History of Kinsalebeg


                Ferrypoint is an unusual spit of land which extends out from Monatray into Youghal Bay. For around seven hundred years it was best known as the landing point for the Youghal to Ferrypoint ferry. When viewed from Monatray Hill, Ferrypoint looks like a finger pointing towards Youghal, in the neighbouring county of Cork, warning the inhabitants that we are “keeping an eye on you” and that any further indiscretions could have dire consequences! Ferrypoint is in effect a sand and shingle bar stretching out about 800 metres in the direction of Youghal with the Atlantic Ocean lapping the steep shingle beach on the southside and the River Blackwater to the north. The tip of Ferrypoint is a short four hundred metres from Youghal and through this narrow channel races the River Blackwater as it makes its entrance into Youghal Bay. It is across this narrow channel that the Youghal to Ferrypoint ferry journeyed on a daily basis for around seven hundred years from the 13th century to the 1960s. The ferry was the primary transport link between the southern parts of the counties of Waterford and Cork until the building of Youghal Bridge in the early 19th century. This is a dangerous stretch of water and has been the scene of many boating accidents down the years as we will outline later.

            Ferrypoint itself is very exposed to the elements and suffered in severe weather conditions particularly when Atlantic storms raged in from the south accompanied by mountainous waves. The Hyde family lived in a cottage which was precariously located on the tip of Ferrypoint and surrounded on three sides by water. The Hyde house was seriously exposed to weather conditions and high tides. The Lehanes lived in a house overlooking Ferrypoint and after a stormy winter’s night we would look anxiously across Ferrypoint for signs of life. It would not have surprised us in the least to see the Hyde cottage floating around the bay with John & Cathy Hyde and family clinging precariously to the chimney but thankfully we were spared the excitement! To the north of Ferrypoint towards Pillpark and Youghal Bridge lies an area of mudflats which is a feeding area and full tide roost for many of the birds that winter around the bay. This is the seasonal home of many species of birds including the Little Egret, Black-Tailed Godwit, Wigeon, Golden Plover, Dunlin, Curlew, Redshank and other varieties of wading birds. There are also smaller numbers of wintering birds such as the Pintail, Gadwall, Sanderling, Spotted Redshank, Little Stint, Spoonbill, Shoveler, Curlew Sandpiper and Scaup. A number of scarce birds have been sighted in this area over the years including a Baird’s Sandpiper and a Ring-billed Gull.

Youghal Bay, and surrounding areas like Ferrypoint, Caliso Bay and Whiting Bay, are very popular fishing areas for a variety of fish including bass, pollack, mackerel, conger, dogfish, flounder, plaice and dabs. The Blackwater River is of one of the premier salmon fishing rivers in Ireland and the salmon fishing rights are largely controlled by the Duke of Devonshire who has the unusual right of apparently owning the rights to the river bed itself as well as the fishing rights on the river. Up to the 1950s there would often be up to thirty salmon yawls, using drift nets, fishing around Youghal Bay from Clashmore to the outer bay area and also further down the Waterford coast towards Ardmore. This industry went into severe decline from the 1950s onwards primarily due to diminishing salmon numbers. This form of salmon fishing was carried out in four man fishing boats known as yawls which were unique to this area. The boats dotted the Blackwater estuary and the bay from February to summer with their drift fishing nets bobbing in their wake. A number of Kinsalebeg families including the Moylans, Mahonys, Powers, Hydes, Roches, Lynches, Cashmans and Hartys were involved in yawl drift net salmon fishing over many generations in this area. Our own fishing experiences at Ferrypoint were largely confined to mackerel fishing during the summer months and the combination of fresh mackerel and early morning mushrooms was a tasty meal and the nearest we got to haute cuisine growing up in Monatray.

The central grassy area of Ferrypoint was the sea-level summer training base for Kinsalebeg footballers, hurlers and camogie players in the nineteen fifties and sixties. It was a picturesque location to play sport with the backdrop of the hill of Monatray to the east and the Atlantic Ocean to the south.  On the northern side the Blackwater River completed the final mile of its journey from Youghal Bridge into the Atlantic Ocean and parallel to the river were the mudflats with their flocks of wintering birds. Across Youghal Bay to the west of Ferrypoint was the picturesque town of Youghal which played a large role in the history of Kinsalebeg. The gradual encroachment of the shingle beach brought an end to the sporting activities on Ferrypoint and indeed other former activities such as Macra na Feirme field days. Ferrypoint was generally not used for playing competitive GAA matches as the dimensions were too small but it did not prevent the playing of some competitive “friendly” training games between the locals. The surface was fairly diabolical with a mixture of stones, sand and a thick wiry type of grass that resisted the efforts of the strongest camán wielders. The Atlantic Ocean encroaching at high-tide on one side and the ever present Tráigín lake in the middle of Ferrypoint were awaiting traps for any wayward shots.

At times Ferrypoint was used to play camogie matches involving the local Kinsalebeg team under the genial management of story-telling bachelor Barry Harty. Barry was well into pension age when he took up the mantle of manager of the camogie team but had not yet ruled out the possibility of ending his bachelor days. One of the camogie matches played on Ferrypoint in the 1960s was between Youghal and Kinsalebeg. The Youghal team travelled across via the ferry and were fully togged out when they arrived in Ferrypoint. This was just as well as changing facilities at Ferrypoint were still at the planning stage but it was nevertheless somewhat of a disappointment to the local lads! The Kinsalebeg camogie team was drawn from a number of families including the Barrons, Dalys, Hickeys, Lehanes, Connors, Healys, O’Neills, Lynches, Flynns, Hydes, Sewards, Hallahans, Hallorans and O’Briens. The Kinsalebeg team that togged out that evening against Youghal was a formidable physical outfit and had in its ranks a number of talented camogie players including Mary Barron, who later went on to play camogie for Cork, and Nonie Healy who played for Waterford. The physically imposing Kinsalebeg team was in stark contrast to the Youghal girls, who appeared to be of a more delicate disposition. Their pale skin and slight frames seemed altogether more suited to the cast of the Bolshoi Ballet than a local camogie derby. Barry Harty put a strong emphasis on winning the physical battle before getting involved in any kind of fancy camogie. His motto would have been very much in the line of “if its higher than a daisy and it is moving then hit it!” The match took a predictable route with the early fine touches of the Youghal girls being gradually worn down by the sheer physical intensity of the Kinsalebeg ladies. A suitably chastened Youghal team departed on the return ferry to Youghal that evening with both their egos and bodies badly bruised by the encounter.

In the 1960s Ferrypoint was a popular meeting place for people of all ages around Kinsalebeg. They would congregate there most evenings of the week and on Sunday afternoons. The focal point was the Lehane shop at Ferrypoint which was an enterprise largely conceived and driven by my mother Kitty. The shop supplied the usual mix of confectionery, minerals, ice-cream, cigarettes and tobacco. Teas & sandwiches were on the menu provided the living room was not occupied by listeners to the big match on the radio. It is doubtful if there was any high degree of profit from the enterprise as we were probably our own biggest customers. There is little doubt that the ice-cream was a loss leader as we were all at fault for being a tad too flaithiúil with the cutting of the 6 penny wafer. We operated a form of credit or “on tick” as it was called it for anyone who was caught short on any particular day. The customer’s name and amount owing was written on the wall beside the shop counter and as the years went on the accumulated hieroglyphics began to resemble an ancient Egyptian manuscript. The plug of tobacco was a major “on tick” item with the local salmon boat fishermen as their oil skin jackets and indeed their exposure to salt water was not conducive to carrying around cash.

The main activities were the games on Ferrypoint and of course the beach but most people came together just to talk and discuss the major issues of the week. These discussions would continue into the late evening in our house with the stragglers departing well after midnight. The evening discussions were usually wrapped up by Bobby Connery and my father Dan Lehane with a quick synopsis of the key international issues of the day and the high tare rates for beet going into Thurles during the inclement weather. Listening to GAA matches on the wet battery radio was another popular Sunday afternoon activity in the days before televised GAA matches. The living room of the house was regularly full and the overflow would sit on the wall outside the house where they listened through an open window to the match commentary of Michael O’Hehir. My father was an easy going individual and tended not to be fazed by anything – one of his expressions when things went wrong was “let there be little or no panic!”  However the wet battery radio was the one thing which could put him on edge on the day of a big match from Thurles or Croke Park. He did not trust the technology and had a nagging concern that the transmission would break down with five minutes to go and the game on a knife edge. Thankfully the technology usually stood up and the listeners could proceed to the, often heated, post match analysis phase.

I won my first donkey derby on Ferrypoint riding Neddy, an eccentric animal belonging to Tommy Roche of Prospect Hall. The donkey derby features in the annual Field Day run by the ever energetic Kinsalebeg Macra na Feirme. I was very familiar with Neddy in his normal working day mode as I used to borrow him to pull a beet setting machine each spring. He was a very dainty and placid animal between the drills and his slow and steady pace was much better suited to beet setting than our own resident farm horse Paddy. Paddy in fairness was also a very placid animal but had a tendency to increase the pace as he approached the headland which resulted in erratic placing of the beet seedlings. However Neddy appeared to have little interest in sport and took a violent objection to attempts to sit on his back. Initial attempts to ride him bareback usually resulted in a bucking and kicking routine with inevitable painful results for the jockey and anyone in the vicinity of his hind legs. After an energetic working session, pulling a harrow around Tommy Roche’s acre, Neddy settled down sufficiently to enable me to get on board and head for the big race in Ferrypoint. We had a fair idea that the main competition would come from Shanahan’s black donkey, ridden by Pat Hickey, who had the advantage of altitude training on the top of Monatray.  As expected we were running neck and neck with fifty yards to go but Neddy found another gear as we approached the finish line and pulled ahead. However the sight and sound of the cheering crowd near the finish threw him completely off balance. He wheeled away in a panic and neither God nor man would stop him from heading for the beach and the Atlantic Ocean. My concerns about drowning, due mainly to a chronic inability to swim, were cut short as Neddy deposited me in an embarassing heap on the strand before he headed off into the sunset with a final belligerent kick from the hind legs. Our pride was severely dented but we returned undaunted to Ferrypoint for the return grudge match the following year. In the interim Neddy had apparently overcome his agoraphobia and we duly won the race and the ten shillings that went with it. Anyway we will now have to cease our recollections from the more recent past and attempt to pull together an overview of Ferrypoint over the centuries.


The focus of this historical summary is very much the old history of Ferrypoint. The history is made up primarily of a series of dated events and reports throughout the centuries. As much original material as could be located has been included, with some particularly lengthy newspaper reports being included in their entirety. We have included an extensive amount of material on specific incidents such as the ferry boat accidents as much of this has not been published since the events occurred. The history of Ferrypoint is obviously closely linked to that of its next door neighbour Youghal and in particular the operation of the ferry between the two locations.

Change of direction of River Blackwater (830 AD)

Date March 830 A.D: The River Blackwater is one of the major rivers of Ireland. The latter part of its journey to the sea from Fermoy to Youghal runs mainly through the county of Waterford. The last phase of this journey, from Lismore to Youghal, runs through one of the most scenic parts of Ireland. Both sides of the river from Lismore Castle to Youghal are steeped in history with castles, historic buildings, trees, gardens, the vestiges of large estates and a rich historic heritage. The River Blackwater initially flowed into Whiting Bay and not Youghal Bay. This of course made a tremendous difference to Youghal and was a key factor in the development of the town as a major trading centre from the 12th century onwards. Access to internal markets was crucial to seaport trading towns and the Blackwater provided this hinterland access for Youghal. In a similar fashion the Suir was crucial to Waterford City, the Lee to Cork City, the Liffey to Dublin and the Shannon to numerous towns. According to Keating1 a 17th century historian there was a violent storm in Ireland towards the end of March 830 A.D., which altered the exit of the Blackwater River from Whiting Bay to Ferrypoint. Keating described it as follows:

there were such terrible shocks of thunder, and the lightning did such execution, that 1010 persons, men and women, were destroyed by it between Corcabaisginn and the sea-side”  (2) “By this convulsion of nature the mouth of the Blackwater was changed. Instead of flowing north of the Ferry Point, through the valley that stretches from the creek of Pilltown to Whiting Bay, the river piercing the confining bank of shingle, rushed to meet the ocean  through the low-lying ground now forming the harbour of Youghal, and straightaway converted a deep well-planted valley into the arm of the foaming sea. The embouchure at Whiting Bay (still called by the Irish Beal-Abhan, or the Mouth of the River) was gradually closed up, as the river deepened for itself a new and more direct channel by Eo-chaille, or Youghal.” 

This violent storm was also responsible for breaking up the island of Inis Fidhe in Skull harbour into the three separate islands of Long Island, Castle Island and Hare Island. It should be noted that the Annals of Clonmacnoise give the apparent date of the storm as the 18th March 801 A.D. (“the horrible, great thunder, the day following the feast of St. Patrick”).  

           The Historical Annals of Youghal4 gives an overview of the original route of the River Blackwater as follows:

From a careful geological examination of that portion of the barony of Decies-within-Drum, which lies between Clashmore and the sea, we have come to the following conclusions respecting the ancient course of the Blackwater: At the Broad of Clashmore, where the River Lickey now runs into the Blackwater, a branch of the latter diverged from the main body of the stream, and passing above D’Loughtane (The place of  the Lakes) it kept the present bed of the Lickey for a few miles; then heading towards the south about Ballyheeny bridge, it passed its waters into the upper arm now by Ballynatray, Templemichael, and Rhincrew (beneath which it received the Teora), and met the subordinate branch at Pilltown; when the united waters discharged themselves through the lower, or south-eastern, arm of that creek into the ocean at Whiting Bay.”

“The valley between Piltown and Whiting bay, though now reclaimed and cultivated, presents all the marks of alluvial and lacustrine formation. Sand and concrete shells are turned up at low depths, and tradition preserves the memory of some primitive anchors with a single fluke having been found in it.”

“The ancient course of the river is very notable from Templars’ House at Rhincrew, whence the whole gorge or valley from Pilltown to Whiting Bay is seen at once, with the blue waters of the ocean in the distance. Another good prospect may be obtained from the summit of Cork Hill, at the entrance to the barracks. From this place, the Ferry Point is seen to stretch itself over towards the town, reminding us of the period when it actually reached across the present harbour, then a marshy plain. The harbour itself is a blind one. On approaching the town from the south side, by the present mail-coach road to Cork, the county of Waterford seems one with that of Cork, and the East Point appears united with Knoc-a-vauriagh (Knockaverry).”

Early References to the Ferry at Ferrypoint (1288-1349)

One of the earliest recorded references to the Youghal to Ferrypoint ferry related to the year 1288 when the lease cost of the ferry appeared in what was known as The Calendars of Inquisition Post Mortem11(CIPM). The CIPM details the results of investigations into the property of deceased people to establish what income and legal rights were due to the crown. The CIPM were generally related to the reign of particular monarchs so the Calendar of Inquisition Post Mortem 22 Edward III referred to inquisitions that took place in the 22nd year of the reign of Edward III which commenced in the year 1327 so the actual date was 1349. The early ferry reference appeared in the CIPM of King Edward I for the year 1288 (16th year of his reign) and concerned “the Manor of Inchecoyn [Inchiquin] and Ville de Yochil [Youghal]”. The ferry rights were at that point belonging to the Manor of Inchiquin for which they paid a lease of 40 shillings a year. Relevant abstracts from the CIPM were also recorded in The Historical Annals of Youghal4. The CIPM entry for 1288 which is as follows:

“The ferry of the water del Yochil, 40s yearly”.

Date 1321: Another early entry regarding the lease cost of the ferry appears in the Calendar of Inquisition Post Mortem11 (CIPM) 14 Edward II [Year 1321] and indicates that the lease cost was now 62 shillings and 2 pence per annum.  The ferry rights at this point were apparently held jointly by the De Clares and the Friars Minor. Sir Gilbert de Clare had made some arrangement with Gilbert Jentyl presumably for the operation of the ferry. The De Clares owned the Manor of Inchiquin in this period and the manor comprised of land in the vicinity of the Castle of Inchiquin (near Killeagh) together with the town of Youghal and also most of the land of Kinsalebeg including Ferrypoint.  We will see elsewhere the rather troublesome period of De Clare involvement in Kinsalebeg when they ran into a lot of inheritance difficulties mainly due to their absence from the area during their period of ownership. They were one of the earlier recorded “absentee landlords”. The entry in CIPM for the year 1321 and abstracted in The Historical Annals of Youghal4 was as follows:

“The Ferry is worth 62s. 2d yearly, out of which Gilbert Jentyl holds yearly during his life, from the grant in fee of Sr. Gilbert de Clare, 22s. 2d., and The Friars Minors hold the remainder through the favour of their owners.”

Date 1349: A third reference to the ferry from the year 1349 [CIPM11 22 Edward III] indicates that the ferry is worth 34 shillings and four pence a year. It also refers to twenty four burgesses in Kinsalebeg (Kynsall) which were part of the Manor of Inchiquin at this point – essentially this means that most if not all of Kinsalebeg was part of the Manor of Inchiquin in 1349. The year 1349 was a tragic year in the history of Kinsalebeg as this was in the time of the Black Death (1348-1350). Kinsalebeg was the only parish in Ireland where there were no recorded survivors of the Black Death and the whole parish was devastated. We will come back to this topic in later articles on the Black Death and Kinsalebeg land ownership during the De Clare and Badlesmere periods. It was during land ownership disputes in this period that facts arose confirming the devastation of Kinsalebeg in 1349. The following CIPM reference from “Inquisition held at Yoghill [Youghal] 22 Edward III [1349]” is also abstracted in The Historical Annals of Youghal4:

“Kynsall.[Kinsalebeg] John Haket holds free 1 car. [1 carucate] In le Rath [Rath], for 12s. 6d. yearly, with suit. John Gascoyng holds 1 car. in Tybergowe [Toberagoole] for 8s. and suit. There are also 24 Burgesses who hold 23 borough tenures, and yield yearly to the Lord of the manor of Inchecoyn [Inchiquin] 34s. 4d.They also hold 8 ac. [8 acres] in le Rothnes, at will, for 16d. The perquisites of the hundred are worth 12d. yearly, and the Ferry 34s. 4d. Yearly”.

Note: In the above entry “1 car.” means 1 carucate of land. This was the amount of land which could be ploughed by a team of eight oxen in a season. It was approximately 120 acres of land.

References to Ferry and Ferrypoint (1585-)

Date 18th July 1585: Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603) confirms her grant of the lease of the ferry to the Corporation of Youghal at an annual rent of six shillings and eight pence.  The following entry appears in The Ancient & Present State of the County & City of Cork10:

“Queen Elizabeth (1533-1603) on 18th July 1585 confirms her charter of 3rd July 1559 and also confirms that the passage, or ferry-boat, is by this charter, granted to the Corporation, at the rent of 6s. 8d. per annum. “

18th Jan 1610: The following entry in the Council Book of Corporation of Youghal9 for 1610 outlines those entitled to use the ferry and what passage costs were involved. Political perks were already well established even four hundred years ago as aldermen and town burgesses and their horses, families and staff were entitled to travel free of charge as long as they paid  four pence  each Christmas to the ferryman for the privilege. They were also allowed free passage of their Christmas cattle (beeves) and corn, which presumably were being shipped from the lush farmland of Kinsalebeg and its hinterland!

“...  For the ferry-boat, we find that every Alderman and Burgess is to pay every Christmas 4d., in consideration that every such Ald. and Burg. shall have free passage for himself, his horse, and his people, so as said horse shall not be set to hire to any stranger or townsman.

We find that every Ald. and Burg. is to have free passage for their Christmas beeves, and for  the Christmas corn; Date also that every freeman is to pay to the ferryman 3d. every Christmas, in consideration afsd.

We find that every inhabitant is to pay 2d. every Christmas for the former considerations.

We find that every freeman is to pay out of every horse or cow for his passage one white groat, toties quoties (ie as often as it happens).

We find for every household of corn, 1d., for every 2 bags of corn, 1d., so as they shall be brought to the ferry by Town inhabitants. “

Note: The white groat is a coin struck during the reign of Elizabeth I (1558-1603) and its value varied but in general terms three white groats were worth about four old pence.

Date 1585 approximately:  The earliest known maps of the Youghal/Ferrypoint area are from the Pacata Hibernia6 first published in 1633. These maps probably represent the area as it was around 1585. The image below shows the walls of the town with defensive towers. A couple of large cannons are shown pointing north on the right hand side of the map.  On the left of the map is the South Abbey with a windmill just below it. On the bottom left can be seen a small inner harbour shown as Water Gate where ships could be unloaded onto the quays and into the town itself via the arched iron portcullis. The bottom of the diagram shows the Waterford side of the harbour with Ferry Point and Part of the Decies (Deeces). 

Date 10th Jan 1611: The town corporation in Youghal had decreed that staff and family members of freemen of the town would be entitled to free travel on the ferry. Despite the above arrangement things did not always go smoothly as the following 1611 entry in The Council Book of Corporation of Youghal 9 outlines. James Kearnye was a councillor or freeman of Youghal and one of his employees had an unpleasant experience on a trip across the ferry to Ferrypoint.  The employee was on his way to Ardmore to do a bit of “special business”. The employee understood that the trip would be free of charge as per the corporation rules. However the ferryman disagreed and took the passenger’s coat in lieu of payment. The passenger’s cap was taken in lieu of payment on the return trip from Ferrypoint to Youghal. Being in the middle of winter this no doubt caused some discomfort to Mr Kearnye’s employee. Mr Kearnye complained vehemently at the next council meeting in Youghal but nothing could be done about the matter as the ferryman had absconded to England, no doubt greatly pleased with his new coat and cap!

Mr James Kearnye having complained, that notwithstanding he hath paid all offerings and duties accustomed to the ferry and passage, yet his man, sent over by him to Ardmore, about twelfth day last, about said Kearnye’s special business , had first his mantle, and upon his return his cap taken from him for his passage, contrary to the ancient custom of said passage. But in regard the lessee ferryman is now in England, this matter is to be forborn till his return”.

Date 14th September 1616: The diary of the Earl of Cork known as the Lismore Papers12 records a ferry boat accident between Youghal and Ferrypoint in 1616 when 30 people were apparently drowned. The entry was recorded by Richard Boyle, the then Earl of Cork, and indicates one of the many boat accidents that occurred over the centuries in the short but dangerous passage between Youghal and Ferrypoint. The River Blackwater meets the Atlantic Ocean here which results in dangerous currents and eddies, even on a relatively calm day. In windy or stormy weather the ferry journey often became extremely dangerous and resulted in many cancellations. The term “Holy Rood” refers to a cross or crucifix from the old English word “rood” meaning cross or from the Scottish term “haly ruid meaning "holy cross". The 14th September was a day devoted to veneration of the cross in many religions and was known as “Holy Cross Day” in Anglican and Lutheran churches. The ferry accident therefore presumably took place on the day the entry was recorded in the diary on the 14th September 1616. The Lismore Diary entry was as follows:

“Holy Rood day the ferry boat of yoghall was caste awaie about xxx [30] persons drowned”

Date 6th April 1626: The following entry in The Historical Annals of Youghal4 notes correspondence between Mathew Bruning and Sir Thomas Wilson concerning the death of the Lord of the Decies namely John Og FitzGerald of Dromana in March 1626. The correspondence indicates that the last rebellion, the Desmond rebellions in the late 16th century, did not have much effect on the Dromana estate due to the influence of the Lord of the Decies. It refers to the Dromana estate as the Drum or the area “from the Ferry of Youghal to and beyond Dungarvan” even though the land of Kinsalebeg, including Ferrypoint, was in the ownership of the Walsh family of Pilltown in 1626.  Sir Nicholas Walsh Senior of Pilltown had obtained this land after the breakup of the vast Desmond estates after the last rebellion. The entry states that in that area “hardly one plough stood still” during the last rebellion which implies that the Desmond wars did not really affect the area and life went on as normal, due to the powerful influence of the Lord of the Decies. The relatively peaceful period in the early part of the 17th century, between the Desmond rebellions and the Confederate wars, was soon to change with the rebellion of 1641. Amongst those in the vanguard of the Irish Confederate opposition to the English Parliamentarians in West Waterford in this rebellion were the fighting Walshs of Pilltown under the leadership of Sir Nicholas Walsh Junior, son of Sir Nicholas Walsh Senior, which is covered elsewhere in this history. The entry of 6th April 1626 in the annals was as follows:

“.... The beginning of March here (March 1626) died a worth gent., John FitzGerald, Lord of the Decies, Co. Waterford. A man nobly disposed unto the English, and of the greatest estate in that county. In the last rebellion, in all his country, called the Drum, from the Ferry of Youghal to and beyond Dungarvan, hardly one plough stood still.”

Date 27th June 1628: According to the following entry in The Council Book of Corporation of Youghal9 the lease of the ferry was in the hands of Gregorie Sugar in June 1626 at an annual lease cost of 12 shillings a year:

That Gregorie Sugar shall have the ferry of Y. (Youghal) at 12li. yearly, to use all strangers, passengers, &c. with all respect, and for those that way to the market, taking from them but easy fees, and to that intent was his rent rebated.”

Date 27th April 1632: Youghal corporation introduced a law in 1632 to prevent porters at the various gates in Youghal from charging customs duty on the goods being brought across the ferry from Ferrypoint. Passengers with goods for the markets in Youghal were already being charged at Ferrypoint for their own transport and the carriage of their goods. A practice had developed whereby the porters on the gates in Youghal were putting an additional custom charge on goods coming across the ferry – it is not clear if this was an official custom charge or a perk for the porters. In any case the authorities felt that it was unfair that goods coming from Ferrypoint were often subject to both carriage charges and custom duties whereas the farmer coming in with a couple of pigs from Gortroe did not have to pay anything. The decision is recorded as follows in The Council Book of the Corporation of Youghal9 in 1632:

Ordered, that no porter, &c., of the South gate, or any other Gate, shall take any manner of custom out of any goods transported or brought in the Ferry boat of Youghal to this town and market, but for the encouragement of those that come over the Ferry at Youghal, shall be custom free, and whosoever shall transgress shall forfeit 5s. and the porter discharged”.

Date 25th April 1636: The lease of the ferry from Youghal to Ferrypoint was given to a Mr Edward Stoutes in 1636 for a seven year period at an annual rent of twenty two pounds and ten shillings. This was a considerable amount of money in 1636 and in present day terms would have a value in excess of 100,000 pounds sterling. It gives an indication of the scale of the ferry operation in transporting goods and people at that time. The entry in The Council Book of Corporation of Youghal9 reads as follows:

The Ferry and Ferry boat of Youghal is demised to Mr Edward Stoutes, Ald., for seven years from 2 Feb last, for the yearly rent of 22li. 10s., said Ferry to be kept in good order and well furnished with men and sufficient boats.  5li. ster. is allowed to Patrick Polley in consideration of his expenses made in providing boats, by reason of a promise made unto him of the Ferry in Youghal, out of the Ferry boat rent.

Irish Confederate Wars (1641-1649)

The period from 1641 to 1649 was another violent and tempestuous period in Irish history. Kinsalebeg was not immune from the hostilities and devastation brought about by the rebellion that took place. The period became known as the 1641-1649 Rebellion or the Irish Confederate Wars. It was complicated by a number of unusual alliances but we are primarily dealing with the war between the mainly Catholic Irish Confederates and the primarily Puritan or Protestant English Parliamentarians supported by the Scottish. The English Parliament had arisen against the monarchy of King Charles I and the king was dethroned. This resulted in some unusual alliances whereby some Protestant royalist supporters in Ireland fought on the side of the Irish Confederates in opposition to the Cromwell led English parliamentarians. The Irish Confederates were therefore, somewhat unusually, fighting on the same side as the King of England. The effect of the Irish Confederate Wars in Kinsalebeg and nearby areas is covered in greater detail in the history of the Walshs of Pilltown. The following overview is confined to events and commentary involving the Ferrypoint and Youghal in this period.

Siege of Youghal (1641)

In 1641 Youghal was under siege from the Irish Confederate forces. The town was being defended by the 1st Earl of Cork Richard Boyle with approximately 1000 foot soldiers and 60 cavalry.  In addition the townsmen themselves maintained another 15 companies with weaponry supplied by the Earl of Cork. Richard Boyle had purchased the 42,000 acre estate of Sir Walter Raleigh in 1602 for around 1500 pounds sterling, which was a very low price for the amount and quality of the land and associated property. The price was no doubt affected by the impoverished state of Sir Walter Raleigh’s finances and the debts which were owed by his estate. The land was mainly in the counties of Cork, Waterford and Tipperary and the estate was centred about their home base of Lismore Castle in County Waterford. The Boyles went on to increase the size of the estate and made large improvements after the neglected Raleigh years.

The Boyles would play a significant role in the Confederate Wars in support of the Cromwell led English Parliamentarians. They were initially supporters of the Royalists under King Charles but switched to Cromwell’s side after the king was overthrown. Indeed many years later they switched their support back again to the royalist side when the monarch was restored in England but that is a story for another day. However it shows that the Boyles were largely opportunist, whether in business or in war, and had ultimately no real allegiances aside from improving their own situation. Their vitriolic anti Catholic agenda was however a consistent position which they maintained throughout their lives.  The Boyles were a large family but in the period under discussion we are largely concerned with four members of the family namely Richard Boyle 1st Earl of Cork and three of his sons Roger, Lewis and Charles Boyle. Roger Boyle was the most prominent of the sons and became the 1st Earl of Orrery and later Lord Broghill, by which name he is more commonly known. Lewis Boyle became Viscount Boyle of Kinalmeaky and was usually referred to as Kinalmeaky.  The third son, Charles Boyle, became Viscount Dungarvan.

Earl of Cork describes situation in Youghal (1641)

Date 25th Feb 1641: The following extract is from a letter written by Lord Cork aka the Earl of Cork, Richard Boyle, to the Earl of Warwick in the early stages of the 1641 rebellion. The Earl of Warwick was an English colonial administrator and puritan who became commander of the British fleet in 1642.  The “facts” in this type of correspondence have to be taken with a grain of salt as the contents are dictated by the requirements of the author at the time. In battle situations the number of the enemy killed or injured tends to be exaggerated and the losses minimised. The Earl of Cork, in this situation, was looking for additional help in the form of troops and finance so the tendency would be to paint a bleak picture of his current situation. He mentions that whereas his normal rental income was fifty pounds a day, a considerable amount of money in 1641, he was now reduced to the paltry income of fifty pence a week. In those days many of the large land owners had their own armies which in the main were made up of their own employees or tenants on their estates. They largely funded the cost of running the armies from their resources and relied on the relevant government or monarchy to refund, defray or supplement these costs. The situation in Youghal was undoubtedly very severe during the siege in 1641 and the hardship on the inhabitants was very severe. This letter outlines the stated position of Youghal and the Earl of Cork at the start of the rebellion on 25th Feb 1641 as outlined in The Historic Annals of Youghal4:

“Yesterday they [the rebels] took eight of my English tenants and hanged them up, and bound an English woman’s hands behind her, and buried her alive. My second son, Kynalmeaky [Viscount Boyle of Kinalmeaky] commands my new town of Bandon-bridge, where he hath found 500 foot and 100 horse, but no entertainment or pay. On 18th the enemies approached the Town walls, whereupon my son issued with only 60 horse and 200 foot, charged them in the van, they had a bitter fight. There are many of them wounded; he took 14 prisoners, whom he hanged by marshal law at the Town gates. ... I have, since the beginning of the Rebellion, at my own charge, kept 200 men here [Youghal] for securing the Town and Harbour; 100 horse and 100 foot at Lismore, which my son Broghill [Lord Broghill] commands, and daily kills of the Rebels and takes prisoners and preys of them. And I pay another 100 at Cappoquin, and whereas before, my revenue, besides my houses, demesnes, parks and other royalties did yield me 50li. per day rent, I have not now 50 pence a week coming in”.

