Lack Of Trees In Irish And British Countrysides

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I suspect they favoured cattle - but a lot of the mountains here will support nothing but sheep or goats.
I suspect that only the rich and powerful - those that could afford bards, for instance - could also afford cattle. Mind you, cattle in those days were tough and small beasts. It's only since the mid 18th century that the meat of cattle fetched more money than the skins.
Jochen
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No fridges in those days. Anyway, I lived in such a culture and cannot remember eating 'meat' - lots of milk and butter though - salt port was the big treat. I cannot agree your presumption that only the rich and powerful could afford cattle; perhaps a political pre- conception on your part. Every family had a cow.
There was an old couple who lived in a remote spot and had no children. The Man of the house died and the Woman of the house made a decision. She abandoned the holding and wandered the road with the cow. She would visit her extended family in turn where the cow grazed and gave milk. I'd like to write a full account of it as Ban Aon Bho - much as I dislike speaking Gaelic in Christian Irish. I heard the story from people who knew her and were young kids at the time.
Donal
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Agreed - generally for milk and butter. As there usually was no fodder available for winter, most cattle were slaughtered and the meat was salted. After a while it had a terrible taste and spices were used to disguise this - hence the spice trade and the outrageous sums charged for spices, which generally only the better off could afford. Only with the introduction of root vegetables - turnips and the like - was it possibly to winter cattle - which put an end to the high profit margins of the spice trade.

Interesting tale.
Jochen
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I hesitate to agree with that. Cattle were also central heating and a lot cheaper than going to the bog for wet turf in the winter Cow in the house is no stranger to me.
>After a while it had a terrible taste and spices were used to

I'm a bigot, but for most people, except the Christian Ascendency, didn't use spice. .

Well, some of us survived the famine.

Donal
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I agree that it would be feasible to keep one or two cows over the winter, but they would be no use for meat, just for dairy product. It was presumably much more important to keep hay for horse or donkey. Large herds of beef cattle only became available in Europe during the late 18th century. After the land enclosure animals could also be bred larger. Modern animals weight about two to three times more than they used to.

Apparently the taste was awful and there is a well established economic link between spice sales and cattle wintering in Europe.

Famines were very common then as now. You could have starvation in one part of the same country and food in plenty in the other. Transport links, organisation and education were the main problems in the famines of old.
Jochen
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My experience too. I had a small herd of goats when I was a teenager and let them into the orchard to eat the grass. After a week, they had eaten the bark off the trees. It was such a disaster that I didn't even get into trouble. Goats are the most contrary animal I have ever known.
Donal
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be given>

That may be so but then again the more pastoral regions of Britain were just as treeeless as anywhere else. My own area in the Southern Uplands of Scotland for example! It may be as I said a matter of degree and you may indeed be right in that 11thC or 16thC Ireland may have had a larger fraction of its original forest intact, but what I was saying was that surely this was only a fraction of what had been? Iron Age and first millenium Ireland couldn't have been so much different from Britain - could it? I know it is only one poster sayig it but the idea that a huge primeval forest covered Ireland until Elizabeth of England cut it down to build a few ships to ward off the Armada sounds a bit off.
Allan
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On Mon, 12 May 2008 07:00:49 +0100, "allan connochie"

The building of the Spanish Armada itself deforested Spain and Spain is significantly larger than Ireland and Britain added together.
Culchie Aspirant
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[...]

God almighty. Just when I thought things couldn't get sillier, we have a debate in which a 'scientist' actually claims to explain deforestation by blaming hundreds of years of ecological damage on the building a couple of hundred ships.
We're all doomed, I tell you.
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Falcon:
fide, sed cui vide. (L)
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That is bound to be the death of Irish forests. Think of all them coffins .......
Jochen
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People love quite simplified myth-like stories, and if they can be connected to a famous historical event all the better, because they provide an easily shared reference point. You can almost hear all the tellings and re-tellings in that one, that someone said to someone, or that they remember from childhood, and so on.

