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Wallasey Wreckers and the Late Storm

Glasgow Evening Post - Thursday 12 December 1867


THE LATE STORM. Reports in connection arith the disastrous effects of the late severe weather continue to (reach Liverpool. The Messenger, bound from the West Coast of Africa to Liverpool with master and crew rick with scurvy. The agent at Crookhaven reports that had shipped a fresh captain and some seamen and sent the vessel on. The Thornton, which went ashore in the Queen’s Channel Bar, broken up, and her cargo is floating about the bay. Guards have been along the New Brigton shore to save the cargo washed up from the “Wallasey Wreckers.’' T. J. Southard, which wont ashore near the Menai lighthouse, lies on her port beam ends, all her hatches carried away, and the sea washing her cargo out. Two large Armstrong guns have been recovered from the exploded steamer Bubulina in the Mersey. The Lydia Williams, ashore on Salt Islands, near Holyhead, is being cleared of her cargo, and it expected that she will floated at the next spring tides. The Ocean Wave has gone ashore near the month of the Bibble. All her hatches me earned away, and the sea breaking over her. Further reports state that the Ocean Wave, of Barrow, from th» Mersey (or Preston, with wheat, is reported ashore Blackpool, and is likely become total wreck. The s.s. Hunter, which has arrived at Falmouth, reports passing on the Bth instant ship of about 9)0 tons, SO rnilre south of the Lizards, on fire. The Louisa, Antwerp, bound (or Grangemouth, bar been abandoned off the Doggerbank. The Enghedin, from Torbay for Leith, has been towed into Grangemouth derelict. The San Juan, from the Black Sea t» Falmouth, baa sunk off Belle lele; and the Gallia has put into Queeneetown after having been ia collision with Prussian barque Orion, from Michaola. The Qneon of the Realm, from Gaiatz Plymouth, was wrecked on the lal inet. offKtriaoe, near B.eet. The City of Montreal, on which 40 guineas was paid Lloyds Saturday, from New York, ha. arrived safe at Oravtaend. A steamer which arrived at Grimsby yesterday reports passing, on the Bth instsnt, schooner dismasted and waterlogged.


