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#310734 - 19th Apr 2009 12:29am Reformatory Ship Clarence
uptoncx Offline
Veteran

Registered: 24th May 2008
Posts: 683
Loc: Wirral
In my comments on the Port Sanitary Hospital I mentioned the Reformatory Ship Clarence, and I thought that a little more information might be of interest.

The 1854 Reformatory Act provided for the better Care and Reformation of Youthful Offenders in Great Britain, it was, however, not until 1856 that Liverpool considered the provision of reformatories for Catholic Boys. Initially boys were sent to the reformatory at the Cistercian Abbey of Mount St. Bernard, Loughborough.

The prison inspectors were not happy with this arrangement and in June 1863 the Bishop of Liverpool was informed that unless the Catholics of Liverpool provided a suitable reformatory, the Catholic offenders would be committed to Protestant reformatories or be sent to a normal gaol.

Father Nugent formed the "Liverpool Catholic Reformatory Association” and the decision was taken to establish a ship reformatory in the Sloyne, off new ferry. Father Nugent contacted the Admiralty, and persuaded them to lend the association a suitable ship for this purpose.



The Clarence was an 84 gun warship, she had originally called the Goliath but her name had been changed before her launch in 1827. She had never been commissioned and had lain in Devonport since her launch.

The Clarence was towed from Devonport and arrived in Liverpool on 15th August 1864, she was converted in Sandon dock to accommodate around 250 boys. The main purpose was to educate the boys (compulsory education didn’t arrive in England until 1870) for three years and for them then to enter the Merchant Navy.



The boys were instructed in seamanship, carpentry, shoemaking, tailoring etc. as well as reading, writing, arithmetic and geography. A chaplain was appointed by the Bishop of Shrewsbury to look after the religious instruction of the boys.

The Clarence was remarkably successful in its early years.

On the 6th April 1878 the Clarence was damaged when the steam tug Columbus ran into it in fog. The captain of the tug claimed that the bells on board the Clarence were not rung in accordance with Admiralty regulations. On 9th November 1880, a fire was discovered near the coal bunkers, it was soon put out with the help of the Rock Ferry steamers Wasp and Fairy Queen.

During the night of 17/18th January 1884, a much more serious fire broke out. The Liverpool Mercury reported on the fire as follows:

Originally Posted By: Liverpool Mercury – January 18th 1884
About two o’clock yesterday afternoon an alarming fire broke out on the reformatory ship Clarence lying in the river, a short distance off New Ferry. The number of boys on board was 215, and upon the outbreak of the conflagration great alarm prevailed for their safety. The seat of the fire was in the fore magazine, or in the coal bunks in the vicinity, from which dense volumes of smoke issued. [....] the crew and the boys used every exertion to keep down the conflagration, which speedily raged with great fury. Amongst the first to arrive was Captain Saunders of Her Majesty’s cutter Margaret. [....] About four o’clock the goods steamer Oxton, belonging to Woodside Ferry, was despatched to New Ferry. The Oxton took on board at the Liverpool landing stage the steam fire-engine Hamilton. Upon her arrival at the Clarence the Oxton took a position on her starboard side and the Hamilton soon commenced to play into the hold of the burning ship.

The Clarence was destroyed, eight days later six of the boys were arrested for starting the fire. The ring leader, a 14 year old boy, admitted pouring paraffin on ropes in the magazine and setting fire to it. The boys were sentenced to five years penal servitude.

Accommodation for the boys was initially found in the Port Sanitary Hospital, but due to a Cholera outbreak, they had to move again, this time to Mount St Bernard reformatory in Loughborough.

Father Nugent again appealed to the Admiralty for the loan of another ship. In November the Admiralty agreed to provide the 120-gun Royal William which had been launched in 1833.



The Royal William was re-named Clarence and was converted to accommodate about 200 boys. The new Clarence was certified as suitable as a Reformatory Ship in November 1885.

