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Great Famine1845-1849
Poverty, Famine, and ReformO, Father dear, I oft times heard you talk of Erin's Isle,Her lofty scene, her valleys green, her mountains rude and wildThey say it is a pretty place where in a prince might dwell,Oh why did you abandon it, the reason to me tell?
Oh son I loved my native land with energy and pride'Tila blight came over on my crops, my sheep and cattle died,The rent and taxes were so high, I could not them redeem,And that's the cruel reason why I left old Skibbereen
Oh, It's well I do remember that bleak December day,The landlord and the sheriff came to drive us all awayThey set my roof on fire with their demon yellow spleenAnd that's another reason why I left old Skibbereen.
Your mother too, God rest her soul, fell on the snowy ground,She fainted in her anguish seeing the desolation round.She never rose but passed away from life to mortal dream,She found a quiet grave, my boy, in dear old Skibbereen.
And you were only two years old and feeble was your frame,I could not leave you with your friends, you bore your father's name,I wrapped you in my cótamór in the dead of night unseenI heaved a sigh and said goodbye to dear old Skibbereen
Oh father dear, the day will come when in answer to the callAll Irish men of freedom stern will rally one and allI'll be the man to lead the band beneath the flag of greenAnd loud and clear we'll raise the cheer, Revenge for Skibbereen!
HousingClassificationFourth class – mud one room cabinThird class – mud, 2-4 rooms, windowsSecond class – good farm house or town house with 5-7 rooms on a small streetFirst class – better than above
Cottage 1842
One room cabin Ulster Bed outshot - an alcove with a built-in bed
 Only furniture - a crude table and a few 'creepies' or small stools
 Housed 12Cottage interior (1846)
Glencolmcille Folk Village
1841 Housing Distribution by ClassClass 1: 40,080Class 2: 264,184Class 3: 533,297Class 4: 491,278
One Parish Before the Blight2187 Catholics, 443 Protestants“Ninety families are living in one room to each family ; 160 in two rooms, and 207 in three or more rooms to each family; the average number of persons to a bed is three.”Two water pumps; 230 of 413 houses have priviesNorth Ludlow Beamish “Statistical Report on the Physical and Moral Condition of the Working Classes in the Parish of St. Michael, Blackrock, Near Cork”  J. Stat. Soc. London, Vol. 7, No. 3 (Sep., 1844)
St. Michael Parish283 of 653 able bodied males are unemployed; 308 of 680 able bodied females are unemployed. 326 Catholic females and 190 Catholic males attend school“The food of the poorest labourer consists of potatoes and milk, or potatoes and salt-fish, the cost of which is about … 4s. 8d. per week for a family of six” or 9s, 6d with meat and bread.” [Laborer’s wages are 5s. 10d for men and 3s for women]
Donegal Before the Blight4000 residents in 1831One plow,  20 shovels, 7 table-forks, no boots, no clock, no swine, no fruit trees, no turnips, no parsnips, no carrots. No woman had more than one shiftMost  families slept together in a single straw bed.Asenath Nicholson  Annals of the Famine in Ireland (1851),
Potato Blight
Origins
Spread in Europe
Famine – Historian’s ResponseWhelan, Kevin “The Revisionist Debate in Ireland”boundary 2, Volume 31, Number 1, Spring 2004, pp. 179-205
The Poor Get Poorer
CopingMeat sourcesCrime: indictmentsProperty crimes increase19,000 between 1842 and 1846 31,000 between 1847 and 1850Involuntary(?) transportEmigration
Liberal GovernmentLord John RussellCharles Wood
GovernmentCharles Trevelyan Lord Clarendon
Agricultural EconomyPorts guarded
Export of cattle, pigs
Import of “Indian corn”Government InterventionImport “Indian corn” (1845)Remove duties on corn imports (1846)Public works (1846) 700,000Relief ₤7,000,000Soup distribution 3,000,000 people (1847)Workhouse (1847) 250,000Outdoor relief (1847) 800,000
5 S, Great  famine
Indian CornPurchase £100,000 from USNot nearly enough to make up for loss of potato cropProtested by Irish merchantsTories (Disraeli) allege that scale of relief is unnecessary and politically motivated
Public worksCommunities get funds by lobbyingFraudMalnourished too weak to workLack of supervision of efforts by local committees
WorkhouseOver crowdingInfection in workhousesPoor nutritionNo workOutdoor relief
Workhouse Orphanage 1850
Relief from overseas
