[ocr errors]



[ocr errors]

ཟླ 1

[ocr errors]




dalk IRISH

[ocr errors]






[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]



occupying the southern angle of Down, have a culminating point in Slievh Donard, 2809 feet above the sea. It may be here observed that wherever the Irish term

slievh is applied to a mountain, it expresses that that Pyco gaine

mountain forms part of a range. From Dublin Bay Indendorf

southward through Wicklow, there is an irregular range, whose extreme height is 3039 feet, descending

in the lateral branch of the Croghans to 2060 feet. In ul S T E RRI the northern and western parts of the island, several Em:

irregular clusters occasion considerable diversity of

surface; and in the south, the country is decidedly o cry

hilly, the ranges running somewhat parallel, but attain

ing to no great elevation unless around Killarney, Galway Dublin

where Macyillicuddy Reeks rise in Gurrane Tual to

Zielyhead, 3405 feet, being the highest point in Ireland.

The flat or level portions of the island, with the exception of some fine tracts of fertile valley-land in

Kilkenny, Tipperary, and Limerick, consist mainly of Y51,57:29

bog or morass, which occupy, according to Dr Kane, 2,830,000 acres, or about a sixth part of the entire superficies. The largest of these morasses is the Bog of Allen, which stretches in a vast plain across the centre of the island, or over a large portion of Kildare, Carlow, King's and Queen’s Counties--having a summit elevation of 280 feet, in which the Boyne and some lesser rivers take their rise. Along the banks of the river Inny–which, rising in Lough Iron, in county Westmeath, crosses Longford, and falls into the Shan

non--are large tracts of deep, wet bog, only exceeded Tuis large and important member of the British Isles in dreariness by that which for miles skirts the Shannon is washed on the south, west, and north by the waters in its course through Longford, Roscommon, and King's of the Atlantic, and on the east by a strait--called at County. These bogs consist of turf or peat in various different places the North Channel, the Irish Sea, and degrees of condensation--from a pulpy or fibrous mass, St George's Channel - which separates it from the to a compact mass that adınits of being cut into any larger island of Great Britain. The width of this strait form. They rest on a substratum of clay and limeis variable, being about 47 miles between St David's stone gravel, are froin 15 to 40 feet in depth, and are Ilead in Wales and Carnsore Point in Ireland, about composed chiefly of aquatic vegetables, which have 55 between Holyhead and Dublin, and only 13.} be grown on the sites where they are now entombed. tween the Mull of Cantire and the opposite point of It is worthy of remark, that notwithstanding the Fairhead. More compact in form than Great Britain, quantity of water contained in these extensive bogs, Ireland is, nevertheless, indented by a number of bays there arises from them no miasma injurious to health. and estuaries, which give it an irregular coast-line of This is attributable to the large portion of tannin they not less than 2200 miles. It lies between lat. 51° 25' contain, which possesses so strong an antiseptic quality, and 55° 23' north, and between long. 5° 28' and 10° 35' that bodies plunged into a deep bog remain undecayed, west. Its greatest length, from Crowhead on the south- the flesh becoming like that of an Egyptian mummy. west to Fairhead on the north-east, is 306 miles, but it sometimes happens that a bog, overcharged with on any meridian not more than 235; its greatest water during a rainy season, breaks through the obbreadth, between the extreme points of Mayo and struction which the drained and more solid part affords, Down, 182 miles; its least, between Galway Bay and and, rushing forward, overflows large portions of good Dublin, 110. Its entire area is estimated at 31,874 land. This occurred in the year 1821, when the Bog square miles, or about 20,808,271 statute acres. Of of Clara, in the county of Westmeath, suddenly burst this area, about 13,000,000 acres are under cultivation, into the valley of the River Brusna, and totally desuch as it is; 6,200,000 uncultivated; 375,000 in plan- stroyed many hundred acres of excellent land: a tations; and 631,000 of water. Of the 6,200,000 un- similar occurrence took place, to a large extent, a very cultivated acres, not more than 2,500,000 are unsus- few years since in the county of Antrim. ceptible of improvement; the rest might be improved either for pasture or for tillage.

The rock formations of Ireland commence with the

primary schists and slates, and terminate, generally In superficial character, Ireland may be considered speaking, with the coal-measures. The igneous rocks as an undulating or hilly country-less rugged than are granites, greenstones, traps, and colunnar basalt, the Highlands of Scotland, and not so tame as the which is displayed in unparalleled symmetry at the eastern section of England. Its hills are generally Giants' Causeway in Antrim. The primary rocksmore rounded than abrupt, and lie in detached clusters namely, mica-slate, quartz, marble, serpentine, clayrather than in chains or ranges. One of the best de- slate, &c.--form a broad rugged fringe all around the fined ranges is the Slievh Bloom, occupying a somewhat island, making the interior a sort of basin, in which central position, and running in a southerly direction successively appear the old red sandstone, carboniferous between King's and Queen’s Counties through the limestone, and superimposed coal-measures. Breaking north of Tipperary. In this range, the highest point through the primaries, and occupying a considerable of which is 1690 feet, the rivers Barrow, Nore, and Suir, portion of the surface, are the granites and greenstones; commonly called the • Three Sisters,' take their risc. trap and tabular greenstone more commonly disrupt The Mourne mountains, a small, but well-defined range, the secondary rocks; and the basalt of the Giants: No, 66,




Causeway is said to be associated with traces of the creeks and harbours, none of which are of much imporchalk or upper secondary groups. Ireland presents no tance, with the exception of Killybegs. On the north well-developed tertiaries, but exhibits instead a magni- coast are Lough Swilly, a long, deep, irregular gulf, ficent display of superficial accumulation in her bogs, projecting inland for 25 miles; and Lough Foyle, a large, and in those curious ridges of limestone - gravel and oval, but somewhat shallow basin, about 15 miles long clay, locally known as escars, which probably originated and 9 wide, with an entrance scarcely a mile across. at a period when the country was partially submerged, The promontories of the island are generally bold and from eddies and counter-currents caused by inequalities well defined; several of them being celebrated sailing of the surface. One of the most remarkable geological marks, and the sites of lighthouses. The more promifeatures of the island is the development of the car- nent on the east coast are St John's Point, Dunany boniferous limestone, which forms the surface-rock of Point, the Heads of Clogher, Howth, and Wicklow, and nearly two-thirds of the country, thus contributing to the Points of Cahore, Greenore, and Carnsore. On the the fertility of the soil, and, in conjunction with a south are Hook Tower, the headlands of Ardmore and moist and temperate climate, conferring upon the Kinsale, the celebrated Cape Clear, and Mizen Head. vegetation its proverbial verdure. The appellations, On the west are Crow Head, Dunmore Head, Loophead • Emerald Isle and Green Isle of the Ocean,' are and Kerryhead, guarding the entrance of the Shannon, names sung by its poets, and repeated with affection Slynehead, with its two lighthouses, and the headlands by its natives in all quarters of the world.

of Achil, Urris, and Tillen. On the north, Bloody The available minerals are

e-granite of excellent Foreland; Malin Head, the most northerly point in the quality, as that quarried to the south of Dublin; roof island; Giants’ Causeway, with its picturesque paveing-slate, as that of Killaloe and Valentia in Kerry; ment, steps, and columns; Bengore Head; and Fairlimestone in inexhaustible supplies; excellent marble, head, rising 630 feet above the sea, with its irregular as the mottled of Fermanagh, the green of Galway, and courses and columns of tabular basalt. the black of Kilkenny; building-stones of various sorts; The islands are, generally speaking, small, and of coal (both anthracite and bituminous), which is worked little importance. On the east the largest is Lambay, in Carlow, Kilkenny, Donegal, Limerick, Tyrone, &c.; about 24 miles off the coast of Dublin, and remarkable potters' clay and fullers' earth; and a few of the pre- for its abundance of rabbits, sea-fowl, oysters, crabs, cious stones. The principal metals are copper and and lobsters.' On the south are Clear Island, with a lead, found in Cork, Kerry, Wicklow, &c. ; iron in rough uneven surface of 2000 acres; Tuscar Rock, about inconsiderable quantities; gold and silver, which were 8 miles off Carnsore Point, a dangerous ridge rising 20 once, and, we believe, are still sought after in Wick- feet above the sea, and surmounted by a lighthouse low; a little antimony and manganese. Before con- after the model of the Eddystone; the Saltees, another cluding this brief survey of the geology of Ireland, it dangerous ledge, also about 8 miles from the inland, may not be irrelevant to state with Mr M‘Culloch, that and indicated by a floating light. On the west are the • Dublin, Belfast, and the factories in the north, are Skelligs, a small rocky group, frequented by the ganmostly supplied with coal from England, at about 10s. net; Valentia, a large fertile island of 9600 acres; the or 12s. per ton, and that such also is the case in most Blasquets, the favourite resort of the bird called the parts of the country where coal is used. The great gourdet; the three isles of Arran, containing an aggreinass of the Irish people will probably be for many gate area of 6823 acres ; Innisbofin, Innisturk, and ages dependent on the neighbouring peat-bogs for fuel. Clare, considerable islands in Clew Bay; Achil or

