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    Land agents and estate management in King's County during the Great Famine, 1838 to 1853


    Reilly, Ciaran Joseph (2010) Land agents and estate management in King's County during the Great Famine, 1838 to 1853. PhD thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    Abstract

    The primary aim of this thesis is to address a lacuna in Irish historiography by providing a comprehensive and systematic examination of land agents and their role in estate management in the mid-nineteenth century, with particular emphasis on the Famine period. In particular the thesis highlights the agent's social background, training and expierence prior to commencing the agency of an estate. Through the use of numerous case studies the study examines how agents as a body dealt with the day to day management of an estate from the period beginning with the introduction of the Irish Poor Law Act in 1838 to the end of the Famine in 1853; a period when their skills and knowledge were severely tested. Even before the onset of Famine the agent faced numerous problems including overcrowding, subdivision, leasing and middlemen. This thesis has also highlighted how many landed estates in King's County were financially embarrassed on the eve of the Famine and as a result poorly managed. Over ninety land agents were identified who were involved in the management of an estate or estates either for the entire span of the study or part thereof. During the period under study at least nine land agents were assassinated in King's County and a further twenty were shot or otherwise injured, an aspect that highlights that in many cases and at certain times it was an unthankful job being an agent. Another important consideration that the thesis has highlighted is the perception of the land agent in social memory. This thesis has tested the historical validity of their representation in social memory that may often have been influenced by works of fiction.

    Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
    Keywords: Land agents; estate management; King's County; The Great Famine; 1838 to 1853;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Arts,Celtic Studies and Philosophy > History
    Item ID: 2521
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 09 May 2011 13:48
    URI:

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