The History of the Great Irish Famine of 1847 (3rd ed.) (1902) eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 704 pages of information about The History of the Great Irish Famine of 1847 (3rd ed.) (1902).

The seventh and last report of the Commissioners under the Relief Act, bears date the 15th of October.  In it they say, they have the satisfaction of believing, that the Act was thoroughly successful in its primary object; and they did not consider the expenditure excessive in proportion to the object.  The entire outlay under the Act was L1,676,268 11s. 7d.,[267] a part of which was a free gift from the State, the remainder a charge to be repaid by the Unions, by a percentage on the rateable property, which, in the opinion of the Commissioners, should in no case exceed three shillings in the pound.  The summary of the accounts department informs us that the rations issued on the 11th of September, the day previous to the final stoppage of relief under the Act, were 442,739, being a decrease from the 28th of August of 599,816 daily rations.

The expenditure under the Act is thus detailed:—­

     To Sir R. Routh for provisions
     from depots ...  L136,795 0 8

     Money advanced fortnightly to
     the several electoral divisions
     for relief ...  L1,420,417 14 11

     To fever hospitals ...  L119,055 16 0

The advances at one time exceeded L60,000 a-day, distributed over nearly two thousand accounts.

The sum given to Sir R. Routh for the food in the depots shows there were about twelve thousand tons of provisions in them.

The sum set down to the fever hospitals includes the erection and furnishing of the fever sheds.  In addition to this amount, L4,479 was expended in providing proper medical inspection and superintendance in localities in which great sickness prevailed, and L60,000 was advanced for the enlargement of the Workhouses, principally by the erection of fever wards.[268]

In the appendix to this, their last report, the Commissioners bear honourable testimony to the manner in which the people behaved.  They say:  “The order and good conduct of the peasantry, and of the people generally, notwithstanding the great influx of paupers into the towns, is highly to be commended.  All admit, that the resignation and forbearance of the labouring classes was astonishing, when it is remembered with what rapidity the real famine encompassed them.”


[246] The following were the Commissioners appointed under the Act:  Sir John F. Burgoyne, Thomas N. Redington, Esq., Under Secretary; Edward T.B.  Twistleton, Esq., Colonel Duncan M’Gregor, Commissary-General Sir Randolph J. Routh, and Colonel Harry D. Jones.

[247] The number of electoral divisions is, at present, 3,438, embraced within 163 Unions.

[248] Sunday Observer; which journal should, for the information of posterity, have placed upon record what, if any, were the other courses in the carte at the Reform Club, the day on which M. Soyer’s Irish Soup No. 1 was so highly approved of.

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