/ "The Scottish Line"
The firm of McIlwraith MacEacharn was originally founded
in London on February 1st 1875 by Andrew McIlwraith and Malcolm MacEacharn
when they began business as shipping and insurance agents. A year later
they entered the ranks of ship owners following an agreement with the
State of Queensland for the carriage of migrants from Britain to Queensland
ports north of Maryborough. Their first vessel, the Scottish
completed in April 1876 and in the same year the Scottish Hero and Scottish
Knight, were delivered. In 1877 the Scottish Lassie joined the fleet
and during the next year the Scottish Admiral and Scottish
completed. Additional to these vessels the wooden barque Sir
William Wallace was acquired in 1879.
These vessels were all employed carrying
immigrants until 1880 when the Queensland Government arrange a contract
with the British India Associated Steamers. Thereafter the sailing ships
continued to trade to Australia, particularly in the carriage of wool,
primary produce and passengers to Britain. They were however also to
be seen in the U.S., Chile and wherever else suitable cargoes offered.
Just prior to 1880 a further vessel had been purchased the wooden barque
City of Aberdeen, while in 1881 the last of the Scottish ships was completed
and named Scottish Wizard.
The line by this time had become known as
the Scottish Line but that title fell into disuse with the final
disposal of the sailing ships, although it is interesting to note that
buildings presently occupied by the company in Australia are called "Scottish
House." These sailing vessels have been described as handsome clipper-built
ships with a reputation for a reasonable turn of speed and according
to one report in 1886 the Scottish Wizard made the passage from Bristol
to Melbourne in 92 days. The only major accident was in 1880 when the
Scottish Bard struck a shoal near Sandy Cape, Queensland
and had to be beached to prevent her from sinking. She was subsequently
1879 the company chartered the steamer Strathleven for a round voyage
to Australia and before her departure from London she was fitted with
the Bell-Coleman mechanical refrigeration plant. On the return passage
from Australia an experimental shipment of 30 tons of frozen beef with
2 tons of butter were carried and when the Strathleven ultimately arrived
back in London in February the shipments were found to be in excellent
condition. A special luncheon was held on board to celebrate this first
successful shipment from Australia.
The first two steamers were introduced
to the fleet in 1884, the sisters Cloncurry and New
Guinea both over
2,500 tons. They made their first appearance in Australian waters under
charter to the British India Steam Navigation
Company at the end of 1884
when they arrived in Brisbane with migrants. The same year the Sir
William Wallace was sold and Scottish Prince lost when she stranded
Queensland in 1887. Also in 1887 the steel barque Frances Fisher was
bought. By virtue of their vessels trading to Queensland ports the
company developed other interests in the state and the London office
an extensive mercantile and export department. A branch of the company
was established in Melbourne in1887 and subsequently branches were
opened in Newcastle, Sydney, Adelaide, Perth and Freemantle. All of
During 1893 the company began to dispose of its sailing ships.
The Scottish Hero and Frances Fisher were
sold in 1893 and the Scottish
Bard the following year. The Scottish Admiral was
sunk in a collision in 1894 and the cargo steamer Eddystone, which
had been in trouble the
previous year was wrecked near Cossack, West Australia in September
1894. The Scottish Lassie was sold in 1895 and in
February the following year the Scottish Knight sank
after a collision off Cornwall while nearing the end of a passage from
With the expansion of the
company's interests in Australia Malcolm MacEacharn had settled in
Melbourne about the time that a branch was opened and during his
years in this
country he took a leading part in public affairs, becoming a Commissioner
of the Melbourne Harbour Trust in 1893 and in the same year was returned
as a member of the Melbourne City Council ultimately becoming the
city's second Lord Mayor. In 1900 he was knighted and in 1901 elected
Melbourne in the first federal parliament.
Four years later Sir Malcolm
returned to Scotland and died in 1910 at the age of 58. His partner
Andrew McIlwraith outlived him by many years dying in 1932 in his
All steamships registered in Melbourne. The company became
a major operator in the Australian coastal passenger and cargo trade
and also operated cargo services between Australia
and India. In 1964 the company formed a partnership with Adelaide
SS Co. and their ships were transferred to Associated Steamships Pty Ltd.
