Ireland, the great hunger

In 1850, during his schooldays, Joseph Rowntree Senior took his two elder sons John and Joseph, together with their headmaster, John Ford (1801-1875) on a three-week visit to Ireland.

Though the worst of the famine was over, and though it was presented as a botanical expedition, none in the party can have been blind to the sights of death and devastation which they encountered; indeed, they had a lasting effect on young Joseph, who was to continue to wrestle throughout his life with the causes of poverty.  (See Resources for his brother’s account of the visit, aged 14.)