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Passenger Traffic Through Drogheda Port

Passenger Traffic Through Drogheda Port

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Published by Geordie Winkle

Passenger Traffic through Drogheda Port

Passenger Traffic through Drogheda Port

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Published by: Geordie Winkle on May 13, 2011
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Passenger Traffic through Drogheda
6 Like brooks The peasant-stream statistics half alone


rills that grow from many mountain out Irish vales'341 flowed from

Tonnage during Britain Drogheda railway Britain,

a rather of the progress of Drogheda port incomplete picture paint as it was to in the realm of passenger the nineteenth century, transport out of to Britain service that it its mark. No made official passenger operated increasingly to the The of the local in the mid-1820s. port prior founding Steam-packet Company were a decade to record later that 'the regular intercourse commissioners with Great the first of

on almost Post Office to the year carried 1821, was sailing exclusively by the previous was for its shortness and the passage and great security, by Holyhead being preferable packets, area to cross the then more from the Drogheda than all the rest...'.342 wishing People frequented Irish Sea and embark from there. Some, this means had first to travel to Dublin however, may by on a less conventional course to Britain from Drogheda direct have passage by seeking adopted one or other to latter is unlikely, of the colliers the port. The however, freighters leaving option The of passengers have been taken up to a very significant extent, conveyance especially post-1823. was it was Parliament in July of that year when between Britain and Ireland by Act of regulated tons burden than of less than 200 could take no more enacted that of vessels twenty captains at the to so do customs in unless licensed authorities merchant passengers port by the question; a a maximum to of ten passengers vessels of 100 tons or less were restricted without carrying was and neither difficult and from Dublin time licence.343 expensive Embarking consuming, to was or convenient. Little wonder then that relatively few bothered enticing option particularly was to less of steam make the voyage. all that. Nationally, The however, growth change navigation, to to 1821, but commissioner than 30,000 travelled estimates, per annum railway according prior were trans Steam this number the trip by steamer in 1836. times twenty making approximately rival steam of a sea voyage and between eased the difficulties significantly, competition portation a considerable the the advent of steam navigation of fares. With caused companies lowering packet were become had therefore less daunting affordable. and more 15,600 passengers crossing on the route in 1836, at a cabin steamers fare of 125. and a deck by conveyed Drogheda-Liverpool of services the busiest for passenger outside fare of 25. 6d., making port Drogheda steamship were at that time.344 labourers in Dublin of those making the voyage seasonal Many agricultural to in Britain, of travellers into this category search of but the proportion falling prior employment

the 1840s is impossible to establish with any precision.
In 1841 of These of their the census commissioners labourers instituted to Britain Irish agricultural were journey

measures for harvest

to estimate work a


extent the



annual early light their of sea

migration autumn. as most meagre transport 341 Lines land.

during they sea the take



workers land

in poor usually on was done

circumstances. foot and the

As shorter


tended the The

to travel further mode


stocks to be

of provisions was adopted 'The

a stone of meal) would (frequently of paramount therefore importance. loss of the emigrants'


Consequently, who hailed

they almost from the Drogheda


from the poem,

by John Boyle O'Reilly


vessels carrying passengers between Great Britain and Ireland'. 344 Second report of railway commissioners, p. 90, appendix B, pp 62-3; the Town of Drogheda steamer did not ply in 1836. 345 Report from the select committee on the laws relating to Irish and Scotch vagrants, p. 10,H.C. 1828 (513), iv.

342 Second report of railway commissioners, p. 90. 343 Act 4 Geo. IV, c. 88: 'An Act for regulating


The Port of Drogheda 1790-1850
ably ing travelled a by steamboat, and more with Liverpool arduous voyage as the favoured on smaller destination, sailing during vessels. the in

to undertak preference was enumeration Their of 1841, on the from office

lengthier to deck confined reasonable paying

sought and noted the county of origin of each purchaser of a deck ticket.The vastmajority of deck passengers bound for Britain embarked for Liverpool at either Dublin or Drogheda. Dublin held
slightly cent) over one from and number for third of this market sailed The Drogheda. did not represent of harvest per cent), (thirty-four census commissioners the total number embark on in the the ports been drovers but almost a quarter that (twenty-four their acknowledged figures of migrant workers 'no incon Ireland: leaving steam vessels which board lie to on occasionally summer months'. but The a census figures be as nonethe sounded seasonal have themselves,346 as a whole could caveat be should regarded others as their per were

at Ireland's passengers ports embarking that economic circumstances would assumption for cabin accommodation. Towards this end a police


preclude agricultural at each officer stationed

labourers packet

incomplete siderable the coast less provide concerning migrant intended embarkation data. The


the convenience hard their comparative interpretation. Some would in Britain for North

of passengers, data Deck have for



workers. to settle port could empirical be

accompanying even have some may to use and planned was made America. No distinction between however, as seasonal estimate workers, in spite that but of perhaps this was these 40,000



Liverpool these groups of the

principal in the census passengers and without are

commissioners regarded foundation.



surveyed serious



invaluable for establishing the relative levels of passenger business held by Ireland's ports in 1841.
The numbers of of deck that year summer was enumerated passengers are in illustrated Figure and of these by just four ports, each leaving 6.1. It can be Dublin and of Ireland's seen that the ports principal during the vast bulk of the business the lion's share.347


conjectural the census






6.1: Numbers

of deck passengers


from Irish ports during

summer of 1841.

346 Report of the Commissioners appointed (hereafter cited as Census, 1841). 347 Census, 1841, p. xxvi.

to take the census of Ireland, for the year 1841, p. xxvi, H.C.





County Louth Archaeological

and Historical


10 % female
6.2: Gender profile of deck passengers ascertained about the



Figure Can


from Irish ports, summer that


further anything in 1841? The passengers those the



ports throughout leaving total surveyed. The gender even more remarkable and passenger profile This

left Drogheda port as deck much in a very figures among minority at this time, Ireland for just over thirteen per cent of accounting imbalance was those embarking from however, among Drogheda, norm. deviated from the national The significantly Drogheda reveal that type of people were females

was with no other such a low proportion of female distinctive, quite port having were is illustrated in Figure few and far between the contin 6.2.318 Females passengers. among as over in that year, three per cent of all gents port leaving Drogheda accounting they did for just deck to every other This stood in stark contrast in the country, passengers. passenger port major but the disparity from embarking and Drogheda is ports neighbouring particularly have been at could for the situation responsible apparently incongruous Drogheda to examine To answer this it is necessary the evidence question produced by in greater commissioners It would that the appear depth. underlying principal socio-economic and of deck of passengers. geographical origins Drogheda's Many the of Dundalk sailing and Dublin sailing from of the port had those between the percentage of females from the proportions What

striking. port? the 1841 cause those


in the lay intent on

to the town. The walked vast already long distances by the time they got from Drogheda the summer of 1841 hailed from the west of majority embarking during no Ireland and cent less than of all deck The 12,573 per comprised passengers. ninety-one who sailed that period from Drogheda made it the port most favoured Connaught people during from that left from Dublin.349 The 9,434 by people province. Only Connaught people, by contrast, even more in the census data to be drawn enables information and reveals that the report specific bulk county of the passenger of Mayo This custom for almost Drogheda half of all port came from one the deck resulted specific region (i.e. 49.74 per marketing of Connaught: sailing the Drogheda the from


supplied situation

passengers from

cent) by


to have


348 Wexford, Waterford and Cork have been omitted from this chart because their combined traffic passenger to only 2.5 per cent of the total. Thus, very little summer amounted occurred from the southern emigration counties; Census, 1841, p. xxvi. 349 Census, 1841, p. 450; The census commissioners all of the 12,256 Connaught considered males embarking from to be agricultural labourers, by comparison with 8,308 of those leaving Dublin. Drogheda 350 Ibid., p. 450.

