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Person - J.E. Guthe

Julius Ernst Guthe was born in 1857 at Leipzic, Saxony. His early history is sketchy but he was thought to be a member of the Prussian Army and was known as an Uhlan. The story went that there was a ‘difference’ of some sort on the parade ground and an Uhlan went missing. It was thought that he probably arrived on British soil having been a stowaway. Whatever his mode of travel in 1875 a German youth turned up at the offices of Cory, Lohden & Co., at West Hartlepool. Eventually branching out with his own shipping company he became an extremely successful businessman. Julius married Ann Sharper, daughter of Dixon Taylor Sharper, at Hartlepool in 1878. They had six children during their 38 years of marriage. In 1881 the family were living at Birds Field in Seaton Carew with Julius listed as a Foreign Correspondent. He became a naturalised British subject in August 1887. Julius left the country sometime after that but he returned in 1892. From about 1900 the family were living at Dinsdale Hall on Station Lane, Seaton Carew until moving to Kepwick Hall, Thirsk, Yorkshire around 1915.

One of their sons became a Major in the Royal Horse Artllery and Royal Field Artillery and died of wounds during WW1 in January 1916 at Le Touquet, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.

Julius died aged 60 on 27th June 1917 at Thirsk and was interred in Holy Trinity Churchyard, Seaton Carew. This was just two months after the death of his wife. He left effects of £577,136.

Obituary in the Newcastle Journal – Thursday 28 June 1917.

‘By the death of Mr J. E. Guthe, J.P., which took place yesterday at Kepwick Hall, in the North Riding Yorks, loses one who for many years past has been a prominent figure in the commercial life of the town. Born at Leipzic 60 years ago, the late Mr Guthe went to West Hartlepool in 1875, entering the office of Messrs Cory, Lohden and Co. Later he established a business for himself as coal shipper and shipowner, and gradually acquired a large fleet of steamers. About 1899 an important amalgamation took place between Mr Guthe and the West Hartlepool Steam Navigation Co., and in addition to the control of a large fleet of steamers, with a line running between West Hartlepool and Hamburg and Gothenburg (in pre-war times), an extensive coal business was carried on. Mr Guthe was a director of several shipping insurance companies, and was chairman of the Hebburn Rope and Sail Co,, Ltd. In 1901 he was returned unopposed represent the Seaton Carew Ward on the West Hartlepool Town Council, but only served that body for a few years.  He was also on the Hartlepool Port and Harbour Commission and was Justice the Peace for the county Durham and sat at West Hartlepool and Castle Eden. Two his sons are serving with the British Army. Major Guthe, R.G.A., another son, was killed in France 18 months ago.  Mr Guthe's wife predeceased him by only a few months.’

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