« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
been in that district, and that labour young men were sitting carelessly at may be hired at from twopence to
home, and Churches were paralysed, unthreepence per diem.
protected young women, farmers' daughIt is difficult to describe the pleasure
ters from the counties of Antrim and we have derived from the perusal of the
Down, who had never been ten miles
from home, were setting out fearlessly modest tract from which we have culled
to the wild West ; fearlessly, while fathis information. The social and moral
mine and pestilence were raging; and, improvement effected in so short a time
afterwards, when rebellion was filling in the dreary mountain homes of the
stout hearts with fear; and in the wild West is truly delightful, where bene- fastnesses, and the lowly glen, were ga. volence and industry advance together, thering starving orphans round them in hand in hand, and triumph over the tenderness and love, amid scenes of debarriers of ignorance that have for ages
solation, where the fox and lapwing past opposed the progress of civiliza
could hardly find a home, and over which tion; and where filth, and rags, and
the monarch eagle soared heedless and idleness are put away by those who once
high, for no living thing there tempted wandered at the road-side almost naked,
him to stoop for his prey." but now are clad in modest apparel, The natural aptitude and mechanical adorned with shamefacedness and so- genius of our countrymen and women briety. The tract abounds in little appear to destine Ireland, at no very trifles like the following-mere trifles, distant period, for a great manufactur. but smacking too much of nature to be ing country. Where have efforts, perread with indifference :
severing efforts, been made to improve “ Two little girls, the eldest only
the people, and failed? Where have en
deavours been made to advance educaeleven, have earned enough this last month to pay their mother's rent, and
tion, to spread civilization, to improve to buy each a pair of shoes; another has
morals, to make the Irishman useful, helped to support her sick father. hopeful, and happy, and have received
“Two little girls gave two of their opposition from the poor man? The apos. brothers a suit of clothes.
tle of moral and social order has seldom “I have a little savings' bank, and preached in this island, even for a little they give me some of their earnings to while, and preached in vain; he has sel. lay by for them. One drew out her lit- dom pointed out to them the ways of intle savings to buy a pair of shoes for her mother; and they are constantly doing hearts new hopes and prospects, with
dustry, and awoke in their desponding similar things. “One girl supports her mother, and a
out feeling that the blessings of those sister almost blind; another, with but
who were ready to perish came upon
him, and that he had caused the widow's little help, supports her mother and three little ones; another, herself and a little
heart to sing for joy! brother."
In close connexion with the subject
we have been considering, is the Space does not permit us to multiply unexampled progress of Irish manuexamples ; but how many ennobled facturing industry. Upon this topic, families, amidst all the haughty pride even did our space permit, it is of wealth, and power, and hereditary not necessary to say much. Its descent, would look back upon their
truth will be admitted by any one posancestors with more feelings of real sessing even the most superficial in. satisfaction if they could find, in their formation upon Irish statistics ; and, days, even one such motto ; and how moreover, it is probable that the very many trophies and emblazoned escutch. interesting nature of the subject may, eons adorn the fretted vaults of our at a future period, call for a paper sacred abbeys that should rather com- wholly devoted to its elucidation. By memorate things like these, were monu- the Report of the Factory Inspectors for ments erected to the merit and not to 1847, we learn that between 1839 and the splendour of actions !
that year, the increase of persons emWe cannot conclude our notice of ployed in factory labour was, in Scotthis most interesting tract without one land, 13} per cent. ; in England, 303 more quotation :
per cent ; while in Ireland, it was 52
per cent. Again, the population of “A number of humble, retiring fe.
