The Land-War In Ireland (1870) eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 446 pages of information about The Land-War In Ireland (1870).

He came back, however, after some years, as agent to the Marquess of Bath—­a post which he occupies still, being manager-in-chief at the same time of the large estates of the Marquess of Lansdowne, in Kerry, and Lord Digby, in the King’s County.  In all these undertakings, ably assisted by his sons and his nephew, he has been pre-eminently successful.  If the Farney men had been driven off in 1843, or swept away by the famine, it would have been said that their fate was inevitable, nothing could be made of them.  They were by nature prone to disorder and rebellion.  Well, Lord Bath visited his estate in 1865.  On that occasion a banquet was given to the tenants, at which Mr. Trench made an eloquent speech.  Referring to the outbreak in 1848, he said:  ’And yet never, my Lord, never even in the worst of times, did I bate one jot of heart or hope in the noble people of Farney, never for one moment did I doubt their loyalty to their Queen, their loyalty to their country, their respect for their landlord, and above all, that they would be true and loyal to themselves.’  So much for the incurable perversity of the Celtic race, for the ‘black morass of Irish nature’ that can never be drained!

The people of Farney got justice, and they were contented and orderly.  They got security, and they were industrious and thriving.  They got protection under the constitution, and they were loyal.  Densely peopled as the estate is, the agent could not coax one of them to emigrate; and after his former experience at Farney, he did not venture on eviction, though, no doubt, he would gladly repeat the Kenmare experiment in thinning the masses with which he has had to deal.  Mr. Horsman, a prophet of the same school of economists, says that Providence sent the famine to relieve the landlords, by carrying away a third of the population, and he seems to think it desirable that another third should be got rid of somehow.

CHAPTER XXII.

BELFAST AND PERPETUITY.

Belfast, not being blessed with a cathedral like Armagh and Derry, is not called a ‘city.’  It is only a ‘town;’ but it is the capital of Ulster, and surpasses all other places in Ireland in the rapidity of its progress and in its prosperity.  It can boast but little of its antiquity.  There is probably not a house in the borough more than 150 years old.  The place is first noticed by history in 1178, merely as the site of a fort of the O’Neills, which was destroyed by John De Courcy.  It was only a poor village at the time of Bruce’s invasion, in 1315, though Spencer erroneously calls it ‘a very good town.’  It was so insignificant in 1586 that Holinshed does not mention it among the towns and havens of Down and Antrim.  Whatever town existed there had been destroyed by the Earl of Kildare when lord-deputy.  In 1552 it was repaired and garrisoned, and shortly after it was granted by the crown to Hugh O’Neill of Clandeboye. 

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The Land-War In Ireland (1870) from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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