Projects & Events

Edward Bransfield of Ballinacurra & Antarctica

Remembering Edward Bransfield Presentation

To help celebrate the bicentennial anniversary, and in an effort to create a better awareness within the local community of Edward Bransfield (1784-1852) who hailed of Ballinacurra, we invited the Remembering Edward Bransfield Committee Secretary, Liam O’Riordan (himself a Bransfield descendent), to outline the known history of Edward Bransfield.

L-R: Liam O'Riordan (Remembering Edward Bransfield)
Michael White (Carrigtwohill & District)

On 9th November 2018, a bleak winter’s evening with many suffering from cold and sniffles, Liam gave an attentive audience his fascinating presentation in two parts. He began by documenting how, at the age of 18 this young man was ‘pressed’ into service for the Royal Navy; how he progressed through the ranks attaining his Ship’s Master status; his participation at the bombardment of Algiers, and how he bravely lead his ship during the battle to save the enslaved prisoners; leading to his historic discovery of the Continent of Antarctica, 30th January 1820; concluded by telling us how he ended his career as a Merchant Seaman. Liam also explain that there was no know surviving image of the man, and that his Ships’ Log had mysteriously disappeared.

Liam then explained how he was related to the Bransfield family of Cobh through his mother who was a Bransfield, and had traced them back to William Bransfield (1791 to 1853) a Shoemaker at the Holy Ground of what was then Cove. He advised that he had never been able to connect his family to the Bransfield clans of Ballinacurra and Midleton.

At the conclusion, as a committee we made a contribution to the Remembering Edward Bransfield fundraising efforts to erect a memorial at Ballinacurra to be unveiled on the 200th anniversary of his discovery.

Memorial Unveiling

We were honoured to have received a personal invitation to the unveiling ceremony of Edward Bransfield’s memorial at Ballinacurra on the 25th January 2020 where a number of our members were present.

The following photographs were taken by our chairman, Jim Barry.

L-R: Margaret Bransfield (Lismore), Phillis Bransfield (Cobh), & Eliesa Gallo (USA)
L-R: Marie Guillot (Cloyne Literary & Historical Society) & Marie FitzGerald (Carrigtwohill & District)