Arrest for Debt in a Workhouse
The Tablet, 31st Dec 1842 ~ A MAN ARRESTED FOR DEBT IN A WORKHOUSE.
Mr. Reilly stated at a meeting of the Loyal National Repeal Association that some time since a poor man at Navan, named John Weldon, owed some rent, which he was unable to pay. His landlord was a noble lord—an absentee. The poor tenant was decreed for his rent, and as he was utterly without means to satisfy the demand against him, he was turned out of his little holding. That the man was not a rogue, whose sole object was to shirk his landlord of the rent, was proved most emphatically by the fact that when he was dislodged from his former home he had to seek shelter in the workhouse. But here, not money but revenge was the object of ambition; and, accordingly, Weldon was actually arrested within the walls of the poorhouse, upon the decree obtained against him at the suit of his landlord, and was removed to the Trim gaol. (Cries of "shame, shame.").
The Tablet, 11th Feb. 1843 ~ A WHIG LANDLORD.
In The TABLET of the 31st Dec. a brief account was given of a pauper who had been taken out of the workhouse at Navan, and put into gaol in Trim, for rent due to an absentee nobleman, the Earl of Essex. The poor man's case (which was taken from his own lips in the county gaol, on the 31st ult., and which has been sent us by a correspondent) is as follows:
James Weldon held a piece of ground eight perches long and one perch wide, whereon he resided for 46 years. He rebuilt the house 40 years since; owed one-half year's rent, viz., 125 shillings 8 pence, for which he was processed, and a decree for the above sum was obtained against him. He is now a prisoner in goal since the 27th of July, 1842, at the suit of the Earl of Essex. He was obliged, during the distress that prevailed last summer, to seek refuge in the workhouse, from whence he was taken by his lordship's bailiffs at the above time. The correspondent who has furnished these details, having drawn the attention of the Earl of Essex to Weldon's case, received the following reply from his lordship:
SIR,-I am much obliged to you for the interest you take in my character as a landlord, but I cannot think it injured by the circumstance you allude to in your letter, when the facts of the case are known. I find on inquiry that Weldon, for some time in arrears of rent, received notice to quit, and not only was offered to be excused all arrears of rent if he would do so quietly, but was actually offered ten shillings into the bargain to induce him to do so. He, having obstinately refused this offer, has no right to find fault with any consequences which might result from his having done so.
I am, Sir, your obedient servant,