About Ireland eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 72 pages of information about About Ireland.

[Footnote C:  Some time after the Great Famine, the Government brought in an Act called the Encumbered Estates Act.  A judge was appointed to act as auctioneer.  The income of the estate was set out in schedule form, and a man purchased that income by competition in open court.  He got with his purchase what was supposed to be the best title then known, commonly called “A Parliamentary title.”  If he wanted to sell again, that was enough.  Many years after the bargain was made by the court, Mr. Gladstone dropped in and upset it.  A friend of mind purchased a guaranteed rental of L600 a year, subject to L300 annuity, as well as other charges, head rent, &c., &c.  Now the Government may have been said to have pledged its honour to him, speaking by the mouth of a judge in open court, that it was selling him L600 a year.  Surely it was a distinct breach of faith to swoop down on the purchaser, years after, and reduce the L600 to L500 without reducing the charges also in due proportion, or giving back one-sixth of the purchase money.  Mr. Gladstone and his party say the land was rented too high.  Does that (if true) get over the dishonesty of selling for L600 a year what was really worth only 500?  Such a transaction as that between man and man would be actionable as a fraud.  But this excuse is not true, for when any tenant wants to sell his tenant-right he gets a large price for it, far larger than the normal proportion to his rent.  When a nation sanctions such absolute dishonesty as this on the part of its Prime Minister, it is not surprising that the shrewd Irish peasant profits by the lesson and improves the example.]

[Footnote D:  The following in reference to the Olphert estate evictions under the Plan of Campaign is from the Freeman’s Journal.  Will Mr. Spencer when exhibiting his photos, state the facts about this case—­which reason and common-sense show to be altogether in the landlord’s favour?

“Mr. Spencer, Trowbridge, England, arrived in Falcarragh to-day, visited the scenes of the late evictions, and took photographs of several of the demolished houses in the townland of Drumnatinny.  Mr. Spencer intends, on his return to England, to bring home to the minds of the English people by a series of illustrative lectures, the misery and hardships to which the Irish peasantry are subjected.”]

[Footnote E:  On this question of further legislation I will quote part of a letter from a correspondent which shows the views of a singularly able, impartial, and fair-minded Irishman.  “The breaking of leases was another risky thing to do, for it shook all faith in the sovereignty of the law and the finality of its dicta.  Till Mr. Gladstone made himself the champion of the tenants and the oppressor of the landlords, Parliament never dreamed of revising rents paid under leases.  Mr. Gladstone began by breaking these leases when held for a certain term defined by him.  But we cannot stop there now.  If another Land Bill is to be brought in by the present

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About Ireland from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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