The Port of Drogheda 1790-1850


a fare reduction in towns from who advertised the route Steam-packet Company along Connaught a few weeks were before Seasonal from Mayo the season workers commenced.351 just emigrant almost male and it was who the gender entirely they largely predetermined consequently imbalance four per cent of all Mayo Indeed, passengers among emigrants leaving Drogheda. only were deck from Drogheda's that summer female.352 passengers surveyed By contrast, hailing were a mere came few and far between: hinterland and 100 males females relatively thirty-seven from and 276 males Louth, County accounted for only 451 deck tickets total local sold. The hinterland company of does from on a the age not at that profile In total females Meath. from County thirty-eight they the summer of 1841, or just over three per cent of the during little passenger business for the therefore very community provided and time.353 deck Drogheda's information specific as such information However, overwhelming data compiled basis. the of passengers on the was since only at age this time? the Unfortunately, of deck passengers the general of deckers body of

shipping And what data

census embarking emigrants Drogheda

provide individual ports county from of origin

structure for cent

compiled per



of the should cent), per ninety-seven analysis a of the blend indication of ages from It emerges that 71.64 per produce sailing good Drogheda. were were cent of male between sixteen and emigrants aged thirty-five years and they Connaught to to the sixteen It is between evenly divided twenty-five and twenty-six thirty-five age categories.354 to assume, reasonable that those from would have therefore, embarking broadly Drogheda to this pattern. conformed

ninety-two were of whom male (i.e. majority for emigrants that province from

leaving almost

Drogheda Ireland.

the period

from 13 May

to 31 August

1841 an average of 877 deckers
major The

sailed from
the west ingredient of

were of a rural young men Stereotypically they disposition in traffic to the quays, The this human added port, yet another drawing to the town's sense of place, the summer-time. and during identity particularly a certain to have amount in town are bound of voyagers arriving generated each



prospective for local

lodging and public houses while
regional flavour, some Ireland and ages origins, albeit in a transient

they awaited sailings for Liverpool.
would have contributed of social fashion, had of 1841, to the amalgam been the

Equally, the imbalances
additional and that gave distinctive the


their ethnic





its character. While leaving numbers the statistical information summer compiled census A on seasonal labourers agricultural to establish failed the

the during after the harvest returning for this on and record. stated to Ireland were nor


in the autumn. ascribed itmade


He that

returning at so doing the autumn cal

forsaken.355 the proportion


Thomas commissioner, Larcom, put leading to disembark from rush vessels the general enumeration task that all attempts such an impossible at neither the returned in migrants landing Drogheda it to can be the with any quantified census commissioners autumn again is accepted, have travelled have degree that of statisti over two that

in Britain remaining if the made Nonetheless, precision. assumption return did thirds cent) per (sixty-nine actually numbers homeward fleeting of seasonal at their migrant that time workers of year. and

by in the

it follows

considerable on

would In



journeys contribution

the process atmosphere

to the dynamics

they would of town life.

into Drogheda their repeated

351 352 353 354

Ibid., p. xxvi. Ibid., p. 451.

Ibid., p. 450. Ibid., p. 451. on 355 Thomas 'Observations Larcom, society ofLondon, vi (1843), p. 345.

the census

of the population

of Ireland

in 1841', m Journal

of the statistical

Large numbers One of

County Louth seasonal

Archaeological continued

and Historical


to sail from to in subse Liverpool Drogheda two or the past 1844 that 'during early August sailed three weeks, Irish labourers, from Connaught and Munster, 10,000 principally to seek to from our quay, in order also maintained that itwas ...' The writer England, employment not on Irish farms to but the of labourers the want that drove agricultural England, employment to them in Ireland, Irish farmers and landlords who and railed wages against paid appalling some men at the rate of 6d., and 8d. and instances 'unfortunate by the year commonly employed - wet . ,.'.356 the labourer lOd. per day and broken against days being charged migrants quent years. Drogheda of upwards newspaper claimed in For most from after the Ireland the late of the first two decades outside and even of the nineteenth Kingdom somewhat to destinations wars the United century were of a 1819 the annual quite 1820 small. numbers sailing directly to began They pick up of the typhus epidemic no more than reached

they come as no Most It will therefore America.357 respectively. was very little to destinations from Drogheda that there other surprise by way of direct emigration to to mid-nineteenth in view of its than Britain the early century, especially proximity during extent from there. of transatlantic services and the choice and available passenger Liverpool 16,798 and 22,134, Indeed, itwas often from possible to choose to North was to time. from America also In a range at of vessels and dates the passage the offices by the of agents inducement advertisements departure, in Drogheda based of a free of and to book itself.358 which

Napoleonic 1810s. However,

experienced the during

surge and


years of peak sailed for North

from Emigration became available newspapers categories mechanics;359 free passage

Liverpool other ports from time

facilitated for

passage, in

locally by Surgeon Pentland of the Drogheda infirmary.360 From the very beginning of the 1800s vessels did, however, sail directly from Drogheda
North April American 1801, for destinations, example, but the brig such Acorn voyages advertised occurred locally only that on an intermittent 'now lying basis. at the it was

1842, Drogheda example, appeared to New for certain from free Zealand Greenock, Scotland, transport offering as their labourers and of land and farm of such families, purchasers people, in 1843, in the this time offering advertisements papers again Drogheda appeared were to in Australia, and received from Cork Port and Sydney applications Philip


In mid quay

on the destination to be of the essence and even a decision time was not deemed appeared Clearly to be fluid. in the local newspaper record the first twenty years gaps during Unfortunately, major or so of the to establish the of such voyages. it extremely difficult frequency precise century make run of one A continuous but is that they were The that is clear, however, anything frequent. thing local newspapers of from the extent took the early 1820s of this mode on onwards of is extant from as and thus on. it is In to possible mid-May Quebec to get 1827 a much the better then


and will be ready to sail about

the 15th of May'

for 'New York or Philadelphia'.361



brig, Enterprise, the

timber forNorth Quay merchants, Messrs Smith and Smyth.362Initially scheduled
sailing was postponed for the convenience of some passengers until


its outbound


it sailed

to collect

to depart on 10
the following

Drogheda a cargo



1844. 356 Drogheda Conservative Journal, 3 August 357 An account of the total number of ships, British and foreign, which have cleared out, from the several ports of Ireland, for the British dominions, and for theUnited States inNorth America, for theCape of Good Hope, and for New South Wales; their tonnage, and thenumber ofpassengers; for the last ten years, in each year respectively, and for each country separately; distin 1821 (310), xx. guishing convictsfrom passengers, pp 1-2,H.C. 358 Drogheda Conservative Journal, 1842-3. 360 359 Ibid., 19 February 1842. 1843. Ibid., 16 September 1827.

361 Drogheda News-Letter, 18 April 1801. 362 Drogheda Journal, 11 April, 12 May, 26 September

The Port ofDrogheda 1790-1850



to the above " Colonies" wishing to proceed ipERSONS -*- are to apply to Mr, John Behn?bd, recommended jun., or to Surgeon Cork, Pentland, Drogheda. Passengers approved of, for the October Ships, will be from Dublin conveyed Cork, free of expense,

Sept. 15th, 1843,
advertisement the fair

Plate 6.1: Newspaper

of free passage


(Drogheda Conservative Journal, 23 September


Tuesday, in those

was to deadlines less subject business Clearly, ofDrogheda'.363 on a flexible basis. The whose reasonably Enterprise, regis to the tered of 164 tons made it the largest ferried vessel tonnage sailing sixty belonging port,364 on this voyage to the 'New World'.365 in six weeks.366 five emigrants It the passage Five completed were to to North before sail directly America from would years emigrants again elapse Drogheda were and when these resumed the numbers modest. sailings Relatively again quite embarking set out for in the small contingents of and New York 1830s. The fares Quebec early 'independent the day after 'being times and could be conducted

bed and provisions' were ?2 toQuebec

and ?4 to New York.367On
120 emigrants

14 April 1832 the brig Isabella,
and a further sixty-six

the voyage in 1833.369On 15 March 1834 the Isabella once again set sail from Drogheda to Chartered by local shipowner and broker, Patrick Boylan, it left Drogheda with 170 Quebec. made
passengers the same 363 amidst year, 'heart-breaking own Boylan's brig, scenes of parents sailed the Commerce with On 5 May of their children'.370 parting with for New York.371 passengers sixty-seven






for Quebec,368

12 May 1827. Cabe's directory, appendix, p. 17; Ships arriving book, Drogheda archive). 365 Poor Inquiry (Ireland), appendix C, part 1, p. 60, H.C. 1836 [35], xxx. 366 Drogheda Journal, 26 September 1827. Ibid., 364 Mac 367 Poor Inquiry (Ireland), appendix C, part 1, p. 60, H.C. 1836 [35], xxx. 368 Drogheda Journal, 14 April 1832. 369 Poor Inquiry (Ireland), supplement toappendix C, part 7, p. 21, H.C. 1836 370 Drogheda Sentinel, 19 April 1834. 371 Ibid., 7 May 1834.