Earl of Cork requests Vavasour assistance for Youghal (1642)

Date 12th January 1642: Richard Boyle, the Earl of Cork, sent a letter to Lord Goring on the 12th January 1642 requesting urgent assistance for the defence of Youghal which was under siege. Lord George Goring Earl of Norwich was married to Lettice Boyle, a daughter of the Earl of Cork. In earlier years Richard Boyle obtained a post for him as a colonel in the Dutch Army and Goring was later appointed governor of Portsmouth. Goring was a royalist supporter and in September of 1642 he was forced to surrender Portsmouth to the parliamentary forces. The following letter from the Earl of Cork to Goring outlines the desperate situation arising from the siege in Youghal and requests that Charles Vavasour and his army should be sent quickly to relieve the town. The letter from the Earl of Cork is recorded as follows in The Historical Annals of Youghal4:

 “... And therefore, even upon the knees of my soul, I beg and beseech you to supplicate his majesty and the lords and commons of both houses of parliament, that this fruitful province of Munster (wherein are more cities and walled towns, and more brave harbours and havens than all the rest of the kingdom hath; and the English subjects that are herein, may not want of timely supply of men, money, and munition, be lost; nor the crown of England deprived of so choice a flower thereof; but that you will incessantly solicit the hastening over of the Lord Lieutenant with the army to Dublin, and Sir Charles Vavasor with his regiment to Yoghall [Youghal], with a liberal supply of arms and munition, whereof the province is in a manner utterly destitute. And therein, for God’s sake, let not the least delay be used, for if there be, all succours will come too late...” 

Charles Vavasour’s Welcome from Ferrypoint (February 1642)

Date 25th February 1642: The above letter from Richard Boyle to Lord Goring resulted in the despatch of Sir Charles Vavasour with his troops to Youghal. Sir Charles Vavasour arrived in Youghal on 25th Feb 1642 with a regiment of 1000 men. When he came into the harbour he came under heavy fire from Ferrypoint where a battery of three heavy guns had been placed by the Irish Confederate forces. The guns had been brought from Waterford after the revolt in that city and were placed in Ferrypoint to “annoy the town” according to the description below in The Historical Annals of Youghal4. Vavasour and his troops eventually landed in Youghal to relieve the town after running the gauntlet of the heavy gunfire from Ferrypoint.  Soon afterwards the Earl of Cork held a judicial session in the town where a number of the insurgent leaders were indicted for high treason. The 1st Earl of Cork died in September 1643, having lost the greater part of his estates during the 1641 rebellion. These estates were later recovered by his sons after the suppression of the rebellion.

About this time Waterford revolted, and the Irish possessed themselves of the ordnance mounted on the fortifications. Three of the guns they transported to the ferry-point opposite Youghal, where they planted them in a battery to annoy the town. On the 25th February, Sir Charles Vavasour arrived in the harbour, with the long expected succours. He brought the King’s commission against the Rebels, and his own regiment of 1000 men, but neither money nor arms. Vavasour landed his men with no small difficulty, as the Irish battery on the Point continued playing on the boats, while the soldiers disembarked.“

Commission of Sir Nicholas Walsh of Pilltown (February 1642)

Date February 1642: The Historical Annals of Youghal4 describes the situation in the Ballyhoura Mountains in February 1642 when a battle was about to take place between the Irish Confederates and the English forces led by the President of Munster William St Leger. The Ballyhoura Mountains are situated on the borders of south-east Limerick and north-east Cork. The report details personnel involved in the impending battle and refers to the infamous alleged “forged commission” of Sir Nicholas Walsh of Pilltown, which is covered in greater detail under the separate Walsh of Pilltown history. In summary Sir Nicholas Walsh Junior of Pilltown was reputed to have presented a sealed commission to the President of Munster William St Leger. The sealed commission was from King Charles of England and stated that the Irish Confederate leader, Lord Montgarret, was authorised by King Charles to raise four thousand troops on his behalf to fight on the Irish Confederate side. William St. Leger was fighting against the Irish Confederates but was loyal to the king so the commission put him in a quandary. The Boyle brothers Broghill, Kinalmeaky and Dungarvan were with St. Leger at the time he received the commission and immediately declared that it was a forgery and that he should ignore it. St Leger however decided that the commission was authentic and withdrew his forces from the impending battle. The decision apparently caused St. Leger much distress. He rapidly descended into some form of insanity and died within a few months of the event. The article eloquently stated that his decision to accept the authenticity of the commission “threw him into a disorder” which is a nice way of describing his condition.

The question as to whether the commission from King Charles, which Nicholas Walsh presented to St Leger, was genuine or forged caused much argument on all sides both at the time and subsequently. On the balance of evidence it appears that King Charles was indeed trying to muster support from the Irish Catholics and had issued commissions to that effect. However when evidence of this became prematurely public King Charles was forced to deny it and this led to the accusation that the commission was forged by Sir Nicholas Walsh in his castle at Pilltown. The “dirty tricks” department of the English monarchy was apparently up and running in 1641 and with Cromwell in the other corner it would be unreasonable to expect high standards in governance. The subject of the “forged commission”, and indeed other commissions, is covered in detail under the Walsh of Pilltown history.  The following is the text of the February 1642 entry as outlined in The Historical Annals of Youghal4:

 “Early in February the Lord President, Sir William St. Leger, posted himself at the pass of Redshard in the Ballyhowra [Ballyhoura] mountains, hoping to provoke a battle with the Irish army. He had with him 300 horse and 900 foot, and was assisted by the Earl of Cork’s three sons, the Lords Dungarvan, Broghill, and Kynalmeaky, the Earl’s son-in-law, Lord Barrymore, Sir Hardress Waller, Sir Edward Denny, Sir John Browne, Major Searle and Captain Kingsmill. The Irish general, Lord Montgarret, sent a trumpeter demanding a parley; and Walsh, a lawyer, who resided at Pilltown, opposite Youghal, submitted to the President [William St Leger] a large parchment, in which appeared a formal commission, with the broad seal attached, authorizing Lord Muskerry to raise 4000 men for the King’s service. St. Ledger peruses the document, and, believing it to be genuine, he agreed to articles, 10th Feb., by which he bound himself to retire to some convenient place, and disperse his forces, until further directions from His Majesty. By his discovery of the cheat, when it was too late, preyed so heavily on his mind, that it threw him into a disorder, of which he died a few months after at his house, Doneraile.”

Youghal Support of Kinsalebeg farmers (October 1642)

Date December 1642:  A witness statement or deposition was taken in December 1642 from a Roger Greene of Ballyhambles which appears to be in the parish of Kilwatermoy in the barony of Coshmore and Coshbride. We include it here because this is the first recorded instance of a party of people from Youghal crossing the ferry to Ferrypoint to assist the farmers of Kinsalebeg with the harvest!  The 1641 Depositions18 were witness statements taken mainly from Protestants, but some Catholics, at the time of the 1641 rebellion. These witness statements of depositions recorded such things as the loss of goods and damage to property as a result of rebel activities and as such were intended to be used as kind of insurance claims for losses incurred. They also outlined the alleged crimes committed by Irish insurgents or rebels as they were called. It was the intention that the statements would be used later in the trials of alleged offenders and in many cases they were used in military “trials” which resulted in the hanging and imprisonment of alleged rebels. They describe military activities, assaults, strippings, burnings, robbery, hangings, rape and murder together with a litany of other serious offences. The names of those who were alleged to have committed the crimes are named in the statements. In some cases literally dozens of names were given which was a testimony to both the eyesight and the memories of the witnesses. Many of the alleged crimes were carried out under the cover of darkness which would have further added to the difficulty in identifying members of the raiding parties. The veracity of these witness statements has been the subject of much historical debate and suffice to say it is unlikely that they would be accepted as evidence in any modern court of law.  However they are an important and unique source of information on the 1641 rebellion regardless of the veracity of the content. There is no doubt that these were difficult times and the death and destruction on all sides of the conflict was enormous. The famous family of fighting Walshs of Pilltown in Kinsalebeg were regularly mentioned in witness statements as being leaders in many of the rebel attacks in the West Waterford and East Cork area.

The witness statement of Roger Green describes a journey across the ferry from Youghal to Ferrypoint taken by himself and eleven other people in October 1642.  The twelve Youghal area residents were sent to Ferrypoint by Sergeant Major Matthew Appleyard, who was Governor of Youghal at the time, in order “to reape & bind some of the rebells corne” on the Kinsalebeg side of the harbour.  We can assume that this was not a meitheal from our Youghal neighbours to help out with the harvest in Kinsalebeg and was an attempt to plunder corn for their own use in a besieged Youghal.  In any case the Irish rebels on the Kinsalebeg side of the harbour did not take too kindly to the offer of assistance and promptly captured the whole working party. They were locked up in Dungarvan Castle which was under control of the rebels at that time having been captured by Sir Nicholas Walsh Junior and his colleagues earlier in the year. It was during this attack on Dungarvan that Sir Nicholas Walsh Junior was killed. The raiding party from Youghal were very lucky that they were treated so lightly in the circumstances. There is little doubt that if a rebel raiding party from Kinsalebeg made an incursion into Youghal in this period they would have found themselves hanging from the Clock Gate if caught.

Roger Green gives his description of events which he said occurred during his imprisonment in Dungarvan Castle. He describes the arrival in Dungarvan of ships from France and Spain with arms and ammunition for the Irish Confederates. Roger Green and Garret Barry of Youghal went on to list the names of Irish Confederate leaders who they alleged they saw in Dungarvan during their incarceration. These included John Butler of Ballycloghy Co Tipperary, John Roch of Ballyfinsoge Co Waterford and James Butler of Grange Co Waterford. The following are the transcribed details of the Roger Greene witness statement with some minor alterations and some explanations in brackets to make it more readable but by and large we have left the original spellings as they were transcribed. It is difficult to read but we are including the transcription and the original deposition here as they give a fairly authentic reproduction of the original witness statement as outlined by Roger Greene:

The examination of Roger Greene late of Ballyhambles Parish of Killotomoy [Kilwatermoy] barony of Cosemore and Cosebridy [Coshmore and Coshbride] and within the County of Waterford husbandman taken before us upon oath of the holy Evangelist by vertue of a Comission beareing date at Dublin the 5th day of March last concerneing the losses and sufferinges of his Maiesties subiects brittish and protestants within the Province of Munster &c deposeth & saith:”

“That on or aboute the first day of October last this deponent
[Roger Greene] together with the number of eleven men & women vizt Alexander Crase, Garrett Bary, Rich West, William Watt, William O Hea [ ] Ann Merryvile the wife of John Merryvile Ursula Gullyferr & others were sent by directions from Sarjeant major Apleyard Governor of the Towne of youghall ouer the ferry of youghall aforesaid into the county of Waterford to reape & bind some of the rebells corne namely William O Shighane for one, whoe noe sooner fell to woorke aboute the reapeing of the said Corne but the enemy consisting of the number of forty horse & three score foote or therabouts came and assaulted this deponent & the rest & being apprehended by them they caryed them prisoners to Dungarvan a place of the enemyes randezvous & being then comitted a long time then & there they observed two barques come in to Dungarvan aforesaid one wherof came out of Spayne laden with armes and amunition comanded by one Captian John Donnell a native of this kingdome, & thother laden with salte powder and armes newly come out of ffrance but what quantity of armes & other Amunition they brought into the said harbour this deponent knoweth not. He likewise deposeth that he then observed one Bourke (his Christian name he knoweth not) to come thither out of the County of Clare whoe bought from the said Capteine Donell three hundred musketts sixteene barrells of powder and five thousand weight of Match & caryed the same away being guarded with a convoy of Twelve musketiers sent with him by John Butler of Ballycloghy in the County of Tipperary then Capteine & cheefe comander of the Castle of Dungarvan aforesaid.  Garrett Barry of youghall in the County of Cork yeoman this day came before us and deposed likewise upon the holy Evangelist that the premisses were true in all particulars. These deponents lastly doe severally [say] that they saw at Dungarvan aforesaid John Roch of Ballyfinsoge in the County of Waterford gentleman beareing armes in the Company of the said John Butler likewise they saw then & there James Butler late of Grange in the said County gentleman then in company with the rebells & further they canot depose that then & there they heard the rebells at Dungarvan aforesaid curseing the puritants & sayeing they were the cause of all this mischeefe &c.

Roger [mark] Greenes marke
Garrett [mark] Barryes marke
Jurat coram nobis
12o Decembris 1642
Phil: Bisse
Thomas Ellwell

The following is the image of the above 1641 deposition in its original form – the two images are part of the same deposition. The sections of text which were deleted, altered or crossed out were altered at the time or shortly afterwards:

William Penn and the Siege of Youghal (1645)

Date July 1645: The following details of the involvement of William Penn and Ferrypoint in the siege of Youghal during the 1641-1649 rebellion are largely taken from William Penn’s Memorials2.  William Penn Senior was father of the William Penn Junior who in later years was to become the Quaker founder of the state of Pennsylvania in the USA.  Charles II signed over the area of Pennsylvania to the Penn family in 1681 in lieu of a 16,000 pounds debt he owed to William Penn Senior. William Penn Junior spent a number of years in Shanagarry near Youghal from 1666 onwards looking after the estates that his father had received from Cromwell.  He became a Quaker during the period he spent in Shanagarry much to the annoyance of his father. William Penn Senior, who later became Admiral Penn, was 23 years of age in 1644 when he was given command of the 300 ton Fellowship with 110 men and 28 guns. The ship was one of the Irish Guard fleet, under the command of Admiral Richard Swanley, which was responsible for protecting both sides of the Irish sea from the naval forces of the then King of England Charles 1.  In 1645 Penn was put in command of the 539 ton Entrance ship which was equipped with 38 guns. At this stage William Penn was effectively a vice-admiral in Swanley’s fleet.

On the 5th July 1645 Admiral William Penn was instructed by Lord Inchiquin (aka Murrough O’Brien, 1st Earl of Inchiquin, “Murrough the Burner”) to assist in the relief of the town of Youghal.  Youghal was at that point under siege by the Confederate Irish rebel forces, led by Castlehaven  (aka James Tuchet, 3rd Earl of Castlehaven), who had some heavy artillery and forces on the Ferrypoint side of the harbour. Penn’s fleet set sail from Kinsale to Youghal on 8th July 1645 with a hundred soldiers on board and arrived in Youghal later that day. Captain Boyle, who was a commander in Youghal, came on board Penn’s ship and briefed him of the poor situation in the town. On the morning of the 9th July Penn went ashore in Youghal and met up with Sir Percy Smith, the deputy governor of the town. Smith instructed him to place the merchant-ship Nicholas in the bay at the south end of the town and the Duncannon frigate at the north end of the town.  When Penn was returning to his barge after the visit to Percy Smith an unfortunate accident took place according to Penn. When Penn answered the governor’s five gun salute with a three gun salute from his own barge there was an accident in firing the last gun. According to Penn:

at the firing of the last gun, the piece not being well sponged, took fire, as one of our men was ramming home the cartridge, and so unhappily blew off one of his hands.”

On the 16th July 1645 the Irish rebel forces under Castlehaven were seen to be planting additional long range guns in the hill of Monatray on the east side of the harbour.  Penn’s forces attempted to fire on the rebel gun fort but the guns were out of their range.  During the night of 17th July Castlehaven had placed three additional guns on Ferrypoint and commenced to fire on the Duncannon when morning broke. According to Penn:

“17th.- By break of day, the enemy had made a fort of cannon-baskets on the east side, opposite to the town fort; and having drawn down three guns into their work, shot at the Duncannon frigate, she at them again; but by an un-expected accident (as we after were informed) the powder of their store took fire; which being blown up, she immediately sunk, and being but little more water than she drew, her stern was above water, when her bilge lay on the ground. All those which were afore the mast suffered, in number 18, with one woman; she, with two of the 18, being, as was reported, in the powder-room, when the powder took fire.  Seven more of the company were very much scalded and bruised; but, God be praised !, we have hope of their recovery.

Penn therefore lost 18 men in this encounter or seventeen men and one woman to be precise. It is unusual that a woman was among the 18 casualties of the sinking of the Duncannon as it was not common to have women manning guns or indeed to be present on war ships in those days. According to Penn the woman was in the powder-room with two men when the powder took fire. One wonders firstly why she was on the ship at the time and more critically what she was doing in the gunpowder room. Is it possible that she may have misinterpreted the Powder Room sign on the door of the gunpowder room? What may have been intended as an innocuous trip to powder the nose and have a quick smoke ended up in a horrible tragedy as the ship blew up with disastrous consequences. Penn’s description of the blowing up of the Duncannon is at variance with that of Castlehaven who claims he blew the ship up with cannon fire from Ferrypoint.

Later on the afternoon of the 17th Penn, together with Captain Philips, went ashore in Youghal to visit the deputy governor Percy Smith. While they were in Youghal two of the enemy Confederate forces boats were seen coming down the river apparently laden with provisions and ammunition for the Confederate forces on the Ferrypoint side.  Penn ordered his barge to pursue the Confederate boats but they had to abandon the pursuit as they came under fire from the Ferrypoint. Penn, together with the governor Percy Smith, Lieut Colonel Loftus, Lieut Colonel Badnedge and with some others were watching these developments from the wall on the Youghal side of the harbour. Penn’s bad experiences in Youghal were set to continue however. Lieutenant Colonel Loftus and Lieutenant Colonel Badnedge, together with two other soldiers, were killed by artillery fire from Ferrypoint. Penn described the incident as “the enemy made a most unhappy shot from the other side of the water”. The only two to escape the attack were William Penn himself and the governor Percy Smith who both made a hasty retreat “with the stones which flew thick about our ears”. The following was Penn’s account of the latest set of events:

the enemy made a most unhappy shot from their fort on the other side of the water, which killed the two lieut.-colonels, and two soldiers; five others were carried away, supposed to be dead, but were presently found indifferent well, having no great hurt. Only the governor and myself escaped untouched, but with the stones which flew thick about our ears; for which deliverance God make me for ever thankful! We quit the fort, and went into a house hard by. I requested Sir Percy Smith to despatch a messenger with this sad news to my Lord of Inchiquin, as also for some other officers in the room of those gentlemen that were slain; which he did the same night.

            William Penn was lucky to survive events of the 17th July 1645, particularly with the accurate gunfire from the Confederate forces on Ferrypoint. It was in stark contrast to the wild shooting seen on the Ferrypoint in the 1960’s when we participated in Gaelic football, hurling and camogie matches! William Penn’s bad day on 17th July was not at an end however. The men injured on the ill-fated Duncannon were brought aboard the Entrance and Penn ordered the Duncannon’s captain and gunner together with carpenters from the Nicholas to go back on board the Duncannon to salvage the sails, rigging and guns. Those familiar with Youghal Bay will be aware that the water is not very deep in some locations so part of the Duncannon was still visible above water. However the ship was listing to the port side and the guns on that side were underwater.  The Duncannon’s crew refused Penn’s orders to go back on board the ship. They maintained that they had lost everything already and did not wish to lose their lives as well from enemy gunfire coming from the Ferrypoint side of the harbour. The following morning Penn sent in his barge to assist the Duncannon crew in the salvage operation. The Duncannon crew still refused to cooperate and Penn eventually had to order six of his own gunners to salvage what they could from the stricken Duncannon. They eventually retrieved a couple of the best guns and some ammunition.

            The following August 1645 entry in the Earl of Egmont manuscripts20 details a letter from Sir Percy Smyth to his brother-in-law Sir Philip Perceval which describes the siege of Youghal and the attacks from Ferrypoint. Smyth and Perceval were married to sisters Isabella and Catherine Ussher, who were daughters of Arthur Ussher and Judith Newcomen. Percy Smyth of Ballynatray was Deputy Governor of Youghal at this time and the town was under siege from Confederate forces. Smyth outlines the attacks on Youghal from Castlehaven guns on Ferrypoint and the resulting sinking of the Duncannon as well as the deaths of three soldiers including officers Loftus and Budnedge. Penn had indicated that four soldiers had been killed.

On 19th July 1645 Penn became aware that the Confederate forces had placed another gun on the eastward point of the harbour’s mouth and were now firing on the ship Nicholas captained by Captain Bray which was anchored on the south side of Youghal harbour. The exact location of this gun is unsure but we assume the Confederate gun was placed somewhere between Ferrypoint and East Point on the hill of Monatray across from the mouth of Youghal harbour. The firing accuracy from the Waterford side of the harbour continued and Penn incurred additional casualties with two men killed and two injured on the Nicholas. This is Penn’s account of the event:

19th – In the morning, by break of day, the enemy had planted a gun on the eastward point of the harbour’s mouth, and made divers shot therewith at Captain Bray, he at them again; but before he could get his anchors on board, two of his men were killed and two hurt by the rogues, who shot him between wind and water, and several times in the hull. At last, weighed, set sail, and, coming forth, anchored by us”.

 Note: “Between wind and water” means that part of a ship's side or bottom which is frequently brought above water by the rolling of the ship, or fluctuation of the water's surface. Any damage in this area just below the waterline is obviously dangerous.

The siege of Youghal continued for a number of months with varying degrees of success on both sides. The Youghal garrison was able to get much needed supplies on a number of occasions by running the gauntlet of the Confederate forces guarding the harbour entrance. On the 7th August 1645 William Penn left Youghal and sailed for Cork. A few days later he was somewhat surprisingly relieved of command of his ship Entrance by the arrival of Captain John Crowther who also took over as vice-admiral of the fleet. William Penn did not remember fondly his visit to Youghal and it is unlikely he ever returned to take a holiday in Ferrypoint after the welcome he received from the rebel forces on that side of the harbour.

 In September 1645 Lord Broghill had effectively relieved Youghal when he arrived with troops from England. Broghill was never shy in blowing his own trumpet and outlined the details to William Lenthall who was Speaker in the British House of Commons in 1645. Broghill stated that the siege was at an end due to his own actions and that the great guns, including any remaining on Ferrypoint, were now silenced. Some of his words to William Lenthall are recorded as follows in The Historic Annals of Youghal4:

Youghal was relieved after three months’ siege by the forces brought over by Broghill. The enemy drew off 5 or 6 miles. The besieged, by a brave sally a fortnight ago, routed the enemy, seized 2 great guns they had planted at both sides of the harbour”.

Castlehaven and General Preston during Siege of Youghal

Castlehaven had at this stage, in the autumn of 1645, placed the main body of his army at Ballynatray, about four miles north of Youghal, and was operating a strategy of attempting to starve out the town with no great success. He maintained his gun positions at the mouth of the harbour and at Ferrypoint. This siege was not effective and whereas the Confederate forces had great success with relatively stationery targets they were apparently much less successful with moving supply ships coming into Youghal. Castlehaven was unwilling to invade Youghal again as he feared the strength of the garrison so a kind of stalemate existed.  Castlehaven therefore lost a great opportunity to bring the Munster campaign to a successful end for the Confederate forces as the parliamentary forces were in a state of disarray at that point.  In essence Castlehaven lived up to his reputation as being an erratic and somewhat inconsistent general  - he had some great military successes particularly in Munster against Murrough O’Brien (Lord Inchiquin) and others but also had some failures of which Youghal was ultimately one. 

Eventually the Confederate supreme council lost patience with Castlehaven and they sent General Preston to Youghal in October 1645 to assist with the siege.  Castlehaven had served as a commander of cavalry under General Thomas Preston in Leinster in 1641 and in many ways the combination of Castlehaven and Preston was a formidable military outfit which Padraig Linehan outlined in his book Confederate Catholics at War 1641-493. The combination never quite managed to get their act together in the siege of Youghal however. Preston was unhappy when he found out that he was to act under the command of Castlehaven and proceeded to camp at a distance from the town. Castlehaven, a notoriously touchy individual, was somewhat peeved that it was perceived by the ruling supreme council that he was unable to capture Youghal. In any case the Confederate forces failed to capture Youghal and the parliamentary forces remained in command of the town. This situation continued in the following years under the formidable influence of Lord Broghill and Cromwell. The following excerpts are taken from The Historic Annals of Youghal4 giving the status of the town on 29th October 1645:

The Siege of Youghal: Youghal holdeth out very stoutly, considering the position they are in.” And also “About the beginning of this month Preston came with his forces and joined Castlehaven for besieging Youghal. They have placed ordnance on both sides of the harbour, six on the Passage point, and as many at this side at the nunnery. The town is very much straightened for provisions, for although they have not passing 1400  fighting men, yet they have at least 6000 women and children so that 100 barrels of wheat is but a pound of bread for a soul, considering how it may shrink in the baking and distributing.”  And also “One thing, we have all manner of grain here exceeding plentiful; wheat at ten shillings per Barrell containing 5 Winchester bushels, oats at three, and barley at seven shillings. Without this, Youghal had been lost long since, our only misery is, we want wherewith to buy and pay for it. Since this, news came that Lo. Inchiquin hath not only relieved Youghal, but raised the siege and given the rebels great slaughter”.

Castlehaven overview of Munster campaign (1645)

In his memoirs5 Castlehaven gives some details of the Munster campaign and the siege of Youghal.  The following details are taken from the above memoirs with the text in italics indicating actual quotations from the memoirs.  In the period up to the spring of 1645 Inchiquin had overrun Munster and had shown little mercy to those he had conquered.  Castlehaven states that:

All this while my lord of Inchiquin over-run Munster, and coming to Cashel, the people retired to the Rock, where the cathedral church stands, and thought to defend it. But it was carried by storm, and the soldiers gave no quarter; so that, within and without the church, there was a great massacre, and amongst others more than twenty priests and religious men killed. Towards the spring the supreme council ordered me to go against Inchiquin, and to begin the field as early as I could. The enemy in this province had always been victorious, beating the confederates in every encounter, having never received any check”. 

Castlehaven successfully attacked a number of towns and fortresses in the Munster area before his arrival in Youghal starting with Cappoquin on 5th April 1645. He states:

Soon after, that is, about the fifth of April [1645], I marched to Caperquin [sic Cappoquin], my army consisting of about 5000 foot and 1000 horse, with some cannon”.

Cappoquin eventually surrendered. He also outlined his successes with attacks on Dromana, Mitchelstown, Fermoy, Mallow, Doneraile, Liscarrol and Castlelyons. Castlehaven eventually arrived in Youghal and he describes it as follows:

from this castle [Coney-Castle] I marched to Youghall, and encamped loosely before it, thinking to distress the place; and towards the sea, near Crocker’s works, I sent Major-General Purcell with 1500 men, and some small pieces, to hinder succour that might come by sea. Whilst this was doing, I went with a party in the night, and two pieces of cannon, and passed the Black-water at Temple-Michael, and before day had my two guns planted at the ferry-point [Ferrypoint], over against Youghall, and within less than musquet shot of two parliament frigates: at the second shot one blew up, but some days after the enemy made a sally from Crocker’s works, and ill-treated Major-General Purcell, taking one of his guns.

The above is the full account by Castlehaven of the attack on Youghal and is somewhat less detailed than Penn’s account of the same period.  It was apparent that Castlehaven, together with Major-General Purcell, had made an attempt to capture the town but they were repulsed by the garrison at Youghal. They were subsequently reluctant to repeat the attempt. Castlehaven makes no reference to the arrival of General Preston in Youghal to assist him in the siege.  It is interesting to compare the circumstances of the sinking of the Duncannon as described by Penn with that of Castlehaven. Penn maintained that the Duncannon was sunk as a result of an explosion in the powder room whereas Castlehaven insisted she was sunk as a result of gunfire from Ferrypoint. We will probably never know what really went on in the powder room of the Duncannon before the ship was sunk but it makes a great story!  Castlehaven’s account of the Youghal siege concludes as follows:

Soon after this there came a fleet of boats, and larger vessels, sent by my lord Inchiquin, from Cork, with supplies of men and provision, and succoured the town; on which I marched off, and trifled out the remainder of that campaign in destroying the harvest; only a party of my men attempted to plunder the great island, near Barry’s court; but being ill guided in passing, and the sea coming in sooner than they expected, their design failed”.

At the end of November 1645 Castlehaven retired his forces to Cappoquin for the winter and he himself then left for Kilkenny where peace discussions were taking place.

Notes re some key figures involved in the siege of Youghal in 1645:

Admiral Sir William Penn was commander in the Commonwealth Navy during the English Civil War 1642-1651. He was father of William Penn Jun who was born in October 1644 and became founder of Pennsylvania in later years.

Lord of Inchiquin, Chief Governor of Munster, otherwise Murrough O’Brien was Chief Commander of the Protestant parliamentary forces in Munster in 1645. He was nicknamed “Murrough the Burner” for his scorched earth military policy.

Lord Broghill otherwise Roger Boyle and later 1st Lord Orrery was Governor of Youghal in 1644-49. He was a major supporter of Cromwell and the Parliamentary forces in the 1641 rebellion.

Sir Percy Smith (Smyth), Knt was Lieutenant-Colonel, and Deputy Governor of Youghal in 1645.

Lord Castlehaven otherwise James Touchey 3rd Earl of Castlehaven was a commander of the royalist forces in the 1641 rebellion.

Duke of Ormonde otherwise James Butler was an Anglo-Irish statesman and soldier who led the fighting against the Irish Catholic Confederates from 1641 to 1647. He later became the leading commander of the Royalist forces and fought against the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland.

Arrival of Cromwell in Youghal via Ferrypoint (1649)

Date August 1649: Oliver Cromwell was prominently involved on the Puritan parliamentary side of the civil war conflict between the British Parliament and King Charles I, which resulted in the execution of Charles on the 30th January 1649. The painting below is a depiction of Cromwell checking the coffin of Charles I as if to make sure he was really dead. Cromwell arrived in Ireland in August 1649 determined to subdue the rebellion and to destroy royalist support in Ireland which included the Catholic Irish as well as many of the mainly Protestant Anglo-Irish families. It was an unusual situation that the so called “Irish rebels” in this case were actually supporting the King of England. In the following months Cromwell led one of the bloodiest and most brutal campaigns ever to have taken place on Irish soil and to the present day Cromwell remains a figure of hate in Ireland.  His campaign from Drogheda to Youghal was a trail of massacred garrisons, lootings, burnings, hangings and debauchery. The history of this bloody period is well recorded and we are not going to cover it here. His bloody campaign was temporarily halted at Waterford where his siege of the city was unsuccessful.  He was eventually forced to abandon the attack on Waterford on 1st December 1649 and he moved on to Dungarvan which was captured with the help of Roger Boyle 1st Earl of Orrery also known as Lord Broghill. Cromwell and his army then set out for Youghal where they planned to spend the winter and where they received a great welcome.  It was apparent from correspondence and discussions between Cromwell and Youghal/Broghill that there would be no resistance to Cromwell in Youghal. Indeed Cromwell had issued instructions to the mayor of Youghal as far back as May 1649 regarding the supply of provisions which he expected Youghal to deliver to him in Ross Co Kilkenny for the journey to Youghal. The Historic Annals of Youghal4 record the following letter received by the Duke of Ormond from the Lord Lieut.-General of Ireland (Cromwell) dated 11th May 1649:

Ormond. – We taking into our consideration the absolute necessity of having a certain quantity of biscuit forthwith provided, for the use of his Majy. Army, and for the more speedy effecting thereof, have thought fit that the same be appointed to be done in several parts of the kingdom. We do therefore hereby require the Mayor of the town  of Youghal to take present order, that there be four thousand weight of biscuit made in that town, for the aforesaid use, and that the same be sent by water to Ross, in such safe way as it may be fit for a present march, and that to be done at farthest by the last of this present May. And for satisfaction of the said quantity of biscuit, and all charges about the same, it is to be by you defalked out of the applotments and public dues now or hereafter to be raised in that town. Whereof the Commissioners and Receivers and all others therein concerned are to take notice. Given at our Castle of Kilkenny, this second day of May, 1649.”

The journey of Cromwell’s army from Dungarvan took them through Kinsalebeg. Cromwell decided to send some of his army to cross the River Blackwater at Templemichael while himself, and the bulk of the army, headed for Ferrypoint in order to cross by ferry to Youghal. The arrival in Youghal is described as follows in Ronayne’s History of the Earls of Desmond and Earl of Cork19:

He arrived before Youghal in August, 1649 [December 1649]; part of his army crossed at Templemichael, the main body under himself came to the Ferry Point. He sent a message over to the mayor to provide at once boats for the transport of his army.

Local Kinsalebeg folklore has it that he destroyed the church in Pilltown on his way through but there are no records to confirm this. It is interesting to note the “Ruines of Ensilbegg [Kinsalebeg] Church” on Thomas Dineley’s map of the Youghal area in 1661 (shown elsewhere). It is unlikely that Cromwell would have destroyed what was at that time a Church of Ireland church at Kinsalebeg even though the extreme Puritanism of Cromwell meant that he did not always look favourably on what he considered to be a too liberal wing of Protestantism. His views on various sections of the Protestant religion did not however come close to his absolute hatred of Roman Catholics whom he considered to be heretics. If a Catholic church did exist in Pilltown in 1649 then there may be some substance to the folklore that it was destroyed by Cromwell on his way to Youghal.

Needless to say Crowell or his army did not get any tea & biscuits in Kinsalebeg on their journey to Youghal and he was probably keen to get out of Waterford as soon as possible! He had encountered his first real Irish military setbacks in Waterford and had also lost his second in command Lieutenant-General Jones who died in Dungarvan. The ferry service from Ferrypoint was a substantial operation at that time as it was a main southern link between Cork and Waterford. It was used for transporting people, animals, carriages, foodstuffs and other goods between the two counties. Cromwell was apparently unhappy with the speed of the ferry service and reputedly sent a message to the mayor of Youghal to provide additional boats for the transport of his army. We suspect that the question of fares was not up for discussion and it was unlikely that the ferryman demanded Cromwell’s coat or cap in lieu of payment! Cromwell had his suspicions that Youghal was a royalist town at heart and that it was only supporting the Parliamentary side because of the fear that they would meet the same fate as many other towns on his path. His suspicions were confirmed in later years as Youghal and Broghill returned to their royalist roots.

When Cromwell arrived in Youghal in December 1649 he was reputed to have ordered the arrest of the mayor for not responding quickly enough to his orders. Some historic reports indicate that the mayor was hung at his own door as a warning to everyone in the town. There is plenty of collaborating evidence of the atrocities committed by Cromwell in Ireland, including indeed his own account of his campaign, but there is little evidence of this treatment of the mayor of Youghal. The Historic Annals of Youghal4 has no references to the death of the mayor even though a new mayor was elected in September 1650.

There are very few references in The Historic Annals of Youghal4 to this particularly momentous period in the town’s history. This is understandable as it was a chaotic period of time. There is no doubt that the then Roger Boyle aka Lord Broghill influenced town of Youghal was very much on the Cromwellian Parliamentary side of this particular rebellion, even though Youghal was throughout the centuries very much an English royalist town with little apparent appetite for rebellion. Cromwell left Youghal and Ireland in May 1650 and returned to England leaving a trail of bloodshed and devastation in his wake. The monarchy was eventually restored in England in 1660 when King Charles II was reinstated as King of England after the death of Cromwell. Cromwell died on the 3rd September 1658 on a night when a violent storm raged across England, which was said by his enemies to be “the Devil carrying away his soul”. He was buried in Westminster Abbey but later events showed that the hatred of Cromwell was not confined to Ireland. When the monarchy was restored to power in 1660 Cromwell’s body was dug up from his imposing tomb in Westminster Abbey. The body was hung on the gallows in Tyburn and then beheaded. His head was displayed on a spike at Westminster along with others who had been executed for the regicide of Charles I.  

When Charles II was restored as King of England in 1660 it created a difficult situation for those in Ireland who had supported the Cromwell led parliamentary forces. Lord Broghill, and the rest of the Boyle family, rediscovered their royalist roots with indecent haste and declared their undying love and support of the newly installed King Charles II.  It was as if the death and destruction that they had wreaked during the 1641 rebellion had been a minor aberration and that they had now returned to their senses and would be on their best behaviour henceforth. The greedy and ambitious Boyles were never slow to recognise which side their bread was buttered on. They had no compunction about changing loyalties or strategies when it suited them, particularly when the question of land and property was involved. In later years Broghill was called to account in the English parliament for a number of events during the 1641 rebellion period. One of the allegations was that he was blackmailing the Walsh family of Pilltown with a view to taking over the Walsh estates in Waterford.  Broghill had accused Thomas Walsh of Pilltown of playing a part in the start of the 1641 rebellion, an accusation that had earlier been laid on his deceased father, Sir Nicholas Walsh Junior. The “Rebel County” in these historic times appeared to rest very much terms in the land of the Decies. The following account of Cromwell’s visit to Youghal is taken from the History of the Earls of Desmond and Earl of Cork19 etc. There is no corroborating confirmation of some aspects of this, such as the hanging of the mayor in Youghal, but we include it for reference:

After the defeat and execution of the King, Cromwell came to Ireland with a large army. He was after ravaging England, - defeated the royalists, massacred their soldiers, completed the murder of the King, hunted the bishops and parsons, who were anathema to him, desecrated the churches and now came to Ireland to subjugate the country for the Parliament. He came over influenced by the two incitements against the country – that the people were Irish Papists, who had the chivalry to render assistance to his unfortunate King. His march from Drogheda to Youghal was a bloody trail of murdered garrisons, massacres of women and children, rapine, plunders, burnings, and debauchery. He arrived before Youghal in August, 1649 [December 1649]; part of his army crossed at Templemichael, the main body under himself came to the Ferry Point. He sent a message over to the mayor to provide at once boats for the transport of his army. The terror of his name and the horrors of his march had preceded him to Youghal, and the mayor and the citizens did their best to obey his orders. On his arrival in the town he ordered the mayor to be arrested. He had a suspicion that the town had been favourable to the King’s cause. He accused the mayor of delay in obeying the order, and had him hanged at his own door. This was the usual mode of these bullying English for impressing obedience to their orders on the chief magistrates of our Irish towns. Elizabeth’s captains did the same to the mayor. Cromwell remained that winter in Youghal, terrorising the people with the drilling and conduct of his soldiery. He left the town and country on 29th May, 1650, in the ship “President” leaving behind him that never-to-be-forgotten malediction, “The curse of Cromwell”. Cromwell was one of those fanatic monsters that all revolutionary upheavals bring to the surface”.

Events and Stories of Ferrypoint and Youghal after 1645

Date 10th Oct 1646: Some normality seems to have returned to the trading activities between Ferrypoint and Youghal by October 1646. Sir Percy Smith, Governor of Youghal, issued a proclamation on 10th October 1646 in an attempt to prevent the sale of goods before they arrived at the market in Youghal. The proclamation was seemingly brought in to prevent inhabitants or soldiers in Youghal from intercepting produce before it arrived at the market and thereby affecting market pricing. It was apparent that individuals were going across to Ferrypoint to buy goods and livestock which were being transported to the market in Youghal. This produce was then being brought across the ferry to the market in Youghal either for personal use or to be resold at a profit in the market. Terms such as engrossing, forestalling and regrating were marketing offences under English common law. The terms were used to describe unacceptable methods of influencing the market, sometimes by creating a local monopoly for certain goods such as food.  The proclamation from Sir Percy Smith is recorded as follows in The Council Book of the Corporation of Youghal9:

“For as much as several proclamations have been issued in this garrison of Youghal against regrators, &c. , of the market of said garrison, contrary to the statute in such case made, nothwithstanding which the inhabitants and soldiers have most refractorily disobeyed the same.

In Pursuance whereof these are strictly to will and require all and every person, as well inhabitants as soldiers, that they forbear to buy any corn, grain, victuals, &c., either beyond the river, or at the ferry point, or anywhere else, except in the open market, according the ancient laws, &c. of said garrison – except such oxen, cows, sheep and hogs as shall be brought over the said river at the Ferry point aforesaid – upon pain of forfeiture of same, one half to the informer, the other for the use of the garrison, whereof they are to take notice at their peril”.

Date 17th May 1647: The lease of the Youghal to Ferrypoint ferry was given to Hercules Beere in May 1647 on the condition that he should build one or more boats to provide the ferry service. The ferry lease cost was sixteen pounds a year plus a payment to the Mayor and Hercules Beere could retain the boat(s) for his own use after the lease expired in what could be considered to be a present day finance lease.. The entry in The Council Book of the Corporation of Youghal9 was as follows:

A lease to Hercules Beere of the Ferry, in consideration that he should, with all speed, build one sufficient boat or boats to serve the ferry or passage, belonging to the Corporation, with all the fees, fairs, perquisites, duties, &c., for seven years, paying 4li. ster. to the Mayor for the Corporation, quarterly; also paying to the now Mayor 10s. over and above the former rent, &c; and that at the end of the term said Hercules might keep the boats by hire built, and to employ for his own benefit, if he should have any further grant of the  premises.”

Date 25th Feb 1650: The Council Book of the Corporation of Youghal9 records the following entry in February 1650at a time when the council was endeavouring to reduce the risk of fire in the town. Inhabitants were storing stacks of furze and firewood at the back of their houses with the danger that that they might be accidentally or maliciously set on fire:

Whereas divers persons within the walls of this town, make great stacks of furzes in their backsides, to the great danger of the town by firing the same, we order, that no person living within the walls or works do, after 15 Oct. next lay any such furze, faggots. &c., in their backsides, whereby danger of firing may be.”

The term backside is a reference to the back of a house or the backyard and is not an indication that the inhabitants of Youghal had some unusual sadomasochistic tendencies.

Date 14th & 21st Oct 1652: The Council Book of the Corporation of Youghal9 contains details of various council decisions and court hearings held before the Mayor, Recorder, Bayliffes etc in Youghal in this period. These have no particular connection with the Ferrypoint or Kinsalebeg history but are interesting as they give a view on life and conditions at the time. Various people are brought before the court hearings and also a number of decisions are made regarding various issues affecting the town of Youghal. The council set a limit of thirty alehouses for the town and a limit of sixteen huxters and six or eight peckwomen. A number of traders were brought before the court for exercising their trades in the town whilst not being freemen of the town or not having the required permission to do so. The term huckster (or peddler, hawker) referred to someone who sold small items either on the street or door to door. A peckwoman was someone who generally cleaned public areas and offices. The following are a sample of crimes and council decisions in Youghal in this period:

Date 14th October 1652:

“John Roe, for keeping pigs unringed and yoaked, and rooting Edw. Joanes’ ground”

“John O Leighy, for throwing a chamber-pot into the street, with excrement in it, and falling upon Edw. Jones the younger”

“We think that there ought to be but six peckwomen, and those to be of the poorest sort, that are not able to live otherwise.”

“That there ought to be but ten hucksters in all the town, and those to be of the poorest sort”

“Robert Ware, for keeping and throwing all sorts of dung that he kills on his backside, to the annoyance of his neighbours”.

Date21st Oct 1653:

 “John Parker, for having a dunghill in the backside Mr Roger holds from him adjoining Mr. Wandrick, and that he clean same within a month or be fined 5li.”

“That there ought to be but 30 alehouses in the whole town, to be licensed and give security to keep good order, and 16 huxters, to be of the poorer sort.”

“The Widow Uniacke, for keeping a pair of empty walls over against And(rew) Walbridge, by reason the street is full of dung”.

“That there be but eight peckwomen in the town, to keep the Market-house clean by turns every week, and on refusal another to be put in her place”

“That there be a Cage and Cuckin stoole set up out of hand” [See diagram].

“That the Clock Bell ought to ring at eight of the clock at night and four of the clock in the morning, and that it be fitted out of hand”


The decision to introduce a cucking stool into Youghal in 1653 is interesting as it seemed to indicate that they were having some problems with the behaviour of certain women in public. A cucking stool was basically a large armchair suspended over the water from the quayside and it was used for the punishment of what were known as “scolding women”.  A scolding woman was a troublesome and angry woman who broke the public peace by regularly arguing and quarrelling with her neighbours and other similar nuisance offences.  The offending woman was tied into the armchair and the chair lowered or dunked into the water three or more times depending on the nature and severity of the offence.  The equivalent piece of equipment used for punishing men was the stock. A cage, which was in public view, was used to lock up boys who were misbehaving. These public display methods of punishment were used in addition to or instead of imprisonment. The stock was a device used in the earlier centuries as a form of physical punishment which involved public humiliation of mainly male offenders. The stocks partially immobilized the offenders and they were often exposed to ridicule in a public place such as a market. The purpose was to punish petty criminal who offended against the standards of conduct of the time and the general public could add to the punishment by throwing abuse or objects at the offenders.

Drawings of Ferrypoint & Youghal by Dineley (1661-1681)

Date 1661 to 1681: The following drawings by Thomas Dineley are extracted from his Journal of 168113  in which he describes his journeys in the south of Ireland during the reign of Charles II (1649 to 1685). The drawings give useful representations of the Youghal and Ferrypoint area in the period around 1661 to 1681. The first drawing is a view from the Cork Road in Youghal across to Ferrypoint (L). It shows the Ferrypoint (L) jutting out from the far side of the harbour. Dineley also includes a reference to the Ruines of Ensilbegg Church (b) indicating that Kinsalebeg Church was in ruins in 1661. The hill behind the church is the hill of Monatray or Monastra Hill (M) as it is described here. The Waterford side of the harbour is described as being Part of the Desses (Decies).

Notes re Dinely drawing: a. The Church St. Marys, b. Ruines of Ensilbegg Church [Kinsalebeg Church], d. The Key [Quay], T. The Exchange, M. Monastra Hill [Monatray Hill] in the County of Waterford,  R. Colledge Garden,  L. The Ferry Point, D. Part of the Desses [Decies].

Notes re Dinely drawing: A. Capel Island. B. Ring Poynt. C.  Light House. D.  Fort. E. The Exchange. F. Custome House. G. Qrs. meeting house Quakers meeting. H. The Wall. I. The Colledge. K. St. Mary's Church. L. Part of ye barony of Inchiquine and within Imokyllie.

Above is another diagram from Thomas Dineley’s description of Youghal in 1661 with original spellings. This diagram is taken from the Monatray/Ferrypoint side of the harbour (Q in diagram). He mentions that the people of Waterford brought their goods over on the Ferry for the market in Youghal. Thomas Dineley description of Youghal in 1661 (with original spellings):

“Youghall is a Seaport Town in the County of Cork, situate at the ffoot of high rocky mountaines, upon the mouth of the River called the Blackwater, which parts this Town and the County of Waterford, whereto they ferry over, at a place called Ferry Poynt. Hither also come those of the County of Waterford with their Provicions to Yoghall Market. Hence they very easily putt to Sea between Capell Island and Ring Poynt, a very small matter of tideing, (if any) serves turne, according to my lowest sketch of this Town over this leafe. The Harbour is very sure and safe.”

Thomas Dineley’s 1661 journal article on his visit to Ireland in the reign of Charles II was partially included in an article by Evelyn Philip Shirley in an issue of the Kilkenny and South-East Ireland in 1862, with some additional notes by historian Rev Samuel Hayman of Youghal. Hayman describes Ferrypoint and the Ferry below where he states that the ferry rights originally belonged to the Geraldines under the Earls of Desmond but the rights were taken from the 16th Earl of Desmond in 1585 and given to the Corporation of Youghal. Samuel Hayman notes (with original spelling etc):

“The ferry of Youghal was one of the old seignorial rights of the Geraldine proprietors of the Town. By an Inquisition, taken at Cork, 4 Nov. 27 Eliz., on the attainder of Gerald, the hapless 16th Earl of Desmond, he was found seised (with others) "de le fferrybote et le fferrye apud Youghill." By letters patent, dated at Dublin, 18 July, of the year following, the Queen conveyed these rights to the Corporate body of Youghal, at the rent of 6s. 8d. per annum. The Corporation sold their interest in the Ferry to the Youghal Bridge Commissioners, in 1829, for the sum of £8500, or a rent-charge of £400 pur annum, until said principal sum be paid.”

This remarkable spit of land extends itself nearly half-way across the Harbour of Youghal, and possesses some interesting historical associations:-

When Sir Charles Vavasour arrived before Youghal, Feb. 25, 1641-2, with reinforcements from England for the Earl of Cork, then besieged in the town by the rebels, he effected the landing of his regiment of 1000 foot with great difficulty. For, the Irish had placed in battery here three pieces of heavy ordnance, brought from Waterford after the revolt of that place, and from this position they maintained a hot fire upon the troops as they disembarked.

Here, also, Lord Castlehaven, in June, 1645, planted his cannon for the annoyance of the town. He tells us ("Memoirs," pp. 71, 72), that by night he passed the Blackwater at Templemichael, and before day had two guns planted at the Ferry Point, within musket shot of two Parliamentary frigates, one of which, the Duncannon, blew up at the second shot he fired at her”.

Notes re Dinely Drawing: R. The Exchang (Exchange). R. The head of one Dromada (whose father hangs in chaines neer Youghall), and who with five more were executed at Cork for Piracy and murder comitted upon a Dutch vessel. A principal actor in this Villany, (who advized to leave not one alive therein) was one Fox.

The above sketch and narrative of Youghal by Thomas Dineley in 1661 shows the Exchange building in the centre with a spire and what appears to be a weather vane on the left of the Exchange building. The Exchange was erected by a Mr Laundy in 1672 and was taken down in 1847. The enclosed harbour on the front of the diagram was known as Water Gate or Key Gate. According to Dineley, at the time of his visit, the “head of one Dromada” was attached to the top of the weather vane in the above diagram. Dromada was described in Memoirs of Youghal 174921 as follows: “John Dromadda, a most notorious offender and common robber, was taken within the liberties of this town. He was tried before the Mayor, Recorder, and Bailiffes, convicted, and executed. His head was fixed on the Clock Castle, by virtue of the Charter granted in this reign (James I).”

The reference to Fox by Thomas Dineley in the above diagram caption seems to refer to a Peter Fox who apparently was also involved in the above piracy incident. After execution the heads of all those involved were apparently put on public display as a warning in various towns in the south of Ireland. The incident was reported as follows at the time22:

On this day, Peter Fox and five more, pretending to be passengers in a very rich ship belonging to Holland, called the St. Peter of Hamburg, bound to France, murdered the master and three of the crew, and brought the ship into Glandore harbour, Co. Cork. But by the vigilance of Robert Southwell Esquire, Vice-admiral of Munster, five of the malefactors were taken and executed, viz: Edward Fox, brother to the above who ran away, John Fitzgerald, John Hood, John Crouch and John Morris, Their heads were set up along the sea coast, viz: at Waterford, Youghall, Cork, Kinsale and Glandore; and a great part of the cargo was preserved and secured for the owners.”

Historical References to Ferrypoint and the Ferry (1675-1758)


                The following are a series references to the Youghal-Ferrypoint ferry and Ferrypoint in the period from 1675 to 1758. These are separate individual entries regarding the lease of the ferry, rules and regulations for operation of the ferry, charges to be applied for different type of goods, animals and humans. Unless otherwise stated all these entries were recorded in The Council Book of the Corporation of Youghal9 (CBCY).

Date 24th Sept 1675 (CBCY):  The following entry confirms that the lease of the ferry is to be shortly confirmed for a period of 21 years: “That the Ferry of Youghal be set on Tuesday next, 28 inst., for 21 years at a yearly rent, with a small parcel of hill lying between Gough’s Orchard and the College Garden. And the Tower on the Town Wall, lying behind Mr Will Baker’s, also to be set for 31 years.”

Date 26th Jan 1679 (CBCY): Confirmation that Sam Langdon’s rent for the Ferry is to be reduced to thirty pounds sterling per annum. It also indicates that he recently lost his ferry boats but there is no indication as to the cause of the loss. Entry in CBCY9 as follows:

“Ordered that Sam Langdon’s rent for the Ferry of Youghall be reduced to 30li ster. per annum, and that for the half year ending Lady-day next he pay 10li ster., which abatements are given him in consideration of the late loss of his Ferry boats, provided he get another good Ferry-boat, and henceforth serve in the Ferry-boat in person.”

Date 11th Oct 1690 (CBCY): A petition from Jane Langdon, widow of Sam Langdon, concerning the ferry lease which she had difficulty in paying. She outlined that most of the money she received from passengers was “brass money” and that she was owed three pounds by the officers of the army who refused to pay her. The “brass money” is a reference to token coinage introduced into Ireland by King James II in 1689. The token coinage was where the coins had a face value which was greater than their intrinsic value and presumably Jane Langdon had problems exchanging the “brass money” for real money.  The council agreed to reduce the amount she owed by five pounds. The CBCY9 entry is as follows:

“Upon the petition of Jane Langdon, widow, that for the great part of the last half-year she has received out of the Ferry or Passage boat of this Town nothing but brass money, and there is due to her from their Majies. officers of the Army 3li. ster., which, as they refuse to pay, has disabled her to pay said last half-year’s rent out of said Ferry, being 15li ster., and praying abatement thereof: Ordered, that if said Jane Langdon before 1 Nov next pay Mr Mayor 10li., the remaining 5li be forgiven her”.

Date 15 June 1696 (CBCY): This entry confirms that the lease of the ferry was to go to public auction (cant) for a period of 21 years and that the free passage rights of freemen was to be reduced to the freeman himself, his wife and one servant only. The entry in CBCY9 as follows:

“Ordered, that the Ferry be set by public cant for 21 years, and that no freeman at large have any freedom from paying, but barely for himself, wife and one servant, when she goes with him in the boat. That Mr St. Clare, the Schoolmaster, having made a Sun-dial for the use of the Corporation, be presented with his freedom at large.”

Date 6 Nov 1716 (CBCY): The following council decisions of 1716 give an indication of the size and scope of the ferry operations between Youghal and Ferrypoint at this time. Two ferry boats were to be used every Saturday for bringing produce over to the market in Youghal. The schedule of fees gives a good indication as to the wide range of goods brought across on the ferry at the time. The ferry was at this point being leased to a Gregory Salter at a cost thirty six pounds a year. There was obviously some kind of competing or unlicensed ferry service being run from Shanacoole and Pillpark at this time and the council believed they were losing revenue. The council decided that passengers on these services should pay passage to the official ferry service or that the official ferry service provider could seek payment from the owners of the boats coming from Shanacoole and Pillpark. The entries in the council book of Youghal were as follows in November 1716:

(a)    Ordered, on his petition, that Charles Fudge be admitted to his freedom at large, for service formerly done by him. That Garrett Roch be admitted as freeman at large.

(b)    That the auncient accustomed Ferry or Passage of this Towne be set by cant. That four men and two boats be kept constantly every Saturday, to bring the Market over and carry them back. That 36li. be the yearly rent of said ferry or passage, com. 25 Dec next, and that 5li. be named as a fine, to be raised at 10s. a time until struck off. That every freeman’s children, living in the Corporation shall be free to go over and back said ferry without paying, if the father or mother of such children be in the boat with them. Whereas Mr Jon  Raddon, late Swordbearer, is dead, ordered that Mr John Merrick Burg. shall succeed him.

(c)    That any boat that brings passengers from Shanachrole [Shanacoole] or Parke-a-file-Pills [Pillpark] shall pay passage, as if they came over the Ferry, and that whoever rents the Ferry may distrain for same or bring his action against the master or owner of such boat, and the Corporation will stand by such person.

(d)   Same day said Ferry or Passage was set to Gregory Salter Esq. M.S for one year, com. 25 Dec, at 36li. per annum rent, and 25li. fine, to be paid at the perfection of the lease.

(e)    That the fees or dues to be taken hereafter by the person renting the Ferry afsd. be as followeth:


For all sorts of grain, rootes, &c., per barrel 1d., per half barrel ½ d., per bushel and any quantity above a peck,  ¼ d

Every tan of timber, 6d.

Every thousand of staves, 6d.

Every piece of frize, flannel, &c., containing 40 bandles, 1d.

Every 20 bandles, 1/2d. Lesser quantities free.

Every pack of cloath, wool, or linen, 3d.

Every pack of skins not exceeding 100 skins, 3d.

Every bag of wool, 3d.

For all groceries or other goods made up in boxes, chests, barrels, trunks, or hogsheads, per cwt. 1d.

Every barrel of pork, beef, mutton, &c., 2d.

Every firkin, ½ d

For every cow or horse, &c., 2d.

For every pig, sheep, or calf, dead or alive ½ d.

For every lamb, ¼ d.

For every passenger as formerely, 1d.

For every hide and every cake of tallow, each 1d.

All tallow in cask at the rate of 10d. per tun, per cwt. 1d.

For every hogshead of wine or cyder, 4d.

For every barrel of beer or ale, 2d.

Every tanned hide, ½ d

Every roll of tobacco, ½ d.

For every pair of truckles, 1d.

For every doz. of sheep or calf skins, 1d.

For every dozen of lamb skins, ½ d.

For every cwt. of cheese, 1d.

For all pedlers’ ware for each longe box or chest, 6d. For a small box, 3d.

All other goods not herein inserted to pay as the Mayor and Bailiffs for the time being shall think proper.

Date 27 Feb 1758: The lease of the ferry was held by Sam Allen who was paying fifty five pounds a year and the lease for the next thirty one years was due to go for auction or cant later in the year. Three new ferry boats were to be built including one large boat capable of carrying six horses and each boat was to have four oarsmen in constant attendance. Entry in the council book was a s follows:

“The Ferry or Passage was set to cant., conditions: the Corporation to perfect a lease for 31 years from 25 Dec next; rent to be paid quarterly; a year’s rent to be deposited in the Mayor’s hands as a security; that three new boats shall be builded, to wit, one large boat fit to carry six horses, and two smaller boats, all which shall have sufficient conveyances, and shall row with four oars, and that four men shall attend them constantly; and a clause be inserted in the lease that the lessee shall perform all the clauses under the penalty of 50li., which lease of said Ferry was taken by Sam Allen Burg., at the yearly rent of 55li.”

Whiteboys at Ferrypoint (1762)

Date 22nd March 1762: The Whiteboys were a secret agrarian protest organisation in 18th century Ireland. They often used violent tactics to defend tenant farmer rights, oppose tithes and to reclaim common grazing land. One of the indirect causes of the insurrection was the spread of a highly contagious murrain or gargle disease in the cattle population in England which opened up the English market to increased cattle imports from Ireland.  Common land had traditionally been used by Irish cottiers and tenants as a shared grazing area for their animals. A number of big landlords began a process of enclosing common land areas for their own use when the cattle export trade to England increased from 1757 onwards and of course this was disastrous for Irish cottiers and small tenant farmers. The Whiteboys were set up as a result of the landlord actions and were active in the period 1761 to 1763 in particular. The following extract of a letter from a resident of Youghal to his son in London describes a short period of Whiteboy activity in the West Waterford area particularly in Cappoquin, Lismore, Affane, Tallow and Ferrypoint areas. The full letter initially appeared in the Gentleman’s Magazine of 1762 and also The London Chronicle of April 1762 and as the letter is quite long we are confining the extract to his description of activities at Ferry Point [Ferrypoint]:

“On the 22nd [October 1761], they came to the Ferry-Point, opposite this town [Youghal], levelled the ditches of a small park opposite the back window of my parlour, and a musket shot off the town; they made a large fire, dug a grave and erected a gallows over it, fired several shots, and at each discharge, huzza’d [loud hurray]; sent several threatening letters to the inhabitants of this town, in particular to M___w P___r, an active justice, that they would pull down his house, and tear him to pieces; that on the 25th, they would pull down a very handsome house (within a mile of this town) which they said was built on commons .......”

According to The Historic Annals of Youghal4 there were 400 Whiteboys on Ferrypoint on the day of the above events. It also indicates that the house referred to above belonged to the Bernard family – it seems to indicate that the house of the author was in Youghal itself but the Bernards had property on the Waterford side of the river including Prospect Hall and it is possible that the house was Prospect Hall itself. The description of the actions of the Whiteboys would seem to indicate someone who was close to the scene rather than across the bay in Youghal. Levelling ditches, walls etc was a common action of Whiteboys as they knocked down the landlord built barriers to common ground. It is again not clear from above letter if the author was talking about the knocking down of ditches on the Ferrypoint side of the river or whether it was on the Youghal side as a result of musket fire. They may well have been levelling the ditches which still partially exist on the Monatray side of Ferrypoint. The land on the Ferrypoint would have been common land and the broken down walls on the Monatray side of Ferrypoint would indicate that attempts were made to close off the area in the past. The initials of the “active justice“ in the letter is a reference to Matthew Parker who was commander of the Youghal militia in this period.  The reference to the active justice and the threat to pull down the house of a named individual is omitted in some later articles where the letter is discussed including the entry in the Annals of Youghal which just includes details of a general threat by the Ferrypoint Whiteboys to pull down several houses in the area.

Fair Days in Ferrypoint (1762)

Date 28th October 1762: Ferrypoint was awarded the patent of two fair days by King George III on 28th October 1762. The fair days were to take place on 8th May and 3rd October each year. The fairs took place on Ferrypoint itself and quite a lot of the fair day transactions were destined for transportation to Youghal via the ferry. The fair day patent was granted to Arthur Bernard to take place on “Ferry Point on Lands of Prospect Hall”. It is possible that the fair days at Ferrypoint were taking place before 1762. For example the two annual fairs in Youghal on St. Lukes Day (18th Oct) and Ascension-day were granted by King James on 20th January 1608 together with the granting of two weekly markets on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Fair days taking place in the West Waterford areas around the same period included:

Ferrypoint fair days: 8th May, 3rd October

Clashmore fair days: 10th Feb, 20th May, 21st Aug, 16th Dec

Lismore fair days: 25th May, 25th Sept, 12th Nov

Tallow fair days: 1st March, Trinity Monday, 10th Oct, 8th Dec

Cappoquin fair days: 17th March, 31st May, 5th July, 20th Sept, 14th Oct

Ballinamultina fair days: Easter Tuesday, 8th Sept, 13th Nov

Dungarvan fair days:  22nd June, 8th Nov, 2nd Wed in every month.

Youghal fair days: 18th Oct and Ascension Thursday.

Neighbouring Town of Youghal

Date 29 Oct 1764: This historic overview is largely confined to the parish of Kinsalebeg but the history is of course intrinsically linked to surrounding areas including Clashmore, Ardmore, Grange, Templemichael, Rhincrew, the Blackwater River and of course the old town of Youghal. The relationship between Kinsalebeg and Youghal is probably the most difficult one to define and is largely governed by the particular administration governing Youghal at any given time over the centuries. Youghal historically probably saw Kinsalebeg as the start of rebel country from the time the Decies attacked and destroyed the Viking Norse fort in Youghal in AD 864.  The Decies attack occurred after the Vikings had raided the monastic settlements in Lismore and Molana. In later centuries the relationship between Youghal and Kinsalebeg was fairly strained, to put it mildly, at particular periods of time. The 1641 rebellion was one such period when guns from the Irish Confederates on Ferrypoint were trained on the Parliamentary forces in Youghal. The arrival of Cromwell in Youghal in 1649 brought relations to an all time low after the resistance put up by Waterford against the Cromwell led Parliamentary forces. The Irish rebels, led by the Walshs of Pilltown, must have felt betrayed that Cromwell was being protected and entertained a few hundred yards across the harbour. The periodic banning of Catholics from Youghal had of course a detrimental effect on the relationship particularly on the many Kinsalebeg people who bought and sold produce in the markets of Youghal.

