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Report of Her Majesty's Commissioners of Inquiry into the Working of the Landlord and Tenant (Ireland) Act, 1870, and the acts amending the same online

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34963-6. Case of arbitrary eviction on Sir T.
Bateson's estate, 34968. Land Act beneficial to
tenants, but grievance remains that landlords can
raise rent; tenants not free parties, 34970-9.
In fixing rents, would start with year 1800 ; if
landlord could show improvements made by him
since that, would allow him fair compensation ; in
case of dispute, a public officer might decide,
34980-9. Mentioned purchasers under Church
Act who are doing well, 34990-2. General peasant
proprietary impracticable ; Government should buy
from laiMilords who wish to sell, and sell to tenants,
34993-6. Conflicting statements as to rents of
Drumbo, 34997, 35004. In consequence of
electioneering and political matters, services of
witness as surgeon were discontinued ; other
instance of undue political influence, 35005-12.
Handed in resolutions of Newtownbreda Tenant-
Farmers' Association, 35112-4.

Anderson, Mr. James, Lissowen, Saintfield, Co. Down,
Tenant Farmer. — Dublin.
Holds by leases 100 acres from J. C. Price,
35013-9. Rents not increased on yearly tenants of
estate except on sale of good-will ; every shilling on
rent reduces tenant-right by £1, 35020-5. Rents
sometimes raised too high, 35026-7. Prices
of farm produce gone down ; cattle trade good until
American competition, 35031-53. There ought to be
fair rents and fixity of tenure, 35054-8. Complains
of amonnt of local taxes and tithe.s, also of agent's
fees and charges for obsolete courts-leet, 35058-79.

Oswald, Mr. Andrew S., Saintfield, Co. Down, Tenant

Farmer. — Du hlin.

Case of purchaser under Church Act doing well,

35080-5. Mentioned case where County Court

Judge satisfactorily fixed i-ent, 35101. Complains

of cost of transfer of land, 35102.

Fewiry, Lord^ Dingle, County Kerry, Landowner. —
Dublin.
Owns 90,000 acres ; valuation, £9,025 ; rental,
£11,117, 35115and35120. Tenants very poor; partly
migratory labourers ; building even cheapest kind of
cottages would cost fee-simple value of estate,
35116-8. Some deep bog improvable, but turbary
useful now, 35719-20. Comparison between rent
and valuation to show latter no test of former,
35120-34. To satisfy those who urge that tenants
have not freedom of contract, would institute statu-



table agreements, 35134. Suggests that Govern-
ment should, where landlords are willing, accept
land in lieu of purchase-money for merging of quit-
rent and tithe-rentcharge, 35135-9. Land Act
was misleading and disappointing to tenants,
35140-1. Free sale of good-will, with limit of
price short of fee-simple value, ought to settle all
difficulties ; rents would soon settle themselves ;
landlord ovight to have right of i)re-emption, but, if
he wish to sell, be obliged to do so without profit,
although it seems as injurious to the public that
I tenant should make a profit as landlord, 35141-50.
There ought to be no interference with rent, except
where landlord seeks to raise it ; for free sale gives
tenant his remedy, 35151-8. Does not recognise
tenant-right on his estate, but has allowed money
to pass, incoming tenant contracting himself out of
sec. 3, 35159-62. Never had a land case, 35163.
Some evictions for non-payment ; hardly any on the
title, 35165-8. County Court system not uniform
in results ; would be worse but for Court of Appeal,
35169-70. Since 1869 has spent in improvements
on estate £23,237 in manner detailed, 35171.
£4,000 borrowed from Board of Works ; has not
yet decided whether tenants shall be charged
interest, 35172. Has also spent in rebuildinj,' resi-
dence and on home farm £19,000, 35172.

Mac Dermot, The, q.c, Fitzwilliam-place. Dublin, Cos.
Mayo and Sligo, Landowner. — Dublin.
Contradicts statements made by a previous
witness with reference to treatment of tenants, and
also statements of Mr. Daly, of Castlebar, 35174-8.
Since 1870 bought land worth £30,000 in Land
Court ; never raised rents ; ofifered leases for ever,
but tenants did not care for them, 35179-81.
Agitation has completely changed tenants ; few pay
now, 35183. Is in favour of reform of land laws,
35183.