Outside Aid - US1846 Society of Friends (Quakers) Central Relief Committee  in DublinContributions from US and CanadaCatholic churchesCherokees and ChoctawsUS Congress turns down direct aid; provides ships
Local aid£98,000  from local committees, primarily landlords (1% of total rents)£1,200,000 Private expenditures by landlords on improvements
5 S, Great  famine
Poor Relief-TestimonyStrzelckiMore Unions or boardsBetter qualificationsLabor test unfair when there is no market for laborRelief for children through religious institutionsPeople believe land of Ireland is cursed
FailuresGovernment attempt to maintain free market in agricultureNo means to purchase foodPoor transport?Bankruptcy of landlordsNo foodNo employment
Soup – ‘Soupers’
Food Distribution
1849 Rate-in-Aid IssueProposal that all areas of Ireland pay a tax to aid bankrupt poor-law unions in the WestVehement opposition in Ulster“it has now become almost a fundamental principle of the constitution, that rates or charges raised upon a locality should be levied and administered by local authorities”Rep. from University of Dublin
Government aid - PerspectivePublic works 	£2.4 millionSoup kitchens 	£1.2 millionLoans	 £4.5 millionIrish poor rates	 £7.6 millionAnnual UK tax revenue 	£53 millionCrimean war 	£69.3 million
Landlords
ClearancesMarket changing from tillage to pastureLandowners protecting their rights – one English viewNo safety net
Ejectment
Deserted village
Marquess of LondonderryMoney for renovations  £150,000 Money for local relief  £30Heartlessness:  priceless
Mount Stewart,
Mt. Stewart
Housing changes
Emigration
Emigration
Effects
Destinations
Destination - Liverpool
Liverpool1841 Population 223,000January to June of 1847 ~ 300,000 Irish pass throughJune 1847 Government allows local authorities to deport Irish (~15,000)
Stopover - Liverpool
 1847 Cork to Melbourne
Migration to CanadaMost by way of LiverpoolDeath rate (at sea or in quarantine) (1847)Death rate 1848	  1.35%
Grosse Ile
Longer term effectsDecline of birth rateLater age at marriageMigration of males to industrial centersIncreased celibacyIncreased intramarriage and increased PKU (?)
Sources of emigrants to Argentina
Death at sea or in quarantineRate for all migrants, including children 8.84 %Rate for migrants from England, excluding Liverpool, less than 1 %Rate for migrants from Liverpool 15.39 %Rate for migrants from Scotland 3.12 %Rate for migrants from Ireland 7.86 %
Government policy on assisting emigration" The Government cannot undertake to convey Emigrants to Canada because if it were to do so, if we were even to undertake to pay part of the cost, an enormous expense would be thrown upon the Treasury, and after all more harm than good would be done." " . . . some 150,000 would have to be spent in doing that which if we do not interfere will be done for nothing” Earl Grey
Sympathy
Blame the IrishPunch 1849
Victoria in Dublin, 1849
Children Dancing at the Crossroads

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5 S, Great famine

  • 2. Poverty, Famine, and ReformO, Father dear, I oft times heard you talk of Erin's Isle,Her lofty scene, her valleys green, her mountains rude and wildThey say it is a pretty place where in a prince might dwell,Oh why did you abandon it, the reason to me tell?
  • 3. Oh son I loved my native land with energy and pride'Tila blight came over on my crops, my sheep and cattle died,The rent and taxes were so high, I could not them redeem,And that's the cruel reason why I left old Skibbereen
  • 4. Oh, It's well I do remember that bleak December day,The landlord and the sheriff came to drive us all awayThey set my roof on fire with their demon yellow spleenAnd that's another reason why I left old Skibbereen.
  • 5. Your mother too, God rest her soul, fell on the snowy ground,She fainted in her anguish seeing the desolation round.She never rose but passed away from life to mortal dream,She found a quiet grave, my boy, in dear old Skibbereen.
  • 6. And you were only two years old and feeble was your frame,I could not leave you with your friends, you bore your father's name,I wrapped you in my cótamór in the dead of night unseenI heaved a sigh and said goodbye to dear old Skibbereen
  • 7. Oh father dear, the day will come when in answer to the callAll Irish men of freedom stern will rally one and allI'll be the man to lead the band beneath the flag of greenAnd loud and clear we'll raise the cheer, Revenge for Skibbereen!
