Category Archives: AHEARN

FROM BRIAN AHEARNTHE BOOK OF THE ATLAS AND MORE

Aug 16, 6:05 pm

Beyond the Sea two volumes copy

Hi Lynne,
Thanks for your kind offer.
II can send you a colour shot of the books and the Log book of the Atlas. Not sure if your site can accommodate the size?

Kind regards
Brian
Here is a brief outline:
On the morning of November 29, 1801, a heavy wooden wagon, lumbered through the streets of Cork and moved slowly in the direction of the port of Cobh. Absorbing the bumps in the springless cart was a young sworn United Irishman named Murtagh Ahern and his two brothers John and Michael. They had been sentenced to suffer death for rebellious outrages and the brutal murders of all the male members of a Tithe-Proctor’s family at Croom in County Limerick.
Their commuted sentences to life ‘beyond the sea’ would see them chained below the deck of the ‘Death ship’ Atlas and spend 220 agonising days amongst sick, hungry and disease ridden inmates. It would be the worst voyage in the history of Irish convict transportation to the infant colony of New South Wales. Sixty-five convicts, including his brother John, would join the sufferers on their voyage to the deep.
At 2 o’clock on July 6, 1802 Murtagh arrived in Port Jackson with his brother Michael. They would suffer, but survive, the most turbulent times in the history of Australia. Murtagh would marry English convict Mary Abbey. They would produce seventeen children and become one of the pioneer families of Liverpool. He worked for Lieutenant Edward Lord in Van Diemen’s Land and under Lieutenant-Governor David Collins. In 1810 he received a pardon from Governor Lachlan Macquarie. He became a constable, a hotelier and a prominent farmer on the Georges River.
This is the story of an ordinary Irishman who arrived in Sydney, his neck and ankles locked in heavy irons and chains, with only a tattered shirt and trousers to protect him from the extreme elements. Penniless, sick, hungry and treated as a beast of burden, he was classed as an inferior being, one on the scrap heap of humanity. Murtagh had been and continued to be confronted by some of the most extraordinary circumstances and times in our history, yet he showed immense courage and compassion and overcame his predicament to create a large family of many proud ‘native Australians’. He lived up to his family motto:

Per ardua surgo
I rise through difficulties

This book gives a sweep of Irish history from Murtagh’s ancestor Brian Boru the High King of Ireland, the dark days of Oliver Cromwell, the horrors and privations of the 1798 Irish rebellion to the discovery and founding of Australia. It details the struggles of succeeding Governors and the characters who made Australia what it is today. The second volume also covers the early Irish family records of Murtagh and Mary’s family in Mileham. The background of their seventeen children is also included.
• There are two volumes with a limited special first edition binding.
• Each book is hard-bound in green leather and blocked in gold.
• There are 1,300 pages with 753 illustrations, Including a bibliography and index.
Separate to the two volumes is the log book of the convict transport ‘Atlas’. A total of 363 pages,