➽ The Days of the Servant Boy Download ➺ Author Liam O'Donnell – Lectinshield.co.uk



14 thoughts on “The Days of the Servant Boy

  1. says:

    This is a great look back at days gone by and how hard people had to work The author was the son of a farmer and did all this work himself as well as gaining a great respect for the farm workers and their skills The Irish farm typically was a mixed farm the main income was from dairy and pigs, so the farm grew the feed and fodder they needed as well as for the family This meant that potatoes, carrots, cabbages, turnips, mangolds, sugarbeet as well as oats, barley and wheat might be grown, with hay and pastures besides Hens and ducks were kept for the eggs They ate cooked mashed potato with grain in it, same as the other animals All this meant intensive work all year around The book starts early in the year as the servant boy, a man of any age over 16 later called the farm labourer or farmhand, would be hired around New Year and his contract lasted until Christmas Eve so he could go home to his family A family likely had seven to twelve children in dire poverty with no electricity or sewage until the middle of the twentieth century The new worker had to get up in pitch dark to feed cattle and pigs and horses, cleaning out the byre and sheds and then milking perhaps eighty cows All the manure was returned to the land as fertiliser later in the year or after it had rotted for a few years.The rhythm of the year is followed and we see the socialising the servant boy and girl could do, mainly with others like themselves in the village after the day s work was done, or hurley matches on a weekend after work in summer Most of the time they were not entitled to any day off and when a compulsory half day on Saturday was introduced some farmers refused to grant it The farmers come across as working the lads to the bone but never providing any clothing and sometimes being mean about the food Potatoes, cabbage, home cooked bread and fatty bacon was the standard meal, with cheese and butter which was cheap to dairy farmers from the creamery The lads got adept at saving some potatoes and butter for a late meal at night Tea and cigarettes were standbys The author several times complains that the farmers looked down on the lads and treated them as second class, adding that this was reinforced by the behaviour of the parish priest who barely had a nod for workers but shook hands with the farmers and spoke with them according to their wealth Farmers sat at the front of the church by the altar rails and lads and servant girls stood at the back, sometimes crowding into the confession boxes so they wouldn t be seen chatting Women come across as having no entitlements and seldom any influence Men offered for them according to how much money they would bring and nobody wed until their parents agreed, usually when they were well grown up Then the man would throw his weight around as he had seen his father do, and the wife would have a child every year and raise them in grindingly hard conditions Preserving the language and customs of the old days is a fine move I just wish the author hadn t said how healthy everyone was, when people were arthritic and rheumatic from wet clothing all day and bitten by fleas and rats all night as they shivered in the loft.


  2. says:

    Lots of interesting information particularly regarding living conditions for farm labourers in Ireland s past.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The Days of the Servant Boy download The Days of the Servant Boy, read online The Days of the Servant Boy, kindle ebook The Days of the Servant Boy, The Days of the Servant Boy 104113344e81 Exploring The Irish Farming Life Of His Youth, Liam O Donnell Describes The Time Of The Yearly Hiring Fair The Basic Idea Of The Practice In County Cork Was The Same Throughout The Country The Bonding Of Labouring Men And Women To Farmers For A Fixed Term At A Paltry Rate