Plaque To The Friend's Goodwill
Location: Tourist Information Centre, Narrow Gauge Road, Larne
The first ship to sail from these shores as part of the 18th century emigration to America was a vessel called the Friend's Goodwill, which took around 52 passengers to Boston in the year 1717 under the command of Master Edward Gooding.
The ship sailed from the old harbour at Larne (in the area where the modern Tourist Information Centre is sited) on or about the 1st of May, 1717. A lengthy voyage, not without the adversity of storm and calm produced by the Atlantic, came to an end in September of that same year when the ship sailed into Boston harbour. Unfortunately we have no record of those who were on the vessel during that early voyage.
Although the first and a few subsequent groups of passengers went to Boston, the Puritan authorities there were none too welcoming to the Ulster Presbyterians who were coming across the Atlantic and, as their numbers grew, tensions increased. Following the burning of one of their churches, the Scotch-Irish tended thereafter to move south to disembark at ports such as Philadelphia and Charleston.
The Friend's Goodwill plaque was the first to be unveiled on the Blue Plaque trail. This was performed by Professor Bobby Moss on May 1992 prior to the American Memorial being unveiled, this latter occasion was marked by a marvellous American pageant involving over one thousand local children.