• Eagle' Island, containing about 23,000 acres, and HYDROGRAPHY, &c.

rising to a height of 1530 feet; the small islets of InThe bays and loughs which indent the island are niskea, and the curious irregular peninsula called the numerous, and of considerable importance to commerce. Mullet. Off the Connaught coast, and extending beOn the east the following are worthy of notice :-Bel. yond these islands, are extensive banks, frequented by fast Lough, a large indentation, about 13 miles in immense shoals of cod, ling, and other fish. On the length, and from 6 to 8 wide, of easy access, affords north are Aranmore, with an area of 2000 acres; Tory, good anchorage, but shoals towards its extremity, so celebrated for its fertility; and the basaltic island of that vessels can only reach Belfast with the flood; Rathlin, containing upwards of 3300 acres, and yieldStrangford Harbour, about 15 miles in length, and ing average pasture and crops, and at one time considerfrom 5 to 6 in width, with a narrow dangerous entrance; able quantities of kelp. Carlingford Lough, about ll miles in length, and 2 The principal rivers are the Foyle and Bann, which wide, but obstructed by a shallow bar; Dundalk Bay, flow into the North Channel; the Boyne, Liffey, and a large shallow basin of little navigable value; Dublin Slaney, which empty themselves into the Irish ChanBay, of considerable size, and converted, as it were, nel; the Barrow and Nore, which, falling into the Suir, into a dock by long piers projecting from both sides of pour their united streams into the hay of Waterford; its fair-way, with a view to remove the sandbanks with the Blackwater, running into Youghal Harbour; the which it is encumbered; and Wexford Harbour, a spa- Lee, discharging its waters into the harbour of Cork; cious inland basin of irregular form, and almost land- and the Shannon, with its principal affluents Boyle, locked, but obstructed also by a shallow bar. On the Inny, Suck, Brusna, and Maig. None of these rivers south are Waterford Harbour, or the estuary of the are naturally of importance to navigation. The ShanBarrow, Nore, and Suir, curving inland with deep non, however, has been made navigable to Lough Allen water, and admitting vessels of large tonnage to Water- by means of locks and lateral cuts; the Barrow by simiford, which is 15 miles from the sea; Dungarvon and lar means to Athy; the Foyle by canal to Strabane; Youghal Harbours, both of minor importance; the fine the Suir is naturally navigable to Clonmel for barges; harbour of Cork, with its deep narrow entrance, and and several of the others have been artificially united capacious basin studded with islands, yet capable of by such lines as the Lagan, Newry, Ulster, Royal, accommodating the whole navy of England; and Kin- Grand, Athy, and other canals-which now intersect a sale Harbour, also a safe and commodious retreat. On considerable portion of the island. the south-west angle are the large bays of Dingle, Ken- There are a number of mineral springs in the island, mare, Bantry, Dunmanus, and Crookhaven, alì of easy chiefly sulphureous and chalybeate. Those of any note access, and affording excellent anchorage. On the west are Mallow in Cork, resembling those of Bristol; Ballycoast are Tralee Bay, a somewhat dangerous basin; the nahinch in Down; Swadlinbar in Cavan; Castleconnel, large and commodious estuary of the Shannon, fully near Limerick; Goldenbridge and Lucan in Dublin. 70 miles long from its entrance between Louphead and The lakes of Ireland, as might be expected from the Kerryhead to Limerick, which can be reached by vessels superficial character of the country, are both numerous of 300 and 400 tons; Galway Bay, Clew Bay, Blacksod, and extensive-covering in the aggregate an area of Killala, and Sligo, all capacious and deep-water inlets; 455,400 acres. The largest is Lough Neagh in Ulster, and Donegal Bay, an extensive arm, with several minor | its length being about 20 miles, and its breadth frora

