Irish acres; but that I never was aware that he, or two other tenants who took similar farms from me at that time, had paid any money to my agent, or had given any thing to him for his interest with me to get them the land. I beg further to say that I am very much opposed to such a system, and also, that I have collected my own rents since 1838.

[Page 1053]
James Molony, esq., land proprietor.

18. There is very great difference in the management of individual estates. The absentee cannot expect that his agent will take all the precautions which he might do himself, or expose himself to the unpopularity of very severe measures, when he has not the power of softening them to the people, by giving employment, or by acts of charity. Some agents are non-resident, and employ under-agents to collect the rents. That is the very worst of all; and I have known some under-agents who have been the means of obtaining farms for themselves, from which the former tenants were ejected. The agent’s duties are limited to the recovery of rents; he is a mere rent-collector.

[Page 1083]
Cornelius O’Brien, esq., M.P.

49. The estate of a person that I am acquainted with consisted of 3,000 or 4,000 acres in the next barony to this; it was set under the court in large farms from 100 up to 500 or 600 acres; the middleman had kept the grazing part for himself, the poorer part having been sublet to a most wretched class of tenantry. I proposed to the court that the better land should be apportioned, according to their capital, among the tenants who held the poorer lands. The court sanctioned the proceeding, and a valuation and survey were directed of the lands; and now they are set in that manner, in divisions proportioned to their capital, the increase on the rental has been about one-fourth, and the condition of the tenantry is necessarily very much improved. The arrangement is [Page 1084] one that has conferred benefit upon all parties concerned, save the discarded middleman.

50. Were there any new tenants brought in? Yes; there are new tenants. The chancellor, under the master’s report, consented to leases of twenty-one years, and agreed that drains and mearing fences shall be made through the estate, and half the expense of the houses at the cost of the estate; the leases containing covenants enforcing residence, and preventing subletting.

51. Was there any agrarian outrage in the district in consequence of bringing in the new tenants? Not the least in the world.

54. You have spoken of the course pursued upon an estate under the court of chancery, do you see any difficulty in the courts acting in the same manner upon the estates of minors? Not the least in the world. I think that an uncertain term of six or seven years, and attending at the master’s office to renew, is ruinous to the estate. Minors’ and lunatics’ properties are injured by being under the court. When parties go into the master’s office, like every other auction, not liking to be put out, they bid more than the value. There are then applications to the court for abatements, and all that falls ultimately upon the estate. A tenant who bids more than the value is almost sure to be a broken man: I think it ought to be done by valuation. The master, if dealing with minors’ properties, would deal with greater advantage if he was to get the estate valued, and not take a bidding beyond the value.

55. In the case of estates that may be under the courts at the suit of creditors, what difficulty would arise in the court pursuing the system of valuation upon letting? None at all; there might be some difference as to the term granted. It would not be fair to the debtor to have a setting made of his lands when the debt may be paid in the course of a year, it should be pending the suit, but not a lease of twenty-one years absolute. Now in the case of a lunatic the lease or agreement is for twenty-one years certain, and that would effect the next in succession. I think it ought also to effect the minor in the same way, for the same reason, when the minor comes of age.

George O’Callaghan, esq., land proprietor.

38. Are there many properties under the courts? Several.

39. What is the condition of the tenants on the properties under the courts, compared to those under the proprietors? I think they are not as well off on the properties under the courts as on the properties of the proprietors.

40. From what does that arise? From having to deal with a receiver, who is bound to enforce the payment of the rent one gale within another, and whose duty it is to return as little arrears as he possibly can, and whose interest it is to collect as much as he can.

[Page 1094]
David John Wilson, esq., land proprietor.

16. 7th. That absenteeism is one of the greatest calamities our country labours under, cannot be denied; but to impose a tax on absentees (as has often been suggested), is so contrary to the spirit of British freedom, that even were there no other grounds on which to oppose it, that one alone would be sufficient.

