The Coastguard Cutter Vol6 No12

The Coastguard Cutter
December 08 Edition
Happy Christmas
Vol 6 No. 12.

"The Lady Margaret"



Hello Friend,

A Happy and Healthy Christmas to all. A mixed bag of Coastguard items to enjoy.



Christmas Coastguard 1881

Christmas Coastguard 1881

The Naval Manouvres. 1895.

The Reserve Fleet. H.M.S. Warspite, Lough Swilly.

I noticed among the officers in charge of the boats a good number of the elderly gentlemen who are dug out of the Coastguard stations at this time of the year to come afloat and play at being capable of  a  midshipman’s duties. These old gentlemen are chief officers of the Coastguard, a position once invariably held by lieutenants, who in these posts found a comfortable substitute for promotion and formed a reserve of useful officers in case of war. Now the chief officer is a Coastguardsman whose age and long service have brought him into a position analogous to that of the warrant officer. Excellent men they are, no doubt, in charge of a station, and comparatively cheap, which is, after all, a consideration; but afloat, acting as midshipmen in charge of boats or carrying messages and performing other duties requiring youth, elasticity, and nimbleness of body, they appear to me to be somewhat of a fraud.

Ref: The Times London 8 August 1895.

House of Commons on the Irish Estimates. 1885.

Mr.W.Redmond objected strongly to the expenditure of £12,000 on Police barracks when only £1,000 was spent in providing residences for school teachers whose habitations were often in a miserable condition. He objected also the expenditure of £6,000 on Coastguard stations. Coastguards were of no use in Ireland. They did not even do as much as the police, but he admitted they were not so offensive.

Ref: The Times London 21 July 1885.


In England in the 18th.Century the profit to the smugglers was reckoned at over 100 per cent for every operation. They calculated that if they could save one cargo in three they were in profit. Farm labourers could earn a guinea a night unloading the smugglers boats and it was generally accepted that they would work on the farms during the summer and go smuggling during the winter. In 1735 Kent farmers were forced to raise labourers wages to keep them on for the harvest as so many were earning more money at the smuggling game. The smugglers themselves, and most members of the public, did not regard their activities as criminal. An old Deal boatman remarked after he retired "Good days then, when a boatman might smuggle honest, didn't go a stealing and was'nt afraid to die for his principles".

When a stranger to Cornwall and to its smuggling ways came upon a run being landed from smugglers boats he was horrified. Crowds had assembled on the beach to help unload the cargo. 'Is there no magistrate or Justice of the Peace here to stop this?' he asked .'No, thanks be to God. None within eight miles,' he was told. 'Then is there no clergyman here - does no minister of the parish live among you?. 'To be sure there is,' was the reply. 'Then Where is he?' cried the stranger. 'Why, over there holding the lantern,' said the smuggler pointing to the parson standing on a rock waving his lantern to guide the smugglers up the beach

Ref: "Coastguard" by William Webb.

A Mirage. 1912.

Sir, I would be greatly interested to know if any of your readers can tell me if a mirage is common in this country. Last Wednesday (September 18th), from the summit of Slieve Foye, height about 2,000 feet, I was watching with a friend the clouds drifting by. Two figures suddenly appeared on a white cloud on a slightly higher level than ourselves – guessing roughly, about 150 yards away. The figures were framed in a most beautiful rainbow ring, the ring just large enough to encircle the figures only. It was a reflection of ourselves, wonderfully sharp and clear.
The time was about 5.15pm. We were standing between the sun and large masses of white cloud; the rays were dazzling.

Yours, etc. Agnes M.Rutherford.   Coastguards, Carlingford, Co.Louth. 

The Irish Times 25 September 1912.

Ref: The Irish Times  7 October 2008.

 Extraordinary Charge.

At Ballycastle Petty Sessions on Wednesday last, a singular case was got up against a person named Kingston, who had been 37 years in the Coastguard Service, and who enjoys a good pension, but is now employed by the Presbyterian Church at Ballinglen. Informations were sworn against him that he said that the Queen ‘was guilty of murder, that she murdered the Chinese and Sepoys’. Mr. Fausett forwarded the information to the Government, who ordered to have Mr. Kingston summoned to the Petty Sessions, and if the case was proven to send him to trial. The case was fully investigated, and dismissed by the magistrates. It is said that proceedings will be taken against the parties who swore the information, as it is quite evident that the object was to injure Kingston, owing to his connection with the Presbyterian school 

(Mayo Constitution)

Ref: Saunders News-Letter Thursday 2nd.September 1858.


