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

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 575 pages of information about The History of the Great Irish Famine of 1847 (3rd ed.) (1902).

D. O. M. Sub invocatione B.V.  Mariae.  C. Primum hujus Ecclesiae lapidem posuit Johannes Sweetman, Armiger.  Memoriale hoc grati animi restitutae Catholicae Libertatis Georgio tertio Regum optimo, annuente Parliamento ac toto populo acclamante, Dedicat Patriae Pietas.  Anno supradictae Libertatis primo.  Regni vigesimo tertio, ab Incarnatione 1793, die Octobris tertio.

T. BEAHAN, Arch.

[56] Forty-shilling freeholders in Ireland and forty-shilling freeholders in England were quite different classes.  The latter, by the statute, 8 Henry VI, cap. 7, passed in 1429, must be “people dwelling and resident in the counties, who should have free land or tenement to the value of forty shillings by the year at least, above all charges;” whilst in Ireland, every tenant having a lease for a life was entitled to a Parliamentary vote, provided he swore that his farm was worth forty shillings annual rent, more than the rent reserved in his lease.

Mr. Pim writes:—­“A numerous tenantry having the right to vote, and practically obliged to exercise that right at the dictation of their landlord, was highly prized....  When the Emancipation Act was passed in 1829, the forty-shilling freeholders were disfranchised, and, being no longer of use to their landlords, every means has since been employed to get rid of them.”—­The Condition and Prospects of Ireland, by Jonathan Pim, late M.P. for Dublin City.

“It is in vain to deny or to conceal the truth in respect to that franchise [the forty-shilling franchise].  It was, until a late period, the instrument through which the landed aristocracy—­the resident and the absentee proprietor, maintained their local influence—­through which property had its weight, its legitimate weight, in the national representation.  The landlord has been disarmed by the priest.... that weapon which [the landlord] has forged with so much care, and has heretofore wielded with such success, has broken short in his hand.”—­Mr. Peel’s Speech in the House of Commons, 5th March, 1829, introducing the Catholic Relief Bill.

Leaving out the “legitimate weight” of landed proprietors, as exercised through the forty-shilling freeholders, the above statement, besides being a remarkable one from such a cautious Minister, is not far from being correct.

CHAPTER II.

The Potato Blight of 1845—­Its appearance in England—­In Ireland—­Weather—­Scotland—­Names given to the Blight—­First appearance of the Blight in Ireland—­Accounts of its progress—­The Royal Agricultural Improvement Society of Ireland—­Its action—­The Dublin Corporation—­O’Connell—­His plan for meeting the Crisis—­Deputation to the Lord Lieutenant—­How it was received—­Lord Heytesbury’s Reply—­It displeases the Government—­The Times’ Commissioner—­His suggestions—­Mr. Gregory’s Letter—­Mr. Crichton’s—­Sir James Murray on the Blight—­Action of the
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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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