Port Company

[35], xxx; Census,

1841, pp 450-1.

No further direct voyages

County Louth to North not back when

Archaeological were

and Historical

Journal of the decade, out a state to be an of ill lost 13


made that


the remainder voyage

affairs fated off

that was one. News

probably filtered

unrelated to

to the fact

the Isabellas




of Canada

May 1834, from the agent of Lloyd's shipping insurers:372
Isabella struck pieces. persons tants of Workington, side the west Morris and island. master, at crew, On and with three 159 o'clock

mid-summer 1834 around had been that the Isabella Drogheda an extract the local press of a letter, dated Miramichi, published

passengers a.m., on


of St. Paul's

8th May, shore,

for Quebec and and

from in an

Drogheda, hour went by

to the


the passengers on stationed the

and clothes was immediately dispatched by the Commissioners
sent a large supply reported, men, by Lloyd's one of clothes other necessaries ...

got except eight, the news reaching


relieved with


a vessel

of Lights; and the inhabi


Both had


newspapers that given are such

in addition, fifty women

that and Indeed,



passengers, children,

comprised with conflicts


agent. of

forty-three it is also



discrepancies abound with general orders

by reported not unusual, however, inconsistencies. and The seen

these as

very sources

marginally at the time of journals for passenger numbers are of therefore the safe best

leaving Drogheda, a total that making slightly at variance with the total embarkation. during taken of this as Such period


numbers as approximate.

in mid-July, and in light of the Isabella's fate itmust have been New York reached Drogheda with some relief. Despite the lack of rigour in statistical reporting by journals of the greeted
period, a reasonable to construct however, profile possible, in the early in from Drogheda emigrants question embarking two to one, females and they comprised by about outnumbering as well as from A breakdown, and country, Drogheda. by gender it is those Ireland were sailing as a whole, passenger and in the of life.373 of these 1830s the Overall, passengers. were male, predominantly of the from various parts who

of magnitude

quoted News


reflecting in the Commerce


to North America during 1832, 1833 and 1834 is outlined
young however, sailings prime the numbers from


people of those

in Figure 6.3. The bulk of




mittent during the 1840s. In May 1842 the Lady Douglas, a brig chartered by Patrick Boylan, set sail
for New that Brunswick, 160 but It is possible Brunswick ships but the number of passengers it carried returns may be record fully is unclear.374 The local press it took the official that parliamentary neither of these 107 that ninety-one as the accurate the Lady Douglas until 1845, when emigrants government on 30 reported were on emigrant June 1842.376

Set against the scale of emigration were not very from Drogheda significant. embarking were to North America rather and infrequent Drogheda


board.375 office No

at New




ferried brought 372

forty-five passengers to timber Drogheda

left Drogheda to St John's, for local

on arrivals emigrant for North America New


the barque, Warrior, the Warrior On its return Brunswick.377 journey The and broker, Patrick agent emigrants Boylan.378 appears to have seriously misprinted 1841, pp 450-1. the

Ibid., 21 June 1834; Drogheda Journal, 21 June total passenger number.

1834; the Drogheda Journal

1836 [35], xxx; Census, 373 Poor Inquiry (Ireland), supplement to appendix C, part 1, p. 21, H.C. 374 Drogheda Journal, 21 May 1842; Boylan's office was located on the North Quay. 375 Return

of the number of emigrants who have embarked from the various ports of theUnited Kingdom during theyear 1842; have emigrated, p. 2, H.C. 1843 (90), xxxiv; The census ofIreland for theyear 1851, showing towhat parts of theworld they 1856 [2134], xxxi (hereafter cited as Census, 1851). part vi, general report,p. cii, H.C. 376 Copies or extracts of any correspondence relative to emigration, which has taken place since thedate of the last despatches which were laid before 1843 (291), xxxiv. Parliament, for each of the colonies respectively,p. 120, H.C.

377 Drogheda Conservative Journal, 29 March 1845; Sixth general report of the colonial land and emigration commissioners: 1846 [706], xxiv; Census, 1851, p. cii; Patrick Boylan was once again the agent. 1846, pp 40-1, H.C. 1845. 378 Drogheda Conservative Journal, 15 November

The Port ofDrogheda 1790-1850


180 160 140 120 Number of 10? emigrants $0 60 40 20 0 <10 10-30 Age
6.3: Profile of emigrants from Drogheda to North America, 1832-4 inclusive.





FROM THIS PORT, WITH PASSENGERS, The well known Fast sailing Brig

330 Tons Burden.


to Upper and sons desirous of Emigrating Canada, United States, as St. John's is a convenient the port to above Settlements. either of the For Freight or Passage apply at Mr. BOYLAN'S Office, North Quay, or on Board. April 1, 1842. Drogheda,
sailings direct from Drogheda to North America {Drogheda


is now afforded to all Per

re emigrant advertisement Plate 6.2: Newspaper Conservative Journal, 16 April 1842).

on the outbound was once voyage again the

County Louth from

Archaeological therefore

and Historical

Journal served aboard as ballast. which New sailed


effectively sixty-five


the destination

for a further

fare-paying the Warrior,

from Drogheda
for 1847 and

inApril 1846.379The report of the Colonial
subsequent census commission

Land and Emigration Commissioners
indicate that no

that of


from Drogheda
another those

for destinations outside of the United Kingdom
return the states that one vessel ferried error an

in either 1847 or 1849,380 but
number out in each of



in clerical of simple out, the discrepancy possibility was not to the fact that the port of Drogheda be due the surviving records could just possibly and officer the of an official that trading under vessels, having discharged emigration supervision as on board taken in an in have their cargoes fashion, may, emigrants impromptu Drogheda, occur not have been on those occasions.382 If this did itwould ballast for the return voyage particu informed as a select in 1847 was that the of the House of Lords committee sitting larly unusual, census some and was common in in Furthermore, parts of the country.383 parliamentary practice a total of 494 passengers to New in 1848.384 York two returns it is stated that conveyed sailings at the port of New York less than indicate that no lists of However, passenger arriving immigrants sailed Anne in that year. The landed there four vessels from passengers of Yarmouth, brig, Drogheda on the 104 but the remaining two of whom died in late 106 passengers with voyage, February,385

parliamentary years.381 Whilst

unspecified cannot be ruled

arrived at New York on 6 April 1848. The barque, Warrior, set sail inMarch
emigrants a month and a vessel whatever of in New later, York on May.386 10 November 1848, by local on 15 Another 130 arrived on eighty B. Collins more passengers and

and landed a further
arrived 10 the Janet on aboard the There were

ninety-one October, no such Set other



chartered in 1850.389 the

businessmen, a whole, just

J. Fanning.388

sailings in the context Britain



direct 0.19




such destinations during the decade


to 6 June 1841. Why should the port ofDrogheda

emigration cent of per


Drogheda Ireland's total

to countries emigration to

have held

1847 [809], xxxiii; Drogheda 379 Seventh general report of the colonial land and emigration commissioners: 1847, p. 36, H.C. Conservative Journal, 14 March 1846; Drogheda Argus, 9 May 1846 put the number at sixty-four. 1847-8 [961], xxvi; Census, 380 Eighth general report of the colonial land and emigration commissioners: 1848, p. 37, H.C. 1851, p. ciii. 381 Return of the number ofpassenger ships which have sailed from ports in theUnited Kingdom with emigrants on board, during the lastfive years; distinguishing whether such ports are under the superintendence of an emigration officer or not; with the 1852 (245), number of such ships which have been wrecked or destroyed at sea, and thenumber of lives so lost, p. 10, H.C. xlix. 382 two large consignments of grain arrived In April and May 1847, for example, for Messrs Smith and Smyth -Drogheda Argus, 1, 8 May 1847; vessels U.S.A., passengers on board. ofLords on colonization from Ireland; in the port from Norfolk, Virginia, such as these may just have taken

