The Belfast News-Letter, Friday, 15 June, 1849


  Scarcely has the melancholy interest produced by the
loss of the Hannah, Irish emigrant ship, and nearly
two hundred lives, subsided, ere if falls to our painful
duty to announce another similar catastrophe, the
foundering of the ship Maria, from Limerick, in a field
of ice, and the sacrifice of the vast amount of human
life.  The particulars contained in the advices of the
shocking event, as received from Quebec by the Canada
(American) mail steamer, state, that the ship's
destruction took place at midnight, on the 10th of last
month, so suddenly, that she almost instantaneously, on
striking, went down, carrying with her no less than one
hundred and nine unhappy human beings, all of whom
  The Maria, it appears, was an old vessel, manned by
a crew of ten hands, including the master, Mr. Hesligeau.
She sailed from Limerick on the 2nd of April last, with
one hundred and eleven passengers, about eighty men and
women, and the remainder their families, for Quebec,
the emigrants intending to settle in Canada.  About 20
days' sailing brought the vessel to within fifty miles
of St.Paul's.  Here severe weather was encountered, and
a large field of ice sighted.  The ship was hove to with
a view of clearing the huge frozen mass.  Unfortunately,
however, the manoeuvre had but little effect, for late
that night, the 10th of May, she ran into a berg with
terrific force.  The whole of her bows were stove in,
and the next moment the sea was rushing into the hold
with the violence almost of a cataract.  A piercing
shriek was heard from below, but it was only for a
few moments duration, as the ship went down almost
immediately.  It was the mate's watch, who with one
seaman and a cabin boy, succeeded in saving three lives
by one of the boats, which floated from the wreck as she
foundered.  About twenty of the passengers managed to
reach the deck just before she went down, some of whom
jumped on to the ice, while others clung to the floating
spars.  Nine only, however, could be preserved - six
men, two women, and a boy, who had got on the ice.
Nothing was seen of the master or the rest of the crew.
They all perished with the remainder of the passengers.
Exposed in the boat to the most inclement weather, the
helpless survivors remained the whole of the following
day.  Eventually a barque, named the Roslin Castle, and
the Falcon, a brig, approached and took them on board.
The poor creatures had suffered severely from the cold,
and their condition was the most heartrending.  Their
names are given as follows:- Michael Cussack, Joseph
Lynch, Bridget O'Gorman, spinster, Conners, William Brew,
John Hogan, and Patrick McTigue.  The survivors of the
Maria's crew are William Collins, mate, John Pickering,
seaman, and Michael Tague, cabin boy, making in all, out
of the one hundred and twenty-one souls on board, only
twelve saved.  In consequence of the brig Falcon being
short of water, those who were picked up by her were
transferred on board the Roslin Castle, which proceeded
direct to Quebec and arrived there last Saturday

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