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The Fleets

R.W. Leyland & Company (not to be confused with Leyland Line)

In 1875 R.W. Leyland (Ralph Watts Leyland), purchased his first ship, the DOXFORD but didn't buy their next vessel until 1879. By 1881 the company owned six ships and persevered in the use of sailing ships long after other companies had turned to steam. Their main routes were Liverpool to Australia and the West Coast of North and South America.

By 1909 poor trading conditions and competition from steamships caused management of the company to be taken over by J. H. Welsford & Co., Liverpool.

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.

    Sailing Ships  
Vessel Built Years in Service Tons
Aigburth 1882 iron ship, 1904 wrecked New Guinea 1,838
British India 1867 iron ship, 1881 purchased from British Shipowners Ltd, Liverpool, 1894 abandoned on fire off Madeira. 1,199
Chile 1856 iron barque, 1883 purchased from J. F. Gibb, London, 1892 destroyed by fire off West coast of South America.
(This ship was owned by Shaw, Savill & Co. 1867 - 1881)
777
Cressington 1883 iron ship, 1900 sold to E & W. Roberts, Liverpool. 2,211
Ditton 1891 steel ship, 1909 to J. H. Welsford & Co., Liverpool, 1911 sold to Carl Bech, Tvedestrand, Norway renamed Nordfarer. 2,901
Doxford 1868 iron barque, 1875 purchased from H. N. Hughes, Liverpool, 1900 sold to Indische Handels Compagnie, Batavia renamed Henriette Haasman. 700
Fulwood 1885 iron ship, 1909 to J. H. Welsford & Co., Liverpool, 1910 sold to Norway as floating oil refinery. 2,170
Garston 1883 steel ship, 1889 wrecked on Starbuck Island, near Cook islands. The crew sailed 6 weeks in open boats to Wallis Island where they were rescued. 1,852
Gitana 1861 iron ship,1881 purchased from E. Bates, Liverpool, 1896 abandoned in sinking condition off Cape Horn. 1,367
Grassendale (1) 1882 iron ship, 18/84 went missing near Shanghai. 1,842
Grassendale (2) 1885 iron ship, 1899 sold to Granlund & Co., Raumo, Russia renamed Imperator Alexander II, 1,860
Halewood 1885 iron ship, 1910 sold to S. O. Stray & Co., Christiansand renamed Songvig. 2,153
King Cenric 1874 wooden ship, 1885 purchased from G. Vaughan, St. John, N.B. 1889 sold to Brunsgaard Kjosterud & Co., Drammen, Norway. 1,519
Leyland Brothers 1886 iron ship, 1909 to J. H. Welsford & Co., Liverpool, 1909 sold to Portugal for use as a coal hulk on River Tagus. 2,291
Liverpool 1889 4-masted iron ship, 1902 wrecked Alderney, Channel Islands. 3,400
Nelson 1862 iron ship, 1880 purchased from British Shipowners Ltd, Liverpool, 1882 abandoned and sank in gale with no loss of life. 1,333
Otterspool 1884 iron ship, 1910 sold and hulked at Valparaiso. 1,850
Riversdale 1894 steel ship, 1909 to J. H. Welsford & Co., Liverpool, 1910 sold to Schluter & Maack, Hamburg renamed Harvesthude. 2,206
Roby 1887 iron ship, ex- Jubilee, 1889 purchased from T. R. Oswald, Southampton renamed Roby, 1900 abandoned on fire in South Atlantic. 2,239
San Luis 1864 iron barque, 1879 purchased from J. M. Gladstone, Liverpool, 1889 sold to Heinrich Bauer, Rostock renamed Hulda. 600
Speke 1891 steel ship, 1906 wrecked in gale on Phillip Island, Victoria. 2,875
Thomas Hamlin 1851 iron barque, 1879 purchased from Porrett Webster, Scarborough, 1893 scrapped. 732
Toxteth 1887 iron ship, 1908 went missing with all hands on voyage Port Talbot to Tocopilla. 2,595
Twilight 1882 iron barque, 1882 purchased from E. Bates, Liverpool, 1896 sold for scrapping. 631
Wavertree 1885 iron ship, ex- Southgate, 1888 purchased from T. R. Oswald, Southampton renamed Wavertree, 1909 to J. H. Welsford & Co., Liverpool, 1910 sold to J. & A. Brown, Newcastle NSW.
   (This ship is preserved at South Street Seaport Museum, New York, see      http://www.victorianweb.org/technology/ships/16.html   )
2,170
Woolton 1885 iron ship, 1895 went missing with all hands on voyage Newcastle, NSW to Valparaiso. 2,152
 
    Steam Ships  
Vessel Built Years in Service Tons
Charlois 1888 1889 sold to J. F. Flannery, New York. 3,003
Planet Mars 1900 1909 to J. H. Welsford & Co., Liverpool renamed Ikaria, 1915 torpedoed and sunk off Havre. 4,320
Planet Mercury 1894 1900 went missing on voyage Portland, Maine to Avonmouth. 3,223
Planet Neptune 1901 1909 to J. H. Welsford & Co., Liverpool renamed Ikala, 1929 sold to Italy renamed Sanzorzu. 4,329
Planet Venus (1) 1894 1897 sold to J. Holman & Sons, London renamed Birchtor. 3,689
Planet Venus (2) 1900 1909 to J. H. Welsford & Co., Liverpool renamed Ikalis, 1917 torpedoed and sunk off Fastnet. 4,329

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