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RATEPAYERS’ PETITION TO THE PARLIAMENT AT WESTMINSTER OPPOSING THE ERECTION OF A WORKHOUSE IN LETTERKENNY 1840

This Petition was transcribed by , compiled and submitted by Len Swindley, Melbourne, Australia, and forms part of the Donegal Genealogy Resources Website

 

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Extracted from the Londonderry Standard, October 28, 1840

TO THE COMMISSIONERS OF POOR LAWS

Gentlemen,

   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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