Ever wonder how Dollar Bay got it’s name? Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin.
In the summer of 1765 the ship the ‘Earl of Sandwich’ set sail on a trip from London to Santa Cruz to the Canary Islands before returning home. It was at this last stop that they took on board cargo of Madeira, silk, cochineal, Spanish Dollars, jewels and a small quantity of gold dust, as well as some passengers Captain Glass his wife and daughter and their servant boy.
Seeing the treasure coming on board Gidley, St Quintin, Zekerman and McKinlie conspired to murder the Captain and steal the treasure. On Saturday 30th November during the night, while the ship was in the English Channel, they took over the ship disposing of the others on board overboard except the two cabin boys. They then turned the ship around and headed for the Irish Coast.
On arrival into Waterford harbour they took the ships boat and scuttled the ship. They rowed up the river, about two miles south of Duncannon Fort, and landed on a beach where they buried most of the treasure under the sand. Continuing up the river the landed four miles south of New Ross. They lost a substantial sum of the gold when it was stolen in an alehouse and exchanged a similar amount for pistols, horses and guides before making their way to Dublin.
Suspicions were raised that these men were spending a lot of money when a richly laden ship had been washed ashore without a soul on board. With these suspicions, officials were dispatched to apprehend the suspects. On receiving information that there were 250 bags of gold buried somewhere on the shore of the estuary the magistrate of New Ross dispatched two officials to, with the aid of the troops in Duncannon Fort, search the shoreline. On the second day of searching they found the treasure buried on the beach that since then has been known as Dollar Bay.
As for what happened to the four men? They were executed on the 3rd of March 1766 for the murder of the crew and passengers as well as robbing the ship.