Alternative Methods of Increasing Rents, 1850-1886
The table in this appendix is based on the assumption that landlords or a special commission established by parliament attempted to adjust rents annually according to dearly defined principles, using market prices and the figures produced annually in the agricultural statistics. Ile figures below refer to the whole country, which is treated as one large farm; in practice, of course, any system of adjusting rents would have had to be based on small areas such as poor law unions, baronies, or even parishes.
The TCD rents are the average of the methods in Appendix 12 above. 'Me Sprofit' rents are more speculative and assume that landlords and tenants divided the balance of agricultural output (what was left after the cost of labour and the cost of potato deficiencies had been deducted), with 55 per cent going to the tenants and 45 per cent to the landlords. Rents based on output assume that £8.8 million (the tenement valuation of land (£9.1 million), reduced by 3 per cent), was a fair starting point in 1950 and that rents then fluctuated annually with the value of agricultural output.
The main problem with linking rents to agricultural output, however, is to find a base in the early 1850s for comparisons with subsequent years. The three years, 1850-2, were low; then in 1853 there was an enormous increase, followed by two very prosperous years coinciding with the Crimean war; then there was a relatively stable period, but with prices much higher than those in the early 1950s. Where were the 'normal' years? Several solutions are possible.1 One thing is clear: the war years 1854-5 are not a good basis for comparison; nor is 1853, because that was in practice a year of war, because prices began to rise in the autumn and winter as the Russians advanced into the Danubian principalities.'____________________