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wrote:

No, you're an ignorant ignorant man...fortunately that fact alone does not mean that we're doomed...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deforestation
"The large-scale building of wooden sailing ships by European (coastal) naval owners since the 15th century for exploration, colonization, slave and other trade on the high seas and (often related) naval warfare (the failed invasion of England by the Spanish Armada in 1559 and the battle of Lepanto 1577 are early cases of huge waste of prime timber; each of Nelson's Royal navy war ships at Trafalgar had required 6000 mature oaks) and piracy meant that whole woody regions were over-harvested, as in Spain, where this contributed to the paradoxical weakening of the domestic economy since Columbus' discovery of America made the colonial activities (plundering, mining, cattle, plantations, trade ...) predominant.
Tell me Falcon, since you're such a clever bastard, where do you think the 162,000* Oaks that Nelson used to make his fleet came from?
* For the mathematically challenged i.e. Falcon, (27 x 6000 = 162,000)
Furthermore, to nail the point home to all my critics in SCI, on this matter:
I note from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deforestation
"Djouce Mountain, along with most of the island of Ireland, was systematically clear-felled during the 17th and 18th centuries, in order to obtain wood mainly for shipbuilding.[1]"
"Initially, deforestation was practiced by local farmers in order to clear land for crops, but later Ireland was systematically deforested in order to obtain wood for shipbuilding."
[1] http://www.news.ucdavis.edu/special_reports/abroad04/ireland/ireland_7.lasso
Game, set, match.
Nik
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Culchie Aspirant wrote:

Nobody said the forests weren't depleted for the building of ships. But where does it say that the largest offender was the British? The Irish built ships as well I am sure. England had vast forests of Oak planted specifically for building navy ships. Your articles all state quite clearly that the whole of Europe was involved, your own quote:
""The large-scale building of wooden sailing ships by European

So, who is contradicting themselves now, eh? Warrenson!
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Hal Mearadhaigh.



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[...]

No idea, Einstein, but wherever it was that would be around 500 - 700 acres of woodland. Sounds vast until the 'scientist' in you cuts in and realises that the New Forest alone covers roughly 76,000 acres of woodland and plantations. So much for "the Spanish Armada" deforesting a country the size of Spain.
--
Falcon:
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Aye. All the trees on Easter Island were destroyed by God.

Vanity will kill us all

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.

That would be a great point if it were true.........but it isn't!
Allan
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wrote:

In Ireland a whole culture had grown up around living amongst the trees and it was this culture that was effectively destroyed by the deforestation of Ireland wrought by the forces loyal to the English crown...in their desire to obtain materials to build a fleet large enough to beat/repel a fleet whose creation had likewise deforested Spain...which of course is a much larger country than Britain...Spain's total land area = 504,030 km² whereas Britain's is 244,820 km²...and Ireland's (the entire island of Ireland) is 84414 km²

That is true.

There is a reason why Cromwell's men gave the inhabitants of Ulster the choice "To hell or Connaught" that being that the land of Ulster was preferable to the land of Connaught for farming...and underlies the essentially economic reasons rather than theological ones for the Irish conflict.

I've addressed this elsewhere in this post.

Right...after the 1588 Battle with the Spanish Armada...

Did I claim it was?
Nah.

So you're telling me that the population of Ireland in 1750 was 4 million people despite the fact that there were no censuses of the entire population of Ireland until 1821?
http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/help/history.html http://www.data-archive.ac.uk/findingData/snDescription.asp?sn542

I think that you're going to have to revise what you've said above.

No, Ireland's population is more like 6 million...remember to compare apples with apples and include the population of what is now known as 'Northern Ireland' in your figures because the figures for the census of 1821 included all 32 counties...

