Captain Kennedy to the Commissioners - August 13, 1848
I REGRET to say that these monster evictions still continue.
During the last week 44 families were evicted, and the houses levelled, on one property.
I am not yet in a position to report with any degree of accuracy, but I will do so during the week. A band of paupers taken from some distant stone-breaking depôts, and armed with spades, crow-bars, and pickaxes, completed this work of destruction.
The results and consequences of this system are matters for the most serious and painful consideration, to those intrusted with the administration of the poor law. These helpless creatures, not only unhoused but driven off the lands, no one remaining on the lands being allowed to lodge or harbour them. It is obvious they must go somewhere till disease and privation thin their numbers; and wherever they acquire a residence the proprietor must eventually suffer, both in purse and character for the neglect or cupidity of others.
Without means of energy they cannot emigrate, and without employment they cannot exist but on the rates.
When winter sets in these evicted destitute will be in awful plight, as their temporary sheds, behind ditches or old fences, are quite unfit for human habitation, and if they attempted to build anything permanent they would be immediately demolished.
If the records of the Sheriffs Office connected with this Union for the last nine months were produced, they would account for much of the death and destitution of the Union. The owners of villages or town properties will be swamped by this system. The fugitives naturally congregate in them. This has occurred to such an extent in one village, that I understand it is the intention to demolish it altogether.
I am given to understand that the rental of some proprietors will not pay the mortgages, so that the agents and managers must take some unusual means of meeting the demands upon them.
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