The Irish famine of 1846 to 1853 was proportionally more destructive of human life than any famine of modern times.
The Whig government of Lord John Russell was responsible for the death of a million people who died of starvation and epidemic disease, and another two million who emigrated.
The Irish famine of the 1940s, successive blasts of potato blight, robbed more than one-third of the population of their usual means of subsistence for four or five times in a row.
This was not an artificial famine as the traditionalist Irish nationalist interpretation has long maintained.
Why didn't the British government do more to mitigate the effects of the food shortage from 1848-1850.
In many famines a variety of adverse conditions make it difficult to deliver adequate supplies.
Such conditions include warfare and brigandage, poor communications and corrupt administrative structures.
In Britain in the late 1840s prevailing ideologies among the political elite and middle classes strongly militated against heavy and sustained relief.
The Great Famine of Ireland began as a natural catastrophe of extraordinary magnitude, bit its effects were severely worsened by the actions and inactions of the Whig government, headed by Lord John Russell in the crucial years from 1846 to 1852.
The town known as Boorowa had developed 66kms from Yass, on the Boorowa River (a tributary of the Lachlan), with the Murrumbidgee to the south, it lies along each river flats with volcanic soils from an extinct volcano (Mt Canemumbola).
The original inhabitants were the Wiradjuri tribe who had a warlike reputation and had semi-permanent camping spots on the Boorowa and Lachlan Rivers.
There was possibly several thousand in the Lachlan group, but surveys show that only 300 remained in 1851.
The remnants of local tribes were forced onto reserves like Rye Park and Edgerton, the last member of the Lachlan tribe was thought to have died in 1926.
The name Burrowa by which the region was once known was an Aboriginal word for native birds.
It is not known who was the first European explorers to discover the Boorowa River and Plains.
Hamilton Hume's, brother in law George Barber, brother John and neighbour William Broughton undertook a private exploration journey to seek out land for settlement in 1821.
Hume reported the discovery of the Yass Plains.
By 1851 there were less than 3000 people in the Lachlan district. But the discovery of gold nearby Young in 1860 brought many thousands of prospectors, some who remained as settlers after the introduction of the Robertson Land Act.
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