Published in 1872, shortly before the outbreak of the Land War in Ireland, the sixth edition of The Landowner's and Agents Practical Guide not only provides a history of land tenure in Ireland but also explains exactly what the legal rights and obligations of the landlord and land agent were towards their tenants. It is the definitive guide to land law in Ireland before the Land War changed everything.
As the author, Thomas de Moleyns, of her Majesty's Counsel, notes the law of landlord and tenant in Ireland differs enormously from that in England, mostly because of custom and conquest. Over forty six chapters and nearly 600 pages de Moleyns covers everything a landlord and his agent need to know, from Early Land Tenures of Ireland, through various kinds of tenancies, agreements for leases, rents, evictions, as well as the various land acts applicable in Ireland. There are also two chapters dealing with the Registry of Deeds and the Landed Estate Courts both of whose records are now excellent ways of tracing ancestors in Ireland.
De Moleyns makes reference to over 1000 legal cases in this extremely comprehensive and well researched body of work, making it an invaluable resource in understanding the history of landownership in Ireland, the legal position of landowners in Ireland, and provides an insight in to the beginning of the Land War in Ireland and what rights the tenants were seeking.
Published in October 1907 under the auspices of the Estates Commissioners' Offices this publication records lists of persons who lodged applications with the Estates Commissioners either in person as the evicted tenant or by the representatives of the evicted tenant. The collection of information issued by the Estates Commissioners' Offices, which is republished here on fully-searchable CD-Rom, was originally issued in four separate collections, one for each of the four provinces of Ireland; the title page that introduces each of the four provincial parts of the publication reads as follows: List of Persons who have lodged Applications with the Estates Commissioners as Evicted Tenants, or as the representatives of Evicted Tenants, and who have been noted as suitable for holdings.
In each instance the Reports provide the following details on each application made to the Estate Commissioners: The Registered Application number; the applicant's name and address; the name of the estate from which he or she was evicted; the townland address of the evictee; the extent of the evictee's former landholding in acres; the rent per annum paid by the tenant prior to eviction; the name of the occupier at the time of the application to the Commissioners; the circumstances of the applicant and additional observations.
From a purely historical standpoint the four Reports presented here are amongst the last occasions of evicted tenants from landed estates in Ireland prior to Ireland's independence, compulsory purchase of landed estates and the exodus from Ireland of former landlords. From a genealogical standpoint this collection offers a list of thousands of tenants and their dependants in some of the most deprived parts of Ireland. However, it is perhaps as a social document that that Applications of Evicted Tenants has greatest use and this can most clearly be seen in columns 8 and 9: the circumstances of the applicant and additional observations. This can show by one example from an application made from an evicted tenant in Co. Cork. The evicted tenant formerly resided at Cliftengrange, Co. Cork and had leased 39 acres of land at Ballinvrinsig on the estate of a Mrs Cummins paying her the annual rent of £15. Application was made by the evicted tenant's mother who was at the time residing in America with a son and two daughters, the evictee, a 28-year-old single man being the only family member residing in Ireland. In some instances the evicted tenant was recorded as the sole income earner for a family with as many as 16 members.
The Province of Ulster contains thirty-six pages, that of Leinster 43, Munster 80 and Connaught 49. By far the greatest number of applications were made from Munster and within this province the most applications were made by evicted tenants in Co. Cork. As a complete document the 'List of Persons who have lodged Applications with the Estates Commissioners as Evicted Tenants, or as the representatives of Evicted Tenants, and who have been noted as suitable for holdings' offers a fascinating insight into the conditions of rural tenants in Ireland just prior to independence.
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The unabridged title of this publication provides the extent and scope of the work republished here: The Land Owners of Ireland: An Alphabetical List of Estates of 500 Acres of £500 Valuation and upwards, in Ireland, with the Acreage and Valuation in each County. And also Containing A Brief Notice of the Education and Official Appointments of Each Person, to which are added his Town and Country Addresses and Clubs.
