Law and practice in respect to the occupation of land in Ireland: minutes of evidence: part II

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Bantry, Lord Kenmare, Richard WMte, esq., 
of Inchclough, Robert WMte, esq. 

"ZTT Mr. 
WaUace, a Scotch gentleman, residing in America. 
The other landlords m'the barony @S2?. 
Rold then* properties by lease from some of the above-mentioned persons. 
The way hi 

wMch each estate is managed by the proprietors and agents differs both as regards the letting of farms, the rent demanded, and the subsequent treatment of the tenants. 
There is one tMng, however, that may be safely affirmed of all (if we except Richard WMte, eso whose tenants have leases), that however they differ in other respects, in tMs there seems to be a perfect unanimity, namely, to practicaHy discourage every Mud of improvement Without leases, improvements cannot be expected. 
The cultivation of green crous' drainmg, the erection of cow-houses and out-offices necessary for staU-feeding cattle' however ultimately remunerative, require a considerable outlay of labour and capital' Should a tenant improve Ms farm, he knows not how soon he may be deprived of it by the wMin or caprice of the landlord or agent, or the rent increased to such an amount as to leave aU Ms improvements of no value to him. 
I speak here of what has occurred frequently in this barony. 
To persons so circumstanced, agricultural or farming societies can do no service. 
There is no such society in or connected with tMs barony. 
On Lord Bantry's estate there are some, but few, leases. 
The rents are Mgh, but are not rigidly exacted. 
His lordsMp Hves on Ms estate, and the people have confidence hi Mm. 
The greater number of his tenants are in arrear, winch arrear may at any moment be exacted. 
Smce my appomtment to tins parish, there has been no consolidation of farms on his lordship's estate. 
Many of the unfortunate people evicted by Lord Kenmare have taken refuge on Lord Bantry's property. 
Up to the year 1840, the consolidation of farms, and the consequent See Mr. 
Gallwcys wholesale eviction of tenants, was almost unknown hi this barony. 
Lord Kenmare commenced Evidence, in the year 1840 by ejecting from the lands of AMUs twenty-two famiHes, comprising 135 /OP^o. 
-/oJ/yJ individuals. 
He ejected, in the years 1842 and 1843, sixteen famUies, comprismg nmety-

seven individuals. 
Total evicted from the Kenmare property, in the barony of Bantry, during and smce the year 1840, tiiirty-eight famiHes, comprismg 230 individuals. 
I am vastly under the mark: I might say a good deal more. 
What class of holders were those who were so evicted ?—They 
were persons paying rent, and paying it regularly. 
The rent amounted from £5 10s. 
to £20, and some of them more. 
Did those people hold under middlemen, or under Lord Kenmare ?—They 
held under a middleman, and the lease expired, and the property came into the hands of Lord Kenmare, but they were paying rent to Lord Kenmare some time before they were evicted—some of 1 them for one year, some two years, and some of them probably for tMee years; but I am 

not positive as to the precise time. 
I must remark here, that the above thirty-eight families do not include those ejected by the middleman holding under Lord Kenmare; and tho cause of that ejectment was, that if they (the middlemen) ejected those people, they would get into their possessions—but those people left when the lease expired. 
Do you know whether they owed any rent ?—To 
my knowledge they did not: I beHeve they did not. 
It is worthy of remark also, that the persons evicted were, with few, very few exceptions indeed, extremely honest, well-disposed, and industrious persons; and the object to be attained by the consoHdation of these farms, and depriving these unfortu¬ nate people of then oidy means of subsistence, I cannot teU. 
What, in general, has become of them ?—The 
cMldren of some of them have been begghig; some of them have died in the most dreadful distress ; some of them I know to be comfortable ; and some of them have had typhus fever. 
I attended one family of eleven, immediately after being ejected. 
They wero ill with fever, and the father was obhged to get out of bed to attend to them, and he was in the fever Mmself; and I was obhged to remove one out of bed in order to hear the confession of another—and I beHeve that to be solely caused by Lord Kenmare's dispossessing the people. 
Some of the tenants got farms upon Lord Bantry's property, and elsewhere. 
Some of them are not as weH off as they were. 
I know one who is better off. 

Was any thing done by Lord Kenmare or his agent to assist these people ?—Nothing 
I went myself to Lord Kenmare, expecting to have an interview with him. 
I wrote to Mm the foUowmg letter:— 

Finn's Hotel, Killarney, 19th September, 1841. 
My Lord,—When the cause of the distressed or afflicted is to be advocated, I feel that it would be superfluous to make an apology for trespassing on your lordship's time. 
You are, I suppose, my lord, aware that many honest industrious persons have been ejected from your estate in the parish of Bantry. 
It is to plead the cause of these'unfortunate but honest people, and to enfist, if possible, your lordship's sympathy in their behalf, that I have come to Killarney. 
May I request, my lord, the favour of an interview at your lordship's earliest convenience. 

I have the honour to be, my Lord, 

Your Lordship's 

Faithful humble servant, 

Christopher Freeman, To the Right Hon. 
Earl Kenmare, Killarney. 
Roman Catholic Curate, Bantry. 
And this is the answer I got from his lordship, wMch shows he was conversant of it :-— Sir,—In reply to your communication, I beg to say, that giving you credit for good, intentions, 1 must yet decline granting you the interview you desire, as I cannot allow any person to interfere wi me in the management of my property. 
I am, Sir, 

Your obedient servant, 

Kekhare, Killarney, September 19th, 1841.