Belfast was in 1821, 37,000; in 1831, males, in the province of Ulster, have 53,000; in 1841, 75,000; and if the made a noble commencement; and while rough calculations, already made of this
year's census are to be depended upon, non, the great Liverpool station roof, the population amounts, at present, to the Palmhouse and magnificent conser112,000 souls—not a pauper and half- vatories at the Royal Botanic Garemployed population, but a body of dens, Kew, the conservatory at the industrious and hard-working people, Glasnevin Gardens, and at the Belfast equal in their efficiency to any English Botanic Gardens, the Winter Gardens or Scotch operatives. A well-known in the Regent's Park, London, and gentleman, Mr. James Mac Adam, the lattice viaduct across the Royal thus spoke, in an address to a late Canal at Dublin; and we are also inmeeting of the Belfast Natural History formed that all the heavy castings reand Philsophical Society upon this sub- quired for the Brighton Railway Comject:
pany, for their passenger terminus at “ It may be a inatter of surprise to
London Bridge, have been undertaken many, that we can bring the two great
by one of our Irish companies. The materials, coal and iron, to Belfast, and
effect of this progress, upon the indus, yet compete with our English and Scotch
try of the country may be judged from neighbours in this industrial department,
the annexed paragraph, in a well-in. 80 essentially their own. But it is, formed local paper, the Ulster Gazette: nevertheless, true that this is one of the most flourishing branches of manufac- “So brisk at present are that class of ture existing in our town. There are our capitalists who are engaged in the five large founderies, and several of manufacture of machinery for flax spinsmaller size, with machine manufacto- ning, that the steam-engines in most of ries, giving constant employment to their workshops are running night and a considerable number of inechanics. day. Hands are not to be had, for love Among the articles that are made we may or money, either in Scotland or Engenumerate steam-engines, both land and land. Several new mills are unable to marine, iron steam-boats, flax-spinning start, partly from want of their machi. and flax-scutching machinery, railway nery, and partly for lack of operatives. work, water-wheels and turbines, and About 70,000 spindles more than last the numerous articles required in the year will be at work in a couple of manufacture of linens. And not only months, every hundred of which will do these establishments supply the ma. employ seven hands. This alone will chinery required in the north of Ireland, circulate about £2,000 weekly in Belbut many orders have been executed for fast. The manufacturers of linens, da. England and for foreign countries. As masks, and sewed muslin, are busy in examples, may be specified, iron steam- their preparations for the Great Exhiboats, with machinery complete, for the bition; and so numerous are the females Hull and Hamburg trade; machinery employed in the latter class of establishfor the preparation of flax for Egypt, ments that, when they turn out at meal Germany, Denmark, and France; a num- hours, a stranger might really suppose ber of steam-engines, of very large size, that half-a-dozen great factories had that have been sent to Egypt, and are been let loose in every street. Other now erected on the banks of the Nile, branches of manufacture are equally acfor the purpose of pumping water to ir. tive." rigate the land ; iron houses for Cali. fornia; and olive-pressing mills for Spain. And even in ornamental iron. evidence that has been adduced, to
It is scarcely necessary, after the work there are not wanting instances where the skill of our founders has been
furnish more facts confirmatory of what
has been stated. We would, however, drawn upon; the iron windows and doors of a new palace, erected near be guilty of a culpable omission, were Cairo, by the late Pasha of Egypt, hav- we to close this subject without some ing been made in Belfast.”
allusion to the three great branches of
industry that have of late engrossed so Nothing can be more encouraging much public attention-the growth than this. We may also add that the and improvement of the cultivation and large castings for the great bridge over manufacture of flax, the manufacture the Wye, at Chepstow, for the South of beet-root sugar, and the manufacWall Railway, have been undertaken in ture of charcoal and other articles from Dublin, as well as (among many other peat. works of great magnitude) the Monas- Nothing can prove more strongly terevan viaduct, the Balbriggan via. the intimate relationship that exists beduct, the Nore viaduct, the Portumna, tween agriculture and manufactures, and other metal bridges over the Shan. than the great progress made during
the last few years in the growth, as by procuring them compensation for well as in the manufacture, in all its their losses. The crop of 1846 was stages, of flax. It was stated at a meet. one of the worst, either in Ireland or ing of the Royal Society for the Pro- on the Continent. The result was, motion and Improvement of the Growth that, in 1847, the sowing fell to 58,000, of Flax in Ireland, that the Society's and in consequence of the general disinstructors had completed their labours tressed state of the trade, in which the in the superintendence of flax sowing, linen manufacture largely participated, in the several districts in which they prices fell so much, that farmers were had been located, and they reported discouraged, and only 53,000 acres of that the breadth sown in the districts flax were sown in 1848. As trade reunder their charge was as follows:- covered from its depression, prices im. Limerick about 1000 Irish acres ; Ban. proved, and the growth of flax rose in don, 600 do. ; Louth, 400 ; Waterford, 1849 to 60,000 acres. In 1850 it in. 200; Carlow, 200 ; Nenagh, 160 ;
creased to 70,000, and would have crea, 160 ; Sligo, 120 ; Wexford, 110; been much greater had there been a Inistiogue, 70; Abbeyleix, 80; Fe. supply of seed equal to the demand, thard, 60; Galway, 60; Cashel, 30; every available bushel being sown. This Westmeath, 30—total, 3,366 Irish, or year every effort has been made to about 5,000 statute acres. Most of these procure good seed in abundance, and were new districts, and the return did the Society calculate that a total breadth not comprise the amount sown in parts of 130,000 acres will be under flax in of the country not under the superin- Ireland this year. tendence of the Society. The general The value of Irish flax has
generally sowing in the provinces of Leinster, ranged from £35 to £80 per ton within Munster, and Connaught, was esti- the last fifteen years, and in some famated at 12,000 acres, or about six vourable cases £120, £145, and even times the usual breadth. The returns £180 per ton has been obtained, though from Ulster, by far the greatest flax- such cases have, of course, been exgrowing province, had not been com- tremely rare. The importations from pleted, but the sowing in all parts was abroad amounted to 62,649 tons in estimated as much greater than upon 1840, 67,368 in 1841, 55,713 in 1842; any previous year, amounting to a total 90,340 in 1849, and 91,097 in 1850; of about 130,000 acres. The import and the advantage of producing it ance of encouraging the home-growth at home is strongly proved by the of flax will be best understood by re- following statement by Mr. Blacker :membering that we annually import from abroad nearly treble the quantity
“After the most minute calculation we produce at home.