 At a secondary level Youghal probably viewed Kinsalebeg and its hintherland as a source of agricultural produce to feed its inhabitants and of course the ferry between Youghal and Ferrypoint provided a convenient access point to the markets in Youghal. Youghal was probably viewed from the outside as a town that was “occupied” for much of its history from Viking times onwards. The terms most frequently associated with Youghal particularly between the 16th and 19th century would have been those of garrison town, royalist, English, Protestant and indeed loyalist at one stage when the town apparently organised marches in support of King William of Orange. Nevertheless the relationship between Youghal and Kinsalebeg was generally good down through the ages and the walks around the headland of Monatray were always popular with ferry visitors from Youghal in later years.

The above descriptions are very broad based of course and the true situation was much more complicated. The FitzGerald family had founded both the Franciscan Friary (1224) and the Dominican Priory (1268) in earlier years. The Catholic Ronayne family of D’Loughtane in Kinsalebeg had been influential in Youghal for many centuries and Ronaynes had been mayors of Youghal on a number of occasions. Youghal also had an extensive Quaker community for many centuries. The Quaker community were also influential in Pilltown with the involvement of the Fisher family in Pilltown Mills. In more recent years of course Youghal had given employment to many from East Cork and West Waterford until the sad decline of its manufacturing sector. However the four names that immediately come to mind when Youghal is mentioned in a historic context are Walter Raleigh, Edmund Spenser, the Boyle family and Oliver Cromwell. These four names are largely associated with the 17th century so define a rather narrow period in the history of Youghal. However, together with the earlier FitzGeralds and the 1954 filming of Moby Dick, these four names remain the most frequently quoted when Youghal is mentioned in a historic context. Whilst efforts have been made to romanticise at least three of these names, Cromwell being too far beyond any form of redemption, it cannot be disputed that all four were vitriolic in their hatred of the native Irish Catholics.

The image of Youghal as the one time home of the adventurer Sir Walter Raleigh who introduced the potato and tobacco into Ireland is of course a popular and romantic view. It is now generally accepted that it is unlikely that Raleigh was responsible for introducing either the potato or tobacco to Ireland. The story about the servant who threw a bucket of water over Raleigh in Myrtle Grove, when she saw the smoke arising from his pipe, has been told about a number of other locations associated with Raleigh from Sherborne to Wiltshire. If all these stories had been true then Raleigh would have been smoking from the ears if anyone decided to throw yet another bucket of water on him in Myrtle Grove Youghal. It is generally accepted that the potato arrived in Europe courtesy of the Spaniards after the Spanish had brought it from Peru following their conquest of the Inca Empire in the 16th century.

There is no doubt however that Walter Raleigh was no friend of the Irish and indeed had an obsessive hatred of the native Catholic Irish.  His romantic adventurer image, coupled with the stories about tobacco and potatoes, needs to be balanced with the reality that it would be difficult to find anything good to say about Raleigh’s period in Ireland. Raleigh’s fierce anti-Catholic stance was reinforced when his father was apparently forced to hide out in a tower to avoid execution during the Roman Catholic reign of Queen Mary I. Raleigh was firstly a soldier and he played a leading role as captain in the massacre of a five hundred strong Papal force in the 1580 Siege of Smerwick in Kerry when the opposition had already surrendered and were defenceless. Raleigh’s reward for his military activities against the Irish was a 40,000 acre estate in East Cork and West Waterford which he failed to manage properly and eventually was forced to dispose of for a small sum of 1500 pounds to the Earl of Cork in 1602. He returned to his adventuring lifestyle and was imprisoned in England on a few for various plots and indiscretions.  His luck finally ran out in 1618 when he was arrested, convicted and beheaded for treason as a result of his involvement in the Main Plot to remove King James I from the English throne.

Edmund Spenser is recognised as one of the greatest poets in the English language. He came to Ireland in 1580 to assist the newly appointed Lord Deputy Arthur Grey in the period around the Desmond Rebellions. He remained in Ireland when Grey returned to England and had at this point acquired lands as a result of the rebellion and the subsequent plantation of Munster. He later acquired his main estate and residence at Kilcolman near Doneraile in Cork. He did not get on very well with his neighbours and had many disputes and disagreements, particularly with Lord Roche, which resulted in a number of court cases over land. He was acquainted with Walter Raleigh and they shared similar views, particularly with regard to their intolerant views on the Irish. Edmund Spenser is reputed to have written his famous epic poem The Faerie Queene while living in Ireland and it is with the writing of this poem that his association with Ireland is most closely linked. However what is much more interesting, from an Irish viewpoint, are Spenser’s real viewpoints on the Irish and Irish culture. Spenser wrote a pamphlet in 1596 called A Veue [View] of the Present State of Ireland which was written in the form of a conversation between Eudoxus and Irenius, as if Spenser was somehow reluctant to directly associate himself with the opinions expressed. The pamphlet was not published until decades after the death of Spenser which is understandable considering the inflammatory tone of the piece. Spenser believed that the “evils” of the Irish could be grouped under the three heading of laws, customs and religion and that it was these three components which degraded the Irish and made them so disruptive and unwilling to accept English civilisation as he saw it. He proceeded to rationalise this with his views on everything from the Brehon Laws to the Gaelic poetic tradition, which he maintained was descended from a barbarian tradition. His solution to the “Irish problem”, as he saw it, could broadly be summarised as a form of genocide. He advocated a scorched earth policy at a more extreme level than that which had happened during the Desmond rebellions. He maintained that this policy would be followed by famine and devastation and the essential wiping out of the native barbaric Irish. Edmund Spenser made an inglorious exit from Ireland when was driven from his home in 1598 by the Irish forces during the failed Hugh O’Neill & Hugh O’Donnell led Nine Years War (1594-1603). His castle in Kilcolman was burned down and Spenser was lucky to escape with his life. He had been well acquainted with the role of military aggressor over the native Irish but when the tables were turned he was ill suited to face the challenge. He returned to London but the shock of the rebellion and the burning of his castle had a ruinous effect on his health and he died shortly afterwards on the 16th January 1599.

The Boyle family were essentially a Waterford dynasty with their home base of Lismore Castle and vast estates in West Waterford and East Cork. However they had an involvement in Youghal for large periods of their history, particularly during the violent periods of the 16th and 17th century rebellions. The Boyle tomb in the history laden St Mary’s Collegiate Church in Youghal is a popular tourist attraction to the present day. From the period of the 1st Earl of Cork Richard Boyle (1566-1643) onwards the ambitious, avaricious and strongly anti-Catholic Boyles were to play a large part in the lives of the people of Youghal and elsewhere in East Cork and West Waterford. They were heavily involved in the 1641 rebellion with Roger Boyle aka Lord Broghill in particular providing major assistance to the Parliamentary forces under the guidance of Cromwell. The Boyles were traditionally supporters of the monarchy but the Boyles were quick to see the futility of this during the 1641 rebellion and switched their support to the Cromwell led Parliamentarians. Broghill and Cromwell formed a strong alliance during the rebellion and were responsible for much of the military activity and bloodshed in Munster during this period including the Siege of Youghal. When the monarchy, in the form of King Charles II, was later restored to the throne in England the Boyles prudently switched their allegiance back to the monarchy. Any association with Cromwell would likely have resulted in severe health and safety issues for them. The only real consistent tenets in the lives of the Boyles were their staunch anti-Catholic position and their relentless ambition to expand their estates, regardless of who they trampled on in the process.

            Oliver Cromwell is the last of the 17th century names we mentioned as being closely associated with Youghal. He had a holiday home there for a period in the winter of 1649-1650 when he finally got out of Waterford after a rather inhospitable welcome from the Decies. His association with the Boyles cemented his welcome in Youghal and ensured his safety in the area. The history of Cromwell is well documented and it only remains to confirm that he was yet another staunch anti-Catholic and anti-Irish war monger. However he was also opposed to any form of the Protestant religion that did not comply with his largely Calvinistic puritan beliefs, so he managed to incur enemies on all sides of the religious divide. Cromwell is the last of the four amigos with associations with Youghal in the 16th and 17th centuries and whose names are still frequently referred to in the history of the town. However none of them will ever enter the Irish hero class and it is unlikely that any memorials will be built to them in West Waterford or East Cork any time soon. The history of Youghal should be looked on over a broader period to get a true feel for the history of this old town and to bring to the fore more deserving heroes than the “four amigos”.

The Ferry and Ferrypoint-Youghal Connections (1764-1795)

Date 29 Oct 1764: We return to The Council Book of Corporation of Youghal9 (CBCY) for further interesting decisions and observations from the year 1764 onwards. In October 1764 the council in Youghal took another hard line stance against the Catholics. This was part of a recurring cycle of decisions whereby Catholics would be disallowed from doing business in the town and at a later stage the decision would be rescinded. The issue revolved around being accepted as a “freeman of Youghal” which allowed certain privileges such as the ability to trade, the ability to import/export goods, the ability to have free passage on the ferry. Basically a freeman had the ability to set up a business in the town and it gave him a level of acceptance with the authorities. The October 1764 council decision decreed that existing Catholics, or Papists as the council described them, who had freeman trading rights in the town were henceforth to lose those rights. It was additionally decreed that no Catholics would in future be admitted as freemen of the town and that all bye-laws in their favour should be repealed. This was obviously a very serious decision with a major effect on the ability of Catholics to build any form of business. This far reaching decision for Catholics was wedged in between the decision to invite Richard Power of Clashmore to become a freeman of the town and the decision that twelve new gowns and a new cushion should be purchased for the Mayor’s Gallery. The entries in the CBCY9 of 29th October 1764 were as follows:

(a)   At a C.D.H.: Ordered, that Rich. Power, of Clashmore, Co. Waterford, Esq., and Richard, eldest son of Rob. Kennah, be made free at large.

(b)   As the Papists of this Corporation, who were admitted free of Export and Import, did not qualify according to former orders, and for divers reasons have been by an order of C.D.H. in the time of the late Mayor broke of their freedoms, give out they will bring a mandamus (ie a writ) for the recovery of their freedom: Ordered, that the expense be defrayed by the Corporation.

(c)    That no Papist, or person professing the Popish Religion, shall ever hereafter be admitted free of any trade, or free of export and import, and that all Bye-laws made in their favour be repealed.

(d)   That Mr Edw. Rogers, an old Burgess, be paid 6 1/2 d a day during his stay in Town, and when he goes away be paid a guinea to defray his expenses.

(e)    That four new gowns be immediately bought, and one every year after till twelve be completed, and a new cushion be made for the Mayor’s Gallery.

Date 28 Sept 1773 (CBCY): A council decision that soldiers should not have free access to the ferry:

“That in future no ferryage for soldiers or soldiers’ baggage to be paid by this Corporation.

Date 26 June 1789 (CBCY): A number of council decisions and comments were made regarding the operation of the ferry in June 1789. The council decided that they would run the ferry themselves for the following year and would provide:

(a) One light boat for passengers only on which cattle would not be allowed

(b) One boat of sufficient size to transport three horses

(c) One boat of sufficient size to transport six horses which should have a stern platform to allow loading and unloading of various kinds of wheel carriages

(d) That six men should be employed to manage and row the boats and each would be paid three shillings and nine and a half pence per week . In the preceding week the total costs including allowances was just over four pounds with total income of around eighteen pounds so the nett profit to the council was almost fourteen pounds a week. Entry in CBCY9 as follows:

“Recommendations concerning the Ferry: That the Corporation keep the Ferry in their own hands for one year, and provide one light boat for passengers only, in which no cattle shall be admitted; one boat of sufficient size and so constructed as to ferry three horses conveniently; one large boat of proper size and construction to ferry six horses, and that this boat to be constructed as to receive and discharge, by platform or otherwise, at the stern all kinds of wheel carriages. That six men shall at all times be ready to row and attend the business of said boats. That a proper person be employed who shall constantly superintend the business of the Ferry, for the public good,  accommodation of passengers, increase of the Corporation revenue, and support of their rights, agreeable to an obligation to be signed by him.  That he be allowed 4s. out of every pound, after paying the boatmen their wages weekly, and incidental charges. That he keep his account and make a return to the Treasurer in manner following:

Cash paid – six men’s wages at 3s. 9½ d each, 1li. 2s. 9d.

Incidents as follows – An Oar 1s. 1d.; a Bucket, 3d.; a piece in the Gunnell, &c. 6d – 1s. 10d.

Total Expenditure last week, 1li. 4s. 7d.

Cash received – Sunday  1li. 0s.0d., Monday 2li. 10s. 1½ d, Tuesday 1li. 12s. 2d., Wednesday 3li. 14s. 4½ d, Thursday 1li. 15s. 6d., Friday 2li. 16s. 8d., Saturday 4li. 18s. 10½ d ;

Total cash received last week -  18li 7s. 8¼ d.

Deduct Debit side  1li. 4s 7d - 17li. 3s. 1¼ d

Allowance 4s per li, 3li. 8s. 7 ½d

Nett money paid to Treasurer, 13li. 14s. 5 ¾d

That there be a Committee for receiving proposals for furnishing boats, agreeing with a proper person for attendance, and forming such rules as may be necessary for the benefit of same.”

Date 28 Sept 1790 (CBCY): The following are a series of council decisions regarding the operation of the ferry and also an up to date list of tariffs for the ferry which were to apply from September 1790 until further notice. The tariff list gives a good indication of the wide range of goods that were being shipped on the ferry in this period:

(a)    Ferry Rules and Regulations to be observed by the Overseer:

-          That he shall bind himself by an obligation, as annexed, for the due performance of his    conduct and observance of these rules.

-          That he be required to give good security for his honesty and fidelity, and in case of fraud, be subject to a penalty not exceeding the sum of 20 pounds

-          That he shall not, on any account whatsoever, be permitted to keep a Public House, nor any one for him.

-          That he shall at all times attend and see that the boats are kept plying backwards and forwards, within the hours hereafter specified.

-          That he shall at all times attend to the care of the boats, and whenever they may want the least repair, to report the same to the Chief Magistrate.

-          That he be fully empowered to oblige the Ferry-men to attend their duty at all times, and make them assist in giving every help in their power in receiving and discharging horses and carriages, &c.

-          That he shall immediately report to the Chief Magistrate any neglect of their performing said duty, who has a power of discharging them.

-          That he shall in person attend in the months of November, December, January and February from 7 o’clock in the morning till 6 o’clock in the evening. In the months of March, April, September, and October from 6 o’clock in the morning till 8 in the evening, and the remainder of the year from 6 in the morning till 10 at night.

-          That on complaint being made of the Overseer to the Chief Magistrate, a committee be immediately called, and he be reprimanded, dismissed or acquitted, as the case may require.

-          That he be accountable for all counterfeit or base money.

-          That he be allowed 4s. out of every pound ster. weekly received, first deducting men’s wages and incidental charges, agreeable to the following Resolution.

-          That he shall keep his weekly accounts in manner and form following (ut supra 26 June 1789 above).

-          That he shall regularly pay into the Treasurer’s hands, every Sunday morning, the balance of all money received during the foregoing week, for which he is to take a receipt in his book, and a certified copy from the Treasurer, to be lodged with the Chief Magistrate on same day.

-           That six boatmen be at all times employed, and each man be paid 4s. a week.

-          That he shall personally attend, and have the boats properly secured by mooring or otherwise, after the business of the day is over.

-          That the business, or general management of said Ferry, shall be considered as vested in the Magistrates, except in such cases as heretofore referred to the Chief Magistrate only.

-          That in case of a sudden vacation or indisposition only, the Mayor can appoint a Deputy until a Committee be called, which is to be done in the course of a week after such appointment, said Deputy first agreeing to the Rules and subscribing the obligation.

(b)    The Obligation:- I, A.B. do swear that I will to the utmost of my power support the foregoing Rules for the government of the Ferry of Youghal. I will make a faithful return of all moneys that may come into my hands. I will support the rights, &c. of the Corporation in and to the Ferry. I will use my utmost endeavours for the proper accommodation and despatch of passengers. I will suffer no person from favour to pass or repass the Ferry without due payment, and execute such other instructions as may be delivered me, &c., with the exception, however, to a Freeman at large, his wife and their children when father or mother go with them, and one servant when such servant goes with his or her master or mistress.” A.B.

(c)    A Docket of the Fees payable for the Ferryage of the several goods, &c. therein mentioned, as regulated by order of C.D.H., 20 April 1759, and confirmed by said court, viz.:

-          For all sorts of grain, roots, &c. by the barrel, and so in proportion, 1d.

-          For every ton of timber, 6d

-          For every 1000 of staves, 6d

-          For every piece of frieze of ten bandles, ½ d. For every 20 bandles of do., 1d

-          For every pack of cloth woollen or linen, 3d

-          For every pack of skins not exceeding 100 skins, 3d

-          For all groceries, &c. made up in boxes, chests, and barrels, trunks or hogsheads by the hundredweight, 1d

-          For every barrel of pork, beef, mutton, herrings, &c., 2d

-          For every barrel of butter, 1d. For every firkin of do. , ½ d

-          For every bag of wool, 3d.

-          For every cow or horse, 2d.

-          For every large pig, dead or alive, 1d. Every small one, ½ d.

-          For every sheep or goat, dead or alive, 1d

-          For every calf, dead or alive, ½ d. For every fat do., dead or alive, 1d.

-          For every lamb or kid, dead or alive, ¼ d

-          For every passenger 1d

-          For every hide and cake of tallow, 1d

-          For all tallow in cask, at the rate of 10d. per ton, by the hundred, 1d.

-          For every hogshead of wine or cyder, 4d

-          For every barrel of beer or ale, 2d., and so on in proportion, 2d

-          For every tanned hyde, ½ d.

-          For every roll of tobacco, ½ d.

-          For every pair of truckles, 4d.

-          For every dozen of sheep or calf skins, 1d.

-          For every dozen lamb skins, ½ d.

-          For every hundred wt. of cheese, 1d.

-          For every large box or chest of ware, 6d.

-          For every small box or chest of ware, 3d.

-          For every coach, chariot, or post-chaise, 2s.6d

-          For every horse chair, 1s. 3d.

-          For every barrel of lime, 1d.

-          For every bag of brogues, cont. 20 pair and so on, 1d.

-          For every horse-load of earthen ware, 4d.

-          For every fine fresh salmon, ½d.

-          For every tub, can, or basket of pork, by the hundred weight, 1d.

-          For every hamper of wine, or of any liquors of any kind, 2d.

-          For every pack of worsted, 3d.

-          For every dozen of rabbits, 1d.

-          For every dozen of rabbit skins, ½d.

-          For every haverlings bag, not exceeding 60 balls, and so on, 1d.

-          For every hogshead of Tobacco, at 1d. a hundred-wt. and so on, 1d.

-          For every dozen of broad hoops, ½d.

-          For every double deal board, ½d.

-          For every stone of wool or feathers, ¼ d.

-          For every hundred-wt. of iron, 1d.

-          For every barrel of ashes, and so on, 1d.

-          For every basket or tub of fish, at 1d., the hundred-wt., 1d.

-          For every hundred of fresh herrings, and so on, 1d.

-          For every quarter of beef, ½ d.

-          For every basket of butter exceeding 10lbs, ½ d.

-          For every churn of milk, 1d.

-          For every horse-load of pewter, brass, or copper, 1d., for the hundred, 1d.

-          For every barrel of salt, 1d.

-          For every barrel of coals, 1d.

-          For every empty chest, 2d.

-          For every empty box, 1d.

-          For every gallon of honey, ½ d.

-          For every dozen pair of stockings, and so on, ½ d.

-          For every dozen of hats, 1d.

-          For every dozen pair of leather breeches, 1d.

-          All other goods, &c. not here mentioned, to be judged by the Mayor and Bayliffs.

Date 14 Feb 1792 (CBCY): A query was raised in the council as to whether tenants of Lord John Grandison in Shanacoole were exempt from the payment of ferry costs coming from Youghal:

“That the Committee of Town Lands inquire whether Lord Grandison’s tenantry on the lands of Shanacoole, coming to Youghal, are exempt from the payment of Ferryage, or not”.

Date 29 June 1795 (CBCY): Reuben Fisher was admitted as freeman of Youghal. He was a Quaker merchant in Youghal and founder of the milling business of Pilltown Mills. He was father of Abraham Fisher and grandfather of Peter Moor Fisher who subsequently operated Pilltown Mills. CBCY9 entry as follows:

Reuben Fisher, mercht., amongst others admitted as freeman at large in Youghal.”

Date 26 Sept 1795: A council decision in September 1795 repealed the earlier ban on Catholic trading and so Catholics were once again allowed to trade in the town. This particular ban on Catholic trading was imposed in 1764 which meant that Catholics were not accepted as freemen or allowed to trade in the town in the intervening thirty one years from 1764 to 1795. CBCY9 entry as follows:

“That the Bye-Law, 29 Oct 1764, That no Papist shall be admitted free of any Trade, &c., and the second, 11 April 1776, confirming the foregoing, &c., resolved, that same be repealed and declared null and void.”

Duelling in Ferrypoint and Youghal (1796-1826)

Date 1796 to 1826: Duels were a relatively common occurrence in solving disputes or redeeming honour particularly in the 17th, 18th and early 19th century.  The 1815 duel between Daniel O’Connell and Captain John Norcot d’Esterre, resulting in the death of d’Esterre, is well recorded. There are a number of recorded duels in the Youghal and Ferrypoint area in the 18th and 19th century and we recount four of these duels below. Details of the duels were sometimes reported in newspapers of the time and some details of the duels below were also recorded in The History of Youghal14. Duels were, strictly speaking, not legal of course but sometimes a blind eye was turned to them unless one of the protagonists was killed in which case the authorities felt that some action needed to take place. There is anecdotal evidence that a number of duels took place in Ferrypoint over the centuries when they were banned in Youghal. The protagonists sometimes decided that duels were best carried out away from public gaze to ensure there were no witnesses other than those involved. One of the duels below was definitely carried out in Ferrypoint and a second one involved Richard Ronayne who was one of the Ronaynes of D’Loughtane in Kinsalebeg.

(a)   In 1796 a duel took place at Clifton near the lighthouse in Youghal involving two lieutenants in the 32nd Regiment of Foot of the garrison of Youghal. Lieutenant Langrishe and Lieutenant Watters. They were by all accounts good friends but a dispute arose between them at breakfast one morning over a fairly trivial matter. The dispute escalated into a full scale disagreement and the challenge to a duel was issued. The subsequent duel took place at Clifton and  Lieutenant Langrishe was shot dead by Watters. There are conflicting dates for this apparent duel with some reports indicating it took place as early as 1780.

(b)   Another duel took place in 1798 at a place called Study’s Inn which was at the north side of the Market Square in Youghal – more commonly known as Paddy Linehan’s Moby Dick hostelry in recent decades. Apparently a Colonel Cleghorne, who was commanding an English regiment in the town, made some disparaging remarks about the Irish which were resented by Richard Ronayne of D’Loughtane.  As a result “words were exchanged” and tempers frayed which led to a challenge and an ensuing duel which took place on the premises itself rather than in the more usual locations such as Ferrypoint or the outskirts of the town. Seconds were appointed and the combatants were placed in opposite corners of the tavern. The signal was given and both men fired but Cleghorne’s shot missed the target. Ronayne’s shot hit Cleghorne in the hip and he was crippled for the rest of his life. Colonel Cleghorne was obviously a relative newcomer to Youghal but should have known that a Kinsalebeg man was not going to stand back from a fight when someone insulted his countrymen!

(c)    A duel took place in 1801 behind Kinsalebeg Church near Ferrypoint. A Lieutenant Johnston of the 10th Regiment accused a Mr Barry from Castlelyons of being a rebel. Barry issued a challenge which was accepted even though the book That Damn’d Thing called Honour15 seemed to indicate that Johnston refused to accept the challenge of a duel on the basis that Barry was a “commoner”. The two protagonists, accompanied by their seconds and also apparently by their surgeons, crossed on the same ferry from Youghal to Ferrypoint to the location they had chosen for the duel. They went to a field behind Kinsalebeg Church which we assume was the field across the road from what in later years would have been Keane’s farmhouse. The duel took place and Johnstone was seriously wounded. The two surgeons who were present apparently had a dispute over the treatment of the injured man and another challenge was issued. One of the surgeons was a Dr Rogers from Youghal who was accompanying Mr Barry and the second surgeon was in the army and was in the corner of Lieutenant Johnstone. The signal was given and both men fired but both shots missed. The medical combatants decided that honour had been vindicated and shook hands on the matter. In the meantime the wounded Lieutenant Johnstone had unfortunately died of his injuries.

(d)   A duel took place in 1811 at Ballinvarrig near Youghal. This duel was fought between Captain Gumbleton of the 13th Dragoons and the 21 year old son of Richard  Power of Clashmore House who was a candidate in the forthcoming election as Member of Parliament for Waterford. Power Junior had described Gumbleton’s brothers as being dishonourable for not supporting his father in the forthcoming election. Reconciliation attempts proved fruitless and the duel took place and Power was killed. Similar to the duel behind Kinsalebeg Church described above, it was also reported in the duel between Power and Gumbleton that a dispute arose between the respective surgeons as to the treatment of the injured Power and that a challenge was issued between the surgeons resulting in a duel between the surgeons. Both surgeons missed and honour was deemed satisfied but in the interim Power had died of his injuries. Richard Power was subsequently elected as MP for Waterford in October 1812. It may well be that the reports of the Kinsalebeg Church and the Ballinvarrig duels above have somehow become mixed up with the passing of time with regard to the similarity of the stories concerning the secondary duel between the respective surgeons.

(e)    Another duel took place in 1826 at Rhincrew, Co Waterford, just across the Blackwater River from Kinsalebeg, and was apparently the last duel to take place in the south of Ireland. It was fought between a Captain Joseph Daunt of Kilcascan Castle and Daniel Connor (sometimes spelled Conner) of Manch House which was across the river in Bandon. Captain Daunt was the father of William O’Neill Daunt (1807-1894) who had a distinguished career as an Irish Nationalist politician and was also at one stage of his life secretary to Daniel O'Connell. William Daunt was also very prominent in the movement to disestablish the Church of Ireland which was eventually achieved in 1871. An 1871 Act removed the position of the Church of Ireland as the state church and repealed the law that required tithes to be paid to it. Daniel Connor was a cousin and near neighbour of Joseph Daunt and the reason for the duel was by all accounts a fairly trivial manner – understood to be over a minor courtroom disagreement. They met in the ruins of Rhincrew Abbey, which was founded as Preceptory of the Knights Templar in Rhincrew in 1183 by Raymond le Gros (Strongbow).  It was usual to hold duels some distance away from the normal abode of the protagonists. Captain Daunt quickly realised that he was facing a formidable opponent as Connor’s first shot went through his hat much to his consternation. Connor’s second shot grazed Daunt but Daunt’s first two shots missed completely. At this point an attempt was made to call the encounter off with honour vindicated on both sides.  Connor’s second was a Captain Beamish and he insisted that honour would not be vindicated unless blood was spilt even though Daunt’s second did not agree – no doubt influenced by the accurate first shot of Connor. In any case the contestants were placed again and this time Daunt was shot in the head and died instantly. Joseph Daunt was buried in the Daunt Tomb in the old Ballymoney Graveyard where coincidentally both the Daunts of Kilcascan and the Conners of Manch were buried. Daniel Connor fled to France after the duel where he took refuge with his cousin General Arthur O’Connor from Mitchelstown who was a leading United Irish leader and revolutionary. Legal proceedings were initiated by Daunt’s relations but in a jury apparently consisting of many duellists Connor was acquitted. A report of the time indicated that it was O’Connor’s second, Captain Beamish” and not O’Connor himself who had insisted that the duel should continue after the first shots. It was Beamish who was therefore perceived as being responsible for the death as the report stated: “Had they been able to separate the second from his principal, they would gladly have hanged Beamish”. The following is a brief report of the duel as it appeared in the Stamford Mercury newspaper on Friday 16th June 1826:

FATAL DUEL. – A more than ordinary sensation was produced in this city (Cork), by the arrival of intelligence of a fatal duel having been fought between Daniel Connor, Esq of Manch, and Capt. Joseph Daunt. The meeting took place in the vicinity of Clashmore, county of Waterford. We understand the parties exchanged three shots, the first of which passed through Captain Daunt’s hat, the second nearly grazed him, on which it was endeavoured to effect a reconciliation, but the attempt was fruitless, and again the ground was taken, when Captain Daunt received his adversary’s ball in the forehead, and instantly expired. – Cork Reporter.”

Fata Morgana in Monatray (1801)

Date1801: The Historic Annals of Youghal4 describes the appearance of massive mirage or Fata Morgana seen by many people in Youghal in 1801. A Fata Morgana is an unusual and very complex form of mirage, a form of superior image, which, like many other kinds of superior mirages, is seen in a narrow band right above the horizon [Description of Fata Morgana courtesy of Wikipedia]. The Fata Morgana appeared stretched across the sky over Monatray on the Waterford side of Youghal harbour and is described as follows in the Annals:

” 1801:- A third instance of Fata Morgana, which far exceeded the two previous exhibitions, was visible at Youghal. About five o’clock on a fine morning in June, all the coast on the Waterford side of the river was covered in a dense vapour, which presented on the right, next the sea, the exact representation of an Alpine region. In the back-ground were snow-capped mountains, while woods and a cultivated country appeared in front. The snow was presently seen to roll down the sides of the mountain into the subjacent valleys, and disclosed to view the grey specks it had invested; and as the solar rays increased in power, the vapour disappeared with its deceitful prospect. That which covered the river and adjacent country to the left exhibited a scene entirely different. It represented a country laid out in lawns and pleasure-gardens in which were situated three gentlemen’s seats [houses], which were well-defined, and even appeared in detail with some of the windows open, and knockers on the doors. Before the houses were clumps of fine forest-trees; behind them were beautiful shrubberies, which were succeeded by forests of pines, and the view was closed by distant mountains. In about half-an-hour, two of the houses vanished, the clumps in front also disappearing; and a fine oak tree sprung up, which, upon the rarefaction of the vapour by the augmenting activity of the sun, was the last to fade away of all the constituents of this aerial picture.”

Researches in the South of Ireland by Thomas Croker (1823)

Date December 1823: Thomas Crofton Croker completed a number of excursions in the South of Ireland in the period from 1812 to 1822. He wrote a summary of these trips in a December 1823 publication titled Researches in the South of Ireland16. Included in the summary were some notes about the Youghal, Ferrypoint & Ardmore area.  The article commences by describing some of the anti Catholic regulations enacted in Youghal over the years as outlined in The Historic Annals of Youghal4 and where the term disfranched indicated that the individual was deprived of some franchise or privilege – in effect they lost whatever rights they held to trade in the town for example. Croker also outlines that over 500 people a day used the ferry between Ferrypoint and Youghal. He goes on to describe a trip across the ferry from Youghal to Ferrypoint and from there onwards to Ardmore:

At Youghall it was forbidden, in 1678, and remains on record, that a Papist should buy or barter anything in the public market; and the manuscript annals of the town, from which I have been favoured with extracts, afford evidence of the illiberality of its corporation towards those of the Catholic persuasion; nor is it without regret that I add the enactments quoted were made during the mayoralties of ancestors of my own.

