A Tour In Ireland 1780 By Arthur Young

Church Place Lurgan

Between 1776 and 1779 Arthur Young a Fellow of the Royal Society in London, travelled throughout Ireland and published his findings in a book entitled: A Tour In Ireland: With General Observations On The Present State Of That Kingdom. Here are his observations on Lurgan.

In the evening I reached Mr. Brownlow's, at Lurgan, to whom I am indebted for fome (some) valuable information. This gentleman has made very great improvements in his domain: he has a lake at the bottom of a flight (slight) vale, and around are three walks, at a diftance (distance) from each other; the center on is the principal, and extends 2 miles. It is well conducted for leading to the moft (most) agreeable parts of the grounds, and for commanding views of Loch Neagh, and the diftant (distant) country; there are feveral (several) buildings, a temple, green-houfe (green-house), &c. The moft (most) beautiful fcene (scene) is from a bench on a gently fwelling (swelling) hill, which rifes (rises) almoft (almost) on every fide (side) from the water. The wood, the water, and the green flopes (slopes); here unite to form a very pleafing landfcape (pleasing landscape). Let me obferve (observe) one thing much to his honour; he advances his tenants money for all the lime they chufe, and takes payment in 8 years with rent.

Upon enquiring concerning the emigrations, I found that in 1772 and 1773, they were at the height; that fome (some) went from this neighbourhood with property, but not many. They were in general poor and unemployed. They find here, that when provifions (provisions) are very cheap, the poor fpend (spend) much of their time in whifkey-houfes (whiskey-houses). All the drapers wifh (wish) that oatmeal was never under 1d. a pound. Though farms are exceedingly divided, yet few of the people raife (raise) oatmeal enough to feed themfelves (themselves); all go to market for fome (some). The weavers earn by coarfe (coarse) linens 1s. a day, by fine 1s. 4d. and it is the fame (same) with the fpinners (spinners), the finer the yarn the more they earn; but in common a woman earns about 3d. For coarfe (coarse) linens they do not reckon the flax hurt by ftanding (standing) for feed. Their own flax is much better than the imported.

This being market-day at Lurgan, Mr. Brownlow walked with me to it, that I might fee (see) the way in which linens were fold (sold). The cambricks are fold (sold) early, and through the whole morning; but when the clock ftrikes (strikes) eleven, the drapers jump upon ftone ftandings (stone standings), and the weavers infantly (instantly) flock about them with their pieces: the bargains are not ftruck (struck) at a word, but there is a little altercation whether the price fhall (shall) be one halfpenny or a penny a yard, more or lefs (less), which appeared to me ufelefs (useless). The draper's clerk ftands (stands) by him, and writes his mafter's (master's) name on the pieces he buys, with the price; and giving it back to the feller (seller), he goes to the draper's quarters, and waits his coming. At twelve it ends; then there is an hour for meafuring (measuring) the pieces, and paying the money, for nothing but ready money is taken; and this is the way the bufinefs (business) is carried on at all the markets. Three thoufand (thousand) pieces a week are fold (sold) here, at 35s. each on average, or 5,250l. and per annum 273,000l. and this is all made in a circumference of not many miles. The town parks about Lurgan let at 40s. an acre, but the country in general at 14s. The hufbandry (husbandry) is exceedingly bad, the people minding nothing but flax and potatoes. Leaving Lurgan I went to Warrenftown (Warrenstown).

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