September 1846

September 2, 1846

It is very likely that a small cultivation of the Potato will take place in the next year; but we have no belief in the theory that the root is permanently destroyed. Stranger things have occurred with regard to the seasons than any witnessed in our days. We have heard of a potato blight which occurred in America for three successive years, and afterwards disappeared. There was a visitation upon the Rice crop in India in 1772, which rendered it wholly useless as human food, and a couple of millions of the population were swept away in a general famine. In the 10th page of the second volume of Wakefield it is mentioned that, in 1765, the Irish potato crop was destroyed, and that corn also suffered extensively. We should like much to get at the details of the potato blight in that year, and have been upon an unsuccessful search for them. There are none to be found in a volume of newspapers which we have turned over-- nor in the Parliamentary journals, nor in such magazines as have been within our reach-- nor in the Dublin Society translations-- nor in Dr. Rutty. Probably some reader may be able to point to a quarter in which they may be found. But that there have been potato blights of which no record remains, we have no doubt. There is, in reality, "nothing new under the Sun"-- and less, we believe of novelty in the vegetable world than anywhere else. We have no apprehension, therefore, that the potato is gone from us. There will be some to make another venture upon it next year,-- and, probably, in 1848 there will be such a crop as had not been witnessed within the time of the oldest man living.--Weekly Register.

September 4, 1846

We devote about eleven columns of this day's Examiner to reports of public meetings held in Fermoy, Midleton, Mallow, Kinsale, Bantry, and in other parts of this county-- all convened for the purpose of taking into consideration the failure of the Potato crop, and the consequences which that failure is certain to entail on all classes in the country. There has not been a statement made in this journal that is not fully borne out by the observations of those who attended these various meetings. There is no attempt made to make the blight less destructive than it really is, nor to exaggerate the distress and misery which are certain to flow from a calamity so dreadful and so universal. All is alarm and apprehension. The landlord trembles for the consequences; so does the middleman; so does the tenant farmer. And well they may, if some decisive step be not taken by the government, and prompt exertion be made by individuals. It is time for each man to set his own house in order.

We have no desire to comment upon speeches which, being delivered by practical men, and men of weight and influence, must eloquently speak for themselves, and carry conviction with them to every mind. We shall allow them to stand by themselves this day, promising that we do not intend to lose sight of the suggestions offered, nor of the opinions expressed by the various speakers. Earnestly we call attention to these reports.

September 7, 1846
P O T A T O  R O T:


TO THE EDITOR OF THE CORK EXAMINER. SIR,-- Whilst the excellent sentiments contained in the letters of the 15th and 25th ult., addressed to the Premier, the Right Hon. Lord John Russell, on the appalling Potato Rot, by Joseph Lambert, Esq., of Brookhill, Claremorris, are warmly eulogized by the Dublin Freeman in leading articles of its numbers of the 20th and 29th ult.; and whilst eulogistic terms are put forth deservedly, and justly, in your columns and your contemporaries of the most benevolent and most Christian conduct of Mr. James Welply of Macroom, for his very considerate and humane treatment of his conacre and other tenants, forgiving the former their rent and cost of manure, and desiring the latter to keep their corn for the ensuing season's food for their families, there is, thank God, just praise and commendation in these times of extreme destitution and distress, in the kind, considerate and generous conduct evinced by a neighbouring farmer towards his labourers and con-acre tenants. Mr. Simon Brien, of Ballyntaylor, a townland situate three-and-a-half miles west from Dungarvan-- Mr. Brien pays his labourers their wages, at the rate of ten pence per diem, and diet, since the commencement of the Potato blight-- no deduction whatever is made from them for the rent of their houses, nor for their con-acre gardens, and he intends so to act until it pleases the All-wise Providence to relieve and remove this dearth and severe visitation from off the people of this afflicted and sore smitten land.

He, without hindrance or chance of any kind, freely allows each of his labourers and con-acre tenants to dig out and remove their potatoes-- such as they are, off the land.

Let us hope that others, encouraged and stimulated by such laudable and benevolent example will come forth and "do likewise."

Your giving the above sketch a place in your valuable and patriotic columns will, 'tis hoped, propel the growing spirit of benevolence and just feeling for our distressed fellow-men, and at the same time much oblige a well wisher to the cause of HUMANITY. Dungarvan, September 1st, 1846.

September 14, 1846

Last week, a meeting of the wealthiest landlords took place at Fermanagh, for the purpose of considering the state of the poor and the late ministerial measure for their relief. Entertaining with the rest of the landlords of the country dome objections to the Labour Rate Bill, they have come to a timely resolution of taking the matter into their own hands, and, by providing employment and sustenance for the distressed population on their own properties, diminishing the taxation which should necessarily press on them for the promotion of Public Works. There are eight baronies in Fermanagh, and to each has been assigned a committee of the first men in the county. They have arranged the days for consecutive meetings, and wherever it is resolved that private employment cannot be sufficiently furnished, they will avail themselves of the provisions of the government enactment. So, this last works well. It is not only beneficent in itself, but the cause of beneficence in others. The landlords are beginning to feel the strong pressure from abroad, and are compelled to obey the general coercion in a manner which promises the greatest advantages to the country. The landlords of Fermanagh have resolved to establish-- with the consent of government, a provision depot in Enniskillen and to have prepared in their respective localities such a stock of Indian meal as will effectively secure the people against the chance of distress. This is an example which it were well to follow throughout Ireland-- in districts too, which are suffering from treble the destitution of the county of Fermanagh.

