THROUGH THE ARCHIVES: ‘Persons favourable’ to tenant-rights hold meeting at Armagh

From the News Letter, March 16, 1870

Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 6:00 am
Scotch Street, Armagh, Co Armagh. NLI Ref: L_CAB_03632. Picture: National Library of Ireland
Scotch Street, Armagh, Co Armagh. NLI Ref: L_CAB_03632. Picture: National Library of Ireland

A meeting of “persons favourable” to tenant-rights had been held in the Protestant Hall on Abbey Street in Armagh the previous night reported the News Letter on this day in 1870.

There was a large attendance at the meeting, noted the paper, mainly of tenant-farmers. There was much discussion of the Land Bill which had been introduced by William Gladstone which was proceeding through the Commons.

The bill would eventually result in the Landlord and Tenant Act (Ireland) 1870 – the first Irish Land Acts.

One of the speakers at the meeting was Mr T G Peel who proposed the following resolution addressing arbitrate in disputes.

His resolution read: “That is desirable a court, simple in its construction and cheap in its workings to be established to carry out the provisions of the Act... Six men chosen by the landlord and six men chosen by the tenant be appointed as jury to act in all disputed cases... That the chairman of Quarter Sessions for each county be president. That the jurymen so chosen taken from the jury panels of the county in which the case arises... And that the value of tenant-right or the adjustment in rent in cases where the landlord seeks to increase it, together with all other matters in connection with the Act, be decided by the said court. Three-fourths of said jurors agreeing upon the several questions in dispute to be accepted as a verdict.”