March 24th 1847: British people, led by Queen Victoria, held a National Day of Atonement, fasting and doing penance, for the Irish famine.
April 1847: A report, to the Central Board of Health from Killarney, showed that people were literally dropping dead in the street. 130 people were crammed into the local hospital, which had been designed to accommodate 54 patients, and the workhouse was full.
April 3rd 1847: The London Times complained that ‘Pauperism in Ireland is now draining ten million (pounds) a year from the English exchequer, to that the Irish legislators make no objection; it is quite according to ‘sound principles’. Englishmen think the drain can be stopped, and (want to) fix Irish property with a rate, as they themselves were saddled with one between two and three centuries ago.'
1847: William Gregory, Galway landowner and MP for Dublin, argued in Parliament against proposed legislation which would place the emphasis for relief from the British government onto the Irish landlords. He said that ‘the whole rental of Ireland would not suffice for the relief which must be required under this bill’. He claimed that it would demoralize the rural population, whilst absorbing the capital of the country, diminishing wages and reducing the laborers to paupers. In short, it would be ‘more prejudicial to the poor than the rich’.
May 15th 1847: Daniel O’Connell, the famous Irish Republican politician, died. He had fought long and hard for Irish freedom from Britain. But he had failed in both that and in persuading the British Parliament to take early action to stave off Irish starvation in 1845. With his health failing, he'd undertaken a pilgrimage to Rome, but only got as far as Genoa before dying.
May 1847: Public works stopped. Food prices started falling just when public relief works are being stopped.
June 1847: The Poor Law Amendment Act, including the Gregory Clause, was passed. This shifted the responsibility for the relief of the Irish onto the Irish landowners (usually absentee owners living in Britain) from the British Treasury. It authorized relief outside workhouses in a broad spectrum of areas. However the Gregory Clause stated that those who owned a quarter of an acre of land need not be helped. The landowners reacted by mass clearances of tenants on their lands, so the acres could be used for the more profitable cattle grazing. Those with an acre of land quickly lost it. They couldn’t use it to stop their families starving, thus it helped to consolidate land for the larger land-owners. Public opinion in Britain saw this act as benevolent.
1847: There were 17,465 documented deaths in this year on the emigration ‘coffin ships’. Of these, 4,572 occurred within a two-month period.
June 1847: The MP for Rochdale, William Sharman Crawford, proposed a bill based on the Devon Commission, which recommended that landlords compensate outgoing tenants for any improvements done to their property. It failed by 112 votes to 25.
1847: 40 Protestant clergymen died of typhus or relapsing fever, while the number of dead Catholic clergymen was double that of the year before. (NB Source doesn’t give figure for the previous year.)
June 1847: William Kingsley, physician to the Roscrea fever hospital, in County Tipperary, wrote to the Board of Health complaining that the cabins of the poor were ‘a constant, fertile and permanent source of typhus fever, in consequence of the putrid effluvia exhaled from (the cess-pools) and blown by the wind into the interior of those filthy habitations’.
July 1847: Lord Clarendon became Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.
1847: The Quakers set up the British Relief Association appealing to the populations of America, England and Australia to help save the Irish. The charity benefited from two letters penned by Queen Victoria, at the beginning and later on in the year, supporting aid. The Quakers raised £470,000. Donors included £16,500 from Calcutta, £3,000 from Bombay, other amounts from Florence, Italy, Antigua, France, Jamaica and Barbados. A Native American tribe, the Choctaw, sent $710; while Jewish synagogues in Britain and America contributed generously. The British Secretary for the Treasury reacted with horror. He warned against ‘lavish charity’.
1847: The Tenants’ Organization was set up in Holycross, Tipperary, by Fintan Lalor, but it remained a local affair.
Aug 4th 1847: The Toronto Globe reported that, on the latest emigration ship to arrive, 158 passengers were already dead and 180 were sick. The newspaper predicted that half of the original passengers would never ‘see their home in the New World.’
August 1847: Three million Irish people were being fed daily in government run soup kitchens. However, the British government lost several seats in Parliament to a ‘small majority of Whig-Liberals’ opposing these soup kitchens.
Aug 30th 1847: The London Times wrote: "In no other country have men talked treason until they are hoarse, and then gone about begging for sympathy from their oppressors. In no other country have the people been so liberally and unthriftily helped by the nation they denounced and defied."
Autumn 1847: The crop blight was less severe, but little had been planted the previous year, as the seed potatoes had been eaten as food. Lord Trevelyan declared that famine was over and ‘no further extraordinary measures could be justified’.  Government run soup kitchens, seen only as a short-term measure, closed and mortality rates rose. Lord Russell commented ‘we have in the opinion of Great Britain done too much for Ireland and have lost elections for doing so.’
Oct 1847: There was a British banking crisis and financial crash. Popular opinion in Britain targeted Irish relief as the cause.
Late 1847: There was an upsurge in agrarian violence in Ireland.
Nov 2nd 1847: John Ross Mahon, an Irish landowner, was fatally shot by the lover of a young woman whom he had forcefully evicted. The woman was now suspected drowned after leaving on one of the coffin ships, which Mahon had commissioned for his ex-tenants.
Nov 1847: A Coercion Act was passed to protect landlords against the ‘murderous revenge’ of their tenants.
Nov 1847: Seán Ó Dálaigh, a schoolteacher, warned in a lecture to the Dublin Confederate Club, that the Famine could see the survival of the Gaelic language brought into doubt. Too many Gaelic speakers were either dying or emigrating to countries where Gaelic was not the first language.
End of 1847: Republican John Mitchel urged the Irish to arm themselves, for which he was expelled from the Young Ireland group. Mitchel then established his own republican newspaper, the ‘United Irishman’. His slogan was for ‘Ireland her own, and all therein, from the sod to the sky. The soil of Ireland for the people of Ireland, to have and to hold from God alone.’