RATEPAYERS’ PETITION TO THE PARLIAMENT AT WESTMINSTER OPPOSING THE ERECTION OF A WORKHOUSE IN LETTERKENNY 1840
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Extracted from the Londonderry Standard, October 28, 1840
TO THE COMMISSIONERS OF POOR LAWS
From the proceedings of a Meeting lately held at Stranorlar, relative to the Poor Law, an opinion is very generally entertained that it is in contemplation to erect a Poor-house in the town of Letterkenny, in the Barony of Kilmacrenan.
We, the undersigned Proprietors and Occupiers of Land in the Barony of Kilmacrenan, beg leave to call your earnest and immediate attention to this our Memorial and Remonstrance against such a measure, should such be contemplated. First, the erection of a Poor-house in Letterkenny would be in its position on the verge of the Barony, entail the necessity of having two more in other parts of it. Secondly, from our knowledge of the state of pauperism in the Barony of Kilmacrenan, we are satisfied that one Poor-house, situated in some central part of the Barony, would be quite sufficient for the wants of the Poor; though to a stranger going through the Barony during the six summer months it would be appear, from the quantity of strolling families who are begging, that one half of the population at least were Paupers. Nor would it be undeceived until informed of the fact, that it is the annual practice of many hundreds of families in the mountainous parts of the Barony, as soon as they have planted their potatoes and cut their turf in the spring, to shut up their houses – the men going to England and Scotland for work, and the women and children going out to beg until the potatoes are ready to be dug when they all return home. None of these persons would ever become inmates of a Work-house, as they would not consent to give up the tenements they hold. That, satisfied as we are that one Work-house for the Barony of Kilmacrenan would be sufficient and being willing and desirous in every way in our power to facilitate the carrying out to the fullest extent the provisions of the Relief Bill, yet we cannot view, without great alarm, the results which may ensue from doing so in a manner so unnecessarily expensive and so disproportionate to the means of all those upon whom the supplying the funds which devolve.
The taxation upon this Barony, in the shape of County Cess, has already become very difficult of collection, and, in some cases, resistance to the Collector has been offered. If these burdens are to be increased by the cost of erecting three Work-houses, and maintaining them, when one would fully answer all the purposes, it will end in a net a net refusal on the part of a vast number of the Cess-payers to pay anything, a system of passive resistance adopted, or they or the Grand Juries of the County must give up the idea of maintain their Roads and Public Works; and by so doing, hundreds who now maintain themselves and families by the outlay of the County money will be thrown out of employment, and consequently driven to swell the list of paupers. To enumerate all the evils of carrying out this Act of Parliament in such an expensive manner, would occupy too much of your time to peruse, and we shall now only advert to a circumstance recently made known to us, namely, that a Memorial has been forwarded to you from the town of Letterkenny, advocating the expediency of making it a Union and building a Work-house there.
That Memorial has been got up privately, and without any public notice whatever, and does not express the public opinion on the subject. It has been got up by persons who are more guided by self-interest than the public good, and secretly, from the movers of it knowing the general opposition they would meet with, if publicity were given to it. We now respectfully appeal to you, in the confident hope that in so great and important a measure as this, you will weigh the matter carefully and impartially, and not allow the interests and prosperity of our Barony to be sacrificed by the selfish views of individuals, and so beneficial an act as the Relief Bill, to commence its career by creating disgust and opposition, and increasing the pauperism it is meant to relieve.
We are, your most obedient humble servants,
