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Holding Sizes 

  • Cottier or Labourer - less than five acres

  • Small farmer - between five and thirty acres

  • Large farmer - more than thirty acres

Legal Position of Tenants 

Contrary to common view, a yearly tenant could not be just thrown off his property by force nor could the rent be raised at the whim of the landlord.  The law presumed that a yearly tenancy persisted unchanged from year to year and could only be changed by agreement or litigation



Occupier: The individual who is responsible for the taxes levied on the tenement 

Tenement: Any taxable property, building or land that is held for not less than year to year 

County: A major land division created by the English in sixteenth century 

Barony: Historically based on original Gaelic family territory by the Anglo-Norman occupiers.  There are 273 in number 

Civil Parish: Not to be confused with Roman Catholic Parishes, its boundaries closely follow the parishes of the Protestant Church of Ireland 

Townland: Area of land such as family farms or groups of farms. It is the smallest of the administrative districts 

Cottager: A peasant who occupies a cottage belonging to a farm, sometimes with a plot of land attached.  In return the cottager has to work on the farm when required 

Immediate Lessor: The person to whom the rent is paid- may be a landowner or middleman 

Acreage: One statute acre contained four roods and one rood contained forty perches 

Lease: The term of a lease could be for twenty-one years or more often the number of years left in the lives of three named individuals 

Money: One pound had twenty shillings and one shilling twelve pence