Capt. Fred Coathupe


From My Life at Sea by Commander W Caius Crutchley

SS Roman 1870

Fred Coathupe was one of those gifted mortals liked by every one; indeed, I cannot call to mind any occasion on which I knew him to lose his temper.

There was little if anything of the sailor in his manner, but for all that he was a smart officer and kept his ship in excellent order.

We proceeded in search of the second officer, whom we found in the shed tallying cargo—or going through the form of doing so—for let me say here, that to put a steamer’s officer on to do clerk’s work is both unfair and a farce.

I know that in some cases it is done to-day, but I feel sure that the loss entailed by an imperfect record of cargo carried is far more than would pay for the time of a clerk who has been properly trained to the work. In sailing-ship days, when there was no hurry, the mate could sit on the rail and do his tallying easily enough, but not so now.

Vessels Commanded










Left company and joined Castle Line





Born at Birdcombe Court in 1839 Frederick passed his master's ticket at Bristol during 1871 and was appointed mate of the liner CELT. He went on to serve as a mate in the EUROPEAN and SAXON prior to being appointed master of the BRITON in 1873 in which year he became master of the AFRICAN.

Frederick left the employ of the Union Line and joined their keen rival the Castle Line.

He reappears in 1877 as Mate of the COURLAND, then, in the same year, the TAYMOUTH CASTLE and his final vessel appears to be the BALMORAL CASTLE in which he served as mate until 1879.

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