Geashill (Bar.)

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  • Barony of Geashill

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Geashill (Bar.)

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Geashill (Bar.)

955 Archival description results for Geashill (Bar.)

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Annual Report 1869

Annual report and rental for year ending June 1869, containing detailed report and accounts showing the receipts and disbursements on the estate for the preceding year. Records that the financial situation is favourable and that the largest expenditure was on drainage at Ballyknockan, Newtown, Killeenmore and Ballyduff. Reports that the RASI have awarded a 3rd Gold Medal and the Hall Challenge Cup for the best drainage in all Ireland. In relation to buildings and other improvements, he refers to ongoing renovations rather than new builds. Reports that the RASI have awarded a Gold Medal for improving existing labourers' cottages and that Mr Mallison, architect, was awarded £25 for best plans of labourers' cottages.(See 'Architectural drawings' preceding Index.) The constabulary barrack was fortified to withstand any attack. Woods and plantations were not as profitable as other years and reports on works on Derryclure, Clonad, Derryadd and Killeenmore.

In general, reports that 'an excellent tone pervades the people', that they appear satisfied and there is an absence of outrages. Regrets to say that part of the county boundary in Westmeath not for from estate is in a 'lawless condition'. Also reports on a 'curious incident' outside Tullamore where a ruse was employed by locals who wanted to divert police from an intended cock-fight. Also reports on the murder of Captain Tarleton and on a Mr Roberts who was forcefully ejected from his farm having 'seized' another farm which had belonged to a relative of his who had recently died. Appendix (pp54 and 55) contains copy correspondence between Lord Digby and RASI in relation to the establishment of a Digby Challenge Cup.

Annual Report 1870

Annual report and rental for year ending June 1870, containing general reports and accounts detailing the receipts and disbursement on the estate for the preceding year. Financial report is generally favourable. Drainage report outlines a reclamation project in Newtown between the railway and Tullamore Road. Also reports on 11 acres drained in Ballyduff for large tenant, Richard Odlum, 50 acres reclaimed in Ballinagar where previously marshes made the road from Ballinasloe unsafe for cattle, and the draining of Flynn's Moors in Derryweelan. Describes the success of the new sheep-washing pool formed in Lugmore main drain. Reports that it is used by almost everyone and that one of the largest tenants, Mr Ridgeway, proposed to wash 1110 sheep within one hour. The Trenchs came out at the appointed time, seats were provided for spectators 'and he won his bet easily with 7 minutes to spare.'

Referring to building improvements, 80 houses were changed from thatched roofs to slate, and the RASI awarded the Gold Medal for improving the greatest amount of cottages in the best manner in the province of Leinster. Woods and plantations report included details on the thinning of Derrygunnigan of large and useless timber, which was subsequently purchased by the Great Southern and Western Railway (5000 cubic feet of beech) but that the expense of drawing it across the bog to Tullamore detracted from the profits.

Also reports on 'peculiar violence and bloodshed in the surrounding district in counties' including the shooting in the face of Mr. Warburton, High Sherrif of Queen's County by a Mr Conroy, whose land, Mr Warburton had taken up. Describes an outrage on the other side of Geashill, where the same Mr Conroy attacked Mr O'Connor and cut his nose off while two other men held revolvers to his chest. 'Mr. O'Connor got an excellent nose to replace the one he had' and Conroy was sentenced to 14 years penal servitude. Other outrages included the brutal murder by Shields and his sister of a Mr Dunn - 'Very little excitement in the county and both were quietly hanged & buried within the precincts of the gaol.' Also includes further reports of attacks on gentry in Meath and Westmeath.

Annual Report 1871

Annual report and rental for year end June 1871, reporting a favourable financial situation on the estate and outlining the receipts and disbursements for the previous year. Describes the drainage of lands contiguous to the Clodiagh river and the formation of the Clodiagh Embankment, 490 statute perches in length. Also describes the completion of main drains at Derryweelan, Annagharvey and Killellery and notes improvements undertaken in Ballinagar and Ballyduff. In relation to buildings and repairs, he notes that there has been almost complete remodel of old houses and sundry other improvements 'that they might almost be classes as under new buildings.' Also reports that income from woods and plantations is reduced this year due to the 'improper and dishonest conduct of Forester Corbett'. Roskeen, Queen's County, is introduced to the accounts for the first time as an independent estate as Trench cites the differing rental schedules and differing counties as reasons for them not to be amalgamated in the rental.

