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).

“Many subscriptions were sent to the Committee in consequence, and I received from an anonymous correspondent a monthly sum varying from L6 to L8, for a period of more than twelve months.

“One subscription of L1000 came from another anonymous donor, and for years the Committee knew not who those generous and really charitable parties were; but I had always a suspicion that the giver of the L1000 was Lord Dufferin.  The grounds for my supposition were, that during the height of the sufferings of the people, I heard that two noblemen had been in the neighbourhood, visiting some of the localities.  One was Lord Dufferin, then a very young man, who alluded subsequently in feeling terms to the wretchedness and suffering which he had witnessed; the other, I heard, was Lord John Manners.

“In some years after, I met at the house of Mr. Joshua Clarke, Q.C., in Dublin, Mr. Dowse, then a rising barrister, now a Baron of the Court of Exchequer, who addressed me, saying, ‘We are old acquaintances;’ to which I replied that I thought he was mistaken, as I had never the pleasure of meeting him before.  He said ’That is quite true, but do you remember having received monthly remittances during the severe pressure of the Famine in Skibbereen?’ I answered in the affirmative; and thereupon he said, ’I was your correspondent, I remitted the moneys to you, they were the offerings of a number of the students of Trinity College.’

“I need scarcely say that the incident created in me a feeling of esteem and regard for Mr. Dowse, which has continued to the present moment.

“During the passing of the Land Bill through the House of Commons, in the year 1870, I proposed several amendments, in consequence of which I received a letter from Lord Dufferin, asking for an interview, which subsequently took place at his house, and lasted more than three hours.  When about to leave, I said that I had a question to put to his Lordship, which I hoped he would not refuse to answer; and having received his assent, I said,—­Lord Dufferin, are you the anonymous donor of a subscription of L1000 to the Relief Committee at Skibbereen twenty-three years ago?  And with a smile, he simply replied ‘I am.’

“I left with feelings of high admiration for the man."[313]

To conclude.  Every reader, will, doubtless, form his own views upon the facts given in this volume; upon the conduct of the people; the action of the landlords; the measures of the Government; those views may be widely different; but of the bright and copious fountains of living charity, which gushed forth over the Christian world, during the Great Irish Famine, history has but one record to make,—­posterity can hold but one opinion.


[303] The first Queen’s letter produced L170,571 0s 10d.; the second only L30,167 14s. 4d.

[304] Transactions of Society of Friends during the Famine in Ireland p. 49.

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The History of the Great Irish Famine of 1847 (3rd ed.) (1902) from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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