Really you should have because the consequences of the laws pertaining to inheritance and the selling of land have had long lasting ramifications, consider:
"English Statute 1 Ann c. 26 (1702): An Act for the Relief of the Protestant Purchasers of the forfeited Estates in Ireland Sec. 15. No papist, during the time of his professing the popish religion, shall be capable to inherit, take or enjoy any other forfeited estates or interest therein,"
and, in particular, this one:
7.04 2 Ann c.6 (1703): An Act to prevent the further Growth of Popery Sec. 10. All lands owned by a papist, and not sold during his lifetime for valuable consideration, really and bona fide paid, shall descend in gavelkind, that is to all of his sons, share and share alike, and not to the eldest son only, and lacking sons, to all his daughters, and lacking issue, to all kin of the papist's father in equal degree,
The consequence of this was that the lots that were actually owned by Irish people who chose to remain 'Papists' was that their farms became smaller and smaller because the farms owned by Irish Catholics *had* to be split up evenly among *all* their children as opposed to the eldest inheriting the farm with the younger ones either being married off, sent into the Clergy or the Military as was traditional prior to the imposition of the Penal Laws... until potatoes were the only crop that could sustain the family that lived upon the land...maybe I do have a chip on my shoulder, maybe I don't but the point remains.

Admittedly difficult but given that the naval battle between the English and the Spanish occurred in 1588 was before the potato was introduced to Ireland, as you claim above, 1600 and the trees had already been largely cut down to build the ships that fought the Spanish Armada in the name of the Elizabeth I the point is beside the point...the trees were already gone...

Have you yourself ever actually been to the Burren?

Perhaps I should say, don't seem to know much, in particular about the impact of the penal laws and their long reaching historical consequences...some of which are still in place right now...in the form of inherited privilege...

The lecturers at my University disagree with you.

Please indicate, using formal logic where it is that I make an invalid inference.

Of course a logically valid inference can be drawn from an incorrect assumption/belief but it remains for you to demonstrate that I have done this. I await with interest.

Ok, fair enough but does that have anything at all directly to do with the deforestation of Ireland? Or the introduction and subsequent dependence of the Irish Catholic population on the potato?

Why then did you not refer to the impact of the Penal laws regards inheritance?

Claiming to know the extent of my knowledge is just silly...especially considering that you've underestimated it. The infestations of the fungus Phytophthora infestans occurred several times in the 1840's with the consequences being particularly dire in 1848-49 given that there had already been several years of crop failure...

Do feel free to make up shit to suit your prejudices eh?
It was the Spanish Conquistadors in the 1530's in Peru that were the first Europeans to encounter potatoes.
http://research.cip.cgiar.org/confluence/display/wpa/China
The potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) was introduced to Europe from its geographic origin in the Andes of South America in the late sixteenth century, probably in the 1570s (Hawkes 1992)
Hawkes, J. G. 1992. History of the Potato. In: P.M. Harris, Ed. The Potato Crop: The Scientific Basis for Improvement. Second Edition. Chapman and Hall. London. pp. 1-12.
Some claim that potatoes washed up in Ireland in 1588 as a consequence of the Spanish Armada sinking off the west coast of Ireland...its possible but not a certainty that the introduction was that early...but...as I say above it is beside the point because the trees that were cut down in Ireland were already cut down at that point.
Nik
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Someone else wrote:

So, you would have enjoyed being beaten by the Spanish Armada and being subjected to an Inquisition no doubt! - Such blether and rubbish you talk Nik! See this: http://fubini.swarthmore.edu/~ENVS2/S2003/jessiewhit/deforestation.html The world was once covered in forests which were indeed depleted for ship building but also for Iron manufacture, and NOT mainly by the British, but also by the Irish and every other advanced country that wished to build ships for trade and for war, not to mention the slave ships as well, highly specialised that those were, and for the manufacture of iron.

By Raleigh, from a wooden ship! Made in England out of British Oak.

You usually do.

Bullshit. Your opinion only. See http://fubini.swarthmore.edu/~ENVS2/S2003/jessiewhit/deforestation.html
--
Hal Ó Mearadhaigh.


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I know and therefore wonder why you can now read what I wrote originally and have no trouble with it, but couldn't do so the first time you read it.

Indeed.
You didn't.

Indeed you didn't claim that, but attempting to shift the goal posts doesn't invalidate my point. You claimed that it was 150 years between the arrival of the potato and the 1840s famine. That is not correct.

