Goole on the Web
Goole-on-the-Web - still the only site with the Goole Gene Pool feature

Reuben Chappell


Reuben Chappell was born on July 21, 1870 in Doyle Street, Goole, the youngest son of six children. His father was a joiner who in later life became a master cabinet-maker. Chappell was born near to the docks of Goole, so that from his childhood he was familiar with ships and seafarers. He won a scholarship to the then privately-owned Goole Grammar School, and soon showed a talent for drawing the ships that had dominated his daily life from infancy. He became interested in photography, was apprenticed to Harrison the photographer, and tinting photographs led him into painting. Apart from a few lessons, he was self-taught.

Reuben Chappel in his studio, Goole, 1890 By his late 'teens Chappell was contributing line drawings to local newspapers, and his paintings of ships were becoming well-known locally. By the time he was twenty he had established a studio at 7, Jackson Street in Goole, and he was advertising in the Goole Times as a photographer and artist. But he found that by selling his portraits of ships to seamen he was so busy that he had little time for photography.

As ships arrived in the port Chappell went down to the docks to invite commissions, sketching details of the ship to be painted, and then returning to his studio to complete the work either in watercolours or in oils. He charged five shillings for a watercolour and thirty shillings for a portrait in oils.

He married at the age of twenty-five Caroline Bayford, of Thorne, a minor poetess whose verses were published occasionally in local newspapers. They had three sons. The eldest, Mr. Cecil Chappell, opened this exhibition in Goole. But Chappell. who suffered from a bronchial weakness from childhood, was advised to seek a climate kindlier than the cold and damp air of Goole. So in 1904 he left for Par in Cornwall, and there, with his family, he lived for the rest of his life, a familiar figure on the shipping quays of Fowey, Par and Charlestown, usually dressed in a Norfolk suit, no matter what the weather.

He was a modest man, quiet, reliable and industrious. Isolated from art schools and studios, he was an essential part of the marine community. His friends were sailors, and he was often a lonely man. He showed none of his work at art exhibitions or in galleries. Yet he was an artist, and proclaimed himself as such. He supported his family entirely from his painting - visiting the docks as he did in his earlier days at Goole to obtain a commission, making pencil sketches (one of his sketchbooks is featured in the exhibition) and then returning home to work on the painting, often working far into the night because he was, literally, battling against the tide on which the ship he was painting had to sail.

His wife, too, died in 1930, and from then until his death ten years later he painted very little, so that his productive period was from 1890 to 1930. In 1933, a lonely man, he married a second time, and on July 20, 1940 he died of bronchial pneumonia, eight days after his seventieth birthday. He was buried in Fowey cemetery.


In his early years in Goole Chappell depicted the keels and sloops that were so characteristic of Goole as a port, and which are now extinct. Later he began to paint the new steamers that sailed out of Goole to Continental ports. His first major success was the steamer Wharfe, which he displayed in a furniture shop window in 1890 so that it might attract the seamen who walked along Aire Street to the docks. He painted a number of oils of the Wharfe, which was famed locally as 'The Greyhound of the Humber" because of her speed of 16 knots, and some of his work done in Goole had a powerful, even dramatic quality.

He never, throughout his working life, had any thought of the fame that was to come to him because of the accurate record he made of the appearance of hundreds of the ships of his day. He was concerned solely to support his family by means of the best talent he possessed.

He rarely dated his work, but normally he signed it - usually "R. Chappell, Goole", even after his removal to Cornwall, so that he would continue to be known as the same man who had painted in Goole. In later years his signature became "R. Chappell" and, very occasionally, "R.C." or "R.C.G". But almost invariably, along the bottom edge of his paintings, is the name of the vessel depicted, its port of registration, and sometimes the name of its master.

As a painter of ships, Reuben Chappell belongs to folk art and to the waterfront. He painted the ships that Goole knew in its growing days as a port, bringing the ships into the homes of the people in the days when every street in Goole had its sea- faring family, deeply attached to the ships in which their men-folk sailed, when "Tide Time" was a town's occasion as the people gathered on Lock Hill to wave farewell or to welcome their men home from the sea. His pictures bring back to the older generation, as do few other things from the past, the spirit of Goole as a port filled with lovely ships, of a bustling, busy river, of an era that will, because of vast technological changes, never come back.


Many Reuben Chappell paintings can be viewed online at Goole Museum and Art Gallery and also at The BBC Your Paintings Site

Visitor Comments

Posted by neil chappell at 25/07/2006 10:39
Whilst researching my family history i have found i`m related to Reuben. His father was brother to my gt gt gt grandfather John Chappell. Has anyone any info on the Chappells of Goole?
Posted by chris leigh-jones at 04/11/2006 10:17
Hi, came across your details on the web. My fathers family were ship masters based around Connahs Quay in N.Wales. We have 2 marine paintings by your relation, a water colour of the Mary anne Mandel and an oil (not sure of the artsit) of the Pet.

Hope the info is of some use, I believe they are what are termed Pier Head paintings, took about a week or so each to paint.

Posted by neil chappell at 02/02/2007 12:45
Thanks for that info. I have a copy of one of his paintings, The"clyto", which a work colleague found in a calendar on his office wall. Now framed and on my wall at home.
Posted by Eric fredrick Cawsey at 10/02/2007 17:51
My family were sea farers from bideford and appledore in devon and i have a water colour of the schooner "THE CAMBORNE" under sail of swansea my cousin richard has a water colour of"THE AGNES OF BIDEFORD" they are both signed R CHAPPELL of goole they were given to us by our grandfather captain george cawsey born in 1896.
Posted by Barbara Edmonds at 29/07/2007 11:36
It was with great interest that I have read about Reuben Chappell.

Reuben Chappell painted in oils my Grandfather William Beckett's Humber Keel, "Two Sisters". Probably in the 1890s. I know this painting was up for auction in about 1997 at Bonham's Sale of Martime Art in London. Alas I only found this out too late, as I have tried to locate this painting for a number of years. I know the painting states on rear, that the Two Sisters" was owned by Capt William Beckett, Knottingley.

So if anyone knows it's wheareabouts, I would be very pleased to find it.

Posted by David Ayres at 13/08/2007 22:47
I was interested in reading this article and biography. I purchased the painting of the Kinnaird, out of Liverpool, about a dozen years ago at at antique show in Greenwich, CT
Posted by john samuel evans at 28/09/2007 17:34
i have a reuben chappell painting of the lady thomas,my grandfathers ship he also had painting of miriam thomas, nancey thomas and his fathers ship the schooner enterprise. there are many paintings by r.c. in the town of amlwch anglesey.
Posted by Flemming Maiborg at 26/02/2008 13:07
Posted by Alan Nobbs at 25/05/2008 12:03
I was born at 31 Jackson street in 1955.There used to be an old lady called Mrs Lister who lived at No 29,who i believe was the neice of Reuben Chappell.When Mrs Lister passed away a relation [ whom i believe they called Olive.] asked my mother if I wanted some old paintings of ships and other things..I often here and read about the ships he painted,but i had a collection of oil painted flowers by reuben.I must of had 12 different oil painting of ships too.Unfortunately as a youngster the paintings fell out of favour,and was put on the yearly bonfire.What a shame, I wish i had then now !
Posted by HOWARD PARKIN at 18/06/2008 09:06
Reubens chappell.....i have read with much interest the details on this site dealing with his work. I have an original water colour , with an interesting history to is the coaster " s.s.t.tilling"of liverpool with j.m on the funnel....the master at the time was called griffiths and he was the father of a late friend of mine.called elsie jones (nee griffiths)born 5th. July 1920. Who spent all her early childhood sailing with her father living on this boat....the picture came directly to me from elsie .....i am reaserching this history of the is known that it worked mainly around the english coast and up to holland in the 1920's i am hoeful in finding infomation please
E- mail any infomation ...thank you.
Posted by Samantha Gregory at 08/08/2008 09:30
My father has copies of the Ship Jane KNOX which was painted by Reuben I wonder if anyone has any information regarding this boat. My family history shows both the KNOX/ADDY and EARNSHAW were master mariners and captains.Any info would be greatly appreciated.
Posted by Margaret Hughes at 17/08/2008 03:13
Please would you tell me more about the ship Ellen. I think the A Rasmussen mentioned might be Aage Rasmussen my grandfather who sailed in and out of Fowey.
Posted by Marianne Bech at 05/09/2008 17:21
Posted by Carol Gibbon at 07/10/2008 10:31
Could you tell me if Rueben Chappell painted a ship called
`Terrier of Dartmouth` Capt.W H Bate circa 1905. I have a photo copy of this painting and would like to know which book
it was published in. Thankyou.
Posted by Richard Cooke at 17/11/2008 20:53
I have two watercolours (fair & foul) of the schooner 'Reward', Master John Carter Cawsey of Appledore Devon. She was lost together with four crew during the first world war 1917 after leaving Falmouth for the Channel Islands. I would be interested in receiving any info regarding crew members of this vessel.
Posted by grahame baker at 08/01/2009 21:01
I was extremely interested to read about Reuben Chappell. My mother's grandfather, John Massingham of Norfolk, was captain of the Brig Adelaide which sailed between Liverpool and New York and I still have his painting of this ship leaving Liverpool, together with a marble Ansonia mantel clock which he brought back from one of his voyages at the turn of the 19th century.
Posted by peter a richards at 13/01/2009 23:21
just saw the Posted, by Eric fredrick Cawsey about the water colour of"THE AGNES OF bideford, my G/Grandfather alexandra marshall of appledopre was on the agnes, with george cawsey i am from appledore would be greatfull if you could put me in touch with
Eric fredrick Cawsey.

your sincerly peter
Posted by Pauline Waud at 16/01/2009 19:57
Having just looked at the 1911 census, I find that my husband's grandmother was on the Kinnaird with her family, so I am very interested in your site. Its all fascinating.
Posted by F.L Hansen at 06/02/2009 17:43
Was really interested to read the article on Reuben Chappell, as we have a painting of the Cornwall of Thuro signed R C G so it was very interesting to read his very interesting history,this oil painting was given to us many years ago by a Danish relative whose grandfather apparently purchased it in Denmark , anyone have any info or any interest in said painting would love to hear from them.
F hansen
Posted by Peter Reveley at 03/03/2009 14:07
Hi I am Peter Reveley of Appledore, Devon. I have two Chappell paintings left to me by my grandmother. The Bessie of Padstow signed R Chappell Goole and The Wellington Of Bideford Cpt. JW Reveley signed R Chappell.