In 1696, it was ordered that any person but a Protestant freeman, presuming to go to the mayor's feast, should pay five shillings, or be set in the stocks.

1702. Several Papists, who had been admitted freemen, were disfranched, and it was ordered that no Papist should be made free again.

1744. Gregory Grimes, victualler, was disfranched, for having a Popish wife.

I am tempted to notice, as curiosities, two other enactments of the same body. In the years 1680 and 1700, a cook and a barber were made freemen, on condition that they should severally dress the mayor's feasts, and shave the corporation, gratis”.

“During our stay at Youghall, Miss Nicholson accompanied me in a morning excursion to Ardmore, celebrated for its round tower. We crossed the river Blackwater, here dividing the counties of Cork and Waterford, in the public ferry-boat; from shore to shore is nearly an English mile, and it is perhaps the cheapest ferry in the kingdom, the charge for crossing and returning on the same day being one penny each passenger; yet this brings in a considerable revenue to the corporation of Youghall, to whom the right of passage or ferry-boat was granted by a charter of Elizabeth, dated the 3rd July, 1559, at the annual rent of 6s. 8d. We were told that the average number of persons who pass daily may be estimated at more than 500; nor does this statement appear exaggerated, though in Ireland you seldom receive correct verbal information respecting space, distance, numbers, time, money or locality, almost every account being at variance.”

Ferry Boat Accident between Youghal & Ferrypoint (1837)

Date 18th February 1837: A major ferry boat accident occurred between Ferrypoint and Youghal on the 18th February 1837. This was the first of two major ferry boat accidents off Ferrypoint in the 19th century. The accident reports at the time indicated that somewhere between seventeen to twenty people were drowned in the 1837 incident. This accident resulted in the setting up of the Youghal Lifeboat Station in 1839 as it was felt that some lives could have been saved if a lifeboat service was available. However it is unlikely that any lives would have been saved in this instance even if a lifeboat had existed as the passengers were immediately thrown into the turbulent waters off Ferrypoint. The launching of a lifeboat would probably have taken too long to be of any immediate assistance other than to aid in the recovery of bodies.  When the later 1876 ferryboat accident occurred the lifeboat was not launched even though the accident occurred in relatively close proximity to the lifeboat house. Up to half a dozen local boats were already in the water to help in the rescue and it was felt that launching the lifeboat would not happen quickly enough to be of any assistance in the circumstances. Nevertheless the establishment of a lifeboat service in Youghal in 1839 was an important development and resulted in the saving of many lives in the centuries ahead. The following report on the accident appeared in the Morning Post on Friday 3rd March 1837:

Dreadful Event: Youghal, Feb 21:- On Saturday evening, about four o’clock, a small boat left the ferry slip of this town for the opposite shore in the county of Waterford. The boat was exceedingly crowded, containing nearly five-and-twenty people, although not calculated to hold more than twelve, exclusive of four boatmen. The boat reached in safety the shore, when the boatmen got out and four or five passengers. By some accident at this time the boat was pushed from land, and immediately got into the deep water and strong current. The passengers had previously stood up in the boat for the purpose of jumping ashore, when a large wave struck the stern; the people were thrown down upon one another by the shock; some fell over the sides of the boat, while the boat itself upset, and all were immersed in the water. Several of the unfortunate passengers disappeared at once, and were never seen to rise again. Some remained on the surface of the water, and floated down with the current. In a few minutes one or two boats reached the spot and picked up four persons, one of whom only was alive; no more were to be seen. It is supposed that not less than seventeen or twenty people have met a watery grave by this accident. They were all country people returning from the Youghal packet. On Sunday two bodies were picked up. Yesterday (Monday) three were found considerably up the river. We have not heard of any more of the suffers being discovered. It is, in fact, unknown how many have perished. One man, who was the first to get out of the boat, rushed to the water to save a woman, when both sunk together and were drowned. It is a very general feeling in this town that the local authorities should interfere, and prevent the boats taking more passengers than they severally can safely hold across the ferry over which the corporation has entire control. Mr. Dennehy, the coroner, held several inquests yesterday, and is waiting in expectation of more bodies being found to-day. There has not occurred for 30 years such an accident on this ferry. A considerable sensation was caused in the town and neighbourhood, and very great sympathy is felt for the numerous friends and relatives of the deceased persons, whose cries were heard all night.”

The Bristol Mercury newspaper of 4th March 1837 had a brief article on the above ferryboat accident as follows:

On Saturday evening, about five o’clock, a market-boat, returning from Youghal, in which there were upwards of 30 persons, to the county Waterford, was, by a sudden squall, upset within a few feet of the Ferry-point, and upwards of 17 persons met with a watery grave. It appears that only eight of the bodies have been as yet found.”

The following excerpt on the same accident is taken from the history of Youghal lifeboat. The date is incorrect in this excerpt as the accident happened in 1837 and the number of deaths indicated is lower than recorded in newspaper reports at the time:

On 18 February 1838, a hired passage boat with 33 people aboard, capsized just off Ferry Point in the deep water of the channel. This resulted in the drowning of 12 crew and passengers. Five of the bodies were never recovered. At the time the wind was west-north-west (WNW), this meant that Ferry Point was very exposed and the waves may have been particularly rough at that side of the harbour. With such a large loss of life great outcry must have spread throughout the town.

Boating Accident off Monatray (1844)

Date 1st September 1844: The following report in Lloyd’s Weekly London Newspaper outlines a boating accident under Monatray on the south side of Ferrypoint on 1st September 1844. Three of the nine people on the boat were drowned namely Patrick Brian and a brother and sister named Mary and Patrick Hasset:

Title: Fatal Accident at Youghal

Report: “On Sunday evening last a party of young persons, who were on the water in a small boat, amusing themselves rowing up and down the harbour, pulled into shoal water under Monatrea, at the county Waterford side of the river, when they commenced swaying the boat to and fro, heedless of any danger; unfortunately the boat was capsized, and all of them (nine in number) precipitated into the water. By the great exertion of some on board, who were good swimmers, six got safe ashore. The remaining three, after struggling for some time, sunk to rise no more alive; and although the three bodies were shortly got up and medical aid promptly procured, all proved fruitless – the vital spark was extinct. Their names were Patrick Brian, a very young man; Mary and Patrick Hasset, brother and sister. – Cork Constitution.”

Troop Landing on Ferrypoint during the Great Famine (1846)

Date 6th October 1846: The following report appeared in The Times of London via the Cork Constitution paper and was referring to events which had occurred some days earlier than the report date of 6th October 1646. The event is also covered elsewhere under the famine period in Kinsalebeg. We include below details of a troop landing of the 47th Regiment at Ferrypoint in late September 1846 during the famine disturbances in Dungarvan & surrounding areas including Clashmore, Grange and Pilltown. The troops were on their way to Dungarvan and they got assistance from Sir Richard Musgrave who was present at Ferrypoint as the troops disembarked from the Duke of Cambridge troop carrier under the command of a Major Gordon. Partial report as follows:

            “..... It is greatly feared that Government will not accede to the continued representation of the authorities of both counties, and send in a supply of meal as a depot.  At 2 o’clock on Friday a large steamer appeared off Youghal harbour. It was first supposed to be Myrmidon, returning, but proved to be the Duke of Cambridge (transport pro tem), with the right wing of the 47th Regiment, under the command of Major Gordon. She was taken up for the purpose on Thursday evening in Dublin, and the troops put on board at an hour’s notice, under orders for Dungarvan. No conveyance could be procured for the left wing, but they are expected to leave this day. The captain of the Duke of Cambridge was afraid of the waters being too (shallow ?) in Dungarvan, and ran into Youghal. The troops were immediately landed at the Ferry-point in boats, with the assistance of Sir R. Musgrave’s large iron boat, the Countess.

            Sir Richard himself was present, giving every assistance in his power. The men rested for a very short time, partook of some hurried refreshment from their own haversacks, and when all were landed marched at 3 o’clock to Dungarvan. A forced march it must be, as there is no town nearer to quarter them, and the distance is twelve miles. There will be no accommodation for them there, as the barracks are only capable of holding 50 men, and they must be billeted on the inhabitants. Food and provision every right-minded man is of opinion would better suit the emergency, and, in the end, be more economical for the country. Several of the merchants of Youghal have discontinued buying. The Duke of Cambridge left, on her return, immediately after landing the troops.”

The above W.G Field drawing from an old woodcut shows Ferrypoint jutting out into Youghal bay with Hyde’s cottage at the tip of the point. There appears to be a fishing weir (sprat) on the left of the drawing. In the centre of the drawing is Kinsalebeg Church with Newtown House on the left of the church viewing from the front. On the extreme right of the drawing is the house known as Prospect Hall. This house was partially destroyed in a subsequent fire but the larger centre section survived or was rebuilt. On the centre right of the drawing is the building known as “The Turret” which has the appearance of a defensive protection or a form of border lookout for goods and vehicles going/coming from the ferry.  The beach at Ferrypoint was a source of gravel, sand and seaweed for many people in the greater area and this was under the control of the Duke of Devonshire who charged users by the cartload. It is possible that the turret was used as part of this operation. A house was built next to the turret at the latter end of the 19th century and both the turret and adjoining house are still in existence. The landing point for the ferry is on the front left of the drawing near the tip of Ferrypoint.

Journey from Youghal to Ardmore (1863)

Date 10th August 1863: The ferry journey from Youghal to Ferrypoint and vice versa was fraught with no little risk and danger as we have outlined. The meeting of the River Blackwater and the Atlantic Ocean, coupled with the narrow channel into which the water was forced between Ferrypoint and Youghal, created a dangerous mix of high speed current, eddies and swirling water even in relatively mild weather conditions. The dangers were obvious even to the casual observer looking out over the channel but local ferry passengers got used to the conditions over the years. A less serious concern of passengers was the embarking and disembarking at either side of the trip even though there was a myriad of accidents in this area down through the years due to the less than ideal landing conditions on both sides.  There were high quays and slippery slips on the Youghal side of the harbour which meant differing conditions depending on water height and the weather. Facilities on the Ferrypoint side were more primitive with beach landings the norm for long periods over the centuries and the presence of a timber slip for periods. The authorities on the Waterford side showed little interest in improving the facilities over the centuries and seemed to consider that the ferry was not within their jurisdiction. It was not unusual to see someone losing their footing and disappearing into the gap between quayside and ferryboat with a bag of shopping in each hand. Losing the shopping was in the sacrilege category, even if holding on tightly to your shopping bag was likely to result in a more permanent trip to the bottom of the harbour. A visitor to Youghal in 1863 gives his overview of the intricacies of landing on the Ferrypoint side of the harbour, together with a practical opinion that a railway bridge from Youghal to Ferrypoint was a requirement.  He also suggests that the relatively level surface from Ferrypoint to Ardmore would be suitable for a railway with stops in Whiting Bay and Ardmore. The author describes the difficulties which passengers encountered when trying to embark on the ferry. In the process he seems to question both the athletic ability of the Kinsalebeg women and the attitude of the ferry boatmen!  This article appeared in the Cork Examiner dated 10th August 1863:

The wharfage or quayage of Youghal appears as great as that of Cork, while its numerous slips enable vessels to lade and unlade with comparative ease and convenience. We reckoned twenty vessels of pretty fair burdens in the mouth of the river. A few more entertaining merchants would do much in reviving the old fame of this interesting seaport. But Youghal will never be what it ought to be, till there is a free bridge uniting it with the county Waterford, and a railway train uniting Youghal to the city of Waterford, and the city of Waterford with the city of Cork; and when this occurs, as it no doubt will occur, the Great Southern and Western Railway Company must look about them, for a large number of the inhabitants of this city and county will travel from Cork to London via Waterford. The present ferry-boat from Youghal to the Waterford side, across the mouth of the river, is a positive abomination. The fare is ridiculously low – one halfpenny – but we pay for it in other ways. We hired a boat to cross from Youghal to Waterford, and returned by the ferry. The passengers, consisting of some twenty or thirty women of all ages, were just getting out on the Waterford side as we approached the beach. The abortive efforts of the women to leap from the boat to the shore, and the nonchalance of the boatmen, who left them to flounder about in the tide, was even more provoking than it was ridiculous. Some of the old women could not leap at all, so one of the boatmen laid hold of an unfortunate jackass and backed him and his butt into the water, up to the side of the ferry-boat, and on this some of the elder females, with potato and meal bags, managed to scramble ashore. We had to wait for fully half an hour for the ferry-boat to unload and re-load again, with its proper complement of livestock. The witty fellow who seized the donkey and used him in the way described, offered us his services to get in, but we declined them on account of his rudeness and want of attention to the poor women.  [The boatman said] “Arrah! What matter, sir, they can toss in and out well enough themselves.” I greatly enjoyed the walk from Ferry-point to the pretty village of Ardmore, a distance of five miles. The land is good and very well populated, and I thought the homesteads of the farmers, and the cottages of the peasantry, somewhat better than the usual run of buildings of this kind. I can only speak of the land as far as I saw it, that is from Ferry-point to Ardmore, but for this distance there is a fine level for a railroad, over land which might be had cheap. There could be stations at Whiting Bay and Ardmore.”  

Walking Tour Round of Ireland (1865)

Date 1865: The following brief description of a journey from Youghal to Ardmore appeared in a book called Walking Tour Round Ireland17 which was written in 1865. This description starts in the Devonshire Arms in Youghal and recounts the journey from there to Ardmore via Kinsalebeg:

“The Devonshire Arms proved a comfortable hotel, except that the door of my bedroom could not be unlocked without the aid of the boots. Fortunately he was able to get into the room as it was on the ground floor, and then to release me, otherwise I must have remained imprisoned for some time.  This difficulty, no doubt, often occurs, as the boots soon heard and divined the cause of the noise, yet no carpenter is sent for to mend the door. I left the hotel this morning at forty minutes past ten o’clock.”

“ I walked to the ferry, to cross the river Blackwater, which divides the counties of Cork and Waterford, this being more convenient than the bridge higher up. I was told I should have to wait half an hour for the regular ferry boat, so I hired two boatmen to take me across for sixpence, but no sooner had I stepped into their boat, than the other came rowing up. I rose with the intention of jumping ashore, feeling that I had been misled, but the boatmen hastily pushed off and prevented me, and explained they meant the ferry would wait half an hour for passengers. I made a virtue of necessity, accepted this explanation, and recovered my good humour, which I was sorry to have lost; for the ruse, if one at all, was harmless, and the poor fellow seemed so anxious to recover my good esteem, and were so glad to make this unexpected sixpence, and received it so contentedly when we reached the other side, and did not ask for more. Going across I had a good view of the town, and of one of the ruined Abbeys covered with ivy. Youghal also looks very well from the opposite bank.

I am now in the county of Waterford. I take the road to the right – after returning from going a short distance out of my way – near Kinsalebeg church, and pass through a hamlet or village called Springfield, and by the shore of Whiting Bay to Ardmore, a small watering-place. Here are some interesting and well preserved ruins, consisting of a cathedral, oratory and round tower...etc.”

Major Ferry Boat Accident between Youghal and Ferrypoint (1876)

Date Sat 30th September 1876:  Another major ferryboat accident took place between Youghal and Ferrypoint on Saturday the 30th September 1876 which resulted in the deaths of thirteen people. There was widespread national and international reportage of the tragedy and we include a number of newspaper reports of the accident itself and the resultant court cases etc.  Some of the newspaper reports contain similar information but we are including a cross-section of these reports as there are usually some differences in the reports. The newspaper reports of the period were not always accurate and it was quite common for names to be either misspelt or wrongly transcribed. We have endeavoured to come up with a more accurate list of the casualties and survivors from the various reports of the time and also from death certificates where they existed. The final list of casualties and survivors are listed below and we believe this list to be accurate. The cause of the accident was the subject of a long inquest during which a number of causes were outlined as possibly contributing to this major accident. The poor weather was given as a major cause of the accident but the overloading of the boat, the poor condition of the boat itself and the sobriety of the boatman were issues which were raised the inquest.

Cork Examiner 1st Report on Ferry boat accident (1876)

The first newspaper report on the ferry boat tragedy that we include is from the Cork Examiner of the 2nd October. It gives a reasonably detailed overview of the accident but there are a number of errors particularly with regard to the number and names of the casualties and survivors and we give a more accurate list of these later. It also indicates that the ferry destination was Ardmore whereas the destination was in fact Ferrypoint. The newspaper report outlines that the four-oared ferry boat left Youghal pier around 4.30 pm on the afternoon of Saturday 30th September. The article stated that there were twenty two people on board together with several bags of meal, potatoes and other goods. It raised a query about the wisdom of having such a heavy load on board in the prevailing conditions. We know from later information that there were twenty four, and possibly twenty five, people on board including three boat men. The weather conditions were described as follows:

At the time of putting out from shore the tide was on the turn, with half a gale blowing from the south-east, causing a heavy sea on the portion of the river across which the ferry boat had to pass, and it was also raining very hard.”

            The report outlines that the boat had proceeded only about 100 yards from the slip in Youghal when she sunk. Some eyewitnesses said that the boat was taking on water as soon as she left the slipway but others said that she sunk when she struck some heavy seas at the exit of the walled inner harbour. All the occupants of the boat were thrown overboard and five or six nearby fishing boats immediately set out to attempt to rescue the passengers. They managed to rescue nine of the twenty two passengers according to this report but it later transpired that there were eleven survivors including the head boat man Edward Gorman.  The report describes the brave efforts made by one woman to survive the accident. The name of the woman was not known at the time of the report but later evidence indicates that it was Kate FitzGerald of Ardo who survived along with her husband Michael. The report goes on to give details of the known passengers who either drowned or survived the accident but the list is not accurate which is understandable in the chaotic circumstances following the accident. The report stated that most of the passengers were from the Pilltown and Whiting Bay area, who were attending the Saturday market in Youghal. The ferry boat was being leased by Edward Connors, a publican in Youghal, who ran the ferry service and the condition of the boat was to become a major issue in the later inquests on the deceased. The lifeboat was not launched at the time of the accident as the local fishing boats were immediately on the scene to rescue any survivors. The full Cork Examiner report was as follows:

Date: 2nd October 1876 in Cork Examiner

Title: Melancholy Occurrence in Youghal. Fourteen persons drowned.

Article: “The quiet sea-side town of Youghal, was the scene of one of the most painful accidents on Saturday. About half-past four o’clock on that day, the ferry-boat left the slip at Youghal, for Ardmore [Ferrypoint]. The boat was a large four-oared boat, and one of the class known as “three-ton boats” manned by four boatmen. She had twenty-two persons, all told, on board, besides several bags of meal, potatoes, bread and other marketable articles. Different opinions appear to be held as to the propriety of allowing such a large number of people get into the boat, and to the condition and stability of the boat itself. However, it started on Saturday on its ill-fated voyage, and few of the occupants, who left the shore at Youghal, full of hope and life, thought how near they were to an untimely death. At the time of putting out from shore the tide was on the turn, with half a gale blowing from the south-east, causing a heavy sea on the portion of the river across which the ferry boat had to pass, and it was also raining very hard. The boat had proceeded about a hundred yards from shore when she was seen to sink by some persons on the beach.  Some of the survivors state that the boat sprang a leak and went down under them, whilst others are of opinion that she was swamped by the heavy sea, but up to the present they are unable to give a coherent account of the affair in consequence of the fright and excitement. By whatever means the accident occurred we cannot for certainty state, but in a few seconds twenty-two human beings were struggling for their life in the water. A scene of the wildest excitement was presented on the shore, women screamed, men rushed to man boats with all possible expedition, whilst through the noise and confusion might be heard the despairing death cry of the unfortunate creatures. With great difficulty (in consequence of the roughness of the sea) five or six boats were successfully launched, and crews were soon found only too willing to risk their lives in the cause of humanity. The first boats to reach the scene of the accident were those of a fisherman named Kelly and Capt. Eastaway, Harbour Master and both distinguished themselves very much, the latter succeeding in rescuing three persons. An Italian sailor, whose name we were unable to get, bravely jumped from a barque anchored in the river and swam in the direction of what he took to be a body, but what afterwards turned out to be a package.  One woman, in particular, distinguished herself by her struggles for life. On being precipitated into the water, she was struck on the head by a wave and disappeared from view, but in a few seconds her hand was seen above the water and she succeeded in grasping an oar. She had scarcely time to breathe before she was knocked off the oar by another wave, and would in all probability have been drowned, but for the timely arrival of Kelly’s boat which took her up. We are glad to be able to state she was sufficiently recovered yesterday to go home. After great danger and trouble the boats succeeded in bringing nine of the parties to shore. The following are the names of the survivors:- James Burke, Edward Gorman, Robert Gleeson, Michael FitzGerald, Mrs Fitzgerald (his wife), Mary Foley, Mrs McCarthy, Mrs Whelan, and James Lynch. Persons missing: - Patrick Keane, David Mahony (boatman), William Carthy (boatman), Michael Keane, Richard Staunton, Ellen Budds, John Tracey and Margaret Foley. The following four were picked up alive, but died from the effect of their immersion:-  Robert Wynne, Mrs Connery (his sister), Mrs Keane and John Staunton. On yesterday morning the body of Margaret Lincoln was picked up near Clay Castle, and last night about eight o’clock, the body of a woman, named Carroll, was found on the break-water, two miles beyond Clay Castle. The majority of the passengers were of the farming class and principally from the districts of Piltown and Whiting Bay and had come to Youghal to the market. The two deceased boatmen, Mahony and Carthy, were natives of Youghal, the former with a father, mother, wife and family of five children depending upon him, whilst the latter, was also the father of a numerous family. Most of the deceased were fathers and mothers, Mrs Connery leaving a family of thirteen children to lament her loss. The police under Head-constable Barry were promptly on the spot, and exerted themselves in every possible manner, rushing for the doctors and clergymen, for blankets and restoratives for the rescued people. They had Drs. Charles Ronayne, R.U. Ronayne, and H. Garde in attendance very quickly, as also Frs. Field, Rae, and O’Neill. The weather was too rough to permit of grappling, but parties of men went along the shore on the evening of the accident and during yesterday for the purpose of receiving any bodies that might be washed ashore, but only two have been found up to the present. The greatest excitement prevails in the town and all Saturday and Sunday the police barrack was actually besieged by people inquiring whether their friends happened to be amongst the survivors or not, and many a woman left the barrack door, with a happy conviction, that the bread winner had not been taken from her. The ferry boat is rented from the Town Commissioners by Edward Connors, a publican of the town and it appears that the boat often went across the river (a distance of over half a mile), with a cargo of 22 people. The boat runs every half hour, and it was the ordinary half-past four boat that came to this unfortunate termination. The boat is in the hands of the police pending the result of the inquest, which will be held today. A similar accident occurred fifty years ago, by which twenty lives were lost. On that occasion the boat was swamped just after leaving the strand at the Ardmore [Ferrypoint] side of the river, and the occupants of the boat were swept out to sea. The foregoing are the facts as far as could be gleaned, of one of the most heartrending accidents that has occurred in the south of Ireland for a long time.”

Cork Examiner 2nd Report on Ferry boat accident (1876)

This follow up report on the ferry boat accident of the 30th September 1876 appeared in the Cork Examiner on the 3rd October 1876. It clarifies the mistaken report that the body of a Mary Carroll had been located in Clay Castle. It also gives the names of a two rescuers, Magrath and Gilmartin, who provided valuable assistance in the rescue. The report clarifies that there were thirteen casualties of the accident. The report also indicates that the ill-fated ferry boat did not leave the slip from the usual location but departed from the quay opposite the house of the Harbour Master, Captain Eastaway. The only surviving boatman, Edward Gorman, gave some additional information to the newspaper about the accident. He said that there was a “cross sea” and that the bulk of the passengers were sitting in the stern of the boat so she was “deeper aft than forward”. The boat was taking in water at the stern and Gorman said that he had shouted to the other boat men to “back the boat as fast as they could” but later court evidence contradicted this. He said that the boat was then struck with a sea which filled her and she went down stern first. Gorman also mentioned that he had frequently made the ferry crossing with more people on board and that the total weight of any goods on board was no more than twenty stone. Gorman himself was able to swim and was saved by a man named Magrath. The boat was now on the quays at the time this newspaper report was written and the journalist said that the boat was “about twenty feet long with a good beam, but she is evidently a craft that has seen a good deal of wear, and bears traces of having been repaired from time to time”. The full newspaper report in the Cork Examiner of 3rd October is as follows:

Date: 3rd October 1876 Cork Examiner

Title: The Fatal Occurrence at Youghal.

Article: “During the entire of yesterday the wind and rain were so terrific that no efforts were made to drag the river for the missing bodies, and although a sharp look out had been kept all along the shore from Youghal to Clay Castle and beyond it, none of these appeared to have been washed up. The report that a woman named Carroll had been found on the beach near the breakwater turns out to be unfounded, and so far as can be ascertained no woman of that name is missing. This reduces the number of victims to thirteen, and from careful inquiry made by the constabulary on the subject there is no reason to believe that any more persons have met their death on the sad occasion. Very few additional particulars have been elicited with respect to the accident. The main facts, as already detailed, are substantially true, but the statement of one of the survivors may afford some clue as to the cause of the disaster. Edward Gorman, one of the boatmen in the ill-fated boat, who was saved, states that the ferry-boat did not leave the slip as usual but started from the quay opposite Captain Eastaway’s house. There was a cross sea, he says, running from the eastward, and the tide was but a short time on the return. After leaving the market dock they did not go far from the pier, when the boat began to pitch and took in water from each side over the gunwale. As the bulk of the passengers were sitting in the stern of the boat she was deeper aft than forward. A girl who was sitting on the stern called that the water was rising near her feet. Gorman kept his eye on the spot, and seeing the water rise, sang out to his comrades to back the boat as fast as they could. One of the men let go of his oar, and set about bailing out the water with a bucket. Gorman cried out to the others to continue backing, but at this moment the boat was struck with a sea which filled her, and she went down stern foremost. Gorman was able to swim, and he kept over water until a man named Magrath rescued him. The name of Magrath and that of a man named Gilmartin, who gave valuable assistance in the rescue of life, were omitted in yesterday’s report. The ferryboat is now drawn up on the quay, convenient to the police station. She is about twenty feet long with a good beam, but she is evidently a craft that has seen a good deal of wear, and bears traces of having been repaired from time to time. Gorman states that he has frequently crossed the ferry with more people on board, and as for the parcels they did not all weigh more than twenty stone. It now appears that though the ferry boat is bound under an agreement between the lessee and the Town Commissioners to start every half hour, on Saturday the trips were not regularly run, owing it is supposed to the unfavourable state of the weather. The ferry is leased by the present owner at £120 a year, and it is not unlikely the conditions of the agreement may form the subject of inquiry“.

Irish Times Report on Ferry boat accident (1876)

The following report on the ferry boat accident appeared in the Irish Times of 1st/2nd October 1876. The report states that there were twenty three or more people on board. It details that at least nine people perished in the water before they could be rescued. Fourteen people were picked up but five of these died shortly after being rescued. The report mentions that “Amongst the survivors were a brother and sister, Robert Wynn and Mrs Connolly”. Unfortunately this proved to be incorrect as Robert Wynne and his sister Bridget Connery, not Connolly, were casualties – the report later indicates that they died after being rescued. It mentions that there were possibly two boys on board who were also drowned but there is no later evidence that this was the case. Some of the names of survivors and casualties in the newspaper report are incorrect and we have indicated the correct names in brackets. The Irish Times report of the 1st/2nd October 1876 is as follows:

Date: 1st/2nd October 1876 Irish Times

Title: Fourteen Lives Lost.

Article: “Youghal was on Saturday the scene of a fearful calamity. Within a few minutes, and in the presence of a helpless and paralysed crowd, fourteen persons were drowned. A ferry boat laden with twenty-three or more persons set out from Youghal about half-past four o’clock on Saturday evening for the opposite shore – half a mile away – and the party had got but a short distance into the stream when the craft was swamped, and the occupants were thrown into the water. Nine were rescued, and the remainder perished, within view of hundreds of the townspeople, who had been attracted to the place by the cries for help. It is just fifty years ago since a similar accident occurred, and on that occasion the loss of life was even greater, twenty persons having been sacrificed. The country people living on the opposite side of the Blackwater in the County of Waterford avail themselves of the ferry when coming to Youghal on Saturdays to transact their weekly marketing. On last Saturday as many as usual did not cross the ferry, owing to the unfavourable state of the weather. The rain came down in torrents, the wind blew freshly, and the heavy sea broke over Youghal Bay. The ferry-boat, one of these heavy-looking tubs or barges, however, went its half-hourly passage to and fro during the day without mishap until the half-past four o’clock trip. It was blowing hard, and the tide was on its return, and the current down stream increased the freshet meeting the angry Atlantic billow, threw up a very nasty swell in the ferry. The boat-slip at the Youghal side is situated on the north quay of the Market Dock, in the immediate vicinity of which is the courthouse, the police station, and numerous business houses. The quays at this particular spot are usually the resort of boatmen and others deriving a livelihood from the sea. At the time of the accident there were very few people about the street, the wind having driven from their ordinary meeting place. From what can be gathered at present, there were twenty-three persons in the boat when it set out on its fatal voyage. In addition to the large living freight, there were the parcels of the passengers, consisting of meat, fish, meal, bread, groceries etc. Four boatmen were engaged in rowing the craft, and these men were, to all appearance sober. The boat looked pretty deep in the water; but it is said that she frequently, on previous occasions, carried as great, if not a greater, burden. The ferry-boat, after leaving the dock, made a reach up stream in order to make up for the leeway which the force of the current would give her. The party had not gone far – some say one hundred yards, but it must have been less than that distance – when the boat pitched in a sea and swamped in a few minutes. The scene that followed baffled description. Drowning women and struggling men shrieked for help; the townspeople rushed to the quay and became awe-stricken with the appalling character of the scene; men rushed for boats, and in a short time two or three were launched, and rowed to the place where the living mass were struggling in the seething sea for dear life. A boatman named Kelly was among the first to arrive with his boat. He was quickly followed by Capt. James Prendergast, and Capt. James Prendergast, jun., by Capt. Eastway, the harbourmaster, and others. Fourteen persons were picked up, and nine at least perished before assistance reached, some of the latter having sunk without an effort. Five of the fourteen who were taken out of the water succumbed afterwards from exhaustion, making the death roll fourteen so far as can be ascertained by the constabulary. In the efforts made at rescue we must notice the brave conduct of an Italian seaman belonging to a vessel lying alongside the quay. Seeing what he thought was the dress of a woman being borne away by the current, he nobly jumped in, swam towards the object, but found it was only a parcel which had floated from the wreck. There were some incidents also told of the desperate struggles made by the drowning people. One, a woman, Mrs. Fitzgerald, had sunk twice, and on reaching the surface again she clutched an oar. The next moment she was pulled on board and saved. Her husband was likewise among the number saved. Captain Prendergast, senior, whose exertions were most praiseworthy, picked up five persons. Captain Prendergast, junior, picked up three. Captain Eastway also rescued four or five. Amongst the survivors were a brother and sister, Robert Wynn and Mrs Connolly [Bridget Connery]. Wynn had been in America for twenty-five years, and only returned to his native place on Thursday night. Both came to town on Saturday to purchase some necessaries for an entertainment in honour of the strayer’s return. Those who were picked up were treated in the most kindly manner by the people of Youghal, who emulated in the good work of providing physical comfort for them. The names of those missing are: Ellen Ball [Budds], John Tracy, Margaret Foley, Patrick Kean, David Mahoney, boatman; William Carey [Carthy/McCarthy], boatman; Michael Keane, Richard Shanahan [?]. Those who died after being taken out of the water are:- Robert Wynn, John Shanahan, Mrs Keane and Mrs Connor [Bridget Connery]. The names of the survivors are:- James Lynch, Thomas Burke, Edward Gorman, Robert Gleeson, Michael Fitzgerald, Mary Foley, Mrs Macarthy, H Whelan, and Mrs Fitzgerald.