  • 8. HousingClassificationFourth class – mud one room cabinThird class – mud, 2-4 rooms, windowsSecond class – good farm house or town house with 5-7 rooms on a small streetFirst class – better than above
  • 10. One room cabin Ulster Bed outshot - an alcove with a built-in bed
  • 11. Only furniture - a crude table and a few 'creepies' or small stools
  • 12. Housed 12Cottage interior (1846)
  • 14. 1841 Housing Distribution by ClassClass 1: 40,080Class 2: 264,184Class 3: 533,297Class 4: 491,278
  • 15. One Parish Before the Blight2187 Catholics, 443 Protestants“Ninety families are living in one room to each family ; 160 in two rooms, and 207 in three or more rooms to each family; the average number of persons to a bed is three.”Two water pumps; 230 of 413 houses have priviesNorth Ludlow Beamish “Statistical Report on the Physical and Moral Condition of the Working Classes in the Parish of St. Michael, Blackrock, Near Cork” J. Stat. Soc. London, Vol. 7, No. 3 (Sep., 1844)
  • 16. St. Michael Parish283 of 653 able bodied males are unemployed; 308 of 680 able bodied females are unemployed. 326 Catholic females and 190 Catholic males attend school“The food of the poorest labourer consists of potatoes and milk, or potatoes and salt-fish, the cost of which is about … 4s. 8d. per week for a family of six” or 9s, 6d with meat and bread.” [Laborer’s wages are 5s. 10d for men and 3s for women]
  • 17. Donegal Before the Blight4000 residents in 1831One plow, 20 shovels, 7 table-forks, no boots, no clock, no swine, no fruit trees, no turnips, no parsnips, no carrots. No woman had more than one shiftMost families slept together in a single straw bed.Asenath Nicholson Annals of the Famine in Ireland (1851),
  • 21. Famine – Historian’s ResponseWhelan, Kevin “The Revisionist Debate in Ireland”boundary 2, Volume 31, Number 1, Spring 2004, pp. 179-205
  • 22. The Poor Get Poorer
  • 23. CopingMeat sourcesCrime: indictmentsProperty crimes increase19,000 between 1842 and 1846 31,000 between 1847 and 1850Involuntary(?) transportEmigration
  • 24. Liberal GovernmentLord John RussellCharles Wood
  • 28. Import of “Indian corn”Government InterventionImport “Indian corn” (1845)Remove duties on corn imports (1846)Public works (1846) 700,000Relief ₤7,000,000Soup distribution 3,000,000 people (1847)Workhouse (1847) 250,000Outdoor relief (1847) 800,000
  • 30. Indian CornPurchase £100,000 from USNot nearly enough to make up for loss of potato cropProtested by Irish merchantsTories (Disraeli) allege that scale of relief is unnecessary and politically motivated
  • 31. Public worksCommunities get funds by lobbyingFraudMalnourished too weak to workLack of supervision of efforts by local committees
  • 32. WorkhouseOver crowdingInfection in workhousesPoor nutritionNo workOutdoor relief
  • 35. Outside Aid - US1846 Society of Friends (Quakers) Central Relief Committee in DublinContributions from US and CanadaCatholic churchesCherokees and ChoctawsUS Congress turns down direct aid; provides ships
  • 36. Local aid£98,000 from local committees, primarily landlords (1% of total rents)£1,200,000 Private expenditures by landlords on improvements
  • 38. Poor Relief-TestimonyStrzelckiMore Unions or boardsBetter qualificationsLabor test unfair when there is no market for laborRelief for children through religious institutionsPeople believe land of Ireland is cursed
  • 39. FailuresGovernment attempt to maintain free market in agricultureNo means to purchase foodPoor transport?Bankruptcy of landlordsNo foodNo employment
  • 42. 1849 Rate-in-Aid IssueProposal that all areas of Ireland pay a tax to aid bankrupt poor-law unions in the WestVehement opposition in Ulster“it has now become almost a fundamental principle of the constitution, that rates or charges raised upon a locality should be levied and administered by local authorities”Rep. from University of Dublin
  • 43. Government aid - PerspectivePublic works £2.4 millionSoup kitchens £1.2 millionLoans £4.5 millionIrish poor rates £7.6 millionAnnual UK tax revenue £53 millionCrimean war £69.3 million
  • 45. ClearancesMarket changing from tillage to pastureLandowners protecting their rights – one English viewNo safety net
  • 48. Marquess of LondonderryMoney for renovations £150,000 Money for local relief £30Heartlessness: priceless
  • 57. Liverpool1841 Population 223,000January to June of 1847 ~ 300,000 Irish pass throughJune 1847 Government allows local authorities to deport Irish (~15,000)
  • 59. 1847 Cork to Melbourne
  • 60. Migration to CanadaMost by way of LiverpoolDeath rate (at sea or in quarantine) (1847)Death rate 1848 1.35%
  • 62. Longer term effectsDecline of birth rateLater age at marriageMigration of males to industrial centersIncreased celibacyIncreased intramarriage and increased PKU (?)
