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of the mode in which he tried to amuse himself in that a first-class station and refreshment room, procured town until the wind got into a better humour for the steamers, and astonished the Dover people by estaprosecution of the voyage. At length, after many blishing a daily steam-conveyance from Folkstone to days' detention, they set sail; again the wind beat Boulogne and back. It would be difficult to estimate them, and forced them to anchor; again the captain the importance of this step. It made the Railway tacked about and tried to coax the vessel onward; Company to a certain degree independent of Dover ; until at length, on the 26th of the month, they an- while it gave the inhabitants of that town a strong chored in Torbay. Here they remained many days, inducement to do their best to retain their own trade, utterly unable to stir farther westward; so they em- by accelerating the boats, lowering the fees of embarkployed themselves in sending for cider“ and other ation, and removing a few of those annoyances which provisions from the shore, and making short land no one experiences so largely as a traveller. excursions. Fielding's journal is deficient in dates We
may run rapidly along the coast from Folkstone from that period ; so that it is somewhat difficult to to Portsmouth, without stopping long at its several tell how many days afterwards they finally set sail ports ; for they are not connected much with passengerfrom the coast towards Lisbon ; but we know, at all voyaging. Rye, poor old Rye, has become so much events, that from the day when the sick man went choked up with sea-sand, that the harbour hardly aboard the ship till the ship anchored at Torbay, a knows itself. Hastings, though a fine watering-place, period of thirty days elapsed, -sufficient now-a-days has not much sea-traffic, except for goods and fish : to bring the Overland mail from Bombay to London! its steaming days have yet to begin. Brighton has Can contrast be stronger ?
such shallow water, that she has had to ask her sister Ramsgate, the easternmost of the south ports of Shoreham to aid in establishing a steam-transit to England, has been, like its neighbour Margate, a | Dieppe. favourite resort of pleasure-seekers since the establish- The vicinage of the Isle of Wight to Portsmouth, ment of steam navigation ; but in a commercial point and the beauty of the island as a place of residence, of view it is much more important than Margate, prin- have always maintained considerable intercourse becipally on account of its fine harbour. The steam tween the two; which intercourse used formerly to be trip from London to Ramsgate is a daily one; but it kept up by row-boats and small sailing-boats. When has never approached in magnitude the steaming from steam-boats became established, there could scarcely places less distant from the metropolis. Railways be any other result than that the transit should be here furnish an instance of fellowship with steamers. wholly maintained by such means. At all hours of Before the establishment of any railways in Kent, the day are the little steamers passing and repassing; Ramsgate kept up a communication with Ostend and and the Isle has become almost as a suburb of other ports, for the conveyance of passengers ; but London. when the South-Eastern Railway reached Dover, steam- But Southampton is, perhaps, one of the most interpackets were placed upon an efficient footing to run esting of our steam-ship stations, on account of its from Dover to Ostend, to the detriment of Ramsgate.connexion with the Overland and the West India When, however, the same railway company extended routes. Until a period comparatively recent, Souththeir Canterbury branch to Ramsgate, a new phase in ampton was merely a pleasure town, which, in relation the traffic presented itself ; the steam-boat company, to commerce, could not venture to hold up its head in in connexion with the railway company, removed their the presence of its big neighbour Portsmouth. It has Ostend steamers from Dover, and placed them on the now become a busy sea-port. Ramsgate station ; and now a well conducted compe- The history of the East India Mail is an interesting tition is maintained from Dover, and from Ramsgate, one. The old sailing route round the Cape of Good to Ostend, in which every effort is made to bring Hope will probably long remain the only one for heavy steaming up to its highest pitch of efficiency.
merchandise traffic ; because the expense of transDover and Folkstone both exhibit the remarkable porting such commodities over the Isthmus of Suez influence of railways upon steamers, which Ramsgate would wholly outweigh any advantages to be derived exemplifies in a smaller degree. Dover enjoys the from economy of time.
