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The Post-Famine Landscape, Estate Management and Agricultural Improvement in East Galway, 1851–1914

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Abstract

This chapter pays particular attention to aspects of the socio-economic conditions of the lower classes after the Famine and also focuses upon the estate management policies of landlords in east Galway. The varying estate management policies amongst east Galway landlords warrant assessment here. Lords Clonbrock and Clancarty were hostile to subdivision prior to the Famine and generally preferred estates of small farmers, while others such as Ashtown, Clanricarde, Dunsandle and Allan Pollok were amenable to the highly profitable and labour-light grazing. The fact that small farmers were cheek-by-jowl with graziers set the scene for significant animus as the capitalistic nature of grazing challenged traditional notions of subsistence, and this is an example of the challenges presented to the lower classes, who were grappling with the challenges presented by modernisation.

Keywords

  • Estate Management Policies
  • Ballinasloe
  • Irish Farmers
  • Strokestown
  • Western Star

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    James Clapperton, Instructions for the small farmers for the cropping and culture of their farms (Dublin, 1847), p. 1.

  2. 2.

    Samuel Lewis, A topographical dictionary of Ireland (London, 1837), pp. 110–11. The River Suck used to be the dividing line between Galway and Roscommon. However, following the 1898 Local Government Act, the border was redrawn to ensure that the Ballinasloe Urban District, part of which is in the parish of Creagh, became part of County Galway, and it has remained that way since.

  3. 3.

    Census of Ireland, 1841–1861.

  4. 4.

    Samuel Lewis, A topographical history of Ireland (1837), pp. 469–70.

  5. 5.

    James S. Donnelly, Jr. ‘The journals of Sir John Benn-Walsh relating to the management of his Irish estates, 1823–1864’, Journal of the Cork Archaeological and Historical Society (July–December 1974), p. 86.

  6. 6.

    K.T. Hoppen, Elections, politics and society in Ireland, 1832–1887 (London, 1984), p. 106; idem, ‘Landownership and power in the nineteenth-century Ireland: The decline of an elite’ in Ralph Gibson and Martin Blinkhorn (eds.), Landownership and power in modern Europe (London, 1991), pp. 164, 168.

  7. 7.

    Donnelly, Jr. ‘The journals of Sir John Benn-Walsh’, p. 89.

  8. 8.

    Pauline Scott, ‘Rural radicals or mercenary men? Resistance to evictions on the Glinsk/Creggs estate of Allan Pollok’, in Brian Casey (ed.), Defying the law of the land: Agrarian radicals in Irish history (Dublin, 2013), pp. 65–79; eadem, ‘Evictions on the Glinsk estate of Allan and Margaret Pollok in the 1850s’ (PhD thesis, NUI Galway, 2014).

  9. 9.

    Eric Richards, The Highland clearances (Edinburgh, 2015), p. xii.

  10. 10.

    Donnelly, Jr. ‘The journals of Sir John Benn-Walsh’, p. 90.

  11. 11.

    P.K. Egan, The parish of Ballinasloe (Dublin, 1960), pp. 153–5.

  12. 12.

    Patrick Melvin, ‘The landed gentry of Galway, 1820–1880’ (PhD, Trinity College Dublin, 1991), p. 163.

  13. 13.

    Melvin, ‘The landed gentry of Galway’, p. 163.

  14. 14.

    Pat Finnegan, Loughrea, that den of infamy: The Land War in County Galway, 1879–82 (Dublin, 2014).

  15. 15.

    Western Star, 25 Jan. 1851.

  16. 16.

    Report from her majesty’s commissioners of inquiry into the state of law and practice in respect of the occupation of land in Ireland minutes of evidence pt. ii [616], HC 1845, 498–500.

  17. 17.

    Susan Hood, ‘The landlord-planned nexus at Strokestown, county Roscommon: A case study of an Irish estate town, c. 1660–c. 1925’ (PhD thesis, University of Ulster, 1994), pp. 3–23.

  18. 18.

    Hood, ‘The landlord-planned nexus at Strokestown, county Roscommon’, pp. 23–4.

  19. 19.

    Irish Farmers’ Gazette, 24 May 1879, p. 165; 4 Oct. 1879, p. 332.

  20. 20.

    See Alun Howkins, Poor labouring men: Rural radicalism in Norfolk, 1870–1923 (London, 1985); James Hunter, The making of the Crofting community (Edinburgh, 1976, 2000, 2010).

  21. 21.

    Lord Clancarty to Lord Abercorn (National Library of Ireland, Mayo papers, MS 43, 839/1).

  22. 22.

    Egan, The parish of Ballinasloe, p. 182.

  23. 23.

    For more, see http://places.galwaylibrary.ie/history/chapter34.html [date accessed 20 September 2017].

  24. 24.

    Egan, The parish of Ballinasloe, pp. 143–53, 230–1.

  25. 25.

    Pigot’s directory (Dublin, 1824), pp. 197–8.

  26. 26.

    Undated poster (probably pre-Famine) (National Library of Ireland, Bellew of Mountbellew papers MS 31, 761).

  27. 27.

    Irish Farmer’s Gazette, 16 Oct. 1852, pp. 499, 501.

  28. 28.

    Irish Builder, 15 Sept. 1866, p. 262. This edition also has plans for the cottages included, Irish Farmer’s Gazette, 5 Oct. 1867, p. 377.

  29. 29.

    Virginia Crossman, Politics, pauperism and power in the late nineteenth century (Manchester, 2006), pp. 144–8.

  30. 30.

    Jeremy Burchardt, The allotment movement in England, 1793–1873 (London, 2002).

  31. 31.

    Jonathan Bell and Mervyn Watson, Rooted in the soil: A history of cottage gardens and allotments in Ireland since 1750 (Dublin, 2012), pp. 11–14.

  32. 32.

    Thomas Bermingham, Social state of Great Britain and Ireland (1835), pp. iii–vii.

  33. 33.

    Hood, ‘The landlord–planned nexus at Strokestown, county Roscommon’, pp. 212–13.

  34. 34.

    Hood, ‘The landlord-planned nexus at Strokestown, county Roscommon’, p. 213.

  35. 35.

    Jonathan Bell and Mervyn Watson, Irish farming implements and techniques, 1750–1900 (Edinburgh, 1986), pp. 3–5.

  36. 36.

    Thomas Baldwin, Public opinion on the application of the prize system to the improvement of the agricultural practices of the small farmers of Ireland with the introductory remarks (Dublin, 1879), p. ix. For more on William Hickey, see Dictionary of Irish Biography, vol. 4, pp. 674–5.

  37. 37.

    Irish Farmer’s Gazette, 16 Oct. 1852, pp. 499, 501.

  38. 38.

    Report from Her Majesty’s Commissioners of Inquiry into the state of the law and practice in respect to the occupation of land in Ireland, [605] [606] HC 1845 Appendix 8, pp. 30–1.

  39. 39.

    For example, see Thomas Bermingham, Social state of Great Britain and Ireland (1835).

  40. 40.

    Irish Farmer’s Gazette, 6 Sept. 1851, p. 434.

  41. 41.

    Irish Farmer’s Gazette, 16 Oct. 1852, pp. 499, 501.

  42. 42.

    Irish Farmer’s Gazette, 16 Oct. 1852, pp. 499, 501.

  43. 43.

    Irene Whelan, Irene Whelan, ‘The Bible gentry: Evangelical religion, aristocracy, and the new moral order in the early nineteenth century’, in Crawford Gribben and Andrew R. Holmes (eds.), Protestant millennialism, evangelicalism and Irish society, 1790–2005 (Basingstoke, 2006), p. 53.

  44. 44.

    W.E. Vaughan, Landlords and tenants in mid-Victorian Ireland (Oxford, 1994), p. 84.

  45. 45.

