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The Fleets

King Line / Philipps & Company / Philipps, Philipps & Company Ltd 1899-1959

The company was founded in 1899 by Owen Cosby Philipps (later, Lord Kylsant). The first steamship was the named ship of the company. Francis Vernon Thompson from Philipps, Philipps & Co. (later, Sir Vernon Thompson and chairman of the Union Castle Line) formed a company which merged in 1923 with George Dodd & Company Ltd. to form Dodd, Thompson & Company Ltd, and the management of the King Line and its associated Scottish Steam Ship Co., formed in 1896 to manage KING EDGAR was transferred from Philipps, Philipps & Co. to the new concern.

In 1948 the Union Castle Line gained a controlling interest in the King Line, completing the purchase in 1949. Scottish Steam Ship Co. ceased in 1950 when its last vessel KING JAMES was sold to Liberian buyers.

In the late 1950’s six vessels were constructed but all of them were in 1959 transferred to Clan Line Steamers. The King Line was eventually absorbed in the British & Commonwealth Shipping Co. although several ships from the Clan Line Steamers and Union Castle Line were transferred later to the King Line for short periods and several bulkcarriers with the name of Kings were built or purchased in the name of the King Line.
The KING HENRY delivered in 1958 was the last real genuine vessel built for the King Line.

Many thanks to Henk Jungerius and 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:
    • World Wide Tramping

Funnel:
Yellow with black top.

Fleet:

