Glin in 1847/48
In all libraries there is a corner for local interest and local history. It is surprising what one can learn by browsing through some of the books or articles. Here are some snippets about Glin which I find interesting.
In 1847/1848 Harry Loft, Lieutenant in the 64th Regiment of Foot from Co. Louth spent some time in Glin; during that time he wrote to his mother telling her about his time here. He says “I hope you had a merry Christmas; it was miserable here. We could not get any beef and nobody here ever heard of plum pudding.” Remember this is Ireland just after the famine! Another quotation: “The Knight of Glin called upon us yesterday and invited us to join a party of woodcock shooting. He is a very rich man and Lieutenant for the County, The village and all the land about here belongs to him.”
“This is a rather nice village and in summer must be very pretty. The people here are extremely civil and hospitable. We are the first detachment to come here for 20 years so we are a great sensation; the people stare at us as if we were some newly discovered wild animals!”
“I am almost devoured by fleas since I came here. There is a great line of Saints above my bed, in the inn where I am staying, and I hoped that they might guard me from the fleas but they seem to have little regard for such folk in 1848.”
“13th January 1848. I see from the paper that a greater depth of rain has fallen on Ireland during last month than has ever been known.”
“As well as lodging money of 6 shillings a week I get 2s 8d for fuel. As you will remember, dear Mama, they burn nothing but turf here and it is very cheap.”
“We has some sharp frosts and the gentlemen round here are busy filling their ice-houses. Cartloads of ice as brought in from the country. Great numbers of salmon are caught here in season, which are sent off at once to London and other places. They are put into boxes and packed in the ice which is broken up in small pieces, to keep them fresh.”
“On Sundays I march the Roman Catholics to the chapel at a quarter to nine and then we have our own service at noon in the church which is built in the Knight’s domain and is rather a nice looking building but it is cold and damp.”
“15th February 1848. I am most disappointed to learn today that the route has come for our departure to Ballingarry.”
I find it fascinating to read these pieces which show life over 200 years ago. Everything has changed and yet nothing has changed; people stay the same, live their lives in the circumstances they were born into and so life continues on. Glin is still a nice village and in the summer is very pretty. The people are still hospitable and welcome all. Thankfully the fleas have gone.
All these little bits of information are to be found in Glin Library which was not there in 1848! Call in and have a browse. It is all free!
Peg Prendeville, Glin Library