We would like to thank Sea Breezes for permission to reproduce these articles
Founded 132 years ago, the Lamport and Holt Line is one of Liverpool's best known shipping companies. Now part of the Vestey group, the company has owned a large number of Ships down through the years and established an early connection between Britain and Brazil and the River Plate.
This is the first of a series of articles which will tell the story of
The Lamport and Holt Fleet:
an history by P. M. Heaton
ESTABLISTED IN 1845, the Lamport and Holt Line was the result of a partnership entered into by William James Lamport and George Holt. Lamport was born in Lancaster on the day of the Battle of Waterloo, June 18, 1815. He was the son of a Unitarian minister, and his family originated in France; having established themselves initially in Devon, they later moved North.
Lamport arrived in Liverpool in his youth and entered the office of Gibbs, Bright and Company, who were friends of his family. It was with this company that he acquired a practical knowledge of commerce and ship management which was to earn him a place among Liverpool's leading shipowners.
William James Lamport, 1815-1874
He assisted in the framing of the first Merchant Shipping Act and his extensive shipping knowledge qualified him to be a sound adviser to the promotors of the Bill, which was the result of Samuel Plimsoll's agitation for more tolerable conditions and for the greater safety of those who go to sea.
The other partner, Holt, was the second son of George Holt, an influential cotton broker in Liverpool, who had connections in ship owning. He was born on September 19, 1924 and served his apprenticeship in the office of Thos and Jno. Brocklebank; on completion he joined Lamport in the establishment of Lamport and Holt.
Holt had four brothers, William Durning, who joined his father in the management of George Holt and Company, cotton brokers; Alfred, who served an apprenticeship to a railway engineer and later spent a short period with Lamport and Holt before founding his own shipping company, later to be known as the Blue Funnel Line; Robert Durning, who became the first Lord Mayor of Liverpool in 1883; and Philip Henry, who initially had a small interest in Lamport and Holt, but eventually left to become a partner in Alfred's company.
George Holt, 1824-1896
George Holt, like his partner, was a worthy citizen, and associated himself with many beneficent institutions, becoming a supporter of Liverpool University, in connection with which he founded and endowed Chairs of Physiology and Pathology.
Initially the offices of Lamport and Holt were at Fenwick Buildings, Fenwick Street, Liverpool, but as the business grew they moved to larger premises in Drury Buildings, Water Street.
The partnership in its early days consisted wholly of a fleet of wooden sailing ships, the first vessel owned being the barque Christabel, of 335 tons, built at Workington by a relative of W. J. Lamport. Launched on September 17, 1845, George Holt's father at first owned half the shares in her, but on November 14 of the same year he transferred these 34 shares to the two partners and it was thus that they became shipowners. The vessel remained in their ownership for under a year, as she was sold to James Alexander, of Workington on August 18, 1846.
The partners' second vessel was the barque Junior, of 677 tons, built to their order at Quebec, and launched in the same year as the Christabel. Taken over on November 27,1845, she sailed from Liverpool on December 23 under the command of Capt. John Eills, who owned 16 shares in her.
This shipmaster was to hold shares in many of the partners' early ships, and later was to help Alfred Holt with the formation of his early fleet. The Junior was wrecked in 1855, the partners' first loss.
These early ships traded with the East Coast of North America, India, South Africa, the River Plate and the West Coast of South America, and many relatives, friends and associates of the partners were to hold shares in them, as was the custom in those days. Each ship was divided into 64 shares.
As an example, the share position of Lamport and Holt's third ship is given in detail. She was the full-rigged ship William Ward, of 755 tons; built at St. John, N.B., in 1842, and bought by the partners on March 10, 1846. The share position was as follows:
William James Lamport and George Holt the Younger, trading as Lamport and Holt 56/64ths
Robert Bibby and Jas. Fisher ... ... ... ... 8/64ths
November 25, 1846: Lamport and Holt transferred shares as follows:
..To Thos. Fisher Moore 8/64ths
To William Thornely 8/64ths
To John Eills ... 4/64ths
June 19, 1852: Thos. Fisher Moore transferred 8/64ths to Lamport and Holt.
January 15, 1853: Lamport and Holt transferred 8/64ths to Frederick McConnell.
On June 8, 1853 the vessel was sold to William Morgan, of Liverpool. One other vessel was acquired in 1846: the Julius Caesar, of 738 tons, which remained in the fleet for six years.
Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool
Two full-rigged ships joined the fleet in 1847, the Emma, built two years previously at Sunderland for George Holt senior, and the Grasmere, of 454 tons, built at Chepstow to the partners' order. Of these the Emma was sold in 1852 to other Liverpool owners, and the latter ship spent almost 18 years gainfully employed for Lamport and Holt.
It is interesting to note that an original painting of the Emma, housed in the Sudley Art Gallery and Museum at Liverpool, clearly shows the Lamport and Holt houseflag, has remained unchanged to the present day.
The following year saw a further two ships joining the fleet, the brig Moslem, of 170 tons, acquired from J. Vale of London, remaining in the fleet for five years, while the full-rigger Thornhill, 698 tons, built to the order of the partners at Quebec, served them for not more than eight years.
The fleet was now rapidly expanding. Three further vessels were taken over in 1849; the 168-ton brig Willhelmina, acquired from James Moss and Company, the brigantine Balkan, 192 tons, built at Liverpool to Lamport and Holt's order, and the barque Napan belle, 332 tons, built in Nova Scotia.
In 1850, four more ships were added to the fleet, of which three were built to their order; the full-rigger Cathaya, 407 tons, built at the Workington yard of Lamport's relative, which remained in the fleet until 1857 when she was lost; the schooner Ceres, 117 tons, built at Prince Edward Island, and the barque Jane Morice, 323 tons, built in New Brunswick.
The fourth vessel, bought second-hand was the small brig Margaret Gibson, which Lamport and Holt had lengthened before putting her into service, thus increasing her tonnage from 124 to 148.
The next few years were to see great developments on the Mersey. James Moss and Company acquired their first three steamers for their Mediterranean trade, in which Lamport and Holt had also participated, so it was no surprise when the partners took shares in these early steamers, as follows:
The steamer Nile, built of iron by Alexandra Denny and Brother of Dumbarton, of 347 tons.
November 13, 1850: Registered at Liverpool, owner being William Miles Moss, who traded as James Moss and Company: 64 shares. November, 16, 850: He sold 8/64ths to William James Lamport and George Holt the younger, trading as Lamport and Holt.
April 1, 1851: He sold a further 16/64ths to Lamport and Holt.
July 2, 1851: Lamport and Holt transferred 7/64ths to:
George Holt, cotton broker 2
Charles Booth ... ... 2
Jas. Thornely ... ... 1
Wm. Schaw Lindsay... 2
May 17, 1852: Lamport and Holt transferred 3/64ths to Thomas Fisher Moore.
April 4, 1853: The vessel was sold and re-registered at Dublin.
It is interesting to note the appearance of Charles Booth, Lamport's cousin as both he and his brother Alfred served their time in the offices of Lamport and Holt, prior to establishing their own shipping company.
The Orontes built by the same builders as the Nile the following year for James Moss and Company, had the following shareholders:
Frederick Chapple... 22
William Miles Moss ... 21
William James Lamport and
George Holt, the younger, trading as Lamport and Holt, ..... 7
George Holt, the elder, cotton broker... .. ... .. .. 2
Charles Booth .. ... 1
Wm. Rathbone and Samuel Martin, jointly …… 2
Wm. Rathbone )
Wm. Rathbone, the younger ) ……4
Samuel Greg Rathbone )
Thomas Kenyon Twist )
John Eills ... ... ... 2
Wm. Schaw Lindsay, of London ... ... ... .. 2
Fredk. McConnell . .. 1
Alfred Holt, who at this time was employed in the Lamport and Holt offices, took a great interest in this ship, and sailed in her late in 1851 on her maiden voyage to Egypt. On his return he spent some time on the design of the next Moss steamer, the Scamander, of 753 tons built in 1854 by Stothert and Company, Clifton, Gloucestershire, another iron steamer.
The shares in the Scamander were as follows:
Wm. Miles Moss
Frederick Chapple 52/64ths
Wm. James Lamport
George Holt, the Younger ...... 4/64ths
Wm. Rathbone )
Wm. Rathbone, the younger ) ... ... 4/64ths
Samuel Greg Rathbone )
Thomas Kenyon Twist )
all trading as Rathbone Bros. and Company
Wm. Schaw Lindsay 4/64ths
It would appear that most of the above, people held shares in each others' ships, and thus also had an interest, in Lamport and Holt's early venture into shipowning.
In 1852 the small barque Rydal, of 262 tons, joined the fleet built to the partners' order in New Brunswick. She was to remain in their ownership only a matter of months before passing to Rathbone Brothers for further service.
Between 1853 and 1854 two. small ships were purchased second-hand. They were the Princeza, a brig of 149 tons, built in 1849, and the schooner Queen, a vessel of 104 tons, built in 1848 at Teignmouth, remaining in the fleet for eight and five years respectively before being sold for further trading.
So it was that in something less than 10 years, the two partners had acquired a fleet of 13 sailing vessels trading world-wide, and had substantial shares in a number of other vessels, including the rapidly expanding fleet of steamers of James Moss and Company, trading to Egypt.
It was in 1854, at the outbreak of the Crimean War, that a number of these ships were employed in the transport of stores and equipment for the Government, and a number of the Moss steamers were similarly employed.
The Breeze, a small snow of 165 tons, joined the fleet in 1855, having previously been owned by J. Nicholson, of Annan, for whom she was built at that port in 1848. She was to remain in Lamport and Holt's service for some 13 years. The other acquisition was the ship Simoda, of 697 tons, built at St. John, N.B.; she was wrecked after only about a year's service.
Three more vessels were delivered to the partners' order in 1856. The Memphis was a wooden barque of 416 tons, built at St. John, N.B., while the barque Kahlamba, 319 tons, built at Port Glasgow, was the only iron sailing ship ever to be owned by the partners. Of these, the former traded for six years before disposal to Phillips and Company, of Liverpool, further trading, while the Kahlamba served the partners for some 13 years before disappearing from Lloyd's Register.
However, the Agenoria, a full-rigged ship of 1,023 tons, built in New Brunswick, and at that time the largest ship owned by Lamport and Holt, served for 12 years before sale to Griffiths and Company, of Liverpool. Subsequently she passed to S. Young, of North Shields and was broken up there in 1885.
Four barques and a ketch were acquired in 1857, three of which were delivered from the Workington shipyard. They were the barques Blencathra,
Coniston, and Glaramara, 466, 204 and 475 tons respectively.
The Elizabeth Morrow was the other barque, delivered from New Brunswick, a vessel of 394 tons. The 156-ton ketch Old Harry, 14 years old,
the fifth purchase during this year.
This year marked the introduction into the fleet of the first steamer to be owned and managed by the partners, the small Zulu, of 189 tons, built at Greenock. She was to trade to South Africa and later to the West Indies, remaining in the fleet until August 7, 1858, when sold to owners at Port Louis, Mauritius. She was wrecked on Folly Point, Jamaica, on May 28, 1861.
The Zulu was to be the only steamer in the Lamport and Holt fleet during this period, Mr. Lamport, the senior partner, remaining unconvinced, even with their interest in the Moss steamers, that this new form of propulsion was going to last - a view held by many influential shipowners of the time.
Their answer was to continue buying and operating sailing ships, while building an increasing shareholding in the steamships of the period, thereby
assuring the future by having interests in both.
A further Workington-built vessel, the 198-ton schooner Rothay, was launched to the partners' order in 1858, but she was to remain in their possession for only six years. The barque Thebes was purchased from Rathbone Brothers, having traded for them since her completion in 1850 at Sunderland. A vessel of 432 tons, she remained in the Lamport and Holt fleet for four years before passing to E. S. Roberts, of London, in 1862.
In 1859 a 526-ton barque, the Eddystone, was built in New Brunswick for the partners, but after only a year, she was sold to Young, of North Shields.
In 1861-2 the partners bowed to the inevitable and two brig-rigged iron steamers joined the fleet. The Memnon (1,290 gross tons) was delivered by Scott and Company, Greenock and the Copernicus (1,372 gross tons), was built by A. Leslie and Company, Hebburn-on- Tyne, a shipyard which was to deliver a considerable number of vessels to the partners over the next three decades.
It was with these early steamers that the practice of naming the ships after prominent persons connected with the arts and sciences was adopted. The Memnon was sold in 1883 to Alfred Holt's Ocean Steam Ship Company, for whom she traded in Far Eastern waters until hulked in 1899. The Copernicus passed to French owners in 1864 and continued trading until broken up in January 1890.
With the. delivery of these ships the partners did not abandon their interest in sailing ships, but continued to acquire second-hand tonnage and order new vessels of increased size. So it was in the same year that the Memnon was delivered that a full-rigged ship of 1,027 tons was delivered by McLachlan of New Brunswick, named Bonnie Dundee. She served Lam- port and Holt until sold for further trading on December 31, 1872.
In 1862 two more sailing ships came along: the new barque Chalgrove, 509 tons, was built to their order at the Workington shipyard, remaining in the partners' ownership 'Until 1869, although she was afloat under various other owners until broken up in 1896. The second vessel was the full-rigger Nazarine, 921 tons, built in 1854 at Quebec for Fisher and Sons, from whom the partners acquired her. She served them for the next three years before sale to other Liverpool owners.
For some considerable time both Alfred Holt, who was now fairly well established on his own account, and Philip Henry Holt, who held a small interest in Lamport and Holt, had been urging W. J. Lamport, the senior
and controlling partner, to start a really good steamship line in one of the Atlantic trades.
Lamport took a good deal of persuasion, for although his attitude to steamers had changed, he still did not believe in lines of steamers. But eventually he yielded and ordered a new vessel from A. Leslie and Company for the Brazil and River Plate trade. She was an iron, brig-rigged steamer of 1,500 gross tons, completed in 1863 and named Kepler. Having taken a great interest in her construction;' Alfred Holt sailed in her on her maiden voyage to Brazil and the River Plate, via Lisbon.
Clement Jones" in his book "Pioneer Shipowners" refers to this new venture:
"From a small beginning that huge Brazil and River Plate undertaking was started against the wish (or with the complete indifference) of Lamport and Holt, and owing to the persistence of Alfred and Philip Henry Holt. A study of the history of shipping shows:" us that some are born to a trade, others acquire trades, while some like Mr. Lamport have trades thrust upon them."
However Lamport and Holt did not invest all in the new venture, for in the same year as the Kepler appeared in the fleet a new brigantine, a second Christabel, was delivered by Owen of Teignmouth to the partners. A small vessel of 170 tons, she was sold the following year, and having passed through numerous owners eventually became a hulk at Plymouth in 1903.
January 1864, saw the termination of Philip Henry Holt's connection with the partners, and he joined his brother Alfred in the management of his company from India Buildings, Liverpool.
In this year two other steamers joined the fleet, and were pressed into the new South American trade. They were the Newton of 1,329 gross tons, built by Mcnab and Company; and the Galileo of similar tonnage delivered by A. Leslie, on the Tyne.
Of these first three steamers built for the Brazil and River Plate trade the Kepler remained in the fleet for 40 years until broken up in 1903, having
been lengthened in 1871, and new engines and boiler being fitted. She was. transferred to the partners' Belgian flag company ill 1878, where she remained until the year before her disposal.
The Newton lasted until April 9, 1881, when she was wrecked off Madeira on passage Rio de Janeiro to London. The Galileo was sold in 1872, and after a number of changes of ownership was lost in 1898.
But the partners kept alive their interest in sailing ships, and it is believed that their interest in Moss's ships was still held. In 1865 a further two new sailing vessels joined the fleet; the Sumroo a barque of 612 tons, built by Hilyard, of New Brunswick, and the full-rigged ship Timour of 1,331 tons from the same yard.
This last vessel was the largest sailing ship owned by the partners to that date. The Sumroo remained in Lam- port's ownership for only a few months and likewise the Timour was sold later that year to Rathbone Brothers. This same year saw the arrival of five steamers in the fleet.
