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written by me. Mr Drummond carefully followed my several deductions, perfectly comprehended them, but took no further part in this division of the work; and the first two chapters of Part III. were mine-on Steam Navigation. The third chapter of this part was principally from Sir J. Burgoyne. There is a second section to this part; the first chapter, ' As to the present condition of the population of Jreland,' was wholly Mr Drummond's; the second, On the influence of Railways,' &c., was originally written by me and Sir J. Burgoyne; but Mr Drummond wished some difference in the arrangement. He therefore (retaining the facts) gave it the form in which it appears in the Report.
• The conclusion was a difficult task; it was the work of us all, and required several modifications before it met our several views. This, I believe, it did at last. Mr Drummond was much interested in this part, and weighed with extreme care and attention every sentence it contained.—
I am, &c.,
A statement by General Sir J. F. Burgoyne is more general. “With regard to the Irish Railway Commission,” he says, “I have no doubt of the correctness of Professor Barlow's statement that the idea was Drummond's; but what is of far more importance is, that the labouring effort of carrying it out was his; and virtually it may be said that we owe the great bulk of the Report of the Commission to him. And any one who will take the trouble to look over that Report at the present day, after our now lengthened experience of the railway system, will see how very able a document that Report was, and how much it is to be regretted that the principles inculcated in it had not subsequently been more attended to."*
To see the condition of things in Ireland which prompted Drummond to undergo so much hard labour
* Letter to the present writer, dated March 13, 1867.
as bis share in this Report implies, it is necessary to draw somewhat from those portions of the Report which proceeded from his pen, relating to the peculiar condition of the Irish peasantry. Notwithstanding the changes which have take place since 1838, the extracts will be found to have considerable value and interest as aids to a right understanding of some Irish questions which still remain unsettled. There was nothing their author more anxiously desired than that Irish questions should be understood in this country. In a passage in the Report, which the Quarterly Reviewer characterised as “a bold statement to submit to Majesty," Drummond says, “ Ireland, though for years past a subject of anxious attention and discussion in public, IS REALLY VERY LITTLE KNOWN TO THE BRITISH PEOPLE; and the disadvantage to both countries, arising from that circumstance, is much greater than is generally supposed." It seems appropriate to embody in this Memoir of the man the chief parts at least of those compositions by which he desired to make the state of Ireland better known to the public.
Drummond's account of the moral and economical state of the Irish is given with the headings under which it appears in the Railway Commissioners' Report:-
“ Amount of the Population. The population of Ireland was,
in the year
7,943,960 “ Estimating the increase going on for each of these periods, we find it during the first period of 60 years to be at the rate of 14 per cent. per annum: during the next period of 30 years, 14 per cent. per annum: during the next 10 years, 14 per
cent. per annum; and for the last period, only fths per cent. per annum.
But this interval is, perhaps, too short for a very exact result. Taking for our guide the rate of increase between 1821 and 1831, the population at the present time, 1838, would amount to 8,523,750. The population of England, Wales, and Scotland, computed in the same manner, from the census of (1821 and 1831, would amount at present to 18,226,725 ; whence it appears that the population of Ireland is at this time within 600,000 of being equal to one-third of the population of the United Kingdom.
Distribution of the Population. To give a distinct view of the manner in which this immense mass of people is distributed over the surface of the country, a map has been prepared, which indicates, by various degrees of shade, the relative densities of the population, the figures denoting the number of inhabitants, per square mile, within the respective boundaries. A glance at this
map will show that the population is most crowded and numerous in the counties of Armagh, Monaghan, and in part of the counties of Antrim and Down.
“Diminishing in density, but still furnishing a large proportion to the square mile, the population extends over the counties of Longford, Westmeath, King's, Queen's, Kilkenny, Carlow, and Wexford; and thence a large mass, second only to the northern portion, spreads over the southern counties of Tipperary, Limerick, and parts of Cork and Waterford.
