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)

9 Archival description results for Offaly (King's)

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

Annual Report 1861

Annual report for year ending June 1861 containing details of executors' arrears, mesne rates, new rentals, estate improvements and general observations on the management of the estate. In terms of estate improvements, the report details drainage schemes including the completion of the reclamation of the land at Meelaghans and new schemes at Ballyknockan, and Ballina. Also includes details of roads built from Clonad to Derryfad and from Ballyknockan Bridge to Knockbally. Reports that the Royal Agricultural Society of Ireland awarded provincial prize of the gold medal to Lord Digby for the greatest number of improved cottages in the province of Leinster. Also reports on improvements to the Castle including the conversion of the old ball room to a parlour and drawing room.

Regarding the general management of the estate, Trench reports on 'improved tone and feeling' on the estate with new houses and improved layout appreciated by tenantry. Considers the area still backward in terms of agriculture but improving. Very dissatisfied with the police authorities in the district and reports that 6 murders took place in King's County, 2 of the most barbarous in Geashill. Also updates Lord Digby on the situation with Ribbonmen on the estate. Reports that eight active Ribbonmen have been ejected from the estate: Loughlin Kelly (Ballina), Henry Bryan (Cross Keys public house), John Clibborn (Clonmore), John Helian (Killurin), Darby Flanagan (Pigeonhouse), John Whelaghan (Newtown), Patrick Larkin (Colehill) and William Grumley (Dalgan).

Drawings in report:
Page 119 'Thoro or main drain' diagram
Page 120 Diagrams for drain and outlet for drains
Page 125 Diagrams of drains and thoro drainage
Page 129 Map of estate drainage

Annual Report 1863

Annual report for year ending June 1863 containing details of rental and general management of the estate. Includes a general report describing the failure of the 1862 harvest and the subsequent loss of rental income, including the complete abandonment of arrears in many cases. Regrets that funds were not sufficient to entice tenants to emigrate as many small and middle farmers were 'compelled to stay half starving on their land, unable to pay rent or crop the ground, or to emigrate to another land, and barely able to support life on the miserable produce of the soil'.

Also discusses the completion of drainage works at Meelaghans, now let to Mr Goodbody of Tullamore, and at Ballyknockan, now let to Mr. Ridgeway. Referring to building works, the main project was the building of the new school house at Geashill. Other new buildings include the Castle offices to replace those previously burnt. Reports on the new forester, Daniel Dewer, who has had success in making the woods and plantations profitable, in particular at Clonad.

Annual Report 1864

Annual report for year ending June 1864 containing details of the rental of the estate and the financial situation relating to the payment of rent. Explains that while the 1863 harvest was an improvement on previous years, it was not enough to ease arrears of rent and that the most impoverished on the estate had even sold their milch cows. Reports that large farms have best withstood the pressure of the previous seasons, middle and small farmers suffered the most, and the labouring classes did not suffer too much as they gained much employment in the drainage works at Ballycollin.

Reports on other large drainage works one one side of the Tullamore Road at Geashill, a large tract of land mainly made up of the farms of surrendered tenants. Also discusses farming and waste farms - 227 acres at Ballycollin and 34 acres at Bawnmore are now under tillage. Referring to the estate buildings, the report discusses improvements to the castle offices, construction of farm offices required by larger tenants, construction of a house for the drainage superintendent and the general poor condition of the village of Killeigh. Also includes a report by forester, Daniel Dewar, on woods and plantations. Further reports that Dewar will be leaving the estate as he was sought by Lord Lovat for a superior position.

Regarding emigration, the report suggests that not as much emigration as anticipated has occurred on the estate due to the 'vigorous opposition from priests', but does report that a considerable number of middle-sized farmers have been compelled to leave the estate for economic reasons.

Drawings in report:
Page 89 'Ancient Monastery Killeigh' - window opes

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.

Inquest reports of James Dillon, King's County Coroner

  • IE OH OHS51
  • Item
  • 1846-1854

Inquest reports handwritten by James Dillon, King's County Coroner into a leather-bound notebook. Inquests begin at No. 589, 21 February 1846 and end at No. 1079, 12 December 1854. Format of inquest reports is largely identical beginning with a record of the inquest number, date, location of inquest and the name of the deceased. Then follows a list of the jurors present and witnesses called. The reports end with a verdict on the cause of death. Notable due to its date span which covers the famine era.

Dillon, James

Introductory Report 1857

Introductory report submitted by Trench to Lord Digby, following his arrival on the estate on 1 June 1857. He notes that he spent the first three weeks with his son, T. W. Trench, in Tullamore, and assessed the estate on horseback during this period. Report contains a general sketch of the natural features of the estate; the extent of arable pasture, plantations or bog; the issue of rent collection and methods of valuation; and a survey of the woodlands and their ownership. A post script to the report begins on page 48 and contains further commentary on the state and extent of schooling in the area; use of the Union Workhouse; the levels of pauperism and general notes on the cottier class of tenantry. Also includes a list of current leaseholders on the estate.

Trench sketched scenes from life on the estate over the following pages:
Page 6 Sketch of Old Irish Red Deer
Page 10 Sketch of Geashill National School
Page 20 Sketch of Geashill Village
Page 23 Sketch of Derrigunnigan Wood
Page 25 Sketch of Tullamore Road
Page 27 Diagram of bogland to be drained
Page 29 Sketch of Turf Bog Annagharvey depicting two men fighting with sticks.
Page 31 Sketch of Red Deer
Page 33 Sketch of Killeenmore Moors

Trench, William Steuart