Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)

Pat Purcell Papers
Beresford History

By kind permission of Michael Purcell

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A little background to Beresford history

At this stage a short extract from "The Carlow Gentry" may give readers a little background to the Beresford history.

From pages 24--27. "The Carlow Gentry" by Jimmy O' Toole 1993. (I.S.B.N. 09522544 0 9)

"The image of Beresford as an absentee landlord was tough and uncompromising, a policy carried out with ruthless effect during the time of agent Charles Doyne. Doyne, whose family had a large estate in Tullow, was also land agent for the Kavanagh's of Borris, and with such a large block of tenant farmer votes under his control, he wielded enormous power during the political turmoil of the 1830's...

There were few estates in the county during that period to equal the level of evictions experienced by tenants of Beresford. In 1836, the Liberal politician Nicholas Alward Vigors , in a petition to Parliament, said 86 families had been evicted in the parish of Bagenalstown during the previous few years. Fifteen families were issued with notices to quit in Slyguff, and at one point, Beresford was accused of having evicted 103 families.

In March 1835 , Doyne was quoted as having told a meeting of tenants --"that Lord Beresford was determined to provide a class of tenants for his estate over whom the priests would have no influence". In that policy, Doyne seems to have succeeded because Fr. Andrew Phelan, a curate in Dunleckney, accused Beresford of "persecuting Catholics because of their religion".

Seventeen families were evicted from Kilcloney, and of the 120 acres involved, 100 acres were given to two Protestant families, and the remainder to two Catholic tenants. Evictions were a much used political propaganda weapon capitalised on by the opponents of landlords at election time; and frequently, notices to quit -- sometimes not acted upon -- were added to the statistics of actual evictions. Landlords were sensitive in such propaganda wars, and in 1841, Beresford successfully sued The Morning Chronicle for its inaccurate and libellous description of evictions on his estate near Tinryland.

 The above is a true and accurate transcript of the original document.

Transcribed by Jean Casey, January 2010.

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2001 County Carlow Irish Genealogy Project. IGP