by practical men engaged in the growth The prosperous condition of the of flax, the labour necessary for every growth and manufacture of flax has acre of flax is computed to be seven days been produced almost altogether by of a man, and fifty-four days of a wothe indefatigable efforts of the Royal man, and four and a quarter days of a Flax Society of Ireland, whose exer
horse. Now 55,610 tons weight (which tions have been beyond praise. This
was the import in 1833, when Mr.Blacker society was organised in 1841, at which wrote), supposing each statute acre to period the Irish flax crop averaged
produce fourcwts., which is a full average about 80,000 acres annually.
crop, would be the produce of 278,050 In two
acres, which, according to the above esyears afterwards (1843), it had in
timate, would require in labour an creased to 112,000 acres; and in 1844 amount equal to the employment of to 122,000. Owing to a scarcity in 6,488 men for 300 days in the year, the supply of seed, unprincipled dealers 50,015 women for the same number of passed off to the growers a great quan- days, and 3,939 horses for do., or, of tity of spurious kinds, causing great course, double the number for half the disappointment and loss from the fail- period." ure of the crops. This cause led to a decrease in 1845, the breadth sown And another gentleman (Mr. Anbeing 96,000 acres. The Society ef. drews) calculated, that the produce of fectually prevented the recurrence of two acres of flax will, in the course of such malpractices, by bringing actions its manufacture into cambric pocketagainst the delinquents, and establish. handkerchiefs, give employment as ing the grower's claim to redress at law, follows:
" 158 Spinners, twelve months, fifty-two weeks, at about
31d. per week
£1,369 6 8
432 0 0
2,217 6 8
2,292 6 8
2,625 0 0
£322 13 4 The calculations of Mr. Andrews, of sugars. It is calculated that, with the which space only permits us to give great facilities the British Isles possess the result, have received a great deal in the construction of machinery, and in of attention. They are published in the manufacture of everything conthe transactions of the Royal Flax So nected with it, we shall be enabled ciety, and have been quoted by Sir to manufacture sugar at a much cheaper Robert Kane, “ Industrial Resurces," rate. Under the inferior management p. 334, second edition, and by Mr. adopted upon the Continent, one ton Montgomery Martin, “ Ireland,” &c., of sugar is extracted from fifteen tons third edition, p. 93, and appear to of the root; but the Irish beet is much have received their full approval. It richer in saccharine matter than the will be easy to estimate from these continental. In the growth of roots of figures the value of the crops produced all kinds, it is notorious that Ireland at home; and also the large amount stands pre-eminent. At the last exof employment afforded to the people hibition at the Royal Dublin Society, by the growth of flax, and its sub the specimens of mangold wurzel sequent manipulation through the va averaged twelve pounds to eighteen rious stages of manufacture.
pounds, with a produce of from fifty to The next subject that claims our at seventy tons to the acre, whilst upon tention is the manufacture of sugar from the Continent the produce rarely beet-root. This is altogether a new reaches twenty tons; for the very dissource of industry, and we are obliged, advantages under which we labour as therefore, to estimate the success of a grain-producing country—the dampthe movement from the advantages ness of the climate-give us a great the undertaking appears to possess,with superiority in the growth of all sorts out fortifying our opinions by an appeal of green crops. Arrangements are in to the experience of the past. A society progress by the Society for erecting entitled “ The Irish Beet-sugar Com factories at Donamore, adjoining the pany" has already obtained a charter Roscrea station of the Great Southern of incorporation ; and the confidence and Western Railway, and at Mount. already reposed in it by the public is mellick, and, we believe, in several evident from the fact, that previous to other localities, so as to be in a conthe allotment of shares, the number of dition to commence operations at the applications was about three times the end of October; and in the course of number at the disposal of the compa next year, should the experimental ny. It is stated, that sugar has been operations of the company prove sucmanufactured upon the Continent for cessful, we may expect to see similar a number of years, at an expense of nucleuses of industry scattered in vaabout £7 10s. per ton ; and that large rious localities. quantities have been imported into As the last great movement conthis country as foreign sugar (from nected with the progress of Irish inthe finer description of which it can dustry, we may mention the manufaca scarcely be distinguished), paying, of ture of Peat into various substances, course, the duty levied upon foreign viz:-. Peat coal, produced by the
See this subject discussed in a pamphlet entitled " The Manufacture of Beetroot Sugar in Ireland," by William R. Sullivan, Chemist to the Museum of Irish Industry. Dublin: James M Glashan, 1851.
