Monthly Archives: April 2017

Edward Weddall; Second Mate

In 1865 Edward Weddall was rose to Second Mate status at 21 Years of age after about five years at sea. The certificate was awarded to him by the Board of Trades.

By the Lords of The Committee Privy

Council for Trade

Certificate of Competency


Second Mate

To Edward Weddall

Whereas it has been reported to us that you have been found duly qualified to fulfill the duties of Second Mate in the Merchant Service we do hereby in accordance of the Merchant Shipping Act 1854 grant you this Certificate of Competency. Given under the Seal of The board of Trade this Twenty-fourth day of August 1865.

In order for Edward to reach this rank he must have achieved the below:

A SECOND MATE must be seventeen years of age, and must have been four years at sea.
IN NAVIGATION.-He must write a legible hand and understand the first five rules of arithmetic, and the use of logarithms. He must be able to work a day’s work complete, including bearings and distance of the port he is bound to, by Merator’s method; to correct the sun’s declination for longitude, and find his latitude by meridian altitude of the sun; and to work such other easy problems of a like nature as may be put to him. He must understand the use of the sextant, and be able to observe with it, and read off the arc.
IN SEAMANSHIP.–He must give satisfactory answers as to the rigging and un-rigging of ships, stowing of holds, &e; must understand the measurement of the log-line, glass, and lead-line; be conversant with the rule of the road, as regards both steamers and sailing-vessels, and the lights and fog signals carried by them, and will also be examined as to this acquaintance, with ‘the Commercial Code of Signals for the use of all Nations.’

Sources – UK and Ireland, Masters and Mates Certificates, 1850-1927
Alan Russell has kindly transcribed the following extract from the paper comprising the examination for Certificates of Competency (MS Act 1854) and the Voluntary Examination in Steam from his personal collection.

101 Years Ago

Easter week 1916 began as any other for the people of Achill, Emily and Darrell Figgis alike. Nothing out of the ordinary apart from the unseasonably good weather as Figgis described in in his book A chronicle of jails, more or less his prison diary of his time incarcerated during 1916-17.

Tues, April 25th 1916 was filled with sunshine in token of the summer that was on the way while a keen wind from the north came in reminder of the winter that was passing.

No one would have been any the wiser that there was an uprising taking over the capital if on the island. Only a few would have noticed that there was something amiss, those waiting on the post, which Darrell Figgis was one.

It was not till some hours after noon that, looking along the road for the post that was so unaccountably late, I saw a friend making her way toward the house on her bicycle. As she came nearer and dismounted I could see the traces of tears on her cheeks, and wondered.

“The post is very late,” I said.

“There is no post,” she replied, “but there’s terrible news. There has been fighting in Dublin. they say Dawson Street is full of dead and wounded men. the Volunteers hold the General Post Office, the Bank of Ireland, and a number of buildings all over Dublin…”

It is impossible to say if the friend of Darrell Figgis was Emily, there is a high likelihood that it was, either way Emily got the news and headed to Dublin to play her role in the Rising, except she never got there. Two days later and half way there she was intercepted in Rochfordbridge, Co. Westmeath and brought to court there.

Tullamore Prison Gates

The record still exists and contains the following details:

Name of Justice: M. S. Moore R. M.
Defendant: Emily Weddall
Cause of Complaint: Defense of the Realm
That Defendant on the 28th of April 1916, at Mulling in the county of Westmeath was acting in such a manner as to vie reasonable ground for suspecting that she was about to act in a manner prejudicial to the Defense of the Realm and that she is thereby guilty of an offense against the Regulations made under the Defense of the Realm Act 1914 and was arrested by the Constable Thomas Forkin R. I. Constabulary in accordance of said regulations.

Particulars of order of dismissal: Defendant remanded in Custody for seven days from this as for further examination.

The Complainant was listed as ‘The King’.

Emily was sent to Tullamore Gaol for the duration of the Rising. She was released without further ado. On May 3rd her niece, Enid made her way across the country from Achill to Tullamore to meet her aunt at the prison gates. Enid was only 17 and at the time on Easter holidays from school.

By the time Emily returned to Achill, the Rising was over, Dublin was in ruins, some of her friends including Darrell Figgis were imprisoned and some were no more, executed for their part.

An Cliadeamh Soluis 24/04/1916

Figgis, Darrell, and William Murphy. A Chronicle of Jails. Dublin: University College Dublin Press, 2010.,parentid=ire%2fpettys%2f005174188%2f00427%2f2687504