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The Fleets

Bolton Steam Shipping Co. Ltd, 1885-1917 1921-1982, London

Bolton Steam Shipping Co. Ltd originated from 1885 when Frederick Bolton formed a partnership with Louis T. Bartholomew as Frederic Bolton & Company and ordered a steamer from J.L. Thompson & Sons, Sunderland. She was delivered in June 1885 as the RAPHAEL (1) followed by the REMBRANDT (1) in August 1886 and the RUBENS (1) in July 1887 and the RUYSDAEL (1) in September 1888. The ships were used in the Tramping trades.
Two more tramp ships were delivered from J.L. Thompson & Sons, Sunderland, in 1893 and 1894, the ROMNEY (1) and ROSSETTI (1).

Henry Kenneth joined as a partner in 1887 but could not get on with Louis T. Bartholomew, so Frederick bought Kenneth out in 1897 and formed the Bolton Steam Shipping Company Ltd.

Another three tramp ships were delivered from J.L. Thompson & Sons, Sunderland in 1898, 1902 and 1904, REYNOLDS (1), RAMSAY (1) and RIBERA (1). The RAPHAEL (1), REMBRANDT (1), RUBENS (1) and RUYSDAEL (1) were sold to Chile in 1906 and a new tramp ship built by William Gray and Sons, West Hartlepool the RUBENS (2) joined the fleet.

In 1906 Fredericks' two sons Eric and Louis Hamilton, were made partner. In January a new RUYSDAEL (2) was delivered from William Gray and Sons, West Hartlepool.

By the beginning of World War I the company owned seven tramp ships.

In August 1914 the RUBENS (2) was captured at Hamburg. On 27th September 1914 the RIBERA (1) was captured by the German cruiser Emden in the Indian Ocean. The RUYSDAEL (2) was detained at a Finnish port, where she lay until November 1916, on arrival home she was sold to A.D. Axarlis, London and was torpedoed and sunk in September 1918. In 1915 a new RIBERA (2) was delivered from William Gray and Sons, West Hartlepool and ROMNEY (1), ROSSETTI (1) and REYNOLDS (1) were sold in 1915-1916.

Eric Bolton had been killed earlier in the war and the company went into voluntary liquidation on 12th September 1917. The RAMSAY (1) was sold to B.J. Sutherland at Newcastle and the RIBERA (2) to other British owners.
In February 1920 Frederick died and in November 1921 Louis Hamilton restarted the company with the purchase of two second-hand tramps from the Shipping Controller which were renamed RUBENS (3) and RIBERA (3) and another bought from the Well Line, renamed RUYSDAEL (3) (ex- BLACKWELL). A new ship was bought while building from Bartram & Sons at Sunderland and renamed RAMSAY (2).

In February 1927 a new REYNOLDS (2) was completed at R. Duncan's, Port Glasgow. She was followed by two sisters in May 1929 and March 1930, the ROMNEY (2) and RAMSAY (3).
The RUBENS (3), RUYSDAEL (3) and RAMSAY (2) were sold in 1927, 1929 and 1928 and the RIBERA (3) was laid up in 1930 and scrapped in 1931.

By the beginning of World War II the company owned three tramp ships.

On 9th June 1942 the RAMSAY (3) was torpedoed and sunk by German submarine in the Atlantic while in convoy ONS 100. On 31st October 1942 the REYNOLDS (2) was torpedoed and sunk by German submarine South of Madagascar.
Two sister ships the RIBERA (4) and REMBRANDT (2) were completed in 1940 and 1941 at the Lithgow’s yard at Port Glasgow. Two standard Ocean’s were managed for the Government.
The managed OCEAN VIGIL was purchased in 1946 and renamed RAMSAY (4), while a sister was purchased in 1947 and renamed RUYSDAEL (4) (ex- OCEAN WANDERER). The managed liberty SAMCEBU was also purchased in 1947 and renamed REYNOLDS (3).
The ROMNEY (2) was sold to Greece in 1949 and was replaced by the RAPHAEL (2) (ex- OCEAN VAGRANT). The EMPIRE MARTABAN was taken on a bare boat charter from 1946 till 1951 with an option to purchase which was taken up in 1951 but immediately resold to other London owners.
New ships were built in 1952 and 1953, the RAMSAY (5) and REYNOLDS (4).

Louis Hamilton died in 1953 and was succeeded by his son Frederick B. Bolton.

The ROMANIC joined the fleet in 1954 and was chartered to Shaw, Savill and Albion.

