1800-1859 | Famine

A bleak famine Christmas under British rule in Ireland

25 December 1847 Historians refer to the year as ‘Black 47,’ the most terrible of the ‘Great Hunger’ in Ireland with hundreds of thousands succumbing to famine and disease. At the same time, tens of thousands of tenants, who could no longer pay their rents, faced mass evictions from landlords, who often relied on the…

1800-1859 | Famine | Refusing refugees

The Irish famine victims removal and punishment act becomes law

21 June 1847 On this day in 1847, the Poor Law Removal Act became law, allowing municipal authorities in England and Scotland to send any paupers claiming poor relief back to their place of origin with the minimum of legal formalities.  It was specifically designed to stem what Lord Brougham in the House of Lords…

1800-1859 | Famine

22 NOVEMBER

MINISTER’S ADVICE TO GO ‘A LITTLE BEYOND’ THE LAW [ 22 November 1847 ] On 22 November 1847, in what was possibly the worst year of the Irish famine, Chancellor of the Exchequer Sir Charles Wood advised Lord Clarendon, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, to use every means possible to collect the rates. ‘Arrest, remand, do…