„the cutpurse of the empire“ früher entschuldigte sich, jetzt boldly avows itself. (p. 46)

In Elisabeth times 3 rebellions placing a great part of the lands of Ireland at the disposal of the crown. Nach Leland (History of Ireland, vol. II) more than one half of Ulster. Edmund Spenser (Spenser, State of Ireland, Works vol. VI) gives a vastly higher proportion. Of the 9000 ploughlands of Ulster, all but 400 or 500 he represents as being escheated to the Queen. Ditto 5/6 of Connaught at least in the same predicament; even in Leinster, exceedingly large tracts, consisting of entire counties, were similarly circumstanced. Of Munster, at the period he wrote, it appears very much of it was already in the hands of her „undertakers“. Indeed, by the single attainder and Death of the Earl of Desmond „enormous domains“, as large as „the possessions of independent princes“, fell to her disposal, besides sundry other minor forfeitures. In the reign of James I, the greatest and most valuable part of Ulster again reverted to the crown in consequence of the treasonable practices of Tyrone, Tyrconnel, and others their adherents. (p. 47) During the interregnum, confiscations to a far greater extent occurred. … At the revolution … upwards of a million acres of land were forfeited at once; more than half of those afterwards restored … Lord Clare says that, of the 12 millions of acres which the island contains, 111/2 underwent confiscation, during the one century  Zusatz von Marx.
(17 Jhdt)
(p. [47,] 48)  Zusammenfassender Kommentar von Marx.
Mit diesen confiscations, die stets die Sache in Hand of English proprietors brachten, beginnt Absenteeism, obgleich residency always Bedingung der investiture.

Petty says: „a great part of the estates, both real and personal, in Ireland, are owned by absentees, and such as draw over the profits raised out of Ireland, refunding nothing: so as Ireland, exporting more than it imports, doth yet grow poorer to a paradox.“ (Political Anatomy of Ireland, p. 33) To this absenteeism (ib. p. 33) he attributes the lamentable want of employment and the idleness of Ireland.

Dobbs, it is believed, published under the name of Prior, in 1729 a List of Absentees of Ireland, estimating the  Sadler: annual
subtraction of wealth, from this cause, at 627,799£., a prodigious sum at that time, and for such a country; the rental of which, it is supposed, did not then exceed 2 millions. Gee, at same time, in his work, Trade and Navy of Great Britain[“] , says p. 19: „it is thought near one third part of the rents of the whole (of Ireland) belong to English noblemen and gentlemen that dwell here.“|


In the List of Absentees it is said: „By means of our nobles and gentry deserting their own country, and spending all abroad, our people are left without employment, and are forced to shift to other countries, even to America, to get a livelihood“ (List p. 23) „ʼTis not to be wondered at that we should grow poorer every day, under such an unprofitable issue of money, which all the labour of the people and produce of the country, with every acquisition they can make, are not sufficient to supply.“ (l.c. p. 29) „This is an evil long complained of.“ „There is no country in Europe which produces and exports so great a quantity of beef, butter, tallow, hides, and wool as Ireland does; and yet, our common people are very poorly clothed, go bare legged half the year, and very rarely taste of that fresh meat with which  Sadler: we
so much abound. We pinch ourselves of every article of life, and export more than we can well spare, with no other effect or advantage than to enable our gentlemen and ladies to live more luxuriantly abroad.“ „And they are not content to treat us thus, but add insult to ill usage: they reproach us with our poverty, at the same time that they take away our money“ (l.c. p. 33) (Sadler p. 50–52)

Swift says: it „required those great remittances which perpetually drained the country“, that it drove „half the farmers and labourers into beggary and banishment“; in a word, that it was the one great evil of Ireland – „Nostra miseria magna  Sadler fälschlich: es
“ (works, vol. VI, p. 209, p. 180)

Young („Tour through Ireland“) is copious on this subject, and Curwen (Observations on the State of Ireland, vol. II, p. 255, p. 187,  Zusatz von Marx.
dieser Kerl Malthusian
) describes, from oracular proof, the „ruin it inflicts“; and as to misery – speaking of an estate belonging to some absentee, he says,  Das Zitat findet sich in Curwens Observations, Vol. I
„the waters of oblivion can never wash out the stains which the scenes of woe, witnessed this day, have impressed upon my mind“
. (Sadler p. 53)

Statutes have from time to time been passed to suppress this great evil (aber in vain) (p. 53) [»]It (absenteeism) substitutes, for neglected duties, positive wrongs of the deadliest character. Absent in the body, it is indeed ever present in the spirit of cruelty and oppression. Its very existence implies a train of evils, which have been for centuries past the most cruel scourges of the country: I mean the underletting system.« (p. 55) „Non descript monsters“ Sir R. C. Hoare (Tour in Ireland p. 307) calls them „Undertakers inured to tyranny and extortion“ (Bishop Woodward, Argument etc p. 17)

The experimental labours of this class are highly beneficial to the whole body of landed proprietors; they can calculate to a nicety how much and how long a little cultivator can endure; and know the precise period when it is best „to drive him“. They thus not only act for the absentee, but are a sort of pioneers for the rest of the landlords, and by constantly exercising their instruments of devastation, have certainly cleared the way for those enormously high rents … extorted from the suffering peasantry of Ireland. (56) „The sorry slaves“, as Bishop Nicholson writes to Archbishop Wake, „plough the ground to the very top of their mountains, for the service of their lords; who spend truly rackrents … in London.“ (Ellis, Original letters; second series, vol. IV, p. 318) Here, too, is the principal cause of those minute and temporary lettings, so injurious to the soil, and for which such incredibly large sums are exacted; and which contribute to keep so great a number of the peasantry in constant poverty and fluctuation. (p. 56, 57)  Kommentar von Marx.
Und wie wenig das principle of population damit zu thun hat.

