(+618) 9335 6784
18-22 Ord Street,
Western Australia 6160
We regret to have to announce the death of Capt. E. H. Fothergill, of Fremantle, which took place at Fremantle at 8.30 yesterday morning. The deceased was in his sixty-second year. Capt. Fothergill was perhaps one of the most familiar figures at the port, having been, as a master mariner, a trader to it for about seven years, and a resident of Fremantle for fifteen years. The cause of Capt. Fothergill's death was general decay of constitutional vitality, accelerated by the effects of the recent hot weather. Capt. Fothergill was a native of Seaford, Sussex, England.
He made an acquaintance with the coast of Western Australia about 23 years ago in a brig named the Wild Wave, a Danish built vessel of about 2000 tons. In one of his trips to the North-West coast Capt. Fothergill had the misfortune to run his vessel on to one of the Monte Bello Islands, a group situated on the then imperfectly charted coast about 120 miles to the westward of Cossack. Cast away on the island with his vessel a total wreck, Capt. Fothergill and his crew suffered much privation, but after remaining there for some days, they were picked up by the cutter Water Lily, then commanded by Capt. John O'Grady, and were taken on to Cossack. Some of the crew remained in that district, and one of them is Mr. Alfred Rouse; now a large station holder in the Ashburton district.
The next maritime venture undertaken by Capt. Fothergill was in the three-masted iron schooner Cleopatra, one of the smartest sailers that has ever traded on the Australian coast. This vessel, which was originally a mail-boat running between Glasgow and London in the days when steamers were few, was, while under Capt. Fothergill's command, the pioneer link in the trade between Eastern and Western Australia. On one occasion the Cleopatra made the passage from Fremantle to Melbourne in ten days, a feat not greatly eclipsed by many steamers now running in the same trade. In the Cleopatra the first ores taken from the Northampton lead mines were conveyed to Melbourne for treatment, and in this connection Capt. Fothergill may be said to have been identified with the birth of mining in Western Australia.
After trading in the Cleopatra to Fremantle and Champion Bay for six or seven years, Capt. Fothergill became the licensee of the Crown and Thistle Hotel in High Street, Fremantle, which he re-named the Cleopatra, and of which he was the proprietor and licensee at the time of his death. Besides the business of the Cleopatra Hotel, Capt. Fothergill was largely interested in the affairs of the port. He imported the steam tug Rescue from Edinburgh some ten years ago and had built a fleet of lighters, which were constantly employed in discharging the cargoes of large ocean steamers and barques arriving from foreign ports. He was also the owner of the steam launch Cleopatra, recently wrecked at Fremantle during a gale.
Further, Capt. Fothergill was a member of the local board of examiners of shipping officers and was engaged in the business of special ship surveys. He leaves a wife, one son and two daughters, the elder of the latter being Mrs. H. R. Dixson, now resident in Adelaide. The illness which was the immediate cause of his death was contracted ten days ago, and during its continuance he sank gradually, despite the attendance of Drs. Birmingham, Lots, and Kenny, Though he suffered greatly he preserved thorough consciousness almost to the last. Yesterday flags were at half mast at many places in the port, testifying to the widespread regret at Capt. Fothergill's decease.