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The Reminiscences of an Irish Land Agent   By: (1824-)

Book cover

First Page:

[Illustration: S.M. Hussey]

THE REMINISCENCES

OF AN

IRISH LAND AGENT

BEING THOSE OF

S.M. HUSSEY

Compiled by HOME GORDON

WITH TWO PORTRAITS

LONDON

DUCKWORTH AND COMPANY 3 HENRIETTA STREET, W.C.

1904

Edinburgh: T. and A. CONSTABLE, Printers to His Majesty

PREFACE

Probably the first criticism on this book will be that it is colloquial.

The reason for this lies in the fact that though Mr. Hussey has for two generations been one of the most noted raconteurs in Ireland, he has never been addicted to writing, and for that reason has always declined to arrange his memoirs, though several times approached by publishers and strongly urged to do so by his friends, notably Mr. Froude and Mr. John Bright. If his reminiscences are to be at all characteristic they must be conversational, and it is as a talker that he himself at length consents to appear in print.

In this volume he endeavours to supply some view of his own country as it has impressed itself on 'the most abused man in Ireland,' as Lord James of Hereford characterised Mr. Hussey. How little practical effect several attacks on his life and scores of threatening letters have had on him is shown by the fact that he survives at the age of eighty to express the wish that his recollections may open the eyes of many as well as prove diverting.

Possessing a retentive memory, he has been further able to assist me with seven large volumes of newspaper cuttings which he had collected since 1853, while the publishers kindly permit the use of two articles he contributed to Murray's Magazine in May and July 1887. To me the preparation of this book has been a delightful task, materially helped by Mr. Hussey's family as well as by a few others on either side of the Channel.

HOME GORDON.

13 OVINGTON SQUARE, S.W.

CONTENTS

PREFACE v

CHAP. I. ANCESTRY i

II. PARENTAGE AND EARLY YEARS 10

III. EDUCATION 20

IV. FARMING 30

V. LAND AGENT IN CORK 38

VI. FAMINE AND FEVER 50

VII. FENIANISM 60

VIII. MYSELF, SOME FACTS, AND MANY STORIES 71

IX. THE HARENC ESTATE 82

X. KERRY ELECTIONS 93

XI. DRINK 101

XII. PRIESTS 115

XIII. CONSTABULARY AND DISPENSARY DOCTORS 127

XIV. IRISH CHARACTERISTICS 140

XV. LORD LIEUTENANTS AND CHIEF SECRETARIES 162

XVI. GLADSTONIAN LEGISLATION 179

XVII. THE STATE OF KERRY 194

XVIII. A GLANCE AT MY STEWARDSHIP 202

XIX. MURDER, OUTRAGE, AND CRIME 212

XX. THE EDENBURN OUTRAGE 235

XXI. MORE ATROCITIES AND LAND CRIMES 248

XXII. COMMISSIONS 268

XXIII. LATER DAYS 281

INDEX 305

ILLUSTRATIONS

PORTRAIT OF S.M. HUSSEY frontispiece

PORTRAIT OF MRS. HUSSEY at p. 71

REMINISCENCES OF AN IRISH LAND AGENT

CHAPTER I

ANCESTRY

'My father and mother were both Kerry men,' as the saying goes in my native land, and better never stepped.

It was my misfortune, but not my fault, that I was born at Bath and not in Kerry.

However, my earliest recollection is of Dingle, for I was only three months old when I was taken back to Ireland, and up to that time I did not study the English question very deeply, especially as I had an Irish nurse.

There is a lot of Hussey history before I was born, and some is worth preserving here.

It is a thousand pities that so many details of family history have been lost, and to my mind it is incumbent on one member of every reasonably old family in this generation to collect and set down what should be remembered about their ancestors for the unborn to come... Continue reading book >>




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