From the scrapbook of Landlord
Agent, Mr Charles Thorpe, in the PPP.
Landlordism near Borris.
On Tuesday last (2nd August) a
widow, Mrs Anne Waters, at the age of 81 years with her
family, were thrown out upon the roadside by her
landlord, Mr Denis Pack-Beresford.
Now deprived, not only of her
home, but also of the resources of livelihood which she
hoped to bequeath to her children.
It will be remembered that so
far back as August 1891 the tenant paid the entire
amount due, viz., two years' rent including
hanging-gale, and full legal costs, but as the period
for redemption had expired a cheque for the amount is
now held by Pack-Beresford's agent.
So the poor tenant is now in the
position of having parted with home and money.
Mr Pack-Beresford so far has
both, and it will be interesting to watch what he will
do with poor Mrs Waters farm.
The case is one eminently
deserving of close public attention.
The circumstances of the case
reveal an arbitrariness that recall the by-gone days
when the landlord could do what he liked.
For the past six years Mrs
Waters has been harassed by unreasonable rent exaction,
and mulcted in law costs.
The rent and heavy legal costs
was long since paid to the agent, Mr Charles Thorpe who
then wanted the tenant to enter an agreement containing
Last week, Mrs Waters, with her
family, was thrown out upon the roadside and their house
handed over to the tender mercies of the sheriff and the
emergency men, (crow-bar brigade) at least one of whom
wore a revolver, they have now barricaded the premises
as if they feared an armed invasion to recapture it.
Mr. Pack-Beresford will find
that all Nationalists will combine, and that landlordism
in its old form must not be revived in this country, and
that respectable tenants, who are willing to pay their
just obligations shall not be turned from their homes in
order to satisfy a vindictive and despotic landlord.
The employees of Mr
Pack-Beresford have been engaged during the past week in
carting over to Fenagh House the produce of Mrs Waters
land, and some of the crops (including a heap of coal)
have been stored at Pack-Beresford's farm.
The greedy landlord's serfs with
six horses and the necessary implements entered the
Waters farm and without either care or consideration for
the condition of the grain the whole corn crop was cut
down and is left melting on the ground from that day to
It is stated that portion of the
work was personally superintended by Mr Denis
Other items removed by the
emergency men were; farm carts, tools, two ricks of hay,
implements, a donkey croydon, presses, furniture,
utensils and sundry articles.
The root and vegetable crops are
likewise claimed by Mr Pack-Beresford and are specially
guarded, the poor tenant today not knowing the luxury
even of a potato from her own garden.
Note added in 2010 by Michael
Over several hundred years
thousands of evictions such as the one recorded here
took place all over Ireland.
Now some of you know why,
down through the centuries, the Irish had to form and
support such organisations as the Rightboys, the
Whiteboys, the United Irishmen, the Defenders, Ribbonism,
Fenianism, the Irish Republican Brotherhood, the
Invincibles, the Irish National Land League, the United
Irish League, Sinn Fein, the Irish National Volunteers,
Cumann na mBan, the Irish Citizen Army, the Irish
Republican Army, etc.
I am aware of the account of
a group of Irish Republican Army activists planning to
burn down Fenagh House in 1920, this morning after
reading the above account of Beresford's machinations I
can understand why they might have wanted to do so.
What I now find difficult to
understand is the fact that the group were ordered not
to proceed with their plan because de Valera had issued
a directive that attacks by the IRA on the "Big Houses"
of the gentry were to cease.
It is believed that this
directive from de Valera was issued because of his close
friendship with Erskine Childers who had intervened with
him on behalf of the gentry of Ireland.
At a local level the 1920
story was confirmed to me by Pat Purcell, May Gibney and
Robert Browne-Clayton of Browne's Hill.
Thanks to Jean and her helpers
for researching and typing up the reports of this
The above is a true and
accurate transcript of the original document.
Transcribed by Jean Casey, January