September 16, 1846

The workmen and labourers employed by Mr. FITZGERALD, Rocklodge, near Cloyne, refused to allow him to send his corn to Cork, or to market, and stated that they would give him the price he demanded for it. To this step they said they were compelled by the loss of their potatoes, and the dearness of provisions.

We have heard rumours of intended risings in various parts of the country, but trust that the activity of the local authorities and the advice of the clergy, and other influential friends of the people, will be sufficient to keep them quiet until relief and employment can be afforded.

A party of Dragoons left Cork yesterday for Youghal.

The Clashmore Mills were attacked by a mob, and flour taken from them.

September 18, 1846

The first Extraordinary Presentment Sessions, under the new act, was held on Monday at Dungarvan, for the Barony of Decies of within Drum; but we regret to say that the impoverished labourers assembled in great numbers, thinking to intimidate the assembled cesspayers and magistrates to pass presentments for immediate works not considering for a moment their utility or the repayment of the outlay for them. The riotous conduct of those assembled created considerable alarm, and the majority of the shops were closed during the day. The magistrates ordered out the military and police, but they were hooted and pelted with stones. One fellow was arrested in the act of throwing a stone at the County Inspector, who escaped without receiving much injury, though struck by it. Constable Wall also received a blow of a stone, but without much damage to his person and one soldier of the 27th regiment received a desperate cut in the face from a missile thrown by one of the mob. The forbearance of the police and military was very great under the trying scenes passing before them as they refrained from dealing "death blows" from their muskets in return for the many injuries attempted to be inflicted upon them, and for which they deserve the gratitude and esteem of the well disposed of the people of Dungarvan. The few persons which they arrested were safely lodged in prison. The excitement continued throughout the day, but as the evening closed tranquility gained the ascendancy, and the inhabitants were allowed to seek repose, after a day spent in uncertainty and intimidation, and one that threatened their lives and property with certain destruction.--Waterford Freeman.

September 23, 1846

[FROM OUR REPORTER.] After the termination of the meeting held in this town on Monday last, our reporter was surprised to see a large concourse of persons, exclusively of the labouring classes, hurrying from one street to another, apparently in a most excited manner. On making inquiry, it was ascertained that this demonstration was made in order to prevent the merchants and manufacturers from exporting the corn or provisions of the town, for which purpose upwards of a dozen ships were lying in the harbour. After visiting several of the corn stores with the apparent intention of intimidating the proprietors, the mob proceeded down to the quay, where they speedily compelled some carmen, who were loading the vessels with corn for exportation, to desist and return to the stores; on coming back, they met another carman who however, did not remain to receive the injunctions of the mob, but immediately turned the horse's head, and commenced a speedy retreat amidst the cheers and jeers of the multitude. Not satisfied with their success in these instances, they turned towards another portion of the quay, where they succeeded in a similar manner.

Up to four o'clock there proceedings were confined to preventing the exportation of provisions; and by the respectable portion of the inhabitants, it was anticipated that no actual violence would be the result; but unfortunately their expectations were frustrated. The mob, elated probably by the success of their first attempt, commenced at a later period of the day to demolish the flour and bread shops, which was only partially prevented by the interference of the Military. I understand, in consequence of the extent to which these outrages were carried, that Mr. Keily, J.P., arrived in this City on yesterday, for the purpose of consulting with the General of the district, and obtaining a large reinforcement of military.

September 25, 1846

On Wednesday last a numerous body of labouring men, from the district of Shanagarry, came into the town of Cloyne, and, after exhibiting their force for the purpose of intimidating the shopkeepers, proceeded to rifle the flour and provision shops. The bakers, seeing that resistance was completely useless, thought they might as well permit it with a good grace, and for the purpose of protecting their remaining property, generously distributed their loaves to the hungry claimants who retired without committing further injury.

We have heard that a similar demonstration took place on yesterday in Castlemartyr, and that the labourers were not satisfied until they were similarly feasted.

It was rumoured on this morning that Moore Park, the residence of Lord Mountcashel, has been attacked on yesterday and a quantity of Indian corn, stored in an out house for the use of the tenantry, abstracted. On inquiry, however, it has been ascertained that no such outrage was committed, nor was there any attempt to warrant even the rumour.

September 28, 1846

September 28, 1846 Captain Pigot, of Engle Hill, Galway, has forgiven his tenants their rents and told them to keep their corn and eat it. When that should fail, he said, his purse would be open to relieve their necessities.

September 30, 1846
F E R M O Y.

The members of the Relief Committee, appointed for this town, held their weekly meeting on yesterday in the Committee-room. The business was confined to the selection of such persons as were considered legitimately entitled to the employment that it was anticipated would result from the sessions to be held on the succeeding day. The doors were continually besieged by hundreds of unemployed and starving labourers, whose circumstances and condition the gentlemen present patiently investigated; but, notwithstanding the scrutiny, the extreme poverty and destitution of each applicant constituted him a proper candidate for this species of relief.