THE BRITISH LIBRARY

Untold lives blog

09 January 2015

The eccentric postmaster of Lismore

An extraordinary story was reported in the British press in January 1821.  It concerned 96-year-old Mr Huddy, the postmaster of Lismore in County Waterford Ireland. 

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A view of Lismore Castle, County Waterford (Maps K.Top.55.7.2)  Images OnlineNoc

For a wager, Mr Huddy travelled in a Dungarvan oyster tub from Lismore to the town of Fermoy, a distance of about seventeen miles.  The tub was drawn by a pig, a badger, two cats, a goose, and a hedgehog.  On his head Mr Huddy wore a large red nightcap. He held a pig-driver’s whip in one hand and a cow’s horn in the other.  He blew the horn to encourage his team onwards and to give notice of the arrival of the mail.  This exploit was watched by a large number of spectators and unsurprisingly was a hot topic of conversation in the neighbourhood.

Margaret Makepeace
India Office Records Cc-by

Further reading:

British Newspaper Archive e.g. Liverpool Mercury 12 January 1821

William Hone, The Every-day Book (1825)

 

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