11 FEBRUARY 1882, Page 15


[To THE EDITOR OF TEE "SPECTATOR."] SIR,—In answer to my challenge, and to my letter generally, Mr. Murrough O'Brien has produced, from Parliamentary Returns, four instances of the sale of fee-simple estates in the Landed Estates Court, at prices ranging from five to 131 years' purchase. 'On looking into the particulars of these cases in the Court -books, a precaution which Mr. O'Brien has evidently omitted, I find that not one of them is a case in point.

1. We have an estate of 27 acres sold at 91 years' purchase. This estate consists of a " house, offices, garden, pleasure- ground, and demesne lands," stated to have been formerly let at £100 a year, and nnlet at the time of the sale. I need hardly say that such a property, of which the value lies, to a great -extent, in buildings, cannot be taken as a criterion of the value of laud. I may add, that as the premises were unlet, their letting value at the time of sale is quite problematical.

2. An estate of 183 acres ; net rental, 2140 ; sold at 131 years' purchase. Of this rental, £70, or one-half, is made up .of the estimated value of part in the owner's possession. What I have said above concerning nnlet premises applies to this case.

3. An estate of 1,800 acres, with a rental of £989, is stated by Mr. O'Brien, and appears from the Returns, to have been sold at 131 years' purchase. This estate was, in fact, sold sub- ject to a perpetual annuity of £200 a year, reducing the net rental to £789. With this burden on it, the price it fetched was 171 years' purchase.

4. An estate of 226 acres, with a rental of £207, is stated by Mr. O'Brien, and appears from the Return, to have been sold at five years' purchase. The purchase-money in this case is wrongly stated in the Returns. The estate was, in fact, sold for £3,800, or 181 years' purchase.

None of these cases serve in any way to support the asser- tion of "An Irish Trustee," that rack-renting often caused so 'much uncertainty in the payment of rents, that the price of land varied from 10 to 25 years' purchase. I still maintain that to talk of the former price, or anything near it, as ever having been accepted in open market for fee-simple lands let .to agricultural tenants, is pure romance.—I am, Sir, &c.,