George Cath

Male 1781 - 22 Sep 1808HMS

Personal Information    |    Notes    |    All

  • Name George Cath 
    Born 26 Aug 1781  Pell Street, St George in the East [LMA - X097/277] Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Christened 18 Sep 1781  St George in the East, Stepney [LMA ref: X097/277] Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 22 Sep 1808HMS  HMS 'Albion' , as Able seaman (cooper) Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried at sea Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I71  CATH UK
    Last Modified 28 Mar 2016 

    Father JOHN Cath,   b. Abt 1749, Germany - see notes Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Jul 1797, Upper East Smithfield, London Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 48 years) 
    Mother Hannah Judd,   b. 1753, Whitechapel, LON Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Dec 1789, King St, St George in the East, Stepney Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 36 years) 
    Married 25 Oct 1778  St Mary Whitechaple Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Marriage Licence

      Vicar General's Office
      21st October 1778
      Which Day appeared personally John Cath and made oath that he is of the Parish of St George in the County of Middlesex aged upwards of thirty years and a Batchelor and that he intends to marry with Hannah Judd of the Parish of St Mary Whitechaple in the same County aged upwards of twenty one years and a Spinster, and further made oath that she hath had her usual place of abode in the aforesaid Parish of St Mary Whitechaple for the space of four weeks last past and that he not knowing any Impediment by reason of any Precontract Consanguinity Affinity or any other cause whatsoever to hinder the said intended Marriage and he prayed a Licence for them to be Married in the Parish of St mary Whitechaple
      [Signed] John Cath
      Sworn before me [signed] And: Colter Ducarel, Surrogate

      From Marriage Register of St Saviour, London, page 565

      No: 1414 John Cath of the Parish of St George in the County of Middlesex, Batchelor, and Hannah Judd of this parish, Spinster, were married in this Church by Licence this twenty fifth day of October 1778 by me J Till, curate
      This marriage was solemnised between (John Cath
      (the mark of + Hannah Judd
      in the presence of John Coates, Nich's Meyer, Susanna Poulter
    Family ID F46  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • Wed 24th Oct 1794 Apprenticed to Thos Capes of St Anns Co of Middlesex, Cooper

      Carpenters' Company: Minute Books of Courts and Committees
      2nd February 1787 - 2nd December 1800
      LL ref: GLCCMC251020139 Image 139 of 211
      2nd February 1796
      At a Court of Assistants Holden at Carpenters Hall on Tuesday the second day of February 1796
      Cath to Woodyer
      George Cath. Son of John Cath of Tower Hill London Victualler bound to Richard Woodyer Junr . Surveyor & also Citizen & Carpenter of London Conson Nil.
    • 14-15 Feb 1804 Battle of Pulo Aura - 'Albert' Indianman ship

      The East Indiaman ship 'Albert', captained by James Farquharson, took part in this battle against the French. It is quite likely that George CATH was on board at the time, as he volunteered and was transferred to HMS Albion on 9th April 1804.

      Possibly George had embarked the Albert when she was in London? To be researched
    • April 1808 - George's final illness

      This information is as given me by Brian Swann (GOONS member) from research at TNA and will need editing in due course:

      Brian Swann
      22 Mar 2016

      Dear Jenny

      Well - your "simple" task has proved to be anything but. But I think I now have
      everything more or less squared away, but I have certainly not managed to look
      everything up for you that could be done. So let me walk you through all this.However, the vessel you are interested in was a 3rd Rate 74-gun
      ship-of-the-line, which according to one source was built at Perry's Yard,
      Blackwall, and commissioned on 17 June 1802. It was decommissioned in 1831.

      ADM 37/658 is the Ships Muster Roll of HMS Albion, July 1808 to December 1808.
      George Cath was crew member No. 534. He died on board the ship on 22 April 1808
      at Goa Roads, India. He had joined the ship on 9 April 1804 from the Alfred, an
      East Indiaman, as a volunteer and was aged 24 in 1808, born at London. This is
      definitely the correct ship, as Ferrier was the Ship's Captain. There were
      three other seamen who joined on this same day from the Alfred: Charles Wright,
      John Statham and George Cunningham. They were all discharged on 4 June 1809 to
      HMS Namur, which I can tell you was often used as a temporary shore
      establishment for sailors, so that they could continue to be paid before
      appearing before the Royal Naval Hospital Board if they were applying for a
      naval pension. Alternatively it served as a temporary ship at anchor before
      they were reassigned to another Royal Navy vessel. For what it is worth,
      Charles Wright was aged 27, born at London, and John Statham was aged 22, born
      at Hampstead; whereas George Cunningham was aged 18 born at Petersburgh - which
      could either be Peterborough in Northamptonshire or Peterburgh in Scotland.

      Because of this, I then pulled up ADM 37/657, Ships Muster Roll of HMS Albion,
      November 1807 to June 1808. This confirms the details above of his career but
      adds nothing more. It is clear from the Summary Tables of the complete ship's
      company, compiled every two months, that the stay in Goa Roads was short. On 15
      May 1808 the ship was back in Bombay Roads. It was in Bombay Harbour from 3
      April 1808 to 17 April 1808. The Captains Log below will give the precise

      I also pulled up ADM 35/2577 which is the Pay List of HMS Albion from 13
      November 1802 to 5 June 1809. This has George Cath's wages in it, and also
      confirms he died on 22 April 1808 at Goa Roads. I also pulled up ADM 8/96 which
      will give the disposition of all Royal Navy vessels by station for 1808, but had
      no time to look at this.

      Then I went back and searched very carefully for all references to vessels
      called HMS Albion for 1808. This threw up a separate Captain's Log, ADM
      51/1876, which I suspect is the correct Captains Log you are looking for. This
      covers 1 January 1807 to 5 June 1809 [not examined].

