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State-Aided Emigration Scheme;

Castlemaine

The crown estate of Castlemaine was situated in the parish of Kiltallagh, Co. Kerry, on the river Maine, a short distance inland from the bay of Castlemaine. the estate, known as the Constable's Acres, was one of the perquisites of the sinecure post of governor of the fort of Castlemaine, and was placed under the management of the Commissioners of Woods when the governorships was abolished from 12 August 1835, on the death of the last holder of the office.1 Despite several searches made by orders of the Commissioners, no records could be found as to how or when the lands became attached or annexed to the office of governor,2 and the estate, (which in 1839 consisted of about nine acres, a fishing weir and a village of thirty-one 'thatched Cabbins of the poorest description', and one small slate house),3was usually leased by the governor for the term of his interest in the office. In 1839 three of the houses were occupied by publicans, two by tradesmen and the rest by labourers. The village was in a 'reduced state', and no rent had been paid by the tenants from 1835, when the lease expired, to 25 March 1840.4

Arrangements were made about 1839 for the erection of a quay, and Michael Boyan, superintendent of the model farm experiment in Kingwilliamstown, was appointed overseer of the improvements. It was not until this time that possession of the premises was sought for the Crown, and by 31 March 1841, all but three of the properties had been recovered.

But in spite of the erection of the quay, and a new schoolhouse and dwelling houses in the village, the tenants' lot did not improve due to the lack of employment and scarcity of food, and when the Commissioners of Woods adopted a policy of state-aided emigration, Castlemaine was included in its scope.

There were at least three separate group departures from this estate, but despite an intensive search the list of the second and largest party to leave has not been found among the papers in the Quit Rent Office collection.

The first party of emigrants left in the autumn of 1848 on a date subsequent to 4 Sept ember 1848.5 Their departure is recorded in a report of 21 December 1848, but the names of heeds of families only are given, when it would appear that twelve persons emigrated at a cost of (pounds) 72 3s. 11d.6

A further scheme was proposed in June 1849, and the expenditure of (pounds) 500 was authorized for removing forty-three adults and twenty-four children from Castlemaine to New York.7 As far as can be discovered, in the absence of the official list, at least thirteen families, or sixty-three individuals, left at a cost of (pounds) 279 7s. 1d. on or before 20 September 1849.8 From a brief reference in a letter written at the time, it is evident that this party joined the emigrants from Kingwilliamstown who sailed on the Columbus from Liverpool for Ney York on 7 September 1849, 'at the same rate of charge' as those from Kingwilliamstown.9 The names of Patrick O'Brien and John Coffey have been included in the list. According to a note made  in the 'house Book' for that area, Coffey is described as 'having gone to America leaving his holding in the hands of the Crown'.10

The third part of eight left Cork on 20 September 1851, on the same day as nineteen emigrants for  Kingwilliamstown, at a total cost of (pounds) 42 3s 2s.11

There were therefore only twenty-two names in the accompanying list which with the group of sixty-three for which no name or details are available, (with the possible exceptions of John Coffey and Patrick O'Brien), gives a total of eighty-five emigrants . The total cost of the entire emigration project for Castlemaine was (pounds) 393 4s 2d.

The town, lands, tolls of two fairs and fishing rights in the river Maine, were sold for (pounds) 1,120 in August 1855.12

Emigrants From Castlemaine



Total 22 individuals
Name Age Personal Details Departure
from Liverpool
Coffey, John 13      
Daly, Mary
?
?
  daughter
mother
24 Sept 1851
Griffen, Daniel
?
?
?
?
  wife
son
son
son
Sept 1848
Hanifen, Ulick 14

Mary
Dan
Mary
30

31
 2
 6
son-in-law of
Margaret Sullivan
wife
son
daughter
24 Sept 1851
McCarthy, John

?
?
  undertenant of
Daniel Griffin
mother
sister
Sept 1848
Shea, John 15

?
?
?
  son of Thomas
who died 1848
brother
brother
sister
Sept 1848
O'Brien, Patrick 16     Prior to 4 Aug 1851
Sullivan, Margaret 67 mother-in-law of
Ulick Hanifen abv
 

1 Q.R.O., Land Revenue Series letter Books, Commissions of Woods to Burk, 2 March 1841.

2 Ibid., Paymaster  of Civil Services to Burke, 25 March 1841; R. Hamilton & Co., Crown Solicitors, to Burk, 31 March 1841.

3 Ibid., Boyan to Commissioners of Woods, 26 November 1839.

4 Ibid., 11 July 1840

5 Q.R.O., O.W., Letter, Account, Sale, etc. Entry Books, no. G 2, Commissioners of Woods to Boyan, 4 September 1848.

6 Ibid., no. I 2, Commissioners of Woods to Commissioners of Treasury, 21 December 1848; 29 June 1849; 28th Report of Commissioners of Woods, app. p 141. No explanation is offered for the delay in returning this figure.

7 Ibid., no I 2, Commissioners of Treasury to Commissioners of Woods, 23 July 1849.

8 Ibid., no J 2, Commissioners of Woods to Boyan, 14 August 1849; 4 October 1849; no K 2, 21 December 1850, Files of Forfeiture Office, Crown Lands - General, Rental for Castlemaine, 1853, 27th Report of Commissioners of Woods, app. p. 81

9 Q.R.O., Correspondence - Kingwilliamstown, Boyan to Commissionsers of Woods, 25 September 1849.

10 Q.R.O., Baluation Office Collection, House Book fo Kiltallagh parish, Co. Kerry. These books were compiled c 1826-51, in the course of work on the general valuation. See article by Margaret Griffith in I.H.S., viii No. 29.

11 Q.R.O., Rental for Kingwilliamstown, Castlemaine and Kinsale estates, 1851-52; Correspondence -  Kingwilliamstown, Boyan to Commissioners of Woods, 17 February 1852; O.W. Letter, Account, Sale, etc. Entry Books, no L 2, Commissioners of Woods, to Boyan, 10 September 1851; 29th Report of Commissioners of Woods, app. p 115.

12 Q.R.O., Particulars of Sales of Crown Property since the year 1824, p 34.

14 Rental for Kingwilliamstown, Castlemaine and Kinsale estate, 1851-52. Q.R.O., Correspondence -  Kingwilliamstown, return of Population for Castlemaine estate, 4 August 1851.

15 Q.R.O., O.W. Letter, Account, Sale. etc Entry books no I 2, Commissioners of Woods to Commissioners of Treasury, 21 December 1848. The immediate reason fo the emigration of the Griffin, McCarthy and Shea familes was that their dwellings had been acquired and demolished preparatory to the erection of a National School in Castlemaine.

16 Q.R.O. Correspondence -  Kingwilliamstown, Return of Population on Castlemaine Estate, 4 August 1851.

"State-Aided Emigration Schemes from the Crown Estates in Ireland c 1850" Analecta Hibernica, No 22 Dublin 1960

This page created March 2000 for County Kerry, Ireland


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