Tithe Resistance in Annaghdown

January 1834
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A large scale attempt to collect Tithes by the Established Church of Ireland met with resistance in the townlands of Gardenham and Liscananaun in January 1834.

The Church of Ireland Rector of Annaghdown, Rev. Richard Marley, fought throughout the 1830s to collect tithes from the Catholic population of the parish. A large scale attempt to seize livestock took place in January 1834, enforced by the police, under the direction of Richard Mansergh  St George of Headford Castle. Upon reaching Gardenham, they discovered that the livestock had been removed from the farms and hidden in anticipation of their arrival.  

The Freeman's Journal carried the following report: 

On Wednesday morning last, about the hour of ten o'clock, an immense body of police, with a suitable number of tithe proctors, drivers, & c., headed by Mr. St. George, of Headford Castle, invaded the parish of Annadown; with the intention of seizing upon and driving the cattle of the peasantry for tithes alleged to be due to the Rev. Mr. Marley, the rector. Their first assault was on the village of Garnham, the inhabitants of which, to the utter surprise and disappointment of the invading force, had, previously to the arrival of the latter, locked the doors of their respective houses and removed from the grounds cows, sheep, horses, pigs, goats, and every other description of beasts, declared that “they were unanimously and unalterably determined never to pay one penny for tithes, so long as they could legally and constitutionally oppose them, and that they would do for ever until they would effect their total and unqualified extinction.” Mr. St. George, judging from these words, that a storm was impending, addressed the people in plausible terms of conciliation recommending them to “pay their tithes peaceably and quietly, and not to be deluded by ignorant agitators.” The people only replied that “they were quite sensible of the wrongs and injustice that had been hitherto done them; and if tithes were a just demand why not enforce their payment according to the provisions of their own laws.” They then una voce exclaimed that they would never willingly submit to the payment of tithes.

Thus terminated the achievements of this eventful campaign, a day of ``mud and mire,'' and long will be remembered in song in the parish of Annadown, ``the glories of Liscannane and Garnham.'' -- Galway Free Press.

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