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The Fleets

Puritan Line, 1888-1904

The Firm of Adamson & Ronaldson started in 1888 a service between Antwerp and Boston and being the London loading brokers for Christopher Furness since 1882, they chartered the necessary tonnage from Furness.
J.W. Adamson retired in the first half of 1888 and the firm became Thomass Ronaldson & Company and continued to act as loading brokers for Christopher Furness.
In 1894 Thomas Ronaldson & Company bought their first ship the NORSE KING and also in 1896 the BELGIAN KING (formerly Chateau Leoville of Compagnie Bordelaise) was chartered from G.B. Hunter of Sunderland. Also the CYPRUS from Taylor & Sanderson of Sunderland was chartered between 1896 and 1898.
In 1896 the new building the SCOTTISH KING joined the fleet but had a short life being lost in 1898.
The NORSE KING was sold to the American Government in1898 during the Spanish American War.
To fill the lost tonnage three ships were acquired in 1898 the ENGLISH KING ( ex- Osborne), FITZCLARENCE and CAMBRIAN KING (ex- Ullapool).
Three more purchases were made in 1900; the CYNTHIANA, later renamed SAXON KING from British Maritime Trust, STORM KING and FLORENCE.

The Puritan Line built up an extensive cargo and emigrant service to Baltimore and Boston but was unable to stand the strain of a short lived rate war and the remaining ships were disposed of in 1903 and 1904 while the BELGIAN KING was returned to G.B. Hunter and the Puritan Line was closed down.

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.

  • Routes:
    • Antwerp-Boston- Baltimore

Funnel & Flag:
Red with black top.


Vessel Built Years in Service Tons
Belgian King 1881 built by Sunderland Shipbuilding Co.Ltd, Sunderland | ex- Chateau Leoville built for Compagnie Bordelaise de Navigation a Vapeur, 1888 sold to Bossiere not renamed, then resold to R. Hudson, Sunderland, renamed Connemara, 1895 sold to G. B. Hunter renamed Belgian King, 1896 chartered by Puritan Line, 1904 returned to G.B. Hunter, 21 September 1914 foundered. 3,379
Cambrian King 1898 built by Wm. Pickersgill & Sons Ltd, Sunderland | ex- Ullapool, 1898 purchased from Japp & Kirby, Liverpool renamed Cambrian King, 1904 sold to Lancefield Shipping Co., Glasgow same name, 1920 sold to Greece renamed Nicolaos Zafirakis, 1930 sold renamed Aimilios, 1936 scrapped. 3,691
Cynthiana 1891 built by Russell & Co. Ltd, Port Glasgow | ex- Cynthiana built for Cynthiana S.S. Co., (McLean & Sutherland), Glasgow, 1896 sold to British Maritime Trust Ltd (R.B. Stoker, mgr), Glasgow, 1899 purchased not renamed, 1900 renamed Saxon King, 1904 sold to Ellerman Lines Ltd (Westcott & Laurence) renamed Egyptian, 26 August 1912 wrecked off Great Yarmouth. 2,923
English King 1894 built by C.S. Swan & Hunter, Wallsend on Tyne | ex- Osborne, 1898 purchased from Raeburn & Verel, Glasgow renamed English King, 1904 sold to C. Eitzen & Co., Christiania, Norway renamed Mount Blanc, 1905 sold to East Asiatic Company, Copenhagen, Denmark renamed Sibirien, 1911 sold to Bombay & Persia S.N. Co, Bombay renamed Mansuri, 1915 purchased by A. Weir (Bank Line) same name and disappeared at sea in 1916 (presumed mined) 3,133
Fitzclarence 1897 built by Tyne Iron Shipbuilding Co Ltd., Newcastle | ex- Fitzclarence, 1898 purchased from Burrell & Son, Glasgow not renamed, 1904 sold to Lancefield Shipping Co., Glasgow not renamed, 1913 sold to Italy renamed Sabastiano, 9 August 1916 captured, shelled and sunk by submarine U.35 in Mediterranean. 4,034
Florence 1889 built by Short Bros. Ltd., Sunderland | ex- Florence, 1900 purchased from E.R. Gourlay, Sunderland, 1902 sold to Furness Withy & Co. not renamed, 20 December 1912 Wrecked at Marine Cove, St. Marys Bay on voyage from Halifax, N.S. to Liverpool with the loss of 22 lives. 2,492
Norse King 1890 built by Sir J. Laing & Sons Ltd, Sunderland | ex- Norse King, 1894 purchased from Ross Line not renamed, 1898 sold to US Government renamed Rainbow, 1928 scrapped. 2,985
Saxon King   see Cynthiana.  
Scottish King 1896 built by Short Bros. Ltd., Sunderland | 7 October 1898 stranded near Cape Clear abandoned by owner, salvaged repaired sold renamed Aboukir for Clydesdale Shipowners Ltd, Glasgow. 8 September 1909 sunk in collision with steamer WHITE CROSS in River Plate. 3,317
Storm King 1900 built by Sir Raylton Dixon & Co. Ltd, Middlesbrough | Launched for Wm. Ross & Co., completed for Puritan Line, 1903 sold to Houston Line (R.P. Houston & Company)., Liverpool renamed Homereus, 1919 sold to Burns, Philp & Co., Sydney, renamed Malayan, 1924 sold to B.B. Wiltshire, Liverpool and resold to Japan renamed Hakuyo Maru, 1928 sold same name, 1930 scrapped. 3,279

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