Monday, April 29, 2013

Life on Lord Hawarden's Estate

Places evidence was taken

     Lord Hawarden,  whose property in South Tipperary was mainly in
Ballintemple, Clonoulty, Donohill and Kilpatrick parishes, was the sort of landlord tenants loved to hate.  He did things like
refuse to give his tenants leases, things like evicting elderly men who had occupied the land for decades and made innumerable improvements.  I know this because I read it in Report from Her Majesty's Commissioners of Inquiry Into the State of the Law and Practice in Respect to the Occupation of Land in Ireland -- Volume 3 published in 1845.  You can too  at google along with volumes 1, 4 and 5. read report

     The report contains the testimony of many men from various walks of life, large farmers, medium farmers, magistrates, parish priests and landlords themselves.  Volume 3 covers a large part of Munster, see list above right for specifics.  It has wonderful descriptions of what life was like at that time and place, though naturally the opinions vary depending on the station in life of the individual testifying. Even if the exact spot your ancestors came from is not on the list, looking at testimony given in the area closest to their home will give a good idea of conditions in the vicinity.

Townlands on Lord Hawarden's estate
     I became interested in Lord H because unfortunately, he was my third great grandfather Cornelius Ryan's landlord in Goldengarden, South Tipperary per Griffith's Valuation.  

Excerpt from the testimony of Father Mackey
    There was something interesting other than the dates and names in the baptismal records of Cornelius' children -- the changing addresses.  There were three in all, Churchfield, Goldengarden and Alleen.  This made it clear to me that Cornelius did not have a long term lease, quite possibly no lease at all and was a tenant at will meaning he had no security of tenure and no legal recourse should a disagreement arise between him and his landlord.  It also made it clear that this needed to be investigated.  Reading the report it became obvious I was right about the tenancy at will.  In the testimony of Father John Mackey, when asked if the tenants were at will, he answers in the affirmative and goes on to state that scarcely a lease has been given in the last 10 years.  In fact Lord H was notorious for evicting his tenants in order to enlarge his personal holdings which he then farmed himself or used for grazing.

     It's wonderful how much can be discovered about life in Ireland and elsewhere with a simple search of google books.  I would bet many other landlords and reports can be found there in obscure volumes we wouldn't have found in a hundred years, or thought to look in even if we did have access, if not for the amazing internet.


  1. Oh dear, I just linked here looking for info on Lord Hawarden because a relative by marriage back in the day was an agent for him. And he would be responsible for these evictions wouldn't he? He lived in Dundrum, Tipperary. Please don't hate me lolll

    1. Yolanda, I hold you blameless, ha ha.

  2. Hi Ellie, thank you so much for posting this information. My ancestors were farmers in Dundrum, Co. Tipperary and I guess on Lord Hawarden's estate (have you seen the photos taken by his wife, Clementina Hawarden? She was one of the World's first photographers...check out the V&A Museum website for some copies). I cannot find my ancestors (Henry Howard, 1802-1861 or Eliza White, his wife) in any of the records, but I will keep looking. Thank you so much for the link to the Report, it was terrible what was going on at that time. I read quite a bit of it, and it seems that many tenants took off to the USA (as did many of the siblings of my great-grandmother) but mine ended up in Aberdeen, Scotland. It would be great to find out more, as I would love to know why my GGrandmother chose Aberdeen. Thanks again! Kathryn

    1. Hi, I am currently working on a grave cataloguing project for Ballintemple cemetery near Dundrum in Co. Tipperary. There are 5 families of Howards
      buried in this cemetery. One Henry Howard is listed as having died in 1812 aged 45 and his wife Elizabeth died in 1852 aged 81. I think it's probably a fair bet that these people were the parents of Henry Howard born 1802. If you wish to contact me further on this please do: Regards, James.

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed the blog Kathryn, thanks for commenting. I wish you luck in your search. The church records for that area, (Diocese of Cashel & Emly), are only available here--
      They were a great help to me and their prices were reasonable when I used them a few years ago. I did see the photos when I was checking out Lord H.
      Best of Luck, Ellie