[ocr errors]



10 to 12 miles-covering an area of 100,000 acres; it is forests in which the poor Irish took refuge; and all the of considerable depth, navigable, and its surface only scenery of Spenser's * Faëry Queen' is drawn from the 48 feet above sea-level. Erne, also in Ulster, consists River Bandon, which he celebrates as the pleasant properly of two sheets, occupying an area of 40,000 Bandon, wood y-crowned,' as it is to this day. Boate, acres. Both are studded with islets, and lay claim to in his . Natural History,' mentions the great extent of some share of picturesque beauty. Lough Derg, a wood then standing; but not long did it so stand, for small sheet in the same province, contains some islets, wherever Cromwell's army came, the forests were felled in one of which is situated St Patrick's Purgatory-a and the country laid bare. There are still, however, in narrow cave, which has long been a noted place of pil. a few favoured spots, some remains of the ancient oak grimage. In Connaught are the large irregular ex- and ash woods, as at Killarney, at Glengariffe near panses Conn, Mask, and Corrib, remarkable as being Bantry, in Connemara, in some spots of the county of respectively 30, 21, and 16 feet above sea-level. The Wicklow, and in Donegal, near the beautiful, but little principal lakes in the course of the Shannon are Allen, Lough Van, where a few red deer are still to be seen. Ree, and Derg; the first 160 feet, and the last 98 feet The plantations in Ireland, in 1841, were thus estiabove ordinary sea-level. The lakes of Killarney, like mated in acreable extent:-Oak, 29,536 acres ; ash, those of Cumberland, are more celebrated for their pic- 6042; elm, 1417; beech, 3274 ; fir, 25,239; mixed, turesque beauty than for their extent. They consist 280,096—making a total of 345,604 acres. of three connected sheets, lying in the bosom of the With respect to the animal kingdom, the elk has Kerry mountains; are thickly studded with islands, passed away, leaving its skeleton and antlers in the present outlines the most irregular, and surrounding bogs as memorials of its gigantic size; the wolf has scenery of the most opposite and diversified character. disappeared since the time of the Commonwealth; the

wolf-dog is still to be met with, though rarely; the red

deer frequents the wild mountain districts of Kerry; The climate of Ireland is remarkable for its mildness the eagle inhabits the western coast of Connaught; the and humidity-results arising, in the first place, from Irish falcon of our ancestors is, we believe, extinct; the its being surrounded by the Atlantic, from which no gourdet claims the Blasquets as his own peculiar resiportion of its interior is distant more than 50 miles; dence; and the gillaroo and dorchar trouts are limited and in the second, from the comparatively small eleva- to Lough Neagh. Of the domesticated animals, though tion which the generality of its land attains. This these are now generally cross-breeds, Ireland possesses mildness is proved by the fact, that even in the northern some varieties regarded as peculiar-namely, the Irish county of Donegal, the arbutus, laurustinus, agapan- black horse, the Kerry and old Irish breeds of the ox, thus, and fuchsia grow healthily in the open air, and a worthless wiry-wooled sheep, and a long-legged narmyrtles so luxuriantly as to cover the walls of houses row-bodied pig (See from Nos. 37 to 40 inclusive). In up to the second storey. Its humidity, though great, consequence, it is presumed, of the humidity of the soil differs considerably in different districts, the south- and climate, the adder and snake are unknown, as is west and west receiving, on an average, 42 inches of also the mole; but, contrary to the vulgar notion, frogs rain annually; while in Armagh, for example, there and toads are by no means uncommon. falls little more than half that amount.

