The Coastguard Cutter Vol7 No1

The Coastguard Cutter
January 09 Edition
Vol 7 No. 1.

"The Lady Margaret"



Hello Friend,

A Happy New Year to all of our readers. Thanks for your comments during the year.


Mrs. Frew. Assault case. 1875.

Kingstown Police Court.  Monday morning. A Mrs. Frew summoned her husband, a Coastguard quartered at Kingstown Station (where his wife was also living) for assault and ill-treatment. From the evidence it appeared that the defendant had 22 years of exemplary service and got married to claimant two years ago. He lived unhappily, and he had received orders to have her removed from the station, in order to put a stop to the repeated disturbance. Defendant alleged that his promotion had been affected by the circumstances, and he would now have to leave the service almost in disgrace. His worship having deeply regretted the deplorable case, ordered it to stand over for a week with a view to a reconciliation. Should the litigation be then persisted in, he would know how to act and would do so severely.

Ref: The Irish Times; 20 April 1875.

Kingstown Police. 1875.

Commander J.F. Lennon, R.N. commanding the eastern division of Coastguards, appeared to give evidence in Frew’s case, already reported in this paper. The hearing of this case appeared to excite some interest. It appears that on April 7th, Frew endeavoured to get possession of a letter from the complainant, when an alleged assault was committed on her by the defendant, Mrs. Frew consequently summoned her husband for an assault, the case being remanded from Monday last. Commander Lennon handed in the highest credentials of Frew, who he said was possessed of an unusually good character. Defendant was 22 years in the service. He had served under eleven commanders, and received medals for good service, and for the naval engagements in the Baltic, China, and at Sebastopol, and a bar equivalent to a medal, and had in addition, saved at his own personal risk a child from drowning at Kingstown, for which act he had been presented with a testimonial of the Royal Humane Society on vellum, and so exemplary was his character that he had been next on the list for promotion until this unfortunate occasion. After hearing the case his worship decided on dismissing the case without prejudice, as he believes the woman’s statement was exaggerated. The case was, after all, a trivial one, and should not have been made the subject of criminal proceedings.

Ref: The Irish Times 27 April 1875.

Dangerous Threat. 1864.

Police Court, Kingstown. A man named William Fitzgerald appeared before the Magistrate to answer the summons of John Heany and his wife Mary Heany, who charged him with “threatening to run a cane-sword through their hearts” at Kingstown Coastguard station on the 5th of this month. His worship having heard the evidence in the case consented to receive the prisoner’s personal security for his future good behaviour, which condition was at once complied with.

Coastguard Tuck Stick

Ref: The Irish Times 12 August 1864.

Tory Island 1910

As an example of what the Irish coastguard had to put up with, a case occurred some 18 years ago off Tory Island which may be quoted. A Fleetwood trawler arrived with 12 ton of coal on deck and five cases of whisky. The crew gave a dance in the fishing hall and distributed the fuel and liquor, but the trouble arose on account of the pier being on the West end of the island, where there was a strong admixture of Spanish blood. The inhabitants of the Eastern end were always bitter enemies of their neighbours; besides which they had no time to get any of the whisky and coal which would help them through the winter.

Having made the inhabitants of the West end quite satisfactorily intoxicated the trawler backed out and immediately dragged her nets over the turbot breeding ground , doing infinite damage.No Coastguard being available, one of the fishermen from the Eastern end of the island put out in his boat, and, getting as near to the trawler as he could, sang out her name with the traditional formula "I arrest you in the Kings name"

The trawler immediately opened fire on his boat with rifles, forcing him to return to the shore when he reported to the nearest Coastguard station. The divisional Officer investigated the matter and immediately informed all fishing ports and demanded information to be sent as soon as the trawler put in. It ended in the captain and crew being summoned at Carrigart Police Station, Co.Donegal. The charge of firing at the boat was dropped by orders from Dublin, and it ended by the captain being fined £100 for trawling in a prohibited area and £20 for fishing without lights. In addition he had to pay for 22 witnesses at two guineas apiece and £7 Court fees.

As he left the court the skipper remarked "I don’t mind paying up £175. I sold my catch at Fleetwood for £495".

But two months later he was caught in Galway and had a very expensive set of nets confiscated, which was of some slight comfort to the Coastguards".

Ref: "His Majesty’s Coastguard" by Frank Bowen.