Summaries of ferry casualties in other newspapers (1876):

We include summarises of casualties and survivors as given in Lloyd’s Weekly Newspaper of 8th October 1876 and the Irish Times of 2nd October 1876 to show differences between different reports at the time. Lloyd’s Weekly Newspaper of 8th Oct 1876 reports the following names as those that were drowned in the tragedy:  Patrick Keane, Michael Keane, Richard Staunton, Ellen Budds, Margaret Foley, John Treacy, Robert Wynne, Mary Keane [Hanora Keane], Julia Curry, John Shanahan, Mary Carroll, and the boatmen David Mahoney, and William Carty. The Irish Times of 2nd October 1876 recorded that those missing were Ellen Ball [Ellen Budds], John Tracy, Margaret Foley, Patrick Kean, David Mahoney, boatman, William Carey [Carthy/McCarthy], boatman, Michael Keane, Richard Shanahan. The same Irish Times report states that the following died after being taken from the water: Robert Wynn, John Shanahan, Mrs Keane [Hanorah Keane], Mrs Connor [Bridget Connery] and it named the survivors as: James Lynch, Thomas Burke, Edward Gorman, Robert Gleeson, Michael Fitzgerald, Mary Foley, Mrs Macarth [Catherine McCarthy], H Whelan [Mary Whelan], Mrs Fitzgerald [Catherine Fitzgerald]. The above two reports are typical of the differences between the various newspaper reports – the names in brackets are what we believe are the correct names and they are listed below in greater detail.

Casualties in the ferry boat accident of 30th September 1876

            The following we believe is an accurate list of the casualties in the ferry boat accident of the 30th September 1876. This has been compiled from a combination of death certificates, inquest details, newspaper reports and the subsequent inquiry into the accident. The final confirmed death toll was thirteen with a doubt over a possible fourteenth victim:

(1) Ellen Budds: It is recorded on inquest death certificate that she was aged 34 and was a farmer’s wife and cause of death was drowning. It was also mentioned by the examining doctor that she was in an advanced state of pregnancy at the time of her death. The inquest details were provided by Henry Thomas Denehy, Coroner for Co Waterford. The inquest reports into the deaths of six other victims were dated 13th April 1877 and details were as follows: 

(2) Michael Carey aged 58, married, farmer;

(3) Bridget Connery nee Wynne aged 50, married, farmer’s wife, from Rath. Sister of Robert Wynne;

(4) Hanorah (Hanna) Keane aged 30, married, farmer’s wife, from Springfield;

(5) John Shanahan aged 35, married, farmer;

(6) Mary Lincoln aged 22, spinster, servant;

(7) Robert Wynne aged 63, married, farmer, from Rath. Brother of Bridget Connery. Robert Wynne had just returned to Ireland after living in the USA for many years. Robert and his sister Bridget were in Youghal to get supplies for his home-coming party but both were tragically drowned on the return trip.

All the above deaths were recorded as being accidental drowning at Youghal Ferry and the information was stated to have been received from Thomas Dennehy R.M and M.R. O’Farrell, Justices for Co Cork.  It would appear that a number of bodies were not recovered after the accident and there was therefore no death certificate or inquest for these casualties.  The other casualties appeared to be the following:

            (8) William Carthy/McCarthy boatman from Youghal;

            (9) David (Davy) Mahony boatman from Youghal;

(10) Patrick Keane, Mortgage;

(11) Michael Keane, Ardo;

(12) John Tracy/Treacy from Aglish;

(13) Margaret Foley from Grange;

(14) The status of a Richard Shanahan is unknown even though one report indicates he was drowned – it is possible that his name was mixed up with that of John Shanahan who was drowned or with Richard Staunton who appeared in one report as a casualty.

Survivors of the ferry boat accident of 30th September 1876

The following is the list of survivors of the ferry boat accident of the 30th September 1876. This was compiled from the various inquiries and newspaper reports after the accident:

(1) James Lynch, Summerhill whose mother refused to go on the boat as she felt it was too dangerous;

(2) Michael (Mick) Fitzgerald, husband of Kate FitzGerald, farmer from Ardo. He was a witness at the inquiry into the accident;

 (3) Catherine (Kate) Fitzgerald, wife of Michael Fitzgerald above;

(4) Thomas Burke from Prospect Hall;

(5) Robert Gleeson who was on the bow oar but appeared to be just a passenger who decided to help with the rowing;

(6) Edward Gorman head ferry boatman from Youghal; Convicted of manslaughter.

(7) Mary Whelan;

(8) Mary Foley;

(9) Mrs Catherine McCarthy;

(10) Edward Staunton;

(11) Mary Keeffe;

            The names of Mary Carroll, Julia Curry and Ellen Ball are mentioned as being passengers on some reports but it is not clear if the names were mixed up with someone else. This would have brought the total number of passengers to twenty eight and nowhere is there any indication that there were that many people on the ferry. Most reports seem to indicate a total of twenty five people, twenty two passengers and three crewmen.  The Irish Times of 2nd Oct 1876 reported that the body of a Mary Carroll was found near Clay Castle but there is no mention anywhere else of a passenger named Mary Carroll and the newspaper later confirmed that there initial report was incorrect. Ellen Ball is probably a mistake for Ellen Budds and the inclusion of the name of Julia Curry is also probably incorrect.

Additional notes on ferry passengers (1876)

The following are some additional notes on passengers of the ill-fated ferry of the 30th September 1876. This information has been extracted from newspaper reports, inquest, inquiry and later census reports etc:

(a)   Kate Fitzgerald was lucky to survive the ferry accident as she apparently went under the water a few times but was eventually rescued together with her husband Michael. In the 1901 census the Fitzgeralds were still living in Ardoginna and the following were the family members Michael Fitzgerald aged 58, wife Kate Fitzgerald aged 54 and children Declan aged 20, Edmund aged 17, Maggie aged 17, Hanna aged 16, James aged 14, Thomas aged 12 and Con aged 10. The following newspaper report in the Cork Examiner describes Kate Fitzgerald’s rescue: “One woman, in particular, distinguished herself by her struggles for life. On being precipitated into the water, she was struck on the head by a wave and disappeared from view, but in a few seconds her hand was seen above the water and she succeeded in grasping an oar. She had scarcely time to breathe before she was knocked off the oar by another wave, and would in all probability have been drowned, but for the timely arrival of Kelly’s boat which took her up. We are glad to be able to state she was sufficiently recovered yesterday to go home.”

(b)   Thomas Burke aged 74, labourer, was still living in Prospect Hall in 1911 census with his wife Mary Burke aged 74. According to the census they were married for fifty years at that time and had eight children of which only two were still alive in 1911.

(c)    Edward Gorman head boatman. Some questions were raised as to his sobriety at the time of the accident but witnesses at the inquiry indicated that they felt he was capable of carrying out his ferry duties even though it was acknowledged that he had some “drink taken”. Michael Fitzgerald, one of the passengers and an inquiry witness, said he had given him a half noggin of whiskey in Connor’s pub earlier on the fatal accident date but there was no proof he had actually drunk it. He was later convicted of manslaughter and given twelve months hard labour. It is apparent from the inquiry reports that he was requested to return the boat to the dock on a few occasions before the accident but declined to do so. The boat owner Edward Connors received 18 months hard labour when he was also convicted of manslaughter.

(d)   David Mahony boatman left a wife and five children and William Carthy boatman also left a large family. They were both from Youghal apparently.

(e)    Bridget Connery was a mother of thirteen children according to one newspaper report at the time. It is probable that she was the wife of Lawrence Connery of Rath who was a 78 year old widower in 1901 census. At that time Lawrence Connery lived with two children John aged 35 and Mary aged 34 who would have been born close to 1876.

Miscellaneous Newspaper reports on ferry boat accident (1876)

The following are some additional newspaper subsequent to the ferry boat accident of 30th September 1876. Some of this information is duplicated or covered elsewhere. The articles do not add a lot of new information to the earlier reports but there are some clarifications and additional comment which may be of interest.

The following report appeared in the Edinburg Evening News on Mon 2nd October 1876:

Date: Mon 2nd October 1876 Edinburg Evening News

Title: Shocking Boat Accident in Ireland. Fourteen Persons Drowned.

Article: “A dreadful accident occurred on Saturday at Youghal, by which fourteen lives were lost. A ferry-boat plies on the Blackwater between Youghal and the opposite side, which is the County Waterford, and on Saturday the County Waterford people come over the ferry to Youghal for the purpose of transacting their market business. The weather was tempestuous, and a heavy sea prevailed in Youghal Bay. When a number of people were returning from Youghal in the evening in the ferry-boat, the boat, which was loaded, in addition to passengers, with a number of heavy parcels, became swamped about one hundred yards from the shore. Boats were quickly put off to the assistance of the drowning people, a large proportion of whom were women, and fourteen were taken out of the water, and nine at least perished. Of these rescued five subsequently died, making the death roll 14 as ascertained, but it is supposed two boys have also shared the same fate. The occurrence was witnessed by crowds of the townspeople, who were awestricken at the appalling character of the scene. The bodies of two women have been washed ashore.”

The following report appeared in the Tamworth Herald on Sat 7th October 1876:

Date: 7th October 1876 Tamworth Herald

Title: The Terrible Boat Accident at Youghal. Fourteen Lives Lost.

Article: “The ferry boat swamped at Youghal, on Saturday evening, was an open craft of three tons burthen, rowed by four oars. There were 22 passengers on board besides the boatmen, the passengers being all farmers and their wives returning from market in Youghal. A strong ebb tide was running in the estuary, which is nearly half a mile broad, and it was raining and blowing heavily from the south. About a hundred yards from the shore the waves broke over the boat, and the passengers rising in panic, she went over. Boats were put out at once from the shore, but the greater number of people were swept away by the tide beyond the reach of rescue. Eleven were picked up, five of whom died from exhaustion. Two of the boatmen perished, and a third is missing. A fourth was so drunk that he could articulate no information as to the cause of the disaster. Fifty years ago a similar accident occurred at this ferry, and twenty persons perished. The names of the drowned are: - Patrick Keane, Michael Keane, Richard Staunton, Ellen Budds, Margaret Foley, John Treacy, Robert Wynne, Mary Keane, Julia Curry, John Shanahan, Mary Carroll, and the boatmen Davite, Mahony [David Mahony], and William Carty.”

Inquest into ferry boat accident of 30th September 1876

The various inquests and trials subsequent to the ferry tragedy are quite detailed but we are including the complete transcripts of some of the newspaper reports here for historical purposes. Much of this information has not been published since 1876 and there are some interesting witness statements which give a more detailed view of the cause of the tragedy.

Commencement of inquest report in Cork Examiner 3rd October 1876

The Cork Examiner reported on the commencement of the inquest into deaths resulting from the ferry boat accident which had taken place on of Saturday 30th September 1876. The inquest commenced on Tuesday 3rd October which was three days after the accident and concerns were raised by the local clergy and constabulary about the delay in the inquest. There was no morgue in Youghal and there were concerns about the delay before the bodies could be removed for burial. The Head Constable Barry said he sent a telegram to the coroner on the day of the accident to let him know that an inquest was required but apparently did not receive a reply. The coroner gave the somewhat extraordinary excuse that he did not reply to the telegram because the last time he had sent a telegram the Government refused to repay him the cost. The bereaved families were left waiting in Youghal from Saturday to Tuesday with no idea when the bodies of their relatives would be returned to them. The coroner was based in Fermoy and he went on to outline that he could not travel on the Sunday because he would be violating the Sabbath. He travelled to Midleton on the Monday before travelling on to Youghal on the Tuesday where he arrived at 5pm. Rev O’Neill CC said that the local constabularly had done everything in their powers to expedite the inquest and to help the bereaved who were gathered in the town for days.  The bereaved had travelled a distance in most cases and had no idea when the bodies of the deceased would be returned to them. There were concerns that the bodies were decomposing as there were no morgue facilities in Youghal. A jury was eventually chosen who proceeded to view the bodies after which the bereaved were allowed to take the bodies for burial. The inquest was then postponed until the following Friday 6th October. The following is the report on the initial phase of the inquest as reported in the Cork Examiner:

Date: 3rd October 1876 Cork Examiner

Title: The Inquest

Article: “Shortly before five o’clock Mr. Richard Rice, Fermoy, Coroner, arrived and immediately proceeded to the Courthouse for the purpose of holding an inquest on the bodies which had been recovered, accompanied by T. Denehy, Esq., R.M, Sub-inspector Wilson, and Rev. James O’Neill, C.C., Charles Ronayne, Esq. J.P., Mr H.T. Denehy, Coroner, Co. Waterford.

On taking his seat on the bench, Mr. Rice asked Mr. Wilson R.I.C., for some particulars connected with the occurrence.

Head Constable Barry: - Immediately after the occurrence, I telegraphed, to say that the ferry boat had upset and that fourteen persons were drowned.

Coroner:- I got two telegraphs – one on Saturday evening, and the purport of that was that there was a certain number of persons drowned at Youghal, and the head-constable stated that an inquest was necessary. Well of course, I could not come here on Sunday – that would be violating the Sabbath – and the next best course I could adopt was to drive as quickly as I could to Midleton, and then come here. Therefore, if any person be put to inconvenience it is not my fault. On previous occasions when I replied to telegrams regarding public matters, for the convenience of the public and of the constabulary, and afterwards when I applied to the Government for the cost of these telegrams I was refused. Therefore, if in this case any inconvenience has been caused to the public, the constabulary, or the coroner, it is attributable to the conduct of the Government.

Mr. Wilson, S.I.:- It is hardly fair, Mr Coroner, to say you received no intimidation, because, in my opinion, a telegram is the quickest way of conveying an intimation.

Coroner:- The regulations, I believe, differ everywhere. In Queenstown if occasion arises for an enquiry the Sub-Inspector telegraphs and pays for a reply, and the same is done in other places.

Mr. Wilson, S.I.:- It seems to me you have laid all the blame on the constabulary.

Coroner:- Quite the contrary. I repeat that I have no desire to cast any imputation on the constabulary. But my district is very large, and really if Government will not pay me for making necessary inquiries I have no desire to lose a day in merely making out where a place is situated.

Rev. Mr. O’Neill, C.C.:- On behalf of the friends of these poor people deceased, I say that the question is this: I can testify that here this morning Mr. Wilson, the Sub-Inspector, and Mr. Barry, the Head-constable could not have shown more zeal and more feeling if they were personally concerned in the affair. They telegraphed, they sent messages, they did everything they possibly could in order to convenience the poor people who had gathered into town. And it was well they did so for some of the bodies were decomposed this morning. It was my duty to be present where the corpses were this morning, and I saw people there from the ends of remote parishes of the county Waterford, and from this parish also. Not a single one of these bodies but must go ten or twelve or fourteen miles tonight for interment. I hold that there was no necessity for certifying for an inquest at all. Everybody knew of the accident, and there was no necessity for finding out the cause of death (hear, hear).

The Coroner said he was always glad to hear his friend and relative father O’Neill, but he should say that on Saturday evening he had no idea of leaving Fermoy to find his way to Youghal.

Father O’Neill:- The question is why you were not here at 12 o’clock today instead of now.

The Coroner said he had driven as well as he could to Midleton. If Sunday were not the Sabbath day he would be quite in time.

The Coroner also, in reference to father O’Neill’s remarks, spoke about the necessity for having a morgue in Youghal and in other towns of such a size.

Father O’Neill said that even had there been a morgue the deceased would not have been put into it – they were too respectable (hear, hear).

The following jury were then sworn:- Messrs Richard Evans (foreman), Edward Sliney, Henry Eastaway, John O’Brien, John Guinan, Michael Loghlen, Wm Long, James Hannan, Ml McDonnell, Wm Broderick, John Cashman, James Prendergast, Maurice Cashman, Timothy O’Sullivan, Michael O’Shea, Stephen Cunningham.

The coroner said that if any gentleman, on account of conscientious reasons, did not wish to serve on the jury he would excuse him.

A man named John Hayes being called on to serve as juror objected, as he said, on conscientious motives, and the coroner excused him.

The jury then proceeded to view the bodies, and in about a quarter of an hour returned to the courthouse.

Some conversations then took place as to the most suitable day for an adjournment, and after some discussion, it was agreed to adjourn until next Friday. A considerable number of those present were in favour of having the adjournment to a longer date.

The Coroner said that at the next inquiry it probably would be his duty to direct their attention as to what means would be conductive to the prevention of casualties of this kind in future. They also would have to consider as to the places for life-buoys and life-boats, if they had any. It would be his and their duty to consider, with whatever assistance the Crown might tender them in the shape of a crown-solicitor or with Mr. Dennehy, R.M., where the responsibility rested in this case. He was not at present aware of the laws connected with the management of the boats in this case, but he might tell them that if there were anything like gross neglect or want of proper supervision on the part of the Town Commissioners with regards to this boat, they would be held responsible (hear, hear). If he might give his opinion, the parties who would be mainly responsible, The Poor Law Guardians, and the Grand Jury at this side or the other side, or both.

Declan Connory, a respectable looking farmer from Portlaw, county Waterford, identified  the bodies of Mary Lincoln, Honora Keane, Bridget Connory, and John Shanahan. Robert Wynne (aged 63) he was not quite sure about, as he had been several years in America. They were all neighbours of his residing at Portlaw.

When the jury was about to be dismissed, one of the body rose up and said he was a master of a ship now in harbour; that he now wanted to get away, as his ship was about to sail.

The Coroner said he could not excuse him, as he had not applied before the inquest commenced.

The jury was then adjourned to next Friday; and very soon after the melancholy sight of a funeral might have been perceived winding its way along the town.”

The above newspaper article seems to indicate that up to five of the fatalities in the ferry boat accident were neighbours of Declan Connory from Portlaw in Co. Waterford.  We believe this is unlikely partly because of the distance from Portlaw to Ferrypoint but also because it has been indicated that the passengers on the boat were largely from the Kinsalebeg area ie Whiting Bay, Pilltown, Monatray and Ardmore. In addition in other evidence it was stated that Hanora (Hanna) Keane was from Springfield, Kinsalebeg and Bridget Connory (Connery) and her brother Robert Wynne were from Rath, Kinsalebeg. Robert Wynne had only recently returned to live in Ireland after a long period living in the USA. He and his sister Bridget were in Youghal on the day of the ferry boat accident in order to buy goods for his homecoming party but they both tragically lost their lives on the return trip to Ferrypoint. The reference to Portlaw therefore seems to be incorrect unless it happens to reference some townland around Kinsalebeg with which we are not familiar.

Opening Inquest Report on Ellen Budds in Cork Examiner 10th Oct 1876

The opening Inquest Report on Ellen Budds was reported in the Cork Examiner on Tues 10th October 1876.  Ellen Budds was just one of the casualties of the ferry boat accident but the inquest was to be a broad based inquiry, which would cover all aspects of the accident, and would therefore be relevant to all the families involved. The inquest had taken place the previous Saturday and the coroner said that this was a preliminary inquiry and would be adjourned after a few witnesses had been examined. Aside from the jury there were four other people who were assisting in the inquiry: Dr. Poole JP, Colonel Sheppard J.P, M.A. Poole, and Dr Ryan, dispensary medical officer. The inquest took place in the house of Ellen Budds’s husband which was stated to be in Ardmore but we assume was in Ardo where they lived.

Michael Fitzgerald from Ardo, one of the survivors of the accident, was the first witness sworn in and the following is a summary of his evidence. He stated that he knew Ellen Budds for a number of years and on Saturday 30th September he was in Youghal selling potatoes. He said that about 11 o’clock on that day he brought Edward Gorman to the pub owned by Edward Connors and bought him half a noggin of whiskey. Edward Gorman was one of the ferrymen on the ill-fated boat and Edward Connors was the man who ran the ferry service. While Michael Fitzgerald was in Edward Connor’s pub another of the ferry boatmen, David Mahony, arrived and he also bought him half a glass of whiskey. David Mahony was subsequently one of the casualties of the ill-fated ferry. Michael Fitzgerald then left the pub to finish his business in town and at half-past four went to the ferry with his wife. The question as to whether the presence of alcohol was a possible contributory factor to the accident was raised during the inquest particularly with respect to Edward Gorman, the head boatman.

 Michael Fitzgerald and his wife were the first two to board the ferry and he went on to name those that he knew who came on board subsequently. He said that there were eventually twenty two people on board as far as he knew but there could have been more. He was asked by Colonel Sheppard whether he had objected to the number of people in the boat and Michael Fitzgerald said that he had called out in Irish to Edward Connors, who was on the quayside, and told him not to leave anyone else on board. He said that Edward Connors did not reply and that an additional four or more people came on board afterwards. Michael Fitzgerald said he took over one of the four oars from David Mahony as he was better able to pull than him. He said that the boat was not balanced as there were too many people in the stern and that he asked some of them to go to the front of the boat. There were four oars in use on the boat which made it difficult to balance the boat according to Michael Fitzgerald, presumably because there was not much room on the front of the boat ahead of the leading oarsmen.

When the ferry started out a Mary Lincoln cried out that water was coming in to the stern of the boat and then others also raised the alarm. Michael Fitzgerald said that he eventually became alarmed himself and asked Edward Gorman to turn back to the quay but was told to keep rowing.  He said that his wife had heard Gorman say that “he would make the ferry in spite of the devil”. Michael FitzGerald was then asked by Dr Poole whether he felt that Gorman and Mahony were in a fit state to row people across the ferry. He replied that he thought that “they were able to do their business” and that he had often seen them worse. He said that he had often seen Gorman with “enough taken going across the ferry”. Michael Fitzgerald finished his evidence by reiterating that he felt that there were too many people on the ferry and that the boat was not balanced properly. He said that it was difficult to balance the boat when there were four oars in use.

The second witness at the inquest was James Lynch from Summerhill who said that he helped Bob Gleeson on one of the oars. He said that they were ten yards from the quay when he called out to Edward Gorman that the boat was taking in water and asked him to pull back into the quay. He was not sure if Edward Gordon heard him but that Gorman told Davy Mahony to bale out the boat. He said that the water was over the ceiling of the boat which for the non nautical refers to the planks on the bottom of the boat. He said that he thought that the boat was leaking as the water was not coming in over the sides of the boat. The weather was very rough when they reached the pier head and the wind was blowing from the north east with the tide on the turn. James Lynch said that when the boat got out in the open “the wind and tide caught her in the bow and skewed her right round; she then got broadside on to the wave, and the sea broke in over the side; she filled, and went down stern foremost; as she sank I saw Mrs Budds off the stern of the boat in the water; she was afloat on her back with her arms stretched out.” James Lynch concluded his evidence by saying that there were too many people on board and that if they had turned back when he called out that they might have been saved. He said that he felt that “the ferrymen had no more drink taken than they would want; they were able to do their business”. The inquest was adjourned until the end of the week having taken the evidence of Michael Fitzgerald of Ardo and James Lynch of Summerhill. The following are the details of the first day of the inquest as outlined in the Cork Examiner of the 10th October 1876:

Date 10th October 1876 Cork Examiner

Title: Recent Ferry-Boat Disaster in Youghal. Important Inquiry.

Article:”Mr Coroner Denehy opened an inquiry on Saturday on the body of Ellen Budds, who it will be remembered was one of those drowned on this day week by the upsetting of the ferry-boat.

The following jury was sworn:- Messrs. Michl. Ahern (foreman), Michael Cunningham, John Fitzgerald, Michael Keane, John Flavin, Declan Fitzgerald, James Foley, Patrick Fitzgerald, William Begley, John Foley, senr., John Foley, jun., Patrick Meade, John Brien, John Lennon, ?Thomas Cullen.

The Coroner briefly addressed the jury, pointing out that this was merely a preliminary inquiry, and that it was intended to adjourn the inquest after one or two witnesses had been examined.

The following evidence was them taken:-

Michael Fitzgerald, of Ardo, in the parish of Ardmore, labourer, sworn and examined by the Coroner:-  

(Michael Fitzgerald):- I knew the deceased Ellen Budds for a number of years; I was in Youghal on this day week, 30th September; I was selling potatoes in the market there, and about eleven o’clock in the forenoon I brought Edward Gorman, one of the ferrymen, up to a public house kept by Edward Connors, who has the ferry; I gave Gorman half a noggin of whiskey there, and while in the shop another ferryman, named David Mahony, came in and I gave him half a glass of whiskey; I left the shop and went about my business, leaving Gorman and Mahony in the shop; after I finished my business in town I went about half-past four o’clock with my wife to return home in the ferryboat; the tide was going out for a short time; there was no person in the boat when I got to her; I was the first man to go into the boat; it was from the quay wall opposite Captain Eastaway’s house that the passengers got into the boat; a number of people came into the boat after me; there were four boatmen managing the boat, two were named Gorman and Malry [Mahony]; I don’t know the names of the other two. Amongst the passengers who got into the boat were:- Catherine McCarthy, Patrick Keane, of Mortgage, Hannah Keane, of Springfield, - Keane of Ardo, my wife Kate Fitzgerald, Margaret Foley, of Grange, Bridget Connory, of Rath, and her brother Robert Wynne, Ellen Budds (the deceased), Edward Staunton, Mary Foley, Mary Keeffe, Thomas Burke, of Prospect Hall, John Shanahan, John Tracey, of Aglish, James Lynch, and Mary Lincoln.

(Coroner):-Did you see a pedlar in it – a man with umbrellas ?

Witness:- I did not; there were 22 in the boat as far as I know.

Colonel Sheppard: Might there have been others in the boat whom you did not know ?

Witness:- There might have been others in the boat without my knowledge.

Col. Sheppard:- Did you object to the number of persons that were in the boat ?

Witness:- I did. Connors, the lessee of the ferry was standing on the quay collecting money. I called out to him in Irish that there were quite enough persons in the boat, and not to leave any more in. He made no reply. Four or more persons came in after that.

Colonel Sheppard remarked that their object was to have a full and thorough investigation into this business, and not to prejudice anybody. I am of opinion this is very serious evidence as concerns Connors, and I think he ought to have somebody here to represent him.

Dr. Poole:- This is only a preliminary inquiry and if anything comes out in the evidence to affect Connors, he will have an opportunity afterwards of being represented.

The Coroner:- At the same time there is not the slightest objection that he should be represented here to-day.

Colonel Sheppard:- Does he know of this inquiry ?

A gentleman presented that he had informed Connors on the previous day that the inquest would be held.

The examination of the witness was continued.

(Witness Michael Fitzgerald):- When we were about to start Gorman asked me to take an oar as I was better able to pull than Mahony. I took the oar, nearly all the passengers were sitting in the stern, and I told Mick Keane and another to go forward to sit in the bow. If there were only two oars it would have been easy to manage the people, but when four oars were on, it was not so easy to arrange them, as they had not much space. We started and had got as far as the pier head when Mary Lincoln began to cry out that the water was coming into her boots.

(Coroner):- Where was the water coming from?

(Witness):- I cannot say whether it came over the side or that the boat was leaking; at all events, it was not coming in at the side where I was rowing; there  was water in the boat before we left, we took no notice of the women crying then, but further on they became very much alarmed, and cried out that the water was coming in; I stopped rowing, and becoming in dread myself, I asked Gorman to turn and go back; Gorman told me to row on;  I saw no water at that time coming over the side.

(Coroner):- Do you think the boat was leaking ?

(Witness):- I don’t know; perhaps the boat was too low in the water.

(Coroner):- How much was the gunwale out of the water in the dock ?

(Witness):- It was not very high, indeed; I don’t know how deep she was behind, but she was not taking in any water over the side.

Foreman:- Was the water smooth when the women first began to cry out ?

Witness:- Oh, it was smooth enough.

(Foreman):- Tell me did not eight persons go into the boat after you spoke to Connors about not letting more in ?

Witness:- I don’t know; I have answered the question already.

(Foreman): Did you ever say that six or eight persons got into the boat after that ?

(Witness):-  No matter what I said to anybody; I am now sworn to tell the truth, and I am telling the truth.

Examination continued.

(Witness):- When we got outside on the pier head it was rough enough; the very moment she went outside she took water in over the gunwale; the women were crying out to turn; I stopped pulling, but Gorman told me to pull on; I was in dread the boat would not do, and that was the reason I stopped pulling.

(Coroner):- Did Gorman say anything?

(Witness):- He said he would make the ferry.

Dr. Poole:- Did he say he would make the ferry despite the d----- (devil) ?

Witness:- I did not hear him say that – he said they had a good boat, and that they would make the ferry.

(Dr Poole):- Did he stop pulling?

(Witness):- I could not say as my back was turned to him. All of them were screaming to turn, and clapping their hands in fear that they would be drowned. We were going to turn, but before we had time to do so the boat got filled, and we went down.

Dr Poole:- Now I ask you one question – did you hear Gorman say that he would make the ferry in spite of the d---- (devil) ?

Witness:- Well, doctor, it is like a dream to me he said something of the kind; my wife heard him say so, and she told me.

(Dr Poole):- At the time you stopped rowing and asked Gorman to put back, if he had turned back at that time would anything have happened?

(Witness):- Well, we would have a chance of being saved; the water was not smooth when I stopped pulling; we were just then turning the pier head.

A juror:- Did you hear one of the ferrymen object to go into the boat ?

Witness:- I did not hear anyone say they were afraid except my wife.

Dr Poole:- Considering the state of the weather, were Gorman and Mahony in a fit state to row people across the ferry ?

Witness:- I know they were able to do their business.

(Dr Poole):- Were they in a state to entrust a whole living freight to ?

(Witness):- I often saw them worse

Foreman:- Did you ever see Gorman drunk ?

Witness:- I often saw him with enough taken going across the ferry. Yes, often.

Dr. Poole:- Is it your opinion that had that boat been properly trimmed the accident would not have happened ?

(Witness):- The boat was not balanced right; if it was we would have every chance, but it was not easy to manage her when they had four oars.

Dr. Poole:- If any person were to look after the boat and had seen that she was properly trimmed do you think the boat would have had every chance ?

Witness:- I think so; there were too many left into the boat.

James Lynch, of Summer Hill, labourer, deposed.

James Lynch:- I was one of the passengers by the ferryboat on the day in question. I sat down on the ??wart and caught the oar with Bob Gleeson; the boat was ten yards gone from the quay when I called out to Gorman that the boat was making water and to pull in; I don’t know whether he heard me or not, but he told Davy Mahony to bale out the boat.

(Coroner):- Did you see the water come in ?

(Witness):- It was over the ceiling, we were just then at the pier head, and the sea was not ?? there to break over the gunwale; my opinion was that she was leaking. When she got to the pier head it was very rough; the wind was blowing from the north-east; and the tide was on the turn. When the boat got out the wind and tide caught her in the bow and slewed her right round; she then got broadside on to the wave, and the sea broke in over the side; she filled, and went down stern foremost; as she sank I saw Mrs Budds off the stern of the boat in the water; she was afloat on her back with her arms stretched out.

To the Foreman:- If the boat had turned back when I called out she might have been saved – I am sure she would; I knew she would never make the ferry with the load she had.

(Foreman):- Then why did you go in her?

(Witness):- I took my chance; it is my opinion there were too many in the boat; if there were less people in the stern she might go better, but making water as she was, and with the weather so wild, I knew she would not be able to go across; the ferrymen had no more drink taken than they would want; they were able to do their business; I did not hear Gorman say they would make the ferry in spite of the d---- (devil).

