Wednesday, 30 July 2014


On the historical research front, there is a distinct lack of activity. I have three irons in the fire but have not even received an acknowledgement, let alone any information.  However one kind person, slightly 'off station', sent me explanations of those weird departments I mentioned last time:-

Palatinate – we had a few in Ireland, Tipperary was under the rule of the Butlers, Earls of Ormond, so that one was hereditary. The nobleman holder swore allegiance to the monarch and then could rule largely independently of the monarch. The Ormonds lost their Palatinate when they got mixed up in the Jacobite Rising in 1715.
Irregular Marriages – around the 1830’s there was a new Marriage Act introduced that allowed priests/ministers of non-Established Church to perform the ceremony. All marriages conducted by non-Anglican clergy were ‘Irregular’.
The Clerk of the Hanaper was a public office holder who was paid fees for the sealing of charters, patents, writs, etc., (The hanaper was the container in which the seals were kept.)
The Cursitor’s Office contained clerks who drew up writs, etc.
Recognizance Office was where recognizances were filed / recorded / stamped (for a fee, scaled according to length & type.)
Lunacy Office – back then it was part of the Lord Chancellor’s area, dealt with the property/estates of lunatics, a bit like the Wards of Court office.
The Liberty of St. Sepulchre is a Dublin Inner City district – it was a townland united to the city, but still preserved its own jurisdiction and had privileges as a reward its loyalty to the Crown and to counteract hardships caused by the native Irish. St. Sepulchres belonged to the Archbishop of Dublin.

 On board things progress but slowly.  Simon has finally found some spare time to finish the floor tiling in the new kitchen ....

So that is looking pretty damn good.

If I can go 'off station' just for a moment - I have been asked to include a photo or two of my personal  restoration project. I today finished fitting new brake linings and new wheel bearings. What a job! Royce never did anything by halves.

Friday, 11 July 2014


Fate deals some cruel blows to amateur researchers. As I reported earlier, the offices of the ship surveyors who examined the Cormorant in 1942 were bombed a short time later and bang went a lot of useful records (literally!).  Now I find that the Public Records Office in Dublin was destroyed during the Battle of Dublin in 1922.  I was hoping to find some information about her time with the Commissioners for Irish Lights (from 1878 to 1942).  I did find a book by Herbert Wood B.A. (Oxon) M.R.L.A. who catalogued what was in the building in 1919.  From the headings and department names I surmise that there was little if anything about lightships, but there were some weird and wonderful titles:-
Cursitors Office
Recognizance Office
Clerk of the Crown and Hanaper
Lunacy Office
Register of Appeals or Provocations Spiritual
Palatinate of Tipperary (honestly!)
Registers of Irregular Marriages
The Liberty of Saint Sepulchre

The Oxford Dictionary was of little help in deciphering most of these!
Nothing to do with lightships I know, but fascinating.

Sunday, 6 July 2014


The archivist at the Commissioners for Irish Lights reports that he can find no information about Cormorant, even though she was in their service from 1878 to 1942. That is very disappointing.  The only trace I have is a report that Cormorant replaced Petrel temporarily on the South Rock station in 1910, when Petrel was damaged in a collision. However, other records show that Petrel was not built until several years later!  Moreover I can find no records on Google, or the National Archives (UK or Irish) of a South Rock lightship collision in 1910 - although several hundred references to the Nantucket disaster.
So where to next ....... ?