THROUGH THE ARCHIVES: Judgment reserved in farmer’s claim for compensation against landlord
From the News Letter, April 28, 1881
His Worship, Dr Elrington, QC, County Court Judge took his seat in Magherafelt Courthouse the previous day to hear a number of cases which were brought before the town’s land sessions.
One case involved a farmer named Henry Scullion who sought to recover of compensation of £360 “for disturbance under the Ulster custom” from the Mercers’ Company with respect to land that he farmed at Ampertain.
The claimant told the sessions how he had taken up the land in 1865 when he had been let it by one Bridget McCann with a yearly rent of £7 14s.
Sometime afterwards, the claimant said, the landlords had told him that they wished take a portion of the land in order to give it adjoining tenants.
In addition to this he had been sent a notice informing him that his rent had increased to £40 5s despite the fact that his farm was being reduced in size.
He had objected to his landlords and in February 1880 he had received a notice to quit land by November 1, 1880.
Responding to Mr Scullion’s claim the Mercers’ Company said that they were not in any way liable.
They added that they had always been willing to allow Mr Scullion to sell interest in the farm “subject to their approval of the incoming tenant”.
Judgment in the case was reserved by His Worship but he ruled that Mr Scullion should be allowed crop the land pending the decision.
There remained much doubt over what would happen with the land, the News Letter noted that “the existence of that doubt [has] had the effect of decreasing the value of tenant-right”.