1893 Courier & Argus

Friday, 13th January.


Two bold youngsters in Leith, tired of rambling about the Kirkgate and loafing on the quays and bridges of the Water o’ Leith, mutually agreed to quit their native town, and set off to Dundee in search of work. The lads felt they could no longest remain a burden on their widowed mothers, and, though only 13 years of age, they manfully resolved to begin the struggle for existence. At the Waverley Station at Edinburgh they watched the making up of a train for Dundee, and with it they determined to take passage. They had no money to pay their fare, so they dodged about and, watching their opportunity, they slipped into a first class carriage and stowed themselves away underneath the seats. Before the train started a ticket checker looked in with a lamp, but, satisfied the compartment was empty, he shut the door again. At last the train started, and, to the joy of the young stowaways, they had the carriage all to themselves. It was the Dundee “slow,” which leaves Edinburgh about 5 o’clock in the evening, and stops at all the stations on the journey. At every station the youngsters had to sneak like mice to their hiding-places till the engine moved again. At Corstorphine some passengers entered the carriage, and the boys had to lie close till a good many stations were passed. At length the travellers left the train somewhere in Fife, and the youngsters breathed freely once more. They could stretch their legs now while the train was running. The lads escaped the lynx eye of the ticket collector at the Esplanade, but when the train drew up at the Tay Bridge Station the stowaways, in attempting to leave the carriage, were collared by one of the officials. They told their story frankly enough, and the railway officials handed the adventurous youths over to the police. They gave their names as William McLean (13), boxmaker, Cupar Street, and Alexander Lister (13), millworker, Citadel Street, Leith. They had no relations or acquaintances in Dundee, and the object of their journey, they said, was to find work. Yesterday the young tramps were brought before Bailie Perrie in the Police Court as destitute waifs. The Magistrate committed them to the poorhouse on the seven days’ order under the Industrial Schools Act.

(Later it was said that they had run away before, and that they got beyond the control of their parents. The Bailie then committed them to the Mars Training Ship till they attain the age of 16.)


 1893 Monday April 3rd.

(Aberdeen Weekly Journal)




In the Leith Police Court on Saturday morning Newhaven boy named Bachelor was brought before the Magistrate as having been found wandering about without proper guardianship. A witness, an old woman, stated that the boy’s father on his death-bed requested that the lad should be sent to the Mars Training Ship. An officer of the Society of Cruelty to Children [sic] which has instituted proceedings, having explained that the Mars authorities had expressed willingness to receive the boy, the Magistrate ordered him to be kept on that vessel till he was 16 years of age.


1893 Courier & Argus

Monday, 1st May.

MARS BOYS – Burke, Duncan.

Dundee Police Court before Bailie Ferrier – two boys were brought before the Court on Saturday, and committed to the Mars Training Ship. Their names are John Burke (12) and George Duncan (12). They had both been going astray and staying out at night, and were beyond the control pf their parents.


1893 Courier & Argus



Dundee Police Court Wednesday – before Bailie Stevenson -

A boy named Patrick Hamilton, who absconded from the Mars on Tuesday, was apprehended in his relatives’ house in the East End, and was brought before the Court, and ordered to be sent back to the ship.


1893 Courier & Argus

Wednesday, 31st May.


     John Clark (12), Annfield Road, was next brought up charged with having stolen a silver lever watch and a jet chain from a house in Annfield Road on the 8th May, he pleaded guilty. It appeared from what was stated on Court that John had taken to a wild and adventurous life. He had given up school, and now and then he wandered away from home, sometimes being lost to his parents for a week at a time. On one occasion in February last he was away for 9 days. He obtained 6/- on the watch, and with the money he set off to Perth with the mail train, and had a ramble abut the fair City. Mr Dewar withdrew the charge, and the Magistrate committed the boy to the Mars, there to be kept till he attains the age of 16.


1893 Courier & Argus

Saturday, 23rd September.


Before Hon Sheriff-Substitute Littlejohn – Charles Reid (12), from the Children’s Shelter, was brought forward as an applicant under the Industrial Schools Act. Mr Campbell, of the Boy’s Home, stated that the boy was homeless and destitute. His mother was dead, and his father’s whereabouts were unknown. He was sent to the Mars till he attains the age of 16.


