HECTOR CHARLES AXUP Captain and Only Mate
MARY SOPHIA AXUP nee DAY marriage and family
NEVIN FAMILY in-laws and cousins
Hector Charles James Horatio Axup (1843-1927)
Undated and unattributed, ca. 1880s.
Photo courtesy and copyright © Suzy Baldwin.
Records held at the State Records Authority of New South Wales: Shipping Master’s Office show that Hector Charles Axup served his apprenticeship with three others on board the ship Graces, 449 tons which arrived at Sydney, NSW from London on 9th July 1859. He did not settle in Tasmania until about 1876, having served on the barques The Planter, The Queen of the Sea etc (see seafaring service record 1867 below).
“Hector C. Axup, apprentice”
GRACES OF SHIELDS, THOS. FARLANE, MASTER, BURTHEN 449 TONSFROM THE PORT OF LONDON TO SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES, 9TH JULY 1859Surname Given name Station Age Of what Nation Status CommentsFARLANE THOS CAPTAIN CREW
GIBBS SAMUEL MATE 39 SWANSEA CREW
PHILLIPS JAMES P. BOATSWAIN 30 ILFRACOMBE CREW
MITCHELL ROBERT CARPENTER 34 KIRKALDY CREW
REEVE JOHN STEWARD 20 NORTHAMPTON CREW
ALGER AUSTIN COOK 21 KENT CREW
COLLINS WILLIAM A. B. 21 DUBLIN CREW
LEE JAS A. B. 33 HALIFAX CREW
DAMBO THOS A. B. 33 PORTLAND CREW
MONAGHAN JAS A. B. 27 GLASGOW CREW
HARRIS T.E. A. B. 24 LONDON CREW
PEANEY ED A. B. 24 WILTS CREW
ORIGEN WILLIAM O. S. 24 LIMERICK CREW
AXUP HECTOR C. APPRENTICE CREW
FARLANE JOHN APPRENTICE CREW
WRIGHT JAMES APPRENTICE CREW
CRAIG JOHN APPRENTICE CREW
Source: State Records Authority of New South Wales: Shipping Master’s Office;
Passengers Arriving 1855 – 1922; NRS13278, [X100-102] reel 407.
Certificate of Competency 1867
Hector Charles James Horatio Axup, born on 7th February 1843 at Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, UK, was awarded a Certificate of Competency to fulfil the duties of Only Mate in the Merchant Service (UK) on 17th April 1867.
Hector Charles James Horation Axup’s Cerificate of Competency as Only Mate, Merchant Service, UK, 17th April 1867
Page 1:Hector Axup’s Application to be Examined for the Certificate of Competency, for Master or Mate, Merchant Service, UK, 1867
Page 2: Hector Axup’s record of seafaring service on coastal vessels (UK)
Source: Wikitree Genealogy, courtesy of J. Robinson
Marriages and children 1878
Hector C. Axup (1843-1927) married Mary Sophia Day (1853-1942), the younger sister of photographer Thomas J. Nevin’s wife Elizabeth Rachel Day, on May 1st, 1878, at the Wesleyan Chapel, Kangaroo Valley (renamed Lenah Valley in 1922) Tasmania where the Nevin family lived on property in trust to the Wesleyan Church adjacent to the Lady Franklin Museum and where they leased an additional acre of land from Maria Nairn. Thomas Nevin’s father, John Nevin, built a cottage on the land and taught local children in the schoolhouse erected in 1853.
It was Hector Axup’s second marriage. He was registered as a mariner and a widower, 34 years old. Mary Sophia Day was registered as a mariner’s daughter and spinster, 25 years old. Witnesses were her father Captain James Day, her sister’s father-in-law John Nevin snr, and Margaret McGuigan (the spelling of her name is not clear nor her role in Mary Sophia’s life). They were married by the officiating minister Nathaniel Bennett according to the Rites and Ceremonies of the Wesleyan Curch by virtue of Act 23 Vict No. 11.
“Australia, Tasmania, Civil Registration, 1803-1933,” RGD 37/37.
Marriages, 1878, image 9 of 224; citing Archives Office of Tasmania, Hobart.
