An 1847 Home Ejectment in Ireland

An 1847 Home Ejectment in Ireland World History Disasters Civil Rights Nineteenth Century Life Visual Arts

During the time of Ireland’s “Great Hunger,” Irish potato-growing families endured more than any single family could bear.

When the potato blight destroyed their crops, families had no income.

When parents had no income:

  • They couldn’t buy food;
  • They couldn't pay their bills (including their rent);
  • They couldn't keep their children warm (with suitable clothes and fuel).

Non-payment of rent led to catastrophic consequences.

Not only were people evicted from their homes, they couldn’t even come back to them for any reason since the landowners either destroyed the homes completely or tore-off the thatched roofs and burned them.
In its 16 December 1848 issue, The London Illustrated News  depicts such an event.  Called “The Ejectment,” the drawing shows two men destroying the thatched roof of a tenant-farmer’s home.

The image has this description:

The fearful system of wholesale ejectment, of which we daily hear, and which we daily behold, is a mockery of the eternal laws of God—a flagrant outrage on the principles of nature.

Whole districts are cleared. Not a roof-tree is to be seen where the happy cottage of the labourer or the snug homestead of the farmer at no distant day cheered the landscape.

Put differently, the description of this image tells us that evictions, with catastrophic consequences, were not isolated events. The situation was widespread and, as a result, the suffering of people was also widespread.

Media Credits

Illustration and quoted passage from The London Illustrated News, in its 16 December 1848 issue.


To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"An 1847 Home Ejectment in Ireland" AwesomeStories.com. Apr 30, 2015. Nov 13, 2019.
Awesome Stories Silver or Gold Membership Required
Awesome Stories Silver or Gold Membership Required
Show tooltips