Liverpool centenarian age 102 in 1908


Mrs Kavanagh, who resided at 29 Boundary Place London Rd died on tuesday age 102, born 31, Oct 1805 . She was a hale and hearty old woman and had a vivid memory, she recollects past events

"My earliest recollections are of a village five miles from Athy in the county of Kildare. People did not travel much then because the only means was by Stage Coach or canal , both took so much time

I had an uncle in Dublin who I visited a couple of times as a child and can remember travelling on The Grand Canal pulled by a horse.. My first vist to Dublin City stands out because King George 11 was visiting, my uncle placed me on his pony to see the King go by. I remember in 1830 the first railway being built in England between Manchester and Liverpool and hearing of


who was member of parliament for Liverpool, through being crushed by George Stevenson's Engine on the very first trip. People were very superstitious then, and they did not like the idea of the railway; they said it was,"a judgement of God on him".

In 1836 I left Ireland to go to America, via Liverpool, but the boat was such a dreadful one, and took so many days to cross, that when I landed in Liverpool and walked up the steps of the Dock, I vowed I would go no further. I have been in Liverpool ever since 71 yrs. I was living in Mann St Toxteth Park, when the terrible plague of


in 1849, and it seemed to rage round us worse than any quarter. People were dying all around me in dozens; neighbours might be talking at their front doors at dusk with each other and by morning most would be dead. Every morning a cart would come round, preceded by a man with a red flag, who cried,"Bring out your dead". No coffin was there, not even a shroud, as the corpses were lifted out of the cellars, kitchens- anywhere they fell stricken-and thrown into the cart. Two or three might be taken from one house, and and on several occasions I heard moans from the bodies as they lay in the cart, Showing they were not quite dead. They were all carried out to Bootle [which was a place of no importance at that time] and buried.A great event that I remember well occured on 6th Jan 1839, and was Known as


A most terrible wind arose and created awful destruction everywhere. Houses were blown down, vehicles and horses blown over; and in St Jame's Cemetary the trees, which were uprooted, forced up with the earth a number of crumbling coffins, and cast bones, skulls everywhere over the cemetary. Water was distributed at the time by the city officials once a week and had to be carried home in buckets and jugs. This had to be treasured for cooking, rainwater was used for washing etc. When water was distributed twice a week we thought we were well off.. Houses were poorly built at that time, in no case would landlords fit firegrates and boilers were unknown. The Welshmen were the first to build decent houses with firegrates and boilers in.

IN 1846 Prince Albert came to Liverpool to open a dock thousands came from all over the country to see him. The Prince was not gone out of the town two hours when


broke over us, and rain such as I have never seen since poured over us it poured for hours. There was no sewers to take away the water Stanhope St and that district the people had to take to the upper parts of their homes as there was 9ft of water below.

The storm was responsible for the potatoe blight in Ireland, and then commenced another period of famine and plaque. The Irish came over in thousands and many fell dead as they landed on the dock walls at the pier head . Fever sheds were set up by the corporation and into these the poor people were taken to die and be lost sight of for ever by kith and kin

The year 1867 was memorable for me. My husband and I were living in Hanover St and carried on a buisness in a warehouse in College Lane, close to the Bluecoat Hospital. One day a man called my husband and asked could he rent the cellar in the warehouse, he said he was a traveller selling gas fittings and wanted storage space. The rent was paid regulary and no suspicion crossed our minds. One day a cart drove up two men


placed them on the cart and drove off., handing me the key of the cellar before leaving. They had gone but an hour when two other men arrived and asked to see the cellar. My husband took them down,thinking they wished to get something. Immediatley they entered they started examining all the corners, moving straw and tapping a moment one of them cried,"to late they've flown," He said to my Husband the men who occupied the cellar were Fenians and we recieved information that they had dynamite here.

For twelve months we had been over dynamite all day long. The men were caught later by a tip off from a policeman who had seen them go off.

All the other events the laying of the American cable and the Telegraph come to mind, there have been a few changes in my life.

When I was ten in Kavanagh the battle of Waterloo was fought and the most remarkable thing connected which I remember was that the people in the country were afraid to be out after dark in fear of being captured by Napoleon's Soldiers, rumoured to have already landed.I.would lay awake at night thinking I could hear gun shots in the distance

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