Saturday 25 May 2019

New website gives glimpse of the tenantry of Coolattin Estate

Ciaran Brady, Ciaran Wallace and Frank Gallagher at the launch of in the Courthouse Arts Centre, Tinahely
Ciaran Brady, Ciaran Wallace and Frank Gallagher at the launch of in the Courthouse Arts Centre, Tinahely

A fascinating new historical resource was launched at the Courthouse Arts Centre recently which offers a detailed glimpse into the life of tenants on the Earl of Fitzwilliam's Wicklow estates between 1841 and 1868.

The project was founded and supervised by the Courthouse Arts Centre in collaboration with Wicklow County Archives and Wicklow Tourism.

The project coordinator has been Professor Ciaran Brady, Dept of History, TCD, who is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Courthouse Arts Centre, and the research has been done by Dr Ciaran Wallace, Dept of History, TCD. Research previously conducted by local historians Jim Rees and Ann Hanley was also instrumental in the formation of the website.

The dealings of the Coolattin estate with its tenants were recorded in a variety of handwritten ledger and maps were all kept by the estate office.

These begin with lists of tenants and accompany maps of the estate in 1841-2.

From 1845 to 1860 there is a ledger of tenants who fell behind in their rent. When the estate operated an assisted emigration scheme from 1847-1856 it recorded all those who applied to go to Canada. Finally, in 1868, there is a list of those families who remained as tenants of the Fitzwilliam family.

Records are broken down into four categories: Tenant Lists from Maps of Cashaw Estate 1841-1842; Ejectment Books 1845-1860; Emigration Records 1847-1856 and Tenant Lists 1868 and 1861-1886.

The total number of individual records is just over 13,000.

The website is up and running and has already received excellent feedback from those interested in the Fitzwilliam Estate history.

Thanks are extended to project sponsors Lord Haskins of Yorkshire Foods PLC; Sir Naylor-Leyland, Fitzwilliam Estate, Neil McHugh of Green Isle Foods, School of History & Humanities TCD and Wicklow County Tourism.

The Courthouse Arts Centre is especially grateful to His Excellency Ambassador Kevin Vickers, Embassy of Canada, for his patronage and support.

Wicklow People