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Salmon Fishing circa 1820.

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<p>DSCN2525.jpgDSCN2522.jpg<br />

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LISMORE SCHOOL MEDAL.- A view of the castle and woods at Lismore rising above the river, with distant bridge, &c. In the exergue, in minute letters, MILLS. F. Reverse.- Inscribed, ALUMNO | SCHOLÆ LISMORIENSIS | OB LITERAS | FELICITER EXCULTAS | GULIELMUS DUX DEVONIÆ | D.D. Around this is a plain ring, and outside, in upper part, SUNT HIC ETIAM SUA PRÆMIA LAUDI. Listed as RR. In Tickets & Passes by Davis & Waters. <strong class="bbc">55mm by George Mills</strong> (1793-1824) This is the only Irish medal by him, though he engraved the reverse for B. Wyon's medal of George IV.'s visit to Ireland<br />

The Latin = Graduate Of Lismore School happily honoured for literature. William Duke of Devonshire. Around: Here too virtue has its due reward.<br />

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A specimen of this medal was sold, April, 1878, with the duplicate medals of the Bank of England.<br />

Thanks to Barry Woodside for some of the info Barry Woodside's Irish Tokens<br />

This is a test-strike, in a lead-based alloy, the dies were misaligned. <br />

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William George Spencer Cavendish, 6th Duke of Devonshire KG, PC (21 May 1790[1] – 18 January 1858), styled Marquess of Hartington until 1811, was a British peer, courtier and Whig politician. Known as the "Bachelor Duke". Lismore Castle & surrounding area was his Irish estate and he was the patron of the Classical School.<br />

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What makes it of special interest is the Salmon weir & the fishermen depicted. Note the rocks & wooden structure with supports where the 4 men are stood.<br />

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Compare this engraving of the weir(far left) circa 1840, with the close-up of the medal below circa 1820.<br />

WeiratLismore.jpgDSCN2714.jpg<br />

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"Under the castle there is a very extensive salmon fishery, where, during the season, great abundance of fish is taken daily and exported, packed in ice, to Liverpool and other distant places. Any fish taken in the inclosures, above the number required, are driven into a space divided off, where they may be had at a. short<br />

notice; and, in addition to this, there are two or three wooden boxes, from which they may be taken without the delay of a minute. Eight hundred fish are sometimes taken at one time"<br />

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"<strong class="bbc">The bridge</strong>, which was built at the sole expense of the late Duke of Devonshire, in 1775, is one hundred feet in the span of the arch. The present Duke has erected a most convenient sessions-house and gaol, a commodious inn and offices, and contributes largely to all the charitable institutions. There are six alms-houses at Lismore founded by the first Earl of Cork, for decayed Protestant soldiers, with an annual stipend for each. There are also extensive poor schools, one for boys and another for girls, built and supported by the Duke of Devonshire, but placed under the inspection of the Hibernian School Society, who add a donation to the master and mistress. The classical school at Lismore, originally endowed by the first Lord Cork, has been much enlarged and improved by the present Duke. A new school-room has been built ; and an extensive play-ground and garden inclosed, with a ball-court, &c. have been added. The establishment is now under the management of the Rev. Mr. Stokes. The Duke of Devonshire, who occasionally visits this country, has an able representative in Colonel Curry, whose residence is the castle of Lismore"<br />

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Each of the 3 fishermen has a ghillie in attendance, a custom still in use today, the river below the castle is the Blackwater and it is the 3rd ranked salmon river in the world by catch.</p>

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Fascinating piece. I would love to see an actual medal as presented with the full detail of the die. Your write up really brings this piece to life.

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  • 2 years later...
What I originally believed were wooden supports(bottom right on the medal) is in fact water gushing through a hatch.
The viewpoint for the scene on the medal is roughly shown on the maps in red, the scene shows a corner of the weir with its Road Hatch(3 channels) & possibly also the Tail Hatch. The hatch was an opening in the weir which could be closed and only allow channels of water through, or opened to allow free flow, read the description of the Killing Hatch in the same weir below, also shown on the map. The main current flowed throught the King's or Queen's Gap, name dependant on the gender of the current monarch.
The Killing Hatch:
before the weir was destroyed, the only way for the salmon to make their way up river (other than at times of flood) was up the side stream and through the killing hatch. Gates in the hatch forced the salmon into a central holding area from which they could be hauled out with a large gaff. Not the most sporting way of killing a salmon, but very commercial!
For the last twenty years there has not been a better season for salmon fishing in the Blackwater than this year. The fishermen say it is in consequence of a great flood, which occurred at the latter end of February. It took away three of the main hatches of the weir at Lismore, and the water continued so high as to prevent their reinstatement till after the season opened on the first of March, so the salmon had free egress to the river through those hatches.
There is not a river in Ireland, if the fish had fair play, even in the time prescribed by the Act of Parliament, but would afford sufficient sport: but it is well known that, with few exceptions, the proprietors of the weirs at the mouths of the rivers take every advantage they possibly can. Even that part of the Act which requires owners to take up their hatches on the Saturday evening at six o'clock, and keep them up until Monday morning at six o'clock, is sometimes evaded. If a flood comes down the river on the Saturday they will not raise the hatches, as they pretend they are unable to do so, from the pressure of the water






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