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1889-1892

  • IE OCL P131/2/2/2/2/4
  • File
  • 22 February 1889-22 December 1892
  • Part of Loughton Papers

Letters received by Benjamin Bloomfield Trench from 1889 until 1892.

The majority of of the letters within this file deals with the Trench V Fenwick legal case. Dr Bedford Fenwick, 20 Upper Wimpole street, London, accused Benjamin Bloomfield Trench of spreading malicious rumours about him. According to a letter dated 19 April 1890 he states that Benjamin stated that 'he had made love to a certain young lady obtained letters from her jilted her, and then threatened to make them public unless hush money was paid to him'. In a letter dated 11 May 1890 he argues that 'It was evidently part of an organised attempt known to exist on they part of certain scoundrels to prevent all nursing reform' which would consist of amalgamating the Trained Nurses Annuity Fund with the British Nurses Association. The alleged incident took place in front of Lady Eleanor Liddle and Lady Georgiana Bloomfield.

The file also contains letters of an administrative nature.

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 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 1894

Annual report, accounts and rental for year ending June 1894, showing an unchanged rental situation form the previous year. Digby refers to the defeat of the Home Rule Bill and his satisfaction that 'the extraordinary proposal of the Government to reinstate evicted tenants has failed to excite enthusiasm'.

Annual Report 1895

Annual report, accounts and rental for year end June 1895, showing rents and arrears unchanged since the previous year. Despite the continued low prices for agricultural produce, and a moderate harvest, rents were satisfactorily paid, and Digby notes 'the agitation and discontent prophesied as the inevitable result of the defeat of the Home Rule and Evicted Tenants Bills have been absolutely non existent, and in this district boycotting and intimidation of any kind are almost things of the past.'

Annual Report 1901

Annual report, accounts and rental for year ending June 1901, showing a further reduction in rental mainly owing to reductions of judicial rents on the expiration of the first statutory term, and the reduction involved under the term of the Local Government Act in respect of the Poor Rate on buildings, but notes that this is more than compensated for by the exemption granted in respect of the poor rate on agricultural land in the occupation of tenants. Also notes a decrease in outstanding arrears and that abandoned arrears are low.

Annual Report 1904

Annual report, accounts and rental for year ending June 1904, showing a gross rental income of £15,240.14.2, and noting that despite a wet and unfavourable season, rents were satisfactorily paid and the amount of outstanding arrears reduced. Also reports that a request was made that the estate would be sold to the occupying tenants under the provisions of the Land Purchase Act of 1903, but that the offer made on behalf of the tenants was 'utterly inadequate' and therefore not entertained. Also reports that the timber in Clonad and other woods, which was blown down in the storm of 1903, has been sold to a Scotch timber merchant.

Annual Report 1907

Annual report, accounts and rental for year ending June 1907, showing a reduction in overall rent received and a slight increase in arrears due. Warns that the future of the estate must be 'prejudicially affected by the general demoralization caused by the apathy shown by the government in dealing with the new form of disorder known as "cattle driving"and by the extraordinary and immoral terms of their proposed legislation dealing with evicted tenants.' Also reports that negotiations with tenants were re-opened on the subject of the sale of the estate but with no definite result as yet.

Annual Report 1908

Annual report, accounts and rental for year ending June 1908, showing a slightly reduced gross rental. Reports on the general 'lawlessness' throughout the country in the form of cattle driving, boycotting and malicious injuries, but is pleased to note that the Geashill estate has been free of such incidents.

Also reports that the purchase negotiations with the tenants have been agreed and the tenanted lands in King's County and Queen's County are now to be sold under the premise of the Land Purchase Act of 1903. Warns however that due to the insufficiency of funds from the government, it will be some years before the purchase money and bonds can be paid to Lord Digby and the holdings vested in the tenants.

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