The Boyne Ferry

The following article is an extract from the book 'Ancient Drogheda' by Aidan P. Robinson:

"In 1784 a Mr. Edward Chesshire obtained a license from Drogheda Corporation to establish a ferry for passengers and goods, operating from the Hide Market ( situated at the bottom of Dominic's Street at the Abbey Centre car park) tot eh opposite bank of the river at Ball's Grove, part of the Ball family estate. The term was for three years at a rent of one pound per annum.

This ferry operated for eighty years and enjoyed a brisk trade conveying the town's inhabitants across the river. The ferry ceased operations in 1863 when St. Dominicks Bridge was erected.

St. Dominicks Bridge, Drogheda, the site of the ferry, looking towards the Ballsgrove side.
Image (c.) William Murphy

Edward Chesshire's son John was a Lieutenant, a distinguished marine and the first British officer who landed in Portugal at the outbreak of the Peninsular War in 1808. In recognition of this , he was presented with a sword and golden scabbard on his return home, by the Corporation of Drogheda. Seventy nine years later in June 1893,a sword in a dirty scabbard was offered for sale to a local marine store at a price of one shilling and six pence. Here it was noticed that the hilt of the sword had some type of inscription engraved on it and after a thorough cleaning it was discovered to be the identical sword and scabbard presented by the Corporation to Lieutenant Chesshire so many years before.

The sword and scabbard were in the possession of George Bowers, the sub-manager of the Belfast Bank, his grandmother being the sister of the last of the Chesshires in Drogheda.

The Chesshires, formerly of Shrewsbury, are laid to rest in St. Peter's Church of Ireland, Peter Street, Drogheda.

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