The Wreckers and Robbers of Starvation Island
The rugged coastline and reefs around Anglesey have claimed a large number of sailing ships in the past. Off the shore of Rhosneigr, the tea clipper 'Norman Court' (sister ship to the famous Cutty Sark) met her doom on the shoals of Cwmyran, between the rocks of Ynys Feirig (Starvation Island) and Rhoscolyn. However some ships came to grief in a more sinister way...
In the eighteenth century, the wreckers of Crigyll looted wrecked ships which they lured onto the Starvation rocks using beacons and lights, simulating the harbour lights of holyhead, near the mouth of the river Crigyll. during the day, they were respected members of the community. They included landowners, farmers, tailors, a weaver, a fuller, housewives and even children. at one time, a number of Calvinistic methodists were looting wreck and were surprised by one of their elders!
The gang was active for over thirty years. It proved extremely difficult to convict them. In 1741 four of the robbers were summoned to appear before William Chapel, the ChiefJustice of Anglesey. Hovewer, as he was away at the time, Thomas Martyn, a renowned drunken judge presided but due to his total incompetence the men were set free.