Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,408 pages of information and 233,867 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Brocklebank Line

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of Liverpool

1819 Thomas Brocklebank moved to Liverpool

1822 He opened an office for the Thomas and John Brocklebank shipping company in Liverpool. His brother John remained in Whitehaven to run the Bransty shipyard and the ropery.

1829 The Brocklebanks began trading to China but on an irregular basis.

1831 John Brocklebank was killed by a fall from his horse. Thomas Fisher Brocklebank moved to Liverpool to assist his uncle, Thomas Brocklebank, in the family business.

1843 Thomas made his nephew, Thomas, and cousin, Ralph, partners in the firm.

By 1844 the fleet had reached its highest number, comprising fifty vessels.

1865 The Whitehaven shipyard was closed and larger iron/steel sailing ships were bought mainly from Harland and Wolff, Belfast.

1889 Their first steamer, Ameer, was purchased.

1898 The company was registered on 12 July to acquire the business of steamship owners of the firm of the same name. [1]

1911 A substantial shareholding was sold to Sir Percy, Frederic and Denis Bates, who had built up an Indian trading firm and were major Cunard Steam Ship Co shareholders.

1911 Cunard Steam Ship Co acquired the Anchor Line, which retained its independence, and, in turn, gained a controlling interest in Brocklebanks in 1912.

1912 A joint cargo service was started from the UK to India by Anchor Line and Brocklebank Line under the name Anchor-Brocklebank.

1919 Cunard bought out the Brocklebank and Bates shares; the final one-fifth shareholding held by Anchor Line was acquired in 1940.

Postwar: The firm experimented with motor ships including, for a short time, the first all-welded vessel, the coaster Fullagar of 1920.

1935 Four ships were reduced in capacity, a unique operation at the time, in response to the Depression.

1935 Anchor-Brocklebank was closed

WWII Sixteen out of twenty-six ships were lost.

1964 Bought H. E. Moss and Co, tanker owners

1967 Cunard Line became responsible for the passenger business; the new Cunard Brocklebank company took on all cargo services.

1983 The last two Brocklebank liveried ships were sold.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Stock Exchange Year Book 1908
  • Merseyside Maritime Museum [1]