Charles Thomas Robinson Thorpe was born in Sheffield in June 1856, educated at Horse Fair, a boarding school in Pontefract, and started his shipping career in London, joining the New Zealand shipping company, which was composed of old sailing ships, before steam ships were brought into operation.
The ships were passenger carriers and some took over 400 passengers. He sailed three times around the world before joining a steam ship company. He next became attached to the Layland Line of Liverpool, whose ships sailed to Boston and ports of the West Indies.
In 1890, he was made a Junior Brother of Trinity House, Hull, being the first captain in Goole to obtain that title. He performed useful war service, transporting supplies across from England to the theatre of the war.
His connections in Goole were many. He belonged to a Chess Club, and was the chairman of the Goole Examination Committee of the Humber Conservancy Board. He also joined the Humber Steam Shipping Co. in Goole before the amalgamation,. He was Captain of The Duke of Clarence, which takes the summer voyages to Zeebrugge and also the Melifont. His last ship before retirement was the Rother in 1916.
It is said that he was one of the old type of sea captains in character and fancies, and much preferred the "old wind jammers" to the modern steamships.
Other Goole ships of which he was Master: SS Irwell (1910); Mellifont; Duke of Clarence (1913); Frankfort and Rother.
Information in a letter from relatives in the USA:
It tells of Captain Thorpe being in command of the Irwell in 1910 - and what a ship it was - 'the fastest that goes out of Goole'!!
Born: June 1856, Sheffield
Married: Rachel Milne of Headingley, Leeds, June 1883, at Poplar, Greater London, London and Middlesex)
Children: Evelyn (son) March 1885, Selby Mildred June 1886, Selby Jessie Milne December 1891, Goole
Lived: 1881: 2 Cross Street, Hook, Lodger, Mariner 1891: 164 Hawthorne Rd., Bootle, Living with wife and son 1901: 22 Cecil Street, Goole, Living with wife, son and two daughters 1906: 27 Dunhill Rd., Goole, Until his death
Died: October 1929, Goole
Goole Cemetery monumental inscription: In Loving memory of Charles Thomas Robinson THORPE, master mariner, passed away Octr 24th 1929, aged 73 years. Also his dearly loved wife, Rachel THORPE, passed away March 5th 1931, aged 80 years, also of Evelyn, their dearly loved son, who died Oct 12th 1931, age 46 years. Peace perfect peace. At rest.
"Charles Thomas Robinson Thorpe of 27 Dunhill Road, Goole, Yorkshire, Died 24th October 1929. Probate London 31st December 1929 to Barclays Bank Limited. Effects £5,193 4s 6d."