In 1815 Josias Booker of Liverpool managed a cotton plantation
and later a sugar plantation in British Guiana and was later joined by
his brothers George, William and Richard who based themselves in Georgetown.
The business flourished and in 1846 John McConnell joined the company,
together with Josias' son, Josias junior. McConnell became the senior
partner when the Booker family sold out in 1886 and the corporate title
became Booker Bros, McConnell & Co. in 1900. The company branched out
from colonial plantations to insurance services, agencies for consumer
goods, transport, retailing and publishing.
The Booker Line was formed in 1911, principally to operate
cargo and passenger services between Liverpool and British Guiana. Later
calls were also made at Windward Islands ports and Trinidad.
became independent in 1966 and was renamed Guyana. In 1976 the then-Marxist
government nationalised Guyanan industry including Booker's interests
with the result that Guyana's economy went into permanenet recession.
In the 1990s Bookers and Tate & Lyle were contracted to manage their
sugar industry and succeeded in reviving it. Although the company retired
from the shipping industry, thay are still active in the sugar industry
and own chains of supermarkets, distribution services and publishers
(who inaugurated the Booker Prize).
ceased shipowning in 1983.
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.
- Liverpool - British Guiana
- Liverpool - Windward Islands ports and Trinidad
buff yellow with a narrow black top.
||Years in Service
||ex- Castillian Prince, 1912 purchased from Prince
Line renamed Amakura, 12th Jun.1917 torpedoed and sunk by U.94
in the North Atlantic.
||25th Aug.1942 torpedoed and sunk by U.588, 100 miles
off Jamaica; loss of 13 lives.
|| 1961 sold to Peninsular Shipping Co., Hong Kong renamed
||ex- Grenada, 1913 purchased from the Trinidad
Shipping & Trading Co. renamed Arakaka, 1924 sold to Atlantic
SS Co., Glasgow. 1924 sold to Greece renamed Aki.
||23rd Jun.1941 torpedoed and sunk with all hands by
U.77 in position 47.00N 40.00W while acting as a weather ship; loss
of 31 lives.
||1963 sold to Greece renamed Aba Prince.
||ex- Sol Michel, 1979 purchased from Solstads Rederi
A/S, Skudenshavn, Norway renamed Booker Challenge, 1983 sold to Government
of Nauru renamed Eigugu.
||ex- Brageland, 1980 purchased from A/B Svenska Orient
Linien, Gothenburg, Sweden renamed Booker Courage, 1983 sold to D'Amico
Soc. di Nav., Palermo renamed Cielo di Livorno.
||ex- Sol Neptun, 1979 purchased from Solstads Rederi
A/S, Skudenshavn, Norway renamed Booker Crusade, 1983 sold to D'Amico
Soc. di Nav., Palermo renamed Cielo di Trieste.
||ex- Johan Wessel, 1963 chartered from J. H. Wessels,
Drammen, Norway renamed Booker Valiance. 1973 sold to Star SS Soc.,
Beirut renamed Amira K.
|| ex- Tropic, 1978 charter transferred from Shaw,
Savill & Albion Line renamed Booker Valiant, 1980 sold to Saudi
Arabia renamed Arab Dabbor.
||1979 sold to Ermionis Companhia Naviera, Panama, registered
in Greece and renamed Katy.
||1978 sold to Transvenezuelan Shipping Co., Panama
renamed Caribbean Memories.
||1980 sold to Qatar National Navigation Co., Qatar
renamed Al Amirah.
|| ex- Eugenio, 1973 chartered from Cia de Nav Puerto
Nueva, Panama renamed Booker Voyager, 1978 transferred to Elinkamar
S.A., Panama renamed Ambri.
|| ex- Seahawk, 1974 purchased from They & Co., Hamilton,
Bermuda renamed Booker Vulcan, 1983 sold to Star SS Soc., Beirut
renamed Fouad K.
||23rd Mar.1917 torpedoed and sunk by UC.47 off Daunts
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