Tenants of the Palmer Estate in Rush, Co. Dublin ~1830

Small Sources 73. This is a list of 153  tenants on the estate of Sir W. H. Roger Palmer in and around the coastal town of Rush in North county Dublin.  The original document is a single rental book in the National Library of Ireland  entitled “A Rental of estate of Sir W. H. Roger Palmer, Rush, Co. Dublin, c. 1830”  (Reference NLI Ms. 14,216).  The Palmer family are mainly associated with Mayo where they had an estate of 80,000 acres.  However,  through a marriage with the Echlin family,  they also came into possession of  Kenure House,  located two miles north of Rush village, Co. Dublin and associated local properties. An 1837 description of the town (in Lewis’s ‘Topographical Dictionary’) states that it had 1244 inhabitants and “contains 442 houses chiefly inhabited by fishermen, and has, since the 16th century,  been famous for the quantity of ling taken and cured by the inhabitants“.  The estate owner at the time of this record in 1830 was William Henry Roger Palmer,  the 3rd Baronet,  who died in 1840.  See links to some interesting information on Sir Roger Palmer  and on the ‘last of the Palmers‘ on this estate.

The names are in a general alphabetic order from A to G.  It therefore appears that there may have been further rental ledgers dealing with tenants from H to Z which have not survived.  The ledger is divided into columns (some of which are shown  in Figs. 1 and 2) listing:

  • Number of lease
  • Present occupier             See below 
  • Original tenant and lessee   See below 
  • Lessor        (either Sir Roger Palmer or his aunt Elizabeth Palmer) 
  • Description of holding  See below 
  • Quantity of land
  • Original commencement of tenancy        (almost all in 1810s or 1820s)
  • Terms                          (almost all defined in terms of ‘lives’ – see below)
  • Yearly rent in Irish Currency
  • Yearly rent in British Currency
  • Rent Charge
  • Temporary Reduction        (reductions given for hardship or other reasons)
  • Nett amount Receivable
  • Total amount payable
  • Observations

Figure 1 below shows the basic information on the current and original tenant,  and the description of the holding.   The background to this is that the holding is made available to a lessor under a lease for lives (see explanation below).   In most cases,  the current occupier is also the lessor (as are all of the occupiers in Fig 1).  The reasons why holdings are transferred to others is clear in some circumstances:   ‘Widow Bermingham’ is the current holder of a property originally leased to James Bermingham;  and ‘Widow Brien’ is the current holder of a property originally leased to Patt Brien.  In other cases  the original tenant may have sub-let the holding to someone else.  There are several where the transfer is within the same family. In the list below the original tenant is identified,  but note that the original tenant for one holding may also be the current occupier for a separate holding.

The description of holding is more detailed than in most rentals. It specifies whether there is a house, or just land,  and also gives a location, albeit based on landmarks which may no longer exist.  The top holding in Fig. 1 is described as ‘Houses and Premises, Main Street North & pieces of land, outhouses and garden“;  and the second reads ‘House near the mill and plot in Burrow‘.

Fig 1. Extract from the rental showing the core information from the rental on tenants (current and original), holding and the lessor.

Apart from an occupier’s name,  their holding, and  their  period of occupation,  the rental provides other information of potential genealogical value.   Almost all leases are defined  as  being for the duration of the lives of 3 specified individuals.  This was a common practice at the time. A ‘lease for lives’ lasts until the last of the named three persons has died. The lives cited are generally family members, so the lease details may provide valuable leads.  For instance,  the lease terms for John Archbold are “Christopher and Denis, first and second sons of Lessee, and R P Sharp“;  while that for Andrew Archbold is ” The lessee,  Jane his sister and Christopher his eldest son”  (see Fig.2.)    The person R. P. Sharp is specified on other leases as well,  which suggests that he was regarded as a particularly healthy individual who was expected to have a long life!  A full description of rentals and the useful family information they can provide is in our blog “Rentals as a resource for Irish family history” which is available here.

Fig.2. Abstract showing the date of commencement of tenure and the terms of the lease (defined as the ‘lives’ of named individuals) and the rent

The names in the rental are generally those that might be expected in the Dublin area: Archbold, Fitzgerald, Doyle, Dunne and Cosgrave,  but less common names include McGlew,  Knight and Cappock.   Further information on some of the families listed may be included in our publication ‘Sources for Irish Family History 2021‘ which lists books and articles on over 2,500 Irish families.

Ancestor Network will offer readers 1 free hour of research by a professional family historian to conduct further study on these individuals, or on other tenants of the estate. We can also obtain images of the original documents. Click here and quote ‘DublinSS73′  in the subject line.