“ Beyond the Shannon lies a district very thickly peopled; and the parts of Roscommon, Leitrim, &c., adjacent to the river, have nearly the same proportion of inhabitants.
“ These four divisions of the population differ in social condition, in habits, character, and even in personal appearance, more than the narrow limits of their location within the same country would lead us to expect. The northern portion are better lodged, clothed, and fed than the others : the wages of labour are higher, being, on an average, about one shilling per day; and their food consists chiefly of meal, potatoes, and milk. They are a frugal, industrious, and intelligent race, inhabiting a district for the most part inferior in natural fertility to the southern portion of Ireland, but cultivating it
better, and paying higher rents in proportion to the quality of the land, notwithstanding the higher rate of wages.
“In the southern districts we find a population whose condition is, in every respect, inferior to that of the northern ; their habitations are worse; their food inferior, consisting at best of potatoes and milk, without meal : the wages of labour are found reduced from one shilling to eightpence per day; yet the peasantry are a robust, active, and athletic race, capable of great exertion ; often exposed to great privations; ignorant, but eager for instruction; and readily trained, under judicious management, to habits of order and steady industry.
“The population of the midland districts does not differ materially in condition from those of the south ; but the inhabitants of the western district are decidedly inferior to both in condition and appearance: their food consists of the potato alone, without meal, and in most cases without milk; their cabins are wretched hovels; their beds straw; the wages of labour are reduced to the lowest point, upon an average not more than sixpence per day. Poverty and misery have deprived them of all energy : labour brings no adequate return, and every motive to exertion is destroyed. Agriculture is in the rudest and lowest state. The substantial farmer, employing labourers, and cultivating his land according to the improved modes of modern husbandry, is rarely to be found amongst them. The country is covered with small occupiers, and swarms with an indigent and wretched population. It is true that some landed proprietors have made great exertions to introduce a better system of agriculture, and to improve the condition of their immediate tenants, and a few of the lesser proprietors have made humble attempts to imitate them; but the great mass of the population exhibits a state of poverty bordering on destitution.
“The distinctions we have drawn as to the usual diet of agricultural labourers in the different parts of Ireland, are strictly applicable to those only who have regular employment. When they are out of work, which is the case in many places during three or four months of the year, the line is not so easily perceived. Then a reduction in the quantity as well as
in the quality of their food takes place; but still, though on a diminished scale, their relative local degrees of comfort or of penury are maintained nearly according to the above classification. In no extremity of privation or distress have the peasantry of the northern counties approached to a level with those of the west; whilst Leinster and the greater part of the south, though sometimes reduced to the lowest condition, retain, generally, even in the most calamitous periods, a shade of superiority. There are districts, indeed, in every quarter of the land, where, through peculiarities of the situation, or other causes, distress falls with an equal pressure upon all; but such exceptions are rare, and so limited in extent, as scarcely to qualify the foregoing observations.
“We may here observe, that in proportion as wages fall below a fair standard of compensation, the work received in return will be dear. This striking and interesting fact, sufficiently attested by experience as a general truth, has been confirmed to us, with regard to the districts of which we are now speaking, by the authority of a practical engineer, who has had most extensive professional experience in every quarter of Ireland.
"No vigilance of superintendence can be an effective substitute for the motive which adequate remuneration supplies; and, for want of such a stimulus, a sauntering, dilatory, apathetic mode of working becomes, in progress of time, the confirmed habit of the district-an evil for which an increase of wages will not prove an immediate remedy.
Employment of the Population.-With respect to the employment of the people, it is essentially agricultural; but in the northern district, besides their rural occupations, numbers of the peasantry are engaged in the linen trade. The culture of flax, its preparation and manufacture, occupy a considerable portion of the time and labour of the population of the counties of Armagh, Antrim, Down, Tyrone, Londonderry, and part of Monaghan.
“If agriculture were more perfect in these districts, the farms larger, and the distinction between the farmer and the labourer more marked, such a combination of trades would probably be found neither convenient nor conducive to profit; but the farmers being also, for the most part, labourers, and the