Stewart and Kincaid, Irish Land Agents in the 1840s

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Title: Stewart and Kincaid, Irish Land Agents in the 1840s
Authors: Norton, Desmond
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/1286
Date: Feb-2002
Abstract: Drawing on a recently-discovered correspondence archive of the 1840s, this article describes activities of the then most important land agency in Ireland, Messrs Stewart and Kincaid. Several of the firm’s clients resided in England. The partners supervised major agricultural improvements. They also implemented programmes of assisted emigration during the great Irish famine. The correspondence yields new insights into economic and social conditions in Ireland during the forties. It undermines popularly-held views of such conditions and suggests need for revision of findings of modern historians. In the late 1980s and early 1990s the author acquired about 30,000 letters written mainly in the 1840s. These pertained to estates throughout Ireland managed by J.R. Stewart and Joseph Kincaid. Their firm, hereafter denoted SK, was then the most important land agency in Ireland. Until the letters became the author’s property, they had not been read since the 1840s. Addressed mainly to the firm’s Dublin office, they were written by landlords, tenants, local agents, clergymen, civil servants, financiers, etc. The author has been researching them since 1994. It is intended to publish details on individual estates in book form. The title proposed is Landlords, tenants, famine: business of an Irish land agency in the 1840s. The first part of the present background article describes the evolution of the Dublin agency over a period of two hundred years. Part II indicates how the firm used family connections, membership of societies and ‘influence’ to generate business. Subsequent discussion is restricted to the famine decade of the 1840s. The third part examines the firm’s administrative structure. Part IV indicates that SK was not only a manager of land. The fifth section outlines aspects of what was happening in the 1840s on some of the estates not considered in detail in the book under preparation. The final section provides a summary of overall conclusions from the larger project from which the present article is drawn.
Funding Details: University College Dublin. Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business
Type of material: Working Paper
Publisher: University College Dublin. School of Economics
Subject LCSH: Administration of estates--Ireland--History
Ireland--History--Famine, 1845-1852
Ireland--Economic conditions--19th century
Ireland--Social conditions--19th century
Language: en
Status of Item: Not peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Economics Working Papers & Policy Papers

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