House 383 Report of the select committee of the H.C. 1847 [737], vi. 384 Ninth

with minutes of evidence, pp 334-5, together

1849 [1082], xxii - it is general report of the colonial land and emigration commissioners: 1849, p. 33, H.C. returns merely copied the figure of 494 from this; Return of thenumber of that subsequent parliamentary possible on board, during the lastfive years; passenger ships which have sailed from ports in the United Kingdom with emigrants an emigration officeror not; with thenumber of such ships are under the distinguishing whether such ports superintendence of 1852 (245), xlix; Census, 1851, p. which have been wrecked or destroyed at sea, and thenumber of lives so lost, p. 10, H.C. ciii. sailed out on the have ii,

1848. 385 Drogheda Conservative Journal, 5 February 1848; Drogheda Argus, 12 February that ninety-five the Drogheda Conservative Journal, 1 April 1848, reported 386 A local newspaper, lists do not indicate any deaths at sea, so the newspaper Warrior, but the New York passenger been slightly inaccurate. New York, 1846-51 port of immigrants: lists of Irish immigrants arriving at the pp 293-4, 389; ibid., iii, pp 213-14, 293. 1848. 388 The Irish Advocate, 2 December 1848; Drogheda Argus, 2 December 389 Census, 1851, p. ciii. 387 The Famine

report may

(7 vols., Baltimore,


ThePort ofDrogheda 1790-1850
such a small slice of the transatlantic passenger business? The root cause was fundamentally assumed


dominated growing ing role

transatlantic as a feeder to North

on Drogheda's
trade. port As

proximity to the large British port of Liverpool, which
the nineteenth British century neighbour. but a Drogheda progressed volumes The low passenger




to its larger therefore

through reality Atlantic

the port embarking ocean.

as many of Drogheda, on the first stage just catered port to passage Liverpool. en route to America,

comprised of those who of a


emigrat of the total emigration tiny element were steamers in for local boarded Liverpool across them the that would take ultimately

Occasionally, emigrants arriving in seeking Drogheda


waves of North A?nerica-bound substantial quite of 1837, for example, the spring the numbers During as to draw editorial were so comment from a local large for

newspaper:390 We believe the mania season. The was never more to America than during the of emigration prevalent been for some roads into this town have, weeks, literally leading to if of whom, from the land of their nativity about many depart seem to have in been of their the appearance luggage, tolerably The have, the we majority understand, in many of those received cases individuals, warm particularly encouragement them the necessary for America Irish society. of sorrow. scenes of of at such from funds as are ... their

present crowded one

with persons from may judge comfortable circumstances. and transatlantic labourers, friends judge from from


latter having comments,


It would did not

seem, emanate



departure 1837, for nied

economically into baleful theatres of emigrants transformed quays Drogheda's the harrowing the Drogheda example, Journal depicted graphically as it left with a the of the Green Isle paddle-steamer contingent departure ... groups of manifest friends on the shore and the undissembled looks

the most

bound that passengers sectors of deprived

Even In that

this period so, the mid-April accompa

emigrants:391 and tears of


... an multitude in every face the assembled shout burst from anguish agonising on to was the choking efforts of the parting but the shore, which faintly by responded to be seen groups on board. side were For a considerable distance the Boyne friends along as the vessel sexes and of all ages their handkerchiefs their hands and wringing waving never more a Banathleath?92 behold. those whom and uttering upon they might passed,

Statistical evidence for levels of passenger
is rather which sparse and Drogheda or to Britain the available fragmentary. was used port data the hard

trafficfrom Drogheda
it is not to

to Liverpool during the 1840s
the extent America to via

Liverpool nature of consistency steamship

possible Consequently precisely quantify to to North either by Irish people wishing emigrate the this period. itself during Nonetheless, notwithstanding it is to together piece possible in the 1841 statistics published a significant proportion a reasonable report Ireland's picture. showing census of

rudimentary is broad There

between operators


famine The

(23.91 per cent of all deck passengers)
the floodgates crop and first vast numbers succumbed crop failure

and data compiled
a new attack

later in the decade when
lands. in

that Drogheda traffic passenger



potato country's the autumn of 1845. The sion. turned Food out

sought to serious was

life in foreign


experienced shortages to be of harbingers 1837.

during the Great

just the winter The

partial, of 1845

by blight {Phytophtera infestans) to be the first of a succes but itwas and spring emigrating of 1846 consequently to America early




390 Drogheda Journal, 8 April 391 Ibid., 15 April 1837. 392 This was a pseudo-phonetic


for the valediction,


teat, commonly


in the Irish language.


County Louth


and Historical


and American JPACHLET FOR


office, ?lrogfjelfa


TO SAIL on the 22nd APRIL.








OXFORD,.Rathbone...l250... GLENVLEW.1500... PATRICK HENRY.Delano,.1500... ... 1000 tons ... Allen SHEFFIELD, ... Collins ... 1550 tons ... ROSCIUS

19th 22nd 25th 1st of May. 13th do.

These Ships are all of the first and largest class, and were built expressly as Packets for the different Lines to which they belong, and have long been celebrated for their and swiftness of sailing. superiority of accommodation in the A few respectable persons can be accommodated Cabin, Second Cabin and Steerage of each of the above Ships, to on application Steam Packet Quay, Drogheda, WM. MILEY, or P. W. BYRNES, 36, Waterloo Road, Liverpool. for any of the above Ships, N.B?Passengers engaging will have their expenses paid, if detained in Liverpool moro than 48 hours, after the day named for sailing.
Plate 6.3: advertisement Newspaper Journal, 16 April 1842). from American and Australian Packets Office, Drogheda (Drogheda Conservative

The Port ofDrogheda 1790-1850 251

Plate 6.4:

Print depicting

the departure

of an emigrant

vessel from Liverpool

(Illustrated London News, 6 July 1850).

1846 no early passed which was


therefore record of

be of

considered the more port the overall and


the first wave who


the Great from


exodus. to




surviving months

numbers more

sailed were


passengers passage from

Drogheda their setting to America Drogheda in any one their

the Liverpool during on America. 3,080 sights a record 9 May, Argus maintained by year. loss It described to the country. high, that it these As

through Drogheda was about treble than as double

to seek



going people sorrowful locations painted a graphic down Look of

young, to America as word

number corresponding the number that had previously industrious and and enterprising, were unlikely after ever to return,

Liverpool for 1845. The gone the


became quays Drogheda increasingly ferried the away. The steamship emigrants Drogheda Argus steamship to be witnessed of the scenes there in the spring of 1846:393 picture done, of about the hour heads towards and ... see hats steam-boats leave the any of our the straining the eyes clasped the land, till she seems well nigh the shore, the convulsive sisters, sob, lovers, of brothers,

Walk port. hands

as we have to the quay, the dense upon throng those who lean over the then

mourning vessel's side


and reeling; the dishevelled friends, rapid cheer! and

of handkerchiefs the waving the beating of hands hair,


the hundreds

to the strand, with the pace madly running along vainly striving keep ... that wild, as she courses that unnatural cheer magnificent steam-ship along; an as can be felt, itwas a shriek, a wail... such No, sound, felt, but unearthly palpably ... a ... who not described is the last response that has witnessed this scene of cry of grief recurrence can dare at our quay tell us that a parting of this kind is desired. daily running,

