Friday, 3 January 2014

An Elopement Spoiled - Greenock 1866

Customhouse Quay in Greenock was also known as Steamboat Quay because of all the steamships which went from there to the Highlands of Scotland, Ireland, London, Liverpool and many other destinations.  It was always a hub of activity with passengers and freight arriving and departing at all hours of the day and night.

I came across this newspaper cutting relating to an incident which took place there in December 1866.  It would appear that many, arriving by train from Glasgow, were to join the steamer Snipe to travel on to Liverpool.  "Among them was a respectable-looking man of about 56 years of age, and a well-dressed good-looking female of about 30 years of age, rather jauntily made up with a bloomer hat."  The article scathingly goes on "In fact, they looked like father and daughter bent on an excursion." 

However it would appear that an "elderly female" had her eye on them because the man in question was her husband who had eloped from their home in Edinburgh with this younger woman.  The wife, seizing her moment, rushed on board the steamer and tore the hat from her rival's head.  In the meantime the husband - "fairly subdued, meekly assisted his enraged wife to take his luggage ashore, during which the latter kept up a continued series of rebukes."  It would appear from what she said that this was not his first indiscretion and he, humiliated, went with off with his wife.  The article says that the other woman " proceeded on with the steamer to Liverpool without her companion".  I wonder what became of her?

Customhouse Quay today.
I wonder if this gathered as big a crowd as the bull fighting on the quay some months earlier!  Never a dull moment quayside!

The Greenockian


  1. Oh the scandal of it all. No wonder the poor man wanted to run away.

  2. hee hee...
    The question is why would his wife want to continue with the lecher? It seems we may have some clue as to why he would want to get away from her!

  3. or...the wandering eyes of men! truly a sad commentary on the lack of respecting one's marriage vows.


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