Diary of John Oram - UCD Digital Library
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Diary of John Oram : 1st January 1858 - 31st October 1864

Diary commencing January 1st 1858 : No. 2

Abstract: The 2nd of 6 diaries by John Oram, covering the period January 1858–October 1864. For the most part the diaries record the day-to-day administration of the estate managed by John Oram in Burrishoole, County Mayo. The estate was owned by Captain Alexander Wyndham. Each of the diaries consist of one-line entries recording the management of the herds on the estate, the purchase of feed, management of the fisheries, sowing crops, collecting rents, settling terms with existing and new tenants, drawing up leases, attending the Assizes, and the upkeep of buildings and roads. Also attending markets and the buying and selling of livestock. An observation about the weather is made for each daily entry. Also refers to unusual meteorological events, astronomical events, and current affairs. In general John Oram concludes his diary for each year summarising the number of days of rain and dry days, the harvest, prices for livestock and a few lines of religious verse. This diary concludes with a copy of a letter to his sister Mrs. Hockey in Weston Bampfylde.

In collection Diaries of John and Arthur Oram

Origin information
Burrishoole, Co. Mayo : John Oram
Date created:
Type of Resource
Physical description
[143] p.
25 x 20 cm
Scope and content
Includes: - Describes his duties as Inspector of Fisheries and the area he patrolled from Achill Sound to Keel, then to Keem and back to the Sound. Nothing to report (9 May 1858). - Describes a meeting to elect inspectors for the Conservators of Fisheries in the Bangor-Erris area. Remarks that votes were rigged, that he objected and that the meeting was adjourned following 'disturbances' and 'riotous proceedings' (4 September 1858). - Remarks that he was unanimously reappointed as Inspector of Fisheries by the Board of Conservators (20 September 1858). - Refers to the collection for the Curate's Aid Society which employs fifty Curates at £50 per annum '… in places in Ireland that would otherwise be without a church minister for want of means' (17 October 1858). - Records the birth of his son Francis Albert and his attendance at the Newport Petty Sessions, prosecuting offenders against Fishery laws (21 December 1858). - Remarks that he began writing 'Connaught as it is' (24 December 1858). - Received Power of Attorney from Captain Wyndham (1 January 1859). - Records that he has been elected Church Warden by the Vestry (25 April 1859). - Records the death of his son Francis Albert (17 August 1859). - Records his journey to England. During his stay in England he receives a letter informing him of his son Albert's illness and his death (26 September–21 October 1859). - Remarks that he has heard that Lord Plunkett's bailiff has been assassinated (3 January 1860). - Records that Lord Arran's steward has been shot near Ballina but has survived (23 February 1860). - Refers to his membership of a jury at the Castlebar Assizes and the court case Boycott v Carr concerning a dispute over the salvage rights to a ship wreck (10, 12 March 1860). - Remarks that he is collecting rents but that two thirds are unable to pay (23 April 1860). - Records that he settled terms for taking Lord Sligo's fishery (28 April 1860). - Records that the foundation of Burrishoole House was laid (25 June 1860). - Refers to his resignation from the Inspectorate of the Board of Conservators (1 Septembe6 1860). - Remarks that he received news of Captain Wyndham having an accident (30 September 1860). - Describes 1860 as the wettest and coldest year on record (31 December 1860). - Records the birth of his son Alfred William (12 January 1861). - Records the formation of the Cess-payers Defence Association (10 July 1861). - Remarks that the potato harvest is very bad and that 'distress is imminent' (18 October 1861). - Records that he dug his own potatoes and that a third of the crop are diseased (21 October 1861). - Concludes his diary for 1861 'Wet as 1860 was 1861 was still wetter as regards the harvest months—now at the end of the year a famine of fuel exists and the potatoes being very bad great distress is anticipated. This year will be long remembered as the year of the venerated and noble Prince Albert's death' (31 December 1861). - Remarks that he received an order to stop building Burrishoole House (14 January 1862). - Records that he attended a lecture on electricity (5 January 1862). - Remarks that he went to Mulranny to inspect the distress of the people there (30 May 1862). - Records the distribution of meal among the people of Mulranny (2 June 1862). - Records that he travelled to Clogher and Westport to collect rents but that he was unsuccessful (13 June 1862). - Describes his journey to England with his son John to organise John's apprenticeship to Mr Gooch in Swindon (12 August 1862). - Remarks that he saw the Great Exhibition in London before returning to Ireland (14 August 1862). - Records that he searched for iron ore in Glendahurk (26 September 1862). - Concludes his diary for 1862 'Very wet year and late deficient harvest potato disease less prevalent—the poor tenants still getting poorer and less able to meet their engagements' (31 December 1862). - Records his decision to attempt to lower Clogher Lake by widening the [gulphs] (3 February 1863). - Remarks that he took possession of Maryland from Mr Hope and received documentation form Mr Bushby following his appointment to Mr Bushby's Agency (14 February 1863). - Records that he travelled to Clogher looking for rents and reports that there is 'much distress among the poor people' (20 February 1863). - Remarks that the chimney tops were installed at Burrishoole House (19 March 1863). - Remarks that he received orders from Colonel Vaughan to distribute two tons of meal among his poor tenants (8 March 1863). - Records his attendance at a meeting of the Fishery Commissioners at Newport and a decision that bag nets were illegal (20 April 1863). - Records the birth of his daughter Caroline Susannah (7 May 1863). - Remarks that his baby daughter is sick and has been privately baptised (19 July 1863). - Observes that there is a 'great deal of emigration going on' (19 February 1864). - Makes the same observation again regarding emigration (11 March 1864). - Remarks that he has let Burrishoole house and the shooting and the angling rights to Captain Goff (20 April 1864). - Remarks that he received a letter from Captain Wyndham indicating that he wants to let the farm (18 May 1864). - Records that Captain Goff has taken up residency in Burrishoole House (14 June 1864). - Reports that he saw 489 salmon taken from the weirs at Ballina (6 July 1864). - Remarks '… it blew the most fearful hurricane I ever witnessed on this coast, great damage to crops …' (31 July 1864). - Records that he was elected Conservator to Sheskin (3 September 1864). - Copy of a letter from John to his sister Mrs Hockey, Weston Bampfylde, Ilchester, England concerning the possibility of taking up the lease of a farm in England. Urges his sister to be discreet, remarking that if the present tenant decides to continue with his lease he does not want to cause any tension between him and his landlord. Remarks 'I would write to Mr Blandford and ask him not to forget me in case of a vacancy but I fear it would look too much like undermining others a thing I will never do' (8 March 1861, 2pp).
Oram, John, 1824-1907 --Diaries
Farm managers--Ireland--Diaries
Farm management--Ireland--Mayo
Burrishoole (Ireland : Parish)
UCD Archives . P258/2
Suggested credit
"Diary of John Oram," held by UCD Archives. © Public domain. Digital content by University College Dublin, published by UCD Library, University College Dublin <http://digital.ucd.ie/view/ucdlib:256151>

Record source
Descriptions created by staff of UCD Library, University College Dublin, based on information provided by UCD Archives. — Metadata creation date: 2017-09-26

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