Struggle and strife on a Mayo estate, 1833–1903

The Nolans of Logboy and their tenants


Michael Kelly

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ISBN: 978-1-84682-518-7
August 2014. 64pp; ills.

This book reveals how landlord and tenants on a Mayo estate responded to a series of crises during the Victorian era, dominated by the Famine and the Land War. In 1833 the debt-burdened estate of the Catholic Nolan family at Logboy was inherited by Edmond J. Nolan, a Dublin-based attorney. A benevolent landlord, he was forced to sell the estate after the Famine. The purchaser was his wealthy nephew, John Nolan Ferrall, who enjoyed a privileged lifestyle during the post-Famine economic recovery. But when a confluence of misfortunes reduced Mayo tenants to poverty again in the late 1870s, the Logboy estate was targeted by organized land agitation led by Fenian activists and closely linked with agrarian unrest at nearby Irishtown. Relations between Nolan Ferrall and his tenants deteriorated, resulting in violent confrontations and evictions. The murder of his bailiff in November 1881 was a turning point and he abandoned Logboy for good. After his death, the United Irish League took up the tenants’ case until the Wyndham land act of 1903 finally enabled them to become landowners.


Part of the Maynooth Studies in Local History series (Raymond Gillespie, general editor). The studies in this series range widely, both chronologically and geographically, over the local experience in the Irish past. They are at the forefront of Irish historical research and represent some of the most innovative and exciting work being undertaken in Irish history today. They provide models that others can follow up and adapt in their own studies of the Irish past, allowing us to understand better the regional diversity of Ireland and the social and cultural basis for that diversity. For a list of all titles published in this series to date, click here.

A native of Co. Mayo, Michael Kelly has lived in Dublin for many years and is a former civil servant. He holds an MA in Local History from NUI Maynooth.