    Baldwin, Public opinion on the application of the prize system to the improvement of the agricultural practices of the small farmers of Ireland, pp. v–vi, ix.

  46. 46.

    Vaughan, Landlords and tenants in mid-Victorian Ireland, pp. 83–4.

  47. 47.

    The earl of Clancarty, Ireland, its present condition and what it might be (Dublin, 1864), pp. 5–11.

  48. 48.

    Bell and Watson, Irish farming, implements and techniques, pp. 2–511.

  49. 49.

    Whelan, ‘The Bible gentry’, p. 62.

  50. 50.

    Irish Farmer’s Gazette, 16 Oct. 1852, pp. 499, 501.

  51. 51.

    Irish Farmer’s Gazette, 16 Oct. 1852, p. 499; 10 Oct. 1857, pp. 865–6; 24 May 1879, p. 165; 4 Oct. 1879, p. 332; Egan, The parish of Ballinasloe, pp. 153–5; A.P.W. Malcomson, Virtues of a wicked earl: The life and legend of William Sydney Clements, third earl of Leitrim 1806–78 (Dublin, 2009), pp. 212, 221.

  52. 52.

    Irish Farmer’s Gazette, 30 Sept. 1854, p. 478; Melvin, ‘The landed gentry of Galway, 1820–1880’, pp. 127–8.

  53. 53.

    Report from Her Majesty’s Commissioners of Inquiry into the state of the law and practice in respect to the occupation of land in Ireland minutes of evidence pt. ii [616], HC 1845, 516–17.

  54. 54.

    Clapperton, Instructions for the small farmers of Ireland, pp. 4, 6, 9.

  55. 55.

    Clapperton, Instructions for the small farmers of Ireland, pp. 4–9, 13.

  56. 56.

    Irish Farmer’s Gazette, 16 Oct. 1852, pp. 499, 501.

  57. 57.

    Ibid, p. 578.

  58. 58.

    Irish Farmer’s Gazette, 6 Sept. 1851, p. 434; 27 Sept. 1851, p. 473; 16 Oct. 1852, pp. 499–501; 27 Nov. 1852, p. 578; 3 Dec. 1853, p. 607; 1 Oct. 1853, p. 485; 10 Oct. 1857, pp. 865–6; 19 Mar. 1859, p. 133; 31 Dec. 1859, p. 647; 5 Oct. 1878, p. 358; Tuam Herald, 9 Sept. 1876.

  59. 59.

    Ibid.

  60. 60.

    Irish Farmer’s Gazette, 28 Feb. 1857.

  61. 61.

    Jonathan Bell and Mervyn Watson, Irish farming: History and heritage (Dublin, 2009), p. 74.

  62. 62.

    Burchardt, The allotement movement in England, 1793–1873, pp. 178, 184; Bell and Watson, Rooted in the soil (Dublin, 2012), p. 11.

  63. 63.

    Burchardt, The allotment movement in England, pp. 179, 183–5.

  64. 64.

    Bell and Watson, Rooted in the soil, pp. 15–17.

  65. 65.

    Bell and Watson, Rooted in the soil, pp. 20–1.

  66. 66.

    Bell and Watson, Rooted in the soil, pp. 25–7.

  67. 67.

    Bell and Watson, Rooted in the soil, p. 29.

  68. 68.

    Irish Farmer’s Gazette, 4 Oct. 1862, p. 332.

  69. 69.

    Western Star, 14 Jan. 1865; Irish Farmer’s Gazette, 17 Apr. 1869, p. 136.

  70. 70.

    Tuam Herald, 22 Dec. 1866.

  71. 71.

    Irish Farmer’s Gazette, 3 Oct. 1874, pp. 361–2.

  72. 72.

    Hoppen, Elections, politics and society in Ireland, p. 134; Eugene Hynes, Knock, the Virgin’s apparition in nineteenth-century Ireland (Cork, 2009), p. 142.

  73. 73.

    Seamus Mac Philib, ‘The Irish landlord system in folk tradition: Impact and image’ (PhD thesis, UCD, 1990), pp. 107–10.

