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)

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 1882

Annual report, accounts and rental for year ending June 1882. Remarking on the 'extraordinary events in Ireland of the last 12 months', Digby reports that consequently there is a large amount of arrears, including abandoned arrears which are mainly the rents of Ballydownan and Roskeen farms which are in Lord Digby's hands having been surrendered.

Land improvements have ceased due to the suspension of rent and the generally disorganised state of the country, a new dwelling house for William Payne, Killeenmore being the chief expenditure. Thirty acres of young plantations in Derrygunnigan and Newtown woods and the maintenance of other young plantations accounted for expenditure in forestry.

Warns that the country is in a 'frightful crisis' and reports on the tactics of the Land League with their 'No Rent' manifesto (Autumn 1881), which was eagerly adopted and led to a complete suspension of the payment of rent. After an abatement was refused, tenantry on the Geashill Estate held a meeting in Killeigh in January 1882 at which a resolution was passed not to pay rent unless abatements were conceded. Proceedings were issued against nine of the principal agitators, their properties seized and put up for public auction in Tullamore. Digby reports that in seven cases, the tenants allowed him to be the purchaser, and in the other two cases, the tenants bought in their farms for the full amount of rent claimed and costs. Evictions followed, five of which required the aid of 'a large force of military and police and bailiffs supplied by the Property Defence Association.'

Annual Report 1881

Annual report, accounts and rental for year ending June 1881. Reports that the financial condition of the estate had disimproved, outstanding arrears remaining due and abandoned arrears considerably increased. Profit remitted was £8500, a decrease on previous years, although there was a net increase in the overall rental income. Also reports that the Roskeen lease was surrendered by the reps of Mr. Bailey, and that the farm at Ballydownan was surrendered by Mr Adams and now in Lord Digby's hands and set for grazing with newly purchased cattle.

In terms of land improvement, Digby reports on the completion of a number of Board of Works projects including the draining and squaring of the moors under Scrubb Wood, the deepening of the boundary stream at Cappancur and the sinking of a large main drain in Balinvally bog. Construction works included new offices for Mr Arthur of Killurin and Patrick Nugent of Ballycollin; new cottages completed at Killeigh; new cottage commenced in Geashill Village and assistance give to William Mathews to erect substantial new dwelling house in Killurin. Also reports on the thinning and replanting of Derrygunnigan Wood.

Warns that agrarian agitation is increasing encouraged by the Land League. Blames the Government for slow response to agitation. Reports on a 'monster meeting' held in Tullamore by the Land League prior to the winter collection of rents (1880) where the Geashill tenantry requested en masse Griffith's Valuation as a fair rent which was subsequently refused by Lord Digby, but who abated the rent by 10% on the half year's rent payable. Identifies William Adams as the leader of the agitation and describes the court proceedings taken against him individually. With the result of being faced with bankruptcy, Adams paid his rent and then surrendered farm at Ballydownan, with the result that all other agitation on the estate ceased and rents were collected within three weeks. Also refers to 'boycotting' occurring throughout the estate but that no acts of violence or outrages took place. A further attempt at withholding rent in May 1881 was similarly short-lived.

Annual Report 1880

Annual report, accounts and rental for year ending June 1880, wherein Digby contrasts the Geashill estate favourably with other estates in the country during this 'almost unprecedented agricultural disaster of the past season'. Reports that although the usual remittance is reduced by £1500 due to increased arrears, there was an overall net increase in rental income at £17,307.1.8.

Reports that there is an increase in the number of unskilled labour available and therefore more drainage works and land improvement projects were carried out with the result that there was hardly a person on the estate in want of work compared with other parts of Ireland where there was great distress and beginnings of famine. Notes that many of the projects are being executed under the Board of Works. To offset any failure of the potato crop on the estate, Digby reports that he has imported 50 tonnes of champion seed potatoes from Scotland and distributed among the tenantry.

Construction works included a pair of double cottages at Killeigh; a further addition to Thomas Cobbe's farmhouse at Annagharvey; a labourer's cottage for Mr Delamere at the Meelaghans; and the repair of the roof and offices at Ballymooney House. Forestry works included clearing and replanting of Scrubb Wood and new plantations at Gorteen and Derryadd.

Notes that the past year will long be remembered by every landlord and tenant 'as one of the most disastrous ever experienced', with bad weather, failure of root crops, and 'a potato crop more diseased than any since the famine years.' Warns that the Land League have seized upon the bad harvest as a means to increase agitation amongst tenants and have organised meetings the length and breadth of Ireland, and hopes that forthcoming legislation by the government will solve the Irish Land Question.

Annual Report 1879

Annual report, accounts and rental for year ending June 1879, containing a less favourable report than previous hears due to 'the great and general depression of trade and agriculture' and warns that another bad season will render the tenants in a precarious position. Reports that abandoned arrears had increased but that despite this the rental of the estate had increased and that a profit of £10000 had been remitted as usual. The estate was free of agitation, rents 'cheerfully paid' and only the 'thoroughly negligent' tenants affected by the depression.