  • 63. Sources of emigrants to Argentina
  • 64. Death at sea or in quarantineRate for all migrants, including children 8.84 %Rate for migrants from England, excluding Liverpool, less than 1 %Rate for migrants from Liverpool 15.39 %Rate for migrants from Scotland 3.12 %Rate for migrants from Ireland 7.86 %
  • 65. Government policy on assisting emigration" The Government cannot undertake to convey Emigrants to Canada because if it were to do so, if we were even to undertake to pay part of the cost, an enormous expense would be thrown upon the Treasury, and after all more harm than good would be done." " . . . some 150,000 would have to be spent in doing that which if we do not interfere will be done for nothing” Earl Grey
  • 69. Children Dancing at the Crossroads
  • 70. “What have we done for Ireland?" The discussions on it have been prolonged—in what had they resulted? Their legislation had been active—what had it produced? They found Ireland prostrate in February—had they raised her in July? Her condition was one almost of despair when they assembled—was it one of hope as they dispersed?

Editor's Notes

  1. Mr. Sampson, in his "Survey of Derry," ways with respect to that county, that "there are no herds of goats in the mountains, but they are found individually among the habitations of the lowland poor. You frequently see the milch-goat tied by the head while she browses on the quickset of a neighbour; her owner has no hedge-- no land! He has a friend, however, for his little ones when he has the shegoat. The milk is divided for five weeks with the kid; the kid is sold as venison, and the goat remains the best succour under Heaven. Where there are many the custom is to fold them at night and keep off the kids, then milk them in the morning, and admit the natural client for the rest of the day. In high pastures much must be made of their milk, and their browsing costs nothing.“Thompson, in his "Survey of Meath," remarks that the clay for the walls and roof is taken from the spot on which the cottage is raised, leaving the surface of the floor and the ground immediately about the walls the lowest part, and of course subject to receive all the surrounding damp; "so much so," he says, "that I have often gone into a cabin and seen a hole dug in the floor to receive the water coming in at the door or under the foundation, from whence it might be baled with greater ease when collected. On this damp floor the family most commonly sleep, generally without a bedstead, none of them having a loft except in town cabins, where the ground for building on is more valuable."
  2. Devine family’s one room cabin was moved to the Ulster American Folk Park from Altahoneytownland in the Sperrin Mountains near Park.  Dating from the late eighteenth century, it is an excellent example of the type of dwelling occupied by many poor tenant farmers in the decades leading up to the outbreak of the Great Famine in 1845. 
