Tag Archives: flour

A Bourne mystery

Here is an ad, from 1785, offering to let flour-mills at Portlaw, Co Waterford, and a bake-house in John Street, Waterford, to a “tenant possessed of abilities”.

The ad is interesting in several respects. First, although the location of the flour-mills is not clear, they may have preceded the iron-works, the famous Malcolmson cotton-mill and the later tannery on the site; they certainly seem to have used the water power of the Clodiagh.

Second, the ad suggests that flour could be carried from the mills by three rivers to Waterford: the Clodiagh, the Suir and St John’s Pill, which is another navigation featured on this site.

Third, the ad invites applications to be sent to either John Thomas Medlycott in Dublin or John Edwards Bourne in Mayfield, Waterford. The Post-Chaise Companion [4th ed] says

Within half a mile of Portlaw, on the L is Glen-house the seat of Mr Bourne.

At Portlaw are the extensive mills built by Edward May Esq, and about a quarter of mile beyond Portlaw on the L is a large house built by the same gentleman.

About a mile from Portlaw, on the R situated on the banks of the Suir, is Mayfield, the noble and delightful seat, with very extensive and beautiful demesnes and plantations, of William Watson Esq and on the L is Coolfin, the seat of the Rev Thomas Monck.

That puts a Mr Bourne in Portlaw, though in Glenhouse rather than Mayfield. The Glenhouse address is confirmed by Matthew Sleater in 1806.

But what interests me is whether the John Edwards Bourne mentioned in the ad is related to John Edwards Bourne of Dunkerrin, Co Offaly, formerly of Nenagh, Co Tipperary, who died in 1799 or so. The Offaly Bourne seems to have had four brothers and three sisters.

I would be glad to hear from anyone who knows anything about the Portlaw Bourne (or indeed any of the other Bournes). If you can help, please leave a Comment below.



Pirates on the Shannon

On last night, near Tervoe, a sail-boat, on its way up the river, from Labbysheedy, was attacked by twelve armed men, who approached in two cots from the Tervoe side of the river. Each cot, or small boat, contained six men, armed with guns or pistols. The sail-boat was boarded by the occupants of one of the cots, while the other six remained alongside, for the purpose of observation, or repulsion, if, perchance, assistance should be rendered.

Labasheeda, Tervoe and Limerick (OSI ~1900)

Labasheeda, Tervoe and Limerick (OSI ~1900)

The sail-boat having been usually engaged in the conveyance of flour and other provisions from Labbysheedy to Limerick, the presumption is, that the parties were led to suppose the boat was laden with the usual kind of freight. But they were mistaken. They found no provisions, tho’ they took care not to go away empty-handed. They seized three or four boxes laden with valuable property, and succeeded in carrying them off, of course without meeting any resistance on the part of those who were on board the sail-boat.

We believe outrages of this kind are not infrequent on the river. Something should be done to afford secure protection to the trade between this city and the several places down the stream.

Limerick and Clare Examiner 2 February 1848

From the British Newspaper Archive

From the BNA


My OSI logo and permit number for website

The Deel navigation

The Deel linked the Co Limerick town of Askeaton to the south side of the Shannon Estuary. Here is a page about the navigation and some of its quays. Note that it is a long page with many maps and photos, although they’re all reduced in size to minimise the strain on tinterweb.

Attack on the Suir

Three men were killed and several wounded in the attack on Mr Malcolmson’s boats, near Clonmel, on Thursday evening. The populace, it is believed, were instigated to plunder the flour from no other motive but that of absolute distress. Stones flew like hail on the boatmen and police who escorted the cargoes, but not until very severe hurts were received, did the latter fire among the crowd, and on the third volley they dispersed.

The Limerick Chronicle, Wednesday 16 May 1827