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Fisherman, Ferryman, Sailor, Spy - the Diapers of Itchen Ferry
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Early Days Itchen Ferry Village The Captain's Table At Sea Genealogy

Hichyn, a smaulle village on the est side: and hereof the trajectus is caullid Hichin-Ferry

 

c1540 John Leland, antiquarian

The museum contains a permanent display of the town’s maritime history and many of the artefacts have connections with the Diapers. Use this trail to take you around the museum, it will finish at the ‘Fisherman, Ferryman, Sailor, Spy – The Diapers of Itchen Ferry’ exhibit.

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The Petition of the Ferrymen

To the Honorable the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in Parliament assembled .

 

The petition of the undersigned Fishermen and Ferrymen residing at Itchen? in the Parish of Saint Mary Extra in the County of Southampton

Sheweth That your Petitioners and their Predecessors who have followed employment on the same spot in times past have obtained their living some of them by frequenting the Southampton Water and the neighbouring Sea in Fishing Vessels in pursuit of Fish, or in pleasure Vessels which they let to hire and others of them by plying at a Ferry over the River Itchen which divides? a Place called “The Cross House” within the Limits of the Town and County of the Town of Southampton from the Village of Itchen.

 

That the said River Itchen is a most valuable Tide River extending from the Southampton Water to a considerable distance up the Country and furnishing the Means of supplying the City of Winchester and other Places in its Course with Coals Culm Timber and other heavy Goods

That is has been observed that the Mouth of the said river has been left by Nature as fine a Dock as ever was formed by the Ingenuity of Man affording a continual Resort for Vessels of every Description, which are constantly in the Habit of running there for Shelter in Tempestuous Weather and which they are now able to do with perfect Security as well by Night as by Day.

 

That your Petitioners have learnt with astonishment and alarm that all these Advantages are proposed to be destroyed by a Bill which has been introduced into your Honorable House for the purposes of obtaining Sanction of Parliament to the Erection of a Bridge over that part of the River Itchen adjoins the Southampton Water.

 

That such proposed Bridge will greatly injure if not utterley destroy the free Navigation of the said River and will be highly detrimental to your Petitioners means of Existence and will expose their Property to Inevitable Danger.

 

That the width of the said River in that part of it over which it is intended to carry the said Bridge is at ordinary high Tides about eleven hundred feet at neap Tides about one thousand and fifty feet and at low Water about fourteen xxxxx Depth about thirty feet.

 

That the whole of such Width is not more than is necessary for Vessels passing up and down the said River by means of the Tide, and that if the said proposed Bridge should be erected, even though there should be an opting of as many as fifty feet which your Petitioners are informed is intended, yet from the Strength of the Tides and the frequent Gales which prevail Vessels navigating the said River would necessarily be subject to great Danger as well as Detention even by Day, and by Night the Passage of the said River would be completely closed.

 

That your Petitioners are constantly in the habit of mooring their Vessels in and near to that part of the River where it is proposed to erect the said Bridge and that the Average number of Vessels usually lying there is about twenty.

 

That the calling of your Petitioners frequently forces them to Sea by Night, when if the Weather happens to be stormy they are now able to run to their Moorings up the said River for shelter but if the said Bridge should be erected, they will be deprived of this Means of Safety as it will not be practicable for them upon such urgent Occasions and in the Darkness of Night to pass the said Bridge, and they will thus not only be debarred from their accustomed and natural Haven, but will be compelled to leave their Vessels exposed in the Southampton Water, and will themselves be prevented from returning to their Homes by the necessity of remaining for the protection of their Property.

Your Petitioners humbly pray that the said Bill may not pass in a Law and that your Petitioners may be heard themselves their Counsel or Agents against the same

 

And your Petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray etc

 

Signatures to petition of fishermen and ferrymen includes the following Diapers, Thomas, Richard, James, Thomas, Henry, John, William, Edward, Benjamin, Thomas, William, Henry, Mark, William, John, Robert, Edward.