Friday, 18 May 2012

Lancashire Shipping Co. Ltd / James Chambers & Co

James Chambers started his own shipping company in 1865 after having been a partner for nine years in the White Star Line of Australian Packets (later famous as the White Star Line). In 1867 James Chambers took over the Lancaster Shipowners Company a newly formed company in which he registered his sailing ships.

By the time of his death in 1877 the Lancaster Shipowners Company owned seven sailing ships and the business was then managed by his son Walter J. Chambers.

On fourteen November 1896 the Lancashire Shipping Co. Ltd was formed to take over from the Lancaster Shipowners Company. At the turn of the century the fleet consisted of eight steamers and two sailing ships. Fifteen ships joined the Chambers fleet between 1900 and 1915.

Two ships were lost due enemy action during World War I and three ships were purchased during that period, while three German prizes entered the fleet between 1919 and 1921. During the second half of the 1920s five motorships were built for the company and by 1930 at the onset of the Great Depression the fleet numbered fourteen ships including eight steamers, but all the eight steamers were sold during the next six years.

The management of the company between 1923 and 1927 was done by James Chambers grandson and after his death in 1927 Samuel Chambers and his nephew Allan Chambers took command of the company.

Read more on The Ship List

Lowry refers to the company in his novel Ultramarine; "I was third mate, son, once; lost my ticket through the booze - on an old Chambers tramp out of Liverpool S.S. Bowes Castle." (Pg. 59)

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