Accessed 20th March 2018

Fort Perch Rock 2017


Liverpool Daily Post - Tuesday 19 March 1867


The inquiry instituted the Board of Trade u to the nature of the proceedings which took place on the Cheshire shore on the occasion of the wreck of the Elizabeth Buckham, on the of November last, on the Bank, was continued yesterday at the Liscard Court House, before Captain N. D. Grant, R.N., and Mr. N. Hughes. There were present during the inquiry the Head-constable of Cheshire (Captain Smith) and the Commander of the Coastguard (Captain Lee). Samuel Williams, the first witness called, stated that was examining officer of the Customs. was his duty to act in the absence of Mr. Byrne, the receiver of wrecks. He received a telegram from Waterloo on the 27th November, which was at once communicated to the collector and thence to the surveyor-general. That telegram stated that barrels could be seen on the Burbo Bank, and witness afterwards learned they contained rum by three casks having been brought to the Canning Pierhead. At that time witness had no knowledge that casks had been washed up on the Cheshire shore. He did not know that any officer of Customs was sent to Cheshire the 27th. Witness would not think of acting in the absence of Mr. Byrne without specific directions from the collector. In reply to a question from Captain Smith, who asked if there were no means of communicating with the police in cases of this kind, Mr. Byrne said if he saw that assistance was required, the police would be immediately communicated with. Captain Grant asked the .witness if, as a general rule, did not know of any means of communicating at once with the police. Witness replied that did not know. the occasion they were now inquiring about he was of opinion that the tide coming up would have prevented the casks coming ashore at New Brighton. Richard John Thomas, one of the coastguard, said had been the New Brighton ststion about ten years. He first heard of the wreck about seven o'clock on the morning lof the 27th November. He went on to the shore to the I Red Noses after breakfast, and on his return saw casks on the Burbo Bank, about three mile* from the shore. Some came ashore between eleven and twelve o'clock. There were fourteen casks ashore between the Red Noses and the volunteer target, and several of them were damaged. There were many people on the shore, and almost everyone had a gimlet. It would have required 400 men to protect those casks with such a number of people there. There were thousands of people on the shore. Witness had seen other wrecks and more dninkenness than on the occasion in question. the evening of the November, he saw Inspector Watson several times, but br«l no conversation with him until the Inspector insulted him. About one o'clock in the morning he was called out, and found a number of casks near the landing pier, and no one to guard them. Inspector Watson came up, and witness seeing man named Jonathan Marshall, with the coastguard firearms, asked him who gave him them. Marshall replied that they were given to him by Police-constable Duffy. The witness then proceeded to describe altercation between himself and the inspector in which angry words passed. He emphatically denied that he was, stated by Mr. Watson, drunk on the occasion, and said he had not tasted the rum at that time. William Wakeley, a commissioned boatman, was next called. He said there were 70 casks collected near the New Brighton HoteL which Mr. Springet asked Police-constable Duffy to take charge of. Duffy asked for a pistol, and Mr. Springet told witness to give him the one he had. Inspector Watson said when saw Duffy armed lie told him he must not keep the arms, and the pistol was then given up to Marshall. The police-officers were in charge the rum on the shore for four or five hours, and there were none of the coastguard there. The inspector then detailed the nature of the altercation between himself and Thomas. Some discussion ensued as to the charge of drunkenness made against the coastguardsman Thomas. Captain Lee desired that the matter should be investigated, but the court decided that they had nothing whatever to do with it, the question was merely one of discipline. Mr. J. M. Sumner, book-keeper, of New Brighton, stated that he saw people " tapping" barrels on the shore with gimlets. The policemen and coastguard could not have prevented it. The people carried away the rum in bottles and cans. There was a great deal of drunkenness, and one man lost his life through driving the rum. found a female in a helpless state of drunkenness, and assisted Inspector Watson to carry her to a hut on the shore. He would not like to say that any immorality took place on the RAnHhillg He could, not say that th« female he found had been violated. It was talked of. Mr. W. Bell, shopkeeper, New Brighton, gave confirmatory evidence, and said several of the rum barrels were damaged by being pitched out of the carts. The entire contents of one were lost on the shore. The female alluded to by the last witness was respectably connected, but was not of good character. Witness did not hear of any violence or immoral conduct taking place on the sandhills. Charles Saddler, a plasterer, living at Upper Brighton, stated that saved a barrel of rum and a bale of cotton, and he and some other men saved two more casks. They had not been paid any salvage. A great deal of rum was carried off in bottles and cans. Major Walter then stated that between eight and nine o'clock on the evening of the 27th November, hearing that a good deal. of disorder was going on, he went across the •sandhills and there saw many persons, some of whom were intoxicated, and others had bottles and jars full of liquor. He went towards the Red Noses, and on the way saw groups of men and women. He did not see those persona drinking, but from the noise they were making it appeared like a general carousal He proceeded along the shore to near Leasowe Castle, and saw a number of casks strewn about, with several persons round each. Many of the casks had been injured, and the rum was running away. only saw one police-officer, and one coastguard officer. In his opinion the people he saw were not strangers. They had not, he thought, gone on to the shore for the purpose of thieving ; but when they found the spirits they took some away, as a sort of right, having a similar notion to people finding property. He was of opinion that if a strong coastguard had been on the shore a much larger amount of property might have been saved. Mr. Pickthall, river surveyor to the customs, also gave evidence, but from his statement it did not appear that any force had been sent to New Brighton from the Custom-house. If official information had been sent to the collector would have sent a sufficient staff over. Police-sergeant Hindley, and constables 160 (Percival), 146 (Millington), and 150 (Parker), gave testimony of a like character to that of Injector Watson. They said they were on duty from two o'clock in the afternoon of the 27th until the next morning, officers 146 and 150 guarding the casks in front of the New Brighton Hotel for several hours. Officer 160 said he was on duty (m the sandhills during the night and saw a number of people with rum and brandy in their possession. There was one cask of rum. He (the officer) saw no scenes of immorality there. Mr. Hughes said the court was decidedly of opinion that the polioe-officers should have something more substantial than mere praise for their exertions on the occasion, for they had rendered most valuable service in protecting the property. Captain Smith (the head-constable) said he was very glad to hear it. He, however, wished to be informed how people were to know the means to take to obtain any salvage they might be entitled to. Captain Grant replied that the proper form for people to fill up could be obtained at every coastguard station. The inquiry was then adjourned to this morning, when it will be resumed at the Liverpool Custom-house.


Accessed 22nd March 2018


Liverpool Echo - Friday 25 January 1957


The Council Expected To Consider Suggestion. A suggestion that caves at New Brighton. once the haunt of wreckers and smugglers. During Sir Robert Peel's time a Royal Commission stated that of all the counties known to be Infested with smugglers the two worst were Cornwall and Cheshire-- which gives added credence to New Brighton's claim to post notoriety A subterranean passage. bricked over thirty years ago because it was pondered dangerous runs between the Yellow Noses In Wellington Road. joins the Red Noses. continues under Warren Drive to below Montpelier Crescent. Archaeological explorers who investigated many years ago found eaves of a total length of 250 feet which were reached by a narrow passage only a few feet high. The central care was about 33 feet long and IS feet wide with a well in the middle which at one time supplied fresh water for houses above. MOTHER REDCAP'S TAVERN The Red Noses were reputed to be connected by tunnels to Mother Redcap's. a former tavern situated on the seafront between New Brighton and Egremont. Poll Jones, who became known as Mother Redcap. because of her habit of wearing a red hood. lived there about IP& and became the confidante of smugglers and privateers. She had • trap door built across the entrance hall which her customers used as a means of escape if Customs men and press gangs forced an entry. Of all the tales of those thrilling days. those connected with Mother Redcap's are the most fascinating. It was stated that the day before she died she received hundreds of golden guineas from seamen. but these were never found. Will Wallasey "cash in" on this adventurous stage of its history? Not, it is fancied. unless some of those golden guineas are unearthed to pay the cost!