Dover enjoys the from economy of time. It is only in respect to pasadvantage of being the great port for continental sengers, mails, and light luggage, that the overland embarkation, on account of its vicinity to the coast of route has risen into importance. When steam transit France; and circumstances seemed to place the town became established on a sufficiently firm basis, it was above all reach of competition. But the inhabitants soon ascertained experimentally that a steamer could have had to open their eyes to a fact which railways make the passage safely round the Cape of Good Hope, have disclosed to them—the rise of Folkstone from a by the same route as the sailing ships. But the Cape humble fishing village to an important steam-boat route still remains, in effect, a sailing route ; and it is station. When the South-Eastern Company found, to the Mediterranean route that we must look for the some years back, that there was likely to be some development of steam agency. About fifteen years difficulty in placing an efficient steam-transit in con- ago, it was a disputed point whether a route might nexion with a railway at Dover; they bought up efficiently be opened by way of the Euphrates to Folkstone harbour, cleared it out, built a pier, made the Persian Gulf, or by way of Egypt to the Red Sea :
and Captain Chesney was despatched to examine the would it have been to organize such a system in the former. The result has been that the Euphrates route days of sailing vessels! On the 3rd and the 20th of is for the present, at all events, abandoned, and the every month, at a fixed hour, a steamer leaves SouthRed Sea route established. Steamers were despatched ampton for Gibraltar and Malta, and reckons so exactly to and fro several times between Suez and Bombay, to on the time of reaching the last-named port, that overtry how far the monsoons were likely to effect the land travellers, starting from London four or five days certainty and rapidity of the passage ; and while these later, and proceeding vid Paris and Marseilles, count points were under trial, the Peninsular and Oriental with the utmost confidence on reaching the steamers, Company were consolidating a plan for regular steam at Malta, just ready to receive them, and to carry them communication between England and the Mediterra- to Alexandria. nean, and the French government improved their This Mediterranean trade is by no means the only steam-boat conveyance from Marseilles to Malta. By one which steam-transit has established at Southampdegrees, too, the extraordinary ruler of Egypt, Me- Besides the traffic which has Malta for its bemet Ali, had sagacity enough to enter into the plan, centre, and which branches from thence to Constantiand offer all the aid in his power to the establishment nople and the Black Sea towards the north-east, and of a safe mode of transit over the sandy tract of land towards Alexandria and the India route on the southwhich intervenes between the Nile and the Red Sea at east, many of the Southampton steamers do not enter Suez. There were thus combined the English govern- the Mediterranean at all, or only just touch it at ment, the French government, the Egyptian govern- Gibraltar. Three times in the month there is steamment, the East India Company, the Peninsular and transit to Vigo, Oporto, Lisbon, Cadiz, and Gibraltar. Oriental Steam Navigation Company, and—perhaps The Voyage to Lisbon' in 1847 is performed in the most energetic of all—Lieutenant Waghorn, who about the same time which Fielding spent at an alefirst started this great plan, and who has pursued it house in Ryde, waiting till the wind blew in the right with untiring energy in the face of innumerable ob- direction ! The steam-transit from Southampton to stacles. All were working towards the attainment of Havre, now that the Rouen and Havre Railway is the same object.
finished and opened, will become more and more imThis Mediterranean route is of two kinds—the rapid portant. The passage from Southampton to the Chanroute for the mail, and slower but still swift route for nel Islands, Jersey and Guernsey, has also become a passengers by the steam-boat. The first portion of regular feature in steam conveyance from this port. the route is from India-say by Bombay-across the But there is one great feature of SouthamptonIndian ocean, and up the Red Sea to Suez: this steaming yet to notice : one which is hardly of less occupies somewhere about fifteen days, a little more or importance, in a political and social point of view, than less. Then there is the transit over the Isthmus of the Alexandria passage,--this is the West India Mail. Suez from that town to Cairo, and from Cairo to The change here effected has been very remarkable. Alexandria ; together about three days. Then comes
The old West India sailing-packets, effective though the steam conveyance to Malta : about six days' pas- they were when compared with others of their class, sage. At Malta the transit divides itself into two often presented a dreary prospect to the passenger for parts—the more swift, and the less swift. The former the length of time he was destined to remain on board. steams it from Malta to Marseilles in four days; But now, with the well appointed fleet of steamers, the diligence, or post, or railway, or all combined, the passage most regular and convenient, and refrom Marseilles to Calais or Dover; and then steam minds one more of the punctual arrangements of the or rail to London. This is the “overland" passage Post-office than of the ever-fluctuating nature of oceanfor expresses, letters, and newspapers, which, according transit. The commercial economy of this system is to present arrangements, occupies about thirty days to somewhat as follows :: reach from Bombay to London. When the French On the 2nd and 17th of the month a West India railways are completed, it will be much shortened. mail steamer leaves Southampton, having on board The expresses and the mail having left Malta by the letters and newspapers which were despatched from steamer for Marseilles, the generality of the passengers London the morning of those very days. In order to proceed onward by sea : the steam-boats belonging meet the wants of this extensive system, the steamers to the Peninsular and Oriental Company, bring their are nearly twenty in number, and all of a large, compassengers, call at Gibraltar on their way, and land | modious, and highly finished kind : each one will at Southampton, four or five days after the expresses accommodate about one hundred passengers, with a had reached England.