The Bessie was captained by my grandfather's brother and was lost with all hands on passage from Glasgow to Padstow. The Wellington was purchased and captained by my grandfather but was damaged by falling over when in port somewhere in Ireland and was an insurance write-off.

I would love to hear of any more info on the Wellington. Strangely, my cousin has another Chappell painting of the Wellington, so he must have made two version either at different times or perhaps buy one get one free!! I also gave away a Chappell painting to my cousin of our great grandfathers smack the Swift.

My partner has two Chappell paintings of her grandfathers Cpt S Bennett vessells the Irish Minstrel and the Reaper, both of which have guns mounted on the fore deck so were painted during the first world war.

I would also be interested in any painting of the Louise Ernest of Jersey also owned at one time by my grandfather.
Posted by Stanley Roberts at 09/04/2009 14:06
I have in my possesion a watercolour by R.Chapell entitled SS Sicilly 24" x 15" and would be glad to hear any information about it or the ship portrayed.
Stanley Roberts
Posted by Question for the group at 21/04/2009 00:22
My father has bought a picture by a marine painter. Neither he or I can decipher the signature, but the ship is flying english colors and both on ship called JordanHill and also on the frame. According to the frame it should be out of Glasgow.

It looks like a barque with 3 tall masts and a mast on front with 3 small sails. (not a sailor myself so please forgive the terms).

Do any of you know of this ship or any place i could find out more please send me a email.
Posted by Chris Mills at 02/06/2009 10:15
I read with interest the post by Eric Fredrick Cawsey and Richard Cooke.
My Uncle's Grandad and my Great Grandad was Captain John Carter Cawsey.His Son Sidney also wnet down on the "Reward".
My Uncle has two oil paintings of the "Annie Reece" one in calm and one in stormy waters painted by Rueben Chappell.
I would be interested to hear from Eric Fredrick Cawsey and Richard Cooke.
Posted by Stuart (Webmaster) at 12/06/2009 22:12
Eric / Chris - It's not usually a good idea to leave your email addresses on a 'public' website. I'll send you each other's contact details over the weekend.
Posted by Chris Mills at 17/06/2009 16:42
Stuart (Webmaster) - Have you managed to sent the contact details yet please?
Posted by Hannah at 25/06/2009 16:49
I found this page very useful with my research for a film that i will be directing due to be premiered in the new theatre in goole 'The Junction'.
Posted by John Buckingham - Padstow Museum at 28/06/2009 18:01
I am surprised no one has mentioned the book by Robert Jones "Reuben Chappell Pierhead Painter" pub First Light 2006.

In our museum we have a RC painting of the DORIS which sunk off Holland in 1907. The rescue of the crew has just been commemorated with a memorial plaque at Vlissingen.

We also have a painting of the SS PAR by RC. This man left such a wonderful legacy.
Posted by Jon Shaw at 28/06/2009 20:18
I have two Chappells in oil, a storm canvas and full sail pair of the Rosa Harriette of Montrose skippered by Capt C Butt of Saul near Gloucester.

I was interested to read that Eric Fredrick Cawsey has a Chappell of THE CAMBORNE. My grandfather Hugh Shaw owned and shippered her for many years. I would be very interested to know if he is shown as her skipper on this painting.
Jon Shaw
Posted by Eric Fredrick Cawsey at 29/06/2009 11:10
Hi Jon Shaw,the painting of the Camborne i have is signed by reuben chappell of Goole,the masters name was Capt Fowler.
In the picture the Camborne has a fair sized gun mounted just aft of midships,this was when she was chartered by the government forces to take troops to cork,this was 1922.
If you can get a copy of THE MERCHANT SCHOONERS VOL 1 by Basil Greenhill ,there is a couple of pages about the Camborne and Capt Hugh shaw.
Trust this is helpful in your research,
Best wishes Eric Fredrick Cawsey.
Posted by June Butt at 25/07/2009 16:32
We have a water colour of the Pearl of Gloucester by Reuben Chappell and captained by Cpt C.Butt.Can you give any information please?
Posted by Colin Evans at 04/08/2009 12:55
Have an original R.Chappell watercolour of the SS James Tennant (of Newcastle) - would be interested in any info on the ship or guesses as to when it was painted.