If absenteeism be a calamity, it necessarily follows that residence must be an advantage to the country. Now, in order to encourage [Page 1095] those who are residents, and increase their means of giving employment, and improving the condition of their tenantry, I propose that £15,000,000, or £10, 000,000 or even £5,000,000, be raised and lent to resident landed proprietors, at three and a half or four per cent., to pay off prior undisputed judgements, or for such other purposes as may be deemed advisable. At present, six per cent, is the rate of interest most generally paid in Ireland – higher, of course, than in any other portion of the kingdom; and our ancestors, in most instances (no matter from what cause), left their inheritors somewhat involved by debt. The peace of 1814 considerably lessened the means of Irish proprietors to meet the demands upon them. By the bill of 1819, not only were their means still further diminished, but their debt was increased (by how much I will not presume to say). Will it then be deemed unreasonable to expect a loan of £10,000,000 or £15,000,000 for Ireland, on undeniable security, at an equitable rate of interest, where £20,000,000 have been given (in a good cause certainly,) to the West India planters? Though unwilling to extend the limits prescribed, I cannot avoid giving an illustration of the effect of a loan such as I propose. I could name a nobleman and a gentleman of, say, £10,000 a year each, whose debts amount to a considerable sum; but who, from family settlements, or other causes, are unable to sell – excellent landlords, giving constant employment to numbers – judicious and extensive improvers – estimable country gentlemen, in every sense. Suppose, for argument, their debt to be £100,000 each, £6,000, at six per cent, is required for interest, leaving £4,000 for agency, cost, defalcations, charities, improvements, household expenses. Reduce the interest to four per cent, and it leaves an available income of £2,000 in addition, either for a sinking fund, or improvements, and, consequently, employment. If they cannot sell, or raise money at a lower rate of interest, their only alternative must be, to give up their properties to their creditors, retire to the continent, and add to the number of absentees. Should it be the intention to saddle proprietors with a poor rate, and the payment of tithes, in addition to their other burdens, they will stand still more in need of assistance; but the mere announcement of the intention of a loan would almost be the means of rendering it unnecessary.

[Page 1098]
David John Wilson, esq., land proprietor.

7. Do the tenants hold immediately under the landlord, or are there many middlemen in the district? The tenure is derived in various ways, but, generally speaking, so little attention has hitherto been paid by landlords (myself among the number) to the state of their tenantry, that but little difference is perceptible in the state of their houses or farms. Persons deriving immediately under the landlord, however, do not pay such high rents as those deriving under middlemen and sub-middlemen, for I have almost invariably found that as the grades descend the rents increase. They have also the advantage of having no more than one person to claim rent from them. I have known tenants distrained, and their stock (in three or four instances) impounded by five several claimants within the course of ten or fifteen days.

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Witnesses who gave evidence relating to Clare
Evidence was collected at various towns throughout the country. Each witness was given a number.

Gort, Wednesday, 7th August, 1844.   Ennistymon, Thursday, 22nd August, 1844.
502 Jeremiah Roseingrave, esq.   595 Cornelius O'Brien, esq., M.P.
505 Burton Bindon, esq.   596 Captain John Crowe
    597 Mr. John O'Dwyer
Scarrif, Tuesday, 20th August, 1844.   598 Mr. Thomas O'Dwyer
571 George O'Callaghan, esq.    
572 Rev. Patrick Shea   Kilrush, Friday, 23rd August, 1844.
573 Mat. Milekin   599 Mr. Benjamin Cox
574 John Patrick Molony, esq.   600 Mr. Thomas Studdert
575 Mr. Edmund Burke   601 Mr. James Shannon
576 Maurice O'Connell, esq.   602 Jonas Studdert, esq.
577 Rev. Patrick Quade   603 Rev. Timothy Kelly
578 Rev. Michael O'Connor   604 Rev. John Kenny
579 James Molony, esq.   605 Mr. John Honan
580 Martin Carroll   606 Mr. Patrick Slattery
581 Michael Creaven   607 Mr. Robert Fitzgerald
    608 Rev. Malachi Duggan
Ennis, Wednesday, 21st August, 1844   609 John Lynch
582 George Sampson, esq.   610 Patrick Crotty
583 Henry Spaight, esq.   611 Patrick Fitzgerald
584 Rev. Daniel Corbett   612 Francis John Fitzgerald, esq.
585 John Singleton, esq.    
586 Rev. Jeremiah Vaughan   Limerick, Monday, 26th August, 1844
587 Colonel Charles Synge   613 Mr. Joseph Edward Vize
588 Michael Cahill   617 Mr. James Frost
589 Thomas Crowe, esq.   618 Mr. Daniel Cullen
590 William Daxon, esq.   625 David John Wilson
591 Hugh O'Loughlin, esq.   623 Rev. Michael [Maurice] Fitzgibbon
592 Mr. Ralph Cullinan    
593 Mr. John O'Leary   Newcastle, Thursday, 29th August, 1844
594 Mr. Thomas Gibson   652 Robert O’Brien, esq.
     
    Other Witnesses
    1063 Marcus Keane
    53 Philip Reade, esq.
    74 Benjamin Finch White

Source:
State of the law and practice in respect to the occupation of land in Ireland: evidence taken before Her Majesty's Commissioners: part II, 1845 HC 1845 [616] 20 1


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