We have only just found out about the attempted assassination at Clontarf Beach, although we have lived in Sydney all our life. Clontarf Beach can be included as part of your ride. Our North Shore Skimmer takes you past it on the Spit Bridge. If you would like to ride to the beach just let us know when you book. Otherwise, we can design a ride especially for you.
Prince Alfred, the Duke of Edinburgh
On 12 March 1868 Prince Alfred was guest of honour here at a sailor’s picnic. He was the Duke of Edinburgh and second son of Queen Victoria.
Attempted assassination at Clontarf Beach
Dublin-born Henry James O’Farrell jumped out of the crowd of picnickers, shooting the Duke in the back. The Duke’s rubber suspenders deflected the bullet, sparing him major injury.
Guilty, O’Farrell was hanged a month later, despite the Duke seeking clemency on his behalf. In the interim, the Irish O’Farrell was quick to air his anti-British and anti-monarchism views.
Sydneysiders were even quicker to fuel existing anti-Irish sentiment. The NSW Government even passed the Treason Felony Act. This made it an offence to refuse to drink to the Queen’s health.
The Duke and the British monarchy were hugely popular in Australia at this time. The Duke had arrived by ship three months earlier. Nearly ten thousand Sydney-siders came out to welcome him in the pouring rain. This was ten per cent of the city’s 100 thousand population.
Royal Prince Alfred Hospital
After the assassination attempt, citizens donated money for a “substantial monument. It showed the heartfelt gratitude of the community at the recovery of HRH”. Hence the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney’s inner west was built in 1882.
Attempted assassination at Clontarf Beach is a real mystery to Sydneysiders. Our North Shore Skimmer Tour will take you past Clontarf Beach. If you’d like to actually visit it, let us know so we can ride you to it. https://www.trolltours.com.au/product/the-north-shore-skimmer-trike-tour/
Thanks to Sydney Coastal Walks for this information. Read more about the assassination attempt and the area here: