The Lee was originally built for two gentlemen in Cork, at a cost of £7,300, and had plied [with vessels City of Cork, Waterloo, Air and Eagle) for upwards of a dozen years between Cork and Cove[Cobh] taking passengers. She subsequently belonged to the Cork Towing Company, who sold her, about a month hence, to a person in Liverpool, for £500. This person intended to send her to the West India Islands, and on the 27th August, she left Cork harbour for Liverpool, where she was to have undergone a thorough repair; but she had not steamed far beyond the lighthouse [Roches Point in Cork estuary], when the water gained so rapidly in her hold that the crew ran her into Dunmore for safety. Here she was temporarily repaired and again put to sea.
Details of the loss of the Lee, of Cork, on the
testimony of Captain Evan Jenkins, of the Elizabeth, of New Quay, and a seaman
left on board by the Echo, of Dublin, after taking the crew from the steamer:
On Thursday, the 3rd Sept., the Echo, Evans, of Dublin, [Schooner of 111 tons, built 1820 New Brunswick] on her passage, from South Shields for Dublin, fell in at 6 p.m., in St. George's Channel, with the Lee, of and from Cork for Liverpool, in a sinking state; engines disabled, rudder-head broken, and vessel leaky. She took from her the crew, consisting of master and three more hands, and put one of the Echo hands on board, named James Nelson, and took the steamer in tow. After having her in tow, the tow-line parted about 9 p.m., but as soon as the Echo conveniently could put about, she bore down upon the steamer and hailed the seaman, and Captain Evans told Nelson to keep the steamer's head to the north, and keep a light upon deck, which the seaman Nelson did, and, after the Echo making another tack, she went round the Lee, and said nothing, and he never saw her afterwards, so Nelson was left in the steamer, after being abandoned by her own crew, and left by himself, one night and one day without any provision. Fortunately on the 4th Sept., about 7 o'clock in the evening, the Elizabeth, of New Quay, Captain Evan Jenkins, [Schooner 60 tons, built 1836 Cardigan] saw the Lee in distress, and bore down upon her, and as soon as convenient sent his boat and two hands on board, and took her in tow. The two hands sent on board and the seaman Nelson bailed for two hours, the pump being choked, but, finding it impossible to keep her up, they took to the boat, and before the hands got on board the Elizabeth, the Lee went down head foremost, and was not seen afterwards.
She sunk about 10 miles North of New Quay Head. The Elizabeth, Jenkins, arrived at Barrow, and landed the seamen on the 8th Sept., and a small subscription was set on foot by Mr. Thomas Hodgson, P. C., at Barrow, and Captain Evans, Mr. Barren, and other generous masters of vessels, to enable Nelson to go to Dublin to meet the Echo again. Great praise is due to Captain Jenkins for his kindness towards poor Nelson.
Nelson is a fine looking young man about 21 years of age, and had given up all hopes of ever being on land again, the only hope he had was, he had made a good raft to take to, in case she went down. This raft, which was washed ashore at Aberystwith last week, was indeed the only chance of escape which poor Nelson would have had, if he had not been hailed by the Elizabeth.
Reports of wreckage ashore near Aberystwyth:
Wreck ashore. A considerable sensation has been caused in the Town [Aberystwith] during the present week, by the washing ashore of several portions of a supposed wreck, which have been picked up by the Pier-boat near our harbour, and also at Clarach; consisting of several boards, painted green, one of them marked with the letter A; they were lashed together as a raft; part of the Gunwale, part of the Gangway, as well as several benches, a keg, and a portion of a paddle box, on which the word "CORK" was painted - leading to the supposition that the wreck is that of an Irish Steamer. On Sunday last, a gentleman's hat was picked up on the beach, and a ham, as well as a quantity of candles.