From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837
This is the place of export for the agricultural produce of a large tract of fertile country, which renders the coasting trade very extensive, especially with Great Britain: the quantity of grain exported to England and Scotland alone, in the year ending Jan. 5th, 1835, was 3680 tons of wheat, 1490 tons of barley, 10,429 tons of oats, 6950 tons of oatmeal, 3050 tons of eggs, 3654 tons of flax, 52,842 firkins of butter, 11,580 barrels of pork, 1900 bales of bacon, 590 hogsheads of hams, 1628 kegs of tongues, and 147 hogsheads of lard. It is still the market for a considerable quantity of linen, of which 9642 boxes and bales were exported in the same year. The number of vessels employed in the coasting trade which entered inwards in 1834 was 649, of an aggregate tonnage of 63,726, and which cleared outwards, 646, of an aggregate tonnage of 62,502, including steam-vessels, which ply regularly between this port and Liverpool and Glasgow.
The principal articles of foreign produce imported direct are staves and timber from the Baltic, barilla from Spain, sugar and rum from the West Indies, wine from Spain and Portugal; tobacco from the United States, from which the ships come chiefly to take out emigrants, who resort to this port from the inland districts in great numbers; flax seed, the importation of which has much increased within the last few years, from Riga, America, and Holland; the quantity imported in 1835 was 12,400 hogsheads; but the greater proportion of foreign commodities comes indirectly, or coastwise.
The number of vessels employed in the foreign trade which entered inwards in 1834 was 57, of an aggregate burden of 10,406 tons, and that cleared outwards, 16, of an aggregate tonnage of 4869. The salmon fishery of the Foyle affords employment to 120 men, exclusively of the same number of water-keepers: the fish is shipped principally for Liverpool; some is also sent to Glasgow, and some pickled for the London market: the quantity taken annually on an average of three years from 1832 to 1834 inclusive was about 149 tons.
The right of fishing in this river up to Lifford is vested by charter of James I. in the Irish Society, who by an act in the reign of Anne, are bound to pay the bishop £250 per annum, as compensation for his claim to some small fishings, and also to a tithe of the whole; but at present the Marquess of Abercorn and the Earl of Erne hold fisheries below the town of Lifford. The fishery off the coast is precarious, and frequently yields only a scanty supply, from the danger in encountering a rough sea experienced by the boats employed in it, which are only indifferently built; yet at other times the market abounds with turbot taken near Innistrahull and on Hempton's Bank, about 18 Irish miles north of Ennishowen Head; soles and haddock, taken in Lough Swilly and elsewhere; cod, mostly off the entrance to Lough Foyle; and oysters, taken in Lough Swilly from the island of Inch up to Fort Stewart, and in Lough Foyle, from Quigley's Point down to Greencastle.
Derry is situated about 19 statute miles above the entrance to Lough Foyle, the approach to which is facilitated by a lighthouse on the island of Innistrahull, and will be rendered still more safe by two others now in course of erection on Shrove Head, Ennishowen, intended to serve as guiding lights past the great Tun Bank lying to the east. A new and very important trade as connected with the port, is the herring fishery; in 1835, upwards of 5800 barrels were cured at the Orkneys, by Derry merchants, and the total quantity imported exceeds 12,000 barrels, one half of which are cured by vessels fitted out from this port; large quantities of oysters have been taken in the river Foyle since 1829.
The limits of the port extend to Culmore, a distance of three miles; the lough has been deepened under the directors of the Ballast Committee, in consequence of which, vessels drawing 14 feet of water, can come close to the quays. At the entrance to the lough is a well-regulated establishment of pilots, under the superintendence of the Ballast Board. The Ballast Office was established by act of parliament in 1790, and remodelled by another act in 1833: the port regulations are under the control of a committee of this establishment, consisting of the mayor and seven other members, of whom the two senior members go out annually by rotation, and who have the power of making by-laws.
The corporation alone possessed the right of having quays prior to 1832, when they lost their monopoly, and private quays were constructed: they disposed of their interest in the merchants' or custom-house quays, in Nov. 1831; there are now 21 sufferance or private wharfs or quays, including two at Waterside, in the parish of Clondermot. A patent slip dock was constructed in 1830, at an expense of £4000, in which vessels of 300 tons registered burden can be repaired: prior to that period most vessels were sent for repair to Liverpool or the Clyde, and two large brigs have been built here since that date: naval stores are brought chiefly from Belfast, but sails are manufactured here. The custom-house, a small and inconvenient building, was built as a store in 1805, and since 1809 has been held by Government on a permanent tenure, at an annual rental of £1419. 4. 6., at first as a king's store, and since 1824 as a custom-house: the premises comprise some extensive tobacco and timber yards, laid out at different periods, and extend in front 450 feet, varying in depth: the duties received here in 1837 amounted to £99,652. The markets are generally well supplied.
The shambles, for meat daily, and to which there is a weigh-house attached, are situated off Linen-hall-street, and were built in 1760, by Alderman Alexander and other members of the corporation: the tolls belong to Sir R. A. Ferguson, Bart., who in 1830 purchased the shambles and the fish and vegetable markets of the corporation.
The linen market, on Wednesday, is held in a hall occupying an obscure situation in a street to which it gives name, and built in 1770, by the late Fred. Hamilton, Esq., to whose descendant the tolls belong: it consists of a court measuring 147 feet by 15, and enclosed by small dilapidated houses; the cloth is exposed on stands placed in the court and under sheds; on the opposite side of the street is the sealing-room. The butter market, in Waterloo-place, for butter and hides daily, and to which three weigh-houses are attached; the fish market, off Linen-hall-street, daily; the potatoe market, in Society-street, for potatoes and meal by retail daily, with a weigh-house attached; and the vegetable market, off Linen-hall-street, for vegetables, poultry, and butter daily, were all built in 1825 by the corporation, to whom the tolls of the butter and potatoe markets belong.
The cow market, for the sale of cows, pigs, sheep, and goats, every Wednesday, is held in a field to the south of Bishop-street, near the river, which was enclosed in 1832 by the corporation, to whom the tolls belong. There are also a flax market in Bishop-street every Thursday, and a market for yarn in Butchers'-street every Wednesday.
Six fairs are held annually, but only three are of importance, namely, on June 17th, Sept. 4th, and Oct. 17th; the others are on March 4th, April 30th, and Sept. 20th. Custom was charged on every article of merchandise brought into the city prior to 1826, when it was abolished, except as regards goods conveyed over the bridge; and in lieu thereof, the corporation instituted trespass, cranage, storage, and other dues. The post-office was established in 1784; the amount of postage for 1834 was £4047. 17. l ½ The revenue police force usually consists of a lieutenant and twelve men; and the constabulary is composed of a chief constable and twelve men.
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From a sad, comfortless childhood Giles Truelove developed into a reclusive and uncommunicative man whose sole passion was books. For so long they were the only meaning to his existence. But when fate eventually intervened to have the outside world intrude upon his life, he began to discover emotions that he never knew he had.
This is a story for the genuine booklover, penned by an Irish bookseller under the pseudonym of Ralph St. John Featherstonehaugh.
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