Southampton Unitary Authority
|Death: ||Apr. 23, 1903, New Zealand|
Edwin Sinel Babot was born in Hampshire County, Southhampton, England and educated at Greenwich College; which later became the Old Royal Naval College.
In 1846 Babot made his first saltwater voyage as an apprentice aboard the 670 ton ship Catherine, and four years later was appointed Second-Master of the Catherine; doing business in the Indian Trade. Captain Babot joined the ship "John Bunyan" in Liverpool as second mate, but before leaving the Mersey had to take the position of chief officer. His first command came in 1855, as commander of the 981 ton John Bunyan, a position he held for two years; eventually resigning to become a maritime coach ashore, where he was engaged in preparing marine students as officers for examination. After doing that for two years he again resigned his position and took a position as Chief Officer aboard the 175 foot, 737 ton Wild Duck; making his first visit to Wellington, New Zealand. He then arrived in Auckland, New Zealand as master of the ship Maori, and to Lyttelton in 1864 as commander of the William Miles. He became known as one of the most skilful and popular commanders of sailing ships under the Shaw, Savill, and Albion Co.'s flag.
Until the outbreak of the American Civil War Captain Babot remained in the colonial trade as a mate and master, then became a part owner and Commander, of the Spanish clipper ship Lovebird; sailing from London, England with a cargo of contraband consisting of 75,000 Enfield rifles and a large quantity of ammunition for the Confederate forces. Successfully running the blockade, he entered the harbour of Matamoras, between Texas and Mexico on the Mexican coast. The voyage though had a disastrous ending, with his ship and cargo being seized by the French Government; and with Captain Babot being held prisoner for twelve months.
Upon his release Captain Babot almost immediately chartered a Spanish steamship which he loaded with the firearms, etc., successfully running the Cuban blockade he made his way to Havannah, Cuba and turned them into cash and soon thereafter he was able to reclaim his former ship, the Love Bird; as the seizure had been declared illegal. His vessel, the "Lovebird," which had followed, was loaded with sugar, and sailed for Havre, France and after disposing of her cargo, he returned to London, where he sold the vessel He then sailed back to New Zealand, in command of the Water Nymph; the first direct ship to land cargo at the Bluff. The Water Nymph was later lost when it was wrecked on Oamaru Beach in New Zealand. Captain Babot's next ship was the 2092 ton Hydaspes and for over thirteen years thereafter he sailed between the old Country and the new growing Australian colonies. Disaster struck again, however, when the Hydaspes was sunk off Dungeness near Kent, England; after being run into by a steamer. In 1880 Captain Babot made a voyage to Wellington, in charge of the s.s. "Northumberland."
In 1880 Captain Babot was in charge of the construction of the large steamship Kent, built in Glasgow, England for Messrs. Money, Wigram and Co.. Once completed, he commanded the Kent on two voyages from London, England to Australia and New Zealand; and was then appointed as Marine Superintendent for the Shaw, Saville and Albion Company in London. Four years later, in 1884, he was appointed as the company superintendent in New Zealand and held that position until about 1903, when he retired on a well deserved pension.
On April 23, 1903, Edwin Sinel Babot passed away at 9 O:Clock P.M. at his home on Hobson Street in Wellington, New Zealand; at 70 years of age. He had spent the last nineteen years being directly involved with the shipping industry of Wellington and New Zealand. He had been suffering ill-health for some time and thought his health would improve with his retirement from an active business life. Unfortunately, he was wrong and he died a widower and without any children.
Wellington, New Zealand
Created by: James Gray
Record added: Mar 30, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 50439357