& Co. / Glasgow Shipping Co. / General Shipping Co. / Loch Line
Aitken, Lilburn & Co. began operating a line of sailing
ships to Australia in 1870 when they formed the Glasgow Shipping Co.
with six 1,250 ton iron
sailing clippers. In 1873 a second company, the General Shipping Co.
was formed with a different group of investors, but again managed by
Aitken and Lilburn. Originally, the Glasgow Shipping Co. was intended
to serve Melbourne and the General Shipping Co. to serve Sydney but over
time the two companies merged and were only distinguished for shareholding
purposes. The usual route was to load general cargo and passengers at
Glasgow and then sail to Adelaide. They then sailed to Melbourne or Sydney
where they loaded wool or grain, generally for London. The company never
changed to steamships but persisted with sail and from 1900 consistently
ran at a financial loss. Passengers generally preferred the speed and
comfort of steamers and freight rates dropped. The ships usually managed
one round voyage to Australia per year and half of this time was unprofitably
spent in port, loading, unloading or waiting for cargoes. Experimental
homeward voyages via San Francisco, South Africa and New Caledonia proved
unprofitable, the service finally closed in 1911 and the remaining ships
Many thanks to — and Ted Finch for their
assistance in collecting this data. The following list was extracted
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.
Find a photograph & voyage account here,
for the Loch Long from Glasgow to Melbourne, in 1886
and photographs of several other ships here http://www.merseysideviews.com/Sailing%20vessels/pages/Sng%20Vls%20089.htm
||Years in Service
|| three masted ship, 1873 purchased
from J. H. Watt, Glagow, 1875 renamed Loch Laggan, 25th Nov. 1875
spoken to in position 26.00S 25.00W but never seen again.
||three masted ship, 1st June 1878 wrecked near Curdies
Inlet, 27 miles west from Cape Otway on voyage London to Melbourne
; loss of 52 lives of the 54 passengers and crew aboard.
|| four masted barque, 1912 sold to Skibsakties Songdal
(S. O. Stray & Co.), Christiansand, Norway renamed Songdal. 2nd
Feb. 1917 sunk by German submarine U.81 in 50.10N 10.10W on voyage
Buenos Aires to London with maize.
||four masted barque, 1912 sold to A/S Christiansand
(S. O. Stray & Co.), Christiansand, Norway renamed Seileren. 11th
Oct.1915 sunk in collision with s/s VITTORIA off Torr Head, Co. Antrim
on voyage Greenock to Delaware Breakwater.
|| three masted ship, Nov.1873 abandoned at sea in sinking
condition after colliding with and sinking the French steamer VILLE
DU HAVRE in the North Atlantic with the loss of 227 lives from the
||three masted ship, 1911 sold for scrapping in Italy.
||three masted ship, 14th May 1883 sailed from Lyttelton
for the Channel with a cargo of wheat and went missing.
||three masted ship, 1911 sold for scrapping in Italy.
|| three masted ship, April 1910 dismasted off Cape
Howe and towed to Port Jackson by tug HEROIC. June 1910 sold to Dalgety & Co.,
Sydney for conversion to a hulk. Oct. 1910 converted to a lighter,
subsequently taken to Rabaul and eventually sunk as a breakwater.
|| three masted ship, 24th Oct. 1871 stranded on King
Island, Bass Strait on voyage Geelong to London with wool. All saved
but Master drowned when he returned to the ship to retrieve the ship's
|| three masted ship, 1908 sold to C. H. Cooper, London,
1908 resold to the Union SS Co. of New Zealand. 16th July 1908 sailed
from Newcastle NSW for Lyttelton with cargo of coal and went missing.
||three masted ship, 29th April 1903 sailed from New
Caledonia for Glasgow with a cargo of nickel ore and went missing
with 24 crew. Wreckage later washed up on Chatham Islands. (picture & 1886
|| three masted ship, 29th Oct.1881 sailed from Geelong
for London with wheat and went missing.
|| four masted barque, 27th Jan.1890 wrecked at Callantzoog,
Nieuwe Diep on voyage Pisagua to Hamburg with nitrate. Two saved.
|| three masted ship, 1908 sold to Stevedore & Shipping
Co., Sydney (a subsidiary of Deutsche-Australische Line) for use
as a coal hulk. 1914 seized by the Australian Government. 1926 sunk
in gunfire practice by HMAS MELBOURNE off Rottnest Island, Fremantle.
|| four masted barque, 1900 sold to Rhederei Acties
Gesellschaft von 1896, Hamburg renamed Octavia, 6th Aug. 1905 beached
at Bahia Blanca after explosion in coal cargo, salvaged and converted
to hulk at Puerto Madryn. 1918 rebuilt as a steamer for Gaddo Cappagli,
Buenos Aires renamed Primero. 17th Aug. 1922 wrecked at Deseado near
Penguin Island on voyage Valparaiso to Buenos Aires.
||three masted ship, ex- Clan Ranald, 1875 purchased
from Kidston, Ferrier-Kerr and Black, Glasgow renamed Loch Rannoch,
1907 sold to Akties Loch Rannoch (M. Nielsen), Laurvig, Norway, 1909
scrapped at Harburg.
|| three masted ship, 1909 sold to Government of Victoria,
Melbourne for use as a training ship, 1910 renamed John Murray, 1917
sold to Government of Australia and returned to service. 29th May
1918 wrecked on Maldon Islands, South Pacific on voyage San Francisco
||three masted ship, 30th Jan. 1894 stranded on Thorn
Island, Milford Haven on voyage Glasgow to Adelaide and Melbourne.
||three masted ship, 24th April 1899 wrecked Kangaroo
Island on voyage Glasgow to Adelaide and Melbourne. 3 survivors.
|| three masted ship, 18th Jan. 1879 stranded in Ballywater
Bay, Co. Down on voyage Glasgow to Melbourne.
||three masted ship, 1909 sold to Huddart Parker & Co.,
Melbourne for use as a coal hulk. 1958 scrapped at Port Adelaide.
||four masted barque, 1912 sold to A. E. Blom, Nystad,
Denmark. 24th Jan. 1915 abandoned in sinking condition in 51.35N
12.28W on voyage Fredrikstad to Geelong with timber.
|| three masted ship, 12th Nov. 1901 rammed and sunk
by the s/s CATO while at anchor off Thameshaven, later salvaged and
repaired. 14th June 1905 sailed from Glasgow for Adelaide and Melbourne,
spoken to in 35.21S 133.00E and then disappeared with loss of 27
lives. Wreckage discovered by divers in 1976 on Kangaroo Island.
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