In November 1894 Smallpox broke out on the Clarence, initially the ship’s surgeon thought that it was chickenpox. On 26th November 18 boys were transferred to the Port Sanitary Hospital.

Another disastrous fire started in the early hours of 26th July 1899. No lesser paper than the New York Times reported on the fire as follows:

Originally Posted By: New York Times – July 27th 1899
LIVERPOOL July 26th – The Roman Catholic reformatory ship Clarence was destroyed by fire early this morning. It was but a few moments after the fire was discovered until the great three-decker was wrapped in flames. Intense excitement prevailed until it became known that the hundreds of lads and officers on board had been saved by the ferryboats Mersey and Firefly, which quickly made fast to the blazing vessel, and began pumping water upon the flames.

The boys on board the Clarence worked with the utmost discipline until they were forced to leave the ship with the officers.

The boys were taken to St Anne’s School in Rock Ferry while arrangements were made for their accommodation in two houses in Shaw Street Liverpool.

In January three boys were arrested for setting fire to the Clarence.

There were no further Catholic reformatory ships in the Mersey, instead a nautical training school was established on dry land, St Aidan’s was built in Farnworth, Widnes.

There were three other training ships moored off New Ferry in the Mersey at the same time as the Clarence;
The Protestant Reformatory Ship Akbar
The Training Ship Indefatigable
and, most famous of all, H.M.S. Conway.

[Disclaimer: There is a lot of information on the Clarence in books, newspapers and the internet, much of it contradictory, I have done my best to ensure that the above is correct, but there could be (and probably are) errors.]


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#310746 - 19th Apr 2009 6:27am Re: Reformatory Ship Clarence [Re: uptoncx]
bert1 Offline

Wiki Veteran

Registered: 27th Nov 2008
Posts: 7827
Loc: tranmere
Excellent thread Upton


James Nugent was born on 3 March 1822, in Hunter Street, Liverpool, baptised on St Patrick’s day at St Nicholas Church. He studied at St. Cuthbert’s College, Ushaw, Durham, and in 1842 in the English College in Rome.
After only three years in Rome and due to the drastic shortage of priests he was called home by Bishop Brown and was ordained on the 30th August 1846 at St. Nicholas’s Church, which was by this time the Pro-Cathedral.
His first appointment was to the parish of St. Albans Blackburn, and then in 1847 he was appointed to the parish of St.Marys in Wigan, during which time the Irish Famine occurred.
However by the year 1849 Father Nugent was appointed to his home parish of St. Nicholas’s, where he was to survive the dangers and diseases of the slums while many of his colleagues died.
Father Nugent was a promoter of homes for orphans. It was estimated that some 23,000 children were running loose around Liverpool’s streets in the 1850s. Being an advocate of compulsory education Nugent was concerned about getting these children into education. Catholic Schools were almost unknown at this time, a situation Father Nugent set about changing. He raised funds to buy a site in Hope Street and on 31 August 1853 the Catholic Institute was opened by Cardinal Wiseman. Father Nugent was also responsible for establishing the boys’ refuge which was opened in St Anne Street.

Getting the children to school was one thing, caring for them was another. Many of the children were orphans of Irish Catholic immigrants and were either homeless or uncared for at home. Nugent also set up hostels where all creeds were looked after. He was a great supporter of self help and encouraged people to save in the Penny savings bank. He was also a great believer in the Temperance Movement. He also founded the Catholic Times

Father James Nugent died on the 27 June 1905 aged eighty-three, when catching a chill during a visit to his Oculist, which developed into pneumonia,
The funeral service was held at the Pro-Cathedral, despite the pouring rain the route to Ford Cemetery was four and five deep. "It was as if Heaven itself was weeping at the peoples loss of a great friend", a local newspaper reported.
The memorial over his grave is of St. Vincent De Paul succouring the children, a fitting monument to this great man.
On 8 December, 1906 the people of Liverpool erected in St Johns Gardens, near St. George's Hall, a bronze statue commemorating him as: Apostle of Temperance, Protector of the Orphan Child, Consoler of the Prisoner Reformer of the Criminal, Saviour of Fallen Womanhood, Friend of all in Poverty and Affliction, An Eye to the Blind, a Foot to the Lame, the Father of the Poor.
_________________________
God help us,
Come yourself,
Don't send Jesus,
This is no place for children.