degree of ease and comfort quite unintelligible to those It is beyond all question that steam-boats have been who only know the petty miseries of half-cargo, halfthe great engine in the establishment of this magnificent passenger sailing vessels. In about a week the system; and Southampton-once merely a pleasure steamer runs nearly thirteen hundred miles, or not far town-has the honour of showing what can be done short of two hundred miles a day, and stops at the in despatching and affording accommodation to such island of Madeira, which is quite a Brighton or steamers. How accurately and punctually all the ar- Hastings for wealthy invalids. Mails and some of the rangements are planned ; and how utterly impossible passengers are landed, a few fresh provisions are taken
in, and off she starts again, ploughing her way towards of the term. There are steamers which call at Plythe West Indies. In about another fortnight she mouth on their way from London to Cork; and there reaches Barbadoes, where she first comes in contact are others which ply to the Channel Islands and to with the West India Islands; and, after stopping one Torquay; there is, too, a steam ferry across the Haday at that island, proceeds to Grenada, having per- moaze, to connect the Devonshire with the Cornwall formed more than four thousand miles of distance in side of the river Tamar : but these comprise pretty twenty-three days!
nearly the whole of the steam-boat movements of the A highly curious and well organized system is at town. It used formerly to be an adventurous trip, to work between the several islands of the West Indies, go in a sailing-boat to the rugged Eddystone rocks, so as to effect the receipt of the mails from England, there to view the sea-bound lighthouse ; but many a the transmission of mails to England, and the main- | party of pleasure, snugly ensconced in a steam-boat, tenance of post communications between one island is frequently to be seen rounding the Breakwater, and and another, with as little delay as possible to the striking boldly off to the Eddystone, counting securely steamers; and for this purpose, many steamers are on a safe return at a convenient hour on the same day. timing their movements so as to meet at certain points. Falmouth, the last important port and harbour on Grenada is the clearing-house' of the traffic, where the southern coast, is at present curiously circumthe various steamers meet in order to exchange mails. stanced, in respect to the double battle of Steam against One branch steamer takes the route to Barbadoes, Sail, and Rail against Coach. In the days when SouthTobago, Demerara, and Grenada ; carrying both home ampton was only a pleasure town, Falmouth was the and outward mails : another takes the Trinidad route, great port for Atlantic-bound ships ; both on account from and to Grenada : another takes the mail to of its westerly position, and of the great facilities Antigua and a number of other islands, and returns to afforded by the harbours. As long back as the year Grenada : several other routes are taken, most of which 1688, it was made the port for the West India mailare wholly within the circuit of the West India Islands; packets, and retained its pre-eminence till the railway but one proceeds from Havanah, via the Bermudas to and the steamers brought Southampton into operation. England, bringing all the collected mails, and reaching At present, the South American mail-steamers to Rio Southampton about the 7th of each month; while Janeiro, Bahia, &c., start from Falmouth once a month ; another, starting from St. Thomas's, collects the mails and, in all probability, when the broad-gauge' has from all the other islands, proceeds to England, and stretched one of its iron arms to Falmouth (which will arrives at Southampton about the 22nd of each month. be in about a couple of years), we shall find that port
Our coast voyage is absorbing pretty rapidly the again resuming the importance which its commanding space allotted to it; and we must now get round to position ought to give it. the western ports as soon as we can. The pleasant, and, in many respects, important sea
WESTERN PORTS. side towns, west of Southampton, have at present only In the reign of Edward III., when Liverpool fura small interest in steam-boat matters. Lymington, nished one small bark’for the defence of the kingdom, Christchurch, Poole, Weymouth, Bridport, Lyme Bristol furnished twenty-four vessels; and, a few years Regis, Axmouth, Sidmouth, Topsham, Exeter, Teign- afterwards, Bristol furnished as many ships and men, mouth, Torquay, Dartmouth, Kingsbridge-all inter- to aid in the war, as were furnished by London. Even vening between Southampton and Plymouth-are so late as the latter part of the reign of George II., gradually being brought within the embrace of the the receipt of customs at Bristol was three times as giant arms of the railway system. The 'broad-gauge' great as at Liverpool. Why, then, has it changed and the narrow-gauge' are rival suitors for the so much? It is true that cotton has taken up its favours of those towns; and when (as will most pro- seat in Lancashire, and thus made Liverpool a bably be the case) a partition is made between the two, gigantic emporium for import and export trade. It arising from the fact that neither gauge is strong is true that Yorkshire has made woollens its own, enough to kill the other, then may we fairly look out and gradually drawn them away from the Wiltshire for some development of that remarkable feature to and Gloucestershire districts, of which Bristol is the which we have so often had occasion to allude, viz., port. But something more than this must be looked the creation of steam-boat traffic by railway traffic, for. The Bristol engineers and shipwrights have At present, a limited amount of sailing and boating, amply shown, that, so far as they are concerned, the and a yet smaller amount of steaming, mark this dis- skill is at hand to construct steamers which shall keep trict; and we must wait for the future to develope its on a level with the spirit of the age ; and so long as own results.
