Offaly (King's)

Taxonomy

Code

Scope note(s)

  • King's County reverted to County Offaly in 1920.

Source note(s)

Display note(s)

Equivalent terms

Offaly (King's)

  • UF County Offaly
  • UF Co. Offaly
  • UF Uibh Fhaili
  • UF King's County

Associated terms

Offaly (King's)

22 Archival description results for Offaly (King's)

Annual Report 1866

Annual report and rental for year end June 1866, containing reports on the steady and continuous improvement of the financial affairs of the estate. Also discusses drainage and land improvements particularly the 343 statute acres on either side of the Tullamore Road, and a new project at Ballyknockan flat. Reports that the soil here was particularly poor, and 650 tons of Dublin dairy manure was shipped down the Grand Canal and spread over the land, resulting in a marked improvement in grass growth. Also reports on the completion of the Killeigh main-drain and the Plovers-egg drain at Clonad Wood. Also includes a report on large-scale farming on the estate and the construction of three new farmhouses and a new forge.

On political matters, the report describes the 1865 general election which was contested by Sir Patrick O'Brien, John Gilbert King and Mr. Hennessy (O'Brien and King elected). Provides a detailed breakdown of voting preferences by the tenantry of Geashill Estate, who Trench reports, voted and returned home peacefully 'before the usual excitement attendant on an Irish Election had begun.' Also includes a description of election day in Tullamore, complete with mobs with 'shillelaghs'.

Annual Report 1867

Annual report and rental for year end June 1867, containing reports on the continuously improving financial situation of the estate, due mainly to the increase in rental receipts. Also reports on drainage at Ballyknockan and the remarkable effect of Dublin dairy manure has had on the land in this area. Other farming improvements include the invention and introduction by Trench of a new drainage plough which was given special merit by the Royal Agricultural Society of Ireland. Further farm machinery was also purchased such as a mowing machine and a hay-tedder which were hired out by the farmers of the estate.

Reports that building and slating has increased all over the estate and provides a description of various building repairs and a newly-built farmhouse let to the Commons family - 'one of the oldest and most respectable families on the estate.' Also reports that four new labourers' cottages built in Killeigh for people whose houses were in ruins, were awarded the Gold Medal and Challenge Cup by the Royal Agricultural Society of Ireland. Also refers to the sale of timber to the Great Southern & Western Railway, which allowed for a large portion of Derryclure to be thinned of beech and replanted with larch and oak, and also necessitated the purchase of a weighing machine for timber to avoid the tolls of the weighbridge in Tullamore.

Referring to past agrarian outrages, Trench remarks that the tone on the estate is 'excellent' and 'it is as if Fenianism never existed'.

Title Page

The border of the title page contains illustrations of the prize cottages at Killeigh and a map of the drainage plan at Ballyknockan. Also includes representations of the two gold medals awarded to Lord Digby by the Royal Agricultural Society of Ireland, the Challenge Cup awarded for best housing and the Challenge Cup awarded for best drainage.

Annual Report 1868

Annual report and rental for year end June 1868, containing details of the finances of the estate, and developments inn drainage, land improvement, waste farms, tillage, woods and plantations. Main drains were completed at Meelaghans and Ballinvally, and 'thoro' drains were completed at Ballyknockan, Ballymooney and Killurin. All the drainage schemes were entered into a competition offered by the Royal Agricultural Society of Ireland for best drained land. Discusses farming and the merits of various types of fertilizer: Dublin manure, woolen rags or bone-dust. Also reports on the construction of a movable 'Russian Village', as seen at the Paris Exhibition in 1867, for easily housing labourers as they move around to work on various parts of the estate.

Reports that a new building yard has been acquired next to the house of the architect, Thomas Mallinson, in Geashill Village, and also that a new machinery shed has been constructed to house the steam-engine, the threshing mill and other implements. In relation to repairs to tenants' houses, the report outlines there is much yet to be done, but that Lord Digby has won the gold medal from the RASI for repairs in the best manner for the greatest number of houses in Leinster. He was also awarded a bronze medal at the Paris Exhibition of 1867 for models of cottages exhibited.

Discussing the general condition of the estate, Trench notes that the 'slight stains of Fenianism have been washed away by time and people now look at it as a thing of the past.' He also notes the death of the 3rd Earl of Rosse, the Lord Lieutenant of King's County, 'celebrated for his monster telescope and scientific acquirements.' Appendix contains a copy letter from Thomas Mallinson, Geashill architect, to T. W. Trench, reporting on a visit to London to inspect the manufacture and use of concrete to build houses. Declines to recommend concrete-built houses for the Geashill estate due to the expense and the varied character of the houses.

