Adrian Cosby (b. 1937) (Part 2)
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Adrian Cosby (b. 1937) (Part 2)


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Track 1: Adrian Cosby describes the history of his mother’s family, the Hamiltons of Roundwood. The family did not agree with the outcome of the 1919 election and he considers that their thinking had been affected by the outcome of WWI. He remembers his mother, Enid, talking in later life about the nationalists and not knowing them other than as gunmen. He recalls that his great-grandfather, Robert, feared that matters would go the same way as Russia did in 1917. He speaks about the ability of Lloyd George and how matters might have been better in both Ireland and with Hitler if he had still been in power. Track 2: Adrian talks about the political background to the growth of resentment against the landlord class in Ireland in the 19th century, following the importation of Indian corn and cheap wheat from America. He makes the point that it was not so much the tenants who were in a poor situation but the labourers. His great-grandfather’s mother, Emily Ashworth, was very wealthy and she is said to have fed starving people from the Slieve Bloom mountains on the front lawn at Stradbally Hall (or possibly at Roundwood). At various stages during the famine, Adrian says, there was very little food, or there was food but no money to pay for it. He reads from a document dating from the famine period and he examines various maps and old rental records, reading out some of the tenants’ names.He examines the 1843 rental and notes that many of the rents were in arrears. He reads from W. E. Vaughan’s Landlords and Tenants in Ireland about the period between the famine and the land wars, and interestingly, he points out that the Cosbys did not avail of the Wyndham Act. He believes that the Journal of the Irish House of Commons should be studied for the background to the Presbyterian influence on the 1798 Rebellion.

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Audio series:

The Irish Country House and the Great War


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

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5.05 MB, 20.57 MB, 12.01 MB

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The Hamilton family of Roundwood

Recorded by:

Maurice O'Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore