Monthly Archives: June 1847


SIR– After a week out, in the following counties, I feel glad to state my opinion of the Potato Crop as I have found it. I went to Doneraile, Kanturk, Ballyclough, Mallow, Buttevant, Wallstown, Killdorrery, Mitchelstown, Fermoy, and the borders of the county of Limerick, Tipperary and Waterford, and I never found a diseased stalk, but three. One of them was at Mr. Newman’s, one at Mr. Huggert’s, Marble Hill; the other near Kildorrery. I left no place in all the country without examining, and in my life I never saw the potato or corn crop look so luxuriant and healthy.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,


IT is now some four weeks since the Cork District Relief Committee suspended it operations. The food depots of the city were supported by, and were under the entire management of this body, and should, as a matter of course, be closed when its functions terminated. Father Mathew, seeing the amount of destitution relieved by those establishments, and the vast misery that would ensue should they be closed at such a season, took on himself the entire responsibility of the southern depot, which, since that time, he has kept open at his own private cost, aided by the casual charities sent him by the benevolent.

A reporter from this establishment visited the depot on Saturday last, when there were between FIVE and SIX THOUSAND individuals, of both sexes, old and young, congregated in the large yard attached thereto, all eating with an avidity seldom surpassed, the wholesome and substantial food which had just been dispensed to them. Father Mathew has had erected THREE new boilers, in addition to the two already erected by the committee, in consequence of the vastly increased number of poor relieved.

The gates are kept open every day till one o’clock, when all who seek relief are indiscriminately admitted. The food distributed is composed of the best Indian meal made into “stirabout,” and constitutes a wholesome and nutritious article of dietary. The expense entailed by this establishment is enormous, the consumption of Indian meal amounting daily to near ONE TON-AND-A QUARTER which, with the staff required for the making and proper distribution of the food, costs over £130 per week.

We trust that Father Mathew will be liberally aided by the benevolent in this truly charitable undertaking, and that they will not allow his private resources to suffer therefrom.

Extract of a private letter from New York:

JUNE 1ST, 1847– “Ship fever is now very prevalent here. It is, properly speaking, a most malignant kind of yellow fever. In almost every vessel that arrives several persons are afflicted with it, in consequence of which all the hospitals are full. The Board of Health are fitting up temporary places for the reception of patients. From the numbers that have been attacked, it is feared, that the fever will spread through the City as soon as the warm weather sets in.

At present it is confined to the neighbourhood of emigrant boarding houses. Dr. Van Buren, who has been stationed at the quarantine ground, has died of it, and several of the doctors that have been attending the Marine hospitals are ill with it. 567 have died on the passages from Great Britain to New York, since the 1st of January.


Bantry Abbey, June 12, 1847.
SIR.– On entering the graveyard this day, my attention was arrested by two paupers who were engaged in digging a pit for the purpose of burying their fellow paupers; they were employed in an old ditch. I asked why they were so circumscribed; the answer was “that green one you see on the other side is the property of Lord Bearhaven. His stewards have given us positive directions not to encroach on his property, and we have no alternative but this old ditch; here is where we bury our paupers.”

I measured the ground– it was exactly forty feet square, and contained according to their calculation, nine hundred bodies. They then invited me to come and see a grave close by. I could scarcely endure the scene. The fragments of a corpse were exposed, in a manner revolting to humanity; the impression of a dog’s teeth was visible. The old clothes were all that remained to show where the corpse was laid.

They then told me most deaths in the workhouse were occasioned by bad water; and the Guardians would not pay for a horse to procure clean water from a distance. More particulars in my next.



SIR,– I visited the lands of Highfield this day and found the few inhabitants that yet remain, in a most pitiable condition. Denis McCarthy, tenant for the last forty years on these lands, was on Sunday last buried. Since his ejectment he exhibited in his person, signs of approaching death; fever set in accompanied by loss of his mental faculties and thus he struggled till death. His miserable wife yet lives with her family; in the last Examiner, Mr. Beamish seems willing to justify the course he has pursued relative to these people, but as this seems rather a confirmation of my statement I shall not allude to it at present here.

I am justified in asserting the wretched tenants of Mr. Beamish are objects of universal commisseration. And as proof I must tell you that one brother who permitted the other to take shelter after his ejectment in a card shed, was refused the trifle promised him for giving up possession. This is one of the persons whom Mr. Beamish does not recognise as one of his immediate tenants. Again, these people so treated were employed by Mr. Beamish to sow corn in the farms which until then they themselves occupied. –What was the result? Why not a shilling would they get till they emptied their cabins.