393 Drogheda Argus, 9 May


The down population autumn by during principally sea route winter vast of

County Louth


and Historical

Journal the those exodus to America from whereas slowed to 600 to

continued haemorrhage time in line with seasonal the last three weeks the west week.394 of of

1846, throughout trends: about 200 September were were

but of

Liverpool people, Liverpool The

destined to

travelling for America, England via

Drogheda about

from each 1846-7



the Drogheda

on a scale never and starvation before brought hunger experienced, to flee the country. became the favoured for those causing lacking option Liverpool a to procure to America in that in and the escalating numbers the means passage arriving city such as to cause alarm the authorities 1847 were and put the city's resources among great January severe were 4 under for Irish pauper in strain. On 3,189 1847, January example, immigrants numbers

receipt of relief in Liverpool, but a fortnight later the number had rocketed to 18,053 and on 28
In less than out a month the number On of that 16 had increased 1847 almost the head spiralling presented of control.395 the mayor February eight-fold constable with a and of

it reached 24,297. January to be the situation seemed Liverpool, between M.M.G. Dowling, and

which he had compiled on the daily arrivals of paupers by steamship from Ireland. It showed that

city, George

Lawrence, a


arrived in Liverpool
Dublin.396 Dublin and tively, proportions


from Ireland, 7,935 of whom had embarked from Drogheda
26.42 their per cent of corresponding

16 February,




of five weeks,




and 11,569 from
the traffic, respec of percentages


therefore 38.51 and handled Drogheda in line with, broadly though slightly up on,

Plate 6.5:

Print depicting

a roll-call on the quarter

deck of an emigrant

ship (Illustrated London Nexos, 6 July 1850).


Ibid., 3 October

1846. relative

395 Copies of, or extractsfrom, any correspondence addressed to Her Majesty's secretary of statefor the Home Department, to the recent immigration of destitute Irish intoLiverpool, p. 9, H.C. 1847 (193), liv. on 9 December 396 The head constable noted that the large arrivals commenced 1846.

The Port ofDrogheda 1790-1850


34.16 per cent and 23.91 per cent of the deck passenger traffic ferried to Britain during the summer of 1841. In 1847 Drogheda port still ranked second to Dublin, just as it had at the beginning of the decade. People also travelled to Liverpool from ten other Irish ports during this
period, figures. with and but Sligo, their numbers were relatively third, for small by the port that ranked example, with the Dublin comparison catered for just 9.2 per cent illustrates from the the and Drogheda of all Liverpool of men, ports of

bound passengers during this five-week period early in 1847, and in last position came Portrush
a mere children that 0.12 per cent the of the business.397 carried among period. the biggest category at that time. This passengers Figure to 6.4 proportions principal women Liverpool Ireland

for fifty-six per cent of all passengers far and accounted by in view of the fact that Ireland's is poor hardly surprising landing to able-bodied on the them relief of denying law system operated men, forcing thereby principle a number of children than average to travel in search of employment. However, travelling higher to on the route to the passengers of men reduced the proportion among fifty Drogheda Liverpool on a was from almost cent. of children the number Indeed, par with per embarking Drogheda on a as to 1,751 from the latter port. from i.e. 1,713 the former Furthermore, Dublin, opposed at this time than from any other in children sailed from Drogheda basis, more port proportionate in any a from which few passengers sailed of with the exception the country port relatively Sligo, more were even ferried event. Nonetheless, children steamers, they still by the Drogheda though a little over one of women in five of the passengers. The embarking proportion only comprised norm was in line with the national from Drogheda, and, at twenty-nine however, per cent, broadly as a whole. over Entire was families therefore two per cent above for the country the average just a of the voyagers. formed small proportion relatively comprised at Liverpool

during Men

The five steamship sailings per week out of Drogheda (subject toweather conditions) during the early part of 1847 conveyed an average weekly total of 1,585 people to Liverpool, but numbers
fluctuate to some extent.398 On 4 February 1847, for example, Lord Brougham, while


12000^1 10000
8000 passengers 6000 4000 2000 D Children I Men

i rrm
z 3 I f
in Liverpool

S "
from Irish ports,

13 January

to 16 February 1847 (inclusive).



Profile of passengers


Home Department, relative Her Majesty's secretary of statefor the 397 Copies of, or extractsfrom, any correspondence addressed to 1847 (193), liv. to the recent immigration of destitute Irish into Liverpool, p. 16, H.C. on were such that there tended to be no outbound 398 Ibid., scheduling arrangements Sundays or on sailings either or a Thursday). one other day at mid-week (usually aWednesday

reporting to the House

County Louth of Lords

Archaeological on

and Historical

Journal occasioned the influx

in London

the distress


of Irish paupers,
alone.399 Would-be

stated that 692 had

landed from Drogheda


on the last two days of January


in fell into two main those bound economic arriving categories: Drogheda to to to have at least The former had money pay for going England. enough to America to the costs to the voyage in addition in in involved from Liverpool getting Liverpool were the first in more comfortable circumstances than their England-bound generally place. They were in a of whom It was the latter category of emigrant situation.400 many counterparts, desperate on the streets of that often presented A local newspaper, for the most spectacle Drogheda. pitiful in that 'women and children have with been reported mid-February contesting example, actually so were on the Steam-Packet cattle for of raw which many pieces turnips Quay completely lying as to be unable on board to walk and in such a state as to excite fears as to the packet, prostrated to rise survive the The continued whether could numbers nonetheless, they embarking, voyage'.401 for America emigrants and those

and during the firstweek inMarch
Whilst embarked reasonable the from surviving evidence Drogheda estimate from parliamentary

Rushton, arrived naked Britain deck on and was

to a

at Liverpool

in the period from 13 January to 13 December
business, starving' the final and 130,000 were in the over process 116,000, of paupers, numbering Noting from

an exact not allow of the total number who computation a to make in the harsh Famine for Liverpool of 1847, it is year possible returns Edward furnished general by Liverpool magistrate, stipendiary from Ireland statistics that 296,231 showed landed inquiry. His people does

1847 over 2,500 sailed from Drogheda.402

1847, inclusive, of whom 50,000 had
to the the United remainder States. and for per 'Half them

emigrating made up steamers of

destination.403 Liverpool

ing proportion for a five-week period
was the a remarkably similar Steam-packet 26.42 per cent, Drogheda Company to



that Drogheda in the Ireland


23.91 transported 1841 and that the



in January/February
it is reasonable for 1847 as a whole

1847 (forwhich figures are available)
that somewhere the proportion by conveyed in the of twenty region 12,500 Britain It would were on business


to assume was

five per cent. This would
about and 32,500 the of whom remaining 29,000 the all

suggest that approximately 74,000 embarked at Drogheda
were Liverpool whose paupers sizes of these en route to North concern is given America, was in to reach prime

port in 1847,
graphic therefore be


itself. A


as port Drogheda during totally destitute. on business, at in 1847 of travelled many per Liverpool landing would their animals. This whom have been livestock dealers relatively high percent accompanying as the not a of different business travellers, however, age does large number correspondingly imply same a to in livestock dealers and made of round trips frequently routinely multiplicity Liverpool the course of their the secretary of the trade. Patrick Ternan, Indeed, Drogheda Steam-packet passengers cent of leaving seventeen those Company, conveyed attested from in May to 1847 that a mere each week, twenty-five indicating cabin that passengers, its business on average, were in the

of representation to consider wrong



6.5. Figure the Famine




399 Hansard's 1847), p. 770. parliamentary debates, third series, txxxix (London, 400 Drogheda Conservative Journal, 9 May 1846, 27 March, 1May 1847. Those for America were principally heading from a rural background, but not exclusively so. Drogheda Argus, on 12 June 1847 stated that a very large propor was taken out tion of the money withdrawn from the Drogheda by Savings Bank during the previous six months toAmerica. people who had since emigrated 402 401 Drogheda Argus, 13 February 1847. Ibid., 6 March 403 1847.