Annual Report 1869

Annual report and rental for year ending June 1869, containing detailed report and accounts showing the receipts and disbursements on the estate for the preceding year. Records that the financial situation is favourable and that the largest expenditure was on drainage at Ballyknockan, Newtown, Killeenmore and Ballyduff. Reports that the RASI have awarded a 3rd Gold Medal and the Hall Challenge Cup for the best drainage in all Ireland. In relation to buildings and other improvements, he refers to ongoing renovations rather than new builds. Reports that the RASI have awarded a Gold Medal for improving existing labourers' cottages and that Mr Mallison, architect, was awarded £25 for best plans of labourers' cottages.(See 'Architectural drawings' preceding Index.) The constabulary barrack was fortified to withstand any attack. Woods and plantations were not as profitable as other years and reports on works on Derryclure, Clonad, Derryadd and Killeenmore.

In general, reports that 'an excellent tone pervades the people', that they appear satisfied and there is an absence of outrages. Regrets to say that part of the county boundary in Westmeath not for from estate is in a 'lawless condition'. Also reports on a 'curious incident' outside Tullamore where a ruse was employed by locals who wanted to divert police from an intended cock-fight. Also reports on the murder of Captain Tarleton and on a Mr Roberts who was forcefully ejected from his farm having 'seized' another farm which had belonged to a relative of his who had recently died. Appendix (pp54 and 55) contains copy correspondence between Lord Digby and RASI in relation to the establishment of a Digby Challenge Cup.

Annual Report 1870

Annual report and rental for year ending June 1870, containing general reports and accounts detailing the receipts and disbursement on the estate for the preceding year. Financial report is generally favourable. Drainage report outlines a reclamation project in Newtown between the railway and Tullamore Road. Also reports on 11 acres drained in Ballyduff for large tenant, Richard Odlum, 50 acres reclaimed in Ballinagar where previously marshes made the road from Ballinasloe unsafe for cattle, and the draining of Flynn's Moors in Derryweelan. Describes the success of the new sheep-washing pool formed in Lugmore main drain. Reports that it is used by almost everyone and that one of the largest tenants, Mr Ridgeway, proposed to wash 1110 sheep within one hour. The Trenchs came out at the appointed time, seats were provided for spectators 'and he won his bet easily with 7 minutes to spare.'

Referring to building improvements, 80 houses were changed from thatched roofs to slate, and the RASI awarded the Gold Medal for improving the greatest amount of cottages in the best manner in the province of Leinster. Woods and plantations report included details on the thinning of Derrygunnigan of large and useless timber, which was subsequently purchased by the Great Southern and Western Railway (5000 cubic feet of beech) but that the expense of drawing it across the bog to Tullamore detracted from the profits.

Also reports on 'peculiar violence and bloodshed in the surrounding district in counties' including the shooting in the face of Mr. Warburton, High Sherrif of Queen's County by a Mr Conroy, whose land, Mr Warburton had taken up. Describes an outrage on the other side of Geashill, where the same Mr Conroy attacked Mr O'Connor and cut his nose off while two other men held revolvers to his chest. 'Mr. O'Connor got an excellent nose to replace the one he had' and Conroy was sentenced to 14 years penal servitude. Other outrages included the brutal murder by Shields and his sister of a Mr Dunn - 'Very little excitement in the county and both were quietly hanged & buried within the precincts of the gaol.' Also includes further reports of attacks on gentry in Meath and Westmeath.

Annual Report 1871

Annual report and rental for year end June 1871, reporting a favourable financial situation on the estate and outlining the receipts and disbursements for the previous year. Describes the drainage of lands contiguous to the Clodiagh river and the formation of the Clodiagh Embankment, 490 statute perches in length. Also describes the completion of main drains at Derryweelan, Annagharvey and Killellery and notes improvements undertaken in Ballinagar and Ballyduff. In relation to buildings and repairs, he notes that there has been almost complete remodel of old houses and sundry other improvements 'that they might almost be classes as under new buildings.' Also reports that income from woods and plantations is reduced this year due to the 'improper and dishonest conduct of Forester Corbett'. Roskeen, Queen's County, is introduced to the accounts for the first time as an independent estate as Trench cites the differing rental schedules and differing counties as reasons for them not to be amalgamated in the rental.

In general, Trench is pleased not only with the improvements in the houses but also in the habits of the people, the tillage and agriculture and the green crops. On a more personal note, he expresses his 'deep grief' at the decision of his son, T. W. Trench to resign his post as Resident Agent on the Geashill estate. Describes him as 'beloved and respected by the tenantry and looked up to and appreciated by men of all creeds, politics or religions as a man of integrity, honour and intelligence.' Concludes by expressing this confidence that Lord Digby's nephew, Reginald Digby, will be an able successor to his son.

