The Letters Of
The Letters Of "Norah" On Her Tour Through Ireland By Margaret Dixon Mcdougall - Page 20 of 404 - First - Home

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It Is In The Country Parts, More Remote From The Public Eye, That One Sees The Destitution Wrought By The Depression In The Linen Trade. People There Are Struggling With All Their Might To Live And Keep Out Of The Workhouses.

Hand-loom weaving seems doomed to follow hand-spinning and become a thing of the past.

Weavers some time ago had a plot of ground which brought potatoes and kale to supplement the loom, and on it could earn twelve shillings a week. But alas! while the webs grew longer the price grew less and they are in a sad case.

I called, with a friend, on some of these weavers: one, an intelligent man, with the prevailing Scotch type of face. We found him, accompanied by a sickly wife, sitting by a scanty fire, ragged enough. This man for his last web was paid at the rate of twopence a yard for weaving linen with twenty hundred threads to the inch, but out of this money he had to buy dressing and light, and have some one, the sickly wife I suppose, to wind the bobbins for him. He must then pay rent for the poor cabin he lived in, none too good for a stable, and supply all his wants on the remainder.

Another weaver told me that all this dreary winter they had no bed- clothes. They think by combining together they will be able to obtain better prices; but they are so poor, the depression in the trade is such a fearful reality that I am afraid they cannot combine or co-operate to any purpose.

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