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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 1883

Annual report, accounts and rental for year ending June 1883, describing a considerable improvement in the financial situation with a large drop in arrears outstanding due to the Arrears Act of 1882. Reports that abandoned and boycotted farms now account for 850 statute acres of land in Lord Digby's hands set for temporary grazing and necessitating the purchase of cattle. Also reports that despite a decrease in the net rental due to the action of the Land Commission Courts and voluntary reduction of rents, it was possible to remit profits of £11,500. No land improvements or works were carried out, but 50 acres of replanting was carried out at Derrygunnigan Wood, River Wood at Clonad and Derrygolan.

Describes a general improvement in the condition of the estate and attributes the cessation of agitation to the Prevention of Crimes Act brought in following the Phoenix Park murders in spring 1882.

Annual Report 1886

Annual report, accounts and rental for year ending June 1886, showing a further reduction in the gross rental received by £152.13.0 and noting a considerable increase in arrears outstanding mainly attributable to the continued and intensified depression in the value of almost all kind of stock and farm produce, recent proposed legislation and a renewed demand for alteration of land laws. Forestry works consisted of 20 acres planted in Derryclure Wood and Scrubb Wood.

Describes a further agitation at the winter collection of rents (1885) with the object of procuring an abatement of rents that have been recently judicially fixed. Also describes the 'great excitement' among the tenantry derived from the Home Rule movement and the Parnellite party.

Page fifteen.

Letter from Patrick J. Smyth to Abraham Stritch Fuller at Woodfield, Clara, County Offaly, on 15 April 1848, concerning the arrest of William Smith O'Brien, Thomas F. Meagher and John Mitchel for sedition. Informs Fuller that his subscription to the cause will be published in 'The Nation' and the 'United Irishman', and is glad to here that the neighbourhood of Clara is prepared for [rebellion]. Also includes a newspaper clipping concerning a minor "Accident to the Reverend Abraham Fuller".

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