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Charles Capper

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Charles Capper (1822-1869)

1870 Obituary [1]

MR. CHARLES CAPPER, the only son of the late Mr. Robert Capper, of Manchester, was born in that city in the year 1822, where he also received his education.

He entered upon the active duties of life in the employment of Messrs. Pickford and Co., the carriers, for whom he ultimately became agent at Liverpool.

About the year 1845 he left Messrs. Pickford’s to join the Great Eastern (then the Eastern Counties) railway as goods Manager, in which position he proved so useful that he was speedily promoted to be Superintendent of the line.

At the opening of the Victoria (London) Docks he was selected by the lessees - Messrs. Peto, Brassey, and Betts - specially on account of his commercial knowledge, to be the general Manager of that large undertaking, and the revolution he effected in dock management is still felt and recognized by all associated with such interests.

Shortly after the amalgamation of the London Dock Companies, which was mainly promoted by Mr. Capper, he was unanimously elected the Chairman of the Southampton Docks Company, a position which he held until his decease, and in which his peculiar talents were conspicuously displayed.

He was also the Deputy Chairnman of the East London Bank, the Chairman of the Dagenham Docks Company, and he was in Commission of Lieutenancy of the City of London.

In 1859 he received a commission as Major- Commandant of the 5th Essex Volunteer Rifle Corps, was promoted to the Lieut.-Colonelcy of that corps and of the 2nd Essex Administrative Battalion, and finally to the Honorary Colonelcy of the 5th corps, which commission he held at the time of his death.

In 1803 he became a candidate for the vacant aldermanic gown in Langbourn Ward, but was too late in the field to succeed.

At the general election of 1865, Mr. Capper contested the borough of Sandwich, in the Conservative interest, against two members of the Whig Government, Lord Clarence Paget and Mr. Knatchbull- Hugessen. It could scarcely be expected that he should succeed against such important influence at the outset; but the popularity he there acquired, by his genial manners and sound knowledge, led to his return as Member for the borough when a vacancy occurred in the following spring, though not without a severe struggle.

He was elected an Associate of the Institution of Civil Engineers on the 6th of December, 1864, on account of his intimate connection with numerous works of public utility, and from his having teen the Author of a treatise which was published in 1861, and has since gone through several editions, on 'The Port and the Trade of London,' acknowledged to be a text-book of commercial information.

Mr. Capper died of exhaustion on the 21st of March, 1869, after a comparatively short illness, at his residence at Upton, Essex, to which parish he was a considerable benefactor. Much sympathy was expressed in City circles at his premature decease.

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