  3. Peasant cottage interior (Jan 24, 1846) Pictorial Times
  4.  Recreated houses from multiple eras
  5. Wages. Tradesmen's wages average 20s. per week ; labouring men receive 5s. 10d., women, 3s., and children, 2s, per week ; but many able-bodied men work for 5s. a-week. For particular kinds of labour, such as quarrying, the wages are 7s. per week; and lime-burners receive 10s., in consideration of being employed by night. From the super-abundance of labour, wages do not, as formerly, rise in time of harvest, and good reapers can be had at the present moment (August, 1843), at the ordinary wages of 1s. a-clay.Wages. Tradesmen's wages average 20s. per week ; labouring men receive 5s. 10d., women, 3s., and children, 2s, per week ; but many able-bodied men work for 5s. a-week. For particular kinds of labour, such as quarrying, the wages are 7s. per week; and lime-burners receive 10s., in consideration of being employed by night. From the super-abundance of labour, wages do not, as formerly, rise in time of harvest, and good reapers can be had at the present moment (August, 1843), at the ordinary wages of 1s. a-clay.Food, Clothing, 4•c.--The food of the poorest labourer consists of potatoes 'and milk, or potatoes and salt-fish, the cost of which is about W. per head per week, or 4s. 8d. per week for a family of six. A considerable number, however, use meat and bread occasionally ; 1,200, or more than one-half, once a-week ; and 100, twice a-week. The average cost of food for the whole is 1s. Id. per head per week, or 9s. 6d. per week for a family of six persons. The precarious condition and improvidence of the fishermen is much to be deplored. According to aMoral condition good only petty larceny and only 2 illegitimate children
  6. Shipped to Belgium in 1843 with seed potatoes intended to improve the stock against other diseases/
  7. Anumber of Famine historians have suggested that some people deliberatelycommitted serious crimes as a means of alleviating theirdistress and that the courts tended to award prison or transportationsentences as a form of famine relief. Undoubtedly, such casesexisted. In the appeal of James and John Corbett, who had beenconvicted of a Whiteboy offense in 1847, the judge supported theoriginal transportation sentence partly on the grounds that, giventhe destitute nature of the family, the men would be better-fed inprison. Similarly, Maria and Johanna Kelleher stole some shirts in1847 with the deliberate aim of joining their mother, who hadearlier received a transportation sentence.Convicts’ living and working conditionsmay not have been too different from those of servants at home,but their loss of freedom made them much like slaves. Moreover,although ignorance about the penal colonies did not always detercriminals as much as it should, both habitual criminals and the agriculturalpopulation were extremely apprehensive about a transportationsentence, as many of the appeal petitions submitted duringthe Famine and before attest. Thus, far from exercising a biasin favor of transportation, the Famine may have deterred it.10One other complication was a possible growing reluctance toindict or convict certain groups—like older criminals or marriedwomen with dependents—during the Famine.Larceny aside, two other property crimes without violencewere prominent during the Famine and signiªcantly more importantthan hitherto—theft of sheep and cattle.
  8. Photograph of Lord John Russell (1792-1878), dated c. 1864.Russell was the Whig Prime Minister during the Famine (1846-52). In August 1847 Lord Clarendon wrote rather coldly to Lord John Russell: "We shall be equally blamed for keeping them[the Irish] alive or letting them die and we have only to select between the censure of the Economists or the Philanthropists—which do you prefer?" Russell, although not unsympathetic to Ireland, was profoundly ignorant of conditions in the countryside. Clarendon warned the Prime Minister, that the inadequacy of relief policies was contributing to the high levels of emigration and mortalitySir Charles Wood (1800-85), by William Walker c. 1870.A Liberal, Wood served as Chancellor of the Exchequer in Lord John Russell's government (1846-1852). He was responsible for keeping relief to a minimum during the famine in Ireland. He was later appointed Secretary for India (1859-66), in Lord Palmerston's second government. Wood was married to Mary Grey, daughter of the Earl Grey. He was created first Viscount Halifax of Monk Breton in 1866.His principled aversion to deficit finance made him a reluctant borrower, and he strove to limit the spending on famine relief in Ireland. Holding Irish landlords primarily responsible for the crisis, he objected to heavier calls upon the British taxpayer. Nor did he believe, at that time, that the direct intervention of government could do much to promote the structural changes needed in Irish society.
