Landlords and Tenants in Mid-Victorian Ireland

By W. E. Vaughan | Go to book overview

APPENDIX 10
The Tenement Valuation

The tenement valuation, carried out in the 1950s and 1860s under Sir Richard Griffith, estimated the valuation of every farm in the country as a basis for local taxation. Land and buildings were valued separately: land on its own came to £9.1 million, which did not change after the valuation was made; buildings connected with agricultural land were worth about £1 million by the 1870s. As new buildings were assessed, their valuation was added, which partly explains why different figures appear in different places. For the sake of clarity, however, when the valuation is referred to here, it means the valuation of land, excluding buildings. The agricultural prices used by Griffith were those collected in the three years 1849-51 and adjusted for the 1852. act.1 Griffith produced other figures in his Instructions: for the cost of production and for commodities that were not mentioned in the act. The calculations in the Instructions seem to represent the high points of the scale that the valuators were supposed to use.

Was £9.1 million a payable rent in the early 1850s? This question can be answered by using Griffith's specimen calculations in the Instructions, combined with the figures for crops and livestock in the agricultural statistics, to calculate the total value of agricultural production.2 Griffith's calculations have the advantage of allowing the calculations to be made without much guesswork; the value of arable production, for example, is a straightforward multiplication of Griffith's prices and the acreages and yields in the agricultural statistics. Livestock is a bit more complicated: pigs, calves, and cattle are straightforward; but milch cows and sheep require some manipulation; poultry and wool, unfortunately, are not included in Griffith's calculations.

The problem with milch cows is that Griffith assumes that each cow produced almost 2 cwt. of butter, which would give a very high figure if applied to ail Mach cows. An average production of 1 cwt. has been assumed here, and expenses have been reduced accordingly. Sheep are rather more puzzling: the table at p. 32 of the Instructions appears to contain at least one typographical error and one error of computation; the purchase price of sheep is not given, nor their ages. The problem has been solved by assuming that each fattened sheep sold for £2.51 and that they were 3 years old. The agricultural prices were those used in the valuation act and in Griffith Instructions; the cost of production was calculated by multiplying

____________________
1
Report from the Select Committee on the General Valuation etc. (Ireland); Together with the Proceedings of the Committee, Minutes of Evidence, and Appendix, pp. 113-19, HC 1868- 9 (362.), ix. 225-31; Return, 'Showing the Amount of Average Prices of Agricultural Produce (Arranged in Provinces) of Forty Towns in Ireland, during the Years 1849, 1850, 1851', HC 1852, xlvii (307). 1; see also W. E. Vaughan, "'Richard Griffith and the Tenement Valuation'", in G. L. Herries Davies and R. Charles Mollan (eds.), Ric-bard Griffith, 1784-1878 ( Dublin, 1980), 103-22.
2
Griffith, Instructions, 28, 29, 32, 33.

-251-

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