The Management of a Major Ulster Estate in the Late Eighteenth Century
James Hamilton, the eighth earl of Abercorn, preferred to live in a fine classical house built for him in Edinburgh in the 1960s by the eminent architect, Sir William Chambers, although he had considerable property about London and in Ireland. Although Abercorn was an absentee, the scale, the range and the substance of the correspondence he maintained with his Irish agents, reveals the extent and depth of his knowledge of life on the estates. Several agents kept him well informed and in the years between 1757 and the earl?s death in 1789, one of them, also named James Hamilton, wrote very detailed letters that enabled the earl to make decisions on a wide variety of matters. They cover changing relationships with tenants and undertenants, efforts to promote the economic and social development of the estate, and the problems of his agents in coping with food crises and natural disasters.
Publication Date: 9/1/2001