Worksheet 1


Eighteenth Century


18 AD

The Irish Poor

Read & Write

1 (Chapter 1)  How do you know that Caitriona's family is poor?

2  (Chapter 2) Why was July always a difficult month for poor people in Ireland?

3 (Chapter 3)  What did the Bailiff say? Why does Ann think that they can't afford food for the dog?

4 (Chapter 3)  What did Tom have to pay as well as his rent?

5 (Chapter 3)  What would happen if Tom did not pay the rent?


Draw a picture of a bailiff.

Fact File

In the eighteenth century the population of Ireland rose from two millions at the beginning of the century to almost five million by 1800.
The wealthy landlords were very well off, but the tenant farmers were very poor. They were forced to divide their land among their sons. The increase in population meant that more people wanted whatever land was available, no matter how poor it was. Farms became smaller
and rents increased.


Make a list of all the food that you would eat during a month. What part of your diet would potatoes be:
the whole?
one tenth?
one hundredth?


Imagine that you have no potatoes left and you see the bailiff coming. You know that he will ask for more rent. What do you do? Write down what happens.

Write a letter to someone in America begging for money for the fare to America. Give your reasons for wanting to leave Ireland..