Arthur Young on Absenteeism

‘It is not the simple account of the rental being remitted into another country, but the damp on all sorts of improvements, and the total want of countenance and encouragement which the lower tenantry labour under. The landlord at such a great distance is out of the way of all complaints, or which is the same thing, or examining into, or remedying evils; miseries of which he can see nothing, and probably hear as little of, can make no impression. All that is required of the agent is to be punctual in his remittances, and as to the people who pay him, they are too often welcome to go to the devil, provided their rents could be paid from his territories.’ (Arthur Young, Tour of Ireland, 1780).

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