The Hope of Cork
Niall C.E.J. O’Brien
In 2008, I wrote in Blackwater and Bride: Navigation and Trade, 7000 BC to 2007 that the Claggan of Barrow, purchased by David O’Keeffe of Tallow in 1912, was just the latest in a number of vessels owned by O’Keeffe over his long business career. One of these other vessels owned by O’Keeffe was the Hope of Cork.
The Hope was built in 1858 at Ulverston as a wooden schooner. Ulverston was then in Lnacastershire but is now in Cumbria. The Hope’s original port of registration was Lancaster and so she was called the Hope of Lancaster. The vessel’s dimensions were given as 71 X 19.6 X 8.9 feet. The Hope had 75 net registered tons. Her official number was 20484 and she displayed a signal hoist of NBJP.
In 1860 the Hope was owned by Petty & Co. of Ulverston who operated the vessel as a coaster and J. Pernic was her master. Petty & Co. was a private bank founded in Ulverston in 1804 under that name of Petty & Postlethwaite. In 1863 the bank was purchased by the Wakefield, Crewsdon & Co. bank of Kendal. Petty & Co. was involved in building and owning ships since the 1810s. By 1865 the Hope was still owned by Petty & Co. of Ulverston who continued to operate the vessel as a coaster while M. Wilson was her new master.
Later in 1865 Matthew Wilson of Ulverston was given as the owner of the Hope. As her former master he must have liked the vessel sufficiently to purchase her. But Matthew Wilson didn’t long enjoy the Hope of Lancaster as by 1867 the vessel was owned by John Bell of Ulverston. In about 1876 the Hope of Lancaster was sold to James Geldart of Barrow in Lancastershire.
In 1889 the Hope sailed up the Blackwater to Cappoquin, Co. Waterford, with a cargo for John Stanley. Her captain on that occasion was named Dalton. In the same year, the Hope exported three cargos of timber for David O’Keeffe of Tallow and another two cargos for John Stanley. The Hope sailed up the Bride, a tributary of the Blackwater, twice in 1890 and again in 1895 to export oats (948 barrels). The vessel sailed up the Blackwater once in 1890 and twice in 1891. Captain Allin was her master in 1891.
After seeing the Hope in 1889 David O’Keeffe of Tallow liked the vessel so much that her brought her and re-registered the Hope at Cork. Although David O’Keeffe is listed as the owner and manager it is unlikely that he was the actual master of the Hope. David O’Keeffe was a large coal, timber and grain merchant in west Waterford/east Cork and would have little time to sail merchant vessels and little training. Later, during the Great War, David O’Keeffe was the owner of the Claggan of Barrow.
But owning and operating a sailing merchant vessel was a specialist activity. By 1891 David O’Keeffe decided to sell the Hope yet still use her to carry his cargoes as in 1893 the vessel exported oats for O’Keeffe from the Bride River.
Between 1891 and 1897 the Hope of Cork was owned by Mrs. Emma Nance of Placetenton Place, Cardiff and Horatio Nance of Dock Chambers, Cardiff was the master. Horatio Nance was born about 1849 in Cornwall and in 1881 was living in Glamorgan. His wife was Emma Nance but it is not clear if it was Emma Nance of Placetenton Place or another woman of the same name. The purchase of the Hope by the Nance family must have given them hope for a better future as in October 1888 Horatio Nance and his partner William Edwin Nance (merchant, ship brokers and coal agents) were in the Cardiff bankruptcy court. By 1896 Horatio Nance was the owner of a coal mine at West Llantwit, near Beddau, Pontypridd. The mine was managed by David Thomas and had 12 workers underground and 3 on the surface. In 1898 and 1899 the Hope of Cork was owned and manged by Ellis Roberts of Port Dinorwic, Carnarvon.
After 1899 the Hope of Cork disappeared from the records and its fate is unknown.
End of post
 O’Brien, N., Blackwater and Bride: Navigation and Trade, 7000 BC to 2007 (Ballyduff, 2008), p. 397
 Mercantile Navy List, 1889
 Lloyd’s List, 1865
 Mercantile Navy List, 1889
 Lloyd’s List, 1860
 Orbell, J., & Turton, A., British Banking: a guide to historical records (Abingdon, 2017), p. 522
 https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/~cmi/books/storm1826.html [accessed on 2 March 2019]
 Lloyd’s List, 1865
 Mercantile Navy List, 1865
 Mercantile Navy List, 1875
 Mercantile Navy List, 1885 & 1889
 Cork City & County Archives, Youghal Port Records, U138, Import & Export Returns, 1870-1912; O’Brien, Blackwater and Bride: Navigation and Trade, 7000 BC to 2007, p. 414
 Mercantile Navy List, 1890; O’Brien, Blackwater and Bride: Navigation and Trade, 7000 BC to 2007, pp. 268, 270, 271
 Cork City & County Archives, Youghal Port Records, U138, Import & Export Returns, 1870-1912;
 Mercantile Navy List, 1891 & 1897
 https://www.ancestry.co.uk/search/categories/1881uki/?name=_Nance&pg=5&count=50&name_x=_1 [accessed on 2 March 2019]
 South Wales Daily News, 4th October 1888 https://newspapers.library.wales/view/3669790/3669791/2/LIVERPOOL [accessed on 2 March 2019]
 Mercantile Navy List, 1898 & 1899