It would seem, by the tenor of Mr. Beamish’s letter, he knew not whether there were villages on his property. I beg leave to tell him there were, up to the late visit of the Rev. Somerset Townsend, who undertook through motives of personal friendship to lay them waste, and who very prudently remained silent on the subject. I shall give a short extract of a letter writtenby Mr. Lovel, the under agent, to Hosford, his Poundkeeper, on hearing of the Widow Gainey’s death: “the Widow Gainey is dead, a happy riddance, I wish fifty more of them were gone.” This is the sympathy of an agent for an old tenant. After this what are we to expect? Even the desolation that overshadows us this season only as it were, steels the hearts of our masters.

I remain your Correspondent,


Extract from a letter of one of the Bombay Committee dated Bombay, May 1.

“You will I hope, pardon my drawing your attention to the subscription lists which I have had the pleasure of forwarding to you as published in the Bombay Times. The very liberal subscription of the natives is most gratifying, and will, I doubt not, be felt to be so as strongly by your own committee as they are here. The Sepoys of some of the native regiments have subscribed as largely as the same grade, rank and file, in European regiments; the native employes in all the Company’s departments of service, jagheredars and native princes, have all, where it has been known to them, come forward most liberally, often most so where the means have been the shortest.

“I must not permit myself to detail the many pleasing instances of deep and real sympathy which have come to my notice, and only venture to allude to them because they evidence the vital unity of feeling which binds together the members of England’s mighty empire.

“These mutual acts of kindness and fellow feeling tend to strengthen the attachment both of the mother country and her dependencies, and are among the best pledges of its preservance. . .


There is an exception, a strange one it is– in the surrounding desolation– an oasis– the hacknied simile was never more apposite– in the desert. This oasis is Blarney. In Blarney not a single death has occurred from starvation, nor from fever– it is perfectly free. –Dublin Evening Post.

[We are not surprised, in the general decay of nature, that the most vigorous element should still survive, and Blarney be flourishing in Ireland. Yet we apprehend that there is a tangible cause creating this “greenest spot in misery’s waste.” The feudal ruin, so famous in song, had been untenanted early in this century; but twenty years ago a wool spinning factory was established in the village by the Messrs. Mahoney of Cork, and some hundred children have ever since been paid money wages regularly in that neighbourhood. Hence habits of industry, hence an independent feeling, hence foresight and economy.

These unassuming benefactors of the locality are your true patriots, and more wanted in Ireland than a thousand brawlers. We believe they are the brothers of the gentleman whose renown in our literature is Proutean. –Morning Chronicle.].


Waterford, June 1, 1847.

MY DEAR CONWAY.– The article on the condition of the potato crop, which appeared in your paper of the 29th ult., caused universal consternation in this quarter. The circumstantial details of the disease which manifested itself, induced every one to believe that the potato was this year as irretrievably gone as in the last. Upon examining, however, the stalks of that vegetable in this quarter, it was found that no appearances presented themselves which could warrant such alarm as the article in your paper was calculated to excite.

People then began to doubt the accuracy of the information with which you were supplied; and now the impression is, that the speculators in grain, and those particularly who are large holders, and who are and must be deeply affected by falling prices, have been active in promoting the alarming accounts of the potato crop which have got into the papers.

I am very much inclined to coincide with this opinion. On this day we had a solemn dirge for the repose of the Liberator’s soul. I had an opportunity of speaking to several clergymen from the country, who attended on the melancholy occasion, and from them all I had assurances that the potato crop never looked more healthy and luxuriant than it does at present.

St. Patrick’s Waterford.


Since we wrote last, we have had a more accurate and general investigation in reference to the condition of this crop, in the gardens within a few miles round the city; and the intelligent and every way competent gentleman to whom the task has been entrusted, gives it as his opinion that there is no trace whatever of disease– and that in no one instance has he been able to discover a symptom of the last years’ blight.

We have equally good accounts from Carrigaline, a great potato-growing country; also, from Whitechurch; from Fermoy, and a number of other localities.

Mr. WILLIAM CAHILL of Ballinoe called at this office, on Monday, and showed us a stalk to which was appended a cluster of nearly full-grown ash-leave kidneys; and neither upon bulb or stalk was there the least trace of the disease.

Mr. CAHILL also stated an important fact– that he had six or seven different descriptions of potato set; and in no one variety could he discover a symptom of the blight. He added that many were grown from seed that had been tainted.

It is stated in Cork that all the rumours may be easily traced to corn speculators, who, to serve their own selfish ends, would circulate that or any other disheartening rumour.