I thought there was only one canal in Co Kerry, but there were three more at Lixnaw. They’re still to be seen and they have interesting associations.
Thanks to Ewan Duffy of Industrial Heritage Ireland for the tip-off.
For extent and population it is now the fourth town in Ireland. The shipping at the quays was not numerous. There are but two small steamers which ply from the port, and both are employed only in the summer, one being laid up during winter, as the other is found sufficient for the trade. These steamers ply down the river to Kilrush, calling off the ports on each side on their way. […]
Dung, in any quantity, may be got in Limerick, for 1s per load of 20 to 30 cwt.
James Caird, Farmer, Baldoon The Plantation Scheme; or, the West of Ireland as a field for investment William Blackwood and Sons, Edinburgh and London 1850
On the morning of the day on which I left Limerick, a truly melancholy and fatal accident occurred. Just as the steamer which starts every morning for Kilrush and Kilkee, was in the act of leaving the quay, a car was seen to approach very rapidly to the station, from which the vessel had just begun to move. Planks are not used at these quays, the water being sufficiently deep to admit of the steamer lying so close as to enable the passengers to step off from the quay on board the vessel.
A fine young man jumped off the car, and took a female who was on the opposite side in his arms, and ran with her to the packet, and had just succeeded in placing her feet in the side of the boat. In order to get her safely aboard he had to push her forward, and by this means accomplished the object he had in view. But alas! in achieving so much for her, he lost himself; for at this moment the packet moved off, and it became impossible for him to reach her; while the efforts he had previously made to get the lady on board occasioned him to stretch so far forward that it was equally impossible for him to recover his upright position on the quay. The consequence was that he fell between the quay and the steamer, and, as it was supposed, was struck by a revolution of the paddle, for he never rose.
What must have been the feelings of the poor female in witnessing the sudden and melancholy death of her gallant preserver? She was in delicate health, and was about to proceed to Kilkee for the benefit of sea-bathing, when this awfully heartrending event took place, which deprived her of him who was her darling and her pride; for alas! he was her son.
Thomas Lacy Home Sketches, on both sides of the channel, being a diary Hamilton, Adams, & Co, London; W H Smith & Co, London; McGlashan, Dublin, 1852
Date of event (deduced) Wednesday 28 August 1850
I see that P&O Cruises [about which there is a not-very-accurate Wikipedia page here: not very accurate, I mean, about the history of the P&O Line] will seek public suggestions for a name for its latest vessel, which they call “the nation’s ship”:
P&O has also previously run a similar exercise, coming up with the stately Britannia for a ship that launched last year. The company hopes for something similarly dignified and patriotic this time round […].
I do hope there will be a concerted campaign to have it named Hibernia, to recognise that
Of course, as this great Irish company expanded, it took on more British shareholders and directors, training them no doubt in how to run scheduled steam shipping services, but it is about time that the Irish role was acknowledged.
See Freda Harcourt “Charles Wye Williams and Irish steam shipping 1820–1850” in The Journal of Transport History Third Series Volume 13 Number 2 September 1992, Manchester University Press, and Freda Harcourt Flagships of Imperialism: the P&O Company and the politics of empire from its origins to 1867 Manchester University Press 2006 [ebook now also available].
On 15 February 1833 the Earl of Roden presented to the House of Lords petitions from various places “praying for the better observance of the Sabbath”. Some of the petitioners seemed to be shopkeepers who liked to take Sundays off and didn’t want anyone else taking their custom while they were closed.
Lord Cloncurry, however, pointed to the problems such observance might cause in Ireland, where there were different understandings of what should be done on Sundays. He felt that
[…] care should be taken, in enforcing the law, not to create discord, and do mischief to the people.
Not that creating discord would have bothered Roden, one of the nineteenth century’s prize nitwits.
He was engaged in the Canal Navigation of Ireland, which afforded valuable commercial opportunities to private individuals, and to those of the middling classes the means of maintaining their families in decency and comfort.
He pointed out to his noble colleagues that canal boatmen treated Sunday like any other day: boats left Limerick and other places on Saturdays and kept going throughout the weekend, probably stopping for mass on Sunday morning:
Noble Lords, perhaps, were not aware, that in the Catholic Church, the rule was to attend mass in the forenoon, and it was then deemed allowable to spend the remainder of the day in amusement or business.