It is signed "R.Chappell - Goole" in the bottom left corner

Family folklore suggests my grandfather once crewed the ship in early 1900's
Posted by Pauline Cowling at 24/09/2009 13:55
My grandmother ( Rhoda Lister nee Chappell) was a sister of Reuben Chappell and we have a painting of a seascape (not a ship to be seen on it) which we seem to think was painted near Par as we have photographs , presumably taken by Reuben , with writing on one of them indicating that it was of his son Cecil, and the background is very similar to the painting. David Knobbs , who commented last year, lived next door to my grandma and the Olive he mentioned was my mother. My Grandma lived at 7 Jackson St, then 9 Jackson St. and after she was bombed out in the last war she moved to 29 Jackson St. (where incidentally, I was born) I would be grateful for any information of the whereabouts of any Chappells, as now all the relatives who knew anything , have died.
Posted by Hugh Potter at 12/11/2009 17:59
Re the posting by Samantha Gregory at 08/08/2008 09:30
I have a postcard showing this vessel which I was about to put for sale on ebay. On closer examination it shows the vessel Jane Knox along with a host of other vessels including several "Licensed Fly Boats". Whilst researching it I came across this website so wonder it it might be of interest to her?
Posted by Ray Filbey at 09/01/2010 19:13
Like many here, I found the story of Reuben Chappell very interesting. I've had a watercolour on my wall of a Schooner called 'Bulla of Barnstable' by Reuben Chappell for many years, It was bequeathed to my wife by her grandmother. I've since found out from a book called lost ships of the west country that the vessel lays off the East Bank of Hooe Lake, River Plym.
The painting has what seems like some mould growth, and I'm keen to get it restored.
Posted by david hutton at 16/01/2010 16:59
Hi, my family and my wife's family were born and raised in goole.
My wife's mother family lived opposite the Chappell's and knew both Reuben and his brother Claud quite well during the earlier part of last century. My parents bought two paintings viz. Abeona and Zuma for 7/6d each at a Howden auction. They were 'loaned' to the local school and forgotten!
Posted by Alan R Moorhouse at 03/04/2010 10:29
I am interested in W Farmery who was master of the "Jane Knox" and apparently commissioned Reuben Chappell to paint her; I have recently been sent a postcard of this painting bought at Goole Museum.

WF was likely William Farmery bp 1832 Thorne died 1912 Goole son of William FARMERY and Ann (Hannah) CORBRIDGE or COLBRIDGE; William senior died at Doyle Street, Goole in 1865.

The Farmery family of Thorne and Goole owned or mastered a number of ships and more details can be found on my Farmery blog.
Posted by Wendy Owen at 27/04/2010 23:40
This is a message for Samantha Gregory who posted on here at 08/08/2008 09:30 will you please contact me regarding the Addy/Earnshaw family history please.

Thanks Wendy
Posted by Peter at 07/06/2010 15:46
Thanks to your site I now know who painted the "Guiding Star of Padstow" I have at home.

Thanks for that!

Posted by Susie Bailey at 28/06/2010 17:57
Reuben Chappell was the son of my mum's great Aunt Alice, who adored her and wanted to adopt her, but my nan didn't think much of that idea!! If any family members have any genealogy information they would like to share I would love to get in touch :)

Kindest regards
Posted by Rob Dixon at 07/07/2010 21:03
Hi Susie Bailey
You must be a long lost relative.
My mum is daughter to Cecil Chappell, and granddaughter to Reuben.
I am at sea myself at the moment and don't have the family tree at hand, but the older generation of the family have put it all down on paper, so we have a pretty extensive history.
Not sure how these web forums work, and don't really want to publish my mail address for fear of being inundated with other sources of mail.

Perhaps the website provider has a way to get people in touch?

Best regards
Posted by Janet Tierney at 12/07/2010 14:14
Goole Museum is putting on an exhibition running from 15 September - 9 October this year to celebrate 140 years since Reuben Chappell's birth and 70 years since his death. We want to include as many of the paintings in our collections as possible, but if anyone has a Reuben Chappell painting that they would like to lend for this, could they please get in touch with me as soon as possible? My telephone no. is 01482 392777, and my email address is:

Also, one of my volunteers, Paul Lewis, has compiled a 'biography' of all the ships featured in our RC paintings. We are hoping to publish this to coincide with the exhibition, but in the meantime, if Samantha would like to get in touch, I will give her the information on Jane Knox which he has unearthed.
Posted by Neil Chappell at 19/07/2010 06:18
Would it be possible for Rob Dixon, Susie Bailey and Pauline Cowling to contact me at the e-mail below. I would love to pick your brains over missing sections of my "Chappell" tree. Reubens father was brother to John Chappell, my gt gt gt grandfather.
Please contact on
Posted by Roger Phillips at 26/09/2010 19:08
I seek information regarding an E. Chappell who likely came to Canada from England, likely in the mid-to-later 1930s, to paint watercolors of Goldfields in Northern Saskatchewan, circa 1939. Starting in 1934, Goldfields hosted a gold rush that drew international attention but this mining camp became a ghost town when a gold mine established there shut down in 1942.
Posted by Pauline Cowling at 26/10/2010 20:59
I wonder if the E. Chappell, referred to by Roger Phillips is the Edward that my godmother was engaged to, or certainly very fond of. Apparently he went to Canada, leaving her behind as it was her duty, as youngest daughter, to look after her parents. I hadn't known they were related but as Reuben Chappell was uncle to Ida Addy (my godmother) and my mother, Edward may have been a more distant relative. I never knew any more than his name was Edward and he was an artist who went to live in Canada.
Posted by Bruce Swatton at 03/12/2010 18:04
Hi i have a water colour signed R.chappell Goole of a boat called the epney.lass.of Gloucester. if anybody could give me any information about the boat it would much appreciated
Posted by John Dunthorne at 05/12/2010 17:20
Hello everyone - My wife has just inherited a Chappell watercolour "The Hospital Ship HMS China No6". If anyone has any information about the vessel and/or crew, especially in the early years of the Great War, I would be very interested to hear from you.
Posted by Jon Shaw at 31/01/2011 20:41
Dear me, it's taken 18mths for me to recover from the acute bout of jealousy that I suffered when I heard from Eric Fredrick Cawsey that he has a Chappell of The Camborne.
Eric - I think that my grandfather Hugh Shaw skippered the Camborne from when he purchased her in 1921. So if the painting says a Captain Fowler I wonder if the painting dates from a little earlier. I gather that in WWI the DAMS (Defensively Armed Merchant Ships) service placed 6 pounder guns in the centre of the decks of many coasters and added a couple of naval gunners (probably Royal Naval Reserve) on ships that were equipped in that way. I wonder if that's the gun that your Reuben Chappell painting depicts.
Kind regards
Jon Shaw
Posted by Jon Shaw at 31/01/2011 20:56
I have just noticed Bruce Swatton's post about his Reuben Chappell painting of the Epney Lass of Gloucester.
There was an Epney Lass which was a Severn barge of 64 tons net built at Saul Junction in 1860 reg no 27875 owned by F (Felix I think) Silvey of Epney - whose family still live in these part.
Kind regards
Jon Shaw
Posted by Eric fredrick cawsey at 04/02/2011 21:45
Hi Jon,just seen your post,it seems like you have a lot of history with the "camborne". i have ,nt researched any more on the subject,but would be prepared to sell the painting of the camborne by reuben chappell to you if interested at a price agreeable to both of us..make me an offer! best regards Eric.
Posted by Eric Fredrick Cawsey at 05/02/2011 12:14
Hi Stuart,would you please pass my e mail address to Jon

Hi jon,thanks for the reply,the picture is of the CAMBORNE not the cambourne i will send some pictures of her to you when i hopefully get your e mail address from Stuart,best regards Eric.
Posted by Captain Peter H King at 03/04/2011 07:46
Good morning,

A couple of years ago, I purchased a copy of the Cargo Book of the ketch ALFORD of Bideford, a fascinating document which is paraphrased at annex to Greenhill's Merchant Schooners Vol. 1.

I chanced by the Reuben Chappell web site and was delighted to see the reproduction of Chappell'd ALFORD. I would be very interested to learn where the original paintin now lies. If any reader could advise, I would be very gratefl.

Best regards,

Peter King
Posted by Martin Horton at 04/08/2011 14:30
I have just stumbled on the posts by Bruce Swallor and John Shaw aboy the 'Epney Lass'. it was owned by my great uncle Felix (later of SK & F Silvey, Epney bus service) and my mother used to talk about that boat.
Posted by Adrien Willcocks at 04/08/2011 18:23
Posted by Tony White (A director of Polperro Heritage Museum at 24/08/2011 23:25
Would like to contact you regarding the IMOGENE. We have a figurehead in our museum in Polperro which is possibly from the Imogene. At present it is a "maybe" but you might have some information that could confirm it.
To Stuart the web master, if possible could you please pass on my contact details.
Tony White
Posted by Anne E Buddle at 08/09/2011 21:22
I have in my possession a water colour by Reuben Chappell of Goole named Tweed of Faversham Capt.F Smith

I am interested in getting this valued. It is not now in a frame, as this was damaged when moving it from my late mother's house. I would appreciate assistance in this matter.