Bertieone.

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#310753 - 19th Apr 2009 10:32am Re: Reformatory Ship Clarence [Re: bert1]
jimbob Offline

Forum Addict

Registered: 26th Nov 2008
Posts: 1530
Loc: Birkenhead
As stated by uptoncx, there where 4 training ships all at anchor in the sloan on the mersey. the Conway was a training ship for boys who where then to become officer cadets in the Royal Navy. The Indefatigable was a training ship for boys who where then to join the Merchant Navy.The Akbar which was the reformatory school for boys, later when the Akbar was no longer fit for purpose a land based reform scholl was established in Heswal
there was a 5th training ship HMS Eaglet and she was berthed within the dock system of liverpool. over the course of the next few days or so i shall Upload various photo's of the these various names ships
_________________________
Ships that pass in the night, seldom seen and soon forgoten

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#310765 - 19th Apr 2009 11:57am Re: Reformatory Ship Clarence [Re: jimbob]
MGCraig Offline
AlfaHolic
Forum Veteran

Registered: 16th Apr 2006
Posts: 5488
Loc: Spital
Im guessing The Indefatigable name was then transferred to the Outlet on Anglesey, and carried on the Merchant Navy Tradition. My dad joined the merchant Navy when he was 14, and has fond memories of it.


Interesting read cheers happy
_________________________


------------------------------------------------------------

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#310766 - 19th Apr 2009 12:01pm Re: Reformatory Ship Clarence [Re: MGCraig]
bert1 Offline

Wiki Veteran

Registered: 27th Nov 2008
Posts: 7827
Loc: tranmere
Eight ships of the Royal Navy have been named HMS Indefatigable:

HMS Indefatigable was a 64-gun third rate ship of the line launched in 1784, razeed to a 38-gun frigate in 1795 and broken up in 1816.
HMS Indefatigable was an armed ship purchased in 1804 and sold in 1805.
HMS Indefatigable was to have been a 50-gun fourth-rate. She was ordered in 1832 but cancelled in 1834.
HMS Indefatigable was a 50-gun fourth-rate launched in 1848, loaned as a training ship after 1865, and sold in 1914.
HMS Indefatigable was an Apollo class second class cruiser launched in 1891, renamed HMS Melpomene in 1910, and sold in 1913.
HMS Indefatigable was an Indefatigable class battlecruiser launched in 1909 and sunk at the Battle of Jutland in 1916.
HMS Indefatigable was a despatch vessel launched in 1883 as HMS Phaeton. She was sold as a training ship named Indefatigable in 1913, was repurchased in 1941 and renamed HMS Carrick II before being scrapped in 1947.
HMS Indefatigable was an Implacable-class aircraft carrier launched in 1942 and scrapped in 1956
_________________________
God help us,
Come yourself,
Don't send Jesus,
This is no place for children.


Bertieone.

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#310800 - 19th Apr 2009 3:07pm Re: Reformatory Ship Clarence [Re: bert1]
uptoncx Offline
Veteran

Registered: 24th May 2008
Posts: 683
Loc: Wirral

The first T.S.Indefatigable, the ship anchored in the Mersey, was the H.M.S.Indefatigable of 1848. She was loaned by the Admiralty to Liverpool ship owner John Clint in 1863 to provide training for "the sons and orphans of seamen and other boys of good character". Another shipowner, James J Bibby provided £5,000 to convert the vessel into a training ship for 200 boys.

In 1912 an Inspection was carried out and the Indefatigable was declared unsuitable for further service.