Many thanks to Fraser Morrison of Inverness and Ted Finch for their
assistance in collecting this data. The following list was extracted
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.
Fleet - Sailing Ships:
|City of Aberdeen
||wooden barque, 1879 purchased by McIlwraith
MacEachern, 1889 sold to Norway, 1891 renamed Louis, 29th Mar.1893
abandoned in Atlantic on voyage Halifax NS to Barry, Wales.
||barque, 1887 purchased from Frances Fisher Sailings
Co. (Chadwick Wainright & Co.), Liverpool. 1893 sold to Liverpool
owners. 17th Nov.1909 abandoned near Royal Sovereign Lightship
after collision with s/s DALMATIA. Beached near St. Valery-en-Caux,
France. Refloated and then beached near Dieppe. 1st Dec.1909
|| barque, Feb.1894 sunk in collision.
||barque, 1894 sold to Denmark renamed Thor, Aug.1900
abandoned at sea in the South Atlantic.
|Scottish Hero (1)
|| barque, 1893 sold to A. H. Arnold, Brake, Germany
renamed Saturnus, 1905 sold to Norway, 1914 sold to Sweden,
13th Oct.1915 abandoned in North Atlantic on voyage Miramichi
to Cork with timber.
||barque, Feb.1896 sank in tow after collision
with Longships in fog off Cornwall on voyage Tocopilla to Leith
|| barque, 1895 sold to France renamed Alexandria,
||barque, Feb.1887 stranded and broke up near
||barque, 1900 sold to Italy renamed Pasquale
Lauro, 1917 went missing at sea.
|Sir William Wallace
|| wooden barque, 1879 purchased by McIlwraith
MacEachern, 1890 hulked at Sydney NSW.
Red with black top
Fleet - Steamships:
||Years in Service
||1961 purchased from Huddart, Parker Ltd, 1967 sold
renamed Pacific King, 1969 scrapped.
||1938 sold to Williamson & Co., 1942 taken over by
MOWT, 1947 scrapped.
||1961 purchased from Huddart, Parker Ltd, 1964 transferred
to Associated Steamships Ltd, 1969 renamed Ability, 1972 wrecked
||1896 purchased from Thos. Skinner & Co.,
London, 1899 renamed Coolgardie, 1913 sold to W. Crosby, Melbourne,
1922 scrapped Italy.
||1885 - 1888 chartered to British
India S.N. Co., 3rd Jan.1890 sunk in collision with s/s MAPLEBRANCH
in Suez Bay, later refloated and repaired, 1905 sold to Japan renamed
||1913 sold to British
India S.N. Co., 1923 sold to Italy renamed Tasmania, 1924 abandoned
on fire in Gulf of Genoa.
||see Bothwell Castle.
||1893 sold to H.W.H. Stevens, Darwin, 1898 sold to
Singapore renamed Ban Liong Soon, later sold to Philippines renamed
Y. Sontua, fate unknown.
||1893 purchased from Farrar, Groves & Co., London,
1894 wrecked Depuch Island, W.A.
||tug, 1975 still in service.
||1901 sank in Bass Strait.
||1894 purchased from Union
SS Co. of New Zealand, 1907 sold to Adelaide
SS Co., 1911 burnt and hulked.
||ex- Coralstone, 1934 purchased from Crete Shipping
Co., London renamed Hetton Bank, 1961 sold renamed La Union 1962
scrapped Hong Kong.
||1978 on fire and converted to barge at Manila.
||tug, 1961 purchased from J. Paterson & Co., Melbourne,
||ex- Glenfruin, 1897 purchased from McGregor, Gow & Co.,
London renamed Kalgoorlie, 1912 sold to McAlister & Co., Singapore,
1916 sold to Ho Hong SS Co., Singapore, 1919 renamed Hong Hwa, 1934
|| 1940-1945 requisitioned for war duties, not reconditioned
until 1950 when returned to owners, 1961 sold Liberia renamed Oriental
Queen, 1974 scrapped.
||1915-1919 requisitioned for war service, 1937 scrapped
||1918-1919 troopship, 1946 sold to Goulandris, Greece
renamed Columbia, 1959 scrapped Japan.