A Buddle
Posted by DEREK BREWER at 14/10/2011 16:39
I would like to purchase a Ruebens Chappel painting
contact Derek 01405 769373
Posted by alison dillon kibirige at 24/10/2011 05:38
For information. I have a Reuben Chappell painting of what would be the ship my great great grandfather sailed on. It is unfortunately in a bad condition but for me it has sentimental value as it hung on the wall in our house and after my mother passed it came to me. I currently live in Entebbe Uganda and it has pride of place on the wall. Visitors to the house ask about the painting and I tell them the story of the young man in Goole Yorkshire that used to sit on the pier and paint pictures of the ships coming into port and selling them to the seaman who sailed upon them.
Posted by Micky Austin at 07/12/2011 09:03
I have "Spartan of Montrose" signed R Chappell, Goole.
Posted by Morris Cawthorn at 26/12/2011 12:09
My father, John Thomas Cawthorn, was an exact contemporary of Reuben Chappell, having been born in the docks area of Goole in 1870, a few streets away from where Reuben was born the same year. I have no idea (but would love to know) if they knew each other. My father sailed for many years on small sailing coasters from Goole and later from Hull. In October 1910 he was Owner/Master of the 'Egremont', just the sort of vessel that Reuben made his living from painting, when she was in collision with a steam drifter (trawler) the 'Speedwell IV' at night off Lowestoft. Both vessels sank and my father was rescued by Alexander Watt, one of the 'Speedwell IV's crew, for which action Mr Watt later received a bravery award.
It's likely that the Captain Cawthorn with whom Reuben Chappell sailed to Cornwall is also a distant relative.
I'd love to hear from anyone who could tell me more, or who knows if Reuben ever painted the 'Egremont'.
Posted by sue shroff at 10/04/2012 10:59
I have 2 paintings which Reuben Chappell painted for my grandfather of the Irene ,I am very proud of them and would like to speak to any one if they are interested
Posted by trevor hardwick at 12/04/2012 20:07
hi sue shroff just seen your comments about your pictures of the irene i am a ex goolie living in somerset there was a boat built in bridgwater in 1906 at carvers yard ( i think it was the last boat built in bridgwater ) its name was irene - i think it might be the same boat - it would be great to know has the irene has been refitted and his still sailing ( my mum is called irene she was born in 1906 also and she is still going strong ) ? regards trev
Posted by John Lamey at 23/05/2012 11:50
Have just researched Reuben Chappell as have a painting of SS Orchis of Bideford Capt J Evely. It was given to me by my father Jack Lamey who came from Appledore in N Devon. Have recently moved house and had the picture reframed and it now looks great.

Capt Evely was I believe the brother of my dad's mother Annie Evely. I never knew her as she died in the 1930's, but knew two of her sisters very well my Aunt Prim who I frequently visited as a child and Aunt Doll who was married to Dave Hocking of Hocking's ice cream which is still going strong in N Devon.

Interested to see that Reuben Chappell was a Yorkshireman as I now live in that county.
Posted by Robert Plugboer at 07/07/2012 22:59
Just had a professional photograph made of the aquarel M.S. De Gouwestroom by Reuben Chappell which hung in my parental home since before 1945.
Posted by Richard Hawkes ACR, Artworks Conservation at 13/09/2012 16:03
I am an accredited art on paper conservator, with over 20 years experience, based in Harrogate. I have conserved, restored and framed many watercolours by Reuben Chappell. He favoured a thin, grey/green, machine-made paper usually pasted to strawboard or woodpulp board. They commonly suffer from vertical bands of staining caused by the old, split pine boards in the back of the frames. This staining, general discolouration, foxing and mould can be treated successfully. If interested in a quote call 01765 676600
Posted by mary paulson at 25/11/2012 21:46
My mothers maiden name was Melba Cocks.granddaughter of Captain H Cocks of Fowey.She owned two Chappell paintings Polly and Emily and one called either The two sisters or The three sisters. She hated them and sold them many years ago at May Whetter and Grose auction sale in Par. I would love a photo of either of these two paintings. I believe both these ships were lost at sea.
Posted by Jean McKie at 27/11/2012 22:01
My Grandfather John McKie sailed on the vessel "Doris" in 1898
He is listed as age 24 years Capacity Mate.
Could the painting of "Doris" in calm waters by Reuben Chappell be the actual ship.
Posted by ken Davies at 10/02/2013 14:09
I have a watercolour of the steamer Guelder Rose (Richard Hughes of Liverpool). My father was a crew member and bought it directly from Mr Chappell around 1926 in one of the Cornish China Clay ports. There were several of Mr Chappell's paintings around my home village on the River Dee estuary. threse included the steamers Watergate and Farfield (Coppack's of Connah's Quay) and the T.P. Tilling (Monks of Liverpool).
I love my example of his work dearly, and would like to maker contact with anyone else who is interested.
Ken Davies
Posted by Emma Chappell at 15/06/2013 18:13
After having a family funeral in Ecclesfield this week it was brought to my attention that I am related to Rueben Chappell. I am intrigued and really want to know as much as I can so I am attempting a family tree. So any information would be great. Thanks in advance.
Posted by rolf starnd at 04/07/2013 19:13
Posted by anonymou at 30/05/2014 20:23
i am doing an arts award and do any of you guys know how the adelaide of fowey was towed into harbour? in chapells picatrsymdgc nbvdfwgahsrdhg
Posted by Barry west at 06/09/2014 00:19
Alice Willams

