The Essex Hulk 1824 – 1837
The Essex had been a distinguished American 32 gun frigate built in Salem, Massachusetts in 1799 for the then young American navy. After fighting against the British in the Pacific, and also against British whalers there, it was captured in 1814 off Valparaiso in Chile and towed to Plymouth in England where it lay until being moved to Dún Laoghaire in 1824 as a convict hulk where she remained until 1837. Almost 300 prisoners were held on the Essex while awaiting transportation to Australia.
During the resurfacing work on the East Pier an anchor was uncovered under the old Pier surface, close to the place where the prison hulk Essex was moored in the Harbour from 1824 to 1837. The Essex lay about 50 yards off the East Pier and 100 yards from the shore opposite what is now the National Yacht Club. The anchor that was found had been adapted in a way that would suggest it was used for a permanent mooring.
Donal O’Sullivan, Hon. Secretary of Dublin Bay Sailing Club has kindly provided Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company with two lectures about the USS Essex in Ireland.