Do try rereading what I wrote and do try to understand what the words mean when linked together. I try to be quite precise in what I write and your interpretation of what I wrote is not what I wrote.
Also the existence of a census is not the only way that population growth is assessed. If you do not know about the growth of the Irish population in the latter half of the 18th century then I suggest you use google.

Not on the basis of anything you have written.

Fair point and I stand corrected.

No, really I shouldn't have. I was aware that some Irish Nationalist would come out of the woodwork at some stage and rave on about irrelevancies. They always do. And you did.

If you have managed to get to this conclusion, you must finally begin to see my original point. I will remind you that my original point and which seemed to result in your posting of irrelevancies. My point was: "you can't grow spuds in forests so even if there had been a desire to grow more trees, there would have been a strong disincentive to do so."

Another irrelevancy?

You shouldn't say that because to do so based on a total lack of evidence based on anything I have so far posted in this thread makes you sound even less logical and unable to read for comprehension than you have to this point.

Well given the paucity of skills I've seen amongst recent graduates, that doesn't surprise me. It saddens me that Lecturers and Tutors seem prepared to accept intellecual sloth and sloppy thinking from their students, but it doesn't surprise me.

No. We will do the reverse. YOU indicate using formal logic how you reached the conclusion that: "You may (or may not) know a lot about Botany but you don't know much about the natural and human history of Ireland."

And you can continue to wait. You drew a conclusion based on an incorrect understanding of what I wrote therefore it is up to you to do the work. Not me. I am not your mother or one of your lecturers.

No it doesn't but then I never claimed that it did. I wrote that comment in response to your conclusion that I knew nothing about the natural or human history of Ireland.
You could not logically reach such a conclusion based on the scarce information I presented in my initial post in this thread.

Because I KNOW how it brings rabid, raving nutters out of the woodwork. And you did come.

LOL. And I'll bet you don't appreciate the irony of that statement! A nice case of pot, kettle, black.
The infestations of the

So far the prejudices in this thread have been displayed by you in truck loads.
I was not the one to introduce them and very deliberately avoided doing so. YOU were the one to introduce them and you have continued to do so.
I'm sure you'll stop sounding like an undergraduate at some stage. Perhaps when you become an adult.
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wrote:

The onus of proof is on the claimant, i.e. you, now, if you please demonstrate your source of knowledge regarding the Irish population prior to 1821.

You've neglected to include your reference regarding the population of Ireland prior to 1821.

Phew.
No, really you should have because not doing so is ignorant.

Oh my God...explain then, why it was that the blight hit Ireland hardest when the blight was also in other countries in

Fair comment.

You already make the point above...its not arable land.

You deny the significance of the Penal Laws ergo my point stands.

Fortunately the Professor of Logic at my University disagrees with you on this point.

Ah come on now...you're claiming, implicitly to have strong logical skills, you should already appreciate the Onus of proof lies upon the claimant, i.e. you.
If you need to read more on this, please see here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onus_of_proof#Science_and_other_uses
"Outside a legal context, "burden of proof" means that someone suggesting a new theory or stating a claim must provide evidence to support it: it is not sufficient to say "you can't disprove this." Specifically, when anyone is making a bold claim, it is not someone else's responsibility to disprove the claim, but is rather the responsibility of the person who is making the bold claim to prove it. In short, X is not proven simply because "not X" cannot be proven"

You deny the importance of the penal laws to the historical period we are discussing...

Up to you but if you want to be taken seriously then you ought to live up to your epistemological responsibilities.

I didn't say "nothing" I said, "not much"...there's a difference but this supports my claims regarding your prejudice(s)....I just checked again and I note that you've even quoted me saying "not much" as opposed to your made up "know nothing" bullshit.

True but I'm asking for the relevance.

Ad hominem...deal with the point please.

<laughter>
Ah yes...which ones please?

You say that like its a bad thing.

In your opinion. As it happens I have a Post Graduate Diploma as well as a B.Sc.

Ad hominem.
I'm 40, my house is almost freehold, I've been married for 6 years...
Nik
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