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The Fleets

Bailey & Leetham, Hull

A partnership was formed in 1854 between William Bailey and William Leetham to operate cargo and passenger services from Hull to Baltic ports. In 1864 services were expanded to Lisbon, Capetown and Portuguese African colonies. A Portuguese subsidiary company (Empreza Luzitana) was formed to operate this service and the ships were registered as owned by Bailey & Co, Lisbon. A brief service from Lisbon to the Azores operated until 1871. In 1881 the African contract was terminated by the Portuguese Government and the ships on this route reverted to the Hull - Baltic service. By 1871 ships were operating from London and Newcastle as well as Hull and the Hull - Lisbon route was extended to cover Mediterranean and occasional voyages to India after the opening of the Suez Canal. In 1881, Gee & Co, Hull were taken over by Bailey & Leetham together with their fleet of six ships. Intense competition in the Baltic, Scandinavian and North Sea trades took place in the early years of the 20th century, most competion coming from DFDS, Copenhagen and Thos. Wilson , Sons & Co, Hull and in 1903 Bailey & Wilson Ltd was taken over by Thos. Wilson & Sons and 23 ships were transferred to Wilson Line.

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:

  • 1854 - 1903 Hull / London / Newcastle to North Sea and Baltic ports.
  • 1864 - 1903 Hull - Lisbon - (South Africa to 1881)
  • 1864 - 1871 Lisbon - Azores.
  • 1871 - 1903 London / Newcastle / Hull to Mediterranean ports.

Funnel:
Black with a vertical broad white stripe, rounded at the top
(giving the company the nickname "Tombstone Line")

Fleet:

Vessel Built Years in Service Tons
A Oriana 1858 1867 purchased from W. S. Lindsay, Lisbon, Portuguese flag, 1873 sold to J. Bell, Glasgow renamed Simiote. 534
Agenoria 1858 1863 purchased from S. Holme, Liverpool, 1864 wrecked on Swedish coast. 279
Alster 1854 1881 taken over with Gee & Co, Hull, 1881 sank in collision with s/s ADAM SMITH off Haisboro', Norfolk. 299
Argyle 1873 1903 transferred to Wilson Line. 1,185
Atlantico 1866 ex- Dane, 1870 chartered from Union SS Co, renamed Atlantico, Portuguese flag, 1871 sold to Portuguese owners. 1,032
Atlas 1861 1875 purchased from W. Thompson, Hull, 1875 wrecked near Gothenburg on voyage Hull to Cronstadt. 841
Austria 1890 1903 transferred to Wilson Line. 2,221
Bengo   see Hayti.  
Benguella   see Saxon.  
Bona 1883 ex- Highland Prince, 1889 purchased from Prince Line renamed Bona, 1903 transferred to Wilson Line. 1,516
Cambridge 1871 1872 transferred to Portuguese flag, 1874 sank off Spurn on voyage Uddevalla to London. 1,255
China 1869 1877 purchased from A. Apcar, London, 1900 wrecked near Hang on voyage Hull to Reval. 1,212
Clio 1864 1868 purchased from J., A & R. Duthie, Aberdeen, 1869 sank in collision with s/s NIOBE off Gotland. (This was originally Wilson Line's Clio (1)) 1,113
Cossack 1859 1891 sold to Purvis & Co, South Shields. 900
D. Luiz 1859 1867 purchased from W. S. Lindsay, Lisbon, Portuguese flag, 1874 sold to Croft & Shepherd, Glasgow. 220
Dande 1870 Portuguese flag, 1874 wrecked on African coast. 1,367
Delta (1) 1865 1876 purchased from foreign owners, 1888 sold to London & South Wales SS Co, London. 1,244
Delta (2) 1900 1903 transferred to Wilson Line. 1,109
Denia 1889 ex- Wyndcliffe, 1891 purchased from Morel Bros, Cardiff, 1892 renamed Denia, 1899 sold to Italy renamed Ludovico S. 1,940
Derby 1871 1876 lost in ice off Reval. 1,299
Despatch 1855 1864 purchased from Dublin & Liverpool S.P. Co, 1865 transferred to Portuguese flag renamed A Or, 1866 sold to W. H. Hutchinson, Hull reverted to Despatch. 469
Don Pedro 1856 1867 purchased from W. S. Lindsay, Lisbon, Portuguese flag, 1877 register closed. 974
Donna Antonia   see Hope.  
Durham 1863 ex- Smyrna, 1871 purchased from MacAndrew, London renamed Durham, 1895 sank in collision with s/s DUNGENESS off Greenhithe, River Thames. 1,793
Earl de Grey 1863 1864 purchased from H. E. Chapman, London, 1866 rebuilt to 828 tons, 1866 lost near Blanort Beacon between Rivers Eider and Elbe. 723
Elizabeth 1869 ex- Zinovah, 1874 purchased from foreign owners renamed Elizabeth, 1899 sold to Italy renamed Columba M. 1,037
Elma 1872 ex- Parsee, 1879 purchased from T. Sutton, North Shields renamed Elma, 1897 sold to Spain renamed Antonio Roca. 1,574
Emperor 1849 1881 taken over with Gee & Co, Hull, 1885 scrapped. 1,501
Empress 1868 1881 taken over with Gee & Co, Hull, 1883 beached at Spurn Point, Humber after cargo explosion and fire. 1,080
Envoy 1872 1881 taken over with Gee & Co, Hull, 1903 transferred to Wilson Line. 1,353
Esperanza 1871 1888 purchased from Spain, 1903 transferred to Wilson Line. 729
Essex 1869 1903 transferred to Wilson Line. 1,184
Fairy 1868 1881 purchased from Lofthouse & Glover, Hull, 1903 transferred to Wilson Line. 636
Flora 1882 1884 sold to Tasmanian S.N. Co, Hobart. 1,273
Genoa 1890 ex- Centurion, 1900 purchased from Falstone SS Co, Sunderland renamed Genoa, 1903 transferred to Wilson Line. 1,942
Hayti 1854 1868 purchased from A. G. Robinson, London, 1870 renamed Bengo, 1888 sold to France renamed Gideon Coudert. 1,143
Hope 1860 ex- Donna Antonia, 1866 purchased from W. S. Lindsay, Lisbon,1868 rebuilt to 1567 tons, Portuguese flag, 1878 to British flag renamed Hope, 1900 scrapped. 1,179
Indiana 1889 1901 sank in collision with German tanker s/s WASHINGTON off Worthing, Sussex. 2,167
Insulano 1868 Portuguese flag, 1871 sold to Portuguese owners. 877
Jaffa 1897 1903 transferred to Wilson Line. 1,594
Jason 1863 1864 sold to Viceroy of Egypt. 1,042
Jutland 1844 ex- Corkscrew, 1862 purchased renamed Jutland, 1884 sold to J. Young, Newcastle. 206
Kaffraria 1864 1871 purchased from Ryrie & Co, London, 1873 rebuilt to 1038 tons, 1891 wrecked in River Elbe on voyage Hull to Hamburg. 872
Kent 1855 ex- Tejo, 1869 purchased from Portugal renamed Kent, 1872 wreck on Dagoe Island, Baltic 935
Kotka 1884 1903 transferred to Wilson Line. 1,695
La Plata 1865 1874 purchased from Lamport & Holt Line, 1886 wrecked off Hantsholm on voyage Tyne to Reval. 1,394
Labuan 1855 1859 purchased from H. Lindsay, Liverpool, 1864 wrecked near Stornoway on voyage Liverpool to Cronstadt. 589
Lady Flora 1865 1868 purchased from R. Ford, London, 1869 sank in North Sea on voyage Konigsberg to Schiedam. 726
Leal   see Scindian.  
