Wexford Harbour Boat Club, Wexford Regattas, and Athletic Sports - Wexford Guide and Directory, 1885

About “Wexford County Guide and Directory,” 1885

George Henry Bassett produced 7 Irish county directories in the 1880s: Antrim, Armagh, Down, Kilkenny, Louth, Tipperary and Wexford. Each provides useful history of the respective counties as well as lists of office holders, farmers, traders, and other residents of the individual cities, towns and villages.

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The directories are naturally an invaluable resource for those tracing family history. However, there are a few points to bear in mind.

  1. This online version of Bassett’s Wexford County Guide and Directory is designed primarily as a genealogical research tool and therefore the numerous advertisements in the original book, many full page, and quite a few illustrated, have been excluded.
  2. The text has been proofed with due care, but with large bodies of text typographical errors are inevitably bound to occur.
  3. Be aware that there were often inconsistencies in spelling surnames in the 19th century and also that many forenames are abbreviated in Bassett’s directories.

With respect to the last point, surnames which today begin with the “Mc” prefix, for example, were often formerly spelt as “M‘,”. For a list of some of the more common forename abbreviations used in the directory, see Forename Abbreviations.

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ON the 14th of May, 1873, the Wexford Harbour Boat Club was established at a meeting held in White’s Hotel. Among those present were: Mr. Charles H. Peacocke, Mr. Ml. Devlin, Mr. James P. Devereux, and Mr. Lawrence Devereux. Mr. Peacocke presided, and Mr. Devlin acted as secretary and treasurer. It was arranged that the entrance fee should be one guinea, and that the annual subscription should be one guinea. After a couple of years the entrance fee was abolished. It was revived again in 1884, and fixed at half the original amount. A boat-house was built at Ferrybank, across the Slaney from Wexford. The cost was £80. At the end of 1874 the house was blown away in a gale, and with it all the boats, with the exception of three or four, valued at £10 or £30.

Early in 1875 a general meeting of the members was held. The Club was in debt £70, and matters looked the reverse of promising. Mr. M. A. Ennis was appointed Captain and Honorary Secretary, positions which he still holds. There was an executive committee also appointed, and an effort was promptly made to repair the losses of previous years, and get out of debt. A piece of land was secured from the Dublin, Wicklow and Wexford Railway Co., beside the bridge which crosses the Slaney, and a house, slip, and embankment were built, and the grounds enclosed with an ornamental railing. New boats were purchased, and, in fact, nothing was left undone to put the club in a position second to none in Ireland. Since 1875 there has been an expenditure, with this view, of upwards of £1,000, and the debt has been wiped out. The club-house is very agreeably situated, and has, since 1883, added to its undoubted attractions that of a tennis court, 150 feet long, and 50 feet broad, the land for which was also obtained from the Railway Company. The first tennis tournament was held in 1884.

Boat Club training began in 1873. Thomas Pococke, of Putney, was employed; and again, in 1879, Robert Patrick, of Newcastle-on-Tyne. Since then the Captain, Mr. M. A. Ennis, has saved the cost of a professional trainer, by doing the work himself; indeed, it is only fair to say that no trouble has been spared by Mr. Ennis in order to keep the club in as high a state of perfection as possible. The record which it has secured is exceedingly satisfactory. The first race for out-rigged fours at the Wexford Harbour Regatta in 1873 was won easily by Wexford against the Slaney Rowing Club of Enniscorthy.

The Wexford crew was composed as follows:—1. G. M. Carroll. 2. N. Caulfield. 3. G. M. Power. 4. M. A. Ennis (stroke). John Perceval (cox.) At the Wexford Regatta, in 1879, the race for senior fours was won by the club. The sculler’s cup at the Kingstown Regatta in the same year, was won by M . A. Ennis. The club won the cup for out-rigged fours at Carlow in 1880. At the Slaney Regatta in 1880, the club won prizes for senior and junior fours. The sculler’s cup—championship of the Slaney—was won, in 1881, by M. A. Ennis. The club won the Eblana cup—Irish championship—at the Metropolitan Regatta in 1882. G. R. Greig won the sculler’s cup at Kingstown in 1883.

Mr. William Coghlan, J.P., during his twenty-six years of service as collector of the port, took a leading part in getting up aquatic sports. He started the annual regatta in 1838, and endeavoured to wind up his career in 1883, but the Rosslare folk induced him to help their annual regatta, which was begun in 1883. Mr. Coghlan has determined to leave to younger men the duty of managing future regattas at Wexford.

Successful athletic sports were held at Wexford in September, 1884, and were participated in by the Wexford Bicycle Club, which Mr. William Timpson has done so much to keep in a respectable state of efficiency.

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