Before the Famine, County Clare, 1835
Maureen Comber (ed.)
CLASP Press, 1996, ISBN: 1 900545 01
2, Price: €20.00
This publication is out of print.
FIRST REPORT FROM HIS MAJESTY'S COMMISSIONERS
FOR INQUIRING INTO THE CONDITION OF THE POORER CLASSES IN IRELAND
A Pre-Famine Snapshot of Poverty in
- Deserted & Orphan Children
- Impotent through age
- Widows with Children
- Sick Poor
- Able-Bodied out of Work
Poverty in Clare in
1835 is vividly portrayed in this publication. The information on which
it is based has been extracted from one of the reports of the Royal Commission
of Inquiry into the Conditions of the Poorer Classes in Ireland which
was set up in 1833.
The coming into effect
of the New English Poor Law in 1834 increased the pressure for a solution
to combat the problem of poverty in Ireland as huge numbers of Irish flooded
into English cities. It was estimated that up to 10,000 such Irish were
surviving through begging in the city of Liverpool alone. This is hardly
surprising, considering that the Commissioners estimated that due to the
enormous destitution in Ireland, in excess of 2,000,000 people would need
accommodation if the workhouse system were to be adopted in Ireland.
The Commission engaged
Assistant Commissioners to collect evidence on the causes of Ireland's
massive poverty from a variety of witnesses in one parish in each barony.
These witnesses included clergymen, beggars, farmers, labourers, landlords
and tradesmen. Their evidence, given at first hand, is now, for the first
time, made accessible to the general public by CLASP Press. The publication
includes an introduction by Niall O'Ciosain, Dept. of History, U.C.G.