James Warren Doyle (J.K.L.) and the Poor Law

Letters on the State of Ireland by J.K.L.

James Warren Doyle, also known as J.K.L. was born in Donard near New Ross, Co. Wexford in 1786. Dr. Doyle was completely opposed to the tithe system and felt the Workhouse System did nothing to solve the unemployment problem in Ireland, and he made his feelings known when called before the Lords and Commons about the State of Ireland. He then wrote his "Letters on the State of Ireland" and many letters on subjects of docturnal and public interest. He was a strong supporter of the poor and destitute. He was consecrated Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin in Nov 1819. J.K.L died in June 1834 and was interred in Carlow Cathedral in front of the high altar. These letters were printed by Richard Coyne, Dublin.

Carlow County Library
Letters on the State of Ireland by J.K.L.
Carlow County Library

Letters on the State of Ireland by J.K.L.

James Warren Doyle, also known as J.K.L. was born in Donard near New Ross, Co. Wexford in 1786. Dr. Doyle was completely opposed to the tithe system and felt the Workhouse System did nothing to solve the unemployment problem in Ireland, and he made his feelings known when called before the Lords and Commons about the State of Ireland. He then wrote his "Letters on the State of Ireland" and many letters on subjects of docturnal and public interest. He was a strong supporter of the poor and destitute. He was consecrated Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin in Nov 1819. J.K.L died in June 1834 and was interred in Carlow Cathedral in front of the high altar. These letters were printed by Richard Coyne, Dublin.

Carlow County Library
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James Warren Doyle, also known as J.K.L. was Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin from 1819 1834. From his diocesan seat in Carlow he played an important role in the cause of Ireland's poor. He believed that Ireland needed a definite social policy in order to allievate poverty. He recommended a system which would provide outdoor relief. It would be organised by the Church and supported by voluntary subscription. Later he recommended a system of Poor Relief, which would be financed by a tax on property.

The "Report of the Select Committee on the State of the Poor in Ireland" was presented to the House of Commons in July 1830. It was one of several Parliamentary Select Committees already set up to examine the situation in 1804, 1819, and 1823. J.K.L. was highly dissatisfied with this report and he said that the committee had avoided "making a legal provision for the Irish Poor". According to J.K.L. a legal provision for the poor was not a matter of choice for the Government but "a dictate of the law of nature". He recommended a model for the Poor Law based on parish committees made up of six residents, the clergy and a resident magistrate. This committee would hold office for a year. A tax on property would be levied. Absentee landlords should be compelled to take a greater interest in their estates and that furthermore they should not abandon their tenants. Bishop Doyle also helped to found "The Sick Poor Institution" in 1826. He was also prominent in the Campaign against tithes begun in the 1830's. Tithes were taxes levied for the support of the Established Church and Catholics were resentful of their obligation to contribute to the Established Church.

Above all J.K.L. was against Workhouses, which he deemed to be totally unsuitable for the Irish situation.


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