The prevailing winds are the west and south-west; indeed winds from a westerly direction blow for nearly The bulk of the Irish people are a branch of the three-fourths of the year. These, tempered by the Celtic race, who were probably the first settlers in the warta currents of the Atlantic, and surcharged with its island. The peasantry throughout nearly the whole vapours, produce mild, but extremely variable seasons country are of this origin, and in many parts they still along the south and west; and though snow seldom speak the Celtic (here termed the Irish) language. lies, even on the highest hills, and verdure is every- The chief exception from this rule is in the north, where promoted, yet an early wet autumn often ob- where a great number of the humbler, as well as structs the harvest, and thus renders winter, properly middle - classes, are descended from comparatively so called, longer than in England. Difference of lati- recent settlers of Scottish extraction. Another rather tude has its usual effect, though somewhat less percep- conspicuous exception is found in Connaught, particutible. Thus in the southern counties spring is earlier, larly in Galway, where a considerable number of the fruit ripens a fortnight sooner, and the harvest is fit for people seem to be of Spanish descent. Families of the sickle a month before that of the northern, and English extraction are comparatively rare amongst the about a fortnight before that of the midland districts. labouring-class in Ireland; but a large portion of the

upper and middle-classes are of Saxon descent, and BOTANY AND ZOOLOGY,

ditter little from the same ranks in Great Britain. The native Flora and Fauna of Ireland generally Limiting the consideration of the social state of Ireresemble those of the neighbouring island; the culti- land to what is peculiar to it, we may first advert to a vated plants and domesticated animals are identical. conspicuous practice of the landowners-absenteeism. There are, however, some species peculiar to the island, By absentees are not meant those noblemen who, being of which the following are the most remarkable :—The Englishmen, have also large possessions in this counstrawberry-tree, found at Killarney, particularly beau- try, and whose estates (with some glaring exceptions) tiful from its abundance of red fruit; the Irish rose, are usually well and justly managed; but those sons found near Belfast; the Irish furze, found sparingly in of Erin who prefer living in any other country to reDown, distinguished from common furze by its upright maining in their own, although it is at home only that mode of growth and softer texture; the Irish or Floren- a man receives his just meed of respect. This system court yew, of upright growth and dark-green foliage, of absenteeism has led to that of middlemen, who hold resembling that of the cypress; the Irish menziesia, large tracts of land from the head landlord, and relet whose large purple heath-like bells decorate the wild this land at a much increased rent to farmers; these, districts of Galway; the Corsican and other species of again, set to a third set of under-tenants at rack-rents; heaths, found also in Spain and the islands of the and this lowest grade of tenantry divide their small Mediterranean; and carigeen or Irish moss-a sea-weed farms among their sons; thus creating a race of farmof some commercial importance.

ing poor, who are unable to till their holdings properly, At present, Ireland is no entitled to the character and miserably increasing a population raised but a step of a well-wooded country-a defect which is fast being above the pauper. There is perhaps no more thriving remedied by extensive plantations; but we have histo- person than the farming-landholder, who, contented with rical evidence, as well as the indubitable records of her his condition, rises with his labourers, holds his own bogs, that at no very remote period large tracts were plough, and superintends the management of his farin; covered with a gigantic growth of the ordinary forest- but the state of the cottier is often far from being a trees. Morrison (1596) and Davis (1605) mention the l happy one. The discomfort of this class may be said


