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Famine – 1831

The Sydney Monitor 8th October, 1831 p4 (abridged)

Hordeum-barley Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

I had just closed this article when a friend sent me, at my request, an account of the import of foods from Ireland up to the 1st day of June. It is imperfect because it only gives an account of the imports in London and Liverpool, leaving out Bristol, Glasgow and several other places. It is imperfect in that it does not include bacon and live animals, nor poultry nor eggs.

However, such as it is – here is the account of the imports of the first months of this year of famine in Ireland;

98, 555 Quarters of Wheat

311,848 Quarters of Oats

10,098 “ “ Barley

540 “ Rye

1,556 ” Beans

941 “ Peas

5,880 “ Malt

69,510 Loads of Meal

45,398 Sacks of Flour

12,605 Tierces of Beef

1,408 Barrels of Beef

20,088 Tierces of Pork

13,427 Barrels of Pork

149,639 Firkins of Butter

It is in Galway that the actual starvation is raging most, where the poor creatures cannot get a handful of meal to boil up with the nettles and seaweed! They cannot get a handful of the meal of oats to prevent their souls from leaving their bodies and it is certified that in one small parish eight persons died within a short period from starvation only.

Yesterday – six hundred and eight tons of oats – that is to say – one million, three hundred and thirty four thousands pounds weight of oats arrived in London only – from Galway.

The oats came in five vessels, the Union, the John Guisa, the Charlotte, the lively and the Victory.

W. Cobbett



B.A., M.A.(Archaeology); Regional Tour Guide; Dip. Radio Media Tech; H.Dip. Computer Science.

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