Hector and Mary Sophia Axup had five children.
The names by which they were commonly known are indicated in heavy type.
- Rachel Frances Eva Axup b. 1878 at Hobart, Tasmania
Sidney James Vernon Axup b.1882 at Hobart, Tasmania
Edward Harold Leslie Axup b.1885 at Georgetown, Tasmania
Patience Ella Mary Axup b.1889 at Georgetown, Tasmania d.1913
Olive Lilian Ethel Axup b.1891 at Georgetown, Tasmania
Captain Edward Goldsmith and Captain James Day
Mary Sophia Axup’s elder sister Elizabeth Rachel Nevin nee Day was born and baptised at Rotherhithe, London UK in 1847. The address of their father, Captain James Day who married their mother Rachel Pocock at St. David’s, Hobart in 1841, was listed in the General Directory for Hobart, 1854, as “DAY, James, mariner, Bathurst Street” (NLA Ref: MCN 872). Captain James Day’s sister, Elizabeth Day, after whom his daughter was named, married merchant mariner Captain Edward Goldsmith at Liverpool, England in 1829.
Hector Axup inserted this notice in several issues of the Hobart Mercury between 16th-20th November 1882, following the death of his father-in-law Captain James Day:
DAY.- At his son-law’s residence, H. C. Axup, Sloane-street, Battery Point, in the 78th year of his age, Captain James Day, for many years master mariner of this port, and brother-in-law of the late Captain Goldsmith.
Source: The Mercury (Hobart, Tas.) Thu 16 Nov 1882 Page 1 Family Notices
Pilot Station, Low Head, Tasmania
By 1885, Hector and Mary Axup had moved to northern Tasmania and were based at the Pilot Station, Low Head.
Pilot Station, Low Head, Tasmania – Postcard
Item Number: LPIC36/1/22
Start Date: 01 Jan 1900
End Date: 31 Dec 1920
Source: Archives Office of Tasmania
Des Wootton of George Town and District Historical Society, Tasmania, has provided these details from records which are summarised below (some verbatim) from a communication with this weblog:
Hector Axup was registered on the Assessment Rolls of 1885 as “Hector Axup, Oak Point Cottage Consolidated Marine Board of Hobart 2 acres 20 pound.” Oak Point is now called She-oak point with two old lightkeepers cottages, and two leading lights which are still used as navigation lights to guide ships into the river.
From records held at the Low Head Pilot Station indexes the following references are listed for the Axups. Most are only short statements, log book entries, however, there are quite a few mentions in the newspaper cuttings.
Hector was based at the Pilot Station and may have been the coxswain. References stated that he was “in charge”. In one book which appeared to be when seamen signed on or off a ship, the date recorded is Sept 6, 1912, name of H. C. Axup, Norfolk Mate, Torous, (Engaged) . He appeared discharged from same steamship on August 6, 1912 and again discharged December 7, 1912. A note reads “left at the coast” no charges. Another entry: H C Axup, Sept 14 1916, British, Mate, Warratea, engaged.
Other Axups mentioned:
Edward Harris Axup, 1890, 5yrs 1mth attended Low Head School.
Ella Axup, 1897, 7yrs 6mths attended Low Head School.
Ethal [sic] Axup, 1897, 5yrs 1mth Attended Low Head School.
Eva Axup, 1891, 12yrs 2mths attended Low Head School.
Harold Axup, 1893, 8yrs 7mths attended Low Head School (Admission 9/9/89)
Sydney James Vernon Axup,1890, 6yrs 6mths Attended Low Head School (Admission 9/9/89)
There was also a Mr T. Axup and a J.H. Axup.Mrs Axup also has references. One was when she was sick.
The letters H. C.Axup wrote to the newspapers in the 1920s are also recorded in the Pilot Station Research Books. A cutting on page 67 is from a cutting from the Examiner newspaper of the 29th October, 1916:
Royal Commission on Tamar Improvements: –
“Hector Charles Axup – master mariner expressed the opinion that the Porpoise Rock should be removed first. That and the Bombay Rock were the chief obstacles to a straight run up the River. He had previously been in the pilot service of the Launceston Marine Board for many years.” –
The letters to the newspaper referred to the blasting of two rocks from the Tamar River.”