[ocr errors]

to arise chiefly from three causes--low wages, high | humblest sort,' say they,' that are really good to us.' rents, and, most of all, from the want of steady employ- The vagrants that frequent fairs, markets, patrons, ment. The too great subdivision of land, as will be holy wells, and other places of religious or pleasurable shown in treating of the condition of the peasantry in resort, are better off than the other poor. A respectthe provinces, is another cause of the general poverty able evidence declared to the coninissioners on the and want of comfort of the cottier. Under the excite- Poor-Law Inquiry in the county of Meath, that the ment of war prices and the free trade in corn with beggars at fairs were as jolly a set as ever he saw in Great Britain, agriculture advanced rapidly, and con- his life;' and in more places than one, it was stated sequently so did the demand for labour; land rose in to the commissioners that the beggars were better off value, lessees were tempted to realise profit-rents by than the tradesmen or labourers. subletting their farms; and thus the land was let in still Hitherto, the usual methods of supporting the pauper smaller divisions and at extreme rents. This system was poor have been congregational collections, subscripan absolute bar to the encouragement which might have tions, very extensive private charity, and of late years been given to the tenantry by the proprietors of estates. the application of the resources of the Mendicity The occupying landlord pays a higher rent to the Association ; but the inefficiency of these means has middleman than does the middleman to the proprietor, ultimately led to the establishment of a Poor-Law, the because the middleman exacts as much as he can get, general object of which is to relieve the destitution of without any reference to the future situation of the the country. (See No. 62, p. 192.) It appears that tenant: but the landlord has different feelingshe looks so far as the poor-law system is as yet brought into forward, and considers the reversionary interest which operation, it is imperfect, and has not relieved the dishe has in keeping his tenant in prosperity, and his land tricts in which it has been carried into efiect from the in a state to yield a remunerating profit.

annoyance of mendicity, inasmuch as there is no comThe habits of getting credit frequently at an advance pulsory law for retaining vagrants in the poorhouses ; of 50 per cent., of resorting to pawnbrokers, and of they therefore leave them at pleasure, to follow the more forming early marriages, contribute to the impoverish- agreeable course of begging in the streets. Until such inent of the labouring-classes in Ireland. The poorer enactment be passed, or begging be declared an offence, the individuals are, the more eager are they for wed- Ireland, it would seem, will be subject to a severe taxalock; even the very beggars, and their name is legion, tion in support of the poor-law system, while at the same intermarry. It must, however, be admitted as some time it is not relieved of the evils of mendicancy. excuse, that early marriage is much encouraged by The population of Ireland was estimated by an acute the Romish priesthood; and in fairness it must be statesman of the reign of Charles II. as being then added, that this practice contributes exceedingly to the about 1,100,000. Another estimate formed in 1731, morality of the lower classes. The superstitious regard but upon data not perfectly to be relied on, made the to wakes and funerals, which has been handed down population 2,010,227. This last number seems to have froin ancient times, is often a deplorable drain on the been doubled before 1788, till which time Ireland was slender resources of the peasant.

almost exclusively a pastoral country.

Since then, In considering the character of the Irish peasantry agriculture and commerce have borne more conspicuous in general, it is refreshing to see some noble traits parts in the national industry; but circumstances unstanding out in full relief against the darker shades. favourable to national happiness and wealth have also The Irish people are of acknowledged bravery, prover- been strongly operative, and the progress of the people bial hospitality, affectionate to their parents and aged was, till a very late date, upon the whole downward. relatives, and charitable to the mendicant, if that, in in proportion to the unfavourable circumstances, and the present social state of their country, can be con- most of all where the circumstances have been the sidered a virtue. The women, generally speaking, are most unfavourable, the population has increased. It modest and irreproachable in their conduct; and it was at the first regular census in 1821, 6,801,827; at must be added, that notwithstanding the crime and that of 1831, 7,767,701; and at that of 1841, 8,175,124. wretchedness which oppress the country, the poor Irish are free from some species of vice which are but too common in other countries. During the hay and corn The national industry of Ireland, considering her harvests of England and Scotland, the services of the fertile soil, her maritime, mineral, and other resources, Irish labourers are very important. They are generally is vastly inferior to what, under proper management, sober, well-conducted, and inoffensive; labouring hard it ought to be. Her agriculture and husbandry, with a and living hard, that they may bring their earnings few exceptions, are wretched in the extreme; and yet, home to pay the rent of their little farm or dwelling. notwithstanding, large quantities of grain, cattle, pigs, A spalpeen, or harvest-man, carries home from four to butter, ham, and eges, are annually exported to the eight or ten pounds; to do which he is contented, markets of Great Britain. Potatoes, until the almost while away, almost to starve himself. There is reason, universal blights of 1846-7-8, have been the prir:therefore, to hope that, under a better state of things, cipal crop; oats next in order; barley and wheat but the national character would rise to a standard much sparingly; flax in considerable quantities; turnips, higher than it has yet attained; and improvement may beet, and other green crops are only as yet coming reasonably be expected from the legislative efforts now into culture. The same remarks are applicable to her in course of development.