solidification of peat, from which å substance is formed equal in density to coal, and superior to it in the absence of unpleasant gases which prove so injurious to metal, and also in the fact that it burns without leaving any residuum or “clinker." 2. Peat charcoal, of a full and compact structure, dense, yet fully carbonised through its entire mass, and free from sulphur and of great heating power. This is produced at the rate of £1 5s. per ton, and is readily purchased in London at £2 5s. per ton, or £3, in sacks. 3. Acetate of lime. 4. Sulphate of ammonia, the two last articles much used in the printing and dying of calico, and cotton. And 5. Peat-tar. Several companies have been formed for the purpose of carrying out these improvements ụnder various patents.
The Irish Amelioration Society have recently taken 500 acres of bog near Athy; and works are also in progress at Ballymullen, and in various other places.
These three great branches of Irish industry-flax, beet sugar, and peat charcoal- will not fail to confer very great benefits upon us, enhancing the value of land, and distributing large sums, in the shape of wages, among the labouring classes, including num. bers of women and children.
To the person who really wishes to form a fair opinion upon the onward progress or retrogression of Irish manufacture, these facts will be sufficient. They will show him that, independent of the direct profits offered by the soil, its value will probably continue to augment with the improving prospects of our manufactures. With the weak
minded alarmist, or with the wilful depreciator of the luxuriant fertility and immeasurable resources of his native land, we have no desire to hold communion. We may add, that tile draining, and the application of chemistry to agriculture, both of which have made great progress during the last few years, are comparatively novel sciences in Ireland. We must also remind our readers of the extensive works of drainage that have been undertaken, some under particular acts of Parliament, and others by private individuals, of new quays, embankments, and canals, and of ten millions or more expended upon railways. The registered tonnage of Irish vessels has increased from 128,469, in 1836, to 269,742, in 1848, employing 15,000 instead of 9,000 men ; and steam na. vigation in a still greater ratio, having now 106 vessels, with a tonnage of 39,918.* And, if we turn to the dif. ferent institutions connected with the intellectual progress of Ireland since 1831, we will find the Industrial Mu. seum, under Sir Robert Kane, silently and gradually accumulating knowledge, and making it available for all useful and practical purposes ; and the Geo. logical Society, Zoological Society, Natural History Society, Mechanics Institution, and Dublin Statistical Society, all of later date than 1831, in a flourishing condition, as well as their elder sisters, the Royal Dublin Society, and the Royal Irish Academy. Nor is the activity confined to Dublin; in Belfast, Limerick, Cork, Londonderry, and Galway, as well as in most of our principal towns, other societies like these have sprung into existence.
* The entrances and clearances of vessels at the various ports of Ireland have greatly increased of late ; but as their increase has arisen from the famine, and from emigration, it does not afford a clear index to the progress of our commerce. We are satisfied, however, that there has been a very large increase in the tonnage of vessels legitimately connected with our mercantile transactions. The totals with respect to the coasting trade show an aggregate tonnage (out and in) of 3,131,659 in 1841; and of 3,905,626 in 1850. The number of vessels registered as belonging to the several ports was 1,969, with a capacity of 183,854 tons at the commencement of the period ; and 2,333, with a capacity of 267,682 tons, in 1850. By another return, lately published, it appears that the sums advanced to private individuals for arterial drainage, &c., to be repaid with interest at 3} per cent., in half-yearly instalments, extending over ten years, was 199,8701., of which 67,6031. has been expended in the province of Ulster; 67,3461. in Leinster ; 46,6421. in Munster, and 18,2791. in Connaught. The largest sum laid out in any one county has been in Tyrone, where a sum of 20,7311. was expended.
+ Much useful information upon this subject will be found in an address delivered by Captain Larcom, C.E., at ihe Dublin Statistical Society, in June, 1850, and published in their Transactions.