In general, Trench is pleased not only with the improvements in the houses but also in the habits of the people, the tillage and agriculture and the green crops. On a more personal note, he expresses his 'deep grief' at the decision of his son, T. W. Trench to resign his post as Resident Agent on the Geashill estate. Describes him as 'beloved and respected by the tenantry and looked up to and appreciated by men of all creeds, politics or religions as a man of integrity, honour and intelligence.' Concludes by expressing this confidence that Lord Digby's nephew, Reginald Digby, will be an able successor to his son.

Annual Report 1872

Annual report and rental for year end June 1872, reporting a very satisfactory financial situation and an overview of receipts and disbursements on the estate. Notes that drainage and land improvements continued but that there was an increased difficulty in sourcing labourers. Main drains were completed at Killurin and Gorteen, and a thorough drain was built at Bawnmore. Reports that sums were expended on extensive fencing and top-dressing of lands. The village inn was completely remodelled and 'now forms one of the most striking features of the village.' Also report that the woods and plantations were more profitable than usual with a large contract won for the supply of ash timber to a Liverpool merchant. Oak and larch plantations were established on the land between the River Clodiagh and the new embankment. Describes the general condition of the estate as 'most satisfactory' and entirely free from violence and lawlessness. Notes, however, that Mr Flanagan, a tenant, disputed the right of Lord Digby to his property but failed at his attempt in doing so.

Roskeen rentals are missing from this volume in order to combine the accounts of the Geashill and Roskeen estates into one. They will appear in subsequent annual reports. John Townsend Trench signs for his father, William S. Trench, who may have already passed away (August 1872) by the time the report was submitted.

Annual Report 1873

Annual report, accounts and rental for year ending June 1873, containing positive reports on the financial condition of the estate with only 'trifling arrears' of £32 and a general increase in overall rental income. Expenditure consisted of main drainage of lands at Roskeen, Queen's County; the reclamation of the bog at Killurin; thorough drainage at Bawnmore; construction of two new cottages in Geashill Village and a substantial range of offices for Mr Warren of Gorteen. Also comments on the scarcity of labour on the estate due to emigration to America, and that the 'Russian Village' (portable labourers' housing) has been moved to Cappyroe from Ballyknockan.

Regrets to say that relations with the tenantry are not entirely satisfactory. Tenants without a written contract were asked to sign one but the parish priest, using 'the extraordinary and mischievous power which an Irish priest possesses over an ignorant Roman Catholic tenantry', informed tenants that by signing they will exclude themselves from any benefit under the Land Act.

Describes the eviction of Mr. O'Flanagan, a large tenant on the estate, who had tried to establish 'tenant-right' through the courts but 'failed signally, as at the last moment before the claim came before the Chairman of the Quarter Sessions, Mr. O'Flanagan signed a paper admitting that he had no claim whatever to tenant-right in his holding.'

Annual Report 1874

Annual report, accounts and rental for year ending June 1874, containing a positive report on the financial condition of the estate with an increase in the overall rental income. Expenditure consisted of further land improvements including drainage works in Roskeen, Killarles, Cappyroe and Clonmore. A drain was sunk at Meelaghans and Cloncon which serves as a boundary between the Geashill and Charleville Estates and report notes that Lord Charleville has undertaken to pay half the cost of the drain. Construction of a new farmhouse for Mr Riddell of Annagharvey cost £514.19.6.

Report also discusses the introduction of concrete works as a construction method due to the difficulty in sourcing masons, many of which have emigrated. Also notes that the forester has had to be replaced as Mr McIntosh had emigrated to California. New plantations were established at Cappyroe and the Meelaghans.

Despite the eviction of Mr. Connolly of Clunagh who was in occupation of a farm in Clonad, overall agitation on the estate dissipated after the death of the former parish priest, and Digby describes his successor as 'a bright exception amongst Irish priests.'

Annual Report 1875

Annual report, rental and accounts for year ending June 1875, containing a positive report on the financial condition of the estate, with £9000 profit remitted to Lord Digby as in other years. Expenditure included the purchase of the glebe lands of Geashill from the Commission of Church Temporalities in Ireland for the sum of £3200. The glebe lands were subsequently let to Mr. Chissell.