fisheries, which are neglected in an unaccountable manThe last, but by no means most miserable class in ner. The surrounding seas swarm with cod, ling, hakc, Ireland, is that of the common ragrant. Of these, herrings, pilchards, sprats, &c.; and yet the main some are beggars by profession; some are obliged, from supply of salt-fish is obtained from Scotland. Eels loss of employment, to become what are called walkers; and salmon frequent most of the rivers, and are caught and others are mendicants for a time only, as when in considerable quantities, the northern rivers furnishitheir husbands are reaping the harvests in England, ing part of the supply in the English markets. at which time it is customary to lock up the house, and * Ireland,' says Mr M'Culloch, “is not, and never the wife and children walk ihe world until the travel- has been, a manufacturing country. Its unsettled, ler returns with his little hoard of hard-earned money. turbulent state, and the general dependence of the It may be asserted that in every district of Ireland, population on land, have hitherto formed insuperexcepting some peculiarly-circumstanced portions of able obstacles to the formation of great manufacturing Ulster, there is a feeling of respect towards mendicancy, establishments in most parts of the country; whilst which tends to support and perpetuate it. The poor the want of coal, capital, and skilful workmen, and tenants of the cabins receive the wanderers, whether the great ascendancy of England and Scotland in all single or in groups; and carrying, as these do, their departments of manufacture, will, there is reason to bedding along with them, a warm corner is allowed think, hinder Ireland from ever attaining eminence in them even in the only room possessed. It is the this department.' Linen may be regarded as the staple










45s. 408. 183. 508.



manufacture, of which Belfast and the surrounding The numbers sent to Liverpool and Bristol alone, in districts of Ulster are the chief seats. The yarn is for 1831 and 1832, were-the most part spun by machinery, hånd-spinning being all but abandoned; but a great proportion of the cloth


Bristol. is still produced by the handloom. The annual value

1831 of the linen now exported from Ireland is estimated at £1,000,000. The manufacture of woollen stuffs is Cattlo,

91,911 71,318 6,078 4,077 limited to a few localities, as Dublin, Montmellick and Horses and Mules,

159 Abbeyleix in Queen's County, and to Kilkenny


160,487 99,337 11,640 4,416

156,001 149,090 ploying in all perhaps not a thousand individuals.

84,107 85,619 The silk trade of Ireland is all but extinct, being restricted to the production of tabinet or poplin;

The statement above-mentioned of the imports into but the cotton trade, carried on chiefly at Belfast, Liverpool occasioned considerable surprise at the time and at Portlaw in Waterford, seems to be on the in- . it was made, from the greatness of its amount; but it crease. Distillation, at one time so prevalent, was re

would appear that this branch of trade has since gone duced through the exertions of Father Mathew, from on increasing in a most extraordinary degree, as will 12,296,342 in 1838, to 5,290,650 gallons in 1842; but be seen from the following account of the number and has since shown some symptoms of increase.

value of live animals brought from Ireland to Liverpool The commerce of Ireland consists chiefly of the

in the year 1837 :Channel trade with Great Britain, which annually em

84,710 Black Cattlo, at 161. each,

£1,365,360 ploys about 16,800 vessels, with a burtlen of 1,673,000

316 Calves,

711 tous. In 1815, Ireland possessed 79 steam-vessels,

225,050 Sheep,

450,100 with a tonnage of 18,069. On the subject of the Chan

24,669 Lambs,


595,422 Pigs, nel trade, which has greatly increased since the Union,

1,488,555 3,414 Horses, 201.