A new company the North Yorkshire Shipping Company Ltd was started in 1954 to transport ore for BISCO and orders were placed for four ore carriers ( REDCAR, RIBBLEHEAD, RIPON and RIEVAULX).
The RIBERA (4) and REMBRANDT (2) was sold in 1955 and 1957 to Greece. A new RUYSDAEL (5) entered service in 1957, followed by the REMBRANDT (3) in 1960 which had gas turbines engines placed right aft, this was not a great success and the ship was sold in 1967 with considerable loss. The RAMSAY (5), REYNOLDS (4) and ROMANIC were sold in the early sixties and the RUYSDAEL (5) followed in 1968.

In June 1965 the company entered the bulk trade with the delivery of the RIBERA (5) from Smiths Dock Co., Middlesbrough.
The RIBERA (5) was sold in 1973 and replaced with two new bulkers the ROSSETTI (2) and REYNOLDS (5). Also a new funnel marking was used with the house flag instead of an all black funnel.
A third sister ship of the two previously built ships joined the fleet in 1976 as RUBENS (4). However, the market collapsed and Frederick B. Bolton was forced to sell his ships. The ROSSETTI (2) was sold in 1978 and also the REYNOLDS (5) was sold and chartered back.

The debt was still mounting so in 1982 they were bought by Nosira Shipping (Carnival Cruises Line Group) with Carnival in turn selling them both in 1987 to the Mountleigh Group. Whilst part of the Carnival Group the Bolton Maritime Management Ltd. was set up to manage the fleets of Bolton Steamship and Nosira Shipping but these two have gone out of ship-owning soon after and by 1992 and the management company was noted in Lloyds Shipowners acting for a non related company.

Many thanks to Henk Jungerius and Ted Finch for their 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.

Funnels & Flags:

Fleet:

Funnel Funnel Flag Flag
  1855-1973 1973-1982    
Vessel Built Years in Service Tons
Empire Martaban 1944 built by Burntisland Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., Burntisland | ex- Empire Martaban built for British Government (MOWT), 1951 purchased after finishing bare boat charter and sold to Aviation & Shipping Co., London renamed Avistone, 1959 sold to Faik Zeren, Istanbul renamed Turkiye, 1972 scrapped at Istanbul. 7,542
Ramsay (1) 1902 built by J.L. Thompson & Sons, Sunderland | 1917 sold to B.J. Sutherland renamed Caithness, 1919 sold to J. Griffiths, Cardiff same name, 1926 sold to A. Lauro, Naples, Italy renamed Edera, 11th September 1930 wrecked 4nm NNE Ouddorp and scrapped in 1931. 4,318
Ramsay (2) 1921 built by Bartram & Sons Ltd., Sunderland | 1929 sold to Scheepvaart Mij. Millingen, Rotterdam renamed Kerkplein, 1940 seized by Germans in service as a transport ship RO 23, 1945 recovered at Christiansand, 1945 repaired and back in service, 1947 sold to Van Ommeren renamed Ossendrecht, 1950 sold to Germany renamed Alstertor, 1953 scrapped Bremerhaven. 5,053
Ramsay (3) 1930 built by R. Duncan & Co., Port Glasgow | 9th June 1942 torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U.94 while in convoy ONS100 with the loss of 40 lives. 4,855
Ramsay (4) 1941 built by Permanente Metals Corp., Richmond, California | ex- Ocean Vigil, 1946 purchased from British Government renamed Ramsay, 1951 sold to Cia.Nav.Maropan S.A, Panama renamed Stork, 1955 to Cia.Maritima de Nav. Conval.S.A., Panama, 1960 sold to Derna Cia.Nav, Panama renamed Roumeli, 3rd February 1963 aground while leaving drydock at Gijon, 11th February 1963 refloated, 21st February 1963 beached, CTL, sold for scrap in situ. 7,111
Ramsay (5) 1952 built by Smith's Dock Company, Middlesborough | 1960 sold to United Oriental Steamship Co., Pakistan renamed Anisbakshi, 12th December 1971 damaged by bombing at Chittagong and scrapped in 1972. 6,273
Raphael (1) 1885 built by J.L. Thompson & Sons, Sunderland | 1906 sold to Chilena de Vapores, Chile renamed Presidente Bulnes, 1913 renamed Ercilla, 1913 sold to Ramis Clar Gonzales renamed Antofagasta, 1914 sold to renamed Fresia, 1930 hulked. 1,860
Raphael (2) 1942 built by Permanente Metals Corp., Richmond, California | ex- Ocean Vagrant built British Government, ex- Atlantic Vagrant 1948, 1949 purchased from Baltic Shipping Co., Newcastle renamed Raphael, 1951 sold to Cia.de Vapores S.A., Panama renamed Siram, 1961 sold to Syramar Cia.Nav.S.A., Panama renamed Syros, 1968 scrapped at Shanghai. 7,146
Rembrandt (1) 1886 built by J.L. Thompson & Sons, Sunderland | 1906 sold to Chilena de Vapores, Chile renamed Presidente Prieto, 1912 badly damaged and written off. 1,828
Rembrandt (2) 1941 built by Lithgows Ltd., Port Glasgow | 1957 sold to Navigation Transport Co., Greece renamed Capetan Antonis, 1963 renamed Mastromitsos, 1965 sold same name, 1967 scrapped at Kaohsiung. 5,588
Rembrandt (3) 1960 built by Smith's Dock Company, Middlesborough | 1967 sold to Greece converted into a motorship renamed Galini, 1984 scrapped at Kaohsiung. 8,104
Reynolds (1) 1898 built by J.L. Thompson & Sons, Sunderland | 1916 sold to Watts, Watts & Co. renamed Chertsey, 26th April 1917 torpedoed and sunk by German submarine. 3,264
Reynolds (2) 1927 built by R. Duncan & Co., Port Glasgow | 31st October 1942 torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U.504 and lost with all hands, south of Madagascar. 5,024
Reynolds (3) 1944 built by Southeastem S.B. Corp., Savannah | ex- Samcebu standard ship type Liberty, 1947 purchased from British Government renamed Reynolds, 1951 sold renamed St. Nicholas, 1956 sold to Greece renamed Panagos, 1959 sold renamed Amazon, 24th December 1963 aground near Cape Bon, bound from Italy to Buenos Aires, refloated, and broken up Spezia 1964. 7,219
Reynolds (4) 1953 built by W. Pickersgill & Sons Ltd., Sunderland | 1961 sold to United Oriental Steamship Co., Pakistan renamed Imtiazbaksh, 1976 scrapped in Pakistan. 6,247
Reynolds (5) 1973 built by Boelwerf N.V., Temse | 1978 sold and chartered back, 1987 sold to Malta renamed Seaduty, 1989 sold to Greece renamed Predator, 1993 sold to Cyprus renamed Trias, 1993 sold to Peoples Republic of China and renamed Gueng Shen. 18,025
Ribera (1) 1904 built by J.L. Thompson & Sons, Sunderland | 27th September 1914 sunk by German cruiser EMDEN in Indian Ocean. 3,500
Ribera (2) 1915 built by Wm Gray & Co Ltd, West Hartlepool | 1917 sold renamed Glorose, 10th June 1917 torpedoed and sunk by German submarine near Cape Wrath. 3,511
Ribera (3) 1907 built by Flensburger Schiffsbau Gesellschaft, Flensburg | ex- Hanau built for Deutsch Australische DG, Hamburg, 1919 allocated to Great Britain, 1921 sold to Bolton SS Co. renamed Ribera, 1931 laid up, 1931 scrapped. 4,221
