Mansion House Fund for Relief of Distress

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Manuscript February's Manuscript of the Month is a letter to the Mansion House Fund for Relief of Distress in Ireland, 1880.

The Mansion House Fund was established in January 1880 specifically to provide relief to farmers and tenant-farmers whose crops had failed during 1877-79.  The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Edmund Dwyer, chaired this fund and several Dubliners wrote to him in the mistaken belief that the fund could help them.  The letters were preserved and this one is from John Collett who lived in Bishop Street and had lost his job, as a light porter with Mackey’s Seeds, owing to paralysis.  There is no record of a payment to him from the Mansion House Fund.

Letter to Lord Mayor from John Collett

Letter from John Collett to the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Edmund Dwyer, 1880. Ref: Ch/01/12/01 (click to enlarge)


Top front Room
11 Bishop Street
January 9th 1880

To the Right Honble
The Lord Mayor [Edward Dwyer Gray]
My Lord

I beg to lay my case/ before you seeking some help/ from the ‘Mansion House relief Fund’.  I was in Sir J.W. /Mackey’s employment for/ near four years when I got/ an attack of paralysis/ which incapacitated me/ from earning/ my bread at the/ time being quite a young man/ I am now only 36 and have/ got quite strong but want to/ get a start to release the/ few things my wife had/ to pawn for my support/ and obtain an article/or two of if we don’t get immediate clothing which/ would save us from total/ destitution which at present is staring us in the face/ if we don’t get immediate relief/ I enclose a copy/ of Sir J.W. Mackey’s/ testimony as to character and/

I am
My Lord
Your humble s[erva]nt
John Collett

Manuscript of the Month

Each month, Dublin City Archives will be showcasing a manuscript from their collections on our blog. Check back next month for the next instalment!

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