A landlord is a man who has property or keeps lodgings to whom tenants pay a fixed rent. The operative word here is fixed, something an Irish landlord had complete will to establish as he wished, often using his immense power to do just that. Many Irish landlords were cruel and looking to make a good buck at the expense of poor Irish peasantry but that was not always the case and one has to understand the situation of the times.
Several things contributed to the disaster so to put all the blame on landlords, perhaps is too simplistic an explanation. Not for the first time, the potato crop failed in the mid nineteenth century. This was the staple of the poor Irish diet. Along with widespread famine, all other crops were exported out of Ireland, the prices increased as well, and store houses of grain kept locked while the British government adopted a Laissez-faire doctrine of response, creating mass hunger, misery, evictions, emigration, and for some, death. Many landlords left their Irish estates in the hands of an estate agent, some leaving the country altogether. The estate agents had one goal and one only, to make the estate viable. Soon all landlords were grouped together as tyrants.
Not all landlords fit into this stereotype but there with their horrible reputations, would it be that easy to trust any landlord?. Continue reading