  9. Charles Trevelyan (1807-86), photographed c. 1865.Trevelyan was Assistant Secretary at the Treasury during the Famine. Trevelyan has been associated with the inadequate relief policies of the Whig government more than any other individual; nevertheless in 1848 he was knighted for his services to Ireland during the Famine.George William Frederick Villiers (1800-1870), Fourth Earl of Clarendon, c. 1864.Photographed by Watkins, c. 1864. Clarendon served as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (1847–52) and made efforts to ease disorder and distress during the famine. An early advocate of free trade, he left behind him permanent marks of improvement. His services were expressly acknowledged in the queen's speech to both Houses of Parliament in September 1848. He was made a Knight of the Garter in the Spring of 1849.he struggled to do more than maintain order and let economic forces do their work. His efforts to extract additional funds for relief operations from the Treasury ran up against ‘that harsh Trevelyanism’, the doctrine of Sir Charles Trevelyan, the department's assistant secretary, that Irish expenditure should as far as possible fall upon Irish property-owners. ‘Irelandcannot be left to her own resources’, argued Clarendon in one letter after another on that theme (MSS Clarendon, Irish letter-books, 31 Dec 1849, 23 Oct 1847). His remonstrances met with limited success: he was even less successful with plans for land banks on the Prussian model and a rather stronger government bill to compensate tenants for the little capital and intensive labour sunk in their holdings. He pointed in vain to advice from some of the Catholic hierarchy that this modicum of legal security for peasant occupiers would ‘do more than anything else to … knock Repeal [of the Union] on the head’ (ibid., 26 Oct 1847).Want, starvation, and disease acting on endemic nationalist and agrarian unrest quickly drove Clarendon into repressive measures which he knew to be ‘essentially bad’. The savagery of rural violence, compared with the weakness of political agitation by Old and Young Ireland, convinced him that ‘whether the pretext be repeal of the union or separation from England … war against property is the object both of priest and peasant’ (MSS Clarendon, box 81, 5 Nov 1847; Irish letter-books, 26 Nov 1847) . With Russell, he devised a scheme for detaching the Catholic clergy from their popular sympathies by means of a state endowment; the probable outcry in protestant Britain ruled it out. The cabinet killed off their proposals for resettling Irish emigrants in the colonies. Clarendon was left to hope that the massive unaided emigration and the forced sale of landed property under the Encumbered Estates Act (1849) would somehow effect the regeneration of the economy and society. The viceroyalty enhanced Clarendon's reputation. It confirmed him and his countrymen in the reassuring belief that Ireland's ills, social and political, were, at bottom, due to the character of the people: ‘The real Celt is … almost incapable … of foreseeing the consequences of his own acts … He will … rather plot than work … sooner starve … than prosper by industry’ .His name is not kept in benediction by the descendants, in Ireland and the Irish diaspora, of those whom he so described.
  10. Sale of Indiancorn Cork4 April 1846Illustrated LondonNewsTo ease the food crisis,the governmentimported Indian corn(maize) from America -enough in the firstinstance to feed half amillion people at a rateof 450 grams of meal aday. The aim was notto feed all the peoplebut to regulate theprince of provisions.When sales began inCork depotsin April 1846, ‘thecrowds of poor personswho gathered roundthem were soturbulently inclined asto require theinterference of thepolice, who remainedthere throughout theday.’
  11. Fever in Carndonagh Workhouse was reported a year later in March 1847 with 8 inmates affected and the Guardians taking steps to segregate the sick. Treatment was almost non-existent. The Guardians were ordered to treat the patients by giving them alcohol but the record shows that only one bottle of wine was actually purchased. The large number of workhouse dead caused difficulties with burials. In Ballyshannon Workhouse the problem reached a crisis on 8 May 1847 when the Master reported: "Resistance has been offered to the interment of the dead at several burying grounds in the neighbourhood, the consequence of which is that an accumulation of dead bodies to the number of seven are at present in the deadhouse, one having died of spotted fever, the others of dysentary; some of these deaths occurred four days ago." It was decided to locate a pauper's graveyard at Mullaghnashee in the town.
  12. WorkhouseorphanageAnonymousdrawingc. 1850National Libraryof IrelandA number of evangelicalmissionary groups maderelief conditional onconversion to theProtestant faith. Oneof the most controversialproselytisers was Rev.Alexander Dallas whoestablished schools inConnemara during theFamine, including thisone.
  13. few weeks later, Congress bowed to pressure from petition campaigns in Boston, New York, Albany and Philadelphia and approved a limited proposal in early March to allow warships, frigate Macedonianand sloop of war Jamestown,tocarryrelief supplies from the ports of New York and Boston, respectively to Ireland and Scotland.
  14. A governmentofficial’sdaughter, MissKennedy, sevenyears old,distributingclothingKilrushIllustratedLondon News22 December1849Miss Kennedy’s dailyoccupation was‘distributing clothing tothe wretched childrenbrought around her bytheir more wretchedparents.... one womancrouched like a monkey... drawing around herthe only rag she had leftto conceal her nudity.’