Funnel Flag
Vessel Built Years in Service Tons
Barnstable 1894 built by R. Craggs & Sons, Middlesbrough | Built for R. Craggs & Sons, Middlesbrough, 1895 to Northern Transport Ltd, 1900 managed by Philipps, Philipps & Co., 1902 purchased not renamed, 1913 scrapped at Briton Ferry. 1,356
Brookline 1894 built by R. Craggs & Sons, Middlesbrough | Built for R. Craggs & Sons, Middlesbrough, 1895 to Northern Transport Ltd, 1900 managed by Philipps, Philipps & Co., 1902 purchased not renamed, 1913 scrapped at Morecambe. 1,356
King Alexander 1952 built by Harland & Wolff Ltd, Belfast | 1959 transferred to the Clan Line Steamers Ltd, 1963 transferred to Hector Whaling Ltd, 1972 sold to Ilyssia Compania Naviera S.A., Cyprus renamed Elli 2, 1980 sold to Bangkok Maritime renamed Bangkok 2, 1982 scrapped at Gadani Beach. 5,883
King Alfred (1) 1889 built by Blyth Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., Blyth | Built for King Alfred S.S.Co. Ltd (Philipps), Glasgow, 4th April 1894 wrecked on South Uist. 1,137
King Alfred (2) 1919 built by Wm. Doxford & Sons Ltd, Sunderland | ex- War Azalea built for The Shipping Controller, 1919 purchased renamed King Alfred, 4th August 1940 torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U.52 in Atlantic. 5,275
King Alfred (3) 1941 built by Greenock Dockyard Co. Ltd, Greenock | ex- Empire Ray built for Ministry of War Transport, 1945 purchased renamed King Alfred, 1962 laid up, 1963 scrapped at Hamburg. 6,919
King Arthur (1) 1891 built by Irvine's Shipbuilding & Drydock Co. Ltd., West Hartlepool | ex- Silvia, 1894 purchased from J. Sutcliffe, Grimsby and renamed King Arthur, 1899 sold to P. Darcourt, France renamed Gyptis, 1903 sold to Charles Scholl, France same name, 1923 sold to M. Goossens, Belgium same name, 28th November 1924 wrecked at Point Coubre. 1,229
King Arthur (2) 1905 built by R. Stephenson & Co. Ltd, Newcastle | Built for Scottish Steam Ship Co., 1906 transferred to King Line, 1912 sold to Cia. Commercio e Nav., Brazil renamed Merity, 1915 sold to A/S D/S Hassel (A/S Rederiet Odfjell), Norway renamed Maize, 1934 scrapped. 3,968
King Arthur (3) 1905 built by Sunderland Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., Sunderland | ex- Kingsland built for Kingsland Steamship Co., 1909 managed by Philipps, Philipps & Co., 1912 purchased by Scottish Steam Ship Co. renamed King Arthur, 1913 sold to J. Mowinckel, Norway renamed Heina, 1920 transferred to J. Ludwig Mowinckels Rederi, Norway, 1921 sold to Reiersen & Matland, Norway renamed Strudsholm, 1921 sold to M. Sato Japan, 1922 renamed Atsuta Maru No.1, 27th August 1926 wrecked at Tsuchizaki. 2,848
King Arthur (4) 1928 built by Harland & Wolff Ltd, Belfast | 15th November 1942 torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U.67. 5,228
King Arthur (5) 1953 built by Harland & Wolff Ltd, Belfast | 1959 transferred to the Clan Line Steamers Ltd, 1963 reverted to King Line, 1972 sold to Kition Compania Naviera S.A., Cyprus renamed Toulla, 1979 renamed Despo, 1980 sold to Basco Enterprises renamed Pearl Rainbow, 1981 sold to Greenleaf Nav. renamed Greenleaf, 1983 scrapped at Chittagong. 5,883
King Bleddyn (1) 1894 built by R. Thompson & Sons, Sunderland | 1902 sold to J. Th. Sifneo, Russia renamed Eleni Jean Sifneo, 1905 sold to E. Vlassopoulo, Greece renamed Anargyros Simopoulos, 5th March 1909 sunk off Imbros. 2,551
King Bleddyn (2) 1905 built by Palmers Shipbuilding & Iron Co. Ltd., Newcastle | 1st December 1916 captured and sunk by German submarine UC.21 near Ushant. 4,387
King Bleddyn (3) 1918 built by Harland & Wolff Ltd, Belfast | ex- War Music built for The Shipping Controller, ex- Glenspey 1919, 1920 purchased from Glen Line Ltd, London renamed King Bleddyn, 1937 sold to 1937 Halcyon Lijn N.V., Rotterdam renamed Stad Maassluis, 1950 sold to Francescu Pittaluga fu Giacomo, Genoa renamed Francescu. On 6th April 1954 grounded in the River Schelde at the end of a voyage from Bona to Antwerp with a cargo of iron, broke in two and was subsequently scrapped. 6,498
King Cadwallon (1) 1892 built by Blyth Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., Blyth | ex- Auriga, 1894 purchased from Oriental Steamship Co., London renamed King Cadwallon, 1898 sold to Sota y Aznar, Spain renamed Bakio, 26th January 1912 stranded on the North Pier Hook of Holland and lost. 2,380
King Cadwallon (2) 1900 built by A. Rodger & Co. Port Glasgow | ex- Edderton, 1904 purchased from Mclaren and McLaren, Glasgow renamed King Cadwallon, 22nd July 1906 grounded on Lewis Rocks, St. Martin’s Island and lost. 3,275
King Cadwallon (3) 1920 built by Hong Kong & Whampoa Dock Co.Ltd, Hong Kong | ex- War Piper built for The Shipping Controller, ex- Stathis for N.E. Ambatielos, Greece, 1923 purchased from Government renamed King Cadwallon, 7th July 1929 caught fire and ship later abandoned, wreck salvaged but later grounded during storm and lost. 5,063
