1801 Act of Union was passed and declared Ireland as a whole was ruled from Westminster. The vast majority of the Irish countryside was divided up and owned by Irish landlords. Life in general was difficult for most. In 1822 the Earldom of Kilmorey was created for General Francis Needham, making him the 1st Earl of Kilmorey. Kilkeel Poor Law Union was declared in 1839 and Kilkeel Workhouse opened in 1841. It would not be long until the infamous bodysnatcher William Hare darked its doorway. The 1840s saw the beginning of the Great Famine and life as a result became a struggle. Many Irish chose to emmigrate to escape the strife. This mass emigration continues through the 19th Century and into the 20th.