Two ships that had previously been in Alfred Holt's fleet trading to the West Indies- were acquired. The Saladin built in 1856, and Talisman of 1860 were both sold to the West India and Pacific Steamship Company in 1864, from whom they were bought by the partners in the following year. However not all the shares of the Talisman were acquired until 1869. The former remained in the fleet until sold in 1872 and the latter foundered on January, 21, 1873, North West of Burlings, Portugal. The Herschel, built in 1853 on the Mersey by Laird, as the Cubana was bought the same year, and remained under their house-flag for some seven years.
The other two acquisitions during this year were the new Ptolemy and Halley delivered by the Hebburn yard of A. Leslie and Company. The latter served her owners until 1895 when broken up, being outlived by the Ptolemy by a year.
The enterprise had developed so well, and the size of the fleet was growing so rapidly that the partners decided to form a limited company under the title of the Liverpool, Brazil and River Plate Steam Navigation Company Ltd. of which the partnership became managers. The transaction took effect from December 18, 1865.
The year 1866 was one of great development in the fleet, two further sailing ships being acquired, but the staggering number of seven steamers were delivered to them from the yard of A. Leslie and Company. In addition a small collier, about one year old, the lronsides, was bought second-hand.
The full-rigger March of 1,255 tons was delivered from Hilyard, New Brunswick, and was to remain in the fleet for less than a year. The second sailing ship was the Manchester, a brigantine of 158 tons, built as far back as 1824 at Whitehaven for T. and J. Brocklebank, the firm in which George Holt had served his apprenticeship. She was sold by them in 1852 to Armstrong, of Whitehaven, before arriving in the Lamport and Holt fleet in 1866, for whom she traded until 1873 when broken up.
The seven Leslie-built brig-rigged iron steamers were, the Cassini (sold 1872), Copernicus (2) (wrecked February 1883), La Plata (sold 1874), Donati (sold 1891), Flamsteed (1) (lost in collision on November 24, ,1873), Laplace (1) and Humboldt (both sold in 1894). All were of about 1,500 gross tons.
The collier lronsides is of interest, as a short account of her early master appears in the foreword of a navigation book entitled "Wrinkles in Practical Navigation" by Capt. S. T. S. Lecky, Master Mariner, Commander R.N.R., F.R.A.S., F.R.G.S., Extra Master, Younger Brother, Trinity House, from which the following passage is quoted:
"During 1865 this company was wound up, and at the end of August his connection with the Krishna perforce came to an end. 'But' wrote the indomitable Lecky, 'my luck still held good, for I immediately got command of a screw collier, trading between Liverpool, Cardiff and elsewhere".
'This vessel was the lronsides of 514 tons, belonging to Mr. Robert Girvan, of Liverpool. What luck indeed.. There are few sailors who would consider themselves fortunate in having given up the 'Inman Line (a reference to the company with which he served before his service in the Krishna) to find themselves on board a collier.
'He admitted however in later years, that, luck or no luck, although it had not been pleasant work, it had given him fresh opportunities and new experience in a strange trade. It was his first real command, and he was undoubtedly fortunate in getting even such a humble one w1thm so short a time of obtaining his master's certificate. (September 13, 1864, extra master's certificate, October, 27,1864. He also qualified in the Board of Trade examination in steam machinery). The experience added greatly to his general usefulness and to the store of knowledge of all classes of ships which he was accumulating.
'On February 17, 1866, the screw collier master, now in his 28th year, was gazetted a sub-lieutenant in the Royal Naval Reserve, and for various periods in 1867 and early 1868, while his ship was discharging, he was devoting his short holidays to putting in his drills on board H.M.S. Eagle at Liverpool; and, having satisfactorily qualified he was gazetted as a Lieutenant R.N .R. to date January 14, 1868.
'Those were the days', he writes, 'in which there were no retaining fees for R.N .R. officers, nor was there any allowance for uniform and equipment, so I spent far more on the R.N.R. than ever returned to me'.
