Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Frederick Leyland

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Frederick Richards Leyland (1831-1892), Ship owner, of Frederick Leyland and Co

1831 born in Liverpool, son of John Leyland, a bookkeeper, and his wife, Ann Jane Leyland.

His father died when he was young and he was brought up by his mother

1844 His mother persuaded John Bibby to take her eldest son as an apprentice; he was educated at the mechanics' institute.

His ability was such that by 1850 he is said to have been instrumental in Bibby's introduction of steamships into the Mediterranean trade.

As the Bibby shipping business prospered, Leyland rose through the ranks from bookkeeper to clerk, to merchant by 1859

1861 he settled a dispute between Bibby and the Birkenhead Corporation with such success that he was made a partner in the firm.

1872 the partnership dissolved; Leyland bought out his employers and changed the company name to his own.

1873 Acquired the steamship business of John Bibby, Sons and Co; the company name was changed to Frederick Leyland and Co[1]

The Leyland Line expanded into transatlantic trade

By 1882 the Line had 25 steamships.

1888 Leyland retired from active business, leaving his son Frederick Dawson Leyland in charge of the shipping line.

1892 Frederick Leyland collapsed and died on Blackfriars railway station leaving his company without a leader. John Reeves Ellerman, Christopher Furness and Henry O’Hagen formed a company to buy the fleet from Leyland’s executors.

Buried in Brompton Cemetery

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, Jan 01, 1873
  • Biography of Frederick Richards Leyland, ODNB