The Death Census of Black ’47: Eyewitness Accounts of Ireland’s Great Famine

The Death Census of Black ’47: Eyewitness Accounts of Ireland’s Great Famine

By Liam Kennedy
Donald M. MacRaild
Lewis Darwen
Brian Gurrin

Anthem Irish Studies

The Great Irish Famine claimed the lives of one million people, mainly from the lower classes. In recent decades, its history has become the focus of considerable scholarly and popular attention, but much remains to be retrieved and reconstructed, particularly at the level of the rural poor. This book fills that gap.

PDF, 250 Pages

ISBN:9781839984327

January 2023

£0.00, $0.00

EPUB, 250 Pages

ISBN:9781839984334

January 2023

£0.00, $0.00

  • About This Book
  • Reviews
  • Author Information
  • Series
  • Table of Contents
  • Links
  • Podcasts

About This Book

The Great Irish Famine claimed the lives of one million people, mainly from the lower classes. More than a million others fled the stricken land between 1845 and 1851. This catastrophe ranks among the worst famines to afflict pre-industrial societies, and it retains an important place in the psyche of the Irish people and the Irish diaspora to this day. In recent decades, its history has become the focus of considerable scholarly and popular attention. In particular, a tremendous amount of work has been undertaken on mortality, emigration, relief efforts and the wider political, social and psychological consequences of the calamity. Yet much remains to be retrieved and reconstructed, particularly at the level of the rural poor. This book intends to fill that gap. Astonishingly, there is a large volume of reports on social conditions in the Irish localities, emanating from within those localities, that has never been used systematically by historians. It bears the compelling title of the ‘Death Census’. Most historians are simply unaware of its existence. The outstanding feature of the Death Census is that it was authored by local clergymen who lived among the people they served, and were intimately involved with their lives. 

The census, which has never been published in composite form, is a unique store house of testimonies from near the base of society that awaits the attention of students of famine in Ireland. Ninety-nine clergymen from across Ireland, with marked concentrations in the worst affected parts of the country, contributed to the census. Some of these documents are coloured by politics, which in itself is revealing, but most aspire to more dispassionate representations of the horror facing a famishing people within the ‘little society’ of the parish, accompanied by appeals, explicit or implicit, to the humanitarian instincts of the wider society. In terms of wider significance, this is one of the great unstudied texts of modern Irish history. This book brings the Death Census together in composite form for the first time, and provides a detailed examination of its contents. The result is a new understanding of the Great Famine as it was experienced on the ground.

Reviews

No reviews for this title.

Author Information

Liam Kennedy is a foremost scholar of Irish economic and social history. He has written extensively on these themes and questions of Irish identity. 

Don MacRaild is a leading specialist on the history of the Irish diaspora. He has also published on British diasporas, modern social and labour history, and edits a series on theory and history.

Dr Lewis Darwen is a lecturer at Roehampton University specialising in British social and political history. He had longstanding research and publication interests in nineteenth-century social policy.

Dr Brian Gurrin is a researcher on the “Beyond 2022, Ireland’s Virtual Record Treasury” project. His interests are in Irish demographics.

Series

Anthem Irish Studies

Table of Contents

Preface; Chapter 1: The Great Famine and the Death Census; Chapter 2: The Politics of Famine Mortality; Chapter 3: The Death Census: What the Numbers Tell Us; Chapter 4: Narratives of Famine, Disease and Death; Chapter 5: The Great Famine Reconsidered; Appendix: The texts of the Death Census.

Links

No Podcasts for this title.

Latest Tweets

  • Out Now! Roland Barthes Writing the Political re-reads and re-purposes for the twenty-first century France’s most i… https://t.co/y7Z6Lel1XD

    - 19:27:20 on 18/11/2022
  • Recently published, Sociology in Times of Glocalization offers a series of critical discussions of how sociology is… https://t.co/UHpsEVe2rG

    - 19:27:20 on 18/11/2022
  • Recently published, Yeats and Revisionism collects Daniel T. O’Hara’s half-century of essays and review-essays on… https://t.co/ETsWqHEuHX

    - 19:27:20 on 18/11/2022
  • Recently published, War, Genocide and Cultural Memory presents a comprehensive study of the Waffen-SS covering its… https://t.co/hGsdGJqrRI

    - 19:27:20 on 18/11/2022
  • Recently published, Symbols and Myth-Making in Modernity is a study of how cross-cultural symbols erupt in popular… https://t.co/9uwzjpdNhT

    - 19:27:20 on 18/11/2022
  • Recently published, Swedish Gothic provides an overview of the development and characteristic features of Swedish G… https://t.co/IRuuBeg8Rq

    - 19:27:20 on 18/11/2022
  • Recently published, Refugees, Refuge, and Human Displacement studies the concept of refuge as well as historical fo… https://t.co/qpaap9YA1C

    - 19:27:20 on 18/11/2022
  • Recently published, Gulf Gothic, this book examines haunted, secret-laden narratives that emerge from the gulfs bet… https://t.co/3UOZyfliY9

    - 19:27:20 on 18/11/2022
  • Recently published, The Influence of José da Silva Lisboa’s Journalism, Analyses the influence of the publications… https://t.co/7GDFtwekVF

    - 19:27:20 on 18/11/2022
  • US Federal Circuit Judge Timothy B. Dyk is concerned that the pressures of Big Law life are draining the joy and pu… https://t.co/hXH4D2zI6X

    - 19:27:20 on 17/11/2022

Comodo SSL