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Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)

Carlow Landlords

Petition of Tenants of Col. Henry Bruen
Relating to The County of Carlow Election"

Source: HANSARD 18032005

23 March 1836 Commons Sitting

Carlow Landlords.

HC Deb 23 March 1836 vol 32 cc506-14 506

Mr. Wallace presented the following Petitions from 350 individuals, the tenants of the hon. and gallant Member for the county of Carlow:

"Petition of Tenants of Col. Henry Bruen Relating to The County of Carlow Election".

"A Petition of tenants of Col. Henry Bruen resident in the county of Carlow, was presented and read; setting forth, that the Petitioners are informed, and believe, that a petition on behalf of Nicholas A. Vigors, Esq., containing certain allegations against the character of Col. Bruen as a landlord, has been presented to the House; that Petitioners are the tenants and neighbours of Col. Bruen during many years, and having a perfect knowledge of all his official acts, both as a landlord and a resident country gentleman, they respectfully but earnestly state that the charges set forth in the said Petition of N. A. Vigors, Esq., are unfounded, and they express their deep regret that charges so groundless and unwarrantable could be set before the House so indiscreetly by said N. A. Vigors, calculated to hold forth an amiable and indulgent landlord to the indignation of the lower classes of society, who are necessarily unacquainted with the truth or fallacy of the allegations in the said petition; that petitioners take this public opportunity of testifying before the assembled representatives of the nation their deep gratitude to Colonel Bruen, not only as an indulgent landlord, but as a gentleman, whose charities for years have been unbounded; that petitioners feel themselves called upon to state to the House that Col. Bruen never exerts his authority to eject his tenants, unless where large arrears accumulate from negligence and want of industry, and even then his humanity is equally conspicuous as his indulgence, for he permits them to remove their stock and the produce of their farms, forgiving rent and arrears, and in many cases has granted annuities for life to persons ejected under such circumstances; that petitioners believe the list of grievances set forth in the petition of N. A. Vigors to be wholly unfounded,-one solitary instance they respectfully hope will suffice to show the general character of the charges of the said petitioner.

Colonel Bruen obtains the credit of ejecting from the lands of Ballytarsna, 'nineteen families, consisting of 104 individuals, including twenty-one widows and orphans;' now, the facts that should have beep stated to the House are, that a Mr. Mills is the intermediate landlord of the said tenantry, and that, if a few families were ejected several years ago by him, Col. Bruen had not, directly or indirectly, any power or authority over said property, being only the head landlord, and paid only a nominal rent by Mr. Mills; that the petitioners having stated thus fairly and honestly their opinions on this extraordinary case, leave with confidence the consideration of the matter to the House, satisfied that such measures will be adopted in vindication of Colonel Bruen's character as the House shall deem wise and expedient; the petitioners submit to the House that such accusations were put forward by the said N. A. Vigors, in order to impress the House with the idea that Colonel Bruen has made use of intimidation towards his tenantry to induce them to support him as candidate for the said county of Carlow, which the petitioners are fully prepared to contradict before a Committee of the House; that petitioners further beg to state that they are prepared to show that gross intimidation has been used in numerous instances at and previous to each election since the year 1831, when Sir J. M. Doyle and Mr. Blackney were returned, in order to prevent the tenantry of Colonel Bruen and Mr. Kavanagh from supporting them, which they were most anxious to do, and the petitioners pray the House will afford an opportunity of fully investigating all matters relating thereto, before a Committee of the House."

It was impossible that any language more satisfactory to the feeling of the hon. and gallant Member could be used, than that contained in this petition. He must guard himself against vouching for the accuracy of the statements contained in this petition, inasmuch as he had no means of ascertaining how far those statements were or were not correct. He meant to propose that this and two other similar petitions which he was about to present should be printed and circulated with the votes, in the same way as the previous petitions had been circulated. He begged also to observe, that until both sides of the question had been thus sent forth to hon. Members, he should not press his motion for an inquiry. The next petition with which he was charged was from John Alexander, Esq., of the county of Carlow, against whom petitions had been presented, impugning his conduct with reference to his tenantry. The petition was to the following effect:

Source: HANSARD 18032005

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