Browne, George R., esq., Cahirdoon, Listowel, Co.
Kerry, Land Agent. — Dublin.
Collects an annual rental of about £11,000.
35187. Including Wilson, Jun., estate of about
8,000 acres, held under Trinity College, 35188-9.
Considers more security ought to be given for im-
provements ; the tenure a perpetuity lease ; rent
regulated by prices ; would like a fixed rent, 35190-

35200. The three F's a basis for fair settlement,

35201. Griffith's valuation not a fair test for rent,
35201. Would disapprove of any Government
valuation as a basis for rent, 35201. Rebuts state-
ment of Rev. Mr. Moynilan, p.p., as to John
Fahy's case, 35202-28. Value of a "cow's grass"
varies as to quality of land, 35229-31. Approves
of free sale, subject to reasonable objection of land-
lord, 35233. Landlord ought to be compensated
where tenant-right is introduced, 35235. Would
give limited owners power to make fee-farm grants,
35235. Facilities for peasant proprietary ought to
be given, with checks against subdivision, 35236.
Labourers ought to have lots of ground for them-
selves ; has accomplished this on one estate, 35237
-8. Corporate bodies ought to be obliged to sell,
35244. The case of the property under Trinity
College is, rent cannot be raised except according to
price?, right of free sale allowed, and a perpetuity
exists. Perpetuity at fixed rent wished for by
tenant, as giving more inducement for improving.
As regards tenants being satisfied with fixity of
tenure, free sale, and fair (not fixed) rents, has no
great expectation that some tenants will be satisfied
at anything, 35246-8.

Vernon, John E., esq., Wilton-place, Dublin, Land

Agent. — Dublin.

Manages estates situate in dififerent parts of

Ireland, annual rent of which is £90,000,

35249-52. Diflferent systems exist ; uniformity '

desirable, 35252-3. Tenant-right system Avorks



CXX /I



IRISH LAND ACT COMMISSION, 1S80.



