Adair’s Credo: ‘I will, at all costs, maintain my rights’

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Adair’s Credo: “I will, at all costs, maintain my rights”

“The tenants are aware that my estates are subject to charges, taxes, rents, annuitiex and incumbrancex; these must be paid wthout reduction. Were I therefore to accede to their request I should be driven to abandon my property. This I am not prepared to do, and consequently cannot grant their request…

My tenants know that much larger rents could have been had, and that the larger holders have very valuable interests in their holings - yourself, reverend sir, included. Had I raised rents according to the times and competition for land, as is generally done in Scotland and England, a fair claim might now be made for their reduction. My personal knoweldge of all the signers of this address enables me to state… that where inability or difficulty to pay their rents exists, it has been produced by want of industry, bad habits, and the extravagance consequent on the facility of continous borrowing at exorbitant rates of interest from banks and local usurers; the first charging 10 per cent or four times the market rates, the latter frequently twenty.

I trust for thier own sake as well as mine that the tenancy will not be misled by the wicked and unfounded agitation so prevalent, and which lies at the bottom of this address. It can only end, if they do, in their certain ruin, for I will, at all costs, maintain my rights. For myself, if driven to part with my property …I can fortunately turn to America where the good sense and honesty of the people have taught the Irish race that a socialist revolution or the robbery of one class is impossible.”

John George Adair
Letter to Fr. Thomas Murphy
October 25, 1879