Home Department, by Edward Rushton, Esquire, stipendiary Copy of a letteraddressed to her majesty 's secretary of statefor the 1849 (266), xlvii; Report of the select committee on poor magistrate ofLiverpool, bearing date 21st April 1849, p. 1, H.C. 1854 (396), xvii; Captain Denham's report on passenger accommodation in steamers between Ireland removal, p. 358, H.C. and Liverpool, p. 8, H.C. 1849 [339], li.

The Port ofDrogheda 1790-1850 255

U.S. Emigrants Businessmen D Britain-bound Paupers




of passengers

leaving Drogheda

port for Liverpool,


main, their

neither enterprises a

sought were the


enjoyed of modest

the most scale. that


of conditions.404


in turn,

implies to


Nonetheless, presented exacerbated public despair local street Famine a the the


victims even


to were

frightful local

sight and climate of


places into


deprivation, 'hollow cheek'

they destitution and

Drogheda in transit and eye'

passage seeking their presence On the



Liverpool only have streets in and terror and


the beholder,405

community ambience. victims

an added sense bringing a very in and disconcerting impacting to be witnessed extreme The most distress the west of Ireland were relief the not heading entitled

simultaneously to the of depression and on demoralising the streets of

infused already way on



Drogheda's town was amongst


cadaverous were


appearance,406 not on the local compassion state

lists. Their people of

report published by the Drogheda Argus in February
the distressed of some of those making on the



for of whom These bore many Liverpool. people, as their to relief at the kitchens soup Drogheda nonetheless drew instant and occasionally plight on an ad-hoc basis. The the town, albeit following the town:

1847 gives a vivid and poignant portrayal of

their way streets


number creatures

of mendicants from

poor a of a man and his wife and Thursday evening family consisting on the road from the neighbourhood of Ballina, had been three weeks Mayo. County They ... The of going in wretched had no means and down Street farther, family passing Shop in her arms was the woman fell exhausted her sufferings the child she carried by evidently - a an her husband of the ravages of second carried appalling picture dying by presented on whilst the man himself seemed alive. The mother and child famine, hardly lay prostrate the side of the street, a crowd gathered around, and a small collection was made to preserve

the western


increasing to make endeavouring

is daily


of these are very many to their way On England. two children, arrived here

404 Drogheda Conservative Journal, 8 May 405 Drogheda Argus, 9 January 1847. 406 Ibid., 13 February 1847.


their able lives. A cases

County Louth


and Historical

Journal them. of here for their On the yesterday innumer the almost from the the west.407



was for and nourishment provided lodging procured, are however This is but one The parents recovering. the crowds of destitution witnessed amongst daily arriving starvation, as rising more what demand increased famine for and distress to meant boom

Ironically, companies opportunity Liverpool sion or under measures paupers. deployed would concern carrying regulations passengers. Newry was of

widespread Ireland to make determined However, 1847 with


profits. by business had

transport England presented treatment Their of Famine victims considerations a seller's the and market

steam-packet owners an with passage by compas came to

seeking than to

humanity. in threat to In

become from and

the profit motive in sea transport that from that would


demands health




Liverpool the spread

authorities of disease of Commons officer

sanction government sick and Irish starving two vessels board were every to be vessel

coming in with deck passengers
then to of inspect shipowners fever cases had To

announced the government as in the and hospital ships Mersey May the passengers was the could and notice in

in the House

that a custom-house

and hoist a yellow flag if disease was found. A medical
have with their fever which vessels cases they removed were to served, under hospital warning ships. that But

of most


the potential circumvent responded

forward they would be subject to medical
persons alone to get to unfit would to support have themselves been a


new The being placed quarantine.408 to fever among if ships were due business delayed severely disrupt of Dublin, Dundalk and this, the steam-packet companies Drogheda, a notice that thence passengers by publishing informing intending result to

inspection before being allowed on board
by their own labour would on be refused poor In addition, obviate imposition to increase many

and that

destitute procedures desperate

passage. the cost

considerable were their

unfortunates steam

any implica profitability to five from fare to the deck increasing shillings Liverpool so the two to get from to to that it cost 1847.409 Prior Liverpool, Drogheda mid-May just shillings on the route.410 The to two-and-a-half had times that been hiked up obtaining charge previously to announcement stress and and increased took people sudden hardship by surprise brought a passage across in the the in of securing Famine victims hope arriving Drogheda impoverished to the announcement of the fare the town Irish Sea. Many had who reached immediately prior or to to to resort not afford little option but increase could the new and had charge begging to make For their meagre in an effort the the difference. some, however, up selling possessions a forlorn an became fare obstacle and for them reaching Liverpool insuperable higher presented packet companies tions arising from by hope.411 From inflated that point could and onward qualify an article the healthy only for deck passage. from the Meath that sea and able-bodied with to pay money enough nonetheless continued in the Freeman's are not the new to pour Journal observed which

but their England took the opportunity the new measures

tribulations to enhance

further. and


Would-be Herald

emigrants newspaper,

into Drogheda in late October wending


their way

reported the towards

a day 'scarcely of Drogheda ports

reprinted in which passes strangers or Dublin flying from

the misery


Ibid., 20 February


408 Hansard's

1847), pp 524-6. parliamentary debates: third series, xcii (London, of a common deck 409 Drogheda Conservative Journal, 15 May 1847; Drogheda Argus, 15 May 1847; the establishment some of whom maintained to placate critics in Liverpool, effect fare would have also helped that the dampening on fares brought of induced about by competition between companies increasing numbers steam-packet to travel to their town. paupers Conservative Journal, 17 April 1847.

410 Drogheda Argus, 20 February 1847; Drogheda 411 Drogheda Argus, 15 May 1847.

The Port of Drogheda 1790-1850


Plate 6.6:

Print of government



office at Liverpool

(Illustrated London News, 6 July 1850).

threatens however, passenger Parliament.

to visit had

their homes

little prospect In a


damning in horrifying it described passengers of these vessels were ed on the decks police that:

voyage. report by Captain pleasant to Britain steamers from Ireland aboard plying afforded indictment of the facilities by steamship detail the appalling Denham conditions stated to which that he had

upon of a

the arrival

of winter'.412 In 1849

Those a


the voyage H. M. was


Liverpool, on Denham

to presented to deck operators the


accommodat people been informed by

board and

of one

the years 1847 and 1848 there were frequently from 600 to 800 deck passengers on
steam-vessel at a crowded time, arriving on deck, mixed from the ports the amongst of Dublin, cattle and Drogheda, besmeared Dundalk, with their

together Sligo, in rags and clothed saturated with wet dung, so that on their arrival, the voyage), during of food and clothing, many proper were to all appearance not and likely are tunate deck passengers frequently are not able to make steamers the passage 20 hours 413 ... and on many occasions

over washed them (the spray of the sea having from the want of the fatigue of the passage, to go ashore without them have been unable assistance, to survive many the hardships of such unfor days; and augmented (with a have a wind, contrary by in less strong east wind) or delivered been confined as the than on paddle from 18 to


the passage


1848. The Freeman's Journal, 25 October on 413 Captain Denham's report passenger accommodation

in steamers betiueen Ireland and Liverpool, p. 6, H.C.