Yenion, John E., J. p. — continued.
fairly well ; districts bettei- with than without
it in spite of economical objections ; would take
it as a basis, excluding grazing farms, 35254-62,
35267, 36294, 35300. Particulars of improvements
made on estates where witness is agent, 35263-6.
Improvements made by tenants on faith of tenant-
right ; on other estates not unless landlord con-
tributes ; improvements on tenant-i'ight estates
diminished by increases of rent at sale ; such a rule
bad ; exists on small, not on large estates, to know-
ledge of witness, 35267-73, 35287-91. Particulars
of expenditure on several estates, 35274-9. Ex-
plains and contradicts evidence of Mr. Meares Kelly,
35280-6. Disapproves of limiting amount of pur-
chase-money for tenant-right, but would not allow
sale by auction, because producing fictitious price?,
35292-9, 35317-29. Mr. Cowan's argument as to
unrestricted rents and unrestricted sale of tenant-
right, 25,300-16. In new legislation lines of Land
Act should be followed ; tenant-right should be
defined (definition given) and extended ; would
be against subdivision or subletting ; would give
landlord right of pre-emption, 35330-44. Would
abolish right ,of distress, 35344-7. Tenant should
be debarred from contracting himself out of past
liability to local taxes, 35348-50. As regards
question of rent believes a man cannot be prevented
from getting what he can get, but extraneous aid
can be refused by State for recovei-y ; would amend
and apply 9th section to all holdings under £100 a
year; woidd substitute word "unreasonable" for
"exorbitant"; would add practical assessor to
County Court ; right of appeal on law points to
assizes, or both law and fact together to a Land
Commission, 35350-9. Establishment of a Land
Commission necessary; describes nature of it, 35359.
"Would vary 12th section by substituting £100 for
£50, 35359-63. A new general valuation ought to
be made, 35363-8, 35380, 35386-99, 35405-10.
Tenant ought to have power to claim from landlord
a perpetuity at valuation, paying for it upon a
certain scale — a higher estate for a certain price —
as in Church Temporalities Act of 1833 ; would
have no periodical revaluations, 35368-80, 35463-
80. In cases of " unreasonable" rent, if not abolished
by amended 9th section, would give Land Commis-
sion power to deal with it, 35380-5. For tenants'
perpetuity purchases would approve of part loans by
State, 35400-4. Interests of reversioners and
others to be protected by Land Commission, 35411-
4. Local registries ought to be established, 35414.
In sales of fee-simple to tenants, tenants ought not
to be charged stamp duty where Land Commission
bought landlord's estate inLand Court, 35414. Lands
iu Conveyances ought to be mapped, 3541 4. Loans to
facilitate formation of peasant proprietary ought not
to be made from Consolidated Fund, which would
be an absentee landlord, but ought to be raised on
debentures in Ireland ; £10,000,000 could be raised ;
bondholders would be interested in peace of the coun-
try, 35422-35. Proposed Land Commission should
exercise discretion in purchasing estates ; the ques-
tion of residues unsold to occupiers a difficulty that
would soon cui'e itself, 35436-8. As annual repay-
ments would form a continuing fund not so much
capital requisite as at first sight would appear,
35439-41. Proposed Commission should not have
charge of land improvements, 35442-3. Should not
take the place of Land Court ; landlord's title should
be cleared in Land Court, conveyed to, and resold
to the occupiers by Commission, 35444-7. Amovmt
of purchase-money should include all costs, 35448.
Repayments should be spread over from thirty-two
to forty-five years, 35451-62. On the whole pur-
chasers of Church lands are doing well, 35481-2.
Facilities for formation of peasant proprietary
ought to be given, but the two elements (landlord and
tenant) ought still to exist in country ; landlords
ought not to be forced to sell, 35483-5.



Walsh, Very Rev. William J., D.D., President of May-
nooth College, Co. Kildare. — Dublin.
President of St. Patrick's College. College
Trustees held a farm of 134 acres from year to year
from Duke of Leinster. Tenancy began in 1849
at rent of £295 ; raised in 1867 to £300 ; in 1877
£400 demanded after College had built upon and
improved farm greatly ; College demurred, and soon
after £470 demanded according to a valuation of a
" public valuator," a tenant of the Duke, who
valued without communicating with or being
accompanied by any representative of the College.
The Duke offered to take £400 a year provided the
Trustees signed " Leinster Lease" ; Trustees refused,
as signing such a document would put them in a
false position. Ultimate result was eviction, 35486-
35501. Further details as to this dispute, 35501-4.
Resolution passed by Trustees in 1879, withdrawing
their offer, on account of agricultural depression,
but were willing to continue as yearly tenants at
rent hitherto paid, 35505. Tenants complain of
these leases, 35506. Are completely at the Duke's
mercy, 35509-13. Tixistees brought a land claim
of £1,300 for improvemen^ts ; were adviaad they
had no claim for disturbance; case settled out of
Court, by Trustees taking £1,000, 35514-18.
Objects to principle adopted by the Duke when
fixing rent-— taking the actual value of the land
without making any allowance for tenants' improve-
ments ; considers the tenement valuation no guide
to what rent should be, being made in same way,
35518-19. Some clauses in Leinster lease most
unfair to tenants, viz., right of landlord to re-enter
if rent be not paid twenty-one days after due;
35522-23. Clause debarring tenant from com-
pensation for improvements except made with
written consent, 35523. Improvements generally
made by the tenants, in some case main drainage
and works of that sort by the Duke, in cases where
money is Borrowed for this purpose the annuity is
treated as an addition to the rent for ever, 35524.
Town parks held under lease from year to year,
terminable at a month's notice, with strict clauses
against breaking up any of the land, 35524-25,
35528. No compensation for disturbance in case
of town parks, 35527. Unequal valuation of lands,
heavy losses on each three years' crops, 35528-32.
Tenants should not be allowed to contract themselves
out of the Land Act no matter what their valuation
may be, 35534-36. Tenants have little freedom
of contract, must either accept landlord's terms or go,
35536-37. The Trustees were willing to pay the
increased rent, but objected to sign the lease on
principle, the Act being excluded by it, in every
possible way; for instance, tenants must pay entire
county cess, 35538-39. Tenants from Maynooth
district could give a good deal of evidence, but are
too much afraid, 35539. On the Trustees being
evicted the farm was given to the principal witness
for the Duke at the trial, who has been obliged to
sign the Leinster lease, 35540-41. Instance where
the Duke interfered to prevent a tenant purchasing
under the Chui-ch Act, 35543-45. In one case
tenant bought, in spite of the influence used, and
is now a proprietor, 35546. This case of the Trustees
is the only one in which the signing of the Leinster
lease was successfully resisted, 35547.