Drainage works continued at Killurin and through Mr. Briscoe's property at Ross and there were further drainage works at Dalgan. The main expenditure on construction was for new farm buildings for Thomas Cobbe at Annagharvey, 'which are now the most substantial and commodious farm buildings on the estate.' Other works included a new dwelling house for Mrs Hoyland of Colehill; new outbuildings for farmer Thomas Foran at Killarles and a new slate roof for the priest's offices in Geashill.

Reports that the timber market is in a most depressed state. Forestry works included nearly 30 acres of clearances at Graigue Wood, Derrybrien Wood and Derryclure Wood, all of which were replanted.

Annual Report 1878

Annual report, accounts and rental for year ending June 1878, containing a less favourable financial report than previous years due to non-payment of rent as a result of a second consecutive bad harvest. Reports that he had to evict Samuel Johnston in Killurin due to the neglect of his farm. Details significant drainage works around the estate: main drainage at Killurin and Ross with permission of Mr. Briscoe who will contribute to the works of the drain through his property at Ross; main drainage at Knockballyboy which involves the sinking of the millstream forming the boundary of the Digby, Charleville and Ponsonby Estates at Clonad and Townparks, and jointly paid for; and further drainage for Michael Casey's holding at Killeenmore.

Expenditure also included a 'heavy outlay' for the large reclaimed farm at Annagharvey, where the tenant Mr Riddell had to surrender and was replaced by Thomas Cobbe who had new concrete farm buildings erected with galvanised corrugated iron roofs. Other construction works included a new dwelling house at the Meelaghans to attract a teacher for the Meelaghans National School; a new residence at Killeigh to replace decaying accommodation of John Warren; and substantial farm offices constructed for Mrs. Owens at the Meelaghans to house cattle. A significant amount was also expended on forestry clearances and replantation at Derrygolan and Hawkswood.

Annual Report 1877

Annual report, accounts and rental for year ending June 1877, reporting no outstanding arrears with all rents paid punctually and not a single farm surrendered despite a bad harvest. Increased profit of £10,000 remitted to Lord Digby attributable to extra rents from the glebe lands of Killeigh and Geashill. Expenditure on drainage continued with works at Ballydownan bog and the thorough cleaning of the watercourse on the estate boundary between Cappancur and the late McMullen's bog at Ballydaly. Digby reports that the only centenarian tenant on the estate had been forced to sleep on his kitchen table due to the repeated flooding of his cabin in this area. A new drain was also sunk near Ballycommon canal bridge through the valley behind Ballinagar.

Construction works consisted of a new cattle shed for Darby Kelly, 'an improving tenant' in Cloncoher; new labourer's cottages at the Meelaghans; new cattle shed for Mr Davis, tenant of the reclaimed Meelaghans lands; a new dwelling house for J. Smollen of the Meelaghans; and the raising and repairing of the smith's house in Killeigh. Eighteen acres of the River Wood at Clonad was thoroughly drained and replanted with larch and oak.

Overall Digby reports that the estate is quiet and free from the disturbances and outrages perpetrated in other parts of the county.

Annual Report 1874

Annual report, accounts and rental for year ending June 1874, containing a positive report on the financial condition of the estate with an increase in the overall rental income. Expenditure consisted of further land improvements including drainage works in Roskeen, Killarles, Cappyroe and Clonmore. A drain was sunk at Meelaghans and Cloncon which serves as a boundary between the Geashill and Charleville Estates and report notes that Lord Charleville has undertaken to pay half the cost of the drain. Construction of a new farmhouse for Mr Riddell of Annagharvey cost £514.19.6.

Report also discusses the introduction of concrete works as a construction method due to the difficulty in sourcing masons, many of which have emigrated. Also notes that the forester has had to be replaced as Mr McIntosh had emigrated to California. New plantations were established at Cappyroe and the Meelaghans.

Despite the eviction of Mr. Connolly of Clunagh who was in occupation of a farm in Clonad, overall agitation on the estate dissipated after the death of the former parish priest, and Digby describes his successor as 'a bright exception amongst Irish priests.'

Annual Report 1873

Annual report, accounts and rental for year ending June 1873, containing positive reports on the financial condition of the estate with only 'trifling arrears' of £32 and a general increase in overall rental income. Expenditure consisted of main drainage of lands at Roskeen, Queen's County; the reclamation of the bog at Killurin; thorough drainage at Bawnmore; construction of two new cottages in Geashill Village and a substantial range of offices for Mr Warren of Gorteen. Also comments on the scarcity of labour on the estate due to emigration to America, and that the 'Russian Village' (portable labourers' housing) has been moved to Cappyroe from Ballyknockan.

Regrets to say that relations with the tenantry are not entirely satisfactory. Tenants without a written contract were asked to sign one but the parish priest, using 'the extraordinary and mischievous power which an Irish priest possesses over an ignorant Roman Catholic tenantry', informed tenants that by signing they will exclude themselves from any benefit under the Land Act.

Describes the eviction of Mr. O'Flanagan, a large tenant on the estate, who had tried to establish 'tenant-right' through the courts but 'failed signally, as at the last moment before the claim came before the Chairman of the Quarter Sessions, Mr. O'Flanagan signed a paper admitting that he had no claim whatever to tenant-right in his holding.'

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.

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