The Coastguard Cutter Vol5 No12


The Coastguard Cutter
December 07 Edition

Vol 5 No. 12.

"The Lady Margaret"



Hello Friend,

Christmas is a time of celebrating the Family also a time of Hope as we await the passing of the year and the start of a new one.


Say it with flowers.


Chief Boatman Edward Earwood of the Wicklow coastguard Station has presented us with a button-hole of beautiful primroses, which were found growing near the station.


We have been presented with a parcel of early potatoesShips Cook grown by Mr. Curtis, Coastguard at Wicklow station. The largest measured six by five inches in circumference, and five average sized tubers weighed nine ounces. They were a really fine specimen, very dry, and of good flavour.  

 Ref: Reference; Wicklow News-Letter 23rd September 1899.  

Army Officers wearing stays. 1822.

An article from St.Petersburgh dated the 6th inst. States that General Uwaron, Commander of the Guards, has issued an order of the day, in which he makes known the Emperor’s will respecting regulations for preserving the health of the army. Colonels of Regiments are especially enjoined “By no means to allow the soldiers lacing themselves” The same attention to “young officers, who from false notions of elegance in dress injure themselves by this custom”

Reference; Freemans Journal 14 March 1822.

The ‘Jamaica Packet’ went ashore on the Velvet strand in Portmarnock. Her crew lightened the ship by throwing her cargo of rum overboard. This was much appreciated by the locals.

Ten years later in 1888 she was not so lucky. The vessel struck again at the same spot and was lost with all hands.

Effects of Lightning on board a Ship. 1828.

Some extraordinary effects of lightning occurred lately in the ship ‘New York’, on her passage from New York to London. A conductor attached to the mainmast was melted, and fell in drops into the sea. An excellent chronometer was so deranged that it gained 34 minutes on the voyage.- But the most singular operation of the lightning was the following:- There was a passenger very old and corpulent, whose legs were so paralyzed that for three years he had not walked half a mile, and, who since his embarkation, had not been able even to stand.

After the discharge of the lightning, which passed close to the place where this poor cripple was lying, everybody was astonished to see him rise, pace up and down the deck, and walk about for a long time, as if nothing had ever ailed him. At first his head was a little affected ; but that soon went off, while the benefit which he had experienced in his limbs remained. He continued to use them freely during the passage, and on the arrival of the ship in port, he walked with ease to the place of his residence.

Reference; Freemans Journal  19 February 1828.

Melancholy Occurrence. 1824.

On Wednesday a young boy named Patrick Walker, apprentice to Blackhorn, the chimney-sweeper , was unfortunately suffocated when sweeping a chimney in Mr.Whaley’s  house, Stephens Green,Dublin, in consequence of a quantity of rubbish having fallen down upon him.

Reference; Freemans Journal  Friday 1 October 1824.

RAKE (wastrel/ man-about-town)

Ships WheelThomas Whaley was the son of Richard Chapell Whaley, a Protestant landowner and magistrate whose anti-Catholicism earned him the nickname 'Burn-Chapel' Whaley. When the latter died, his son inherited an estate in Co Wicklow, a town house at 86 St Stephen's Green, Dublin (now occupied by University College, Dublin), and an income of £7,000 a year. At sixteen, Whaley was sent to Paris, but his tutor was unable to curb the youth's profligacy. 'Buck' Whaley incurred gambling debts of £14,000 in an evening, and was forced to leave France when his bankers refused to honour his cheque.

Back in Dublin, he acquired a second nickname when, asked one evening in 1788 where he next intended to visit, he casually replied 'Jerusalem'. His fellow bucks wagered £15,000 that he could not reach the holy city and return within two years. Despite fears of banditry, Whaley immediately launched an expedition to the Holy Land, returning in June 1789 with a signed certificate from a convent in Jerusalem. Another wager required him to jump from his drawing room window into the first passing carriage and kiss its occupant. He also conceived a plan to rescue Louis XVI from the guillotine, but took fright in Paris.

Death. 1823.

At Tamperton, Mrs. Mary Peters, aged 64, butt woman of the parish church there. She had served on board several British Men-of-wars, disguised as a seaman,and had been in Rodney’s and several other engagements. Her sex was discovered at Lisbon, from the feminine action she betrayed in catching oranges in her lap. Her object in going to sea was to be near her sweetheart, who had been pressed, and who afterwards fell in action.

Reference; Freemans Journal  5 November 1823


Getting old


Anker.  A wooden barrel capable of holding 8 ½ gallons.

Batman. A smuggler who carried a long wooden pole or bat to defend contraband.

Coxswain. A ship’s officer.

Cutter. A boat with only one mast.

Geneva. Another name for gin.