Ribera (4) 1940 built by Lithgows Ltd., Port Glasgow | 1955 sold to Goulandris Bros renamed Okeanis, 1959 sold to SOARMA, Italy renamed Jolanda, 1964 sold not renamed, 1971 scrapped at Split. 5,593
Ribera (5) 1965 built by Smith's Dock Company, Middlesborough | 1973 sold to the Ben Line Steamers renamed Benvorlich, 1976 sold to Peoples Republic of China and renamed Kang Hai, 1976 owners titles China Ocean Shipping Co., 1983 owners now Shanghai Ocean Shipping Co. (COSCO -Shanghai). 18,088
Romanic 1954 built by Smith's Dock Company, Middlesborough | Intended name Ruysdael, by completion chartered to Shaw, Savill & Albion as Romanic, 1961 sold to Greece renamed Plate Clipper, 1969 sold renamed Marazul, 1971 sold renamed Mionis, 1973 sold renamed Chryssostomos, 1974 sold renamed Bosphorus, 1976 scrapped at Gadani Beach. 6,320
Romney (1) 1893 built by J.L. Thompson & Sons, Sunderland | 1915 sold to Transport & Trading Co., London not renamed, 1920 renamed City of Amiens, 22nd September 1922 wrecked near Camarinas. 2,806
Romney (2) 1929 built by R. Duncan & Co., Port Glasgow | 1949 sold to A.G. Tsavliris, Greece for scrapping renamed Granny Suzanne, but resold in 1950 to Ernst Komrowski, Bremen renamed Montan, 1954 sold to Kyrtatas Brothers renamed Antonios A. Kyrtatas, 1960 scrapped at Hamburg. 5,840
Rossetti (1) 1894 built by J.L. Thompson & Sons, Sunderland | 1915 sold to Cambo Shipping Co., Cardiff not renamed, 1919 renamed Antinoe, 1923 sold to T.A. Syrmas, Greece renamed Anastassios A. Syrmas, 1929 sold to E. Hogberg renamed Gerania, 1940 renamed Wilhelmina, 14th December 1941 wrecked Kammarbrinken, NW Utlangen. 2,080
Rossetti (2) 1973 built by Boelwerf N.V., Temse | 1978 sold renamed Carefowl, 1989 sold renamed Snowbird, 1997sold renamed Yling, 1998 scrapped at Alang. 17,996
Rubens (1) 1887 built by J.L. Thompson & Sons, Sunderland | 1906 sold to Chile renamed Presidente Manuel Monti, 1913 sold to Gonzales Soffia & Co. renamed Iquique, 1918 sold to Algerian Railways renamed Souk Ahras, 1926 sold to Nettuno renamed Sara, 1927 renamed Sara Saglimbene, 1928 scrapped. 2,077
Rubens (2) 1906 built by Wm Gray & Co Ltd, West Hartlepool | 4th August 1914 seized at Hamburg, fitted out as a blockade runner to supply the German cruiser Konigsberg, blockaded in the Rufiji River but was caught of the African coast and was scuttled by her own crew to avoid capture. 3,587
Rubens (3) 1905 built by D. & W. Henderson & Co Ltd., Glasgow | ex- Armanistan built for Frank C. Strick, 1906 sold to Dampfschiffs Reederei Union A.G., Germany renamed Wellgunde, 1912 sold to Continentale Rhederei renamed Heimfeld, 1914 sold to Deutsche Levante Linie renamed Pera, 1919 allocated to Great Britain, 1921 sold to Bolton SS Co. renamed Rubens, 1927 sold to Greece renamed Ioannis Corcodilos, 1934 scrapped. 4,071
Rubens (4) 1976 built by Boelwerf N.V., Temse | 1988 sold renamed Laura C, 1990 sold renamed Ziya K, 2001 renamed Med, 2001 scrapped in China. 17,996
Ruysdael (1) 1888 built by J.L. Thompson & Sons, Sunderland | 1906 sold to Chilena de Vapores, Chile renamed General Freire, 1920 sold renamed Lautaro, 1st June 1928 wrecked at Valparaiso. 2,095
Ruysdael (2) 1912 built by Wm Gray & Co Ltd, West Hartlepool | 1916 sold to A.D. Axarlis, London not renamed, 7th September 1918 torpedoed and sunk by German submarine. 3,478
Ruysdael (3) 1907 built by J.L. Thompson & Sons, Sunderland | ex- Blackwell, 1921 purchased from Well Line renamed Ruysdael, 1929 sold to Italy renamed Iris, 1935 scrapped at Monfalcone. 4,712
Ruysdael (4) 1942 built by Todd-Bath Iron S.B. Corp., Portland, Maine | ex- Ocean Wanderer, 1947 purchased from British Government renamed Ruysdael, 1951 sold to Kronos Cia Nav S.A., Panama renamed Santa Irene, 2nd November 1962 aground Los Cabezos Shoal, 4 miles West of Tarifa, 9th November 1962 broke in two, CTL. 7,118
Ruysdael (5) 1957 built by Smith's Dock Company, Middlesborough | 1968 sold to Greece renamed Aristides Xilas, 1979 scrapped at Kaohsiung. 6,452
 
North Yorkshire Shipping Company Ltd
 
Vessel Built Years in Service Tons
Redcar 1956 built by Smith's Dock Company, Middlesborough | 1971 sold to J. & J. Denholm renamed Dunblane, 1973 sold renamed Ady, 1978 scrapped at La Spezia. 10,946
Ribblehead 1956 built by Lithgows Ltd., Port Glasgow | 1972 sold to Greece renamed Antiklia, 1978 sold renamed Evro Aramis, 1982 scrapped at Bombay. 10,741
Rievaulx 1958 built by Smith's Dock Company, Middlesborough | 1973 sold renamed Silver Lake, 1973 sold renamed Nema, 1984 scrapped in China. 10,974
Ripon 1956 built by Lithgows Ltd., Port Glasgow | 1972 sold to Letas Sa and converted into a floating crane. 10,731

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