1893 Courier & Argus

Wednesday, 27th September.


David McDonald (11), Blackness Road, was charged with having stolen 5/- from a shop in Perth Road on the 21st September curt. He pleaded guilty, after which the charges were withdrawn in order that he might be sent to the Mars. It was stated that the boy had gone beyond the control of his parent’s, and was associating with bad companions. The Bailie sent him to the Mars.


1893 Courier & Argus

Thursday, 5th October.


Most Popular Boy – Hugh Wilson

Best Behaved Boy in School – David Peter

Best Behaved Boy on Deck – James Robertson

Four Best Oarsmen – William Barrett, Robert McMillan, John Downie and John Veir.

Two Best Swimmers – Robert Graham and Charles Young

Two Best Helmsmen – Thomas Boyd and John Wallace

Two Best Brig-Boys – John Orr and John Graham

Six Best Band Boys – Daniel Campbell, Thomas Flannigan, Terence Quinn, Robert Tait, James Rafferty, and John Mackintosh

Two Best Coxswain – Alexander Mitchell, and Thomas Campbell

Three Best Tailors – Henry T. Ferguson, Christopher Smith, and John Greenan

Two Best Shoemakers – James Prentice, and Michael Foley

Two Best Carpenters – Charles Peaker, and Henry Currie.

Tidiness and Care of Clothes – James Carrol, David Gorrie, and Robert Graham

School prizes for Good Conduct and Application – Thomas Flannigan, Thomas Moran, Hugh Wilson, George Sibbald, William Anderson, Robert Brunton, William Larrigan, Thomas Ferguson, Daniel Munro, Patrick Traynor, Hugh Cowie, Patrick Welsh, Michael Noble, William Robertson, James Mathieson, James Rafferty, Robert Milne, William Laing, John Mason, Robert Gibson, Thomas H. Mackenzie, William Singers, Patrick Coyle, Henry Crossan, William Watson, Alexander Glover, and Alexander Noble.


1893 Courier & Argus

Monday, 23rd October.


Before Bailie McKinnon – a boy named Frederick William Davis Wellman, 12 years of age, who had been found wandering and destitute, was brought before the Court under the Industrial Schools Act. Mr Dewar said the boy has been under the care of Mr Campbell, Boy’s Home, his mother was in Blairgowrie, and she had been communicated with, and she was willing to have him sent to the Mars. The Magistrate accordingly committed him to the Mars for four years.


1893 Courier & Argus

Thursday, 21st December.


Before Bailie Foggie – James McMahon (11), schoolboy, Brewery Lane, was brought before the Court charged with stealing a petticoat from his father’s house. He admitted his guilt. The case was then withdrawn, and an application made for the boy to be sent to the Mars. He had been going astray and mixing with bad company, and his father had detected him pilfering from the house. The Magistrate granted the application, and committed the boy to the Mars till he attains the age of 16 years.


1893 Courier & Argus

Friday, 22nd December.


Before Bailie Foggie – James Callachan (15), seaman, Overgate, was charged with having stolen two papers from a boy on the street on Wednesday. He pleaded guilty. Accused was one of a gang of youngsters who were before the Court on Monday charged with a series of shop door thefts. On that occasion they were all dismissed. Since then three of the gang had again got into trouble. The two others had been remanded owing to the absence of their parents. Callachan’s mother appeared, and pleaded that he should be given another chance. The Bailie however, said there would be no more leniency. Accused had been four years on board the Mars, and that had done no good. He would now have to try a reformatory. Sentence – five days in prison and three years in a reformatory.


1893 Courier & Argus

Saturday, 23rd December


The death occurred in Edinburgh Royal Infirmary on Thursday of Mr Robert Fey, instructor on board the Mars training Ship. The deceased had been in ill-health for several months, and was removed to Edinburgh three weeks ago in the hope that the special facilities for treatment in the Infirmary there might restore him in some measure. His service on board the Mars extended to about 15 years, and he was regarded a very capable instructor. Mr Fey, who was over 50 years of age, leaves a widow and three of a family, two of them quite young, residing in Newport.