the memory of the Great Western' and the Great At Plymouth we come to one of the finest of the Britain'shall last, a debt of admiration is due to Government arsenals; to a spot where shipping, in its Bristol.
Bristol. As a coasting port, Bristol is still what it has larger sense, has one of its most favoured homes, and ever been, a very important one; but, as a foreign where steam vessels as well as sailing vessels are built port, it has declined. “ The decline of the foreign for the Government. But Plymouth is hardly a steam- trade of Bristol, both in imports and exports, with the boat port, in anything like an important acceptation increased supply coastwise, is attributed to the excess of local taxation." (Penny Cyclopædia.) Bristol has conveyed over to Ireland; while the morning mail, very little steam communication with foreign countries: leaving London at ten o'clock, steams from Liverpool its intercourse, in that respect, being with various ports to Dublin at seven in the evening. of our own islands. It despatches steamers to Cork Let us, however, briefly look at the Atlantic steamers and to Waterford about twice a week; to Dublin, a —those triumphs of steam navigation : triumphs which little less frequently; to Liverpool, weekly; to various ought to make over-hasty men of science bow their ports in Wales, such as Cardiff, Caermarthen, Milford heads. Modern prophecy is unsafe. Until the year Haven, Newport, Swansea, Tenby, and Chepstow, 1838 the passenger-traffic between England and Amcpretty frequently; and to Hayle, and one or two other rica was mainly conducted from Liverpool, where ports on the Devon and Cornwall side of the Channel. Liners, as they were called, presented the very best
We have very little to check our progress towards state of things which sailing vessels have been able to the giant port of Liverpool. Milford Haven has been put on. The Liners were well built, and provided made the port for Post-office mail communication to with every accommodation which a sailing vessel could the south of Ireland ; Porth Dynlaen is about to be afford. One started from Liverpool to New York patronized by the Great Western Railway Company, every week, and one from New York to Liverpool ; as a rival port to Holyhead, for Dublin trade; and the two crossing each other on the way. On some few Holyhead, from its favourable position with respect to occasions, when wind and weather were favourable, the Ireland, is Nature's own port in the route from London passage was made from America to Liverpool in to Dublin. As soon as the Chester and Holyhead eighteen days; but the average was more, and someRailway shall be finished, and Stephenson's marvel times it greatly exceeded that, especially in the outlous ‘Britannia Bridge' thrown across the Menai ward passage, which is always slower than the homeStraits, we may see new wonders.
ward, and which averaged thirty-seven days. Any attempt to give a picture of the shipping phe- Yet, excellent and efficient as these Liners were, nomena of Liverpool, in the course of a few para- they could not repress the yearning which everywhere graphs, will not be the object of this paper. The appears for expeditious travelling. At the same time astounding increase in the cotton imports, in the gene- two companies were started to try what steam could ral shipping trade, and in the customs' receipts, form accomplish in crossing the Atlantic. It was in vain large subjects in themselves, in connexion with future that learned men shook their heads, and asserted that papers. Suffice it for us here to glance a little at the though steam navigation "might do for narrow ferries steam-system of this wonderful town, without even in periods of great stillness of the water, it would venturing on any description of the Clarence’ Dock never be made answerable in open seas;” it was in and the “Trafalgar’ Dock, the Victoria' Dock and vain that a distinguished man of science, writing the ‘Prince's' Dock, the 'St. George's' Dock and in the Edinburgh Review, tried to demonstrate, that a the 'Canning' Dock, the 'Salt-house' Dock and steamer could not carry coals enough for more than the Brunswick ’ Dock, the 'King's' Dock and the two-thirds of the voyage to America. In spite of all 'Queen's' Dock-an array of commercial accommo- forebodings, the Bristol merchants boldly built the dation which has not a parallel in the world.