The list of tenants is below. The persons noted as (original tenant) are those from column 2 in Fig 1.  In short,  they are the persons who originally leased the holding.  Names that are unclear in the rental are indicated as ?.

Archbold, Andrew
Archbold, Bartholomew
Archbold, Bridget
Archbold, Catherine
Archbold, Christopher (original tenant)
Archbold, John
Archbold, Patt
Archbold, Widow of late Christopher (original tenant)
Arnold, Mathew
Austin, George
Balf, Thomas
Balf, Patrick
Beoshal?, Richard
Bermingham, James (for holding of Widow Bermingham) (original tenant)
Bermingham, Widow
Bermingham, John
Bossance, Thomas
Bourke, Richard
Boylan, James and Mary (original tenant)
Brien, John & Michael
Brien, Edward
Brien, John
Brien, John (original tenant)
Brien, John junr.
Brien, Joseph
dublinBrien, Patrick
Brien, Patt  (for holding of Widow Brien) (original tenant)
Brien, Widow
Butterly, Reps. of Nicholas
Butterly, Thomas
Butterly, Widow (original tenant)
Byrne, Michael
Byrne, Christ.
Byrne, Patrick
Cannon, John
Cannon, Laurence
Cannon, Patrick (original tenant)
Cannon, Patt
Cappock, James (original tenant)
Carey, Francis (original tenant)
Carey, James
Carey, Plunkett
Carey, Thomas
Carey, William
Carrick, Patt
Carroll, Andrew
Carroll, Michael
Carrick, William ?
Carthy, Widow
Cartwright, George
Cashell, Michael
Christie, George
Coast Guard Lieutenant
Condren, Michael
Connolly, Cornelius
Connolly, James
Connolly, Thomas
Connor, Christ.
Connor, Patt
Corr, John
Cosgrave, John (original tenant)
Cosgrave, Elenor
Cosgrave, Robert
Cosgrave, Robt. & John
Coyle, John
Creenan, Peter
Creenan?, Margt.
Creighton, James (original tenant)
Creighton, John
Cristie, John
Croghan, William (original tenant)
Cullen, James (holding of Widow C) (original tenant)
Cullen, Widow
Cunningham, John
Cunningham, Thomas
Daley, John
Daley, Peter (original tenant)
Dickson, Thomas (original tenant)
Dogherty, Brian         usually spelled Doherty
Dogherty, Francis (original tenant)
Dollard, Francis (original tenant)
Donnolly, Reps of John          Usually spelled Donnelly
Donnolly, Thomas
Donough, John (original tenant)
Doyle, Michael
Doyle, E. & Jane Starkey (original tenant)
Doyle, Hugh
Doyle, Hugh (original tenant)
Doyle, John
Doyle, Reps of John
Dunn, Richard (original tenant)
Dunn, Laurence
Echlin, Philip
Echlin, Widow
Farrell, Widow of Richard
Farren, Thomas
Farren, Andrew (original tenant)
Fegan, Mary (original tenant)
Farren, Margt.
Farren, William
Fegan, Catherine (original tenant)
Field, Michael
Field, Patt
Field, Michael (original tenant)
Field, Patt (original tenant)
Fitzgerald, Andrew
Fitzgerald, Andw. (original tenant)
Fitzgerald, James
Fitzgerald, John
Fitzgerald, Michael
Fitzgerald, Reps of Thomas
Fitzgerald, Thos. (original tenant)
Fitzgerald, Joseph
Fitzgerald, Widow of Nicholas
Fitzpatrick, Thomas
Flinn, Bartholomew (original tenant)   Usually spelled Flynn
Flinn, John
Flinn, Mary Senior. (original tenant)
Flinn, Patt
Flinn, Reps of
Flinn, Thomas (original tenant)
Flinn, James (original tenant)
Foley, Patt
Foley, Brien (original tenant)
Foley, Matt
Foley, Patt (original tenant)
Ford, Joseph
Ford, Patt (original tenant)
Fyans, Edward
Fyans, John
Gillen, James
Gilsenan, William
Green, Bernard
Guilsenan, Patrick (original tenant)
Headon, Edward
Hoare, John and Joseph
Hoare, Michael (original tenant)
Howard ?, Michael
Jenkins, Michael
Kelly, James
Kelly, Thomas
Kelly, Widow
Knight, Mary
Mackie, John
McGlew, Joseph
O’Hara, Thomas Junr. (original tenant)
Rooney, John (original tenant)
Salt, John & Samuel (original tenant)
Starkey, Jane & E. Doyle (original tenant)
Teeling, Luke & ? (original tenant)
Walsh, Patt
Weldon, Christr.
Weldon?, Thomas

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Further articles in our series on Irish Family History sources include: