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The respective cultural and social significance of the landlord, middleman and tenant in Irish life in the period 1780 – 1914

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  1. Introduction.
  2. The landlord.
    1. The land for which he did not pay any rent.
    2. The minor gentleman or large farmer.
  3. The peasant who paid a rent to the middleman.
  4. The absence of market involved.
  5. Evictions of tenants.
  6. Conclusion.
  7. Bibliography.

According to the Census of 1851, it appears that there were 570, 338 tenants farmers in Ireland who accounted for over half of the rural population. This census also shows that 10, 000 landlords owned most of the land. These numbers show an unfair domination of the land by landlords. And between these two we find an amount of middlemen. We know that the landlords, middlemen and tenants had ties together simply because of their relationship with the land. It leads us to the question: What was the respective cultural and social significance of the landlord, middlemen and tenant in Irish life in the period 1780 ? 1914? Firstly, I will deal with the decline of the landlords through the years. Then we will focus on the role of the middlemen and their eradication. Finally, we will emphasize on the living conditions of the tenants and its evolution.
The landlord owned the land for which he did not pay any rent. The landlords were considered as ?the nobles? and there were several ranks of nobles, their rank depending on how much land they owned. Thus, this allows us to say that the landlord was a member of high society. This is also reflected by the fact that the ?landlords houses and demesnes were grandly impressive, estates were concentrated in great territorial blocks? . Consequently, it was ascertained that the landlords in the eighteenth century had been the ?undisputed economic and legal centres of their localities? .

[...] So, as we have seen the relationship between landlord, middleman and tenant yield much information on the cultural and social significance of each as we see that each relates greatly to the other. Bibliography Moody, T.W., and Vaughan, W.E., (eds) A new history of Ireland: iv, Eighteenth century Ireland (1691-1800) (Oxford, 1986) Vaughan, W.E., (ed.) A new history of Ireland: Ireland under the union, i (1801-1870) (Oxford, 1989) Vaughan, W.E., (ed.) A new history of Ireland: VI, Ireland under the union, ii (1870-1921) (Oxford, 1996) Vaughan, W.E., Landlords and tenants in Ireland 1884-1904 (Dublin, 1884) Donnelly, James S., Landlord and tenant in nineteenth century Ireland (Dublin, 1973) World Wide Web P.W. [...]


[...] We have seen that numerous events of the nineteenth century, most significantly the Famine and its many consequences, gave rise to the landlord's declining position towards the early 1900's and as a consequence his social and cultural significance in the social structure of the time was greatly affected. The middlemen underwent a different kind of decline, in that the landlord helped to eradicate their numbers, so that by 1914 the number of middlemen in Ireland was poor, if any remained at all in certain areas. [...]

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