  74. 74.

    See Kevin McKenna, ‘Power, resistance, and ritual: Paternalism on the Clonbrock Estates 1826–1908’ (PhD thesis, Maynooth University, 2011); idem, ‘Charity, paternalism and power on the Clonbrock estates, county Galway, 1833–44’, in Laurence M. Geary and Oonagh Walsh (eds.), Philanthropy in nineteenth-century Ireland (Dublin, 2015), pp. 97–114.

  75. 75.

    Irish Farmer’s Gazette., 5 Oct. 1878, p. 358.

  76. 76.

    Western News, 9 Oct. 1886.

  77. 77.

    For more on cotton, see Sven Beckert, Empire of cotton: A new history of global capitalism (London, 2015).

  78. 78.

    Irish Farmer’s Gazette, 6 Sept. 1851, p. 473; 1 Oct. 1853, p. 486; 19 Mar. 1859, p. 492; Western Star, 14 Jan. 1865; Donald Jordan, Land and popular politics in Ireland: County Mayo from the Plantation to the Land War (Cambridge, 1994), pp. 60–1; Barbara Solow, The land question and the Irish economy, 1870–1903 (Cambridge, MA, 1971), p. 31.

  79. 79.

    Irish Farmer’s Gazette, 6 Sept. 1851, p. 473; 1 Oct. 1853, p. 486.

  80. 80.

    Egan, The parish of Ballinasloe, p. 255.

  81. 81.

    Irish Farmer’s Gazette, 6 Sept. 1851, p. 473; 1 Oct. 1853, p. 486; 19 Mar. 1859, p. 492; Western Star, 14 Jan. 1865; J.S. Donnelly Jr., ‘Cork market: Its role in the nineteenth century butter trade’, Studia Hibernica, no. 11 (1971), p. 132.

  82. 82.

    Report of the royal commission on the Land Law (Ireland) Act 1881 and the Purchase of Land (Ireland) Act 1885 [C4969] HC 1887, 1; minutes of evidence and appendices, [C496], HC 1887 xxvi, qs 21,617, 21, 666–8.

  83. 83.

    Vaughan, Landlords and tenants in mid-Victorian Ireland, p. 85.

  84. 84.

    Western Star, 14 Nov. 1868.

  85. 85.

    Solow, The land question and the Irish economy, 1870–1903, p. 39.

  86. 86.

    Hood, ‘The landlord–planned nexus at Strokestown’, pp. 218–19.

  87. 87.

    Liam Kennedy and Peter M. Solar, Irish agriculture: A price history from the mid eighteenth century to the eve of the First World War (Dublin, 2007), p. 11.

  88. 88.

    Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, xxiii (1893), pp. 88–9.

  89. 89.

    Western News, 6 Oct. 1900.

  90. 90.

    Irish Farmer’s Gazette, 6 Oct. 1900, p. 776.

  91. 91.

    Western News, 6 Oct. 1900.

  92. 92.

    Irish Farmer’s Gazette, 8 Oct. 1853.

  93. 93.

    Irish Farmer’s Gazette, 6 Oct. 1855, p. 541; 10 Oct. 1857, pp. 865–6, 877; 13 Oct. 1860, pp. 505, 513.

  94. 94.

    J.S. Donnelly, Jr., ‘The Irish agricultural depression of 1859–64’, Irish Economic and Social History iii (1976), pp. 34–8.

  95. 95.

    Donnelly, ‘The Irish agricultural depression of 1859–64’, pp. 34–8. For more on the IRB, see R.V. Comerford, The Fenians in context, Irish politics and society, 1848–82 (Dublin, 1978 and 1994); M.J. Kelly, The Fenian ideal and Irish nationalism, 1882–1916; Owen McGee, The IRB: The Irish Republican Brotherhood, from the Land League to Sinn Féin (Dublin, 2007).

  96. 96.