(7assi(iy, Anthony, Esq.,Enniskillen, Cos. Fermanagh,
and Tyrone, Land Owner, and Tobacco Manu-
facturer. — Dublin.
Bought a property in Fermanagh about five years
ago ; has about thirty tenants, 35550-2. After the
purcliase offered all the tenants leases for ever,
35553. Tenant-right did not exist, 35554. Tenants
seem prosperous, as they more or less worked at
the pottery,, 355 5 6. Many of them took leases for
999 years to avoid heavy law expenses; others
would not take a lease, not caring to pay for them,
35557-9. Office rules and restrictions a great



DIGEST OF EVIDENCE.



CXXVll



^assiJy, Anthony — continued.

grievance, 35560. Free sale ahould be allowed, and
BOrue competent tribunal established to fix rents,
35561-2. The three Fs would satisfy all, 35563-5.
Asked no fine on givin;^ leases ; denial of tenant-
right ; and oflice rules have woiked great mischief.
No tenant-right iu Fermanagh, except what the
agent chooses to allow ; instances in ]>oint. Land-
lords, for their own interest, ought to give fixity of
tenure, or long leases, withoiit clauses, at fair rents,

■ 35566. Is quite satisfied with the result of what
he has done, 35567-8.

Johnston, St. George, esq., Eathcline, I-anesborough,
Cos. Leitrim and Longford, Land Agent and
Farmer. — Dublin.
Holds 1,132 acres from Lord Annaly, 35570-71.
Is agent to his brother's estate of 50,000 acres,
35622-24. Recent bad seasons have made farming
unprofitable, and in consequence farmers are largely
in debt, 35572-74. Explains tenant-right practice
existing on estate he manages in Leitrim, 35575-
79, 35582-84. Difficulty as to tenant-right in
case of intestates, 35580-81. Endeavours to con-
solidate farms, 35585-87. Decline and disappear-
ance of handloom weaving among small farmers,
35588-94. Case of subdivison and sale of their
interests by perpetuity leaseholders near Bally-
shannon, 35595-61 5. Land Act has failed to
protect tenants against excessive rents ; instance of
rent-raising and discontent on Lord Annaly's pro-
perty, 35616-19. No freedom of contract between
landlord and tenant ; tenant should have power to
call in public valuator, and have appeal to Court,
35620-21. Is a large employer of labour; has
increased wages from IfL to Is. dd. a day ; bad
economy of low wages ; willingness to work of men
who are well paid and well treated,. 35624—31.
Labourers are scarce, and better off than formerly,
35632. Condition, wages, and position of labourers ;
necessity for farmers having them under their
control, 35633-36. Injustice of ejectment for non-
payment of rent without compensation for improve-
ments, 35638-39. Instance of tenant asking to be
reinstalled in land which he had lefo in 1854,
35640-41, 35643. Inconvenience of rundale, and

■ measures taken to abolish it, 35642. Contradicts
suj)posed statement of Mr. Bright's as to frequent
and vexatious raising of rents by Irish landlords,
35643-50. Tendency to subdivision, and necessity
for preventing it, and enabling landlord to control
the sale and division of farms, 35651-55.