  15. Central Soupdepot CorkIllustrated LondonNews13 March 1847Some Catholics, in a desperate attempt to save the lives of their starving children, accepted this preferential treatment by converting to an alien faith and became known as 'Croghan Soupers' - named after a landed aristocracy in Roscommon. In some cases, soupers were protected by British soldiers from their co-religionists.
  16. 'Deaths by Starvation', 1847 (artist unknown).'Servants of the Lord, Rendering an Account of thier Stewardship during the Famine of 1847.' This view of the Famine contrasts sharply with that of Punch. It highlights the moral responsibility of Irish landlords for the deaths of thousands of their tenants during 1847. A group of landlords are depicted feasting around a large table, surrounded by figures symbolising the pleasures of the wealthy. They eat and drink excessively before the god Mammon [New Testament-the personification of wealth as an evil influence] who quotes the commandment: 'Thou shall have none other God but me'. Their 'stewardship' is recorded by the number on the backs of their chairs, signifiying the deaths for which they are considered culpable. Satan observes the obscene feasting astride an Irish bull, while he holds a pig, a lamb and a loaf of bread. The waiter has a demonic tail and he carries yet more decanters of port to the table. He crosses a carpet of emaciated cadavers, which contrasts sharply with the overfed landlords.
  17. Alexander Somerville provides graphic descriptions of clearances carried out by landlords in County Limerick over a twenty-year period before the Famine. His most scathing criticism was directed at the Young Ireland leader William Smith O'Brien, whose Cahermoyle estate consisted of large grazing farms. The local population huddled in the village of Ardagh; most were employed on public works
  18. December 16, 1848 ILNAn importantreappraisal of the revisionist figure of evictions during the Famine years(70,000 families, or 350,000 individuals) demonstrates that the minimum figuresbetween 1846 and 1854 were more in the order of 145,000 families,or 725,000 individuals.46 These evictees bulked large in the Irish Americancohort; no wonder, then, that they proved a receptive audience for Mitchel,or that they produced one of the first explicitly diasporic political movementsin the Fenians, noted for their Famine-fueled Anglophobic bitterness.
  19. Mount Stewart, Newtownards, Co. Down.Mount Stewart was the home of Charles William Vane (1778-1854), 3rd Marquess of Londonderry during the famine. Lord Londonderry, one of the ten richest men in the United Kingdom, who owned land in counties Down, Derry, Donegal and Antrim, in addition to property in Britain, was criticised for his meanness during the famine: he and his wife Frances gave £30 to the local relief committee, but spent £150,000 renovating their house. They enjoyed a glittering social life and travelled extensively. They collected works of art and furniture on their travels and brought them back to Mount Stewart and among their more spectacular aquisitions were the 22 chairs used at the Congress of Vienna. Shown here is the octagonal Ionic Hall by the architect George Dance the younger (1741-1825).
  20. An Emigrant Ship, Dublin Bay, SunsetArtist:Edwin Hayes (1820-1904) A few emigrant ships sailed directly from Ireland, as is illustrated here. However, the majority of emigrants had to first cross to Liverpool.
  21. Leaving Ireland- the priest’sblessingIllustrated LondonNews10 May 1851‘Noneperhapsfeelmoreseverelythedeparture ofthepeasantrythantheRoman Catholicclergy.... Yet nonetake amoreactivepart inseeingthemsafelyout ofthecountry ... myrev.friend ... had a word ofadviceto Pat, ... and hemade a promiseto Dantotakecare of the “oldwoman”, untilthefivepoundscameto his“Reverence” tosend herovertoAmerica ... heturned his moistenedeyestowardsheaven,andaskedtheblessingof theAlmightyuponthewanderersduringtheirlongandwearyjourney.’
