The Irish Sea

Main Themes and Motifs

- Improved travel across the Irish Sea
- Emigration from Ireland (both seasonal & permanent)


1810-19   669; 709
1840-49   307; 596
1850-59   602

Uncertain: 751

Historical Background

The success of the Clyde steamers encouraged the rapid establishment of services between Ireland and Scotland.
An American observer wrote "The first trading steamboat from Liverpool to Dublin was set up in 1824. There are now forty such boats between England and Ireland. The sailing vessels were from one or two to three weeks on the passage. The voyage from Liverpool to Dublin is now performed in fourteen hours". He asserted that they "greatly contributed to the prosperity of both nations". The English did not always see it that way, especially those living in Liverpool and its hinterland. Our optimistic American declared that the steamers "have made the closely packed millions of people who live in the country round Liverpool the neighbours of the small farmers and peasants who live amongst the rich valleys of Ireland"
The traffic between Ireland and Liverpool was such that Clarence Dock was built to cope with the number of steamers. By 1841 Liverpool was home to 50 thousand people born in Ireland .