A man loves his sweetheart the most, his wife the best, but his mother the longest.
Both your friend and your enemy think you will never die.

 Revenue Fleet News
Revenue Fleet News
We are concerned to state that 44 half-bales of contraband tobacco contraband have been found on board the ‘Thetis’ by Lt.Triphook and crew of the ‘Hamilton’, Revenue Cruiser, and Mr.Dexter,Chief Officer and men of the Coastguard at Beale. The greater part was secreted in the seamen’s berths, and five bales among the cargo (timber). The crew have been marched in custody from Tarbert to Tralee gaol, to abide the usual investigation. The vessel herself will, it is feared become a complete wreck, but the cargo is safe.
Ref: Saunders News-Letter Tuesday 9th.December 1834.

UK CG NewsCoastguard News from England

Discovery of an Illicit Still at Brighton. 1845.

On Wednesday an elderly man, named George Bignall, was examined before Major Willard, the sitting magistrate of the day, on a charge of being concerned in illicit distillation. The charge was preferred by Lieutenant Pratt, of the Coastguard, and Mr. Newton, the supervisor of excise. According to the evidence, Lieutenant Pratt and several of the coast guardsmen proceeded on Tuesday to a house in Gorringe’s-court, North-lane, where they found a still of about 40 gallons at work, the prisoner attending it. A bucket was placed beneath the worm to receive the droppongs of the still, which on being tasted proved to be a weak kind of spirit.

A nine-gallon cask stood near, containing four or five gallons of the same kind of liquid. On the premises were found four large casks, one sunk in the ground, and all full of wash, some in a state of fermentation, the quantity being nearly 300 gallons. The liquid found in the bucket and small cask was handed over to the supervisor, who on testing it, found it to be a spirir, 70.6 under proof, which was called in the technical language of the Excise, “low wines” It was explained to be the first product of the distillation, and which was liable to duty, but not chargeable till the completion of the distillation. The windows of the house were boarded up, and a screen was placed inside the door, so that nothing was visible outside. The statement of the prisoner was, that the liquid was only used in the process of “bone bleaching”; and attempt was made to show this in defence. Major Willard considered the case to be proved. The prisoner was fined a penalty of £30 on any person found in a private or untered room, manufacturing articles liable to excise duty; and not being able to pay, was committed to the House of Correction to hard labour for three months.

Ref: The Times London  21 November 1845.

The Lighthouse Focus -Lighthouse Focus [Vol 7]

Melancholy Occurrence. 

Slyne Head LighthouseOn the 11th.inst. the body of a man was washed ashore at the Island of Omey, the property of Walter Bodkin Esq. when on close inspection it was ascertained to be that of  Mr. Rivett, the head Light-house keeper at Slyne Head, on the west coast of Ireland, adjoining Galway Bay. It appears that Mr. Rivett was fishing when he was struck by a wave which washed him off the rock, and all human efforts proved unavailing to save him: he was much respected on the Island and has left a widow and young family to deplore his loss. His remains were interred by Messrs. Reilly and King, Assistant Light-house keepers, under the superintendence of the Rev. Mr. Foster, Rector of the Parish of Omey.

Ref: Saunders News-Letter Thursday 23rd.August 1838.

The Longships Lighthouse. 1866.

Beachy Head LighthouseOn Saturday morning last a painful excitement spread among the inhabitants of Sennen Cove when they observed hoisted at the Longships Lighthouse the flag which denoted that something serious had happened. There was a strong northerly wind at the time, accompanied by a heavy sea, which rendered communication from the shore difficult. However the Trinity and Coastguard boats succeeded in putting off, and, after much toil and risk, reached near enough to the Longships to discover that there were only two men visible on the rock, instead of three, the usual number.

For the one party to make the other hear was out of the question, and the lightkeepers were obliged to resort to writing on a piece of paper, which paper was secured in a bottle and thrown from the rock into the sea. This conveyed the sad intelligence that one of the party stationed in the lighthouse was by some mysterious means missing. It appears the whole of the three had breakfasted about half-past 8 in the morning. Shortly afterwards George Bell, the missing man went out for the purpose of emptying the ashes, and was never seen afterwards. The unfortunate man, who, we are informed, belonged to London, leaves a widow and one child.

Cornish telegraph.

Ref: The Times London 24 November 1866.


 Coming in Febuary Edition.

Irish inquest on the sinking of the "Lusitania" by German U-boat in 1915.






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
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