R.N.L.I. Silver Medal Award.  HENIN, PIERRE, Mariner.

31st. August 1833. The chartered convict ship 'Amphritrite', en route from Woolwich for New South Wales with 108 female prisoners, 12 children, a Surgeon, his wife and a crew of 14, was overcrowded and undermanned when she ran into a violent gale off Dungeness, Kent. The ship was carried across the Channel to the French coast near Boulogne, Department de Calais. In view of her helpless state, the Captain ran her ashore at 4.30 p.m. on a spit of sand three-quarters of a mile from the shore hoping to refloat her on the next tide. Onlookers and officials ashore were at best apathetic, but a local pilot ran his boat close to the casualty and offered assistance. The Captain, fearful that some of his charges might seize the opportunity to escape, refused.

Nothing further happened until 6.30 p.m. when Mr. Henin who was a strong swimmer, stripped off on the beach and entered the water with a rope. However the Captain obstinately refused to allow it to be used and the exhausted swimmer had to return to the shore. Finally, just after 7 p.m. the ship broke up with her crew in the rigging and everybody, except three seamen, perished. A total loss of 133 souls.

Monsier Henin was also awarded 250 francs (then equivalent to £10 ). The local Pilot also received 250 francs.

Ref: "Lifeboat Gallantry" by Barry Cox.

The Magistrate and the Milk. 1906.

A charge at Kingstown against Laurence Mooney, dairy proprietor, of having sold milk to which 84 per cent of its weight of water had been added was adjorned. It appears that Food Inspector, Walker on the 17th ult. Purchased a pennyworth of milk from the defendents son at Victoria Wharf where the boy was delivering milk to the Coastguard station.

Ref:The Irish Independent 20 November 1906.

Local Irish Court Sentences.  Co.Down Assizes  23rd.August 1816.

Alexander Miller, found guilty of stealing in the dwelling-house of Peter Maguire, at Mourne, to be hanged.

Charles Hayes, for stealing a cotton gown near Rathfriland, to be burned in the hand.

Ann Tomilty, for picking a pocket at Portaferry, to be transported seven years.

Lynchey, Straney, & Mechan, for stealing timber the property of David Kerr,Esq. of Montalto, to be burned in the hand.

Thomas Connolly, for a riot and assault, to be imprisoned 18 months.

Smugglers in the Navy.

It does not seem to be generally known that smugglers sent on board His Majesty's ships on account of smuggling, receive only half the pay which is allowed to other seamen.

Ref: Dublin Evening Mail 19th.October 1835.

Dressing Down.
Thin and worn sails were often treated with oil or wax to renew their effectiveness. This was called "dressing down". An officer or sailor who was reprimanded or scolded received a dressing down.
A carved figure carved on the front or bow of sailing vessels that helped establish a ship's identity.

Life goes as quickly as if it had wings, and each Christmas places another year on your shoulders.
May you always have these blessings
A soft breeze when Summer comes
A warm fireside in Winter
And always the warm, soft smile of a friend.

 Revenue Fleet News

UK CG NewsCoastguard News from England

Hastings. Daring attack on the Coast Blockade Service. 1822.

At half past two a.m. February 23rd, a company of nearly 300 smugglers, armed with clubs, assembled on the beach near the Martello Tower, No. 52, (Pevensey Sluice) and attacked two of the Blockade sentinals on duty, near that station. A large smuggling boat, cutter rigged, was observed at the same time making for the shore. The smugglers succeeded in disarming one of the sentinals, but not before he had fired his pistol to give the alarm. In their attempt to disarm and secure the other sentinel, they were not so fortunate: they had, however, nearly overpowered him, after inflicting two very severe wounds on his head; they had already wrenched his cutlass from him (and in so doing they wounded him in several places) and they were endeavouring to gag him, one of the most powerful of the strugglers grasping him by the throat, when he was obliged to fire his pistol, and the leader of the gang was killed on the spot. The smugglers then dispersed, without having succeeded in working a single tub; one of them has been apprehended. The smuggling boat from its size; is supposed to have contained from 400 to 500 tubs. She was close to the beach when this fracas took place, waiting for the issue, but this being unfavourable to the smugglers, she bore away for the opposite coast. A coach and six, which was in waiting at the back of the beach, to carry off the contraband goods, drove off empty. The sentinel, who behaved so gallantly in the defence of his own life, and in the execution of his duty, now lies in bed, in consequence of the bruises he received.

