According to the Census of 1851, it appears that there were 570, 338 tenants farmers in Ireland who accounted for over half of the rural population. This census also shows that 10, 000 landlords owned most of the land. These numbers show an unfair domination of the land by landlords. And between these two we find an amount of middlemen. We know that the landlords, middlemen and tenants had ties together simply because of their relationship with the land. It leads us to the question: What was the respective cultural and social significance of the landlord, middlemen and tenant in Irish life in the period 1780 1914? Firstly, I will deal with the decline of the landlords through the years. Then we will focus on the role of the middlemen and their eradication. Finally, we will emphasize on the living conditions of the tenants and its evolution. The landlord owned the land for which he did not pay any rent. The landlords were considered as the nobles and there were several ranks of nobles, their rank depending on how much land they owned. Thus, this allows us to say that the landlord was a member of high society. This is also reflected by the fact that the landlords houses and demesnes were grandly impressive, estates were concentrated in great territorial blocks . Consequently, it was ascertained that the landlords in the eighteenth century had been the undisputed economic and legal centres of their localities .
[...] And between these two we find an amount of middlemen. We know that the landlords, middlemen and tenants had ties together simply because of their relationship with the land. It leads us to the question: What was the respective cultural and social significance of the landlord, middlemen and tenant in Irish life in the period 1780 1914? Firstly, I will deal with the decline of the landlords through the years. Then we will focus on the role of the middlemen and their eradication. [...]
[...] Sometimes these evictions compelled the evicted to find another job and the subsequent lack of employment could lead him to the workhouses. For instance 422 people were admitted in workhouses in 1861. About the work of the tenants it is known that the wife and the children had to toil with the farmer. Thus, it proves that the living conditions of the tenants were not easy at all, they had to work very hard, sometimes for nothing and they were never sure to get an income, which would allow them to feed their family. [...]
[...] It is demonstrated in certain places like dairying regions of Waterford, Cork, and Kerry, where the middlemen system was universal between the occupier and the head landlord, they provided capital for dairying by letting cattle as well as land to ‘dairymen' tenants”. It must also be remembered that the middlemen did not necessarily live on profit rents exclusively, because their income was the difference between what they owed to the landlord and what they received from their under tenants. It shows the precariousness of the income of the middleman because if the tenant is unable to pay his rent, the middleman has no income. [...]
[...] Joyce, M.A., LL.D., T.C.D.; M.R.I.A. (1908), A (much) Smaller Social History of Ancient Ireland [Online]. [...]
[...] This can be viewed as rising social importance of the middling and large tenant farmers as a class”. The tenants also gathered themselves in meetings and even created the Irish Tenant League on the 28th September 1869. There was a huge amount of meetings described as joint amnesty and tenant right demonstrations. Others illegal organisations were created like the Whiteboys whose aim was to get rid of the forces built by landlords to enclose waste lands. Another organisation is the Ribbon society, which was primarily a religious and political organisation. [...]
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