7.1 Kilrush &
Shannon Estuary News: 1795-1849
(A selection of primarily newspaper extracts, relating
to maritime matters in Kilrush and the Shannon Estuary and its ports,
in date order beginning with the earliest. No attempt has been made to
correct any spelling errors except where the meaning would be lost without
such correction. It is hoped that these extracts will give an outline
of life in these areas that would have been observed by the inhabitants
of West Clare and of Scattery .)
1795 Thursday 5th November: (Times of London)
The Hibbets, Chisholm, From Jamaica to London (retaken) is driven
on shore near Scattery Island, Limerick. It is hoped the ship and cargo
will be saved.
1839 Tuesday 8th January (Kilrush
Church of Ireland Register 1804-1841)
Joseph Crochford aged about 35 lost on board the Undine, schooner,
which was wrecked in a violent storm on the night of the 6th at Carhuatha.
He was second mate. William Goofen 16 apprentice on board same vessel.
1839 Wednesday 9th January (Kilrush
Church of Ireland Register 1804-1841)
Robert Patterson Master of said vessel, he was
son of J Patterson of Kilrush Sq aged 31.
Andrew Watson Mahony aged 23 son of Alderman D Fg. Mahony of Limerick
also perished. He was a passenger in the same vessel his remains were
taken to Limerick for internment.
(The night of the “Big Wind” was on the 6th and 7th January
1839 Thursday 10th January (Clare
Extract of a letter from Kilrush:
I am sorry to have to communicate the melancholy
tidings of the death of Captain Patterson of the Undine schooner
of Limerick and a young gentleman named Mahony with two of the crew. The
vessel was driven ashore with four others in the storm last night. The
Garryowen steamer and the Hamilton cutter are ashore.
Most of the houses are stripped of slates, chimneys &c broken.
1839 Thursday 17th January (Clare
Sunday night last between 10 and 11 o'clock a large party of
country-people attacked the watchman on board the Undine schooner
wrecked at Carudota (Carrowdotia), Kilrush---.
1839 Thursday 7th November (Clare
The Speedwell cutter arrived at Kilrush
on Monday to assist the Hamilton cutter in doing the boardings
and other duties connected with the revenue.
(This was probably the time the revenue left Scattery for good leaving
unoccupied houses to be leased to the pilots in 1844/1845)
1840 Monday 8th March (Clare
Formation of a Shipwrecked Mariners Society
-----Resolved: That an auxiliary branch of the
Shipwrecked Fishermen and Mariners Benevolent Society be now formed in
Proposed by, Rev John Kenny seconded by John Patterson Esq.
Resolved: That Crofton Moore Vandeleur Esq be requested to act as President
and that Poole Hickman of Kilmore, M S Burton of Carrigaholt Esqs and
Captain White, Inspecting Commander of the Coast Guard be requested to
act as Vice-Presidents.
Proposed by Irwin W Patterson Esq, seconded by P J Freyer Esq -Chief Officer
of the Coast Guard.
Resolved: That Captain John F Studdert RN, be requested to act as Secretary.
Proposed by Captain John F Studdert RN seconded by Irwin Patterson Esq.
1840 Thursday 2nd April (Clare
The Dover Castle steam packet will as last season ply between
Limerick and Kilrush in the summer months, when there will be four steamers
up and down the river besides one to Clare on the Fergus.
1841 Thursday 8th April (Clare
That most superior new and powerful steampacket
Erin go Bragh expressly built at Liverpool for the Shannon Navigation
from Limerick to Kilrush, will take up station early next month as a regular
liner, going and returning same day a distance of 100 miles-she ran her
first trip from Liverpool to Beaumoris a distance of 52 miles in a very
boisterous sea, last week in four hours!.
The Erin go Bragh belongs to the City of Dublin Company and is
134 feet long and 26 feet in breath. She admeasures 330 tons and has engines
of 100 horse power. The vessel is rigged as a steamer, with a fine top
sail. She draws 5 feet 6 inches with her compliment of coal and water.
1841 Thursday 6th May (Clare
The Erin go Bragh steampacket made her first trip on Tuesday
to Kilrush from Limerick in 4 hours.
1841 Wednesday 8th September
Kilrush, Sept 2—On Wednesday night Lieutenant
J.P. Frier (P J Freyer?), commanding the coast-guard at Kilrush,
proceeded with his crew to the Scattery Roads, the wind blowing a hurricane,
to the brig Maria Brennan, of Limerick Campbell, commander, from
Quebec to Limerick, and seized four 4 cwt, of tobacco in four concealments
in the cabin: also, a sail boat and five persons on board, coming from
the brig, who threw their cargo over board, the only part of which could
be taken up by the coast-guard was a stocking filled with tea, but saw
some large parcels floating: the sea running to high at the time prevented
the possibility of bringing the boat in the direction of the floating
parcels. On Lieutenant Frier boarding the brig he found two persons belonging
to Kilrush in the cabin, which led to the discovery. The vessel, boat,
and crew, are all in charge of the coast guard. Yesterday afternoon the
captain of the vessel was apprehended and taken to the police office,
from whence he was committed to goal to await the decision of the commissioners
of customs. (Clare Journal)
1841 Thursday 9th December (Clare
Launch of the Lady Grace
On Tuesday Kilrush presented a scene of the most
animating gaiety and interest on the occasion of the launch of the beautiful
new schooner built by C.M. Vandeleur Esq of the best Irish Oak, the produce
of his own estate, wrought by Kilrush tradesmen, all his own tenantry
and the first vessel of so large a class ever built in Clare. Her model
and finish are greatly admired and do great credit to the abilities of
Mr Jas Langan, the superintendent of Naval Architect, who has given such
a beautiful specimen of Irish Manufacture .The day was propitious and
the announcement that the Lady Grace Vandeleur would arrive to launch,
to give her own name to the destined wanderer over oceans attracted all
the town and much of the country to the Patent Slip to witness the interesting
ceremony-about 3 o'clock. Lady Grace and Mrs Colonel Vandeleur & c
arrived and were received in a beautiful tent erected for the occasion,
by Mr and Colonel Vandeleur, Captains Creagh and Studdert R.N. &c.
Mr Vandeleur admirable Brass Band playing all the while, “God save
the Queen, Rule Britannia and other appropriate airs”. At 4 o'clock
the shipwrights went to work in good earnest for the launch, but they
were too much in earnest for having removed the braces that secured her
to her berth at the stern and before preparations for the ceremonial on
naming her were completed she glided of the stacks and most majestically
entered her destined elements amidst the exhaulting shouts of the spectators
happily without the slightest accident.
Lady Grace Vandeleur now advanced to
the pier head at which lay the beautiful vessel and with the most interesting
lady like deportment bestowed upon her the name Lady Grace breaking a
bottle of wine over her bow and pronouncing upon her and all present and
eloquent and pious benediction when a discharge of artillery announced
the conclusion of the ceremony.
In the evening Mr Vandeleur entertained a large party of gentlemen to
dinner, at Lomas’s Hotel where he presided himself with the dignity
and urbanity that distinguishes his character as the host and gentleman.
Among the company were Colonel Vandeleur, Captains Creagh and Studdert
R.N. Messrs Studdert, Paterson, Lucas, Elliott, Kelly, Jackson &c
&c. The Vice-Chair was ably filled by Mr John Kelly part owner of
the newly launched ship, and about to freight her to London with provisions
made up at his extensive concerns in Kilrush. When the Cloth was removed
the chairman proposed the health of: “The Queen and the infant Duke
of Cornwall” (drank with nine times nine) Next “God save the
Tradesmen who worked at the Lady Grace about 70 in number were also entertained
at dinner with good fare and plenty of wine &c&c.
1842 Monday 31st January
Kilrush Thursday: We had a fearful gale here yesterday commencing at half-past
two am and continuing for 12 hours. The damage done seems to be more general
than on the 6th of January 1839, but the gusts of wind were certainly
not so powerful.-- The Eliza Anne schooner was driven from her
moorings at Scattery Roads, on Aislevora as also the Pembroke Lass
on the west point of Hog,and the Cardiff Lass on the Kerry
shore opposite-all are laden with oats for the London Market which must
be discharged before any attempt to get off the vessels can be made-The
Nymph of Whitehaven a small schooner was dis-masted in the roads
and the vessel lying alongside the quay broke loose and was driven up
on the adjoining beach. A schooner in the Creek laden with salt for this
port was run aground, several other vessels and turf boats were driven
ashore down the river but as yet we have no account of any lives being
lost. The Town seems to have suffered more than on the occasion of the
former gale. The Garryowen steamer broke from the quay but owing
to the great exertions of her captain and crew she has received no damage,
and proceeded this morning to Limerick. Her Captain Bingham we regret
to say received a very severe hurt in the knee, with other bruises likely
to lay him up for some time....
1842 Saturday 12th March (Limerick
The Jane Black the largest vessel in the Shannon was towed up
to the quays on Wednesday evening by the Garryowen steamer.
1842 Wednesday 30th March (Limerick
Advertisement, Emigration to America. Important
notice to Emigrants,
Francis Spaight has purchased this season a splendid new oak ship called
the Jane Black
The largest vessel ever in the port of Limerick, passengers will therefore
have on board this large vessel all they can desire for their comfort
The following is a list of Mr Spaight's ships that will sail from this
port for Quebec with passengers:
The first is expected to leave on or about the 1st of April next and the
others will follow in succession allowing a few days between the sailings
Jane Black 1300
tons Capt. Timothy Gorman.
1000 tons Capt.
800 tons Capt.
Capt. Daniel Ross.
Bryan Abbs 600
tons Capt. J Hugill.
Dated February 16th.
1842 Thursday 12th April (Clare
The spring tide of emigration is now at its full height in Limerick, three
vessels left the quays yesterday freighted with human beings to colonise
and enrich by their labours and resources the soil of North America. The
Shelmallier embarked 102 for New York, Energy 200 and
Thetis 220 for Quebec all strong and healthy people most of them
with young families.
1842 Monday 25th April (Clare
The Nerio with 140 passengers for Quebec
and Montreal, John White 150 for Quebec, Ariel 100 for
Miramachi, Maria 140 and Bryan Abbs 180 passengers both
for Quebec cleared out on Saturday and this day for the above destinations
from the port of Limerick. On Wednesday the Eleutheria, the property
of Messrs Hickson of Tralee sailed from that port for Quebec carrying
out near 200 agriculturists to settle in Canada.
The splendid new steamer “Boadicea” of Cardigan,
300 tons owned principally in Limerick is now taking in passengers for
1842 Wednesday 1st June (Limerick
Emigration from Limerick
Return of vessels and passengers that sailed from
the port of Limerick for North America from the beginning to the close
of the spring season:
For Quebec, Jane Black 422, China 293, Borneo
286, Primrose 238, Ninion 226, Thetis 203,
Governor 199, Energy 193, Bryan Abbs 193, Sapphire
186, Anne Maria 179, Maria 176, Mary Russell 166,
Messenger 137, Hope 132, Nerio 131, Mary's
118, John White 118, Boadicea 111.
For New York, Shelmallier 93, For Miramichi, Ariel 66,
For St John's NB.Jessie (Fittack) 103, Jessie (Duncan)
Total vessels 23
Total passengers 4084.
The New Bye-Laws regulating the navigation of the river Shannon came into
operation this day.
1842 Wednesday 31st August (Limerick
Dean's diving bell apparatus will again be at work next Summer over the
wreck of the Intrinsic at Kilkee, and had the submarine operation
been prosecuted under favourable weather this season much valuable property
could have been recovered.
1842 Wednesday 17th December
The Shannon Commissioners have left this morning by the Erin-go-Bragh
on a tour of inspection of the Lower Shannon. The pier at Cahercon is
finished and will be given up this day, as also the Querrin pier. Both
these works will be most useful to the trade along the river.
1842 Wednesday 24th December
Tarbert pier, now finished by the City of Dublin
Steam Packet Company, is justly considered a most useful work. It is intended
to make a causeway from the island to the main land in connection with
1843 Thursday 9th March (Clare
The Captain and mate of the Schooner Native of Limerick have
been apprehended and committed to jail in Limerick charged with plundering
and scuttling the vessel the captain was on his return from London to
Limerick with the vessel, which was laden with a valuable cargo of tea
sugars and spices. The vessel was the property of Mr Fran Spaight and
the Captain White lately commanded the Dover Castle steam packet
between Limerick and Kilrush.
1843 Thursday 13th April (Clare
The Borneo O'Donnell master left the Limerick quays on Sunday
last with 109 emigrants for Quebec and was towed down the river by the
Erin steamer. She was cheered by a crowd of spectators and the
farewell salute was echoed by the passengers and crew on the decks.
1843 Thursday 22nd June (Clare
The Cyclops man of war steamer accompanied
by the Myrtle, tender came into the Shannon on Tuesday with marine
stores &c for the Batteries. We understand Scattery Roads is to be
her headquarters for some time and that officers are to be quartered in
Kilrush in charge of the adjacent forts---.
