Stamp Duty of 5 shillings and 6 pence, paid in London, 1826, on £450 Purchase of Commission for Honourable Simon White Esq., Bantry.
The National Library has a manuscript,(MS G.O. 428) which is a photographic reproduction of micro films lent by Paddy O’Keeffe, Bantry Historian c late 1950s.
This is an extract of the Account Books kept by the Rev. Somers Payne, Land Agent to Lord Bantry. The Rev Somers did not practise as a clergyman and his family hailed from Danesford, Innishannon later Upton Industrial School. It was common enough for young men of a Landed background to got to Trinity College, take Holy Orders and then do something like Land Management or Literature.
On set of the accounts in minute details notes rents, by tenant, amount townland. It is a useful guide of who lived in various townlands in the period around 1826 together with Bnatry town. Apart from cottiers there are them more comfortable farmers and the Middlemen. In the Beara area it is clear that the greater O’Sullivan family retained de facto control of much of their land. The rents are significant but well below market rents allowing a significant lifestyle from rents received from under tenants who were probably in many case rack rented. Paddy O’Keeffe had a particular interest in the various O’Sullivan Septs in the Greater Bantry area and his papers at the Cork Archives are replete with references adn genealogies of same.
On the other side of the ledges is the expenditure side and included here is an item 1826 of stamp duty paid on the British Army Commission for Simon White of £450. To get some idea of the value of this amount in the late 19th century the basic annual pay of an RIC man was £34 with allowances and housing.
In the 18th century the British Army and Navy were favoured career choices for Irish young men of the Church of Ireland. Later in the century this included well to do Irish Presbyterians and Catholics. As the 19th century progressed there was an almost limitless demand for Doctors, Lawyers an Administrators for the developing Empire and the same class provided the recruits understandable given the lack of career choices in a stagnant economy.