Portincleon England MELANCHOLY AND FATAL SHIPWRECK, May 1830
Thursday, May 27, 1830
Baltimore Patriot (Baltimore, Maryland)
Volume: XXXV Issue: 126 Page: 2
It is with the greatest regret that we have to communicate the particulars of one of the most fatal shipwrecks that has occurred on the coast of this country for several years. On Friday night last the Newry, Captain Crosbie, from the port of Newry, bound for Quebec, with about four hundred passengers on board, ran on the rocks at Portincleon, near Bardsey, in Caraarvon Bay, and was dashed to pieces in a few hours, two hundred of the passengers pershing in the wreck! The particulars which we have been able to collect of this dreadful event are the followings:--The ship left Newry, on Wednesday, and in bearing down the Channel the weather being very foggy, she got too far in Carnarvon Bay, and was driven on the rocks, about nine o'clock on Friday night. A considerable part of the passengers, who were principally Irish emgrants, were below when the ship struck; and such was the violence of the shock that the ladders between decks were knocked away, and the ship filling with water every soul below perished! The captain with the crew, and about half the passengers, succeeded in reaching the shore, though in what manner we have not learned. They were all in the most wretched condition, many of them having lost everything that they possessed in the world. The greater part of them are at Carnarvon, where they have been treated with great kindness by the inhabitants. A passenger arrived from Portinclineon, at Carnarvon, a short time before the last accounts were sent away, who stated that the ship had gone to pieces, and that the shore was covered with dead bodies. Among those who have perished are said to be several respectable families. – Liverpool Times.
We have taken some trouble to obtain further information respecting the above disastrous occurrence, but have not been able to collect more than the following particulars: The accident was occasioned in consequence of the light on Bardsey being rendered invisible by the thickness of the weather; but the captaian having observed breakers to be near, he ordered the ship to be put about. It was too late however, for this manœvre to direct her from her perilous course among the shoals, for in coming round she grounded upon a rock, and the result was the dreadful catastrophe detailed above. In this distressing situation the captain ordered the mizen mast to be cut away, so as to fall upon the rock, in order to form a gangway for those to get on shore who were able to leave the vessel. In this manner the crew and a hundred passengers only, out of three hundred and sixty who were said to have been on board contrived to save their lives. A number of the passengers arrived at Carnarvon on Sunday, some of them almost destitute of clothing, where they received all the assistance which the humanity of the inhabitants could bestow; and the mayor and magistrates in a spirit most honorable to their feelings, instantly set on foot a subscription for their relief, for which purpose £31 was immediately raised.
On Monday morning eighteen of the sailors and passsengers sailed in the Albany steamboat, belonging to Mr. Daney, for Liverpool, where they arrived about eight o'clock in the evening; the rest, having received 4s. Each were forwarded in carts to Bangor. – The commander of the Abbey likwise volunteered to proceed to the wreck, to ascertain if there is any hope of saving more of the passengers, but he found tht the ill-fated bark had been shattered to pieces.
In reference to the spirit of emigration, and the passengers on board the unfortunate vessel above alluded to, the Newry Telegraph has the following paragraph: – The spirit of emigration to British America has not been stronger, or more extensively prevalent, in this part of the country for several years back, than at the present. Messrs. Lyle's large and commodious ship, Newry, is just on the eve of leaving this port, with a full complement of passengers, for Quebec, and three other vessels are already advertised for the same destination, to sail in the course of this and ensuing month. A number of the persons going out in the Newry, are very respectable, and we have observed an appearance of comfort, and, to use a word abundantly expressive, and which our country friends at least will understand, of roughness about the passengers generally not always to be met with. A novel and interesting sight was witnessed here on Saturday. Some emigrants, from the neighborhood, we believe of Bainbridge passed through this town, accompanied by a respectable body of Freemasons, with music, vestments, & all the other paraphernalia of this ancient order. Having accompanied their friends to the water's side, at Warren Point, and mutually exchanged the sad parting adieus, this 'band of brothers' was then escorted out of town by the brethren of Warren Point, by whom, it appears, they had been previously received and hospitably entertained in their lodge rooms. Liverpool Courier
The North Wales Chronicle of the 22d gives a description of the circumstances attending the awful wreck of the ship Newry on the coast of Carnavonshire on Friday night last, on the authority of Mr. James Harris, of Bangor, the agent for Lloyd's, who repaired to the spot immediately on hearing of the wreck, and on the information given by some of the survivors. It appears that there were about 400 emigrants on board, and that after the vessel has struck, by the most fatiguing and dangerous exertion on the part of the crew nearly 300 of them were enabled to land, many of them in the state of nudity, and others with blankets, &c. round them, having been in their births, and many of them sea-sick at the time the vessel struck. The crew of the Newry behaved with the utmost courage and humanity. In a state of exposure and exhaustion, and many of them severely injured, they continued their exertions for the preservation of the passengers until four o'clock in the morning, when David Griffiths, a seaman in the neighborhood,, assisted by Owen Jones and other persons, succeeded in rescuing between forty and fifty men, women and children, from their perilous situation on the wreck.
The Chronicle estimates the number of persons lost at between forty and fifty; we earnestly hope that the Chronicle is correct though, we have been informed that the previous accounts are but too near the truth. Fourteen dead bodies were found amongst the broken timber and on the rocks. The conduct of the inhabitants towards the destitute survivors has been beyond all praise. They were furnished with clothing, food, &c. and many of the poor cottagers actually burned part of their household furniture in order to warm their destitute & shivering guests.