All information from the Pilot Station records are courtesy of Des Wootton and are copyright © George Town and District Historical Society 2005-2007.
Sometime during the years 1887-1888 Hector Axup came into conflict with the Marine Board resulting in his suspension and dismissal.
Hobart Mercury 11 December 1882:
Hector Axup, longwhile chief officer of the Acacia, appointed similar position in the barque Natal Queen.
Above and below: the barque Natal Queen ca.1890
State Library of Tasmania
Built at Grangemouth in 1866 ; registered in Hobart 1873 ; wrecked in Adventure Bay 1909
Photographer: Williamson, William, 1861-1926
Ref: AUTAS001126071323; AUTAS001126071315
Hobart Mercury 11 October 1887:
Hector Axup thanked by the Governors of the Boys Home, Hobart, for his donation and wish that the boys be trained for the seafaring life.
Hobart Mercury 16 July 1887:
Recommendation that Hector Axup be dismissed from Marine Board service on several counts: “leaving his station without permission”; language and conduct “most disrespectful and irritating, tending to subvert discipline on the station.”
Hobart Mercury July 1887:
Hector Axup, the assistant keeper at Kent’s Group (Bass Strait), was suspended from the Marine Board.
Hobart Mercury 13 March 1889:
Hector Axup, late master of the Linda, appointed boatman.
Kent Group, c1891
Photograph by John Watt Beattie, in Crowther album 3 No. 10.
W.L. Crowther Library, Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office
Master of the “Yambacoona” 1914
Hector Axup was 71 years old when sailed with passengers and crew in command of the Yambacoona, 184 tons gross, 83 tons nett from Launceston to Sydney, NSW , arriving on 19th June 1914.
YAMBACOONAOF LAUNCESTON, H.C. AXUP, MASTER, BURTHEN 184/83 TONS,FROM THE PORT OF LAUNCESTON TO SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES, 19TH JUNE 1914Surname Given name Station Age Of what Nation Status CommentsAXUP H.C. MASTER CREW Signed by W. Molesworth for the MasterWESTON JOSEPH MATE 60 CANADA CREW
HOWARD D. O. S. 19 TASMANIA CREW
CORNET L.B. A. B. 20 SWEDEN CREW
MCMALLY G. FIREMAN 29 LAUNCESTON CREW
FOX W. FIREMAN 25 TASMANIA CREW
GESDULET S.A. B. 25 NORWAY CREW
HOWARD S. A. B. 25 TASMANIA CREW
COCHRANE JOHN MAX 2ND ENGINEER 59 GLASGOW CREW
HARRISON E.G. COOK 27 GLASGOW CREW
KELLY THOMAS ENGINEER 68 ADELAIDE CREW
Source: State Records Authority of New South Wales: Shipping Master’s Office;
Passengers Arriving 1855 – 1922; NRS13278, [X388] reel 2079, 2080.
The Final Years
Hector Axup arrived in Tasmania in 1876, and died in Launceston, Tasmania in 1927. A few months before his death he published a “unique booklet” titled The Reminiscences of an ‘Old Salt’ of 83 Years by H. C. Axup (Launceston, ca. 1926) with this photo of himself on the front cover:
Hector Charles James Horatio Axup (1843-1927)
In his “Unique Booklet” Hector roams over subjects as diverse as the launch of the last of the wooden three-deckers, the Royal Albertin 1854 which he witnessed as a school boy attending the Royal Naval Hospital, Greenwich; the good looks of Princess Alexandra of Denmark; Darwinism; Biblical Geometria; the Apocalypse; the Launceston Marine Board; “British Israel Truth” and Zionism; and a final word on the attitude of Christian men to Disarmament. He was in the end both disillusioned and traumatised by the Great War (World War I).
Hector Axup circa 1925, with other old salts and dog.
Old Salts, image courtesy Des Wootton,
Copyright © George Town and District Historical Society, Tasmania.
Des Wootton’s comments on the above photo::
Left to right they are Thompson, Axup, Pilot Moncur, Clements, Pilot Mullay in front of the Chart Room (still exists and used). Don’t know the dog’s name.