County Louth Archaeological

and Historical

Journal to board crossing they had of grade have

was corroborated at itwas port, whose testimony by the tide surveyor Liverpool duty to steam vessels from He Ireland. attested great difficulty incoming having experienced to close to the to avoid of decks due and of passengers the cattle crowding people anxiety were to share In his estimation the decks with. deck 'the lowest and poorest passengers society, and, weather in many and cases, adverse almost winds, without the time clothing; of passage and is when it occurs that those and

vessels there

rough no shelter

admitted figure of 580 deck passengers on the ship is in broad
mentioned the select in the vestry of Liverpool police the Board statement

being considerably lengthened, Denham's from wet and cold must be very suffering great'.414 was much to the to contest of the and in a feeble report attempt chagrin steam-packet companies the in its findings, William asserted agent McElroy, Drogheda Steam-packet Company's Liverpool on the decks of that and that the vessels were off with boards that livestock partitioned company's steamer number of deck carried aboard its Brian Boiroimhe 1847 was passengers during largest the the Even vested interest of understatement, 580.415 opens though McElroy's possibility for deck passengers, their

conformity with the numbers
following of the Brian a report Boiroimhe from

be Liverpool, his for overcrowding prosecuted ship.416 on written content to from Denham also Not and oral evidence third parties alone, rely at first hand, steam vessels he found of the thirteen which 'the mire and stench' inspected during areas to encounter'. and 'difficult cattle, horses, by people, occupied sheep, poultry jointly pigs stated of deck The that the amount space agent Drogheda Steam-packet Company's Liverpool to the numbers for passengers its vessels varied of and of aboard according people appropriated to which to be carried. He also deck admitted that no space was reserved below decks livestock passengers holds, letter could resort for filled shelter. with Among livestock the and reasons given was the that 'the between-decks not be safe'.417 and In a latter would

anyhow. Ironically, of Trade that the master ordered

in 1850,

being invariably to the M.P. Sir William the company's for Drogheda, further Somerville, McElroy justified and the heavy that itwas necessary for the steadiness of the ship to have practices by stating safety on deck.418 However, below and the light weight the Drogheda (i.e. passengers) company weight was no means to reserve in failing decks for the shelter below of deck space passengers by unique a similar It was no wonder existed with and Newry lines. that Denham and situation the Dublin to to for its interference, the sufferings of concluded that 'the recent government mitigate appeals are too well borne out the poorer and Liverpool, class of passengers Ireland ...'419 He was between were to introduce of their own volition, satis of the view that steamship operators clearly unlikely, conditions for the conveyance of deck passengers. factory No of the enumeration 1840s scraps and can of those leaving Drogheda there is a dearth in local there an newspaper ongoing were for ever Liverpool of hard statistical but these took place evidence are during on this the latter half Some for itself.


isolated the years

consequently be found Nor was

subject. inadequate

reportage systematic



particularly at conducted

Estimates of the total numbers
and 1850, but as annual figures differentiate by port of origin.

landing there from Ireland were compiled by the police for 1847
they to some are extent given estimates incomplete in Table 6.1. and they generally did not



1849 [339], li. Ibid., pp 7-8, H.C. 415 Drogheda Argus, 7 July 1849. 416 The Liverpool Mercury, 10 January 1851. 417 Captain Denham's [339], li. report on passenger accommodation in steamers between Ireland and Liverpool, pp 10, 31-2, H.C. 1849


418 Drogheda Argus, 7 July 1849. 419 Captain Denham's report on passenger [339], li.


in steamers between Ireland and Liverpool, pp 9-10, H.C.


The Port of Drogheda 1790-1850
Year Paupers Emigrants/Others

259 Total 296,231 251,001 Pauper % 39 31
1850.420 the annual numbers

1847 1850
Table In addition, 6.1: Deck the 1851

116,231 77,765
passengers census landing

180,000 173,236
at Liverpool from

Ireland, estimates

1847, of


of Irish people

emigrating from Liverpool

during the period
ninety per



1842-50, based on the loose and
cent of the total emigration that from the fact their figures is below the

that Irish imprecise assumption people that the commissioners Indeed, port.421 were and less than satisfactory admitted

freely acknowledged 'little doubt that this estimate they had as the in many almost from Liverpool been inasmuch truth, has, years, exclusively emigration as are orders of magnitude and These annual therefore best assessed Irish...'.422 figures general too not be is in in Irish Their main value the general trend should taken literally. illustrating a out of these and years by implication suggesting emigration Liverpool during corresponding from Drogheda and Dublin, Ireland's trend in the numbers of America-bound emigrants sailing that embarkation statistics from out can These ports, never fill but for Liverpool the void they may over created be the traffic this period (see by the absence available On the 6.6). Figure of concrete indicator not of data the on the numbers in passenger

comprised themselves


embarking volumes Drogheda's


the best 1840s. to


of Drogheda market share

port during of passenger

unreasonable at a steady

assumption twenty-five

that per




Figure 6.6:










Irish emigration

from Liverpool

to North America,

with theminutes of evidence, appendix, and index, pp 358, 593-4, 420 Report from the select committee on poor removal; together H.C. 1854 (396), xvii - the 1847 figures listed on the above table were submitted by the stipendiary magistrate in a letter dated 21 April 1849 to the Home for Liverpool, Edward Rushton, Secretary, but they just covered the 1847 inclusive, and did not refer to the full calendar year; the period from 13 January 1847 to 13 December as returns were discontinued figures for 1850 are also incomplete, during the period from 19 January to 22 March 1850; Captain Denham's report on passenger accommodation in steamers between Ireland and Liverpool, p. 8, H.C. 1849 [339], li. 421 Census, 422 1851, pp cii-ciii. Ibid., p. hi.

cent North port or thereabouts would during

County Louth the 1840s,

Archaeological the escalating a similar rise

and Historical

Journal from in Liverpool to the


in Irish


suggest strongly arriving is This evidence of numbers of Drogheda. supported by newspaper particularly high America-bound from Drogheda for in the of 1850.423 emigrants embarking Liverpool spring mass the Famine from Ireland, the traffic in human agony was Although emigration brought not all one of those in in Britain remained for a much shorter way. Many arriving Liverpool period soon to find came than and were to Ireland. intended back This themselves they had shipped as a result of to poor about to rules governing in In order relief entitlement statutory England. for aid a claimant to have had status within settled the parish in which the claim was being qualify status could avenue was made. This be established in a limited number of ways. The by principal an annual of birth virtue in the in but it could also be attained house parish question, by paying rent of at least ten no were in accommodated. pounds, provided lodgers Apprenticeship England to settlement, could for a claim and likewise Irish women could it by constitute grounds acquire was not in to Irish men. this option for those unable Therefore, open marriage though England, of to establish founded on it as their place principles. of nativity, This, in settlement practical status in an economic terms, made in effect, was, English parish it a the beyond privilege general


in the numbers

Liverpool from

reach of impoverished Irish immigrants.424 For destitute Irish in Britain this law had grim implica
to establish status were to be taken relief and unable settlement liable poor People seeking a to have to their native their removal law. In this way English enforced magistrate parish by were a to force to Ireland local Irish back authorities should empowered they become people on a situation as it burden coffers. It was suited that had public traditionally employers English to avail of Irish to allowed them at the same labour while time migrant legal authority providing remove to Ireland or in dire those straits to seek poor back relief. Thus, whether forcibly enough a poor was on whether or not not circumstances person basically hinged deported compelled to for poor relief. In with this there existed another him/her statutory apply parallel provision tions. before whereby Ireland distinct destitute at Irish people could, Such of their own volition, described were to be sent back to apply magistrates as to Ireland, back being 'passed' at the expense to Ireland returning those removal. came parish moved a into force August they had one to parish as an inter date. The in in who travelled voluntarily to as of and

parish people expense.425 from those 'removed'. Therefore poor being people in Britain two main authorities parish comprised categories: those who were back under forced the laws of settlement and This 1846, lived another situation

until the Five Years Residence Act,426 which pertained a new restriction the removal of paupers from whereby a minimum once a of five years became person illegal. However, created he lost all the benefit could of his five years residence. This had of residence result in his

in which from

implications at a later removed should he return being as settlement of therefore did not provide the same principle irremoveability security was was not.427 Nonetheless, a person but settlement short, permanent irremoveability to poor under either in a entitled relief as long as he became heading particular parish and needed it. ruption



qualifying lived there

423 Drogheda Argus, 20 April 1850. 424 Report from the select committee on poor removal; together with the proceedings of the committee,minutes of evidence, appendix, and index, p. 25, H.C. 1854 (396), xvii. 425 Act 17 Geo. II, c. 5: 'An Act to amend and make more effectual the laws relating to rogues, vagabonds, and other idle and disorderly persons, and to houses of correction'. 426 Act 9 & 10 Viet., c. 66: 'An Act to amend the laws relating to the removal of the poor'. with theproceedings of the committee,minutes of evidence, appendix, 427 Report from the select committee on poor removal; together and index, pp 24-6, H.C. 1854 (396), xvii.

