Author Topic: Could a Wife Accompany a Master Mariner/Only Mate?  (Read 238 times)

Offline PurdeyB

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Could a Wife Accompany a Master Mariner/Only Mate?
« on: Tuesday 05 October 21 17:58 BST (UK) »
My GG grandfather, Thomas Boutflower, was certified as an only mate in 1858 and as a master in 1864. His wife, Jane, was said to have sailed up the Bosphorus with him. In 1868 Thomas died of fever at sea on the Ravensworth, having left the Minories and en route to Sri Lanka.

I have a list of most of his voyages between 1858 and his death. He sailed to Taganrog, Russia several times as an only mate. This journey would traverse the Bosphorus to access the Black Sea. I don't have details for 2 of his voyages as master but otherwise none would involve the Bosphorus. He mostly sailed to Kronshtadt, Riga and the Baltic as well as France, Spain and Italy.

Is it likely that a wife would be able to accompany her husband if he was master or mate? If she did would she be recorded on the crew list?

Thanks.
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Horwell - York, E Yorkshire & Lincolnshire
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Offline aghadowey

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Re: Could a Wife Accompany a Master Mariner/Only Mate?
« Reply #1 on: Tuesday 05 October 21 20:11 BST (UK) »
My great-grandfather was a sea captain from the time of his marriage in 1887 and not only did his wife (the daughter of a sea captain) accompany him on voyages but their third child was born at sea.
Great-grandfather's mother, married 1860, also went to sea with her husband. Apparently her favourite country was Turkey and whenever he was heading to that area she dropped everything, left the children with relatives and off she went.
I've never found a record of either being at sea with their husbands although I do know names and dates of voyages.
Away sorting out DNA matches... I may be gone for some time many years!

Offline PurdeyB

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Re: Could a Wife Accompany a Master Mariner/Only Mate?
« Reply #2 on: Tuesday 05 October 21 20:29 BST (UK) »
My great-grandfather was a sea captain from the time of his marriage in 1887 and not only did his wife (the daughter of a sea captain) accompany him on voyages but their third child was born at sea.
Great-grandfather's mother, married 1860, also went to sea with her husband. Apparently her favourite country was Turkey and whenever he was heading to that area she dropped everything, left the children with relatives and off she went.
I've never found a record of either being at sea with their husbands although I do know names and dates of voyages.

Thanks, it's good to have some confirmation that it wasn't just a family myth! It's interesting to see your GG grandmother left the children and went as Jane must have done the same. I love the idea that Jane, a working class woman from Tynemouth, was able to do that and see something of the world. 
Boutflower/Boutflour - Northumberland & County Durham
Branfoot - N Yorkshire, Northumberland & County Durham
Horwell - York, E Yorkshire & Lincolnshire
Bettley - N & W Yorkshire


Offline aghadowey

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Re: Could a Wife Accompany a Master Mariner/Only Mate?
« Reply #3 on: Tuesday 05 October 21 20:35 BST (UK) »
The women in our family didn't just sit sewing on shipboard. Here's a note about great-grandfather's cousin (born 1872)-"She was with her father in 1890 when he and 1st mate died, she took over the ship and brought it into port safely." Her father died in the West Indies and she was only 18 years old.
Away sorting out DNA matches... I may be gone for some time many years!

Offline Redroger

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Re: Could a Wife Accompany a Master Mariner/Only Mate?
« Reply #4 on: Tuesday 05 October 21 20:36 BST (UK) »
Later I know, but in the 1950s and onwards it was common for officers on merchant ships out of Boston (Lincs) to be accompanied by their spouse, specially on East European vessels.
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Offline mckha489

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Re: Could a Wife Accompany a Master Mariner/Only Mate?
« Reply #5 on: Tuesday 05 October 21 20:41 BST (UK) »
I have seen in a ships log a note recording the arrival of one of the officerís wives on board. From memory her baggage arrived a day or two before. This was in preparation for a voyage about 1833.

So, if you had an idea of which voyage, you could have the first few pages of the log copied to see if she was mentioned. (If you have plenty of money to spare!)
Side tracked to a friendís very interesting Norfolk families. MORGAN, PRATT, HORNOR, SUCKLING, GLEANE etc. And in London DOWNES, du CROZ, MORGAN (same MORGANs as the Norwich lot)

Offline PurdeyB

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Re: Could a Wife Accompany a Master Mariner/Only Mate?
« Reply #6 on: Tuesday 05 October 21 21:28 BST (UK) »
I have seen in a ships log a note recording the arrival of one of the officerís wives on board. From memory her baggage arrived a day or two before. This was in preparation for a voyage about 1833.

So, if you had an idea of which voyage, you could have the first few pages of the log copied to see if she was mentioned. (If you have plenty of money to spare!)

Thank you, that's a great idea to follow up. I can pin it down to at least one of four voyages, I think. I would love to find reference to her so worth a try.
Boutflower/Boutflour - Northumberland & County Durham
Branfoot - N Yorkshire, Northumberland & County Durham
Horwell - York, E Yorkshire & Lincolnshire
Bettley - N & W Yorkshire

Offline PurdeyB

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Re: Could a Wife Accompany a Master Mariner/Only Mate?
« Reply #7 on: Tuesday 05 October 21 21:34 BST (UK) »
Later I know, but in the 1950s and onwards it was common for officers on merchant ships out of Boston (Lincs) to be accompanied by their spouse, specially on East European vessels.

Thanks, I was worried it was just a family myth but it seems everyone was off sailing the seven seas!
Boutflower/Boutflour - Northumberland & County Durham
Branfoot - N Yorkshire, Northumberland & County Durham
Horwell - York, E Yorkshire & Lincolnshire
Bettley - N & W Yorkshire

Offline chrissiecruiser

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Re: Could a Wife Accompany a Master Mariner/Only Mate?
« Reply #8 on: Tuesday 05 October 21 22:07 BST (UK) »
Hello everone,

My GGGGrandfather was a Scottish Master Mariner and sailed in Merchant vessels.

He married in South Africa on one of his stops and his wife sailed with him to South Australia where they settled.
As children came along, they also sailed in his Merchant Ships travelling up the eastern coast of Australia.
He became a part owner of one of his Ships and presumably his wife bought up well in Sydney and would have been well dressed.
His obit was lengthy and spoke well of him.
Cheers,
Chris
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