  22. The poorest of the poor never made it to North America. They fled Irish estates out of fear of imprisonment then begged all the way to Dublin or other seaports on the East Coast of Ireland. Once there, they boarded steamers and crossed the Irish Sea to Liverpool, Glasgow, and South Wales. It was a short trip, just two or three hours and cost only a few shillings. Pauper families sometimes traveled for free as human ballast on empty coal ships. Others were given fare money by landlords hoping to get rid of them cheaply. Relief funds intended for the purchase of food were sometimes diverted to pay for the fares.For many Irishmen, crossing the sea to England was a familiar journey since they regularly worked in the harvest fields of England as seasonal laborers. But for their wives and children, it was a jarring experience. Crewmen scorned and herded them like animals onto crammed decks until the boat was dangerously overloaded. In one case, a crowded steamer heading for Liverpool arrived with 72 dead aboard. The captain had ordered the hatches battened down during a storm at sea and they had all suffocatedThe financial burden of feeding the Irish every day soon brought the city to the brink of ruin. Sections of the city featuring cheap lodging houses became jammed. Overflow crowds moved into musty cellars, condemned and abandoned buildings, or anywhere they could just lie down. Amid these densely packed, unsanitary conditions, typhus once again reared its ugly head and an epidemic followed, accompanied by an outbreak of dysentery.The cheap lodging houses were also used by scores of Irish waiting to embark on ships heading for North America. Three out of four Irish sailing for North America departed from the seaport at Liverpool. Normally they had to sleep over for a night or two until their ship was ready to sail. Many of these emigrants contracted typhus in the rundown, lice-infested lodging houses, then boarded ships, only to spend weeks suffering from burning fever out at sea.
  23. emigrant ship Peru leaving Cork for Melbourne, Australia.
  24. Dr. Doug- las, the medical officer at Grosse Isle, thus described the disease stricken Irish immigrants arriving from Cork and Liverpool: "I never saw people so indifferent to life; they would continue in the same berth with a dead person until the seamen or captain dragged out the corpse with boat-hooks. Good God! What evils will befal the cities wherever they alight." Monument erected in1849 by Dr. Douglas to physciians who died Doctors Benson, Pinet, Mailhot, and Jameson, who were typhus victims in 1847; and Doctors Panet and Christie, the former a victim of cholera in 1834, and the latter of typhus in 1837. Their constructive suggestions for 1848 were three in number- improved conditions on emigrant ships, a higher colonial emigration tax, and an increased tax in the case of ships held in quarantine
  25. The Irish cemetery was laid out in 1832 on a plateau between two crags located southwest of Cholera Bay. Until 1847, individual burials were performed at the cemetery. That year, because of the high rate of mortality from typhus, long trenches were dug to serve as mass graves. According to some accounts, coffins were sometimes stacked three deep in the trenches. The cemetery's relief still shows where these mass graves were dug. In addition, the Irish cemetery holds over 6 000 of Grosse Île's 7 553 burial plots. It owes its name to the main victims of the cholera (1832,1834) and typhus (1847) epidemics: the Irish immigrants.
  26. Ards peninsula studyOne young woman, for example, whoappears to have had problems with her dowry athome wrote pointedly to her former boyfriend in Ireland: 'Over in Ireland people marry for riches, buthere in America we marry for love and work forriches'
  27. Grosse Isle quarantine station outside Quebec
  28. Would undermine morale.Mr. Ferrie is a member of the Legislative Council of Canada, and was, during last season "Chairman of the Lay Commission," and "Chairman of the Emigrant Committee" of Montreal. Mr. Kincaid is agent to Lord Palmerston, and to several other large landed proprietors in Ireland.

Mr. Ferrie's statements are to the effect that the great bulk of the Irish emigrants of last year were sent out by their landlords, in a state of "utter destitution and misery," and were induced to emigrate by promises which had not been fulfilled; that, for instance, 1000 persons had been shipped off by Lord Palmerston's agents, who promised them clothes, and from 2£ to 5£ a family on their arrival at Quebec: that the emigrants from certain estates of Lords de Vesci and Fitzwilliam, and Major Mahon and Captain Wandesford, "were in a state of fearful destitution, as well as those from the estate of Lord Palmerston;" that "the last cargo of human beings which was received from Lord Palmerston's estate was by the 'Lord Ashburton'," and that of these emigrants "87 were almost in a state of nudity;" that the food of many of the vessels was of the worst description; that the vessels were excessively overcrowded; that no sufficient vigilance was exercised in this respect by the agents at the outports; and that the whole mortality, up to the time of his writing, had been upwards of 25 per cent of the number embarked
  29. Punch February 1849
  30. State Drawing Room at Dublin Castle.Reception in St Patrick's Hall, Dublin Castle on the occasion of Queen Victoria's visit to Ireland in August, 1849.
  31. Children Dancingat the CrossroadsTrevor Fowlerc. 1850