Snippet: Fireman David Wilson, the first Protestant buried in Viveiro (Galicia)?

Viveiro, by Flickruser Bram WillemseHere’s an intriguing snippet uncovered from the British Newspaper Archive while I was looking for something entirely different (!). According to the North and South Shields Gazette and Northumberland and Durham Advertiser for 23 August 1855, an unfortunate sailor called David Wilson had earlier that month achieved the unwanted honour of becoming the first Protestant to be buried in the Galician port town of Viveiro. Apparently Wilson, a fireman aboard the steamer Dragon out of South Shields and bound for Constantinople, accidentally shot himself in the arm as the Dragon was entering the ‘Port of San Cypriano’ (now San Cibrao) – the first steamer ever to enter that port. San Cypriano being a rather small place, a doctor was summoned from Viveiro, and he pronounced that not only would poor Wilson have to lose his arm, but he would need to be transported the eleven miles to Viveiro in order for the operation to take place. As the newspaper recorded, ‘this was done by the steamer, as it was impossible to convey him across the mountains in the state he then was’. Unsurprisingly, Wilson did not survive, and was buried ‘in the Garden of the Hospital’. I wonder if any trace remains today – does anybody know?

Image: Viveiro, by Flickruser Bram Willemse

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