The Hamilton, revenue cutter, Lt Triphook R.N. has left Kilrush
for Galway, with a supply of ordinance and commissariat stores.
1843 Thursday 7th September (Clare
Strength of the Royal Marine force on the Lower
At Kilrush: Lieutenant Tate, and one gunner,
At Tarbert: Lieutenant Parks, with one gunner,
At the forts on the river: 4 sergeants, one drummer and 43 rank and file.
1843 Monday 6th November (Clare
The Eurydice, frigate, 26 guns, Captain Elliott, is hourly expected
in the Shannon from Cork, and will be moored at Tarbert. The Lynx,
brigantine, Lieut Commander Nott, and Snipe, do, Lieut Commander
Raymond, are stationed at Tarbert: but one of these vessels is to move
to Scattery, on arrival of the Eurydice frigate. Lieut Commander
Raymond of the Snipe was 3rd Lieutenant of the Shannon
frigate in her signally glorious conflict and capture of the American
1843 Thursday 30th November (Clare
The Fox frigate 42 guns, Capt. Sir H Blackwood has been ordered
to the Shannon. Sir Henry will assume command as senior officer superseding
Captain Austin, Commander Woulfe, and Lieut Beremy; have been appointed
to Tartarus now lying in the Shannon. Commander Woulfe surveyed
1844 Thursday 22nd February (Clare
The Fox, 42, Capt. Sir H M Blackwood,
Bart will shortly leave the Shannon for the East Indies, to relieve the
Thalia. The Dwarf screw steamer with Sir H Blackwood
on board visited the forts on the lower Shannon on Friday, and on Saturday
she was up the Fergus.
The gentry and inhabitants of Kilkee addressed H Baldwin Esq Chief Officer
of Coast Guard on that station for several years on his removal to Wicklow.
1844 Monday 15th April (Clare
On Thursday evening seven men deserted from the
ship Fox stationed at Tarbert. There names are , Henry Thomas,
John King, William Banks, George Read, John Williams, Geo Fox and John
The Captain of the Votage sent an officer to board steamer Mermaid
when on her way to Cork with the company from Waterford to the O'Connell
dinner, and took away the flag with the word Repeal which the steamer
1844 Monday 3rd June (Clare
It is rather annoying to see the large pier at
Kilrush upon which a sum of nine thousand pounds has been expended now
completely deserted by the vessels and boats of every description that
now frequent the thriving town. It will be asked the cause of such desertion,
and a ready answer is at hand the heavy dues imposed by the authority
of the commissioners for what they are pleased to call quayage and wharfage.
The old quay was crowded every day with vessels of various burdens from
the vessel of 500 tons to the turf skiff but now after a vast outlay a
vessel is very seldom seen there. They now make for the creek and even
run the chance of a neap tide sooner than encounter those exorbitant fees-------------.
1844 Thursday 20th June (Clare
H.M. Frigate, Fox, 42, weighed anchor at Tarbert roadstead on
Saturday, and dropt down the river as far as Carrigaholt where she anchored
for the night and got under way on Sunday morning for Plymouth. The Lynx
brigantine, the Dwarf steamer and the Hamilton revenue
cutter accompanied the Fox as far as the Heads. When the tide
made up the Dwarf and the Hamilton returned to the Shannon
and the Lynx sailed for Dingle.
1844 Thursday 18th July (Clare
The Cyclops at Tarbert is under orders to hold itself in readiness
to proceed to Gibraltar in case of necessity. The Stromboli,
steamship, Commander the Hon. E Plunkett has arrived in the Shannon from
1844 Monday 22nd July (Clare
The Stromboli steamer, Commander Plunkett sailed on Thursday
morning from Tarbert for Valencia on the Kerry Coast.
1845 Monday 7th July (Clare
The Sloop John of Kenmare after discharging potatoes at Glin
was caught in the storm of Tuesday morning and wrecked on the cragged
point half a mile west of Kilrush. The mate and crew would have perished
but for the exertions of Lieut. Triphook R.N. of the Hamilton
revenue cutter who put off to their rescue.
1845 Thursday 11th December (Clare
There are 50 vessels with corn and provisions from
Limerick for English markets wind bound in the river Shannon, by adverse
1846 Thursday 6th January (Clare
In the Shannon:- The Stromboli, 6 Steam-Slooop, Commander Fisher,
the senior officer, complemnet of 145, fully manned, The Rhadamantaus,
2 Steam Transports, Master Commander T.H. Laen, complement of 60.
1846 Tuesday 24th February: (Times
Coast Guard Removals - Lieutenant F Collins RN,
from Scattery to Carnsore Station, vice Essell resigned.