Obituary 30th November 1927
Tom (Thomas James “Sonny” Nevin) and Albert Edward Nevin, nephews of Hector and Mary Sophia Axup and sons of photographer Thomas J. Nevin and his wife Elizabeth Rachel Nevin nee Day, attended the funeral of their uncle Hector Axup at Carr Cemetery, Launceston on 29th November 1927. They represented the Nevin family on behalf of their parents who had both predeceased Hector Axup: Thomas Nevin in 1923 and Elizabeth Rachel Nevin nee Day in 1914. Hector’s wife Mary Sophia Axup nee Day, sister of Elizabeth Rachel Nevin, died in 1942.
Obituary for Captain Hector Axup
Examiner, Launceston (Tas) Wednesday 30 November 1927, page 6
LATE CAPTAIN H. C. AXUP
The funeral of Captain H. c. Axup, who died at the Public Hospital on Sunday evening in his 85th year, took place yesterday afternoon when a large cortege followed the hearse to Carr Villa Cemetery. Included were Messrs. N. Clements and W. D. Thompson, the two surviving members of the pilot station, who were associated with Captain Axup in that work. May wreaths were received, including tributes from the Northern Totalisator Staffs Association, “The Examiner” and “The Weekly Courier” office staffs, the R.A.N. Sports Club, St. John’s Guild, and Mrs Royal Holyman. The chief mourners were Messrs S.V. Axup, of Melbourne, and Harold E. Axup, of Launceston (sons), and Messrs. T. and A. Nevin, of Hobart (nephews). The service at the graveside was conducted by Rev. F. L. Wyman. Mr. T. J. Johnston, 20 Hampden-street, writes: – Many were the expressions of sadness when it became known over the week-end that Mr. Axup had gone to his reward. I say “his reward”, because I believe if it could be said of anyone in sure and certain hope it could be said of him. He lived a long and a useful life, and if there was one thing more conspicuous in usefulness than another it was the many contributions of his pen to the columns of your widely read paper. As Divine recorder has it, “Truly his pen was the pen of a ready writer, and whilst he wrote on any subject, on none did he wield his pen more trenchantly that in defence of Holy Writ, as he was often pleased to term it. He felt as many feel, that if ever there was a time when many should “be set for the defence of the Gospel” it is now, when the Sciptures are being attacked openly as they have been recently from every side. It never could be said of him, as it is said of many, that he lacked courage in these matters. He will be better known to your many readers by the pen name of “Old Salt”.
Source: Examiner (Launceston, Tas. : 1900 – 1954), Wednesday 30 November 1927, page 6
Nevin & Axup cousins: the next generation
Mary Sophia Axup nee Day died in Melbourne on 18th June 1942, aged 89 years. Elizabeth Rachel Day, her elder sister by five years who married photographer Thomas J. Nevin in 1871, died in Hobart on 29 June, 1914, aged just 67 years. The sons and daughters of Thomas and Elizabeth Nevin kept open house at 23-29 Newdegate St. North Hobart whenever their cousins, the sons and daughters of Hector and Mary Sophia Axup visited Hobart. More photos of Mary Sophia Axup and her adult children are available here.
From left to right:
Minnie Drew (nee Mary Ann Nevin) Thomas & Elizabeth Nevin’s youngest daughter
Elizabeth Nevin’s sister Mary Sophia Axup nee Day,
Eva Baldwin nee Axup,Mary Sophia Axup’s eldest daughter
and May (Mary Florence Elizabeth) Nevin, Thomas and Elizabeth’s Nevin’s eldest daughter
Taken ca. 1938-1939. Copyright © KLW NFC Private Collections 2009 ARR.
RELATED POSTS main weblog
- The Master Mariner In-laws: Captains Goldsmith, Day and Axup
- Mary Sophia Day (m. Axup), Thomas Nevin’s sister-in-law
- Hector Axup’s donation to The Boys’ Home for a ship 1887
- Mary Sophia Axup chair of the WPL 1913
- Captain Edward Goldsmith and wife Elizabeth’s land deals in VDL
- Cousins Edward and Elizabeth baptised at St Mary’s Rotherhithe
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