Compiled by U. H. Hussey de Burgh, a land agent, and published in Dublin in 1881, de Burgh's stated aims for his publication are interesting and to some extent put his work at odds with later publications treating on the landowners of Great Britain and Ireland. These were in the main, as Hussey correctly points out, based on a number of Government Returns, one of which was published only two years prior to Hussey embarking on his compilation. Hussey's aim was in part, to correct the Government's erroneous publications on the extent and value of Ireland's larger estates and by his own confession did this with the aid of the landlords themselves. Whether or not this provided a more accurate statement of the true extent and value of Ireland's larger estates as published, for example, John Bateman's Great Landowners of 1883 is unclear. What can be said is that Hussey was only interested in Irish landowners and not the remainder of Great Britain.
Hussey uses the phrase landowner in the same manner as that used in the Government's own returns, namely an outright in fee owner or an individual holding a lease for more than 99 years or shorter leases renewable in perpetuity. This as Hussey correctly points out, masks to a degree the true extent of some of the larger estates.
In addition to the name of the landowner, the county in which land is held, the extent of land held and valuations thereon, Hussey also provides some interesting biographical information on a large proportion of the landowners noted, which must is likely to have originated with the landowners themselves. This information is predominantly biographical in nature and includes government appointments, gentlemen's clubs, marriage details, addresses, family seat and so on.
For an Irish audience Hussey's compilation is perhaps more satisfactory that John Bateman's later publication as it treats entirely on Irish landowners and whose qualification for inclusion was a mere 500 rather than the 3,000 acres set as the benchmark by Bateman.
Presented in more than 500 pages with explanations of abbreviations, locations of gentlemen's clubs, etc., this fully-searchable edition is a must for anyone interested in who owned Ireland towards the end of the 19th century.
This title is a DOWNLOAD. Please click the link on the receipt to initiate the download. If you would prefer a version on CD-ROM to be posted to you, please select the option below. It will cost an additional 6.00 (ex VAT) which includes all postage charges.
Even an abbreviated form of this publication's full title intimates at the extent of the information contained within: A List of all the owners of 3,000 Acres and Upwards, worth £3,000 a Year; also, 1,300 Owners of 2,000 Acres and Upwards, in England, Ireland, Scotland & Wales, their Acreage & Income from Land, Culled from the Modern Domesday Book.
In this, the fourth edition, published in London in 1883, John Bateman provides details of the great landowners of Great Britain and Ireland extracted from two returns made by Government rate collectors.
Bateman's lengthy introduction highlights the usefulness as well as the pitfalls of his publication not least with the information drawn from the returns for Ireland. Based on information garnered by two Government Surveys for the Poor Law - the second of which was known as the 'Amendment' and was conducted in 1876 - the compilers had been instructed to accept these valuations as the true test of value of land. However, as Bateman points out, valuations in Ireland gave the compilers some truly monumental headaches. For example, he the editor points out that true valuations of land were up to 15% lower in Ulster and a staggering 35% in Co. Kerry, that valuations placed in land for the purposes of Poor Law taxation. Even more perturbing was the nature of land tenure in Ireland. Unlike Great Britain, lessees of land for more than 99 years, commonplace in Ireland, were deemed to be 'owners' rather than tenants. This means that many immediate lessors were in fact mere 'middlemen'. As an example of this complication, Bateman points to Sir Compton Domville's estate in Ireland where in no less than eleven instances lessees were recorded as owners of portions of his estate.
Limitations of valuations aside, the 533 pages of the Landowners of Great Britain and Ireland holds a certain fascination that sometimes exceeds its usefulness, a point not lost on Bateman. Although Bateman would never have used the phrase voyeurism, he recognised the interest aroused by 'knowing another man's business', especially when those men were the great and good of Great Britain and Ireland.
The information provide on owners of land of 3,000 acres worth more that £3,000 a year is useful and in general states the extent and value of land held in each county of Great Britain and Ireland. Biographical information is also provided on the owner and often includes the year of birth, marriage and succession to the head of the family as well as the situation of the family seat. Also included are the public schools and universities attended and gentlemen's clubs enrolled at, from which the editor points out a gentleman's class, politics and religion may be inferred.
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