Essex Line Ltd / Meldrum & Swinson, London

TEssex Line Ltd / Meldrum & Swinson, London

Harris Meldrum set up business as a shipowner in 1909 and went into partnership with Charles Swinson in London. One ship was lost during the Great War and the other two sold in 1916. The company withdrew from shipowning until 1921 when they set up the Essex Line with second hand tramps. However the company was hit heavily by the depression and by 1936 owned only five ships. Four of these were sold and by the outbreak of war, only one vessel was owned. The remaining ship became a war loss and Meldrum & Swinson ceased shipowning although one tramp was managed for MOWT from 1944 to 1947.


Hudson Steamship Co, London

Hudson Steamship Co, London

John Hudson & Co started shipowning in 1915 to transport coal from northeast England to London. By 1939 the company owned six colliers but lost five during the war. The fleet was rebuilt after the war with two Empire ships and five new buildings. Hudson’s the diversified into the West Indies sugar trade and Baltic and Mediterranean trading. The last collier was sold in 1973 and the bulkers were used in a variety of trades.

Hudson Steamship Co, London

In 1970 the company entered the tanker business and in 1971 purchased their first 250,000 ton VLCC. In 1988 the Hudson SS Co was sold to A/S Mosvold Shipping, Kristiansand. The company still exists as managers for Norwegian owned ships.


Moss Tankers Ltd (H. E. Moss & Co), London

Moss Tankers Ltd

Henry Moss began business in 1840 as a coal merchant in Liverpool. A London office was opened in 1882 and in 1885 the company bought a new steamship and gradually began changing the company from a coal supplier to an oil fuel carrier. Moss & Co continued their shipbroking business and purchased many old ships which they immediately sold on for further service or for scrap.

In 1913 the company branched out into the dry cargo tramping business with Sefton SS Co and lost four tramps and two tankers during the Great War. The whole tanker fleet was laid up during the depression years until 1934 and by the outbreak of WWII the company owned ten tankers and lost three to enemy action. The fleet was rebuilt in the 1950s and in 1964 the company was sold to Cunard SS Co and managed by Brocklebanks as Moss Tankers Ltd. Moss Tankers and the Cunard group were purchased in 1971 by Trafalgar House and in 1991 P & O purchased the shipping interests of Trafalgar House including the last Moss tanker.


Maritime Shipping & Trading Co (Michalinos & Co, Ltd), London

Moss Tankers Ltd

Michalinos & Co were long established Greek shipowners when they took over the Maritime Shipping & Trading Co in 1942 from W. J. Tatem of Cardiff together with their single ship. Several further ships were purchased for British registry and by 1959 the company owned eight tramp steamers. The fleet was gradually sold off and the last two ships disposed of in 1974. The Michalinos family continued in shipowning, but under the Greek flag.


Red ‘R’ Steamship Co, Newcastle, Stephens, Sutton & Co.

Stephens, Sutton Steamship Company

Red ‘R’ Steamship Co, Newcastle Stephens, Sutton & Co. Daniel Stephens formed a partnership with Roland Mawson in 1872 and took delivery of their first ship in 1874. Their original trade was coal to the Mediterranean, returning with grain from the Black Sea. In 1877 a subsidiary company was formed in Newport as Stephens, Mawson & Goss. After the death of Roland Mawson, Arthur Mawson & Co of Cardiff split from the Newcastle company, R. M. Sutton was admitted as a partner and in 1901 the company became Stephens, Sutton & Stephens. Three ships were lost to enemy action during the Great War and in 1919 management was reorganised and became Stephens, Sutton & Co and by 1939 owned a fleet of ten modern tramp steamers. Three of these were lost during WWII. After the war years, nine new ships were purchased but by 1964 only three ships were owned. The company entered bulk shipping in 1965 but severe machinery problems with several of their ships caused financial losses and all their ships were put up for sale in 1967. The last vessel was sold in 1968 and the company withdrew from shipowning.


