PhD Thesis


John O'Sullivan



economic crises awareness relations population management history people galway

Landlord - Tenant Relations on The Clonbrock Estate in Galway, 1849-93 (1997)

Abstract This study examines Lord Clonbrock’s relationship with his tenants in the post-famine period until his death in 1893. A cursory glance at the measures taken by him to alleviate distress on his estate during the famine shows that, when fact and legend are separated, his efforts saved his people from a worse fate. The convenient view once held that landlords charged excessively high rents and did not invest money in their estates does not apply to Lord Clonbrock. In the period 1849-80 his rents increased by just eighteen per cent while almost eleven per cent of rental income was spent on improvements to his estate. When tenants whose rental was low were in difficulties in times of temporary economic crises he responded positively to their problems. Special attention is devoted to Lord Clonbrock’s extensive tenants who paid rental in excess of £100 a year. Though these tenants constituted less than five per cent of the total tenant population of the estate they accounted for over forty per cent of the total rental income. These tenants rarely experienced difficulty in paying their rents. Lord Clonbrock responded to the land agitation which began in the late 1870s, in a non confrontational manner. He allowed generous rental abatements in years of particular difficulty. While some of his tenants joined in the plan of campaign in December 1886 a settlement was soon reached in May 1887 when a rental reduction of fifteen per cent was allowed. Overall in the ten turbulent years, 1880-9 only £4,209 of a projected rental figure of £107,794 remained uncollected and this stable situation still existed up to his death in 1993. Lord Clonbrock’s efficient estate management, investment in estate improvements, and awareness of the problems facing his tenants served him well in both the relatively prosperous post-famine years and the troubled years of land agitation.
Collections Ireland -> Maynooth University -> Academic Unit = Faculty of Arts,Celtic Studies and Philosophy: History
Ireland -> Maynooth University -> Subject = Arts, Celtic Studies & Philosophy
Ireland -> Maynooth University -> Subject = Arts, Celtic Studies & Philosophy: History
Ireland -> Maynooth University -> Type = Thesis
Ireland -> Maynooth University -> Status = Unpublished
Ireland -> Maynooth University -> Academic Unit = Faculty of Arts,Celtic Studies and Philosophy
Ireland -> Maynooth University -> Open Access DRIVERset

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John O'Sullivan

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John O'Sullivan
University College Dublin
Total Publications: 46