The Port of Drogheda 1790-1850
However, the huge influx of destitute people fleeing and Famine in Ireland during the winter


1846 and spring of 1847 led to demands, especially from the authorities in Liverpool and The Times
newspaper, Ireland. This circumvented for new statutory and culminated legal provisions in the enactment to facilitate of the Poor expedite Removal the Act removal in of paupers which back to 1847, largely June laws by 'any empowering to take and in convey England who shall every poor person reason to believe possessed is liable the power for removal of paupers to England port lost The there to be and was to in of little In

administrative or overseer

difficulties of any

inherent or or

in earlier union

guardian, relieving two before justices become removed authority concerned.429 Ireland the first and chargeable of

officer, of the


without in on, England,

parish summons and who

warrant, have

to any parish that point ...\428 From police The Irish constables passing of as

he may union

parish far as taking


poor-law poor

officers before for

this Act

Liverpool time in

place became setting

steamship now gained

companies substantial

opened that had business for

people the floodgates the conveyed in

on terms that 'arrangements, very favourable stating of the various for the conveyance of Irish steamers Belfast, paupers Ireland, affluence Under steamer tion with destitute.433 have been. Newry, was Drogheda, and to Sligo Ireland.431 ...\430 Within Deck

early July 1847 the Manchester Guardian published

exit the principal in mechanisms place

point for

transporting the return traffic and transportation to the Irish

magistrates the deportation masses impoverished them back again. the authorities of paupers been back


to Ireland.

a report from its Liverpool
parish have made to the ports

with the agents

despatched cost British which of wealthy the new



Dundalk, paupers a matter of 200 of days, the first consignment on coast to ports of fares from the east Liverpool to the further between 35. each, added 2s. 6d. and

of Dublin,

steamship system them.

owners.432 set ashore in Ireland of the the captain by simply was form of communica conducted without any procedure were even in Ireland the invariably though question people no matter to fend for himself, had how dire his situation may being this did transferred not to the ports The happen. paupers nearest regulations to any their place that were port of birth adopted as long as or were

transporting poor Once The law law

deportees The whole in



a pauper paupers

residence to

in Ireland, the was

implement their consent

practice law allowed English

envisaged but in


always to convey received of 1847, as


obtained.134 had Act of paupers but what from England removed forcibly a trickle was soon to had been orders in England granted cases in many pleaded to extract from which in 1847 granted that approximately Thus, to

in common with other ports, Drogheda, even to the of the Poor Removal prior passing a torrent.435 returns resemble Parliamentary and Wales during on to furnish the information inability it. The data that was collected, however, than of double those that issued of in the the Great Famine are

the number

of removal local authorities

incomplete that no the basis shows year,



the number and in these 1847

of removal returns were also

orders reveal

be more two-thirds


previous and Wales


in Lancashire.


428 Act 10 & Scotland'. 429 Section 430 Manchester

11 Viet.,

c. 33:

'An Act

to amend

the laws relating

to the removal

of poor


from England


two of the Act gave similar powers Guardian, 7 July 1847.

to officers of Scottish

local authorities.

431 Ibid., 10 July 1847 (quoting a report from the Liverpool Mercury). with the 432 Report from the select committee on poor removal; together proceedings of the committee,minutes of evidence, appendix, and index, p. 50, H.C. 1854 (396), xvii. 433 434 1854 Ibid., p. 36, H.C. 1854 Ibid., p. 38, H.C. 435 Minutes of proceedings (396), xvii. (396), xvii. of board of guardians, Drogheda Union, 1April 1847.

262 County Louth


and Historical


16000 14000 12000 > 10000 E -CD 8000 ?" 6000 Q. 4000 2000 0 1846
Figure 6.7: Annual


of paupers



from Liverpool,



sent to Ireland

bulk rated

of in

these 1854

removals when a


in effect,

have select





evidence removal sent


corrobo received to Ireland a



between 26 December

parliamentary the vestry clerk of Liverpool

committee detailing

poor investigating the annual numbers


1845 and 25 December

1853. The

15,008 returned in 1847 was an all-time

to in annual returned the 1846 figure of 5,313.437 The numbers trend treble being high and almost over in is illustrated Ireland from the 6.7. inclusive, 1846-53, Figure period Liverpool to return on the to records to the numbers of paupers No exist compelled Liverpool quantify sea route, their is strong that many the trip voluntarily, but evidence also made there Drogheda to the select of fares being authorities. Charles Hart, vestry secretary paid by the Liverpool a on record to state went 'of whom there is almost in July 1847 that paupers daily Liverpool, to the to sent from of considerable number' consented ports being actually Drogheda, Liverpool a in the town of It was that got no popular and Portrush.438 support Newry, practice Sligo a to became On the contrary, the shipment of paupers however. port Drogheda, Drogheda was as endan some rancour in the town. The issue and removal sensitive caused system perceived in which it was sometimes incensed and the manner local public conducted health gering public opinion. A In mid-May 1847 the Drogheda river on Argus Tuesday newspaper last, with hospital and reported: six cases are of fever well; home on and board. we can The state patients on the a ...439 few

ship arrived were removed best weeks

in our to our

that authority there was ago

fever temporary in the unfortunate far more appearance


immigrants shipped of fatal sickness than


in those

Liverpool over going

436 Return of the number of orders of removal granted byjustices of the peace inEngland and Wales, for each of the last five years; 1850 (666), 1. specifying thenumber of thesewho were Irish and Scotch paupers removed to theirnative countries, p. 13, H.C. with the 437 Report from the select committee on poor removal; together proceedings of the committee,minutes of evidence, appendix, of each year 1854 (396), xvii; these annual returns covered the period from 26 December and index, p. 369, H.C. to 25 December ...' 'number of paupers passed to Ireland the return was headed of the following year. Although it appears that it referred to all paupers whose return to Ireland was funded from Liverpool's public purse. 438 Charles 1816). 439 Drogheda Argus, 15 May 1847. Hart to the mayor of Liverpool, 2 July 1847 (NA, Kew, London, Home Office records, HO 45 (OS)

The Port of Drogheda 1790-1850
The July William of paupers who were landing 1847 the mayor of Drogheda, Somerville, appalling on on protesting incident not natives of the town wrote of at all to constituted the chief a major

On grievance. for Ireland, Sir and cited 1

particularly I find forced have

bitterly to support

Mathews, James at the behaviour his case:


the Liverpool



that five fever cases inquiry I enclose for this port. board on


to the in a cart, and docks brought Liverpool a medical of the state of one who certificate should arrangements us, more for her than what being taken and to the fever

perished These hospital. charity turned

I not made the quay, had no on have claim persons

I trust that and dictate, vast lazar-house: into one on which his from they concern are at

Christian humanity our town to the government will interfere prevent being or if such persons must let them be sent to be removed, chargeable.440 level to which the fear of local that passions 'if such had been aroused be by the

the places The mayor

legally the


arrivals in, the may local not Thus

of paupers inhabitants confine

Liverpool of Drogheda will to mere themselves witnessed a on


expressed resist the landing streets drew

the poor


proceedings and

persevered if once excited,

resistance'.441 the town did not of Drogheda of unfortunates hoards but it also had always from from within the spring a large part of Ireland to contend with an inflow of

the poverty As community. of a better

in search destitute

the seaport life in Britain

or North


of the Famine ambience years. The during deportees prevailing an influx of countenances therefore swollen bodies with pallid poverty was by considerably wasting traffic and other concomitants. As cargo for local this lamentable desolate however, steamships, enter revenue in sea fares and in the process in those enriched substantial shareholders yielded from Britain, particularly


440 James Mathews, London, Home 441 Ibid.

mayor Office

ofDrogheda, records, HO

to Sir William 45 (OS) 1816).


chief secretary for Ireland,

1July 1847

(NA, Kew,

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