      I found that ADM 27/12 contains the Allotment Registers for wages of deceased
      seamen from 1803-1810. Crew members of HMS Albion will be listed on p. 363
      which should include any back pay due to George Cath and who was the next-of-kin
      who claimed it [not examined]. This may be online and downloadable [not

      Potentially of most utility to you though is ADM 101/82/3 which is the Surgeons
      Log of HMS Albion kept by Andrew Elphinstone, 1798-1809. This has been divided
      electronically by the TNA into a number of downloadable sections and ADM
      101/82/3/K covers 20 July 1807 to 25 July 1808 [not examined]. So if the
      specifics of the death of George Cath are likely to be recorded anywhere, this
      is the most likely place. Survival of these Surgeons Journals for Royal Navy
      vessels this early are quite rare, so you are potentially lucky here.

      As well as looking up the above, I would check out the Ship's Muster Roll and
      Captains Log for April 1804 to see where HMS Albion was based when he joined the
      vessel from the Alfred.

      Brian Swann
      24 Mar 2016

      Dear Jenny

      I had to go back up to the TNA today. So I could search some of the missing
      items below.

      I can confirm that ADM 51/1786 is the Captains Log you require. For the
      specific date of interest to you relating to the death of George Cath I can
      confirm that HMS Albion left Bombay Harbour on 18 April 1808. It looks to me as
      though the vessel had anchored in Goa Road(stead) by 20 April 1808. It is
      described as "Moored in the stream in Goa Road".

      The Log for 22 April 1808 reads as follows: First and middle parts light airs
      and sultry. Near hotter part moderate breezes and cloudy. Sent an officer with
      a party of men on board the Portuguese ship to shift her nearer to us.
      Carpenters variously employed, caulkers caulking sound the hatchways, sailmakers
      making a mainsail; other artificers variously employed as necessary and 11 tons
      of water (received) per launch. The Log for the 21 April 1808 said that HMS
      Albion had taken possession of the "Robert", a Portuguese merchant ship.

      As is often the case - strong on weather conditions and maintenance of the ship.
      Very weak on anything to do with sailors and their conditions.

      I think HMS Albion sailed again from Goa Road on 5 May 1808 and anchored back in
      Bombay Harbour on 11 May 1808. I have images of the Captains Log between 18
      April 1808 and 11 May 1808, just in case you wanted to pore over them in more

      ADM 101/82/3 contains the Medical and Surgical Journal of Andrew Elphinstone,
      the ship's surgeon on board HMS Albion. He first appears on 25 July 1805. The
      section you need runs from 26 July 1807 to 25 July 1808. This is faded in parts
      but absolutely crammed full of interesting detail, and contains everything you
      would have hoped for. The whole of this year's Journal is 20 pages long in total
      and George Cath appears on page 14. Pages 19-20 comprise a very useful summary
      of the state of health of the crew on board HMS Albion over the past 12 months,
      and indeed cover in overview from what had happened since the ship had left
      Plymouth on 16 July 1803. Andrew Elphinstone continued on board HMS Albion
      until 5 June 1809. I have imaged about 7 pages, just to show the format.
      Although some of the pages were drawn up printed into columns, in practice
      Andrew Elphinstone just wrote a continuous narrative of what he encountered week
      by week.

      The following relates to the illness and death of George Cath:

      The 20th April (1808). Cath has had a very bad night, with almost constant
      delirium; the ulcer extends about 4 inches up on the inside of the tibia, which
      is bare, and of a dark colour, as are the soft parts around the ulcer. The
      smell of which is foetid in the extreme, there is almost constant involuntary
      pursing; the gums have been well filled by means of mercury, and are now
      somewhat swelled and florid. But I entertain no hopes of his recovery.
      22nd April (1808) Geo(rge) Cath, cooper, aged 28 (before mentioned) has had the flux
      for these two months past, and the ulcer on the ancle (ankle) for upwards of a
      year, which lasts as also the flux became very bad on the 31st [?] of February.
      The ulcer latterly became perfectly dry and black, and the pursing
      involuntarily. He died much emaciated on the last mentioned date.

      My guess is that this could be a case of tertiary syphilis, as leg ulcers and
      delirium are a feature of this disease and treatment with mercury ointment was
      one of the very few recognised ways of treating this condition at the time.
      Taking this write-up to somewhere like the Wellcome Library on the History of
      Medicine may lead to a better assessment.

      [JLB - I think it more likely that George was suffering from blood poisoning and general debility due to his leg ulcer (was it gangrenous?), with high temperature and delirium, aggravated by the 'flux'. The use of mercury on his gums would not have helped: possibly "large amounts of ingested inorganic mercury may cause bloody diarrhea" and "muscle twitching".
      Dysentery = inflammation of the intestine. There are two varieties: (1) amoebic dysentery (2) bacillary dysentery. Synonyms: flux, bloody flux, contagious pyrexia (fever), frequent griping stools.
      Possibly George was suffering from scurvy as well, which would have caused swollen gums, loss of teeth and poor wound healing. He had been on board ships for 4 years at least.]

      I also managed to look at ADM 27/12, which is undergoing either conservation /
      repair or imaging. Page 363 does relate to seamen on HMS Albion, but there were
      only 7 entries and they all related to seamen between July and November 1807.
      There is a note at the top of this page saying "Brought from 1 Ledger 152". My
      guess is this is a reference to an earlier ledger, and somewhere there has to be
      a later ledger covering seamen's back wages from HMS Albion from 1808. This may
      need a closer look at the whole of the ADM 27 series and it is not unknown for
      the dates on the Discovery catalogue entries to be inaccurate for documents like
      this, so you may