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loss of their potatoes. The calamity fell with peculiar severity on the farm servants. The farmers having no potatoes to feed them, and their services being less required in winter, they were very generally discharged, and in many cases had no home to go to, or were refused admission by their relations. These were among the first victims of starvation.* The tailors, shoemakers, and other artisans who worked for the poor were the next sufferers ; they could get no employment. The public works, which were intended for the ab ebodied, being ill managed, afforded no relief to many of the very poorest. The workhouse accommodation was utterly inadequate to the greatly increased number of the aged and infirm destitute. Even those who got employment could not earn enough to support a family. The price of food rose enormously. Turnips were sold at ls. to Is. 6d. per cwt. by the few gentry or large farmers who had them, and who in many places doled them out in half cwts. lest they should be too quickly consumed. The first frightful tales of suffering which burst on us from the wild and ill-culti

• “We passed a small burying-place at the time of an interment. It “was a young man who had been a farm servant, and having been dis“charged could find no one to take him in. He had been promised “admission to the workhouse, but died the previous day of absolute “want of food. No inquest." -Letter from Ballina, 26th of 12th mo.

vated districts of the west, were quickly echoed from the richer and more fertile counties of Leinster. The distress extended itself among the industrious manufacturing population of Ulster, and the artizans and work-people of the towns and cities. Want and misery spread throughout the land.*

• The following statement of distress in a manufacturing district of the county of Armagh, province of Ulster, is extracted from a letter addressed by a clergyman of the Church of England to the Relief Committee of the Society of Friends. It is dated Feb. 23rd, 1847 :

“ The population of this parish has been hitherto chiefly supported by “ weaving, carried on in their own houses. The weaver at present can “only earn, by weaving a web of sixty yards, two shillings and six“ pence to four shillings and sixpence, which employs him nearly a whole “ week in preparation, while at present prices such wages will not sup“ port the mere weaver without a family. Even with such wages, I can “state it as a fact having come under my own immediate observation, " that weavers are sitting up three nights per week in order by any “ means to procure food for their families. There is scarcely a family “ in the parish in which there is not some one or more members of the “ family sitting up nightly. I have seen them in returning to my own “ home, (from visiting the sick) at two a. M. working as busily as in “the day time. In several cases I have relieved individuals in their own “ houses, who from exhaustion had been compelled to lie down, and “ could no longer continue to work on the loom. This has been, and is “now, the only means of employment. There are no private or public “ works carrying on, or about to be carried on in the district, and even “this mode of scanty and insufficient employment is now rapidly ceas“ing.

“ The distress has been greatly augmented of late by the turnip crop, " on which numbers were subsisting, having become exhausted. It has " also greatly increased from the fact, that the poor having now almost “ entirely sold or pawned all their clothes, even in many cases sold their “ Bibles, they have no further resources from whence to draw.

“ I have myself witnessed the living lying on straw, by the side of the

Disease resulting from insufficient and unwholesome food rapidly followed. The poor houses could not contain half the applicants who anxiously sought admission, often with no other object than to obtain a coffin to be buried in. In place of the parade of a large funeral, the dead were buried hastily, frequently without a coffin, and attended

“ unburied dead, who had died three days before. Many cases from “ actual starvation have occurred amongst the able-bodied, without “reckoning the aged and infirm, who have been cut off by the effects of star“ vation, or the many many unnumbered children who have died from the “ same cause. I have been called to see a girl of four years old, a few “ weeks ago a strong healthy girl, who then was so emaciated as to be “ unable either to stand or move a limb. I have visited houses where “ there was no article whatever of food or clothing ; nothing but straw “ to lie down upon, not even a stool to sit upon, and some of whose “ inmates, I fear at the moment I write, must have perished. One “ of the poor-houses of the district, Lurgan, is shut for egress or ingress; “ seventy-five died in one day. In Armagh poor-house, forty-five die " weekly. Before Lurgan poor-house was closed, it emitted pestilence “ into our parish, already full of dysentery and fever. Last year, to “ have been buried without a hearse would have been a lasting stigma “ to a family ; now hearses are almost laid aside; even the Roman “ Catholic priest ceases, (I have it from his own lips) to attend funerals “ in his grave- yard. His congregation, he has told me, has been re• duced to almost nothing ; while the congregation of the church of “ which I am clergyman has been reduced to forty from fifty or sixty “persons. I saw with my own eyes on Sunday, February 7th, the “ Presbyterian meeting-house emptying of its contents—a congregation " of four.

“We are, in short, rapidly approaching, and if unassisted must arrive “ at the worst of the pictures that have been presented to the public “ from the county of Cork.” : The following is extracted from a letter of the Inspecting-officer of a Union in Connaught, dated April 27th, 1847 :

- This is certainly a Union of paupers, for there are very few who " will not require gratuitous relief. There is so little difference in the

by only a few of the nearest relations. The bonds of natural affection were loosened. Parents neglected their children. Children turned out their aged parents. Husbands deserted their wives and families. The tales of utter selfishness which we have read in history, as occurring among the famished inhabitants of a besieged city, were re

“ condition of all parts of it, that I should find it difficult to state which “ is the most destitute. All grants sent to me I apply to all parts of the “ Union as nearly as possible in the proportion of the population."

The following is from the letter of a clergyman near Ballinasloe, county of Galway, dated May 13th, 1847 :

“I have some few but very peculiar cases in my parish, of widows and “others (hitherto remarkable for their habits of industry and cleanli“ness amid neighbours remarkable for all the contrary) who are now “almost naked, and wholly without power or hope of replacing their “rags."

A lady residing in Castlebar writes thus, under date May 10th, 1847 : “ There are many tradespeople, painters, shoemakers, tailors, and dress“ makers, in a starving state, some of them are literally without furni. “ ture, food, clothing, or fuel; all that could be sent to the pawn-ofice “ is there, except what is indispensably necessary."

A correspondent from Markethill, County of Armagh, writes, dated 27th of April, 1847 :

“ The state of the small farmer is becoming pitiable. Yesterday, a “ respectable religious-minded man, a Presbyterian, whose family “ during illness I frequently visited, who holds about four and a balf “ acres of ground, came to me and said, “I have never in my life asked “ any thing ; I have had a pride above it, but what can I do? I have a “ wife and six children, and there, sir,' said he, showing me a shilling, “ • is all that is left of my cow, the last valuable thing I had. I have “pawned and sold every thing else before, and I come to ask to be " allowed to spend this last shilling on the meal you are selling at half“ price;' and my conviction is, that before the month of May is over, “there will scarcely be one small farmer, who will not be driven to look “for charitable relief.”

produced, at a time of perfect peace, among the peasantry of the richest, the most civilized, and the most powerful kingdom in the world.

It must not be considered that this description is equally applicable to all parts of Ireland. The loss of property and want of employment were everywhere felt; but the superior resources of the eastern counties very much mitigated the distress, and the more frightful scenes of suffering, resulting in death, or loosening the ties of natural affection, were confined to a few localities in the west.

The effects of this calamity have been felt throughout all the ramifications of society ; no class, no rank has been exempt from loss. The poor could not afford to purchase clothing, or to expend any money except for food. The small shopkeepers therefore lost their trade. The business of the wholesale dealer and the merchant was diminished. The various branches of manufacture felt the want of demand : many of their workpeople were discharged. Carpenters, masons, and other artisans in want of employment, servants discharged from families desirous to economise, added to the general distress. The only flourishing trade was in articles of food.

But the difficulties and reverses resulting from this heavy loss have not been confined to the poor and the trading community; they




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