Margaret Anne Cusack
start of chapter | Chapter XXXII

I shall now give some brief account of the domestic life of our ancestors 200 years ago, and of the general state of society, both in the upper and lower classes. Petty estimates the population of Ireland at 1,100,000, or 200,000 families. Of the latter he states that 160,000 have no fixed hearths; these, of course, were the very poorest class, who lived then, as now, in those mud hovels, which are the astonishment and reprobation of foreign tourists. There were 24,000 families who had "one chimney," and 16,000 who had more than one. The average number appears to be four. Dublin Castle had 125, and the Earl of Meath's house, twenty-seven. There were, however, 164 houses in Dublin which had more than ten.