Evidence of identity having been given, the Coroner suggested that they should adjourn over the time of holding the inquest in Youghal.

Several jurors expressed their dissatisfaction at so long an adjournment, and finally, after a poll, it was agreed to adjourn until the end of this week. - Constitution.

Continuation of Inquest Report on Ellen Budds in Cork Examiner 16th Oct 1876

The inquest on Ellen Budds and the ferry boat accident resumed on Sat 14th October. A Mr Browne was retained by Percy Smith [Smyth] of Headborough to represent the victims as they were mostly his tenants. Mr Spratt represented Edward Connors, who was the lessee of the ferry, and Mr Verling of Hodnett & Verling represented the Youghal Town Commissioners. The second day of the inquest was reported in the Cork Examiner on 16th October 1876. As in the earlier newspaper reports there are some mistakes in the names of various individuals mentioned and we have put what we believe are the correct names in brackets.

Thomas Burke, a survivor of the accident, was the first witness called. He said that he had crossed from Ferrypoint to Youghal on the ferry at half past three and having spent an hour in town he returned to the ferry slip get the four thirty ferry back to Ferrypoint. He outlined that there were four oars being used on the ferry on this trip. James Lynch and Robert Gleeson were on the bow oar; Edward Gorman was on the second oar; William McCarthy and Thomas Burke himself were on the third oar; Michael Fitzgerald was on the fourth oar. Thomas Burke said that they were not long left the quay when he saw water over the ceiling of the boat and he told Gorman to take the boat back. He said that the “women were all bawling”. Gorman said that they had a good boat and that he would make the ferry in spite of the devil. When they left the shelter of the harbour the boat was turned by the wind with her stern to the ferry slip and the bow towards the steamer quay. A large sea came over the stern of the boat and when Gorman saw that she was sinking he told Thomas Burke to go to the front of the boat. When Thomas Burke stood up he was thrown into the water. He tried to hold on to Gorman’s oil coat but it tore and he sank. He met with two of the oars from the ferry but someone landed on his back and he sank again. This was the last recollection he had of the accident. Thomas Burke said that the boat was not trimmed properly and that half the number of passengers would have been enough on such a bad day. He said that the stern of the boat was eight inches out of the water and that he had often seen the boat go across as deep but that was on a fine day.

Mary Whelan was the next witness and said that as they were on their way to the pier head she saw water coming in over the stern of the boat and the women were screaming. Edward Gorman told them not to be frightened as they had a good boat under them. She said that Pat Keane, one of the deceased, struck the boatman, Davy Mahony, three times and told him to bring the boat back in to the quay. The waves came over them three times before the boat sunk. In answer to a question from Mr Spratt, representing Edward Connors, Mary Whelan said she had no fear going into the boat that evening and that she had heard no complaints to Connors when the boat was starting out.

The next person examined was Patrick Gorman who lived in a house overlooking the ferry slip. He said he came to the door of his house when he heard the noise of some people who were shouting that the boat was in danger. The boat was heading in a north-east direction, which would have been towards Ferrypoint, when she got into rough water caused by the waves resounding from the pier head. Some of the oarsmen stopped rowing which he said left the boat at the mercy of the waves. He knew this was a dangerous situation and the stern of the boat began to dip in the cross sea. He called on two men to help him launch a rescue boat and at this stage the ferry boat had sunk and all the people were in the water. Several other boats were in the water helping the rescue at this stage. He said that it appeared to him that the boat was not trimmed properly and if three people from the stern of the boat were at the front that things might have been ok.

The next witness was Mrs Lynch from Summerhill who was a mother of James Lynch who was a surviving passenger in the accident. Mrs Lynch said she refused to go on the boat because it was too full and the water was too rough. Her son James went on the ferry ahead of her. She said she called her son to come off the boat but that Connors ordered the boat off and her son did not have time to get off the ferry. She looked at the boat for a while but was so frightened that ran into nearby house and prayed for her son. When she came out the boat had sunk and all the people were in the water but her son was saved. The inquest was then adjourned to the following Thursday. The following is the Cork Examiner report on the second day of the inquest:

            Date: 16th October 1876 Cork Examiner

Title: The Recent Ferry Boat Accident at Youghal. The Adjourned Inquest at Ardmore.

Article: “On Saturday Mr. Coroner Dennehy resumed the inquest on the body of Mrs Ellen Budds, one of the victims of this catastrophe. The inquiry took place at Ahearne’s Hotel.

Mr Browne (retained by Mr. Percy Smith, of Headborough, whose tenantry were the principal sufferers by the disaster) appeared for the next of kin. Mr. Spratt represented Edmond Connors, the lessee of the ferry. Mr. Verling (Hodnett and Verling) watched the enquiry on behalf of the Youghal Town Commissioners.

The jury having answered to their names, the Coroner asked who was the next witness.  Mr. Spratt said before any other witnesses were examined he would ask that the depositions of Thomas Fitzgerald and James Lynch should be read. These witnesses were examined on the first day, when his client (Connors) was not represented, and he wished to cross-examine them.  It appeared that neither of the witnesses were present, and the Coroner ordered them to be sent.

Thomas Burke was sworn, and deposed:- I crossed the ferry to Youghal on this day fortnight at half-past three o’clock; I spent about an hour in the town, and returned to the ferry slip; I was waiting in the toll house for fifteen minutes for the ferry; Ned Connors was there and asked where were the boatmen – where was Gorman ? Someone, who was in the ferry house, said they were over there, meaning Walsh’s; the bell rung then, and they all went up to the boat, which was opposite Capt. Eastaway’s; there were a number in the boat already; about four or five came in after me; when I got into the boat I was packing some baskets in the bow; Connors was then on the quay; the boat started; Robert Lynch [James Lynch ?] and James Gleeson [Robert Gleeson ?] went on the bow oar; Edward Gorman  took the second oar; myself and William McCarthy took the third oar; Mick Fitzgerald took the after oar; we were not long out from the quay in the dock when I saw water in the ceiling of the boat; I told Gorman there was water in the boat, and to take back the boat; he made me no answer, but told Davy Mahony to bale out the boat with a bucket; he got the bucket to bale it with, but I don’t know whether he baled her out or not; we pulled the boat as far as the middle of the pier head, and the water was then running up from her stern, towards us, along the ceiling; we pulled along outside the pier head, and the women were all bawling; I told Gorman, who was next to me, to back the boat – that she was sinking; he spoke out and told them they had a good boat, and that he would make the ferry in spite of the devil; Gorman and Gleeson, who were at the bow oars stopped pulling then; the boat’s bow was then turned towards the steamer quay, and her stern to the ferry slip; she was turned that way by the wind, which was north east; a large sea came right over her stern; when Gorman saw the boat sinking, Gorman told me to get up to the bow; I jumped up and was tossed out in the river; the first thing I caught was Gorman’s oil coat; it tore with me; I sank then and met with two oars in the water; some one got on my back then, and sank me, and I recollect nothing more; I saw Mrs. Budds in the boat that day.

To Mr. Browne:- I did not see the boat baled out before we started; I saw no water in the boat until after we started; I did not hear any observation made to Connors before we started; we were about half way in the dock from where we started when I saw the water on the ceiling and then called Gorman’s attention to it; this was the same boat that I came across to Youghal in an hour before; I heard no person calling out in the boat while we were in the dock; the water there was smooth; it was when we were getting into the rough water, after clearing the pier head, that women were bawling out to back the boat; it was before that I spoke to Gorman; the reason that I spoke to Gorman was that I considered him the chief boatman and the best man in the boat; I was accustomed to boats and the proper way to back the boat would be by the stern into the smooth water; the boat was badly trimmed; if she were properly trimmed she would not be so much in the water by the stern; the boat was usually worked with two oars, and I think it was in consequence of the weather the two additional oars were used; I was employed on this ferry for about six weeks three years ago.

( Mr Browne): Do you think the lives of the people would have been saved if she were put back

(Thomas Burke):  it is my opinion, that if the boat were put back she would come into the smooth water, but I don’t think she would come without sinking.

(Mr Browne): Why do you think she would not get in without sinking ?

(Thomas Burke): Because she was too deep with passengers and the water that was in her.

Cross-examined by Mr Spratt:- There may have been water in the boat when I got into her first but I could not see it with all the people in the stern; often heard Gorman say he would make a ferry in spite of the devil; sure ‘tis in spite of the devil everything is done (laughter).

Mr Browne: It is unfortunate that he opposed so powerful an enemy.

Cross-examination continued:  I heard no complaint made to Connors before we started; her stern was not eight inches out of the water; I often saw the ferry boat go across as deep, but that was on a fine day.

The Foreman (M. Ahearn):- Did you say that when the men stopped pulling the boat could not go a peg further she was so full of passengers and water?

Witness (Thomas Burke):- I did

Mr. Spratt said he thought the questions of jurors should be put through the Coroner.

The Foreman protested against being interrupted in this manner. Mr. Spratt wanted to bully him and he would not allow it. Mr. Spratt denied that he did.

The Coroner said Mr. Spratt had no right to interrupt the foreman. He put a very fair question.

Mr. Browne said a juror need not submit his question to the Coroner, because he was independent of the Coroner.

Mr. Spratt said he would go further and say that the professional men should put their questions through the Coroner.

The Foreman said he would put his questions direct to the witness.

Mr. Spratt here made use of a very strong expression towards the foreman.

The Foreman claimed the Coroner’s protection from this language.

Mr. Spratt said all this showed the impropriety of holding the inquest in the foreman’s house.

The Foreman:- This is more of it.

The Coroner:- As to that I have a right to hold it anywhere I like.

Mr. Spratt: Why not hold it in the Courthouse ?

The Coroner: - Because I didn’t think it a fit place and I won’t give you any further satisfaction. The foreman can put his questions.

Witness to the foreman:- When the men stopped pulling the boat could not go a peg further she was so full of water; I consider it was the duty of the men to bale the boat out before starting on a day like this; if there was no water in her at starting there could not have been so much water in her for the short distance we went; I say that half the number would have been quite enough for the boat on such a bad day; it is my opinion if no wave came over her gunwale she would get across the ferry.

Mary Whelan deposed that on the day of the accident she was the first to get into the boat after Gorman, who helped her in; a good many came in after; did not see the deceased (Ellen Budds) in her, but saw her on the quay; when we were going towards the Pier Head the water was coming in behind over the stern; the women then began to scream, and Gorman said they had a good boat under them, and they need not be frightened; Pat Keane, who was buried yesterday, struck Davy Mahony (one of the boatmen) three times, and said to fetch the boat in; he was then bailing out the water; the waves came three times over us, and then she went down under us; the waves came in three times.

In reply to Mr. Spratt, she said that she had no fear of going into the boat that evening; heard no complaint made to Connors when the boat was starting.

Mr. Verling here suggested that Mr. Gorman, of Youghal, who witnessed the accident, should be examined.

The Foreman said he understood that Mr. Gorman would be a witness for the defence, as it were, and he was directed by the jury to ask the Coroner whether this was the proper time to hear him.

Mr. Spratt said there was no such thing as a defence there. They had to examine every witness.

The Foreman understood he was summoned by the party represented by Mr. Spratt.

Mr. Spratt said he was not.

Mr. Verling said he was there at the Coroner’s summons.

The Coroner:- I didn’t summon him.

The Foreman:- He was summoned by Mr. Hodnett.

Mr. Browne said if Mr. Gorman was brought there for the purpose of sustaining Connor, or anything of that kind, he did not think he should be examined, but if it was merely as an impartial eye-witness, the Coroner had no power but to hear him.

Mr. Verling said Mr. Gorman was an eye-witness of the occurrence. He viewed it from a different standpoint from the others who had been examined, and naturally he had a better opportunity of judging than those people who were in such a state of excitement.

The Foreman said of course they would be happy to hear Mr. Gorman, but the question was, was it the time.

Mr. Verling:- On the part of the public authorities in Youghal, I ask you to examine him.

The Coroner said he would take his evidence.

Mr. Patrick Gorman examined by the Coroner:- On the day of the accident I was at my own door, and had my eyes on the boat for two minutes up to the time the men ceased pulling; I was attracted to my door by the noise of some persons who said the ferry boat was in danger; the boat was then approaching the pier head heading north-east; the boat then appeared to be getting in to rough water, caused by the waves rebounding from the pier head; she mounted three of these in succession; I was looking at her broadside on and saw only two oars; the men stopped pulling; immediately after by the action of the wind and tide I saw the boat canting and coming broadside to the weather; I saw danger then; she began to dip her quarters in the cross sea, and I at once called for a boat; I went to one which was on the quay, and two men came to my assistance when I brought her to the top of the slip; she was a ship’s boat; all was excitement; there were no oars or dowel pins in the boat; I ran back to my house and got an oar; when I came back the ferryboat was sunk, and all the people in the water; I saw her gunwale in the water; she had not capsized at this time; the boat I got out was afloat then, and several other boats were out endeavouring to save the people; I considered the boat when I first saw her in the dock out of trim but she had no more weight than she could carry; if three of the people aft went forward I don’t think there would be any danger in her making a ferry.

Mr. Browne:-  That was the impression of the poor misguided people who went into her.

Witness (Gorman):- Any boat, if she were launched yesterday, trimmed as she was could not live; when the men stopped pulling she was at the mercy of a short jump of sea broadside on.

To Mr. Browne:- I would not fancy being in that boat that day.

The Foreman:- Do you believe she was properly managed that day ?

Witness:- I don’t think so. She didn’t ship any water up to the time that the men ceased pulling; if she were properly trimmed and managed and in other hands, I think she would have made the ferry. I didn’t see any interruption on the part of the people in the boat with the boatmen up to the time the men stopped pulling.

The Foreman said the jury were much obliged to Mr. Gorman for the very valuable evidence he gave them.

Mr. Spratt said his evidence had taken him by surprise and had given a different direction to the case. He would not do so now, but he would ask the Coroner to reserve his right to examine him.

The Coroner thought that would be very irregular. The witness was there, and he could ask him any question.

Mr. Spratt said he didn’t wish to ask him any question then.

Mr. Browne:- Do you repudiate his testimony on the part of your client ?

Mr. Spratt:- I didn’t say one way or the other

The Coroner:- I think this is a most curious application. He is almost your witness, and you refuse to go on.

The Foreman:- And if we go on this way we will never get through the case.

The Coroner:- No indeed.

Mr. Spratt said it was just as likely that he would not require Mr. Gorman, but he wanted to have the right to do so if necessary.

The Foreman said if there were no other witnesses they may finish that night.

Mr. Spratt:- Well, I may tell you that there are a dozen more witnesses to be called up.

An old woman named Lynch was next examined. She said that she and her son were going across the ferry that evening. Her son got in first, and she refused to follow him, because it was too full and the water was too rough. She called to her son to come out of the boat, but Connors ordered the ferry off, and he had not time. She looked at the boat for a while, but was so frightened that she ran into a house close by, knelt down, and prayed for her son. In a few minutes afterwards she came out and saw the boat sunk and all the people in the water. Her son was saved.

At this stage the inquest was adjourned till Thursday.

Final Inquest Report on Ellen Budds in Cork Examiner 20th Oct 1876

The last day of the inquest on Ellen Budds in the ferry boat tragedy took place on Thursday 19th October 1876 in Ahern’s hotel in Ardmore. It was reported in the Cork Examiner on 20th October 1876 and we give the full details below so the following is just a summary of some of the key issues raised. Mr Brown was present representing Percy Smyth, Mr Hodnett watched the proceedings on the part of the Youghal Town Commissioners. Mr Edward Connors, the lessee of the ferry, was present but was not professionally represented by Mr Spratt, as he had been earlier in the inquest.

Captain Eastaway, harbour master at Youghal, was the first witness.  He said that he was harbour master for thirty five years but had nothing to do with the inspection of the ferry. He said that on the day of the accident the ferry was loaded from the Market Dock which was not unusual. The water in the dock was quite smooth but it was too rough to embark from the ferry slip where the ferry normally set off from. He stated that there were too many people in the aft part of the boat and that there was a heavy sea outside the pier head. He thought that the boat was not safe to cross as she was too deep in the water even though he believed that the boat was a good one. He said that the boat was being rowed by four oars and that she went down about twenty or thirty yards beyond the pier head. When the ferry went down he got a boat from ship and rescued two people. He went on to say that he looked at the stricken ferry on the day after the accident and came to the conclusion that she was not a safe boat as she was “worn out”; the ends of the outer planking were all started from the starboard side of her stern; the general condition of the boat was bad, and the top seam of the starboard side about seven inches from the gunwale was open, but whether it was caused by the sinking of the boat or previously I was unable to say”. Edward Connors, the ferry lessee, interjected and said that the ferry could carry fifty two or sixty two passengers and had done so three weeks ago and Captain Eastaway responded “I would not like to have been in her”.

Patrick Mackin, a coastguard station officer at Ardmore, was the next witness examined. He said that he regularly used the ferry and was familiar with the ferry boat involved in the accident. He said that he frequently pointed out to the ferry men that they were not loading the boat properly and that sometimes he refused to go on board himself. He said that he spoke to Mr Vass, the Superintendent, about the operation of the ferry and also reported the matter to Captain Parker. He said that the ferry boat was completely decayed and she might be fit for service in fine weather only. He said that he examined the boat on the 7th October, when the boat was lying on the slips at Youghal, and that “she had not more than an inch of keel in some places; I think I examined her sufficiently to prove that she was not fit for the service she was on”.

A long discussion ensued between the parties revolving around who was responsible for the condition of the boat itself. The Town Commissioners actually owned the ferry boats but they maintained that the responsibility for upkeep was with Edward Connors who had the lease of the ferry service. They maintained that it was not a part of their duty to ensure that the boats were in proper repair when they handed them over to Connors. They maintained that when Connors took over the boats he did not complain about their condition and that he was thereafter responsible for their condition from that point onwards. Apparently Edward Connors had made an application for a new boat but it had been turned down. There is no doubt that Edward Connors was responsible for the over loading of the boat on the day in question and that he and his boatmen were responsible for the poor balancing of the passengers on the boat. They were also responsible for any decisions regarding the launching of the ferry in poor weather conditions.

The Town Commissioners attempted to disassociate themselves completely from the poor condition of their ferry boats. It would appear that no new ferry boats were provided by them for possibly fifteen years on what was a demanding ferry service. The boats were plying their trade on a fairly non-stop half-hourly service in both directions throughout the year.  The boats were being pulled up on to the beach on the Ferrypoint side and onto the slips in Youghal with resultant additional wear and tear. One of the town commissioners, Mr John R. Barry, gave evidence that another commissioner, a Mr Lynch, took him to see one of the ferry boats a few days after Edward Connors took possession of them. They were obviously unhappy with what they saw and Commissioner Lynch was to bring the matter to the attention of the Town Commissioners. Mr Barry subsequently spoke to Edward Connors who agreed that the ferry boat was in poor condition. Edward Connors wrote to the Chairman of the Town Commissioners requesting a new boat but his request was turned down and he was told that he should keep the boats in repair himself. The remainder of the inquest was spent in discussing various issues around the area of responsibility for the condition of the ferry boats. Edward Connors had stated earlier that he was unable to pay a solicitor to defend himself after the first day of the inquest where he was represented by Mr Spratt. The third day of the inquest concluded and the coroner decided that it was not necessary to revisit the mass of evidence presented over the three days. He told the jury that “The question for them to decide was whether the sinking of this boat was caused by negligence or want of caution on the part of those in charge or by accident”. The jury retired at half-past four to consider their verdict and returned at half-past six with the following verdict:

The jury are unanimous in finding a verdict of manslaughter against Edmund Connors, of the ferry boat in Youghal, in which Ellen Budds came by her death by drowning, on the 30th September, 1876, owing to the culpable negligence of Edmund Connors in the discharge of his duty as such lessee, and we therefore find that the said Edmund Connors did feloniously kill and slay the said Ellen Budds. We also censure the Town Commissioners of Youghal for their gross negligence in not having proper command over the ferry, and proper boats.”

            The foreman of the jury commended the constabulary for their efficiency during the case and the jury was then discharged. A warrant was issued for the arrest of Edward Connors who had left the inquest before it had concluded. The following is the full report on the last day of the inquest as it appeared in the Cork Examiner on 20th October 1876:

Date: 20th October 1876 Cork Examiner

Title: The Ferry Boat Accident at Youghal. Adjourned Inquest at Ardmore.

Article: “Mr. Coroner Dennehy yesterday resumed the adjourned inquiry into the circumstances attending the death of Ellen Budds, who was drowned whilst crossing the ferry boat from Youghal to Ardmore. The inquest was held in Ahern’s hotel.

Mr. Brown (retained by Mr. Percy Smith) appeared for the next of kin. Mr. Hodnett watched the proceedings on the part of the Youghal Town Commissioners. Edmund Connors, tenant of the ferry was present, but not professionally represented. The jury answered to their names.

Before taking any evidence the Coroner said that reading the report of the last day’s proceedings in the Herald of Monday last, he thought he saw that a professional gentleman, whom he did not see here that day, was reported to have used language towards the foreman of the jury, which escaped his (coroner’s) attention, as he was engaged in taking evidence. If he had noticed this, he would not have allowed it.

A juror:- I would wish to make a remark.

The Coroner said he would not allow him to interfere. He hoped that nothing would occur for the future to interrupt the proceedings. Perhaps reading the paper might think it queer that he did not interfere, and he thought it proper to make this explanation. He would not say anymore, as the gentleman was not present.

The Foreman asked, on the part of his fellow jurors to have other witnesses removed while one was being examined.

This was accordingly done.

The first witness examined was –

Captain Eastaway having been sworn stated:- I was looking on at  this accident; I am harbour master at Youghal, which position I held from the Town Commissioners; I was harbour master for thirty five years; I have nothing to do with the inspection of the ferry, as Harbour Master. I recollect the 3rd of September [30th September ?] ; I know the ferry boat in which the accident occurred; the wind was blowing strong from the north-east on that Saturday; the people got into the ferry boat at the Market Dock which is not the usual place for starting from; the water in the dock was quite smooth, and it was too rough to embark at the ferry slip; I have seen the boat start from the dock different times ?; I did not see the passengers going in that day, but saw the boat leave the quay;  I could not say if Connors was on the quay; there were too many persons in the aft part of the boat and in fact there was a heavy cross sea outside the pier head; I did not consider the boat was safe to cross, as she was too deep in the water; even if the boat was a good one, I would not think it safe to go across on such a day crowded as she was; I was looking at the boat from the time she left the dock until the accident occurred; the boat was being rowed with four oars and she went about twenty or thirty yards beyond the pier head. After clearing the pier head I saw her taking in some water; I saw the boat fill and go down; I got a boat from a ship and proceeded towards the scene of the accident; I succeeded in rescuing two people; she went down stern foremost; I never inspected the ferry boat before the 30th September, but I was looking at her the following day; I did not consider her a safe boat under the circumstances as she was worn out; the ends of the outer planking were all started from the starboard side of her stern; the general condition of the boat was bad, and the top seam of the starboard side about seven inches from the gunwale was open, but whether it was caused by the sinking of the boat or previously I am unable to say. Those injuries would not have been caused by her sinking, but might by the bringing of her up.

To Mr Connors:- I think the boat might carry about thirty passengers on a fine day. I think she was about three tons burden.

Mr. Connors:- She could carry fifty-two and sixty-two passengers, and did so three weeks ago.

Captain Eastaway:- I would not like to have been in her (laughter). I would suggest that the grapnel used for mooring the boat should be stowed under the bow deck and not in the stern, as is done at present. If this was done, or if the grapnel was left ashore more lives would have been saved, as this caught and kept the boat down.

Mr. Patrick Mackin, coastguard station officer, at Ardmore, was the next witness examined.

He stated as follows:- I have frequently gone across this ferry; I know the boat to which the accident happened well; I drew the attention of the ferry men frequently to the improper way in which they loaded the boat; I can’t swear whether it was this year, but to the best of my knowledge and belief it was; I spoke to Mr. Vass, the Superintendent, about it, and he said it should not occur again; I often came out of her because I saw she was badly trimmed; I was afraid I might get blame from my officer if an accident happened; I reported the matter to Captain Parker; the ferry boat was completely decayed; she might be fit for the service in fine weather; I examined her on the 7th October; at that time the boat was lying on one of the slips at Youghal; she had not more than an inch of keel in some places; I think I examined her sufficiently to prove that she was not fit for the service she was on.

(Patrick Mackin) To Mr Hodnett:-  My impression is that the prow was torn by being dragged up the slip; they have two boats on Youghal ferry that I know well; I could swear that this was one of the ferry boats; I could not say if one of the boats was worse than the other; I made no examination of the boats previous to the accident; neither of the boats were fit for the service.

(Patrick Mackin) To the Foreman:-  If the boat was properly adapted for the work the hauling of her up would not have hauled the planking out of her. Judging from the state I found the boat when I examined her, she must have been in a decayed state for a long time previous.

Mr. John O’Shea, Secretary of the Youghal Town Commissioners, read an extract from the minute book of the Commissioners, from which it appeared that a special meeting was held on July 26th, 1876, for the purpose of receiving tenders for letting harbour dues, ferry tolls. &c. Mr. Edmund Connor’s tender being the highest he was declared the tenant at £124 10s. a year.

Foreman: Were there any other tenders ?

Witness:- Yes, one

Mr. Hodnett:- Were these tenders pursuant to public advertisment ?

Witness:- Yes

Mr. Brown:- Could you tell us of the names of the quorum who were in favour of letting the boat to Connors ?

Witness:- I could not give you their names.

(Mr Brown):- Were any of the Commissioners in favour of retaining the ferry ?

Witness:- Yes, but none of them were present on this day. The rent was to be paid monthly in advance, and solvent security to be given for same. The tenant to have the ferry boats and all other equipment in the state in which they should be on the 1st day of August, and to keep them in order during the time of his tenancy, and would be required to start boats every half-hour. On report of default he was to pay a penalty of 5s. each day.

Mr. Brown asked what was the revenue derivable by the Commissioners from the ferry during the time Mr. Vass was collecting ?

Witness: I don’t think that important in this inquiry.

Mr. Brown: I think it very important.

Coroner: You may answer the question.

Witness:- Three years ago they realised £117 and after all the expenses had been paid.

Mr. Brown:- What did they realise last year ?

Witness:- I think between £85 and £90.

Mr. Brown:- Was there any reduction for the repairs of boats ?

Witness:- Yes, during the year Mr. Vass had it.

To Mr. Hodnett:- Mr. Connors was frequently a tenant of the ferry before. I think he was four years altogether.

Connors:- I was ten years.

Witness:- During that time he performed his duty to the satisfaction of the Commissioners.

Mr. Brown:- Do you mean by that, that he paid his dues regularly ?

Witness:- Yes, and the boats so far as the Commissioners were concerned, were run regularly and well kept.

Mr. Brown:- Are you aware that at the time an application was made by Connors, he was about to contract with the Commissioners for a new boat ?

Witness:- After the contract had been made, an application was received from Connors by the chairman, and if he remembered rightly the application would not be entertained.

Mr. Brown:- Where are the records of that application ?

Witness:- Being a letter to the chairman, the Commissioners had nothing to say to it. They did not consider it an official application and refused to give it any consideration. There was another application from Connors, but the Commissioners did not feel called on to comply with it as it would be doing away with the contract.

Mr. Hodnett then read the agreement between Connors and the Town Commissioners, which was to the effect, that Connors agreed to pay the Commissioners £124 10s. for the tolls and emoluments of the Youghal ferry, the use of ferry slip and ferry boats, with their chains, oars and other equipment for one year, commencing August the 1st, 1876 and ending 31st of July, 1877, and to pay said sum by monthly instalments. He also agreed to take the boats then in us in such a state as they then were, and to have them repaired during said year. He was also obliged to keep two boats in an efficient state during the year, and to ply said boats every half hour, in default of which he was to pay 5s. for each offence. Mr. Hodnett also handed in Connor’s bond of £200.

Foreman: -How long is it since there was a new boat built by the Commissioners for this ferry

Witness: -I think not for ten or twelve years

Foreman: -Will you swear it was not fifteen years ?

Witness:- It may be

Foreman: -Were there to be any fines at all if the boats were not kept in proper repair ?

Witness:- No, he was to work the boats at his own risk.

To a juror: It was no part of the Commissioners’ duty to see that the boats were in proper repair when handling them over to Connors on the 1st August.

Mr. Hodnett said that if Connors represented the boats to be in a bad state, the matter would come before the Commissioners, but once he had took them over, he took over all responsibility.

Mr. John R. Barry was about being examined. When he informed the coroner that he was a Commissioner himself and he thought he ought not to give evidence.

Mr. Brown said that the questions he would be asked would in no way affect him as a Commissioner.

He was then sworn, and stated that he saw the boat the morning after the accident but did not make a very close inspection. He thought she was in a very bad condition; he looked at her bow and found it open.

Witness (Mr Barry):-  I don’t think it is fair to be asking me those questions ?

Mr. Brown:- Are you afraid you will implicate yourself ?

Witness said he was not afraid. His examination was then continued. The day after Mr. McCarthy Barry , of the Herald, drew my attention to the state of the inside of the boat – he put his finger on it and made an impression.

Mr. Hodnett:- I suppose he wrote a little shorthand note on the bottom (laughter). He knew nothing about boats of course.

Mr. Barry continued to say that Mr. Lynch, a Town Commissioner, took him to see a boat a few days after Connors took possession and said he would not have wished to have come across her some days’ previously, as the water was coming in to her. Witness told him to bring the matter before the Commissioners, and that he would support any application for a new boat, or to have that one repaired. Mr. Lynch then went away. I went up to Connors, who was standing by, and spoke to him about the state of the boat; Connors acknowledged that the boat was in a very bad state of repair. Witness then told Connors that Mr. Lynch was going to bring the matter before the Commissioners, and that he (Connors) ought to make an application for a new boat, or to get the old one repaired. Connors made an application in writing, and it was addressed to the Chairman and Commissioners. That application was read aloud at the meeting, and the Commissioners thought that as Connors had taken the boats out of their hands, he should keep them in repair. The application was not entertained.

(Mr Barry) To Mr. Hodnett: I am only ten months a Commissioner; when talking to Connors I was not aware that the obligation of repairing the boats devolved to him. I saw the boat at the steamer quay on the night of the accident. The weather was very violent.

Edmond Connors was about to be examined.

Mr. Hodnett told him he need not, unless he wished.

Connors:- I have no problem to be examined.

Mr. Brown:- I think it would be better for you to consult your solicitor first.

Connors: - I can’t afford any longer to pay £2 10s. a day to a solicitor.

He was not examined.

Edmund Ryan M.D. was then examined – I saw Mrs Budds on the 7th of October, and previous to the inquest. I examined the body, which was greatly disfigured, but was very little injured. She was in an advanced state of pregnancy. She had all the appearance of a person who had been drowned, and I believe drowning to have been the cause of death.

Mr. Patrick Voss examined – I was manager of the ferry for over four years under the Town Commissioners. I had the discretion of repairing the boats when I thought they required it, and there was no objection. I would not send the boat across if I thought the weather was too bad and I was never brought to task by the Commissioners for so doing. I recollect the 30th September, and it was a very wild day, but I did not see the state of the water at the time of the accident and could not say if I would have sent the boat across. I resigned the managership of the ferry of my own accord in July last.

(Mr Voss) To Mr. Hodnett: - When I gave up the boat that was lost she was able to bring passengers back and forth safety.

(Mr Voss) To Mr. Brown:- I had often to get the boat baled out. I was not extravagant in the repairs; if I saw a leak I would get it patched up.