    Irish Farmer’s Gazette, 9 Oct. 1852; p. 489, 16 Oct. 1852, p. 499; 8 Oct. 1853, p. 226.

  97. 97.

    Irish Farmer’s Gazette, 16 Oct. 1869, p. 399; 15 Oct. 1870, p. 240; 1871, p. 386; 9 Oct. 1875, p. 359.

  98. 98.

    Irish Farmer’s Gazette, 4 Oct. 1873, p. 343.

  99. 99.

    Irish Farmer’s Gazette, 9 Oct. 1875, p. 359.

  100. 100.

    Irish Farmer’s Gazette, 6 Oct. 1883, p. 587.

  101. 101.

    Tuam Herald, 7 Oct. 1876; Irish Farmer’s Gazette, 6 Oct. 1877, p. 363; 11 Oct. 1879, p. 349; 16 Oct. 1880, pp. 393–4; 6 Oct. 1883, p. 587; 11 Oct. 1884, p. 621.

  102. 102.

    Tuam Herald, 7 Oct. 1876; Irish Farmer’s Gazette, 12 Oct. 1878, p. 363; 8 Oct. 1881, p. 395.

  103. 103.

    Irish Farmer’s Gazette, 30 Sept. 1882, p. 572.

  104. 104.

    Irish Farmer’s Gazette, 6 Oct. 1888, p. 443.

  105. 105.

    Western News, 6 Oct. 1900; Tuam Herald, 5 Oct. 1901.

  106. 106.

    Irish Farmer’s Gazette, 5 Feb. 1852, p. 69.

  107. 107.

    Western News, 9 Oct. 1886; 6 August 1887; 17 Sept. 1887; 16 June 1888; 10 Sept. 1888; 15 Feb. 1890.

  108. 108.

    Western Star, 3 Oct. 1868; 31 Oct. 1868; 14 Nov. 1868; Tuam Herald, 7 Jan. 1871; 4 Oct. 1873; ibid., 9 Sept. 1876.

  109. 109.

    Tuam Herald, 7 Jan. 1871, Irish Farmer’s Gazette, 3 Oct. 1874, pp. 361–2.

  110. 110.

    Irish Farmer’s Gazette, 9 Sept. 1876, pp. 351–2; Western News, 15 Feb. 1890.

  111. 111.

    Western Star, 14 Nov. 1868; for more on the Pollok Family, see Joe Molloy (ed.), The parish of Clontuskert: Glimpses into its past (Ballinasloe, 2009), pp. 205–38.

  112. 112.

    Western Star, 4 Oct. 1873; 9 Sept. 1876.

  113. 113.

    Western News, 9 Oct. 1886.

  114. 114.

    Irish Farmer’s Gazette, 5 Feb. 1852, p. 69.

  115. 115.

    Western Star, 14 Oct. 1865.

  116. 116.

    Galway Press, 28 Nov. 1860.

  117. 117.

    Irish Farmer’s Gazette, 3 Oct. 1874; p. 361, 9 Sept. 1876, p. 351; Western News, 9 Oct. 1886.

  118. 118.

    Western News, 17 Sept. 1880.

  119. 119.

    C.S.O., R.P. 1888/14700 in the National Archives of Ireland.

  120. 120.

    Western News, 1 October 1888.

  121. 121.

    For more on the antagonistic relations between elected and ex-officio guardians, see Crossman, Politics pauperism and power and W.L. Feingold, The revolt of the tenantry: The transformation of local government in Ireland, 1872–1886 (Boston, 1984).

  122. 122.

    Western News, 10 Sept. 1888.

  123. 123.

    Leo Tolstoy, How much land does a man need? (London, 2015), p. 1.

  124. 124.

    Hynes, Knock: The Virgin’s apparition in nineteenth-century Ireland (Cork, 2009), p. 16.

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    Casey, B. (2018). The Post-Famine Landscape, Estate Management and Agricultural Improvement in East Galway, 1851–1914. In: Class and Community in Provincial Ireland, 1851–1914. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-71120-1_2

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