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The Fleets

Aberdeen Line / Aberdeen & Commonwealth Lines

Set up in 1825 by George Thompson of Aberdeen to run sailing ships to the St. Lawrence with a few passengers and returning with timber. By 1837 he was running a fleet of 12 sailing vessels and trading to South America, the Pacific, West Indies and the Mediterranean and in 1842 commenced regular London - Australia sailings. In 1882 a regular steamship service was introduced between London and Australia and in 1899 all ships of the line were fitted to carry frozen produce. In 1905 the company came under the joint control of White Star Line and Shaw, Savill & Albion Line, but retained it's own identity. White Star Line purchased the Australian Government owned Australian Commonwealth Line and it's fleet in 1928, but in 1931 the Kylsant shipping group which owned White Star Line, collapsed. In 1932, the Aberdeen Line was purchased by Shaw, Savill & Albion and in 1933 the fleet of the former Australian Commonwealth Line which had not been fully paid for, was also acquired and the Aberdeen & Commonwealth Line formed. In 1936 Furness Withy & Co took control of Shaw Savill & Albion, in 1938 the Aberdeen name was dropped from the title and in 1957 the last of their ships was scrapped and the company disappeared.

Many thanks to Ted Finch for his assistance in collecting this data. The following list was extracted from various sources. This is not an all inclusive list but should only be used as a guide. If you would like to know more about a vessel, visit the Ship Descriptions (onsite) or Immigrant Ship web site.

Routes: - Aberdeen Line

Sail

  • 1854-1870 Aberdeen - Quebec - St.Lawrence.
  • 1824-1840 Aberdeen - London / Aberdeen - Baltic / Mediterranean / West Indies / South America / Pacific.
  • 1840-1845 London - Australia - New Zealand - East Indies / China - South America.
  • 1841-1850 Aberdeen - Baltic / Mediterranean / West Indies / South Africa / North and South America.
  • 1846-1906 London - Cape Town / Durban - Melbourne / Sydney - East Indies - India - London.
  • 1849-1881 London - Melbourne / Sydney - Shanghai / Foochow / Whampoa - London.

Steam

  • 1882-1932 London - Plymouth - Teneriffe - Cape Town - Melbourne - Sydney - Brisbane - Sydney - Melbourne - (Fremantle) - (Albany) - (Hobart) - Cape Town (from 1886) - Durban (from 1886) - Teneriffe - Plymouth - London.
Routes: - Aberdeen & Commonwealth Line
  • 1928-1957 Southampton - Malta - Port Said - Colombo - Fremantle - Adelaide - Melbourne - Sydney - Brisbane and reverse.

Funnel:
Buff

Fleet:

    Sail  
Vessel Built Years in Service Tons
Agnes Blaikie 1841 1849 sold to W. Jenkins & Co, Swansea. 381
Alexander Harvey 1840 1852 sold to T. Adams, Banff for whaling. 272
Alexander 1813 1826 acquired from Thompson, Aberdeen, 1834 no longer listed in Lloyds Register. 215
Amity 1825 1842 sold to A. Harvey & Co, Aberdeen 312
Anemone 1840 1850 sold to A. Wales & Co, Aberdeen. 205
Arab 1839 1852 wrecked Honduras. 190
Ariel 1823 1826 purchased from R.Anderson & Co, Aberdeen, 1834 presumed lost. 101
Aristides 1876 Australia trade, 1903 went missing in Pacific; loss of 27 lives. 1,721
Ascalon 1868 China trade, 1881 sold to Trinder Anderson & Co, London. 938
Aviemore 1870 Australia trade, 1889 sold to Norway. 1,147
Braemar 1829 1835 purchased from W. Donald & Co, Aberdeen, 1835 trace lost. 120
Centurion (1) 1850 China, then Australia trade, 1867 wrecked off Grimsby. 656
Centurion (2) 1869 Australia trade, 1887 wrecked off Sydney. 965
Childe Harold 1828 1831 purchased from Howden & Co, Aberdeen, 1840 sold to H. Oswald & Co, Aberdeen. 116
Christiana Thompson 1866 1887 sold to Norway renamed Beatrice Lines. 1,079
Colonial Empire 1861 Australia trade, 1874 sold to Milne & Co, Aberdeen. 1,305
Damascus (1) 1857 Australia trade, 1881 sold to Norway renamed Magnolia. 964
Dunnottar Castle 1833 1838 sold to A. Milne & Co, Aberdeen. 165
Earl of Aberdeen 1820 1828 purchased from Ligertwood & Co, Aberdeen, 1838 sold to Clennell & Co, Newcastle. 278
Ethiopian 1864 China and Australia trade, 1888 sold to Norway. 839
Flamingo 1837 1847 no longer listed by Lloyds Register. 170
George Thompson 1865 Australia trade, 1897 sold to J. Banfield, Sydney. 1,128
Harlaw 1866 China and Australia trade, 1878 wrecked off Yangtsze River; loss of 9 lives. 892
Helen 1826 1845 sold to Folingsby & Co, Belfast. 305
Iris 1845 no further information. 405
James Lumsden 1828 1834 purchased from Mackie & Co, Aberdeen, 1838 no longer listed by Lloyds Register. 116
Jan Mayen 1859 (auxiliary engine) 1878 purchased from Resolution Seal & Whale Fishing Co, Quebec service, 1882 sold to G. Welch, Dundee. 337
Jane Boyd 1843 Quebec trade, 1867 no longer listed by Lloyds Register. 359
Jerusalem 1867 China and Australia trade, 1887 sold to Norway. 901
John Bunyan 1848 China, Australia trade, 1864 sold to Vanner & Co, London. 526
Kosciusko 1862 Australia trade, 1883 sold to Cowlishaw Bros, Sydney. 1,192
Lady of the Lake 1827 1834 presumed lost. 294
Lord Metcalfe 1845 Quebec trade, 1852 Australia trade, 1855 sold to W. Donald & Co, Aberdeen. 495
Maid of Judah 1853 Australia trade, 1870 sold to Cowlishaw Bros, Sydney. 756
Mansfield 1824 1825 purchased from Martin & Co, Aberdeen, 1848 sold to Catto & Co, Aberdeen, 1856 presumed scrapped. 124
Marmion 1827 feeder ship, 1835 sold to Smith & Co, Stonehaven. 78
May Flower 1841 1849 sold to Jamieson & Co, Aberdeen. 247
Miltiades (1) 1871 Australia trade, 1902 sold to Italy. 1,495
Moravian (1) 1858 Australia trade, 1883 sold to Robey Bros, Sydney and hulked. 697
Mungo Park 1838 1847 sold to R. Connor & Co, Newcastle. 224
Neptune 1844 Australia service, 1849 sold to J. Duncan & Co, Aberdeen. 323
Nineveh (1) 1864 Australia trade, 1883 sold to Goodlet & Smith, Sydney. 1,174
Oliver Cromwell 1847 New Zealand trade, 1861 sold to Holderness & Co, Liverpool. 527
Omar Pasha 1854 Australia trade, 1869 burned at sea; no loss of life. 1,279
Orontes 1881 Australia trade, 1903 sunk in collision off Ostend. 1,318
Patriarch 1869 Australia trade, 1898 sold to Norway. 1,405
Pericles (1) 1877 Australia trade, 1904 sold to Norway. 1,598
Phoenician 1847 Australia trade, 1862 sold to H. Andrews & Co, Belfast. 521
Prince of Wales 1842 Australia service, 1853 capsized off Cape Howe. 516
Queen Victoria 1837 Quebec trade, 1847 sold to J. Jobling & Co, South Shields. 220
Queen of Nations 1861 1881 wrecked New South Wales. 878
Richibucto 1835 Quebec trade, 1869 probably scrapped. 401
Salamis (1) 1875 Australia trade, 1899 sold to Norway. 1,130
Samuel Plimsoll 1873 Australia trade, 1900 sold to Shaw, Savill & Co 1,520
Sir William Wallace 1824 1842 sold to R. Anderson & Co, Aberdeen. 321
Smyrna 1876 Australia trade, 1888 sunk in collision off the Isle of Wight; loss of 12 lives. 1,305
Sophocles (1) 1879 Australia trade, 1899 sold to Italy. 1,176
Star of Hope 1854 Quebec trade, 1870 sank after collision off Essex coast. 788
Star of Peace 1855 Australia trade, 1875 sold to Jamieson & Co, London. 1,114
Strathdon (1) 1860 Australia trade, 1880 sold to Holland renamed Zwerver. 1,011
Strathdon (2) 1885 (ex-Queen's Island, 1890 purchased from S. Lawther & Co, Belfast renamed Strathdon), Australia trade, 1906 sold to France renamed Gers. 2,093
Struggler 1827 1832 purchased from Duthie & Co, Aberdeen, 1836 sold to W. Donald & Co, Aberdeen. 106
Thermopylae (1) 1868 China and Australia trade, (one of the fastest clipper ships ever, averaging 69 days London to Melbourne over 10 voyages), 1890 sold to Mount Royal Milling Co, Victoria, BC for Pacific trading. 991
Thyatira 1867 China and Australia trade, 1894 sold to Woodside & Co, Belfast. 962
Transatlantic 1857 Australia trade, 1876 sold to Norway. 614
Walter Hood 1852 Australia trade, 1870 wrecked New South Wales; loss of 13 lives. 937
Wave of Life 1856 Australia trade, 1882 sold to J. Reis, Rio de Janeiro renamed Ida. 887
Woolloomooloo 1652 Australia trade, 1870 sold to H. Ganson & Co, Aberdeen. 645

