Lowry refers to a ship called Maharajah in his novel Ultramarine; "I picked it up, the finest dose you ever saw, voyage before last in the Maharajah - she's lying in this port now" (Pg. 34); "The German and I were spelling out together Maharajah - Liverpool and I explained gaily, even proudly, that she was the sister ship to Oedipus Tyrannus." (Pg. 84). Lowry is probably referring to an Asiatic Steam Navigation Company ship called S.S. Maharaja. There were 3 vessels with his name that sailed for the company. The ship could be either the one built in 1904 or the later one built in 1927.
S.S. Maharaja (2) was built in 1904 by Charles Connell & Company Scotstoun, Yard No 283. Engines by Dunsmuir & Jackson Ltd, Glasgow. Last Name: BOKO MARU (1941). Previous Names: SAGRES (1931) ZUISHO MARU (1927) MAHARANI (1926). Propulsion: T3cy 277nhp 12kn. Launched: Wednesday, 02/03/1904. Ship Type: Steamship.Tonnage: 2264grt, 1434nrt. Length: 300 feet. Breadth: 40.6 feet. Draught: 21ft7. Owner History: Asiatic Steam Navigation Co Ltd, Liverpool, 1927 Machida Shokai KK, Kobe, 1931 Botelho Bros, Macao, 1936 Kin Hong Steam Ship Co (mng Williamson & Co), Hong Kong 1941 Japanese Government Status: Torpedoed & Sunk - 09/08/1944. Seized by Japan off the Chinese coast on 8/12/1941. Torpedoed by a submarine USS BARBEL off Ryuku Islands in 27.52N 128.49E.
S.S. Maharaja (3) was built in 1927 at Lithgows Port Glasgow,Yard No 795.Engines by Rankin & Blackmore, Greenock Last Name: SANG DJAJA (1968) Previous Names: JENNIFER (1957), MALAYA FIR (1957), ADRI IX (1961), SANG GAYO (1962). Propulsion: T3cy 1scr 405nhp. Ship Type: Cargo Vessel.Tonnage: 2895 grt, 1716nrt, 3880 dwt. Length: 348.2 feet, Breadth: 47.6 feet, Draught: 21.9 feet. Owner History: Asiatic Steam Nav Co, London, 1956 Ebony Steam Ship Co (mng Wheelock Marden & Co Ltd), Hong Kong, 1957 Hongkong Fir Shipping Co Ltd (mng Fir Line Ltd), Hong Kong, 1958 Cia de Nav Abeto SA, Panama, 1961 Republic of Indonesia Army, Jakarta and 1962 PT Pel. Sang Saka, Jakarta.