Ref: Freemans Journal   Friday 1 March 1822.

The Lighthouse Focus -Lighthouse Focus [Vol 6]


Flight over the Irish Channel. 1910.

Aeronautics. “Mr. Jones” (Mr. Robert Loraine) made his long deferred attempt to cross the Channel on an aeroplane from Holyhead to Dublin yesterday morning, and failed when within a stone’s throw of the Irish coast. He started, at 11 o’clock, from Penrhos Park and steered his machine in a straight line across the bay,then turning, shot out in the direction of the breakwater and towards the North Stack, where he picked up his course across the Channel. In about eirht minutes he had disappeared from the view of the crowd. He passed the Royal Mail steamer from Kingstown at high speed and was 20 miles on his way across the Channel.

When first sighted from the Irish coast, about 1 o’clock the aeroplane was descending rapidly in a slanting direction towards the sea from a great height. It struck the water within about 60 yards of the Bailey Lighthouse at Howth, about nine miles from Dublin. A boat put out from the Bailey Light, and a steamer the ‘Adela’ stood by. A number of yachts and pleasure boats stood by.

When he got within a few hundred yards of the Bailey the aeroplane struck the water softly and turned turtle, the airman falling under it head first. He was obliged to dive, and rising some distance away swam to the lighthouse wearing a lifebelt.

The aeroplane, which had been lifted aboard the ‘Adela’ was found to be only slighly damaged. It is estimated that he must have flown 60 miles, 45 he covered without sight of land to guide him.

Ref: The Times London 12 September 1910.

Plane landing in sea at Howth..(extract), 1910.

“The chief lighthouse keeper, Mr.Watson, his two assistants and Mr.Hosford immediately hastened to nearest point of the cliff. They were relieved to find Mr.Loraine detatching himself from the aeroplane, and striking out strongly for shore. Others too, hastened to the rescue. The sea was calm and Mr.Loraine now made it clear that he was not in any difficulties. He swam in rapidly. Mr.Watson and the others reached down to assist him in landing, but this assistance he smilingly declined, saying he was making the point of doing the whole crossing himself unaided. He had no difficulty effecting a landing on the rocks and climbed up alertly. When he was greeted and congratulated by Mr.Watson and the others on the cliff, he appeared to be none the worse for his immersion. His whole thought then was of his aeroplane. It floated pretty high in the water but was shortly settling down”.

Ref: The Irish Times  17 September 1910.

Earthquake in Shetland. 1866.

The Flugga Rock, which is situated about a mile and a half from the north shore of north Uist, in Shetland, and is the most northern portion of Her Majesty’s dominions, was visited by an earthquake on the 9th ult. The Rock, which is of a conical form, and rises 180 feet out of the sea, is surmounted by a lighthouse, and the Lightkeeper gives the following report of the occurrence:-“ On the 9th ult, when I was on watch in the lightroom, at 1.20 a.m., the tower began to shake terribly, and Crow and Sutherland (the assistant lightkeepers) called up to me from the bedroom to see what was the matter, as the tower was shaking. I had not power to answer them, for the red shades commenced to rattle, and were like to be shaken out of their frames, the shaking lasting 30 seconds. There was no wind or sea to cause the tower to shake, and we think it must have been the shock of an earthquake.

Ref: The Times London  6 April 1866.

Advert. 1849.

Another important cure by Holloway’s Ointment and Pills of a wound in the leg – Mrs.Malcolm, wife of the Light-house keeper at entrance of the river Tees near Redcar, had been a sufferer of upwards of ten years with a severe wound in the leg, which during the last four years of that period was so bad that it made her quite incapable of walking without crutches. To heal it many rededies had been tried, but in vain before Holloway’s Ointment and Pills were used, but these excellent remedies being at last resorted to, effectively healed the wound in about nine weeks and the patient is able to walk about even without the aid of a walking stick.

Ref: The Times London 23 January 1849


 Coming in January Edition.

The Case of a wife assaulted by her Coastguard husband.






With more and more people enjoying the beach and sea, the RNLI has never been busier - rescuing an average of 22 people every day. It now costs over £330,000 a day to run this essential service - to train their volunteers and maintain their craft and equipment. So however you choose to support them, every penny really counts.

To donate to the RNLI, simply call 0800 543210 or visit
(for Republic of Ireland call (01) 800 789 589 or visit

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