'It will be within the experience of many that, if treated loyally, a humble appointment very often becomes the stepping stone to something a great deal better, and it was a source of considerable gratification to Lecky to find suddenly that his in- conspicuous collier had been purchased by Messrs. Lamport and Holt, the well knowi1 shipowners of Liverpool, who were trading as the Liverpool, Brazil and River Plate Steam Navigation Co. Ltd., and who retained him as master and kept on all his officers. H-e remained in the Ironsides for another eight months with his new owners and left her on August, 17, 1867.
'Thenceforward his career ran pleasantly enough in the well-equipped, comfortable steamers of this great company trading between Liverpool and the principal ports of Eastern South America. He commanded successively over a period of four years their steamships: Ironsides, Cassini, 687 tons - three months; the chartered ship Uruguay 856 tons - thirteen months; and the Halley 995 tons - sixteen months, and became well known in connection with them.
'He resigned his position in the Halley at Liverpool on October 21, 1870; following a dispute with George Holt, in which, from the text of this forward it would appeal that Mr. Lamport disagreed with his partner. Whatever, Lamport sent Lecky £100 from his own pocket, but Lecky would not return to the company.'
The Ironsides remained in the fleet until 1868 when she was sold to D. Jones, of Briton Ferry.
In 1866 the company's ramifications were greatly enlarged with services from London, Glasgow and Antwerp to the East Coast of South America. It is interesting to note that a service also commenced in later years serving the West Coast of this great continent. The Halley inaugurated the first direct service between Antwerp and the River Plate in this same year. Eventually a con- tract was obtained from the Belgian Government for the carriage of mails.
A third Christabel was acquired in 1867, built by King, of New Brunswick, a barque of 660 tons, and traded under their colours for two years. A second sailing ship, the full- rigged Tidal Wave of 1,280 tons, was launched for them at New Brunswick, but was quickly disposed of.
Two steamers were delivered to the partners from the yard of A. Leslie and Company, in 1867, the Tycho Brahe and Hipparchus, both of about 1,800 gross tons. The former ship remained under Lamport and Holt's colours until sold in 1882 to a Mr. Wells, better known as the man who broke the bank at Monte Carlo. He renamed her Palais Royal, but sold her to Turkish owners in 1884. On October 30, 1908, whilst named Taif, she was lost in a collision. The Hipparchus was converted to a hulk in 1895 and served as such for a further 20 years.
In 1869 the Halley became the first iron steamer to transport a coffee shipment from Rio de Janeiro to New York, thus breaking with the old idea that it would spoil the flavour to carry coffee in anything other than a wooden sailing ship. This was a turning point in the company's affairs, in that they now started trading direct from the River Plate and Brazil to United States East Coast ports, and on occasions returned back to South America, or to the United Kingdom with the raw materials for the cotton mills.
The same year saw the last sailing ship enter the fleet, the full-rigged ship Sarah J. Eills of 1,350 tons, named after the wife, of Capt. John Eills, who as previously seen, held command and an interest in some of the early ships. $he was built by King, of St. John, but only remained in the fleet for about two years.
Another Hebburn-built iron steamer arrived in the fleet in 1869, the Pascal of about 2,000 gross tons. She was eventually broken up in 1897.
It is of interest that due to the rapid growth of the steamer services. to South America from the United Kingdom, Antwerp, and the United States, the company went through a period of consolidation, in that steamers.. of ever increasing size (although today little larger than short-sea traders) continued to join the fleet. Most continued to come from the Hebburn yard of A. Leslie and Company; while the sailing ships were rapidly disposed of.
Although, as previously mentioned, the Sarah J. Eills joined the fleet during 1869, no less than six other sailing ships were disposed of.
Three more steamers were commissioned in 1870, two being Hebburn-built and of just over 2,000 gross tons, the Gibers and Biela (1). Both were to serve the partnership for some 30 years, the Gibers being broken up in Italy in 1901, while the Biela was lost in a collision on October, 1, 1900, with the steamer Eagle Point off Nantucket, on passage from New York to Liverpool.
The third acquisition in this year was the first vessel to bear the name Vandyck in the fleet, bought from another famous Liverpool company, T. and J. Harrison, for whom she traded as the Warrior. She was launched originally for Tait and Company London, as the City of Limerick in 1867 by. Randolph Elder and Company, Fairfield, and renamed by Harrisons. The Vandyck was to trade for Lamport and Holt until 1892 when she was converted to a hulk at Rio de Janeiro.