Topsail schooner built by Bevans in Llanelli

But based in Cornwall

did Reuben ever paint this vesell

Any info gratefully received thanks barry
Posted by Adrien Willcocks at 02/12/2014 16:38
Further to my comment re the barquentine IMOGENE on 4/8/2011: I would still like to purchase this painting. I have a photograph of this painting which I took in 1970. The painting was owned by my uncle Capt Roy Willcocks of Cardiff but unfortunately after his death its whereabouts are unknown. This painting is of IMOGENE in foul weather. I believe there is also one in existence in fair weather.
Posted by Lasse Peitersen at 01/03/2015 13:00
I have just aquired a gouache. the motiv is 3 mast sailing ship, flying Danish flag and ships name is N.E.Schmidt, obviously a Danish name. WHO knows anything about N.E Schmidt??
Posted by paul at 01/03/2015 21:01
I believe he was a captain in the 1890's and 1900's and presume as the painting says"of Mastral" he was either based there or lived there. Also at the same time there was another capt. A.L Schmidt.
The schooner may have been used at the time for taking salt to the Newfoundland fishing fleets and returning with salted fish.
Posted by Paul at 01/03/2015 21:47
Hi again Lasse. Have found a reference from 1905 to a shippimg company with N.E Schmidt next to it.
I see the painting was in Hamburg in 2012 and up for auction. It was descibed as watercolour with gouache.I'm also fortunate to have a Chappell watercolour of a steamship my grandfather was the captain.
Posted by Ann Purches at 19/04/2015 12:01
Hi Barry West, yes indeed Reuben Chappell painted the Alice Williams (dated1917) and it's hanging in my hallway. My husband inherited it on the death of his father who owned the vessel, he lived in Par, Cornwall.
Posted by P.Tope at 04/05/2015 20:51
I inherited, from my father, two paintings of a vessel called the "AMETHYST", one in fair weather the other in foul. They are both signed "R. Chappell, Goole" but an anomaly is that one is titled "Amethyst of Yarmouth" and the other "Amethyst of Plymouth" - this one with the addition of "Capt. E. Tope", (my grandfather).
Try as I might I have been unable to find any history of the vessel, (National Maritime Museum, etc), though I believe it to be that the vessel sank drowning my grandfather and presumably all hands.
If anyone knows where I can look to find out more regarding this vessel perhaps they could post it.
Posted by Corby Bunting at 06/05/2015 08:18
Hello P. Tope. Having not seen the painting and therefore not knowing her rig or where she foundered/ I guessed Schooner. If you Google "Schooner Amethyst, Yarmouth" There are details of one of that name that went down off Wells next the sea,Norfolk.
Give it a go and I hope this will be of help to you
Posted by Ann Purches at 15/05/2015 21:08
To the Webmaster - perhaps you would be kind enough to pass on my e mail address to Barry West, he made an enquiry on 6.9.14 to which I replied on 19.4.15 (having just found this website) so he may have given up receiving a response! Thank you.
Posted by Ann Purches at 15/05/2015 21:14
To the Webmaster - perhaps you would be kind enough to pass on my e mail address to Barry West who made an enquiry on 6.9.14, to which I replied on 19.4.15, having just found this website. He may have given up hope of getting a reply! Thank you.
Posted by Goolie-Gone at 16/05/2015 23:14
The records show that Reuben was born in Doyle Street. Does anyone have any information about what this street or location would have been like around his time there?
Posted by Keith at 18/05/2015 19:57
Doyle St I think was where the old Gas Works were in Old Goole near to the Cape Of Good Hope.
Posted by Bill at 19/05/2015 00:30
Yes that's right. Doyle Street was the first turning on the left as you came over the bridge heading into Goole. In it's heyday (last half of the 19th century) the street boasted six pubs and two hotels.
Posted by Paul at 19/05/2015 15:58
Gone-Goolie. If you google Joseph Tolan there is a small photo of an alley in Doyle Street ( about 6 photos down).
If you go into the topic "Tom Pudding" on this website the last posting on 26/06/2014 by N R Goole refers to first house in a row of terrace houses. Also a birth certificate for Samuel Ramskill in 1878 states he was born in Newloves building in Doyle Street. I would assume that originaly there were houses down Doyle Street but gradually replaced by facilities related to the port and finally what appears to be transport depots..
Posted by Paul at 19/05/2015 16:01
Apologies "Goolie-Gone"
Posted by P.Tope at 20/05/2015 17:09
Hi, Corby Bunting, I checked out your suggestion, (had done so previously), but the only reference to "Amethyst" I can see concerns a wreck in 1839 - well before Reuben Chappell - which appears to have foundered off Wellfleet, (Yarmouth, Massachusetts ?).
Posted by Greg Mockford at 11/06/2015 04:24
Regarding E. Chappell, we do have a watercolour of Goldfields, Saskatchewan, Canada signed bottom left corner "E. Chappell". I am trying to learn more about this artist. Can anyone add to my limited knowledge?
Posted by Vibeke Ogilvie Brosted at 18/06/2015 08:18
Posted by Goolie-Gone at 20/06/2015 10:58
Hi Bill - were you there back then? How long was Doyle Street, and were there any premises other than houses, pubs and hotels?
Posted by Keith at 20/06/2015 17:59
Hi, GG. there was also on Doyle St the town Gas Works . Hope this helps.
Posted by Annoeli at 27/06/2015 21:19