Edmund Spenser says: „the landlords there most shamefully rack their tenants“ (State of Ireland, Works, vol. VI, p. 33)

Dean Swift: „Rents, squeezed out of the very blood, and vitals, and clothes, and dwellings of the tenants, who live worse than English beggars.“ (View of the State of Ireland.)

Archbishop Boulter: „Here the tenant, I fear, has hardly ever more than 1/3 for his share, and too often but 1/4 or 1/5.“ (Letters, vol. I, p. 292)

Arthur Dobbs:What was it induced so many of the commonalty lately to go to America, but high rents? These keep them poor and low, that they had scarce sufficient credit to procure necessaries to subsist, or till their ground.“ (Essay on the Trade of Ireland, vol. II, p. 80)

John Fitzgibbon At. Gen.: „The peasantry are ground down to powder by enormous rents.“ (Speech, 1787) „Exorbitant rents“ (Gordon’s History of Ireland, vol. I, p. 241)

„Exorbitant rents.“ (Newenham’s Inquiry etc p. 15) „Exorbitant rents“ (Argument for the support of the Poor; Dr. Woodward, p. 15) Exorbitant rents. (Curwen l.c. II, p. 32) Exorbitant rents (First Report on the State of Ireland, 1825, p. 38, 59, 307, 413, 414, 638 etc)

„It is an undoubted fact that, as landlords, they exact more from their tenants, than the same class of men in any other country.“ (Wakefield, Account etc. vol. II, p. 795)

Cornacres … are generally let up to „ten guineas an acre“. (Report of the Select Committee on the State of Ireland I, p. 50 etc.

Drs. Baker and Cheyne, Account of the Fever in Ireland  Zusatz von Marx.
(in den 20er Jahren). (1822?)
„In the calamitous summer of 1822 … a subscription was made for the relief of the poor of a certain district, by the resident gentry, landowners, and clergy. Application was made to the absentee proprietors, who annually abstracted from that country 83,000l. Their subscriptions altogether amounted to 83 pounds!“ (Bishop of Limerick’s Speech, June 10, 1824 1824) (p. 67)

Ireland … is not only deprived of the produce which its suffering population too often stands in absolute need of, but of that profitable labour which the consumption of it by the landlord in his own country would necessarily call into action. (69, 70) ( Marx verweist wahrscheinlich auf seine 1850 in Londoner Heft IV entstandenen Exzerpte aus Johann Georg Büsch: Abhandlung von dem Geldumlauf in anhaltender Rücksicht auf die Staatswirthschaft und Handlung (Hamburg, Kiel 1800). Diese behandeln an einer Stelle auch den Geldumlauf in Polen (MEGA² IV/7. S. 288/289). In „Bullion. Das vollendete Geldsystem“ resümierte Marx diese Exzerpte mit: „Wichtigkeit der innren Geldcirculation vor der auslandischen. Polen.“ (MEGA² IV/8. S. 51.16–17.)
Sieh Büsch über Polen

Even were the absentees to return and become residents, still retaining their unnatural predilection for articles of foreign industry, that part of the revenues expended upon such would, I contend, be lost in a great measure to such a country as Ireland, which, having little or nothing to export but provisions, with a half-fed and less than than half-employed population, would be starved, as well as impoverished, just so far as this practice prevailed. The Dublin Society proved (Spirit of Legislation, p. 248), by an exact calculation, that they might maintain 20 poor families for a whole year, with the quantity of beef and mutton which they exported for buying a lady’s head-dress. (p. 70, 71)

The ownership of landed property, in almost all cases, practically resolves itself into the right of receiving annually a certain share of the produce of lands cultivated by others. (p. 72)

Newenham says (An Inquiry into the Progress etc p. 170, 171): „But if capitals sufficient to establish or extend manufactures, be not accumulated, which can scarcely be expected during the continuance of so great a drain of money; if the demand for labour do not keep pace with the increase of the people, which in such case it may not, if industry be overstocked; there will undoubtedly be reason to apprehend a recurrence of those disturbances which have already proved so injurious to Ireland.“

Prolificness of a State of poverty and privation. Dr. Watkinson expressly attributes the fecundity of the Irish to this cause. (Phil. Survey of the South of Ireland. p. 147) (p. 76)


  • Inhaltsverzeichnis von Friedrich Engels
  • Heft II. 1869
  • The Daily News, 20. Mai 1869
    • Notiz
      • Kaufmannsrechnung. (Continuatio)
      • John Leslie Foster, (of Lincoln’s Inn): An Essay on the Principle of Commercial Exchanges. London. 1804.
      • Ch. Lyell. Principles of Geology. 7th ed. London 1847.
      • Otto Hausner: Vergleichende Statistik von Europa (Lemberg. 1865) II. Band.
      • Michael Thomas Sadler. M.P.: Ireland; its Evils and their Remedies. 2nd ed. London. 1829