Annual Report 1872

Annual report and rental for year end June 1872, reporting a very satisfactory financial situation and an overview of receipts and disbursements on the estate. Notes that drainage and land improvements continued but that there was an increased difficulty in sourcing labourers. Main drains were completed at Killurin and Gorteen, and a thorough drain was built at Bawnmore. Reports that sums were expended on extensive fencing and top-dressing of lands. The village inn was completely remodelled and 'now forms one of the most striking features of the village.' Also report that the woods and plantations were more profitable than usual with a large contract won for the supply of ash timber to a Liverpool merchant. Oak and larch plantations were established on the land between the River Clodiagh and the new embankment. Describes the general condition of the estate as 'most satisfactory' and entirely free from violence and lawlessness. Notes, however, that Mr Flanagan, a tenant, disputed the right of Lord Digby to his property but failed at his attempt in doing so.

Roskeen rentals are missing from this volume in order to combine the accounts of the Geashill and Roskeen estates into one. They will appear in subsequent annual reports. John Townsend Trench signs for his father, William S. Trench, who may have already passed away (August 1872) by the time the report was submitted.

Annual Report 1859

Annual report for year ending July 1859, including a list of leasholders and undertenants who have surrendered their several leases; general account of income and expenditure; detailed statements of disbursements including costs of drainage and building improvements; a list for compensation for surrender of tenancies and emigration; and a detailed rental of entire estate.

Contains a summary report outlining the mechanism of the leaseholder's compensation fund, the distribution of which, W. S. Trench describes as 'the most arduous and most serious task of responsibility I have ever had to encounter.' Also discusses estate improvements such as the drainage of 125 statute acres, particularly in Meelaghans where 100 acres 'of miserable cut away bog' was drained and cultivated. Also discusses improvements to the labourers' cottages through the additions of chimneys and windows and a proposal to enter the new cottages for the award of the Gold Medal offered by the Royal Agricultural Society. Further estate improvements include new roads through Killellery, Lugmore and Meelaghans.

Agrarian unrest is also discussed in the context of the case of Henry Kane, tenant, who along with his brother, Michael Kane, each held a farm in Killurin. On the death of Michael, Henry took immediate posssession of his brother's farm, to which the Trenchs objected. Report discusses general tenant support for Kane, even from outside the estate, and includes descriptions of intimidatory tactics by Ribbonmen. Also discusses measures to have Henry Kane ejected from the land altogether.

Drawings in the report include:
Page 2: 'Ancient pan found on Geashill Estate, 4 feet broad x 14 inches deep' (The Geashill Cauldron)
Page 11: 'Ancient keg of butter found 12ft below surface of Red Bog. 2 feet long x 13 inches broad.'

Annual Report 1860

Annual report for year ending June 1860 containing details of the leaseholder's compensation fund, the executors' arrears, mesne rates, new rentals and the purchase of leases. Also discusses estate improvements: permanent land improvement at Meelaghans; the creation of turf banks at Colehill; management of woods and plantations at Scrubb Wood, Killeenmore and Derryweelan ('Furry Hill'); and the building of roads and bridges at Clonad and Derryclure. Particularly refers to the 'model farm' which has been established at Ballyknockan.

In relation to the construction of houses, the report describes the completion of Richard Odlum's offices in Ballyduff, 'one of the most independent and thriving farmers on a large scale on the estate.' Also discusses Odlum's house in Ballymooney to be near completion. Reports that cottages in Killeigh and the new rent offices are complete 'and ought to last forever'. Referring to dire housing conditions amongst some of the tenantry, the report justifies the expense on rebuilding houses and states that there was more than one case on the estate 'where the inhabitants were in daily danger of being buried alive.' Also reports on small repairs to existing tenants' houses and a scheme of compensation for 59 families to surrender certain tenancies.

Also reports on agrarian unrest and agitation by Ribbonmen on the estate, including arson attacks on Geashill Castle offices and outhouses, and an arson attack on the farm of Mrs. Pattison, Protestant tenant at Annagharvey. Appendix contains copy letter from John Townsend Trench, second son of W. S. Trench, who interviewed Mary Shea, barmaid of the Cross Keys public house, Geashill, at the barracks in Tullamore where she was being held for her own safety. Letter describes plot to assassinate T. W. Trench and lists the main Ribbonmen active in Geashill as told to J. T. Trench: Loughlin Kelly ('treasurer of the murder fund'), Henry Bryan of Cross Keys public house; John Whelaghan, John Helian, William Grumly, Ned Geraghty, Christopher Mooney, Johnny Clibborn and others.

Drawing on pg 151:
Sign language or secret signals of the Ribbonmen

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