Drainage works continued with the completion of a drain between Meelaghans and Cloncon to which the Earl of Charleville had paid £50. Other works included extensive reclamation works at Cappyroe and new reclamation works at Cappancur near the town of Tullamore. Expenditure on construction included £700 for a new and substantial farmhouse for Mr E. J. Odlum at Cappancur; two new houses at Killurin; a back yard for Mr Riddell at Annagharvey; raising and re-roofing of Mr Tarleton's house at Killeigh; and improvements to J. Forester's house in Ballinagar.

Notes the bad state of timber at Clonad and discusses new plan to recover the plantation there. Overall the condition of the estate is reported to satisfactory and having 'absolute immunity from disturbance or apparent discontent', with only one man in all the tenantry owing one half-year's rent, all others paid punctually.

Annual Report 1876

Annual report, accounts and rental for year ending June 1876, containing 'an entirely satisfactory' financial report with an absence of any outstanding arrears. Notes however that expenditure was high as the glebe lands of Killeigh were purchased from the Church Temporalities Commission for £950, and major drainage and reclamation works were completed at Cappyroe, Cappancur, Roskeen, Geashill glebe lands, Clonmore, and Killarles.

Forestry works included a new plantation at Aghanrush, and the clearance of twenty acres of the River Wood at Clonad of all decaying birch and timber, the construction of new drainage works therein and the replantation of the wood. Digby reports the same plan is in place for the wood at Derrygolan. Construction works included a new cattle shed for Mr Tottenham at Springfield; new offices for Mr Delamere in the Meelaghans; new stores for T. Fegan in Geashill Village due to increased trade; new forge in Killeigh and new offices for J. Buckley in Geashill Village and for Mary Hones in Cappancur, along with descriptions of other repairs and alterations.

Overall he reports the condition of the estate as 'prosperous' but warns of mischievous attempts 'to inspire the Irish tenantry with distrust of their landlords. '

Annual Report 1877

Annual report, accounts and rental for year ending June 1877, reporting no outstanding arrears with all rents paid punctually and not a single farm surrendered despite a bad harvest. Increased profit of £10,000 remitted to Lord Digby attributable to extra rents from the glebe lands of Killeigh and Geashill. Expenditure on drainage continued with works at Ballydownan bog and the thorough cleaning of the watercourse on the estate boundary between Cappancur and the late McMullen's bog at Ballydaly. Digby reports that the only centenarian tenant on the estate had been forced to sleep on his kitchen table due to the repeated flooding of his cabin in this area. A new drain was also sunk near Ballycommon canal bridge through the valley behind Ballinagar.

Construction works consisted of a new cattle shed for Darby Kelly, 'an improving tenant' in Cloncoher; new labourer's cottages at the Meelaghans; new cattle shed for Mr Davis, tenant of the reclaimed Meelaghans lands; a new dwelling house for J. Smollen of the Meelaghans; and the raising and repairing of the smith's house in Killeigh. Eighteen acres of the River Wood at Clonad was thoroughly drained and replanted with larch and oak.

Overall Digby reports that the estate is quiet and free from the disturbances and outrages perpetrated in other parts of the county.

Annual Report 1878

Annual report, accounts and rental for year ending June 1878, containing a less favourable financial report than previous years due to non-payment of rent as a result of a second consecutive bad harvest. Reports that he had to evict Samuel Johnston in Killurin due to the neglect of his farm. Details significant drainage works around the estate: main drainage at Killurin and Ross with permission of Mr. Briscoe who will contribute to the works of the drain through his property at Ross; main drainage at Knockballyboy which involves the sinking of the millstream forming the boundary of the Digby, Charleville and Ponsonby Estates at Clonad and Townparks, and jointly paid for; and further drainage for Michael Casey's holding at Killeenmore.

Expenditure also included a 'heavy outlay' for the large reclaimed farm at Annagharvey, where the tenant Mr Riddell had to surrender and was replaced by Thomas Cobbe who had new concrete farm buildings erected with galvanised corrugated iron roofs. Other construction works included a new dwelling house at the Meelaghans to attract a teacher for the Meelaghans National School; a new residence at Killeigh to replace decaying accommodation of John Warren; and substantial farm offices constructed for Mrs. Owens at the Meelaghans to house cattle. A significant amount was also expended on forestry clearances and replantation at Derrygolan and Hawkswood.

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