Tyneside Line, South Shields, Ridley, Son & Tully

Tyneside Line, South Shields, Ridley, Son & Tully

The Ridley and Tully families had been sailing ship owners since the 1860s and took delivery of their first steam collier in 1871. Their primary business was in the East Coast coal trade and in 1874 the company expanded into transatlantic routes. However their main business was in the Baltic, Mediterranean and Black Sea. The Screw Collier Co was formed in 1895 and the Tyneside Line in 1898. Eight ships were lost during the Great War and after the war, the company’s ships tramped worldwide. At the outbreak of war in 1939 the Tyneside Line owned only three ships of which one was sunk in 1939 and the other two sold in 1941. The company withdrew from ship owning but continued as ship brokers until the 1960s.


Morrison Steamship Company, John Morrison & Son, Newcastle

Morrison Steamship Co, John Morrison & Son, Newcastle

John Morrison started steamship owning in 1871 when he purchased the tramp steamer Ben Lomond from John Laing of Sunderland and over the next few years built up a fleet of eight ships. By the outbreak of the Great War, the company had been reduced to three ships. Two of these were lost to enemy action and the third one was sold to Russia. By the end of the war, no ships were owned and the company did not re-enter ship owning until 1922. The company purchased 13 new ships up to 1930 which traded worldwide, but the main trade was from Sweden to South Africa and homewards via West Africa on charter to United Africa Co. By 1939 ten ships were owned but all were lost during the war. After the loss of the Glenlea, the company was wound up.

Charlton Steam Ship Company, Newcastle

Charlton Steam Ship Company, Newcastle (Charlton, McAllum & Co), William Charlton formed a partnership with Henry McCallum in 1880 and in 1882 they purchased their first ship. The fleet rapidly expanded and concentrated on the timber trade from Scandinavia and Russia as well as general tramping. During the Great War the company lost four ships to enemy action and owned only two ships by 1918. Several replacement ships were purchased and by 1923 eight ships were owned. In 1924 orders were placed for four new steam tramps. However trade became so bad that two ships were sold and the remaining fleet traded to the Mediterranean, Russia, Brazil and Argentina. At the outbreak of WWII only three tramps were owned and these were all lost. One steamer was purchased in 1940 but was also lost in 1941. After the end of the war and the death of Henry McCallum the company was sold to John Chandris who registered several passenger ships and tankers under the Charlton SS Co name. - see. The Ships List >>


Thompson Steam Shipping Co, Petersen & Co, Newcastle.

Thompson Steam Shipping Co

William Petersen was a Dane who emigrated to England and in 1891 set up a partnership with A. Tate and purchased two tramps steamers. Petersen became interested in the new ‘Turret’ ships which were designed to minimise Suez Canal fees and by 1896 owned nine of these ships. In 1901 the partnership with Tate was dissolved and William Petersen registered his tramps under the Canadian Ocean & Inland Navigation Co Ltd.
After 1904 he was not involved in ship owning until 1911 when he purchased four tramp steamers from Walter Runciman for the newly formed European & Brazilian Shipping Co. By the outbreak of the Great War the company owned 10 ships. Six ships were purchased in 1915 for the newly formed London American Trading Co and in 1916 Scaramanga Bros fleet of eight tramps was taken over, but a total of 13 were lost to enemy action.

Thompson Steam Shipping Co, Sunderland was acquired in 1918 and this company subsequently became the registered owner of all new Petersen ships. William Petersen died in 1925 and the company’s new managers became Huntley, Fisher Ltd. At the start of WWII four ships were owned all were lost but several ships were managed on behalf of MOWT and the owned fleet was replaced by the purchase of two Empire and one Ocean type ships. Clan Line purchased the company in 1952 and sold two of the ships, retaining one for trading under Houston Line management. Clan Line subsequently registered four tankers under Thompson SS Co but in 1961 the Thompson company was renamed Scottish Tanker Co and the shipowning name of Thompson disappeared.


Dene Steam Shipping Co, John T. Lunn & Co, Newcastle.

Dene Steam Shipping Co

John T. Lunn formed the company in 1890 with a second hand ship and the following year placed orders for three new tramp steamers. By 1898 the company owned nine tramps and then began a policy of purchasing second hand ships to reduce the age of its fleet. John Lunn continued to trade in a poor market but by the outbreak of the Great War only owned three ships. Two of these were lost to enemy action and the third was sold in 1917. John Lunn retired from business in 1919.

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