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A curious incident recently occurred in the royal burgh of Kinghorn, and the effect of it (observes a London paper) has been very nearly as profound

as that produced by the df-aih of King Alexander 111. some 600 years ago by falling over a precipice whilst riding to his castle at Kinghora A large screw steamer was launched from the shipbuilding yard of Messrs J. Key and Sons, Kinghorn, on Sunday. It was indeed intended to have been launched on Saturday, but the proceedings were arrested by a telegram from the insurance ■ company, who warned the builders that, as the wind and sea were both most unpropilious, the launch would not be at their risk. This was unusually awkward, because, as another suitable tide would not occur within a fortnight, the delay would cost not less than It was said atthe time that the firm was quite willing to make this sacrifice. But certain circumstances did not warrant them in delaying the launch, which accordingly took place at half-past three o’clock on the day following, which was Sunday. The event produced so great a sensation in the district that it almost entirely emptied the churches. Between 10,000 and 15,000 spectators are said to have been present to witness the launch. As might have been anticipated, the ministers of the district were deeply scandalised at what they could not but regard as an act of Sabbath desecration, and they have accordingly been denouncing it in the most earnest and eloquent terms. The scene was one of “ awful desecration“ it was a hum bling spectacleit was a “ saturnalia;” and one gentleman of light and leading in Kinghom declared that the scene was worse than a fete Sunday he had witnessed in Paris. Yet, when one looks at the facts of the case, the argument of necessity seems reasonable enough. We are told, for instance, that there was an insuperable objection to delay, from the fact that the “ launch was to be accomplished by means of charges of dynamite placed in the wedge blocks.” These facts were quite decisive os to the propriety of proceeding with the launch. The charges were exploded alternately, beginning at each end, and. when the last of the wedge-blocks were removed by explosion, hydraulic pressure was applied, and the vessel glided off the ways amid the cheers of the vast crowd. They knew very well that if it was permissible to save the life of a sheep on the Sabbath day, it was all the more imperative for them to pre-1 vent the loss of human life. It was, in fact, a case ot necessity and mercy; and the Messrs Key and Sons would have neglected their duty had they not acted as they did

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Bibliographic details

LAUNCHING OF A SHIP ON SUNDAY., Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 668, 21 June 1882

Word Count

LAUNCHING OF A SHIP ON SUNDAY. Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 668, 21 June 1882

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