Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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PS Argyle

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1813 Built by J. and C. Wood with engine by James Cook

One of the first paddle steamers to reach London

1814 Mention of an incident on its journey to Greenock [1]

1815 Purchased by George Dodd; re-named Thames. In May 1815 Dodd started for London in her; his journey via Dublin, then Wexford and Milford Haven, Plymouth and Portsmouth before reaching Limehouse on June 12th. She was then placed on the run between London and Margate.[2]

Thames (1815) ex Argyle [3]

In the same year - 1815 - another steamboat named the 'Argyle' came to the Thames; she is reputed to have been built in 1813 by J. and C. Wood.

This little craft came round from the Clyde via Land's End, putting in at Dublin, Wexford and Portsmouth, after rounding the North Foreland she is recorded as doing the 90 miles from Margate to Limehouse - with the tide - in nine hours.

On coming to London this vessel was renamed 'Thames'. She was 65 feet in length, having a beam of 14.5 feet, 74 tons burthen, fitted with a 16 n.h.p. side-lever engine constructed by James Cook of Glasgow. The paddle wheels were 9 feet diameter, 4 feet wide, with 16 floats in each wheel, 15 inches broad. Her average speed was six knots.

On her journey to the Thames she encountered very bad weather. Twice during the trip boats put off from the shore, under the impression the vessel was on fire.

The 'Thames' made her first run to Margate on 3rd July 1815, but in consequence of the introduction in the following year of a larger vessel - the 'Regent' - the 'Thames' was withdrawn, re-fitted and went to France to be employed on the Seine.....[more]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Jackson's Oxford Journal, Saturday, October 29, 1814
  2. The Engineer 1867/10/04
  3. Steamers of the Thames and Medway by Frank Burtt. 1949