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People and organisations
TRC-A-0036 · Person · 18 August 1835-1903

A founding member of the club and its first Captain, Frederick Catty was also a member of London Rowing Club.

He was born in Cambridge but by 1851 had moved with his family to Putney - his father was a lawyer's clerk. At the time of the founding of the club he was living at Hope Cottage in Charlwood Terrace (which appears to have been later demolished to make way for terraced housing.

He joined the Bank of England as a clerk in 1854 and remained there until his retirement in 1897.

Catty was involved in a controversy at London RC related by Chris Dodd in 'Water Boiling Aft':

“Henley was a mixed bag for London in 1858… London had to reshuffle [the crew of their eight in the Grand Challenge Cup] on the morning of the race, because Frederick Catty, the number 3, did not show up. Nottidge was put in at four and Schlotel moved from four to three...There was a fearful argument about Catty’s absence, some accusing London of orchestrating a last-minute substitution of a better oarsman. Nottidge denied this by pointing out that he himself had been unwell on the morning of the race and had almost fainted in a Henley chemist’s shop. The argument was fuzzy, and rumbled on despite Catty’s explanation of his action. On 5 July he replied to a sharp note from Frank Playford and Casamajor, the joint secretaries: ‘It is with much surprise and regret that I have read your note of the third instant. In reply I beg to mention that the captain and crew are aware that I would not row at Henley Regatta because the Governor of the Bank of England, in which establishment I am a clerk, seeing by the newspapers that I was about to row, expressly forbade me from leaving the bank and if I had disobeyed this injunction I should have been dismissed from my appointment.’

'With reference to a public or private explanation, it did not appear to me to be necessary as I sent a telegraphic message to Henley on the day of the race and my brother-in-law Mr Shearman who was at Henley the same day explained to the crew the reason of my absence; moreover last Thursday I saw the captain of the club and our Hon Sec Mr Casamajor and no mention was made as to the necessity of explaining a matter which was so well known to the crew and I believe to the club.’

‘The crew are aware how deeply I was mortified at not being able to row, indeed the mortification and anxiety with respect to my position in the bank made me so unwell that I was sent away sick leave on the report of Mr Alfred Ince the surgeon to the bank and did not return for nearly a week... I have no desire to incur the censure of the club in addition to the mortification I have already suffered.’

Catty survived a motion of expulsion by thirty-one to ten, a narrow reprieve because the voting system used was one black ball in three to expel him...

Catty's reputation was still under speculation more than one hundred and thirty years later: 'Catty, of course, had by then withdrawn from the scene with as much dignity as he could muster,' wrote Geoffrey Page in 1991. 'It is therefore interesting to speculate about his appearance in 1861 as the first captain of the City of London RC. Whether it was out of pique because of his treatment by London, or from friendship with some of the other founders, or from a desire to form a new club with less competitive aims, it is now impossible to say.'

London's records go some way to defusing such speculation, however. They show that Catty rowed in club races in twelve-oars, eights, fours and pairs, for the next five years. Moreover, during his tenure as captain of City of London RC he sat on the London committee, and took part in trial eights in 1862 and 1863. This was hardly a withdrawal from the London scene."

In 1863 he found himself at odds with the rest of the Thames RC Committee over proposals to construct a clubhouse. He proposed that 'the promoters of the building scheme pay for the expenses attendant upon ascertaining the exact costs of the affair.' After his proposal was rejected by 24 votes to 1, he resigned as Captain.

His younger brother James later served as the fourth Captain.

Maycock, John
TRC-A-0100 · Person · 1850-5 October 1910
Slater, William Lord
TRC-A-0005 · Person · 1842-29 March 1914

Born in Cork to Alvara Lofthouse Slater and Charlotte Augusta Millicent Daunt.
Died in Kingsbridge, Devon.