Local History by Seán Beattie


Harvey Estate – Altashane Land Sales, Malin.

John Harvey sold his estate in the townland of Altashane outside Carndonagh under the terms of the Ashbourne Land Act 1885, one of a handful of Donegal landlords to do so. He was a resident landlord at a time when almost two thirds of landlords in the county were absentees. In general resident landlords were more in touch with their tenants, but this was not true in all cases. The figures after the names of tenants are first the full amount advanced, then the guaranteed deposit and finally the half yearly instalment, first due on 1 November 1889:


Hugh McDaid (name deleted on folio)

John Nelson (George)  -name deleted on folio

Thomas Lynch £72, £15, £1.8.10

Bernard Doherty £189, £38, £3.14.10

Moore Scott £199, £40, £3. 18. 10

John O’Donnell £194 £39, £3.17.7

Owen Doherty £115, 23, £2.6..0

Andrew McLaughlin ££150, £30, £3.0.0

Alexander Scott deleted

Neal McCallion deleted

Patrick McLaughlin £72, £15, £1.8.10

Hugh Doherty £70, £14, £1.8.10

John McDaid £72, £15, £1. 8.0

James Nelson £127, £26, £2.10.

John Nelson £253, £51, £5.1.3

Daniel McLaughlin deleted

William Clingain deleted

James Clingain Senior £118

James Clingain Junior £40

Where names are deleted, advances etc.are given but it is possible the sales did not proceed. This could happen in cases where the tenant did not negotiate. The rents payable are an indication of the size of the holding – the larger the holding the higher the rent. On this basis, John Nelson was the largest landholder. As noted in earlier posts, the land settlement of John Harvey was one of the earliest in Inishowen and is significant as it covered over 20 townlands, in effect most of the lands between Carndonagh and Malin Head. All holdings are listed on the portfolio in my possession and more details on other town lands will be posted at a later date. Please pass on this information to anyone in Altashane who may be interested as it represents important information on the history of landlordism in Donegal and the implementation of the Land Acts throughout the county. The land transfers took place over a a 50 year time scale. It is interesting to note that some the business is not finished as the Earl of Shaftesbury still retains substantial landholdings in the peninsula.  I have been in touch with the earl’s estates’ officers and they have been very helpful in checking old estate books held in the library on the earl’s Devon estate. Most of the Inishowen estate is not suitable for farming. By the way, the staff have told me he enjoyed the home-made buns in Gleneely (see earlier post) when he visited the Spitfire site. He is a great man for the outdoors and who knows I may run into him some day jogging on the beach at Culdaff or taking his children for a spin on the swings! He is a lot fitter than I am so I won’t be tagging on.

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