(Mr Voss) To Mr. Hodnett:- At the time I gave up the boat she was fit to work.

(Mr Voss) To Foreman:- If I had the management of the ferry I would not have put twenty-two souls and their luggage into the boat in such weather, nor would I have allowed her across at all. I don’t think I would send the boat across on that day, even without any passengers in her the water was so troubled.

(Mr Voss) to Mr. Brown:- The boat that was lost was looked upon as the best (laughter). Gorman was one of the boatmen in my time; I discharged him once and got him fired another time for either drunkenness or neglect of duty.

Mr. Connors:- Do you remember the night the postman was landed from Ardmore to Youghal  

Witness:- I do.

Mr. Connors:- Was that not a worse night than the one on which the boat was upset ?

Witness:- I don’t think it was.

There were no other witnesses examined.

Mr. Hodnett said that he did not think he need say anything to the jury on the part of the Town Commissioners, but he thought he ought to say something for the poor man Connors for whose position he felt so much. He (Connors) continued to bring a professional gentleman, as long as he could afford to do so, but now he found ruin facing him in the face if he continued to do so any longer. He (Mr. Hodnett) had been asked by Mr. Spratt to state this to the jury and coroner. He should again repeat that he did not think it was necessary to say anything on behalf of the Town Commissioners as there had not been a particle of evidence to implicate them.

Mr.Brown said he would not address them either as he knew he had an intelligent jury who would weigh the evidence fairly and properly.

The Coroner said it became their duty, having heard the evidence about this sad occurrence to find how the deceased, Ellen Budds, came by her death. From the attention they had paid to the inquiry, and from the pertinent questions they had asked, he did not think it necessary to wade through the mass of evidence he had before him. The question for them to decide was whether the sinking of this boat was caused by negligence or want of caution on the part of those in charge or by accident.

The Foreman asked under how many heads they were to find ?

The Coroner said he would rather leave that to themselves.

The jury retired at half-past four, and at half-past six brought in the following verdict:- “The jury are unanimous in finding a verdict of manslaughter against Edmund Connors, of the ferry boat in Youghal, in which Ellen Budds came by her death by drowning, on the 30th September, 1876, owing to the culpable negligence of Edmund Connors in the discharge of his duty as such lessee, and we therefore find that said Edmund Connors did feloniously kill and slay the said Ellen Budds. We also censure the Town Commissioners of Youghal for their gross negligence in not having proper command over the ferry, and proper boats.

The jury was then discharged.

The foreman said before they left he wished to bear testimony to the very efficient manner in which the constabulary had worked up the case and for the praiseworthy manner in which they had acted (hear, hear).

A Coroner’s warrant was then made out for the arrest of Edmund Connors, who had left the room before the proceedings had terminated.

The inquiry terminated at seven o’clock.”

Trial of Edward Connors & Edward Gorman (1877)

Edward Connors, lessee of the ferry, and the boatman Edward Gorman were brought to trial in March 1877 for their part in the ferry boat accident of September 1876. Variations of the name Edward are used in the trail and in the various newspaper reports including Edmund and Edmond and we will use Edward for consistency.  Edward Connors was defended by Mr Heron Q.C but Edward Gorman was not defended. Sir Colman O’Loghlen stated the case for the prosecution. A full report on the trial of Edward Connors & Edward Gorman was reported in the Irish Times of 16th March 1877. The authorities were still not sure whether thirteen or fourteen people were drowned in the accident even though this was now six months later. It was mentioned during the inquest that someone had seen a pedlar of umbrellas on the ill-fated ferry boat before it left Youghal on the day of the accident. He was not included in the subsequent list of casualties or the list of survivors and it possible that the authorities were unsure if he left the boat before the accident. It was outlined that there were too many people on the boat on the day in question and that the weather conditions were exceedingly rough. It was reported that various passengers, including Michael Fitzgerald, had told Edward Gorman not to take any more people on board but were ignored. He was also asked by a number of the passengers to turn back when it was apparent that the boat was shipping water but that Gorman was determined to continue. The Crown prosecution also stated that the boat was “totally unfit to be used as a ferry boat” and that the accused were negligent in this regard. The trial covered many of the areas covered in the inquest and some of the same witnesses were called including Michael & Kate Fitzgerald, Thomas Burke, Captain William Eastaway, Mary Whelan, Patrick Vaas (an earlier operator of the ferry) and coastguard officer Patrick Mackin. One of new witnesses was Charles Henry Perrin who was a carpenter in the coastguard station in Youghal. He stated that he found that the boat was in a very defective state, unseaworthy and was in fact “completely rotten all over”. The town clerk, Mr John O’Shea, was examined and stated that “it was not part of the commissioner’s duty to see that the boats were in a proper state when handing them to Connors”. Edward Connors and Edward Gorman were not called to the stand. The Judge summarised the case which was reported in the Irish Times as follows:

“The Judge said if the jury were of opinion that the boat was in the bad state described by the two coastguard witnesses, they should find the prisoner Connors guilty, because he was bound by his agreement with the Town Commissioners to keep her in a state of good repair at his own expense. Putting aside the state of the boat, and taking into account the state of the weather that evening, if they came to the conclusion that his conduct that evening was not that of a prudent man, they should also find him guilty. As to Gorman, who was the chief boatman on the occasion, if they came to the conclusion that he was guilty of culpable negligence in not putting back when requested to do so by those in the boat, it would be their duty to find him also guilty.”

            The jury returned after fifteen minutes and found both Edward Connors and Edward Gorman guilty but with a strong recommendation for mercy. The sentence was deferred until the following day. The following is the report of the trial in the Irish Times on the 16th March 1877:

Date: 16th March 1877 Irish Times

Title: The Youghal Ferry Catastrophe

Article: “Edmund Connors and Edmund Gorman were indicted for feloniously killing Mary Lincoln, at Youghal, on 30th September, 1876.

Mr Heron Q.C., defended the prisoner Connors; the other was undefended.

Sir Colman O’Loghlen, in stating the case for the prosecution, asked the particular attention of the jury to it. There was ferry across the Blackwater, as they were aware, between Youghal and Ardmore, and on the 30th of September, the ferry boat was upset, and thirteen or fourteen people were drowned. The case for the Crown was, that the upsetting was caused by the negligence of the prisoners at the bar. Connor was the lessee of the tolls of the ferry, and Gorman was the chief boatman on the occasion. There were two boats used at the ferry, both of which were old. The larger one was the boat used this particular evening, and it was overcrowded that evening. The number of passengers it could carry with safety, under ordinary circumstances, was ?? [Number Illegible]; but on this occasion there were 22 passengers on board, and the weather was exceedingly rough. It could be proved that when the boat was first starting four people came up and asked to be taken across also. The boat was filled properly at the time, and some of the people crossing remonstrated with Gorman, and asked him to take no more on board. He said that he would take them on board, and he did so. A man named Fitzgerald called out there were enough in the boat, but there were four came in afterwards. The boat was then started , but after it left the dock, the sea was so rough that the people cried out to put back, but Gorman said he would make the ferry in spite of the devil, and the boat shoved off. After going a short distance she filled with water, and there were 13 people drowned. The Crown contended that that was caused by the negligence of the prisoners, and if that was proved it rendered the parties guilty of manslaughter. The negligence alleged was that the boat was totally unfit to be used as a ferry boat. If the Crown proved these facts they would ask that the prisoners should be convicted of manslaughter, but if the jury thought that it occurred by accident, and that they did everything they could to prevent it, then they should be honourably acquitted.

Michael Fitzgerald deposed that he was one of the passengers on board the boat that evening, and that there were about sixteen or eighteen in it. He said there were about enough in it, but four came in afterwards. When they were coming out of the dock he heard some of the women on board, including one of those drowned, Mary Lincoln, say that there was water in her, under their feet, but he did not see it. When they got outside the pier head the water began to come in over the gunwale of the boat, and some of them shouted to turn back. Gorman told witness to pull on, and in a few minutes the boat filled and went down.

Cross-examined by Mr. Heron :-

(Witness):- Heard Gorman say that the boat was a good one, and would make the ferry.

(Heron):- Was the boat being turned at the time she filled ?

(Witness):- There was no time to turn.  ... asked him to take no more on board. He said that he would take them on board, and he did so. A man named Fitzgerald called out that there were enough in the boat, but there were four came in afterwards. The boat was then started, but after it left the dock, the sea was so rough that the people cried out to put back, but Gorman said he would make the ferry in spite of the devil, and the boat shoved off. After going a short distance she filled with water, and there were thirteen people drowned. The Crown contended that that was caused by the negligence of the prisoners, and if it was proved it rendered the parties guilty of manslaughter, but if the jury thought ....

Catherine Fitzgerald gave evidence corroborative of that of her husband.

Thomas Burke said that when the boat was approaching the middle of the pier he asked Gorman to back her, as the water was coming into her, but Gorman did not do so. She should have been put back at the time.

Captain William Eastaway deposed that he saw the boat leave the quay. She was, in his opinion, overladen, badly trimmed, and, considering the state of the weather, she was in a dangerous condition.

Charles Henry Perrin, carpenter in the coastguards station at Youghal, deposed that he examined the boat to which the accident occurred, and he found it in a very defective state, and unseaworthy – in fact completely rotten all over.

Mary Whelan gave a similar account of the boat as the other woman who was examined.

Patrick Mackel, station officer of coastguard, deposed that he was stationed at Ardmore for some years, and was now stationed in Scotland. He knew the boat to which the accident occurred. He often cautioned the boatmen about her bad state of repair, and he refused to go in her on one occasion. He saw her after the accident. She was in a bad state, and not at all fit for her work, not even in fine weather, except in calm water.

Mr. Patrick Vaas deposed that he had managed the ferry for the Town Commissioners for some years, but he gave up the boats in August last to one of the prisoners, Connors. At that time Connors did not complain of the condition of the boats.

Mr. Heron having addressed the jury for the prisoners, some witnesses were recalled, and examined as to technical points in their evidence.

The Judge said if the jury were of opinion that the boat was in the bad state described by the two coastguard witnesses, they should find the prisoner Connors guilty, because he was bound by his agreement with the Town Commissioners to keep her in a state of good repair at his own expense. Putting aside the state of the boat, and taking into account the state of the weather that evening, if they came to the conclusion that his conduct that evening was not that of a prudent man, they should also find him guilty. As to Gorman, who was the chief boatman on the occasion, if they came to the conclusion that he was guilty of culpable negligence in not putting back when requested to do so by those in the boat, it would be their duty to find him also guilty.

After a quarter of an hour’s absence the jury found both prisoners guilty, with a strong recommendation to mercy.

Sentence deferred.”

Sentencing of Edward Connors and Edward Connors

A report of the sentencing of Edward Connors and Edward Gorman at Cork Assizes was reported in the Manchester Evening News on Sat 17th March 1877. Edward Connors, the ferry boat operator, was sentenced to eighteen months hard labour. Edward Gorman, the boatman, was sentenced to twelve months hard labour. The Judge added that “if the Town Commissioners, who had the ferry up to July, were the responsible owners at the time the disaster occurred, he did not see how they could have escaped had they been placed in the dock”. The following was the full report in the Manchester Evening news:

Date: 17th March 1877 Manchester Evening News

Title: The Ferry Boat Accident at Youghal

Article: “At the Cork Assizes, on Thursday, Edward Connors and Edmond Gorman were indicted for manslaughter arising out of the ferry boat disaster at Youghal, when 13 lives were lost. Connors was the owner of the ferry boat and Gorman was the chief boatman. It was proved that the boat was in an unseaworthy state and overcrowded, and that Gorman persisted in attempting the ferry, despite the remonstrance of some of those in the boat, the water being in a very bad state. The prisoners were convicted, but recommended to mercy. Sentence was deferred.

Connors was yesterday sentenced to 18 months and Gorman to 12 months imprisonment, with hard labour. His Lordship remarked that if the Town Commissioners, who had the ferry up to July, were the responsible owners at the time the disaster occurred, he did not see how they could have escaped had they been placed in the dock.”

The following report of the accident involving the Youghal-Ferrypoint ferry was recalled in court at the Cork Spring Assizes in 1877 when the lessee of the ferry, a man named Edward Connors (mistakenly named Cremen in the court report below) , and a boatman named Edward Gorman (mistakenly named Connor in report below) were before the court on a manslaughter charge. The conviction for manslaughter was additional to the negligence charge which both defendants had been found guilty of earlier. The report indicates that a “severe sentence” was pronounced by the judge but does not indicate the sentence duration.

            Date: October 1877 from Cork Spring Assizes

Report: “At Cork a man named Cremen, lessee of the tolls of Youghal ferry, and a boatman named Connor were tried for manslaughter. The case was a very sad one. On the 1st October, 1876, the ferry-boat plying between the ferry slip at Youghal and the opposite shore had a very large number of passengers, no less than twenty-four persons, chiefly of the farming and dealing class, who had gone to Youghal from Ardmore and the neighbour-hood, and were returning with their marketing. These poor people all crowded into the boat. The day was most inclement; rain fell in heavy showers; wind blew in fitful gusts, and a heavy sea rolled from the harbour's mouth. The boat was old and leaky, so that several of the passengers found their feet soaked when they took their seats. At length, having their full freight of passengers, the boatmen pushed off.  After leaving the shelter of the quay several heavy seas struck the old boat, and, alarmed the passengers', who prayed the boatmen to put back. Ere they could comply the boat filled, and no less than sixteen of the ill-fated passengers were drowned. Inquests were held on many of the bodies, and the lessee of the ferry and a boatman were sent to the Cork Assizes. They were tried for manslaughter before Mr. Robinson, Q.C. The evidence was very clear, and the jury found them both guilty. In passing a severe sentence the judge adverted to the danger of using a boat in so dilapidated a state as that which caused this lamentable accident, and considered the case was one which called for a severe sentence.   He accordingly pronounced one.”

Proposed train/tram link to Ferrypoint (1883)

Date 1st October 1883: It was apparently planned around 1883 to set up a link between the Waterford and Southern Railway lines by establishing a tram/train line to Ferrypoint.  The passengers would presumably cross to Youghal on the ferry and link up with the train/tram at the other side. As events transpired the decision was made to change the plan to having a railway line via the bridge further up the river. The rail link never came to fruition and almost a hundred years later bus passengers had to resort to walking across the bridge to join up with the bus at the other side as the bridge was not capable of taking the weight of the bus. The following is the report on plans in a newspaper at the time:

“During the past few days the course of the proposed line of tramway between the Ferry Point, near Youghal, and the Cappagh station, on the Waterford and Limerick Railway, has been inspected by two engineers from London, who have had considerable experience in laying down and promoting tramway lines. The report of these gentlemen as to the route proposed to be taken is favourable. In place, however, of the line being to the Ferry Point, which is separated from the town of Youghal by the River Blackwater, it is proposed to run the line across the bridge over the river, a mile higher up, and following the public road, through the streets of the town on to the terminus of the Great Southern and Western Railway at Williamstown. This course will add about four miles to the proposed line, but the advantage of connecting the two lines of railway, and avoid crossing the ferry at Youghal, will be very great.”

See Appendix A for some additional newspaper reports on the ferry boat accident.

Violent Storm (1886)

Date 16th October 1886: A report in newspapers of a violent storm in the Youghal area in October 1886:

The storm sprang up at Youghal during Thursday night, and raged furiously throughout yesterday, completely stopping all traffic in the harbour. A pilot boat sank off Ferry Point, and her crew narrowly escaped being drowned”

The Night of the Big Wind or Oíche na Gaoithe Móire had occurred on the 6th January 1839 and this hurricane was seen as the most severe to hit Ireland in over three hundred years preceding 1839. It was reported at the time that the Atlantic storm arrived at Ireland’s west coast with such ferocity that the waves broke over the top of the Cliffs of Moher. We can only visualise the situation in the highly exposed Hyde cottage on Ferrypoint or the Moylan cottage by the beach in Caliso Bay as the storm progressed.

Ferrypoint Summary

We conclude our overview of historic events associated with Ferrypoint up to the 19th century. The historic overview is by no means complete but we hope it gives an overall feeling of key events as they occurred down the centuries. The big storm of 830 AD had diverted the River Blackwater from its traditional exit route at Whiting Bay to the present exit into Youghal bay at Ferrypoint. This broke the land link between Waterford and Cork at this location and the sand and shingle bar that we know as Ferrypoint is the last remnant of this original land link. Despite some additional encroachment from the Atlantic Ocean the Ferrypoint has remained relatively unchanged in the almost twelve hundred years since the big storm of 830. Ferrypoint down the centuries has been mostly associated with the fishing industry and the operation of the Youghal to Ferrypoint ferry for around seven hundred years. It has also been witness to many historic events and tragedies.

 In 864 the powerful Deise tribe from the West Waterford area attacked and destroyed the Norse fort at Youghal. The Irish Confederate Wars from 1641 onwards saw a lot of activity in Ferrypoint. The Walshs of Pilltown were heavily involved in the wars on the Confederate Irish side and they had their base about two miles from Ferrypoint at Pilltown Castle. Sir Charles Vavasour and his ships had to run the gauntlet of Irish Confederate artillery from Ferrypoint when he arrived in Youghal Harbour in 1642 to relieve the town. Sir William Penn and his naval troops met a similar hostile welcome when he arrived in Youghal in July 1645.  Artillery fire from Ferrypoint by the Castlehaven led Irish Confederates resulted in the sinking of the Duncannon frigate and the loss of at least eighteen lives. Penn also lost a number of officers and soldiers in separate cannon fire from Ferrypoint. Cromwell and his army were of course unwelcome visitors to Kinsalebeg and Ferrypoint in December 1649.  They were making their way to the safe home of Youghal by ferry for the winter having had some bad experiences in Waterford.

The Whiteboys or Buachaillí Bána were active in Ferrypoint around 1762 where they knocked down walls that had been built by landlords to enclose what had been common grazing land around Ferrypoint. We move on to the eighteenth century when Ferrypoint was a frequent location for the fighting of duels. The duels were mostly associated with Youghal and locations like Ferrypoint and Rhincrew were used as they were outside the town where such activities were frowned on by the authorities. A Fata Morgana mirage was seen over Monatray and Ferrypoint in 1801. Ferrypoint was witness to the landing of the 47th Regiment in 1846 when the authorities decided to bring in troops to quell the food riots in West Waterford resulting from the starvation caused by the Great Famine.

Ferrypoint was also witness to many deaths and accidents associated with the sea over the centuries including ferry boat accidents, shipping tragedies, salmon boat accidents and other drowning incidents. The ferry from Ferrypoint to Youghal was the source of many accidents over the seven hundred years of its operation and not all these accidents are documented. We are aware of three major ferry boat accidents including those of 1616 (thirty deaths), 1837 (seventeen to twenty deaths) and 1867 (thirteen people drowned) so these three accidents alone resulted in over sixty deaths. In the period from the late 1950s onwards Ferrypoint became a popular meeting place for Kinsalebeg residents and for the playing of Gaelic games and other activities such as Macra field days. The area has now largely returned to a tranquil state dominated by the sea, fishing, wild birds and of course the beautiful views over the Atlantic, Youghal Bay and the mouth of the Blackwater river.

Appendix A

The following are some additional newspaper reports on the ferry boat accident which occurred on the ferry between Youghal in County Cork and Ferrypoint in County Waterford on 30th September 1876. The accident happened as the ferry left the quay in Youghal in poor weather conditions and thirteen people were drowned. The cause of the accident revolved around a number of issues including the poor condition of the ferry, the overloading & poor balancing of the ferry, the sobriety of the boatman and the poor weather conditions. The lessee of the ferry and the head boatman were subsequently convicted of negligence and manslaughter and received a custodial sentence. The main report on the accident is covered elsewhere in Ferrypoint history and the following are some ancillary newspaper reports on the accident from that period. The information is mostly a duplication of other newpaper reports but there are some variations in the content so we have included the reports in the Appendix.

Opening Inquest Report on Ellen Budds by Edinburgh News on 9th Oct 1876

The opening inquest report on the death of Ellen Budds was reported in the Edinburg News on Mon 9th October 1876:

Date: 9th October 1876 Edinburg News

Title: The Ferry Boat Accident at Youghal.

Article:  “An inquest was opened on Saturday on the body of Ellen Budds, one of those who perished in the recent ferryboat accident at Youghal. Evidence was given to show that the owner of the ferry was warned of the danger of over-crowding the boat, and that after this remonstrance at least four other persons got on. The boat did not leave the usual place of starting on this occasion on account of the roughness of the weather, but started from a more sheltered place in the Market Dock. Before they left the dock, and whilst still in comparatively smooth water, it was found that the boat was making water, and the women cried out to return. The boatmen, however, went on until they got into rough water, where the sea broke over the sides and swamped the boat. The witnesses swore that they believed the accident occurred through the overloading of the boat.”

Opening Inquest Report on Ellen Budds by Freeman’s Journal on 9th Oct 1876

The Opening Inquest Report on Ellen Budds was reported in the Freeman’s Journal on Mon 9th October 1876.

            Date: 9th October 1876 Freeman’s Journal

Title: The Youghal Ferryboat Disaster.

Article: “On Saturday Mr. Coroner Denehy opened an inquest relative to the death of Ellen Budds, one of those who perished in the ferryboat accident on Saturday, the 30th September. The inquest was held in the house of the deceased’s husband, a farmer in comfortable circumstances, residing in the county Waterford, about two miles from the ferry. The following gentlemen were present and assisted at the inquiry:- Dr. Poole J.P., Col. Shepherd, J.P., M.A. Poole, and Dr. Ryan, dispensary medical officer.

A respectable jury having been sworn, and having viewed the remains, the following evidence was given:-

Michael Fitzgerald deposed he was a labourer, residing at Ardo, in the parish of Ardmore, and that he knew the deceased; on last Saturday he went across the ferry with his wife, to transact business at Youghal; he was returning  in the evening about half-past four; the ferryboat took in the passengers, not at the ferry steps, but at the quay of the market dock; this was, he believed, because the weather was too rough at the ferry steps; there were four boatmen managing the boat; the witness enumerated the different passengers, to the number of eighteen, who, with the four boatmen, made twenty two, all told; he did not see a pedlar in the boat, but there might have been others in the boat without his knowledge.

Was this a wild day ? It was a wild day, and that was the reason we did not start from the steps; the boatmen were sober and able to do their business.

Col. Shepherd:- Did you object to the number of people that were coming into the boat ?

Witness (M Fitzgerald):- I did; I called out to Connors, the lessee of the ferry, who was standing on the quay taking the money, that there were quite enough of people in the boat and not to let any more in; four or more came into the boat after that remonstrance.

Col. Shepherd:- What did Connors say to you ?

Witness:- He did not give me an answer; the water was smooth in the dock, and we had only gone as far as the pierhead when the women who were sitting at the stern sheets cried out that there was water coming into the boat; there was water in the boat before we started at all; I could not say how the water came in, but it was not over the gunwale; most of the passengers were sitting in the stern; after we went a bit further the women again screamed; I had been rowing the after oar, and seeing there was danger I stopped rowing and asked Gorman, one of the boatmen, to turn; he told me to row on, so I continued to pull; we did not go more than fourteen “spades” from the pierhead when the boat was lost; it was rough enough outside the pierhead, and the boat took in water over the gunwale.

Dr. Poole:- When you ceased pulling and asked Gorman to pull back what reply did he make ?

Witness: He said the boat was good, and he would make the ferry.

Dr Poole:- Did he say he would make the ferry in spite of the Devil ?

Witness:- It is like a dream to me he said it, but my wife heard him say it; all the people said it was better to turn, and before we had time to do so the boat filled and went down.

In reply to further questions the witness said he had been to Youghal, since the accident, and been speaking to Connors, the lessee of the ferry; Connors said it would be better not to do harm to anybody; witness said his wife was picked up by Captain Pender’s boat, and when they went to Connors’ public house they would not at first be let in; they afterwards succeeded in getting into Connors’ house, but Connors never offered to give them any refreshment; it was a strange man brought him a glass of brandy, and another provided him with clothes; he believed the boat was over-laden, and that if she had been put back when he wanted it there was a chance of their being saved.

Dr. Poole:- When you spoke to Connors about not letting any more into the boat did he say it would be the last ferry that night ?

Witness: I did not hear him say that.

The Foreman:- Did you hear one of the ferrymen object to go into the boat ?

Witness:-  I did not hear anyone say they were afraid except my wife.

The Foreman:- Was Gorman drunk when he came into the boat ?

Witness:- He had drink taken, but he was able to do his business.

Dr. Poole:- Considering the state of the weather were Gorman and Mahony in a proper state to cross that ferry with a large living freight entrusted to them ?

Witness:- They were able to do their business; I often saw them worse.

The Foreman: Did you ever see Gorman drunk when going across the ferry ?

Witness:- I often saw him with enough; there were four oars pulling; if there were only two oars there would be more room for the passengers.

Dr. Poole:- Is it your opinion, that if the boat had been properly trimmed that accident would not have happened ?

Witness:- The boat was not balanced right; if it were we would have had a better chance of escaping.

James Lynch deposed that he was one of the passengers on the occasion of the accident; just before starting  his mother came to the quay and told him not to go in the ferry; he was about to jump ashore when the boat moved off; the boat was not ten yards away from the quay when witness sang out that the boat was making water and to pull in; Gorman told Davy Mahony to bale her out, and he proceeded to do so; this occurred near the pierhead; they had passed over two or three waves; the water was over the ceiling of the boat, and he was of opinion she was leaking for there was no sea then to account for the water going over the gunwale; when they got off the pierhead it was rough; the wind was blowing from the north-east; and the tide was on the turn; the wind and the tide caught the boat and slewed her around, when a sea came in over the stern and swamped her; the witness clung up by the keel, and was three times washed off; he then became insensible, and did not know how he was rescued, but he heard Captain Keygay ? had picked him up.

To the Foreman:- If the boat had turned back when he asked them he believed she would have been saved; could not say who pushed off the boat when she was about to leave; could not say how many were in the boat, but the bulk of the passengers were sitting aft and she was down by the stern; witness knew the boat would never be able to cross the river, but still he took his chance; the ferrymen had no drink taken but what they wanted; he did not hear Gorman say he would make the ferry in spite of the devil.

The inquiry was then adjourned for a week in order to give the persons interested an opportunity of being represented.

Concluding Inquest Report on Ellen Budds by Freeman’s Journal 20th Oct 1876

A concluding report on the inquest of the ferry disaster was reported in the Freeman’s Journal on 20th October 1876.

Date: 20th October 1876 Freeman’s Journal

Title: The Catastrophe at Youghal.  Special Telegram (From our Correspondent)

Article: “After several adjournments, the coroner’s inquest into the Youghal boat disaster has come to a termination. The concluding sitting took place yesterday at Ardmore, before Mr Dennehy, the coroner of the county of Waterford, upon the shore of which several of the bodies of the victims of the accident were found. Mr. Brown, solicitor, represented the next-of-kin, and Mr. Hodnett, solicitor, the town commissioners, who let the ferry to a man named Connors. The latter was present but not professionally represented. Captain Eastaway was the first witness examined. He said – even if the boat was a good one he did not consider it safe to cross in her so heavily weighted and in such weather; witness walked down to the pier, as he thought she would fill and sink; after she cleared the pier-head he saw the water go over her side; she then filled broadside to the sea, and went down stern foremost; he got a boat and succeeded in saving two lives; he saw the boat hauled up on the slip the following day; he did not consider her a fit boat at all; her general condition was bad; he would say that on a fine day thirty would be about the number of passengers the boat would carry if it were a proper boat. Here Connors, the lessee of the boat, interposed and said the boat carried 62 passengers three weeks previously.  Captain Eastaway said he would not like to have been in her. Patrick Macken, coastguard station officer at Ardmore, said he frequently drew the attention of the ferryman to the improper way the boat was loaded; he refused on one occasion to go into her; he examined the boat after the accident, and she seemed to be completely decayed; she hadn’t more than an inch of keel in some places; she must have been bad for a considerable time.

Mr John O’Shea, town clerk, was examined. He read an extract from the minutes of the town commissioners, showing that the tender of Edward Connors for the ferry had been accepted; under the agreement Connors agreed to take the boats in the state in which they were, and to have them repaired; he was also bound to keep two boats in an efficient state, and to ply them every three hours. Connors was to work that boat at his own risk. The witness continued to say – it was not part of the commissioner’s duty to see that the boats were in a proper state when handing them to Connors.

Edward Connors was about being examined when Mr. Hodnett said he need not be examined if desired. He elected not to be examined.

Mr Patrick Barr said he had n for some time manager of the ferry boat, under the town commissioners; he frequently stopped the boat from plying in bad weather; the ferry boat in question was able take passengers when he gave her up; he would not put twenty-two passengers in her with four oars, in such bad weather.

The jury returned a verdict to the effect that deceased came by her death through the culpable negligence of Edward Connors in the discharge of his duty as lessee of the ferry, and they then found that said Edward Connors did feloniously kill and slay Ellen Budds. The verdict was accompanied with the following rider: - “We also censure the Town Commissioners of Youghal for their gross negligence in not having proper boats and accommodation in the ferry.” The coroner made out a warrant for the apprehension of Connors, who had previously left the court.


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2 ^ Memorials of the Professional Life and Times of Sir William Penn 1644-1670 by Granville Penn 1833

3 ^ Confederate Catholics at War 1641-49 by Padraig Linehan 2001

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5 ^ The Earl of Castlehavens’s Memoirs or his Review of the Civil Wars in Ireland. Published Dublin 1815

6 ^ Pacata Hibernia or A History of The Wars in Ireland during the Reign of Queen Elizabeth, 1st published 1633 by Thomas Stafford

7      Extracts from The Journal of Thomas Dineley Esquire (1661/1681) compiled by Evelyn Philip Shirley and with notes by Rev. Samuel Hayman in Journal of Kilkenny and South-East Arch. Soc. Vol  IV 1862-1863.

8          Hand-Book for Youghal by W.G. Field (1896) and reprinted by T Lindsey Field (1973)

9 ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r          The Council Book of the Corporation of Youghal (1610-1800) edited by Richard Caulfield. Published 1878.

10 ^       Ancient & Present State of the County & City of Cork by Charles Smith M.D. Published 1815 (New edition).

11 ^ a b c       Calendars of Inquisition Post Mortem (CIPM): References to inquisitions which took place during the reign of a particular monarch. National Archives (UK).

12 ^    Lismore Papers of Earl of Cork. National Library of Ireland MS Collection 129.

13 ^      Journal of Thomas Dineley in 1681. Journal of Kilkenny and South-East of Ireland Archaeological Society Vol 4 1862-1863.

14 ^       Eochoill: The History of Youghal by H. Wain. NLI Ref: 5A 2626

15 ^    That Damn’d Thing called Honour: Duelling in Ireland, 1570-1860 by Peter Kelly

16 ^     Researches in the South of Ireland by Thomas Crofton Croker. Published  22nd December 1823.

17 ^        Walking Tour Round Ireland written by “An Englishman”. Published 1865.

18 ^    1641 Depositions of Trinity College Dublin MSS 809-841

19 ^ a b       History of the Earls of Desmond and Earl of Cork and Sir Walter Raleigh in Munster by Charles O’L. Ronayne. Published 1929.

20 ^     Report on the Manuscripts of the Earl of Egmont, Vol 1, Egmont MSS.

21 ^     Memoirs of Youghal 1542-1749 by Thomas Cooke. Published 1749. See Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society, Ser. 2, Vol. IX, pp. 34-63, pp. 105-117, 1903

22 ^       London Gazette of 20th April 1675.

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