Steamships (All Australia trade)

Aberdeen 1881 1906 sold to Turkish Government renamed Halep. 3,616
Australasian 1884 1906 sold to Turkish Government renamed Scham. 3,650
Damascus (second) 1887 1909 sold to Italy. 3,609
Demosthenes 1911 1931 scrapped. 11,223
Diogenes 1922 1926 chartered to Shaw, Savill & Albion Line renamed Mataroa, 1932 taken over by SS&A, 1957 scrapped. 12,341
Euripides 1914 1932 taken over by Shaw, Savill & Albion Line renamed Akaroa, 1954 scrapped. 14,947
Herminius 1911 ex-Waimana, 1926 transferred from Shaw, Savill & Albion Line renamed Herminius, 1932 reverted to SS&A as Waimana, 1941 became Empire Waimana for MOWT, 1950 scrapped. 10,389
Horatius   see Hostilius  
Hostilius 1918 ex-Bardic, 1925 transferred from White Star Line renamed Hostilius, 1926 renamed Horatius, 1933 transferred to Shaw, Savill & Albion renamed Kumara, 1937 sold to Marathon SS Co renamed Marathon. 7,926
Mamari   see Mamilius  
Mamilius 1911 ex-Zealandic, 1926 transferred from White Star Line renamed Mamilius, 1934 renamed Mamari, 1939 sold to British Admiralty. 10,898
Marathon 1904 1912 rebuilt to 7848 tons, 1920 sold to Royal Mail SP Co renamed Oruba 6,793
Miltiades (2) 1903 1912 rebuilt to 7814 tons, 1921 sold to Royal Mail SP Co renamed Orcana 6,793
Moravian (2) 1899 1914 sold to Bombay & Persia SN Co., Bombay renamed Akbar. 4,573
Nineveh (2) 1894 1907 sold to Eastern & Australasian SS Co., London renamed Aldenham. 3,808
Pericles (2) 1908 1910 wrecked on uncharted rock off Cape Leeuwin, Western Australia; no loss of life. 10,925
Salamis (2) 1899 1911 sold to Andrew Weir's Bank Line. 4,508
Sophocles (2) 1883 ex-Ionic, 1900 purchased from White Star Line renamed Sophocles, 1907 sold for scrap. 4,673
Sophocles (3) 1922 1926 chartered to Shaw, Savill & Albion Line renamed Tamaroa, 1932 taken over by SS&A, 1957 scrapped. 12,341
Themistocles 1911 1932 taken over by Shaw, Savill & Albion Line, 1947 scrapped. 11,231
Thermopylae (2) 1891 1899 wrecked Table Bay; no loss of life. 3,711

ABERDEEN & COMMONWEALTH LINE

Esperance Bay (1) 1922 1928 purchased by White Star Line from Australian Commonwealth Line, 1933 transferred to Aberdeen & Commonwealth Line, 1936 transferred to Shaw, Savill & Albion Line renamed Arawa, 1955 scrapped. 13,837
Esperance Bay (2)   see Hobson's Bay  
Fordsdale 1924 purchased by White Star Line from Australian Commonwealth Line, 1933 transferred to Shaw, Savill & Albion, 1952 sold to Audax Shipping, Hong Kong renamed Ocean Neptune. 9,949
Hobson's Bay 1921 1928 purchased by White Star Line from Australian Commonwealth Line, 1933 transferred to Aberdeen & Commonwealth Line, 1936 renamed Esperance Bay (2), 1955 scrapped. 13,840
Jervis Bay 1922 1928 purchased by White Star Line from Australian Commonwealth Line, 1933 transferred to Aberdeen & Commonwealth Line, 1940 sunk by German cruiser ADMIRAL SCHEER while protecting convoy as Armed Merchant Cruiser (190) The captain received a posthumous Victoria Cross. see http://www.saintjohn.nbcc.nb.ca/JervisBay/jervisbaymon2.htm 13,839
Largs Bay 1921 1928 purchased by White Star Line from Australian Commonwealth Line, 1933 transferred to Aberdeen & Commonwealth Line, 1957 scrapped. 13,853
Moreton Bay 1921 1928 purchased by White Star Line from Australian Commonwealth Line, 1933 transferred to Aberdeen & Commonwealth Line, 1957 scrapped 13,855
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