However, two magistrates had “at no distant period” ordered the police to stop boats from travelling on Sundays. These were probably the magistrates in Athy and Monasterevan, as described by Nicholas Fanning of the Grand Canal Company in 1830. The result of the magistrates’ action was that the boatmen went to the pub and their cargoes were plundered. The same magistrates had stopped cargoes of cattle from Clare and Galway en route to Dublin port [although it is difficult to see why they would have gone through Athy or Monasterevan].
The act of the Magistrates already alluded to was in violation of law; for the proper course was to have summoned the boatmen for the offence, instead of stopping the boat. It was not, therefore, surprising that law should be held cheap in Ireland, when it was broken by those who ought to uphold it.
Roden said that Cloncurry should name the magistrates so that there could be an inquiry — Cloncurry refused as he didn’t want to bring odium on them — but he reckoned that they were probably only enforcing the law. Roden said
As to the opinions of Roman Catholics relative to the Sabbath, he would say, without meaning them any offence, that Parliament ought to legislate according to its own religious feelings.
He didn’t foresee the rise of the shopping centre.
Beg respectfully to inform the Nobility, Gentry, and the Public in general, that they have (from their Practical experience) made considerable and most important improvements in the working and Polishing of Marble at the above Establishment, so that every variety of work is executed in a superior style hitherto unprecedented, and which has enabled them to offer at such Reduced Prices, as greatly to facilitate its general use both in public and private Buildings.
They have for Inspection an Extensive Stock of Irish and Foreign MARBLE CHIMNEY PIECES (of various designs, suited for every description of rooms).
In STATUARY, ELABORATELY, SCULPTURED and CARVED, of exquisite designs and good material.
In VEIN, DOVE, BLACK AND GOLD, ST ANN, BURDILLA, SHANNON SIENNA, IRISH PORPHYRY, FOSSILS, GREY AND BLACK.
MONUMENTS, TABLETS, COLUMNS, BUST PILLARS, WASH AND DRESSING TABLES, TABLE TOPS, BATHS, PAVEMENTS, SLABS FOR DAIRIES, and various other Ornaments.
Also an Extensive Stock of MILL RUBBED, AND SQUARED FLAGS, WINDOW SILLS, BARGE AND EAVE COURSES, TOMB, HEADSTONES, &c &c.
The safe conveyance and fixing of work guaranteed if required.
July 28, 1842
Nenagh Guardian 6 August 1842
What a collection of notables ….
Captain Beaufort RN, Hydrographer to the Admiralty
The Right Hon Maurice A Fitzgerald
Simon M’Gillivray Esq
The Right Hon Lord Talbot de Malahide
George Richardson Porter Esq, Board of Trade
Richard Griffith Esq, Civil Engineer
John David Latouche Esq
Peirce Mahony Esq
Daniel O’Connell Esq
The Hon Frederick Ponsonby
Charles Wye Williams Esq
Christopher Bullin Esq
James Ferrier Esq
James Jameson Esq
Richard Williams Esq
George M’Bride Esq
Francis Carleton Esq
Dublin Mercantile Advertiser, and Weekly Price Current 1 August 1836
From the British Newspaper Archive
Dwarkanauth Tagore, of Calcutta, the distinguished and princely East Indian, who is making a tour of the United Kingdom, arrived in this city, on Tuesday evening with his suit [sic], in an elegant drag with four horses, and he put up at Cruise’s hotel.
The native Prince merchant partook of a dejeune at Killaloe on Tuesday. The City of Dublin Steam Company placed all their vessels on the Upper Shannon, at his command, and they were gaily decorated with flags, in compliment to the distinguished stranger, who left Limerick this day on a visit to Killarney Lakes, and is expected to call at Derrynane, the seat of Mr O’Connell.
Dwarkanauth Tagore dined and slept at Lord Rosse’s, on Monday night, where he examined the prodigious telescope — drove to Banagher, on Tuesday morning, and embarked on board the Lansdown [sic] steamer, proceeded through Victoria Locks Meelick, accompanied by Colonel Jones, and Mr Rhodes CE, also by Mr Howell, Secretary to the Dublin Steam Company. He was much pleased with the new works at Meelick, and also with the operations of a diver in a helmet, who exhibited the mode of using that apparatus.
The dejeune on board the Lansdown was provided by the Steam Company. Several ladies and gentlemen came up by the Lady Burgoyne to join the party of [at?] Portumna in the Lansdown. After partaking of the good cheer, they had dancing and music on deck till they reached Killaloe, much to the amusement of the stranger guest, who felt edlighted, not only with the scenery of the lake, but also with the company of the ladies.
Limerick Reporter 5 September 1845