King Charles 1957 built by Harland & Wolff Ltd, Belfast | 1959 transferred to the Clan Line Steamers Ltd, 1970 transferred to Houston Line Ltd, 1973 sold to Aegis Shipping Co., Limassol renamed Aegis Might, 1979 scrapped. 5,737
King David (1) 1895 built by Short Brothers Ltd., Sunderland | 1905 sold to Cia Avilesina de Nav., Spain renamed Acuario, 1911 sold to Fabregas y Garcias, Spain renamed Teresa Pamies, 1924 to P. Garcias not renamed, 1932 sold to Soc. Anon. Cros, Spain renamed Sac 9, 1950 renamed Sac Santander, 1963 scrapped at Barcelona. 2,555
King David (2) 1906 Craig, Taylor & Co., Stockton on Tees | 10th July 1917 captured and sunk by German submarine U.49 near Fastnet. 3,680
King David (3) 1912 built by A.G. Weser Werk Seebeck, Bremerhaven | ex- Gundomar built for Hamburg Bremer Afrika Linie A.G., Hamburg, 1919 allocated to Great Britain as a war reparation, 1921 to Philipps Philipps renamed King David, 1939 sold O.E. Bertin renamed Hortensia Bertin, 1941 sold to Wallem & Co. renamed Nicaragua, 1946 transferred to Shanghai Dev Co. renamed Greater Shanghai, 1949 transferred to Wallem & Co. renamed Miramar, 1951 sold to China renamed Ho Ping 2, 1962 deleted from Register. 3,721
King David (4) 1941 built by Wm. Doxford & Sons Ltd, Sunderland | ex- Empire Mist built for Ministry of War Transport, 1945 purchased renamed King David, 1962 sold to Pan Norse Steamship Co. S.A., Liberia renamed Hong Kong Venture, 1966 sold to Unity Carriers Inc., Liberia same name, 1969 scrapped at Hong Kong. 7,251
King Edgar (1) 1896 built by Short Brothers Ltd., Sunderland | Built for Scottish Steam Ship Co., 1901 sold to Cia Estrella, Spain renamed Elorrio, 1917 sold to Cia de Navier Begona, Spain renamed Begona No.1, 1919 sold to L. Ibran, Spain renamed Santofirme, 1927 sold same name, 1931 renamed Vicente Figaredo, 1934 scrapped. 2,552
King Edgar (2) 1927 built by Harland & Wolff Ltd, Belfast | 2nd March 1945 torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U.1302. 4,536
King Edgar (3) 1945 built by Harland & Wolff Ltd, Belfast | ex- Empire Gambia built for Ministry of War Transport, 1945 purchased renamed King Edgar, 1959 scrapped at Osaka. 7,084
King Edward (1) 1906 built by R. Stephenson & Co. Ltd, Newcastle | 1924 sold to Redcroft Steam Nav. Co., Cardiff renamed Marchioness of Bute, 1932 scrapped. 4,357
King Edward (2) 1919 built by Workman Clark & Co. Ltd, Belfast | ex- War Terrier built for The Shipping Controller, ex- Gorala 1919, 1924 purchased from British Steam Nav. Co. Ltd, London renamed King Edward, 27th December 1942 torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U.356. 5,217
King Edwin 1927 built by Harland & Wolff Ltd, Belfast | 16th April 1943 caught fire while unloading in Grand Harbour, Malta and scuttled, declared total loss, 1945 wreck raised and towed out to sea and sunk. 4,536
King Egbert 1928 built by Harland & Wolff Ltd, Belfast | 12th November 1939 mined and sunk and sunk near Haisbro’ Lightvessel, Norfolk. 4,535
King Frederick (1) 1897 built by Short Brothers Ltd., Sunderland | 1906 sold to Cia Avilesina de Nav., Honduras renamed Leo, 26th April 1907 sank after collision off Finisterre. 2,577
King Frederick (2) 1906 built by Short Brothers Ltd., Sunderland | 1915 sold to G.C. Dracoulis, Greece renamed Niritos, 12th April 1917 captured and sunk by Austrian submarine U.27 near Augusta, Sicily. 3,756
King Frederick (3) 1919 built by Hong Kong & Whampoa Dock Co.Ltd, Hong Kong | ex- War Sceptre built for The Shipping Controller, ex- Trialos for N.E. Ambatielos, Greece, 1923 purchased from Government renamed King Frederick, 19th July 1944 torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U.181. 5,106
King George 1957 built by Harland & Wolff Ltd, Belfast | 1959 transferred to the Clan Line Steamers Ltd, 1970 transferred to Houston Line Ltd, 1972 sold to Alassia SS Co., Limassol renamed Eleni 2, 1980 sold renamed Taichung 2, 1982 scrapped. 5,732
King Gruffydd (1) 1898 built by Russell & Co., Port Glasgow | 1906 sold to Bank of Athens, Greece renamed Michael, 7th June 1908 sank after collision off Lisbon. 2,994
King Gruffydd (2) 1919 built by Hong Kong & Whampoa Dock Co.Ltd, Hong Kong | ex- War Trooper built for The Shipping Controller, ex- Ambatielos for N.E. Ambatielos, Greece, 1923 purchased from Government renamed King Gruffydd, 17th March 1943 torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U.338. 5,063
King Henry 1958 built by Harland & Wolff Ltd, Belfast | 1959 transferred to the Clan Line Steamers Ltd, 1970 transferred to Houston Line Ltd, 1972 sold to A. Marcopoulos, Greece renamed African Lady, 1974 renamed African Lion, 1983 scrapped. 5,829
King Howel (1) 1906 built by R. Stephenson & Co. Ltd, Newcastle | 1916 sold to Bay Steam Ship Co., London renamed Bayhowel, 1921 sold to Soc. Anon. de Nav. Les Armateurs Francaise, France renamed Hohneck, 1922 sold to G. Macris, Greece renamed Artemissia, 1935 sold to M.A. Tachmindjii, Greece renamed Alexandros, 15th September 1940 torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U.48. 4,343