The Admiralty offered a replacement, but not on loan. The bare hull of H.M.S.Phaeton, a thirty year old steel cruiser was offered for £30,000. She arrived in Liverpool on 11th September 1913, brought from Devonport by two tugs lent by the Alexandra Towing Company. The vessel was renamed T.S.Indefatigable. The old Indefatigable was broken up in the West Float.

The new Indefatigable was used until 1941 when it was evacuated due to the danger from the German bombing. She was acquired by the Admiralty for use as a store ship. She was re-named Carrick II and towed to the Clyde. She was finally broken up in 1947.

The boys from Indefatigable were accomodated in Clwyd Newydd, near Ruthin before moving to Plas Llanfair on Anglesey in 1945, this became the new T.S.Indefatigable.

T.S.Indefatigable finally closed in 1995.

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#310805 - 19th Apr 2009 3:43pm Re: Reformatory Ship Clarence [Re: uptoncx]
jimbob Offline

Forum Addict

Registered: 26th Nov 2008
Posts: 1530
Loc: Birkenhead
akbar&conway


Attachments: Viewing Permissions May Apply. Click Me
000_0019.jpg


_________________________
Ships that pass in the night, seldom seen and soon forgoten

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#310831 - 19th Apr 2009 6:55pm Re: Reformatory Ship Clarence [Re: uptoncx]
jimbob Offline

Forum Addict

Registered: 26th Nov 2008
Posts: 1530
Loc: Birkenhead
conway


Attachments: Viewing Permissions May Apply. Click Me
000_0030_edited-1.jpg


_________________________
Ships that pass in the night, seldom seen and soon forgoten

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#310832 - 19th Apr 2009 6:57pm Re: Reformatory Ship Clarence [Re: uptoncx]
jimbob Offline

Forum Addict

Registered: 26th Nov 2008
Posts: 1530
Loc: Birkenhead
conway


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000_0037_edited-1.jpg


_________________________
Ships that pass in the night, seldom seen and soon forgoten

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#310833 - 19th Apr 2009 7:01pm Re: Reformatory Ship Clarence [Re: uptoncx]
jimbob Offline

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Registered: 26th Nov 2008
Posts: 1530
Loc: Birkenhead
conway been towed for dry docking


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000_0038_edited-1.jpg


_________________________
Ships that pass in the night, seldom seen and soon forgoten

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#310835 - 19th Apr 2009 7:03pm Re: Reformatory Ship Clarence [Re: uptoncx]
jimbob Offline

Forum Addict

Registered: 26th Nov 2008
Posts: 1530
Loc: Birkenhead
conway in dry dock


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_________________________
Ships that pass in the night, seldom seen and soon forgoten

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#310836 - 19th Apr 2009 7:05pm Re: Reformatory Ship Clarence [Re: uptoncx]
jimbob Offline

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Registered: 26th Nov 2008
Posts: 1530
Loc: Birkenhead
conway after been taken away from the mersey during the bombing


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000_0040_edited-1.jpg


_________________________
Ships that pass in the night, seldom seen and soon forgoten

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#310840 - 19th Apr 2009 7:07pm Re: Reformatory Ship Clarence [Re: uptoncx]
jimbob Offline

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Registered: 26th Nov 2008
Posts: 1530
Loc: Birkenhead
bow of conway


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000_0042_edited-1.jpg


_________________________
Ships that pass in the night, seldom seen and soon forgoten

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#310842 - 19th Apr 2009 7:09pm Re: Reformatory Ship Clarence [Re: uptoncx]
jimbob Offline

Forum Addict

Registered: 26th Nov 2008
Posts: 1530
Loc: Birkenhead
after she broke from her tow line and ran aground. Damage was to great for her to be saved


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000_0041.jpg


_________________________
Ships that pass in the night, seldom seen and soon forgoten

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#311055 - 20th Apr 2009 9:25pm Re: Reformatory Ship Clarence [Re: jimbob]
_jase_
Unregistered


wow!! the Clarence i done a lot about this ship when i was at school. and the only reson why was that the school i was in was called Clarence house. (for bad boys and girls) laugh

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