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potatoes fully grown. The crop was destroyed. The food of a whole people was cut off. It now appears extraordinary that the alarm was not more immediate and more general. The calamity had proved less serious the previous year than had been anticipated at first, therefore many hoped that the present accounts were exaggerated. Even those who saw that the crop was lost, could not believe that the consequences would be so serious. Perhaps none were able fully to anticipate the awful reality. We are now able to appreciate the loss; we have estimated its value in money; we have experienced its remote effects, in deranging the commercial and monetary arrangements of the kingdom ; and looking back on it, we see that the consequences were inevitable. Ireland had lost in the potatoes and in oats to the value of at least £16,000,000.*

* Extract from the Marquis of Lansdowne's speech, (Times, 16th of January, 1847):

“He would commence his statement—and they would be among the “very few figures with which he would trouble them—with an account “which was as accurate as the best calculation could make it, of the loss “in money value that had been occasioned by the late failure of the crops “in Ireland. Taking a valuation of £10 per acre for potatoes, and “...f3 10s. for oats, the deficiency on the potato crop alone amounted to “4:11,350,000, while on the crop of oats it amounted to £4,660,000, “or to a total value of £16,000,000, for the whole of a country “which, if it could not be said to be the poorest, was certainly not one of “the richest in the world. In weight, the loss was between 9,000,000 and “10,000,000 tons of potatoes. The whole loss had been equivalent to “ the absolute destruction of 1,500,000 arable acres.”

It would cost a much larger sum to supply the deficiency of food resulting from this loss. The difficulty was greatly increased by the peculiar circumstances of the crop which had failed. It constituted the food of the great mass of the population. It was essentially the property of the poor. Cultivated by their own hands, in their own gardens, it was their capital, their stock in trade, their store of food, for themselves, their pigs, their poultry, and in many cases for their sheep and cattle. When it was gone, they had no other resource. They had believed themselves comfortable, and felt secure of having enough of food ; and now, by a sudden and unexpected dispensation of Providence, they were at once reduced to poverty.

For a few weeks the poor cottiers and labourers managed to eke out a subsistence, by the sale of their pig and other disposable property, or by pawning their clothes; but pig, fowl, furniture, and clothing were soon gone; their very dogs were drowned. Before the end of the year they were utterly destitute. Many of the small farmers were scarcely better off than the cottiers; others had stacks of oats which they lived on while they lasted. Many in the western parts had some cattle or sheep. The larger farmers in the wheat districts were more fortunate. The wheat brought a high price, often sufficient to compensate them for the 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 1s. to 1s. 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 suf. fering which burst on us from the wild and ill-cultivated 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.*

* “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. * 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 almos “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

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