I believe Reuben Chappell was my 2nd great great uncle. My family name is Needham. My grandfather Harry's mother was Ada Chappell, who's father John was Reuben's brother. I don't personally know very much about my extended family so would be interested in information from anyone connected/who has known the family.
Posted by Joanne at 16/08/2015 14:00
I am distantly related to Reuben & his family through his grandparents Joseph Thresh & Martha Watson. Many of the family trees I have seen record his mother as being Sarah Thrash - instead of Thresh. The Thresh family had a long standing connection to the waterways from Knottingley down into Goole with many of them becoming mariners and it would be nice to think that his uncles had an influence on his career - who knows. If anyone would like more information on the the Thresh side of Reuben's family my email address is
Posted by Sheila Sharman at 06/09/2015 17:03
I was interested to read about the name of Reuben's mother, my great grandmother. I had thought her name was Sarah Elizabeth Thrush but as I look again at their Marriage Certificate, I can see that the 'a' was not joined at the top making it look like a 'u'.
She married George Chappell, a joiner from Hull, on September 13th 1861 at Goole Parish Church. The certificate identifies George's father, John, as a labourer and Sarah's father, Joseph, as a sailor. Reuben was not the youngest of 6 children though. My grandmother Rhoda, was the youngest being born on 21st December 1882.
There is to be a large, outside exhibition of Reuben's work in Goole next week. The launch is on Friday afternoon at the Lowther Hotel with guided walking tours arranged for the weekend. My family and I will be there.
Posted by Clive Hamlin at 26/09/2015 13:19
Although I know that Reuben Chappell is buried at Green Lane cemetry in Fowey I have been unable to locate his grave - answers anybody??
Posted by Michael Morgan at 14/11/2015 21:24
I have picture of a sailing barge named Providence of Goole Capt Fred Burn signed Reuben Chappell Goole. Can anyone share any information concerning it?
Posted by MARTIN QUIGLEY at 12/08/2016 18:25
my father was a seaman on the Schooner "Terrier" (Official Number 68410) in 1911-12. I am interested to know were one could get a copy of the Reuben Chappell painting "Terrier of Dartmouth"...... and indeed where the original is.
Thank you
Martin Quigley
Posted by jan buisman at 09/11/2016 22:06
Rueben Chappell painted 2 ships of my family.
One of them is the dutch 2-mast sailing vessel "Noordzee", home town Groningen, Holland , owner Jan Buisman. The other painting is a dutch scooner called "Agata "also from Groningen , Holland. Owner was Roelf Buisman, a brother of Jan Buisman
Posted by R.H.Williams at 18/11/2016 20:26
Posted by Keith at 20/11/2016 15:18
Anyone any info on the ......' Maud Larson'
Posted by maggie Hodge at 22/01/2017 22:01
My Mother is 92years young. She has lived all her life in Par. Was youngest child of Percy Charles Marshall . He was born in Bude. Was a Master Mariner. Moved to Par after the First World War. He died aged 39yrs . My Gd Mother had 3 Paintings my Gd father had done by Ruben Chappel. They were Water Co;ours The name of the boats were The Irene. The Morning Star. The Dundark or similar name . The latter she gave to her sister as a Wedding present. After my Gd Mother died in the 1960s the two surviving pictures were sent to a local man by the name of Captain Purchase to reback. After that they hung in a local pub called The Cornish Arms . Locally known as The Fifteen . My Mother was unable to track down the Paintings and they were lost to the family. I would love to retrieve them or at least find out what happened to them. For sentimental reasons I would love to buy them. Grateful for any information
Posted by maggie Hodge at 24/01/2017 18:31
Hello Sue Shoff. Just notice your post in 2012. Wondering if the Irene you talk about is the same Irene that my Gd Father Percy Charles Marshall worked on in the 1900s. He was a Master Mariner but sadly died age 39yrs. I would be really interested in speaking with you Thanks.
Posted by Corby Bunting at 25/01/2017 20:19
A few years ago I was privileged to view one of Reuben Chappell's paintings at the Goole Museum.The curator knew of my interesy in Howden Dyke built ships of Banks and Caisley. The ship is The Golden Wedding.which has a well recorded history, Sadly the painting was in a very poor state covered in deep cracks.
Was the painting ever restored for public viewing?
Posted by Jill Dawson at 03/03/2017 16:17
My grandfather was William Watson of Goole, he was master of the Wide Awake, Clarita and Union in late 1800 s I would be interested to know if Reuben Chappell painted any of them.
Posted by ed oliver at 09/10/2019 04:09
Have two pictures by E. Chappell of Goldfields Sask., one is from 1937 and the other is 1938. Can not find any information on him, any info.
Posted by PER BERNT KNUDSEN at 03/09/2020 22:37
My wife's great unceL (1886-1963) was a SAILOR. From him we have a art of two sailships, one with sails named Hannah and one in the background with no sails.

I do not know what type of art this is (it is dark brown); but in the left corner at the bottom it is written: R. Chappell, Goole.

We are living in Arendal, Norway.
Posted by mick hall at 08/12/2020 08:28
I have an oil painting which I inherited from my late father signed
R CHAPPELL of the cutty sark in full sail . Is the story true that he painted three, one for each of his sons.

Add your own comment