Half-anker. A small wooden barrel capable of holding about 4 gallons widely used by smugglers.

Hogshead. A large wooden barrel capable of holding about 54 gallons.

Hollands. Another name for gin.

Lander. Person in charge of organizing gangs of smugglers to land contraband and distribute it inland.

Lugger. A boat with two or three masts.

Mizzen Mast. The mast at the rear of a three masted ship.

Port. The left side of a ship.

Salvage. Goods rescued from a shipwreck. The original owner might pay a lot of money to have a valuable cargo salvaged.

Sloop. A boat with one mast. Might carry guns on deck.

Spy-glass. A telescope.

Strong waters. Watered down brandy.

Tub Man. A man who carries tubs, small wooden barrels.

Venturers. People who provided money to fund a smuggling operation.

Nautical  Terms


There is no proof that pirates wore either of these decorations. They seem to be the imagination of authors to liven up their characters. At the height of the age of piracy, around 1700, earrings were no longer fashionable, and pirates like everyone else were in keeping with the fashions of their day.


There are two versions. One refers to wealthy people travelling to the orient or colonies, booked their cabins to be on the relatively cool side of the vessel when the sun is at its hottest (in the afternoon), i.e. outward bound on port (left) side and returning on starboard side. P.O.S.H.- Port Out Starboard Home was allegedly written on the ticket. The other version, possibly more accurate, may allude to the Gypsy slang word for a 'dandy' and 'money'.


Ballygally Castle on the Antrim coast was built in 1625. It has had a chequered history since. At one time it was the Coastguard station eventually it became a hotel and many years ago I was told this tale by the then Manageress.     Two elderly guests booked in for several days over the Christmas season. On arrival they were intrigued to discover the staff were preparing for a fancy dress ball.

That night there was a knock at the bedroom door and there stood one of the waiters clad in medieval costume. He had arrived to invite them to the ball. They went. And had a lovely evening surrounded by staff and other guests all bedecked in wonderful attire.

The next morning at breakfast they enthused to the manageress about what a wonderful evening it had been. Which came as a bit of a shock to the lady, for the ball had not taken place yet and was not due to take place for another two days.   The elderly guests booked out.

Wit and Wisdom
The wise old Mother Superior from county Tipperary was dying. The nuns
gathered around her bed trying to make her comfortable. They gave her some
warm milk to drink, but she refused it.
Then one nun took the glass back to the kitchen. Remembering a bottle of
Irish whiskey received as a gift the previous Christmas, she opened and
poured a generous amount into the warm milk.
Back at Mother Superior's bed, she held the glass to her lips. Mother drank
a little, then a little more. Before they knew it, she had drunk the whole
glass down to the last drop.
Mother," the nuns asked with earnest, "Please give us some wisdom before you
She raised herself up in bed with a pious look on her face and said,
"Don't sell that cow."
A Scottish man walking through a field, see a stranger drinking water from a pool with his hand.
The Scottish man shouts “Awa, ye Eejit, that’s full o’ coos sharn”.
The man shouts back “I’m English, Speak English, I don’t understand you”.
The Scotsman shouts back “Use both hands you’ll get more in”.
It has been said that an Englishman thinks and speaks.
A Scot thinks twice before he speaks,
and an Irishman speaks before he thinks.


UK CG NewsCoastguard News from England

Son of Coastguard drowns. 1838.


On Wednesday last  Mr. A. Tregarthen, harbour-master at Llanelly, went with his boat and crew to assist in saving the cargo of the schooner ‘Active’, of Dartmouth, E.George, master. The cargo of copper ore was saved and loaded into another boat. Mr. J. Brabyn took his boat and men out to the vessel to raise her but were forced to abandon the attempt and were getting back into their own boat when it was smashed against the wreck stoving in the stem. They tried to keep her afloat. by huddling in the stern but she went down leaving the twelve men struggling in the sea and six men hanging on to the rigging. Mr. Tregarthen then rowed his boat near and rescued 7 men. Mr. George, the captain of the wrecked ‘Active’ in a boat saved four more. One young boy was lost, crying out for his mother. That left six men clinging to the rigging, but the two boats were unable to get near, and ran for Llanelly where Mr. John Batten and Mr. Thomas Hugh, tide-waiters started off in the Queen’s boat and, when the tide had subsided a little they saved three of the remaining six men Captain Rees Hopkin in his boat the Mary managed to get the other three off.. The young boy who died was the son of Mr. Wilson, Chief Boatman of the Coast Guard service.   Cambrian.

Reference; The Times, London. 6 March 1838.

Coming in January Edition.

The Tragic Loss of the Diligence.





A Happy Christmas and a peaceful new year to all our members and their families from Tony and Philip.





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