A Naval Biographical Dictionary/Kuper, Augustus Leopold

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KUPER, C.B. (Captain, 1841. f-p., 17; h-p., 7.)

Augustus Leopold Kuper, born 16 Aug. 1809, is son of the Rev. Wm. Kuper, D.D. and K.H., Chaplain to Her Majesty the Queen Dowager.

This officer entered the Navy, 19 April, 1823, as Fst.-cl. Vol., on board the Isis 50, flag-ship of Sir Geo. Eyre in South America, where he continued to serve until the summer of 1827, the greater part of the time as Midshipman, in the Spartiate 76, Capt. Thos. Gordon Falcon, Mersey 26, Capt. John Macpherson Ferguson, and Cambridge 80, Capt. Thos. Jas. Maling. He was then, until within a short period of his promotion to the rank of Lieutenant, which took place 20 Feb. 1830, employed on the Channel and Mediterranean stations, in the Royal Sovereign yacht, Capt. Sir Wm. Hoste, Isis again, Capt. Sir Thos. Staines, and Raleigh 18, Capt. Sir Wm. Dickson. His succeeding appointments were – 17 Oct. 1831, to the Savage 10, Capt. Lord Edw. Russell, on the Irish station – 9 April, 1832, to the Nimrod 20, Capts. Lord E. Russell and John M‘Dougall, employed off the coasts of Spain and Portugal – 30 March, 1836, to the Minden 74, fitting for service off Lisbon – and 12 July, 1837, as Senior Lieutenant, to the Alligator 28, Capt. Sir Jas. John Gordon Bremer, whom he aided in forming the settlement of Port Essington in North Australia. On 27 July, 1839, Mr. Kuper was nominated to the acting-command of the Pelorus 18,[1] an appointment which the Admiralty afterwards confirmed. He became Acting-Captain of the Alligator 5 March, 1840; and from 14 June, 1841 (on 8 of which month he was officially posted), until 15 March, 1843, he commanded the Calliope 26. In the former ship it appears he obtained mention for his zeal and alacrity at the capture of Chusan in July, 1840.[2] In Feb. 1841 it was his fortune to elicit the thanks of the Commander-in-Chief for his conduct in the action with the Bogue forts; as he again did for the gallant and able support he afforded Capt. Thos. Herbert in an attack upon the enemy’s camp, fort, and ship Cambridge, bearing the Chinese Admiral’s flag, at their position, below Whampoa Reach, when 98 guns were in the whole destroyed.[3] On 13 March Capt. Kuper was once more mentioned in terms of praise for the assistance he rendered at the capture of the last fort protecting the approaches to Canton.[4] At the taking, a few days afterwards, of the city itself, he commanded the investing force on the east side, and by his unremitting attention effectually guarded the approaches in that quarter.[5] During the second series of operations against Canton his prompt and decisive conduct had the happy result of repelling an attack made by the Chinese with fire-rafts, chained in pairs, upon the Alligator, as she lay off Howqua’s Folly.[6] In July, 1842, being then in the Calliope, Capt. Kuper accompanied Sir Wm. Parker up the Yang-tse-Kiang.[7] As a reward for his services he was nominated a C.B. 21 Jan. 1842.

He married, 19 June, 1837, Emma Margaret, eldest daughter of Commodore Sir J. J. G. Bremer, K.C.B. Agent – Joseph Woodhead.


  1. While Capt. Kuper was in the Pelorus that vessel was driven high and dry on her beam-ends during a violent hurlicane in Port Essington; and it was onlv after she had been for 86 days on shore that she was with difficulty hove off.
  2. Vide Gaz. 1840, p. 2991.
  3. Vide Gaz. 1841, pp. 1498, 1500, 1501.
  4. Vide Gaz. 1841, p. 1503.
  5. Vide Gaz. 1841, p. 1504.
  6. Vide Gaz. 1841, p. 2502.
  7. Vide Gaz. 1842, p. 2504.