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The Wallasey Wreckers Again

Cardiff Times - Saturday 23 October 1869


THE WALLASEY WRECKERS AGAIN. A case of some interest to the maritime community was heard before the justices at the Birkenhead County Hall, on Monday. A vessel called the Empress, belonging to St. John, New Brunswick, laden with a miscellaneous cargo, composed chiefly of men and women's apparel, was stranded on Sunday, the 26th September, at the mouth of the Mersey, between Crosby and Formby. Captain Cawkett an officer in the service of the Liverpool Salvage Associa- tion, was sent down in a steamtug with a sufficient staff of men to take charge of the cargo. The storm, however, would not allow them to approach the wreck until Monday, and on their boarding the Empress they found a great number of boatmen and other parties busily engaged in breaking open the packages on deck, a.nd con- veying the goods composing the cargo away in their boats. A man, named Joseph Duncan, belonging to Liscard, on the Cheshire side of the river, appears to have been conspicuous in relieving the Empress of her cargo, and an immense quantity of the goods were found at his house, and at that of his father, Thomas Duncan. Another son, nairited John, who lived at the house of the old man, was laso implicated. Mr. Tyndall conducted the prosecution on behalf of the Under writers' Association, and Mr. Bretherton had been instructed, for the defence. The evidence left no doubt that the goods found at the houses of the prisoners had been taken fro n the stranded vessel, but there was no direct proof of complicity on the part of John, and he was discharged. In the case of Joseph, Mr. Bretherton put in the plea that, havirg been instructed by Captain Cawkett to take the goods to the vessel appointed to receive the salvage, he was thereby made a bailee, and had only taken the goods home to dry them, and make them more valuable, warehousing them at his own house and that of his father. Joseph, however, was sent to gaol for three months,: .nd the old man was ordered to pay £5, the value of the goods found in his house, as well as a penalty of 40s. with costs, and in default two months' im- prisonment. A man named John Lee appeared as defen- dant on a charge similar to that against the Duncans, but the evidence was defective, and he was discharged.


Accessed 20th March 2018

Wirral_Smugglers (6)


Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser - Saturday 21 January 1905


On Wednesday at Wallasey (Cheshire) Petty Sessions, sequel was afforded some remarkable scenes —described at the time —which attended the wreck the Spanish steamer Ulloa the Wallasey shore some weeks ago. It will be remembered that the steamer, which was laden with wine and fruit, broke up, and her cargo during many days was washed piecemeal ashore. Some hundreds of persons turned out to reap the harvest, which the time was plentiful. The coastguards and the police being unable to control effectively so large an area of beach, many persons contrived to elude their vigilance, and to get away with barrels of wine and cases oranges. Yesterday unlucky few who had been identified were" called upon to answer to the law for their proceedings. Evidence .was given to the effect that early on Saturday, the 31st, two women were seen coming from the shore with six bottles of port wine concealed under their clothing. The women said had got the wine from the shore, where hundred? of other people were securing the wine as it was washed by the waves. Others were seen openly carrying wine bottles and jugs. Two men had consignment of oranges handcart, and tankard of port wine, whilst one woman had utilised toilet jug as a receptacle for wine. All the defendants pleaded that they did not know they were doing wrong. The Official Receiver Wrecks said that about £100 worth of wine had been taken away. The magistrates said the scenes which had taken place on the were against morality. The female defendants were fined" ls. 6d. "and 2s. 6d. costs, and the men 10s. and Bs. 2d. costs each.


Accessed 27th April 2017


Cheshire Observer - Saturday 19 January 1867


On Tuesday, at the Court-house, Egremont, before Sir Edward Cust, Patrick M'Nally, coal heaver, Liscard; Henry Hickman, bricklayer, and Robert Bannister, sawyer, both of whom lived at Egremont, were charged with having on the morning of the 28th November last, stolen a quantity of rum from certain areas which had been washed ashore from the wreck of the Elizabeth Buckham, which was wrecked on the Burbo Bank on the 26th November. The prisoners were undefended. Mr. Tyndall, who prosecuted, and he appeared on behalf of the Board of Trade, for it was felt to be a very curious thing that as soon as a vessel was wrecked upon our shores her cargo should be immediately plundered. Mr. Watson, inspector, of police Stationed at Wallasey, said that on the 27th November last he was called to the wreck of the Elisabeth Buckham, on the Burbo Bank. On the morning ot the 28th he patrolled along the shore between the Red Noses and Egremont, in company with Sergeant Hind ley. On arriving at the top of Egremont "lip he noticed the three prisoners and other men standing around four casks of rum. From one of the casks witness noticed rum running through a funnel into a large strode jar. That prisoner M'Nally was stooping close by the bottle, and the other prisoners wear near to him. A witness heard Hickman say, "The vent is not strong enough." Witness then went up to them and said, " Yon are a pretty pack of thieves to be pilfering in this way." He then ordered Bannister and Hickman to go away, and they did do. Witness then examined the casks, and close to where Bannister had been standing he found a bucket, three cans, and a gimlet. There had been rum in like bucket- Corroborative evidence having been given the prisoners, after being cautioned, were asked if they had anything to say M'Nally said— l went down on the shore to look for a flat. I saw a crowd round the casks. There were some people standing around, and I went to see what they were doing. Some one said to me, " Mac, how does it taste?*' I replied, "I don't know yet." One of the police-officers told. me to gut about my business and I did so, and knew no more about it. I never touched the rum, and did not know there was a wreck on the shore. Hickman said— What I have te say is that it ia an untruth, I saw neither bottle nor can, nor did I taste a drop of the rum Bannister said he was there, but only as an on- looker He left home at three o'clock in the morning to go and look for some chips. Sir Edward Cust said the evidence was very weak as against Bannister, and therefore be would be discharged. The other men would be committed to the sessions for trial. Bail was refused. On Wednesday more prosecutions of a similar nature were instituted by the Board of Trade. Robert Pears engine driver at the Wallasey Ferry, was convicted of having in his possession a gallon of rum belonging to the Eizabeth Buekham, and was sent to gaol for one month without the option of a fine. — Sarah Rimmer, wife of a labourer living in Coulbourn's cottages, Wallasey, and mother of two children, was convicted of having a pint of rum in her possession, and sent to prison for a month.— George Wilkinson, car proprietor, New Brighton, and a respectably dressed young man, was convicted of taking away two bottles of rum from the beach, and was also sentenced to a month's imprisonment.— Richard Hannah, of Wallasey, was sent to prison fer the same p«riod for a like offence. — James Daley, baker, Gladstone-street, Birkenhead, was also charged with being a wrecker, but he brought witnesses to prove that at the stated he was at a party in his own house on the occasion of his daughter's birthday. A mistake in identification having been clearly proved, the case was dismissed.


Accessed 27th April 2018