King Howel (2) 1919 built by Taikoo Dockyard & Engineering Co. of Hong Kong Ltd, Hong Kong | ex- War Miner built for The Shipping Controller, ex- Stathis for N.E. Ambatielos, Greece, 1920 renamed Cephalonia, 1923 purchased from Government renamed King Howel, 1937 sold to Bank Line (A. Weir & Co.) renamed Rowan bank, 31st January 1941 sunk by air attack 300 miles NW of Ireland. 5,102
King Idwal (1) 1906 J. Readhead & Sons Ltd., South Shields | 22nd November 1917 torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U. near Buchan News with the loss of 1 life. 3,631
King Idwal (2) 1920 built by Taikoo Dockyard & Engineering Co. of Hong Kong Ltd, Hong Kong | ex- War Coronet built for The Shipping Controller, ex- Keramies for N.E. Ambatielos, Greece, 1923 purchased from Government renamed King Idwal, 23rd November 1940 torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U.123. 5,115
King James (1) 1925 built by D. & W. Henderson & Co. Ltd., Glasgow | Ordered by Petersen & Co. London to be named River St. Lawrence, sold on the stocks to British Motorship Co. Ltd and completed as King James, 1935 transferred to Scottish Steam Ship Co., 1949 laid up, 1950 sold to Constantin Atychides, Liberia renamed Sophoclyve, 8th August 1960 sank after springing a leak, abandoned. 5,066
King James (2) 1943 built by Short Brothers Ltd., Sunderland | ex- Empire Duchess built for Ministry of War Transport, ex- Braemar Castle 1949, 1950 purchased from Union Castle Mail Steamship Co. Ltd renamed King James, 1958 sold to Cambay Prince S.S. Co., Hong Kong and renamed Tyne Breeze (John Manners & Co. as managers), 1963 sold to Cathay Trader Steam Ship Co., Hong Kong renamed Cathay Trader, 1964 sold to Pacific Pearl Navigation Co., Hong Kong and renamed Pearl Light, 1966 sold to Marikar Navigation & Agencies Ltd of Hong Kong renamed Habib Marikar, 3rd November 1967 suffered an engine failure while on a voyage from Hong Kong to Chittagong and went ashore on Lincoln Island in position 16.30N 112.50E becoming a total loss. 7,067
King John (1) 1906 built by J.L. Thompson & Sons, Sunderland | 1920 sold to James McKelvie, London renamed Carlo Viictoria, 1920 sold to A. & C. Aboaf Ltd, London same name, 1923 sold to Soc. Paulista de Nav Matarazzo Ltda, Brazil renamed Lydia M, 1952 sold to Luciano Castro Y Cika Ltda, Brazil renamed Antonio Castro, 1956 sold to Nav. Santista Ltda, Brazil same name, 1962 sold same name, 16th February 1970 damaged by fire and declared total loss and scrapped. 3,644
King John (2) 1928 built by Harland & Wolff Ltd, Belfast | 13th July 1940 sunk by gunfire from German raider Widder. 5,228
King Lud (1) 1906 built by J.L. Thompson & Sons, Sunderland | 25th September 1914 captured and sunk by German cruiser Emden near Point de Galle. 3,650
King Lud (2) 1928 built by Harland & Wolff Ltd, Belfast | 8th June 1942 torpedoed and sunk by Japanese submarine I.10. 5,224
King Malcolm (1) 1906 built by R. Stephenson & Co. Ltd, Newcastle | Built for Scottish Steam Ship Co., 28th November 1916 torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U.39 near Alexandria. 4,351
King Malcolm (2) 1925 built by D. & W. Henderson & Co. Ltd., Glasgow | Ordered by Petersen & Co. London to be named River St. Lawrence, sold on the stocks to British Motorship Co. Ltd and completed as King Malcolm, 1935 transferred to Scottish Steam Ship Co., 31st October 1941 torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U.374. 5,064
King Malcolm (3) 1952 built by Harland & Wolff Ltd, Belfast | 1959 transferred to the Clan Line Steamers Ltd, 1963 transferred to Hector Whaling Ltd, 1972 sold to Soloi Compania Naviera S.A., Cyprus renamed Kanaris, 1980 sold Dimitra Shipping Co., Greece renamed Dimitra K, 1981 scrapped at Chittagong. 5,883
King Neptune 1924 built by Harland & Wolff Ltd, Belfast | 1957 sold to Chip Hwa Sdhipping & Trading Co., Singapore renamed Wing On, 1962 sold to Hwa Aun (Hong Kong) not renamed, 1963 sold to Transportes Dorados S.A., Panama same name 1968 scrapped at Kaohsiung. 5,224
King Robert (1) 1920 built by Furness Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., Haverton Hill on Tees | ex- Citta di Messina, 1926 purchased from Sicula America, Italy by Scottish Steam Ship Co., London renamed King Robert, 29th January 1941 torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U.93. 5,886
King Robert (2) 1943 built by 6,981
King Stephen 1928 built by Harland & Wolff Ltd, Belfast | 1957 sold to Vanguard Shipping Co. Ltd, Hong Kong renamed Golden Delta, 1962 to Corinthian Shipping Co. Ltd same name, 1965 scrapped at Hong Kong. 5,274
King William 1928 built by Harland & Wolff Ltd, Belfast | 1959 scrapped. 5,274
Mexicano 1893 built by J. Laing, Sunderland | Built for R. Craggs & Sons, Middlesbrough, 1895 to Northern Transport Ltd, 1900 managed by Philipps, Philipps & Co., 1902 purchased not renamed, 16th September 1903 foundered in the Atlantic during a hurricane. 1,973

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