‘Justice’ Administered in the Front Room of the Landlord’s House, Macroom District, Co. Cork, 1835
One of the widespread criticism of the administration of law in early 19th century Ireland was that it was dispensed often from the drawing room of the local Landlord’s house. This added to the perception that justice was not meted out by an overwhelming landed Protestant Magistracy to a largely Catholic population at least in the southern counties of Ireland.
This table is from a Parliamentary return for Macroom 1825, gives detailed evidence of the practice. The number of Magistrates present varied from 4 to 6.
From around this time on the practise was slowly eradicated and the Petty Sessions administered from Court Houses many specially built. This was accompanied by the recruitment of professional Resident Magistrates not always legally qualified who sat with local magistrates.