James Stewart, Bart., J.P., Fortstewart Alex. R. Stewart, J.P., Ards House Benjamin G. Humphrey, J.P., Cavanacor Thomas Batt, Ramullan Charles F. Stewart, J.P., Mep[h]agh Glebe R. Alexander, Clerk, Rathdonnell Nathaniel Stewart, Shelfield William Dennett Fortstewart Ralph Mansfield, Castlewray William Wray, J.P., Oakpark Francis Mansfield, Castleshanaghan Alex. McElhinny William Hood, Lisnanees Henry Hart, Glenalla Wybrants Olphert, J.P., Ballyconnell Thomas Olphert Carrowcannon Thomas Robinson, Ballynass David Irwin, Clerk, Mevagh Glebe Henry Mansfield Glenlary William Buchanan, Lisnanees Samuel Buchanan, Lisnanees William Black, Ball Green Alex. Black, Ball Green James Reid, Ramelton Andrew Patton, Ramelton James G. Wood, J.P., Castlegrove Anthony Hastings, J.P., Clerk, Rector, Kilmacrenan William McLaughlin, Ramelton William Goff, Mevagh Samuel Gamble, D.D., Ramelton George Bond, Ramelton Samuel Sproule, Ramelton David Brigham Ramelton Moses Spencer, Ramelton Robert Gillespey, Ramelton Matthew Reid, Ramelton William McElwaine, Ramelton Moses Hay, Aghadreena John Mulholland, Rough Park William Black, Ball Green William Speer, Aughador William Black, Lakefield William McElhinny, Aghalenty Robert Spencer, Ramelton Samuel Stewart, Ramelton Henry White, Ramelton Samuel Davison, Ramelton Alexander Dill, Rosreagh John Lockhart, Aughnish James Hamilton, Ramelton John Hunter, Ramelton Joseph Gallagher, Ardnaree William Gallagher, Newtownbaily Joseph Hay, Portlean Robert Stewart, Gortnaskeagh William Gallagher, Ardnaree James Starrett, Gortaway Alex. Stewart, Castleshanaghan Nathaniel Hunter, Breaghy James Cook, Ramelton George Black, Ballylin James Cheatly, Cairn James Hunter, New Mill Alex. Pinkerton, Ramelton Edward Kelly, Ramelton Robert Hamilton, Gortnavern Robert Anderson, Carrolina John McGhee, Hollymount Charles Deeny, Ballyboe Michael Connellogue, Ballyboe Robert Lockhart, Ramullan Michael Dogherty, Ramullan James Lockhart Ramullan Matthew Stitt, Ramullan William Henderson, Ramullan Sam. Henderson, Ramullan James Begley, Ramullan Anthony Freel, Ramullan Geo. McGowan, Ramullan John Begley, Craigmaclerow James Freel, Saltpans John Smith, Killygarvan Samuel Lockhart, Killygarvan John Lockhart, Killygarvan Thomas Cannon, Killygarvan Henry Stewart, Aghadreenan Anthony Dunlevy, Meentaghs John McClosky, Meentaghs Dennis McClosky, Meentaghs Dennis Coyle, Meentaghs James McGlashin, Meentaghs Peter Gallagher, Meentaghs Edward Green, Gortnatra David McCoach, Gortnatra Alex. Patterson, Augtore John McDivitt, Augtore Samuel Laird, Ranny Daniel McDade, Carrowkeel Samuel Hamilton, Gortnatra Edward Friel, Ballymagowan Joseph Scott, Ballymagowan Henry Scott, Ballymagowan Mark Campbell, Ballymagowan Samuel Campbell, Ballymagowan Daniel Connell, Ballymagowan James Wallace, Ballymagowan Benjamin Wallace, Ballymagowan Hugh Gallagher, Morus John Sweny, Rosnakill Francis Freel, Rosnakeel Humphrey Freel, Rosnakill Edward Gallagher, Rosnakill Oliver Lockhart, Tamny Thomas McGarvey, Tamny Robert H. Patton Croghan Samuel Boreland, Tamny Robert Borland, Tamny Moses Dill, Springfield Henry Maturin, Clerk, Rector, Fannet Glebe Robert Hay, Aghadreenan Jas. McIlwaine, sen., Knockbrack Jas. McIlwaine, jun., Knockbrack James White, Carran Robert Hay, Carran John Cuthbert, Carran George Cuthbert, Carran Robert McIlwaine, Carran Mark Wallace, Carran Archibald Stewart, Carran Patrick Green, Carran Daniel McGlashen, Carran John Carr, Clonca John Wilson, Clonca Andrew Borland, Clonca Dennis Sweeny, Clonca Michael Sweeny, Clonca William McIlwaine, Drumfad Joshua Forster Drumfad George Forster, Drumfad John Sheering, Crucknagee William Coyle, Crucknagee John Sheals, Crucknagee Pat. Sheering, Crucknagee Bernard Coyle, Crucknagee Patrick Gobin, Drumfad Patrick Freel, Drumfad Brian Dogherty, Kincanagh Bernard McAveagh, Kincanagh Pat. Griffin, Kincanagh Michael Deeny, Kincanagh John McVeagh, Carlan William McCoach, Carlan William McVeagh, Carlan Patrick McVeagh, Carlan Samuel Mortimer, Carlan Brian McGlashin, Carlan James Coll, Carlan Patrick McAteer, Carlan Hugh Griffin, Carlan Daniel McAteer, Carlan Daniel Fletcher, Gortnatreagh John McAteer, Gortnatreagh Dan. McAteer, Gortnatreagh Daniel Coll, Carlan Hugh Coll, Carlan Daniel Griffin, Carlan Daniel McElwee, Carlan Francis Stewart, Carrowkeel Edward Dunlevy, Carrowkeel Richard Williams, Carrowkeel William Dogherty, Carrowkeel Robert Williams, Carrowkeel William Ward, Gortcally David Ward, Gortcally James McCoach, Gortcally William Price, Dunmore John Gallagher, Dunmore Hugh Gallagher, Dunmore Thomas McGrory, jun., Dunmore Thomas McGrory, sen., Dunmore John McGrory, Dunmore Brian Loughry, Dunmore Marcus Freel, Dunmore John Deering, Dunmore Edward McGrory, sen., Dunmore Edward McGrory, jun., Dunmore James McGrory, Dunmore Edward Kelly, Dunmore Maurice Freel, Dunmore Charles Williams, sen., Dunmore Charles Williams, jun., Dunmore Francis Stewart, Carrowkeel Oliver Lockhart, Croghan
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