January 11, 1847


The rioters continued their depredations up to 10 o'clock last night, and owing either to the inequality of numbers or want of energy in the police, succeeded in plundering a great number of bakeries in the neighborhood of Liberty as well as in the northern ends of the city. So formidable had the appearance of the mob become towards evening that the inhabitants of Nicholas-street, Thomas-street, and the streets adjacent, closed the shops and suspended business by the advice of the police authorities. In Patrick-street the crowd came into collision with the constabulary, the results of which was that two of the latter were beaten, one, it is said, very severely. The alarm created by this outbreak was considerably heightened by a report that some of the ringleaders were possessed of firearms; and on making inquiry of spectators of the riots the statement was repeated in the most positive terms, although it is not alleged that there was any disposition evinced to put them into use, and it is thought they were displayed solely for the purpose of intimidating such as might feel disposed to resist their demands. This morning, at an early hour, the work of plunder commenced afresh, and several bakers' shops and carts were emptied of their contents with little or no resistance on the part of the owners. The mounted police are all on duty, patrolling the streets in the outlets, as it is feared that the numbers of the rioters will be augmented by reinforcements of the unemployed labourers from the more remote parts of the country.

In the meantime, the prices of provisions are rising every week, and unless some check is speedily given, there is no use in concealing the fact that destitution in its most formidable shape will be as prevalent in the lanes and alleys of the metropolis as it is in Skibereen or Bantry. The price of the large (4 lb.) loaf is this week 10 1/2 d.; after today another half penny will be laid on, and flour factors calculate that it will go up to 1s. at which figure it will remain stationery for some months. This refers to the first quality; inferior is, of course, somewhat cheaper. Bacon, which was heretofore a common article of food article of food with labourers and mechanics, is now from its enormous price, placed quite beyond their means; and as to effs, they have become as rare as good potatoes. Their present rate here is 2s. per dozen, and even in country towns, where a year ago they could be had three for a penny, they have increased fourfold in value. Owing to the inability of the poor people to feed fowls without the assistance of the potato crops, they are killed, and either consumed by the owners or disposed of in the adjacent towns and villages. And thus is another means cut off by which the cottier tenant was enabled by thrift to save something for rent-day.

Allusion has already been made to the progress of mortality in the metropolis. A melancholy illustration is furnished in the following return of burials in Prospect (Glasnevin) Cemetery for the months of November and December 1845 and 1846, distinguishing those buried in the poor ground from the general interment:

1845  1846
November    303    360
December   342    582


 1845  1846
November     109   203
December     143   286
Total, for two months in 1845      902
Total, for two months in 1846  1,431