The Winter of 1846-7 in Antrim, with Remarks on Out-door Relief and Colonization. By A. Shafto Adair, F.R.S. London: Ridgway, 1847. Haliday Pamphlets, Royal Irish Academy, vol. 1,992. Mr. Adair is a landlord of large possessions in the County Antrim, who exerted himself very much to alleviate the sufferings of the people during the Famine.—He was raised to the Peerage in 1873 as Baron Waveney.
The Irish Relief Act, 10th Vic., c. 7—Rapid expansion of Public Works—They fail to sustain the people—Clauses of the new Relief Act—Relief Committees—Their duties—Union rating—Principal clergy members of Relief Committees—Duties of Government Inspectors—Finance Committees—Numbers on Public Works in February, 1847—Monthly outlay—Parliament gives authority to borrow L8,000,000—Reduction of labourers on Public Works—Task work condemned—Rules drawn up by new Relief Commissioners—Rations to be allowed—Definition of soup—First Report of Commissioners—Remonstrances—Quantity of stationery used—Cooked food recommended—Monsieur Soyer comes to Ireland—His coming heralded by the London Journals—His soup—Jealousy—M. Jaquet on Soyer—The Lancet on the subject—Professor Aldridge, M.D., on Soyer’s soup—Sir Henry Marsh on it—M. Soyer’s model soup kitchen—A “gala day”—Ireland M. Soyer’s “difficulty”—Last appearance!—Description of his “Model Soup Kitchen” (Note).—Reclamation of waste lands—Quantity reclaimable—Sir Robert Kane’s view—Mr. Fagan on Reclamation—Mr. Poulette Scrope on the Irish question—Unreclaimed land in Mayo—The Dean of Killala—Commissary-General Hewetson on reclamation and over-population—Opposition to reclamation—No reason given for it—Sir R. Griffith on it—Mr. Fetherstone a reclaimer of bog—Reclamation of bog in England—Second Report of Relief Commissioners—Relief Works closed too rapidly—The twenty per cent. rule—M. Labouchere’s reply to Smith O’Brien—Letter from Colonel Jones—The Premier’s promise—The Claremorris deanery—Effect of the dismissals in various parts of the country—Soup kitchens attacked—Third Report of the Relief Commissioners—Questions from Inspectors—O’Connell’s last illness—His attempt to reach Rome—His death—His character—Remaining reports of the Relief Commissioners—The Accountant’s department—Number of rations—Money spent.
The expansion of the system of Public Works, under the Labour-rate Act, was as unparalleled as it was unexpected by the Government. The number of persons employed rose, in less than three months, from 20,000 to four hundred thousand; the return for the week ending on the 5th of October was just 20,000; for the week ending on the 26th of December, 398,000! there being at the latter period at least one hundred and fifty thousand on the books of the officers of the works, who either would not or could not be employed;