||1931 sold to Shanghai renamed Hwa Sing, 1938 sunk
as blockship in Yangtze.
||1953 scrapped Japan.
||1973 sold to Panama renamed Japri Venture, 1980 scrapped.
||1917 sold to Scott Fell & Co. renamed Iron Monarch,
1937 sold to Philippines renamed Paz, 1942 scuttled but salvaged
by Japanese renamed Hatzu Maru, 13th Nov.1944 sunk by U.S. air attack.
|| launched as War Aspen, completed as Sutherland, 1920
renamed Southmead, 1921 purchased from Western Counties Shipping
Co., London renamed Koolonga, 1929 sold to Sutherland & Co., Newcastle
renamed Caithness, 1935 sold renamed David Dawson, 1936 sold renamed
Avon River, 1936 stranded in Hudson Bay.
||1955 sold renamed Rosapolagi, 1961 scrapped.
|| ex- Coramba, 1961 purchased from Australian
United S.N. Co. renamed Koomilya, 1966 sold renamed San Fernando,
||ex- Hargrove, 1912 purchased from Harrison, Thiswell & Co.,
London renamed Koonda, 1946 sold to Shanghai renamed Chung Lien,
||ex- Fawkner Park, 1947 purchased from Australian Government
renamed Kooralya, 1960 sold renamed Mandarin Star, 1968 scrapped.
|| ex- Barrigun, 1948 purchased from Australian Government
renamed Koorawatha, 1964 sold renamed Visaya Regidor, 1974 scrapped.
||1931 sold to Shanghai renamed Hsing Tai Ping, 1938
|| 1958 sold renamed Straits Breeze, 1968 scrapped.
||1946 sold to Shanghai renamed Pah Dar, 1948 scrapped
||ex- Elfstone, 1937 purchased from Crete Shipping Co.,
London renamed Mortlake Bank, 1969 scrapped.
||1883 purchased from Sanders & Son, Colchester, 1889
sold to C. Douglas & Partners, 1931 deleted from Registers.
||1885 - 1889 chartered to British
India S.N. Co., 13th Feb.1911 wrecked in Disaster Bay on voyage
Melbourne to Sydney.
|| 1912 scrapped Bombay.
||1904 purchased from West Australian Gov't, 1909 sold
to Geelong Harbour Trust renamed G. F. Holden, later hulked.
||ex- Dewstone, 1934 purchased from Crete Shipping Co.,
London renamed Pelton Bank, 1968 sold and used as crane pontoon at
||1882 sold to Queensland
Steam Shipping Co., 1889 wrecked.
|Scottish Hero (2)
||1899 sold to Canadian Ocean & Inland Nav. Co., Newcastle,
1917 shelled and sunk by U.Boat in Atlantic.
|| 1885 purchased from Trading SS Co., London, 1906
sold to Japan renamed Kyushu Maru, 1911 wrecked.
||1882 sold to Queensland
Steam Shipping Co., 1914 converted to lighter.
||tug, 1897 purchased from Melbourne Harbour Trust,
1914 sold to West Australian Government.
||1905 purchased from East Gippsland Shipping Co., Melbourne,
1907 converted to sailing ship, 1917 sold to Ed Taylor, Hobart.
||tug, 1961 purchased from Huddart, Parker Ltd, 1975
still in service.
||1961 purchased from Huddart, Parker Ltd, 1962 sold
to Hong Kong, 1970 scrapped.
||1961 purchased from Huddart, Parker Ltd, 1968 sold
to Hong Kong renamed Ngam Chau.
||ex- Fred Olsson, 1956 purchased by Huddart, Parker
Ltd renamed Watamurra, 1961 purchased from Huddart, Parker Ltd, 1966
sold to Panama renamed Isobel Brenda.1977 scrapped after fire.
||1913 purchased from Westralian Pleasure SS Co., 1921
sold to E. L. Spence, Sydney.
||1961 purchased from Huddart, Parker Ltd, 1973 sold
renamed Blue Jade, 1974 scrapped.
||1946 sold, 1966 scrapped.
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