The Calderon and Camoens of 1,018 and 1,093 gross tons respectively, joined the fleet in 1871, the former remaining until sold to a Brazilian company in 1887. The latter was sold some six years earlier to a Leith firm, and continued afloat, later under the Italian flag until broken up in 1923 after a career of some 52 years, a fine testimony to her original builders, A. Leslie and Company.
Three new ships followed in 1872 and were of interest in that they all appeared from different yards, the Gassendi of 1,849 gross tons from Hall, Russell and Company, Aberdeen, (sold 1885); the Rubens of 1,671 gross tons, from Iliff, Moundey and Company, Sunderland, which in her later years was to spend so many years at Punta Arenas as a store ship before being sold at that port as a hulk in 1909; and the Lalande (1), built by A. and J. Inglis and Company, Glasgow, of 1,048 gross tons (sold in 1885).
Seven ships hoisted the 'Lamport and Holt flag in 1873 for the first time, two of which were ~purchased from other owners: the Teniers, of 1868 from Tait and Company, for whom she had traded as the City of Rio de Janeiro, and the Memling, launched the previous year by Gourlay and Company, Dundee, as the Malaga for Malcolm and Company.
Four yards were responsible for the delivery of the other five ships that year: A. Leslie and Company, for the Galileo and Leibnitz, of some 2,00- plus gross tons. The Galileo was the second ship of the name in the fleet, the previous one having been sold in 1870. Both were to have a long career with the company.
The Maraldi of 1,002 gross tons from the Whitehaven Shipbuilding Company, was to stay in the fleet for only two years, as she was wrecked on February 28,1875 near Pernambuco, while on passage Montevideo to Antwerp. The Delambre (1) and Thales came from William Hamilton and Co. Ltd., Port Glasgow, and Hall, Russell and Company, Aberdeen, respectively. Both flew the Lamport and Holt houseflag for many years.
The end of an era was marked in 1874, when: William James Lamport died at New Brighton. He was succeeded in the partnership by Walter Holland, who had been a fellow apprentice with Holt in the firm of Thos and Jno. Brocklebank, and Charles W. Jones, who had served his apprenticeship with Lamport and Holt.
Four more steamers arrived during 1874. These were the Archimedes (1) (sold 1893), Cervantes (sold 1884), Maskelyne (foundered while owned by the Belgian flag subsidiary Societe de Nav. Royale Belge Sud- Americaine, of Antwerp, in position 41 deg. 35 min. N 34 deg. 40 min. W, on passage New Orleans to Antwerp), and finally the Hevelius (broken up in the same year as the Maskelyne was lost. The following year the Rosse arrived (sold to Brazil ill 1898).
The Canova of 1,120 gross tons joined the fleet in 1876, yet another product of the yard of A. Leslie and Company, Hebburn. She was followed a year later by the Euclid (1), Horrox and Plato from Hall, Russell and Company, Aberdeen, T. R. Oswald, Southampton and A. Leslie and Company, respectively.
Of these the Canoua was to remain in the fleet for only about seven years, the Horrox served the company under the British and Belgian flags until broken up in 1903, and the Euclid was sold to Brazil in 1898, and broken up six years later. The Plato was lost after 15 years service, when she foundered 160 miles off the Scilly Isles on March 1., 1892, having broken her main shaft the previous day, on a voyage Liverpool to Brazil.
The volume of cargo carried to and from Antwerp had steadily built up since that first. voyage from the Belgian port by the Halley some 11 years earlier, so much so, that, with their contract to carry mails for the Belgian Government it was thought necessary to transfer a number of ships to the Belgian flag.
So it was that in 1877 a new company, Societe de Nav; Royale Belge Sud-Americaine was formed, with offices at Quai Jordaens No. 1, Antwerp. The formation was marked with the transfer of the Copernicus (2) from the British to the Belgian flag in that year, followed in 1878 by no less than seven ships; the Kepler, Tycho Brahe, Hipparchus, Pascal (1), Teniers, Rosse and Horrox. These eight ships were to carry on this important trade supplemented as required by units of the parent company.