(150 Years Ago Today)
DEAR SIR-- When I saw you last, you requested of me to report to you from time to time the state of the crops in this neighbourhood. A great portion of the Barley is injured; the Wheat is partially blighted; the oat crops very good, and the potatoes not more diseased than they were a fortnight ago. Considering the great quantity of land that has been tilled this year, I think that we will have enough of our own food for this and the next year.
For Passage apply to Messrs. HARNDEN, & Co., or D. KENNELLY & Co., Maylor Street, Cork.
To be succeeded by the "Train Line" Packet, "OCEAN MONARCH," 1900 Tons, on the 20th of August.
STEERAGE FARE-- £4 15s. from CORK.
SIR-- Our much afflicted town presented this day a scene of wretchedness and discontent; hundreds of squalid applicants for out-door relief assembled in front of the Courthouse, where the Relief Committee were assembled. The multitude seemed by their murmurs to particularise one gentleman who, they said, was instrumental in having their names struck off the relief list. Whether this gentleman's conduct was censurable as the people imagined I cannot say, yet he narrowly escaped their fury by the interposition of a rev. gentleman and one of the authorities who accompanied and conveyed him out of town. The presence of these gentlemen disarmed the enraged crowd. He proceeded uninjured to his residence about five miles distant.
Whilst on this subject I may be permitted to mention another circumstance relative to this gentleman, as a benevolent landlord, and one which excited more than ordinary dissatisfaction in this town and vicinity. He now happens to be the proprietor of a certain farm, the residents on which are remarkable for destitution, and being one of these quarterly landlords he watched the growing crops. The first object that caught his attention was a small plot of potato ground, the entire property of a poor widow, the parent of five young children who had no other protection against approaching famine, but the produce of this small garden; he sent his workmen to dig out the unripe potatoes and had them conveyed in butts to the Bantry market to be disposed of.
In the mean time this treatment reached the public ear in the market-place, when it was unanimously agreed that no purchaser should offer even half-price for the Widow's potatoes. He was then, of necessity, obliged to order them home to his family mansion, leaving the Widow and Orphans the tillage for their support.
I regret to say this is not a singular case. In the west, what is now spared by the blight is about to be carried off by the Landlord, yet I am proud to add, there are honourable exceptions here-- gentlemen who regard the happiness and welfare of their tenantry as inseparable from their own. By attention and encouragement they have placed the tenant-farmer in a position to pay his rent now as in years gone-by, whilst the heartless oppressor is driven to the cruel and unprofitable shifts I have already described; for example, I have known a gentleman here who has given his tenants this season fifty pounds' worth of seed potatoes, and by so doing has enabled them to pay him his rent.
Many of the evils we now complain of are attributable to landlord inattention and disregard and in all probability will continue to afflict us if the tenant-right be not established. I shall conclude for the present by subscribing myself your oft obliged Correspondent.
Relief Commission-office, Dublin, July 19.
MAY IT PLEASE YOUR LORDSHIPS-- We beg to submit our fourth monthly report as commissioners under the temporary relief act.
We have now 1823 electoral divisions for relief under the operation of the act, which are distributing 2,349,000 gratuitous rations per day, at an average cost of two pence per ration, including expenses, and 79,636 rations are sold.
The falling prices of provisions, and the small profits required by the lower class of traders, have tended to keep down the necessity for much selling by committees.
Your lordships will perceive a considerable increase in the distribution, occasioned partly by the additional districts, which, although among the most suffering, have been now, for the first time, brought under the act; partly from the withdrawl of the supplies which had been so largely contributed by associations for the relief of a state of actual starvation, against which a general provision now exists; and from the reductions in the public works; but chiefly from the pressure of distress which it is notorious always weighs heavily on the agricultural population of Ireland at this season of the year.
From the commencement of August, however, we shall look forward to great reductions; the harvest promises to be very abundant, and as the temporary relief was intended to provide for the diminution of food by the failure of the potato crop, the gradual collection of the agricultural produce will remove every justification for its continuance on any other plea.
By an arrangement with the Commissary General, we are clearing out the government depots of provisions, by orders on them in lieu of so much money.
These depots were established at an anxious period of a prospect of great deficiency of supplies, which no longer exists.
The number of temporary hospitals ordered to be established under the act 10 Vic., cap. 22, now amount to 283.
Wherever opened, they are reported to have been highly beneficial, but we regret to learn that the necessity for them generally in the country is far from being abated. --We have, &c.,
|J. F. BURGOYNE,||H. D. JONES,|
|T. N. REDINGTON,||E. J. B. TWISTLETON,|
|R. L. ROUTH,||D. McGREGOR.|
ROBERT NETTLES, Esq, V.C., in the Chair. Ten other Guardians in attendance.
