Thomas Wright’s me­mo­rial un­veil­ing

Mid Louth Independent - - NEWS - By HU­BERT MUR­PHY

UP to 80 de­scen­dants of famed naval ad­mi­ral Thomas Charles Wright will travel to Drogheda this week to mark the 150th an­niver­sary of his death.

The ma­jor­ity of them live in Ecuador. where he was a folk hero.

Wright was born at Queens­bor­ough on the Bal­tray Road.

The group will meet up with lo­cals on Satur­day with a cer­e­mo­nial fir­ing of the canons at Mill­mount at 1pm and then the un­veil­ing of a me­mo­rial to Wright at 3pm at Fid­dle Case Pier, close to the port en­trance.

Lo­cal his­to­rian Noel Bai­ley made con­tact with the ex­tended Wright fam­ily in South Amer­ica, ask­ing would they be in­ter­ested in mark­ing the event.

They re­sponded pos­i­tively and can’t wait to see Drogheda.

‘Some of them have been here be­fore, but it will be a spe­cial day,’ Noel stated.

Wright was born at Queens­bor­ough on Jan­uary 22 1799 and en­tered the naval ser­vice at the age of 11, at­tend­ing col­lege in Portsmouth.

His first com­mis­sion was when he was 13, board­ing the 64-gun New­cas­tle, whose first ac­tion was chas­ing the Amer­i­can USS Con­sti­tu­tion, com­manded by Charles Ste­wart Par­nell’s grand­fa­ther, right across the At­lantic.

Home on leave in 1817, his bi­og­ra­pher, Al­berto Ed­wardo Wright, said that Wright took to fish­ing in the Boyne and pon­dered on his life, crav­ing a new chal­lenge.

He met ex­iled South Amer­i­can pa­tri­ots, then pre­par­ing an ex­pe­di­tion which sailed from Eng­land to join the rev­o­lu­tion­ary forces of Si­mon Bo­li­var and Jose deSan Martin.

He is re­mem­bered most of all for his out­stand­ing brav­ery in the fierce bat­tle for Quito which was fought on the foothills of Mount Pinch­in­cha on 24 May, 1822, in which the South Amer­i­cans won a great vic­tory that lib­er­ated Ecuador.

A year later, he was ap­pointed by the Lib­er­a­tor Bo­li­var, to or­gan­ise a naval force in the Pa­cific.

In­cred­i­bly, the Span­ish fleet had also been beaten in a bat­tle in the Caribbean, one ship com­manded by Dick Wright, a cousin of Thomas.

Wright went on to play a lead­ing role in es­tab­lish­ing the new Repub­lic of Ecuador and was its first ad­mi­ral, and gov­er­nor of the great port city of Guayaquil from 1835-1845 .

Thomas Charles Wright

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