Leda 1862 1873 purchased from Telegraph Construction & Maintenance Co, London, 1876 rebuilt to 1191 tons, 1888 sold to Morel Ltd, Cardiff. 715
Lincolnshire 1865 1866 sank in gale near St. Petersburg. 893
Lion 1869 tug, 1869 sold. 21
Lorne 1873 1903 transferred to Wilson Line. 1,186
Madrid 1873 1888 purchased from Spain, 1889 sold to R. F. Routh, Constantinople. 2,526
Marbella 1894 1898 sank in collision with HMS GALATEA in Hull Roads. 933
May 1898 1899 sold to Chinese Eastern Railway Co, Vladivostok renamed Soongari. 1,415
Mona 1866 ex- Dagmar, 1879 purchased from J. Dyson, Hull renamed Mona, 1883 sold to J. Young, Newcastle. 555
Moscow 1856 1857 purchased from J. H. Frierichs, Manchester, 1857 sold. 578
Narva 1883 1903 transferred to Wilson Line. 1,889
Neva 1883 ex- Juana Nancy, 1888 purchased, 1894 sold to Norway renamed Aarvak. 887
Norfolk 1865 1869 transferred to Portuguese flag, 1870 to British flag, 1881 went missing on voyage Reval to Rouen, believed to have sank in the North Sea; loss of 23 lives. 1,258
Norseman 1890 1893 purchased from Union SS Co, 1896 sold to New Caledonia renamed Saint-Antoine. 938
Oria 1890 1903 transferred to Wilson Line. 2,167
Oxford 1870 1903 transferred to Wilson Line. 1,254
Parana 1862 1876 purchased from Malcolmson Bros, Waterford, 1896 sold to Italy renamed Rosina. 1,396
Pera (1) 1886 1898 sold to Italy renamed Etna. 2,263
Pera (2) 1899 1903 transferred to Wilson Line. 1,150
Princess 1869 1881 taken over with Gee & Co, Hull, 1888 wrecked off Gotland on voyage St. Petersburg to London. 1,184
Princess Alexandra 1856 ex- Marie, 1863 purchased from von Massow, Prussia renamed Princess Alexandra, 1864 rebuilt to 520 tons, 1874 sank after striking wreck off Gotland, Sweden. 329
Quanza   see Yorkshire.  
Queen of Scotland 1827 wooden hulled paddle steamer, 1860 purchased from J. Gee & others, Hull, 1863 sold to C & W. Earle, Hull. 619
Queen Victoria 1855 1860 rebuilt to 1728 tons, 1861 purchased from Palmer, Newcastle, 1862 wrecked near Alexandria. 1,152
Ronda 1889 ex- Rydal Holme, 1902 purchased from Rydal SS Co, Newcastle renamed Ronda, 1903 transferred to Wilson Line. 1,941
Rosetta 1864 1872 rebuilt to 1254 tons, 1878 purchased from R. Ash, Hull, 1890 sold to Germany renamed Commerzienrath Boeckel. 972
Russian 1856 1860 stranded in Westerschelde and scrapped. 516
Saida 1864 1868 purchased from Anglo-Egyptian S.N..Co, London, 1871 wrecked on voyage London to Konigsberg. 1,352
Santelmo 1891 1898 purchased from Bellamy & Co, Manchester, 1898 sold to Germany renamed Tsintau (1901 to HAPAG) 1,568
Saxon 1863 1873 purchased from Union SS Co, London, 1873 transferred to Portuguese flag renamed Benguella, 1884 sold to Portuguese owners. 1,141
Scindian 1854 1864 purchased from Bombay S.N. Co, 1868 renamed Leal, 1869 sank in North Sea with all hands. 565
St. Petersburg 1856 1886 sold to Italy renamed Francesca. 579
Suffolk 1866 ex- Aline, 1869 purchased from foreign owners renamed Suffolk, 1870 sold to West India & Panama Telegraph Co, London. 1,023
Sulina 1884 ex- Ripon, 1885 purchased from Blindell, Dale & Co, London renamed Sulina, 1886 wrecked off Cape Sable on voyage Antwerp to Boston. 2,379
Sultan 1867 1881 taken over with Gee & Co, Hull, 1903 transferred to Wilson Line. 994
Sultana 1888 1903 transferred to Wilson Line. 1,979
Surrey 1872 1884 wrecked at Vlieland, Holland on voyage Reval to London. 1,301
Syria 1889 1903 transferred to Wilson Line. 2,239
Tartar 1861 1864 sank in North Sea on voyage Copenhagen to Hull. 699
Una (1) 1859 1873 purchased from W. Malcolmson, Waterford, 1897 scrapped. 1,307
Una (2) 1899 1903 transferred to Wilson Line. 1,407
Vanguard 1863 1864 sold to Khedivial Mail SS Co., Alexandria renamed Yambo. 805
Vera 1881 ex- Vercingetorix, 1887 purchased from Delmas, La Rochelle renamed Vera, 1889 wrecked on Chesil Beach, Dorset on voyage Venice to London. 2,019
Viceroy 1862 1870 purchased from Gee & Co., Hull, 1874 went missing on voyage Hull to Reval. 823
Victoria 1848 1864 purchased from J. Wood, Aberdeen, 1865 transferred to Portuguese flag, 1874 deleted from register. 271
Watt 1856 1872 purchased from Jackson & Bean, London, tug, 1878 sank off Spurn, River Humber. 64
William Bailey 1883 1903 transferred to Wilson Line. 1,834
Winestead 1871 1895 sold to Italy renamed Varese. 1,673
Yorkshire 1865 1868 transferred to Portuguese flag renamed Quanza, 1871 to British flag, 1872 lost off East London after dragging anchors in gale. 1,178
Zaire 1860 1867 purchased from W. Lindsay, Lisbon, Portuguese flag, 1870 rebuilt to 1550 tons, 1882 to British flag, 1894 sold to Italy renamed Adalgisa. 1,155
Zara 1897 1903 transferred to Wilson Line. 1,331
Zealand 1857 1861 purchased, 1863 sank off Horn Reefs on voyage Konigsberg to London; no loss of life. 451

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