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Inhabitants of Scattery Island, Shannon Estuary, Co. Clare by Senan Scanlan

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)

1839 Thursday 10th January (Clare Journal)
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 Journal)
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 Journal)
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 Journal)
Formation of a Shipwrecked Mariners Society
-----Resolved: That an auxiliary branch of the Shipwrecked Fishermen and Mariners Benevolent Society be now formed in Kilrush,
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 Journal)
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 Journal)
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 Journal)
The Erin go Bragh steampacket made her first trip on Tuesday to Kilrush from Limerick in 4 hours.

1841 Wednesday 8th September (Freeman's Journal)

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 Journal)
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 Queen”......................................................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 (Clare Journal)
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 Chronicle)
Shipping Intelligence

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 Chronicle)
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 and accommodation.
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 of each.
Jane Black           1300 tons           Capt. Timothy Gorman.
Borneo                 1000 tons           Capt. P O'Donnell.
Governor                800 tons           Capt. D Gorman.
Thetis                    700 tons           Capt. Daniel Ross.
Bryan Abbs            600 tons           Capt. J Hugill.
Dated February 16th.

1842 Thursday 12th April (Clare Journal)
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 Journal)
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 Quebec.

1842 Wednesday 1st June (Limerick Chronicle)
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) 93.                       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 Chronicle)
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 (Limerick Chronicle)
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 (Limerick Chronicle)
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 the pier.

1843 Thursday 9th March (Clare Journal)
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 Journal)
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 Journal)
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 Journal)
Strength of the Royal Marine force on the Lower Shannon:
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 Journal)
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 frigate Chesapeake.

1843 Thursday 30th November (Clare Journal)
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 the Shannon.

1844 Thursday 22nd February (Clare Journal)
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 Journal)
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 Phillips.
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 was flying.

1844 Monday 3rd June (Clare Journal)
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 Journal)
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 Journal)
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 Galway.

1844 Monday 22nd July (Clare Journal)
The Stromboli steamer, Commander Plunkett sailed on Thursday morning from Tarbert for Valencia on the Kerry Coast.

1845 Monday 7th July (Clare Journal)
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 Journal)
There are 50 vessels with corn and provisions from Limerick for English markets wind bound in the river Shannon, by adverse weather.

1846 Thursday 6th January (Clare Journal)
The Navy------
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 of London)
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 Reporter)
------------ 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 London)
Coast Guard Lieutenant J Reynolds, from Arklow to Scattery Station, vice Collins previously removed.

1846 Monday 29th June (Clare Journal)
Colonel Vandeleur returned in his splendid yacht Caroline to Kilrush on Thursday having been lately on a cruise after the experimental squadron.

1847 Thursday 29th January (Clare Journal)
----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 Reporter)
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 Journal)
-----In the Kilrush workhouse there are 1050 paupers of whom 240 are on the sick list. ---

1847 20th April (Times of London)
The May from Archangel went on shore in Scattery Roads last night.

1847 Thursday 6th May (Clare Journal)
---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 Reporter)
(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)

Ship Name Captain From Port Cargo
Iris Taggart Liverpool Salt
Harriett Elliott London Sundries
Limerick Lass Underwood London Sundries
Messenger Lewis Runcorn Coal
Rapid Sanson Ibrailla Indian Corn
Margaret & Rachel Thomas Liverpool Coal
Rose & Ellen Lodwig Runcorn Coal
Angelina Rees Llanelly Coal
Vixen Richards Sunderland Coal
Margaret & Ann Griffiths Newport Coal & Iron
Fanny Meskell Tralee Ballast
Sea Lark Mahony Tralee Ballast
Luna Jones Liverpool Coal
Susanna Garden Ibrailla Indian Corn
Conondale Munden Constantinople Indian Corn
Marine Plant Rogerson Cardiff Coal
James Key Galatz Indian Corn
Felicity James Llanelly Coal
E Wright Petrie Boston Bread Stuff
Ariel Hannington Malta Indian Corn
Mary Ellen James Glasgow Coal
Carlotte St Jean Philadelphia Indian Corn
Grace Fearon Newcastle Coal
Ellen Davies Llanelly Coal
Good Intent McKenzie Cardiff Coal
Cameleon Nugent Marseilles Wheat
Heir Apparent Evans Malta Indian Corn
Olive Davies Glasgow Coal
Comet Nassel Ostend Coal
Dash Usher Glasgow Coal
Fire Fry Walker Swansea Coal
Niobe Brevey Constantinople Indian Corn
Jane Williams Marseilles Wheat
Margaret Pugh Liverpool Coal
Albion Jones Liverpool Coal
Harmony Davies Llanelly Coal
Linana Measuir Porto Rico Sugar and Molasses
Valiant Morris Llanelly Coal
Catherine Huages Lewis Liverpool Indian Corn
Emerald Fligg Constantinople Indian Corn
Uphrasia Randzley Boccart Indian Corn
Rose Perry London Grain
Arctoras Lewis Bristol Grain
Sisters Davies London Grain
Sampson Mathis Portsmouth Grain
Wanderer Pasea London Grain
James Orr Rankin Liverpool Grain?
Eily Meskel Tralee Flour
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 Reporter)
Kilrush Union
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.

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