Number of paupers in the Workhouse . . . . 576
Deaths in the week . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
After the usual routine business was gone through DANIEL LUCY, Esq., rose and proposed the following resolution, which was seconded by PATRICK RONAYNE, Esq, and adopted with unanimous approbation:--
"RESOLVED-- That the Famine and Fever which have this year afflicted this unfortunate country is a visitation of Divine Providence, over which no class of persons in this country had any control, and that it is unjust to visit such a misfortune on Ireland, by taxing her people with the expenses of it, and we are of opinion that the entire expense of the Temporary Relief and Fever Acts, should be made a charge on the Empire at Large, and that this Resolution be transmitted to Lord JOHN RUSSELL, calling his Lordship's immediate and earnest attention to it."
The meeting shortly after separated.
"From information recently given to us," says the Quebec Gazette, "the quarantine at Liverpool is not only worse than useless as regards this country, but absolutely murders the emigrants intending to embark hitherward. We are told that from 15 to 16 hulks are stationed off the port for the reception of the refugees from Ireland, who, when sick or doubtful looking, are transferred to them from the Irish steamers and from whence, after a short probation, shipped on board vessels destined for Canada; and that, too, as may be naturally conceived, in a worse state than if allowed to proceed on their voyage at once. The passengers in the Triton were of this class, among whom disease appeared the day they left the docks. Her deaths before reaching Grosse Isle numbered 83, including all the officers of the ship and several of the crew; the master, also, being very sick."It can hardly be believed that affairs in Liverpool are conducted, as to the shipment of emigrants, as represented. The imputation is boldly made, and if untrue, an immediate contradiction is necessary.
The report from the office of her Majesty's chief superintendent of emigration to Canada, dated Quebec, 24th July, states the numbers of emigrants who had arrived this year there, were 56,855. In the same period of last year, 24,576 settlers reached the port, showing an increase this year of no less than 32,279.
|Cork Fever Hospital||179||Vacancies||22|
|North Fever Sheds||96||-----||18|
|Total in Hospital||786||Vacancies||69|
Dysentery, of rather a serious character, prevails to a large extent at present in the city.
The weather continues to be exceedingly hot.
It is the same on the Continent. Our Paris letter of last week will have removed all doubts as to the French crop. Potatoes at 1s. 6d. a bushel while the 4lb loaf is 10d. indicate an enormous supply of the former, and a confidence that the supply will not diminish. We have similar information from Holland; and affairs appear to be equally satisfactory in Belgium. Our intelligent correspondent, M. de Jonghe, authorises us to announce that there is nothing in the Belgian Potato crop which can lead to a suspicion that it has been attacked by the disease of previous years. "In light land or heavy clay, marl, or bog (the Polders), the crops are universally safe, and promise twice as large a return as in common years."
A striking example of the difference in the present and two previous seasons is furnished by this gentleman. A piece of land, 20 feet square, produced only 41 kilos of early Potatoes in 1845, and 44-1/2 in 1846. In 1847 the same quantity of land has yielded under the same circumstances of soil &c., 286 kilos of excellent Potatoes, taken up July 28 and August 12. The price of Potatoes last May in the market of Brussels was 22 francs for 100 kilos; Friday last they were only worth 6 francs 50 cents for the finest quality. M. de Jonghe promises some further statistical information, which we shall take care to lay before our readers. --Gardener's Chronicle.
The reply was, they were tenants to minor Hutcheson, of Bantry, who is a Magistrate of this county. He went to distrain on the lands of Letterlicke, yesterday, when the prisoners objected to the removal of the cattle, alleging they were replevined, and were to be delivered up when the affair would be legally investigated. The landlord insisted on his claim to the property of these squalid tenants, and persevered in his determination to carry all things off the lands, when an unpleasant Landlord and Tenant meeting took place, all the then available war instruments were employed by the hostile parties, until the landlord considered it much more prudent to retire. He then proceeded to a Magistrate, and had the parties indicted and dragged from their homes in the manner I have described.
At present I shall not trouble you with any remarks, as the case is to come on next Thursday before the Bantry Bench of Magistrates. I would earnestly advise these miserable men and women whom I have seen this day on their way to prison, in a condition I could but inadequately describe, to employ a professional advocate. But their appearance this day almost convinces me they have not the means of doing so. The decision of the Bench in this case is anxiously looked for in this locality.
In this country, we cannot calculate on any continuance of fine weather. The fineness of the last month has been somewhat rare and remarkable; and it would seem, as if, in the natural course of our atmospheric changes, some wet bad weather were, so to speak, now due to us. In this state of things it behoves the farmers to cut down their crops at once. It would be safer to cut them down a little on this side of maturity than to leave them to the chances of a day's wind or rain. We have heard a farmer say that such a day "would shake the taxes out of all the corn in the country."
Landowners, clergymen, and magistrates should impress on their neighbours and dependents the danger of delaying the work of harvest. Nothing should be left to chance; the labour of a few days would place the plentiful harvest of 1847 beyond all risk.