Irvine, Colonel J. G., Killydeen, County Fermanagh,
Land Owner. — Dublin.
Owns about 15,000 acres, 12,000 of which are in
county Fermanagh, 35657-8. There is no tenant-
right on the property. When a tenant is leaving
he gets permission to sell, but not as a right,
35659-62. Leases very common before the Land
Act, not so much since, 35663. No clauses in leases
in his district ; contracting tenants out of the Land
Act ; no change made in leases since it was passed,
but still refused by tenants, who prefer having
no leases, 35663-6. On termination of lease,
if land is found to be let too low, it is re-
valued, and a new rent put on, 35667. Some very
old leases on the property, with clauses against
subletting, and compelling the tenant to make im-
provements, and in some cases allowing 4s. or 5s.
an acre off the rent for these improvements, 35668-
9. An old lease of seventy-five years expired last
year, the increase in rent was about, fifty per cent.,
35671-72. One case came before County Court
judge, who took for granted the house had been
built iDy the tenant, although no one could prove it,

35673. Thinks some imjirovement may have been
made in the case of the lease for seventy-five years,

35674. On one tbwnland, which had been let on
very old leases, tenants very unthrifty, not on a
new letting being made, changed altogether, thinks
the cause of this was being rented so low they



were not obliged to work, 35676-82, 35685-92.
Tenants have no doubt that they will be left in
ccupation at end of lease, not know that the rent
will be raised, 35683-5. No tenant-right on the
property, 35691, 35754-54. Borrowed from Board of
Works for improvements, put increase on tenants for
drainage and buildings, but not for roads, 35693-6.
Minor impi-ovements done by tenants, 35697. Most
of the improvements in the district made by tenants
with a little ussistance from the landlords, 35698.
On revaluing a farm, always discusses the matter
with the tenant, has had no difficulty in settling
rent, 35699-702. Few evictions, and only for non-
payment, 35703-05. In favour of peasant pro-
prietary, if subletting prevented, 35706-35713.
Some purchasers under Church Act in his district
came and asked him to purchase their holdings from
them, which he did, and then gave them leases ;
thinks they got into difficulties from having borrowed
the purchase-money at high rates of interest, 35707-
1 1 . Others of them he thinks are getting on fairly
well, 35712. In a few cases where there were very
long leases permission was given to suV)let among
members of families, 35714-15. Conijndsory power
should be given to purchase head rents, properties
should be freed to a great extent from entail so as
ta enable them to come into the market, 35716-18.
Would provide for the purchase by a system of
debentures, 35719. A tenant should not be
disturbed as long as he pays his rent ; in case of any
dispute considers the County Court judge can settle
it| and the present law in that respect sufficient,
35721-29. Illustration, 35730. Against free sale,
would give landlord a veto, 35731. In case of
leases allows sale of unexhausted improvements, but
not interest otherwise, 35732-6. Griffith's valuation
an unfair one, speaks from experience, 35737-39,
35744-5. Has granted reclaimed bog to the tenants
for five years rent free for the purpose of improve-
ment, they are glad to take it, 35740-3. Has spent
£32,000 in improvements during the last thirty
years, 35745-^6. About a dozen cases in Land
Court since the Land Act, 35747. Considers
County Court Judges Act as fairly as possible, but
has heard complaints from both landlords and
tenants, 35748-52. Freedom of contract between
landlord and tenant ought not to be interfered with,
35753.