68,280 Mr Porter has the following interesting remarks :

319 Mules,

2,552 The value of produce and merchandise that have been the objects of trade between Great Britain and

Total value,

£3,397,760 Ireland, in various years since the Union, has been stated in papers laid before Parliament as follows:- The average value here assigned to the several kinds

of animals, is given on the authority of an intelligent Imports into Ireland Exports from Ireland gentleman resident at Liverpool, and who is practically from Great Britain. to Great Britain.

acquainted with the trade. 1801, £3,270,350

£3,537,725 The value in money, of one seemingly unimportant 1803, 4,067,717

4,288,167 article, eggs, taken in the course of the year to the above 1809, 5,316,557


two ports from Ireland, amounts to at least €100,000. 1813, 6,746,353


The progress of this trade affords a curious illustration 1817, 4,722,766


of the advantage of commercial facilities in stimulating 1821, 5,333,838


production and equalising prices. Before the establish1825, 7,048,936


ment of steam-vessels, the market at Cork was most No account of this trade can be given for any year irregularly supplied with eggs from the surrounding subsequent to 1825, the commercial intercourse between district ; at certain seasons they were exceedingly Great Britain and Ireland having at the end of that abundant and cheap, but these seasons were sure to be year been assimilated by law to the coasting traffic followed by periods of scarcity and high prices, and at carried on between the different ports of England; and, times it is said to have been difficult to purchase eggs with the exception of the single article of grain (as to at any price in the market. At the first opening of the which it was considered desirable by the legislature to improved channel for conveyance to England, the resicontinue the record), we have now no official register dents at Cork had to complain of the constant high of the quantity or value of goods or produce received price of this and other articles of farm-produce; but from or sent to Ireland. That this traffic has greatly as a more extensive market was now permanently open increased in all its branches there can be no doubt; and to them, the farmers gave their attention to the rearing this increase may partly be attributed to the abolition and keeping of poultry, and, at the present time, eggs of the restrictions that existed up to 1825, but probably are procurable at all seasons in the market at Cork; still more to the employment of steam-vessels upon an not, it is true, at the extremely low rate at which they extensive scale. To show the extent to which the could formerly be sometimes bought, but still at much traffic has been carried by this means, a statement less than the mean average price for the whole year. was furnished to a committee of the House of Com- A similar result has followed the introduction of this mons by the manager of a company trading with great improvement in regard to the supply and cost of steam-vessels between Ireland and Liverpool, of the various other articles of produce. In the apparently quantity and value of agricultural produce imported unimportant article feathers, it may be stated, on the into that one port from Ireland in 1831 and 1832. respectable authority above quoted, that the yearly From this statement it appears that the annual value importation into England from Ireland reaches the of the trade was about £4,500,000, which was in great amount of £500,000. part made up of articles that could not have been so In the absence of all further customhouse records, profitably brought to England by any previously- the following table of the number and tonnage of vesexisting mode of conveyance -- such as live-cattle, sels in which the trading intercourse with Ireland has horses, sheep, and pigs; the value of which amounted been carried on during the first thirty-seven years of in 1831 to £1,760,000, and in 1832 to £1,430,000. the present century, will afford a pretty correct view of During the same two years the value of Irish agricul. its amount and progress. If we compare the tonnage tural produce brought to the port of Bristol averaged employed in 1801 with that of 1836, we shall find that about £1,000,000 sterling. *The whole number of they bear the proportion of 257 to 100, thus showing an cattle, horses, sheep, and pigs, sent from Ireland to increase of not less than 157 per cent. It will further the various ports of England and Scotland, in different be seen that this increase has been much more rapid years from 1801 to 1825, was as follows:--

during the last ten years in which steam-ressels have been so much brought into use, than was in the preceding years of the series. Up to 1826, the increase

from 1801 was no more than 62 per cent., showing a Cattle, 31,513 21,862 17,917 48,973 45,301 26,725 63,519 Horses, 669 4,114 3,264 3.901

2,392 3,130 mean annual increase of 2 per cent.; whereas, in the Sheep,

2,879 10,938 7,572 7,508 29,460 25,310 72,161 ten years following 1826, the increase has been as much
1,968 6,383 4,712 14,521 24,193 101,501 65,919
as 95 per cent., or 95 per cent. annually :-










« ElőzőTovább »