Manuscript Collection MS COLL 00751 - Fritz Hauch Eden Crowe Papers

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Fritz Hauch Eden Crowe Papers


  • 1863-1908 (Creation)

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Manuscript Collection

Extent and medium

1 box (7 cm)

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Biographical history

Fritz Hauch Eden Crowe (1849-1904) was a career Royal Navy officer and British Consul-General. He was born in Christiania (now Oslo), Norway on 3 September 1849 as the oldest child of Arthur de Capel Brooke Woodfall Crowe (1825-1895), the British Vice-Consul to Norway, and Frederikke Adame Wilhelmine Hauch (1829-1907). Crowe had two siblings: Percy Arthur Crowe (b. 1850) and Katharina (b. 1856). He attended Eastman’s Royal Naval Academy in Southsea, England and became a cadet in the Royal Navy on 10 March 1863. He was first stationed aboard the H.M.S Britannia in Portland, which served as a residential barracks for cadets while he continued to undergo training. Little is known about his career in the 1860s; he served as a midshipman aboard the H.M.S Brisk in New Zealand in 1867, before he was promoted to Sub-Lieutenant in 1869. In 1870, he was stationed aboard the H.M.S Volage, positioned with the Channel Fleet and between 1871 and 1872, he served as sub-lieutenant on the H.M.S Minotaur and the H.M.S Woodlark in Britain, the Mediterranean, Madeira and Bermuda. In March 1872, he was appointed to the H.M.S Duke of Wellington, the flag ship at Portsmouth, and then in July 1872 was appointed to the H.M.S Victoria and Albert, the royal yacht of Queen Victoria. On 18 September 1872, while aboard the royal yacht, he was promoted to Lieutenant. In 1873, he attended the Royal Naval College at Greenwich for additional training as a Lieutenant before he was posted to the H.M.S Shah in Gibraltar in 1873. Aboard the Shah between 1873 and 1878, he would travel to South America, British Columbia, and Scandinavia. Between 1878 and 1880, he served on the H.M.S Triumph, the flagship of the British naval force in the Pacific, traveling to Brazil, Patagonia, Chile and Mexico as both a lieutenant and acting flag-Lieutenant. By 1881, he was back in Britain aboard the Royal Navy training ship, the H.M.S Implacable, at Devonport. As a result of this training, he was promoted to Flag-Lieutenant on 27 November 1881. In 1882 and 1883, he traveled via Africa to South America, including Brazil, Uruguay and Patagonia. On 4 July 1883, he was appointed Lieutenant and Commander of the H.M.S Coquette and joined the ship at Mediterranean Station in Malta. Once on board, Crowe took part in the Anglo-Egyptian War and parts of the Anglo-Sudanese Campaign, including occupying the town of Ismailia and assisting in the seizure of the Suez Canal. In February 1884, Crowe was a part of a landing party that manned the fortifications of Suakin, before traveling through Abyssinia (now Ethiopia) in April 1884 with Rear Admiral Sir William Hewett, appointed governor of Sudan, to evacuate Egyptian garrisons that had been isolated in South Sudan. For his role in the Suakin Expeditionary Force, Crowe was mentioned in dispatches and promoted to commander on 17 August 1885. In 1887, he translated Spiridion Gocevic’s The Conquest of Britain in 1888 and the Sea Fights and Battles that Led to It, from the original German and the book was published by Simpkin, Marshall and Company. Later that same year, he married Clara Olga Adelaide de Nathomb in Westminster. In 1888, he studied at the Royal Naval College in Greenwich and thereafter until 1891, Crowe served as the Commander of the H.M.S Cockatrice in Malta and on the Danube. He would later serve as Commander of the H.M.S President, a converted drill ship stationed at the West India Docks in London, between January 1893 and October 1896. In March 1895, his wife Clara died in Greenwich, London, and on 13 October 1896, Crowe retired at the age of 47 after 33 years of service in the Royal Navy, upon retirement he was given the title of Captain. In 1899, Crowe married Fahtmah Asther Rechit, a non-British subject, in Kensington, England and their daughter, Hilda Crowe was born in March 1900. On 2 March 1900, Crowe was appointed His Majesty’s Consul-General at Lourenço Marques (now Maputo), in Portuguese East Africa (now Mozambique). He transitioned there via at Ascension Island in the South Atlantic in April 3

  1. Crowe’s time as a Consul-General occurred during the Boer War (1899-1902) and much of his work included the importation and passage of arms from Mozambique into South Africa to aid the British. He was recalled from his post immediately after the war, and returned to England with his wife and daughter in September 1902. For his role in the Boer War, Crowe was awarded the South Africa Medal and was a made a Civil Companion of the Order of Bath in 1902. Fritz Crowe died 11 August 1904 in Pimlico, Middlesex and left his estate to his wife. Little is known about his wife or daughter after his death, his daughter would inherit a large sum after the death of her grandmother and attended the Royal Naval School for girls in Twickenham, and his wife died in March 1923.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Purchase, 2017

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Scope and content

Contains the only known records of Captain Fritz Hauch Eden Crowe. The collection comprises of two leaves from a scrapbook, which has pasted-in watercolours and clippings, as well as three singular watercolours and one pencil drawing. These eleven watercolours and two pencil drawings were made during the course of his travels as a British naval officer and Consul-General to Portuguese East Africa at the following locations: Bahia Blanca (Argentina), Chupat, Patagonia (Argentina), Colonia, Rio Plata (Uruguay), Santa Catarina and Anhatomirim Island (Brazil), Simambaya Island (off the coast of Lamu, Kenya), Cape Verde (off the Senegalese coast), Egypt and Ascension Island (South Atlantic Ocean, 1600 km from the coast of Africa). Collected clippings demonstrate Crowe’s interest in naval history and exploration. Crowe’s papers also contain personal correspondence, notably three letters written to his mother (1863, 1872, 1878), and one to his grandfather as a 14 year old naval cadet. Correspondence and documentation also relates to his career as a naval officer and consul-general including a commission document, a letter of introduction and a letter from Crowe requesting retirement. The collected papers comprises some estate documents, such as an original codicil to Crowe’s will, which makes arrangements for his young daughter, as well as documents outlining the distribution of inheritance from his Uncle and his parents.

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  • English

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Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto

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