Most landlords protestant. Many absentee. Gale day (landlord’s agent). Large farmers (30 acres +). Sublet to small farmers and cottiers. Spailpeens were wandering labourers.
Country divided into Poor Law Unions and each had a workhouse. Only the really badly off would go there (families split up, like prison).
Rise in population
Dependence on the potato
What was done
- 1845 Peel’s government bought maize (Indian corn) and set up Public Works Schemes.
- 1846 Russel’s liberal government did not want to interfere and abandoned the above.
- Soup kitchens were set up by the Quakers and the government but the government abandoned the idea in 1847.
- The workhouses catered for 200000 and eventually were allowed provide soup kitchens.