(It would appear that while Scattery was the station these coastguards
were probably based at Cappa, Kilrush at this time)
1846 Friday 3rd April (Limerick
------------ The Weather,
The Emigrant vessels the “Borneo” and the “China”
that left our Quays on Wednesday for America were not able to clear out
of the Shannon. Both are lying at Cahercon while the present high wind
continues no vessel can leave our port.
1846 April 20th (Times of
Coast Guard Lieutenant J Reynolds, from Arklow
to Scattery Station, vice Collins previously removed.
1846 Monday 29th June (Clare
Colonel Vandeleur returned in his splendid yacht Caroline to
Kilrush on Thursday having been lately on a cruise after the experimental
1847 Thursday 29th January (Clare
----During the gale of Saturday night and Sunday
morning thirteen merchant vessels, outward bound from Limerick were stranded
round Isle Borough and the shore of Kilrush. Some of them have been thrown
so high on the land as to render it necessary to cut drains to get them
afloat. The police were called out of church on Sunday to protect the
wrecks and with the military were obliged to remain all the day and next
night in charge.
1847 Tuesday 16th February (Limerick
Wreck Auctions - James Marshall
Will sell by unreserved auction at Kilrush on Friday
the 26th of February instant. FOR ACCOUNT OF WHICH IT MAY CONCERN the
wrecks of the Barque “Ciro” and the Brig “Caroline”
both copper and copper-fastened and built of the best material with all
their standing and running rigging, masts, spars, boats, hemp and chain
cables, sheet copper, sails &c.
The Hull's will be sold on the strand where they now lie and the materials
&c at the store of Mr Irwin Patterson at Kilrush, where they will
be arranged in convenient lots to suit purchasers.
Terms: - Cash, the purchasers to pay the commission of five per cent in
addition to the biddings.
James Marshall-Auctioneer 98 Georges St, Limerick Feb 15th.
1847 Monday 22nd February (Clare
-----In the Kilrush workhouse there are 1050 paupers
of whom 240 are on the sick list. ---
1847 20th April (Times of
The May from Archangel went on shore in Scattery Roads last night.
1847 Thursday 6th May (Clare
---A pilot of one of the boats in Clare died last
night in his boat from the effects of cold and intoxication. ---
1848 Friday 29th December (Limerick
(The following appears to be the weekly (?) total of ships: 41 arrivals
with eleven carrying Indian Corn while seven ships sailed six carrying
wheat to English ports. The worst famine periods were August to September
1846, February 1847 and July to September 1848. These ships would have
been berthed along all the Quays in Limerick as the floating dock was
not opened until 1853)
|Margaret & Rachel
|Rose & Ellen
|Margaret & Ann
||Coal & Iron
||Sugar and Molasses
Table 17: Shipping Arrivals - Limerick
We regret to be informed that the “Ganges”
of Aberystwyth, John Jones, Master bound from Liverpool to this port laden
with coal was run on board of on Friday night last inside Loop Head by
the American Barque “Carlotte” of New York Captain
St Jean and the schooner sunk in about twenty minutes after being struck.
The lives of the crew were providentially saved by her larboard anchor
hooking in one of the barque's stantions where it remained until she went
down. The crew saved nothing whatever the master lost his watch, money
and log-book and all the ship's papers. One man out of the barque fell
overboard and was drowned.
1849 Tuesday 18th December (Limerick
A most heart-rending scene occurred within two
miles of the town about 4 o'clock on Tuesday:
The ferry-boat at Cammogue on Moyasta Bay in crossing, was upset with
41 persons on board, five of whom were taken up alive by another boat
and are likely to recover: Thirty one bodies were found on the strand
that morning and five were missing. Those persons were returning from
Kilrush market with provisions for their families? -------------.
Great Excitement in Kilrush
Michael Brew alias “Bomber”
and Geo Taylor his son-in-law, Dr Donovan and Colonel Vandeleur were severally
pelted with mud and missiles and hooted, at every place they made their
appearance on Friday, on account of the outdoor relief being stopped to
14,000 recipients. The town is in danger and guarded by policemen who
move constantly through the streets. The excitement is immense.