'Great Western,' while other parties fitted out the The number of places to which steamers are de- 'Sirius.' Both vessels started in the same month ; spatched from Liverpool is immense : England, Scot- the 'Sirius,' under Captain Roberts, steamed away land, Ireland, Wales, America-all are placed in steam- from Cork on the 4th April, 1838; and the Great boat communication with her. To Wales, for instance, Western,' under Captain Hosken, started from Bristol there are steamers to Amlwch, to Beaumaris, to Ban- on April 7th, three days afterwards. How were the gor, to the Menai, to Swansea, to Carnarvon, and to inhabitants of New York astonished to see
one of Mostyn; Scotland is accommodated by steamers to these fine vessels enter the harbour on the 23rd of Wigton, to Kirkcudbright, to Dumfries, and by the April, in the morning, and the other one in the aftersplendid steamers to Greenock and Glasgow; the noon of the same day! The ‘Sirius ' performed the Western English ports have the facilities of steam outward journey in nineteen days, and the Great communication from Liverpool to Whitehaven, Car- Western' in rather under sixteen—the average of the lisle, and Bristol ; Ireland has an immense steam trade finely-appointed ‘Liners' having been thirty-seven ! to Liverpool from Londonderry Belfast, Newry, Dun- One of the American newspapers went almost out of dalk, Drogheda, Dublin, Kingston, Wexford, Water- its wits with joy at the splendid achievement of these ford, and Cork; and North America steaming finds steamers : "The whole city—the whole country-was its most welcome haven at Liverpool. Of these routes, crazy with astonishment, delight, enthusiasm, and high the Glasgow, the Dublin, and the Transatlantic, are hopes ! The permanent establishment of steam-ship the most important. The Glasgow packets we have lines between New York and England, is now placed already spoken of. The Dublin packets are a fine beyond a doubt. The physical difficulty has been establishment, performing two journeys every day each solved, and the vast accession of patronage, already way. The mails which leave London at nine in the crowding upon both these steamers, almost proves, in evening are put aboard the mail-steamer at Liverpool advance, that the trade and intercourse of the two at about five o'clock the next morning, and thence countries will be doubled in less than five years. England and the United States are but parts of the same A regular system of steam transit has been established, great empire of mind-peopled by the same great and from Fleetwood to Ardrossan, on the way to Glasgow; wonderful race-talking the same language-thinking from Fleetwood to the Isle of Man; from Fleetwood the same thoughts—and steaming on the same prin- to various ports in the north of Ireland ; and from ciple !"
Fleetwood to some of the Lancashire and Cumberland The young ports of Birkenhead and Fleetwood ports. whisper to us that, by and by, when they are a little Cumberland asks for half a dozen words, and then we older, they also will claim to be ranked among the have done. Already the locomotive is about to dive important places of our western coast. As to the won- into the lake district from the western shore ; and we ders of Birkenhead, we can by no means treat of them may yet see Maryport, and Workington, and Whitein a few lines. We pass at once to Fleetwood. This haven busy steam-port towns. Whitehaven has already port, which sprang into existence from the spur given steam communication with Liverpool and with Belfast. to enterprise by railway communication, belonged to And now, having carried the reader round the coast, Sir Hesketh Fleetwood, who, appreciating the adyan- and allowed him to stop a little while at all the chief tageous position of the mouth of the river Wyre, ports, to see how the contest between the Sail and the resolved to build a town, quay, docks, and railway Steamer, and the mutual impulse of the Rail and the stations, and endeavour to establish a miniature Liver- Steamer, are going on; we may safely leave him to decide pool. The customs' and other government officers the question whether steam-boat transit is not one of sanctioned the plan ; capital was forthcoming; and the most striking features of "The LAND WE LIVE IN.” the progress already made has been surprisingly great.