The Farm near Cashel

When Lancelot Smith and most of his family moved to Ireland in the 1850s, they rented a farm near Cashel, County Tipperary, in the townland called Rathcoun (also written as Rathcowan, Rathcown or Rathcoon).  The townland is about 2 miles (3 km) south-west of the centre of the town of Cashel.  I expect it was possible to see the Rock of Cashel from their farm-house.  (The day I visited the townland in May 2011 it was raining so heavily it was impossible to see anything.)

Why the Smiths chose to rent this particular farm when they decided to move to Ireland is unknown.  Nor do I know why they chose to move to Tipperary although my guess is they already knew other people from Cumberland who had moved there.   Family lore says there were a number of Cumberland farmers who moved to Tipperary in the years after the Great Famine.  In the late 1840s and early 1850s there were many farms in Ireland that had lost their tenants through famine, economic disaster or emigration and landlords needed new tenants to start paying rents.

Based on the information I have found, I think the Smiths moved from Gamblesby in Cumberland to Rathcoun in 1852 or 1853.  They continued to live at the same rented farm of 242 acres in Rathcoun for a number of years.  Until 1856 their landlord was John Bayley.  In 1857 ownership of the land changed to Charles Thiebault Esq.  By 1860 Lancelot Smith was renting an additional 99 acres of farmland, also owned by Charles Thiebault Esq., in a neighbouring townland called Shanballyduff.

In late 1870 or early 1871 the younger Lancelot Smith and his family (wife Eliza Upton and six small children) moved to Corballis near Donabate, County Dublin.  The rental properties in Rathcoun and Shanballyduff were given up.  The elder Lancelot Smith may have stayed in the Cashel area and lived with his daughter Hannah Smith and her husband Joseph Backhouse.

The landscape, climate and type of farming near Cashel were all very different from what the Smiths were used to in the Cumberland Fells.  They would have had to learn a completely different way of working on the land.  Obviously they managed the transition successfully and were able to farm over 240 acres in Tipperary for almost 20 years.

This entry was posted in Cashel, Smith and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.