Eeane, Marcus, esq., Beechpark, Ennis, Co. Clare,
Land Agent. — Dublin.
Is an agent managing 100,000 acres in county
Clare, on which farms are usually small, 35759-62.
Is in favour of perpetual tenures at fixed rents,
35763-65, 35792-93. Dangerof peasant proprietors
subdividing' and letting their farms, 35766-68,
35802. Great tendency to subletting and subdivision,
and difficulty of detecting it, 35769-71, 35802-09.
Landlords' power has been injuriously interfered
with ; distress should be abolished ; law as to
execution of ejectments should be amended, 35772-
77. Want of security prevents improvements;
case of tenants purchasing their farms on Conyngham
estate who considered their improvements had in-
creased, price paid by them, 35778-89. Instance of
outlay by tenants leading to increased rents, 35790-
9 1 . Government valuation incorrect ; necessity for
revaluation before fixing perpetuity rents ; instances
of incorrectness and unevenness of present valuation
and difficulty of getting a just valuation, 35794-95^
35798-801. Refusal of tenants to pay rents above
the Government valuation, 35796-97. Meadow
lands and grazing farms should be excepted from
perpetuity scheme, 35810, 35821. Perpebnal
tenancies should be registered in office of Clerk of
the Peace, and noted on Ordnance Survey Maps,
35811. Improvement loans to perpetuity tenants
would be badly secured if rent was the full value
and would injure landlord s security if interest on
them had priority of rent, 35812-18. Term of
notices to quit should be three years, and they



cxxvin



IRISH LAND ACT COMMISSION,- 1880.



Kecme, Marcus — continued.

should be subject to £1 stamp, 35819-20.
Perpetuity scheme should only apply to residential
farms, 35823-24.

Marwm, Mulhallen, esq., m.p.. Go. Kilkenny. — Dublin.
Attended with several others to give evidence as
to the relations between landlord and tenant,
especially in county Kilkenny, 35845-26. The
origin of Ulster tenant-right, 35827-31. Notwith-
standing the ijand Act there has been rack-renting
and eviction; a case of confiscation, 35831-9,
35844-47. Instance of rack-renting, 35839-41.
Tenants over £50 obliged to contract themselves out
of all claim for compensation under Land Act,
35842. Large tenants require protection as well as
small ones, 35843. Rack-renting on Mr. Hum-
phery's, of Ballybay, estate, and increases of rent
imder pain of ejectment ; instances of this ; case of
William Tyndall and others, 35847-59. Further
instances on Mr. Hely's property ; case of a tenant
named Moore, 35861-62. Attempted rent-raising
on Mr. Hackett's property ; agent resigned in con-
sequence, 35863-65. Rent-raising and evictions on

■ Mr. Esmond's estate; farms still untenanted, 35866-
67. One tenant named Dwyer had to leave, rent
so high, 35868-9. Remarkable case on same estate
of a tenant called Price, 35870-72. In all these
cases all the improvements were made by the ten-
ants, 35873. Great necessity for a disturbance bill ;
case in point on Mr. Swan's property, of a jnan
named Sherman, 35876-82. Tenants sunk in debt

. to banks and shopkeepers ; the present ci-isis must
have come sooner or later, the bad times only

' accelerated it, 35886. Illustrations in point, 35887-
88. Hard case of rent-raising and eviction since
Land Act, of Malachi Kelly, a tenant on Sir
Erasmus Burrowes' estate, he having sunk a good
deal of money in improvements; farm now unlet
landlord managing it himself, 35892-35905. In-
stance of leasehold tenant-right, 35905. Griffith's
valuation as a test of rent ; letter of J. Ball Greene,
esq.. Commissioner of Valuation, '35906-7. Con-
siders Griffith's valuation to be too high all round,

■ not in the pound, that it is not the letting value, but
having regard to the interest of the tenant in the
property. 35907-8. Would apply Griffith's valua-
tion generally and make the variation from it the
exception, 35916-21. If landlord and tenant can-
not agree as to the rent of a particular holding,
has no objection to the question being decided by a
third party, independent of both, 35924. Draws
distinction between valuation of land and valuation
of rents, would say valued rents and free Sale,
35925-G. Valued rents would not raise the ques-
tion of improvements at all, the first valuation
would do that, 35926-7. Considers the present
rental of Ireland too high, 35928. Difficulty in a
re-valuation would be to distinguish between the



Online LibraryGreat Britain. Commissioners of inquiry into the wReport of Her Majesty's Commissioners of Inquiry into the Working of the Landlord and Tenant (Ireland) Act, 1870, and the acts amending the same → online text (page 61 of 295)