University of Strathclyde Archives - A unique learning and research resource open to all

William Robertson, shipowners

Identity area

Type of entity

Corporate body

Authorized form of name

William Robertson, shipowners

Parallel form(s) of name

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules

Other form(s) of name

Identifiers for corporate bodies

Description area

Dates of existence

1852-1958

History

The William Robertson shipping business was founded in 1852 by William Robertson, whose first venture as a ship owner was the purchase of the scow or barge, Ellen, which plied on the Forth and Clyde Canal and the Clyde Estuary. His next acquisitions were the lighter, Gem, in 1854, the Ruby in 1855 and the Pearl in 1859. He acquired his first steamer or puffer, the Jasper, in 1865 and his first sea-going steamer, Agate, in 1878. His first diesel powered vessel, the Sapphire, was purchased in 1935. The names of the ships were all derived from minerals, precious and semiprecious stones. The business concentrated on coastal tramp ships, trading commodities such as coal and limestone among the ports of Great Britain, Ireland, France, the Netherlands and the Baltic. In 1885, Robertson also began managing ships for others. The business expanded rapidly and, by the outbreak of war in 1914, owned 49 vessels. A number of ships were lost to enemy action, however, during the two world wars.

In 1922, the business acquired a large quarrying operation at Llandulas in North Wales, which was registered under the name Kneeshaw, Lupton and Co Ltd.

In 1949, a private limited company, William Robertson Shipowners Ltd, was formed to take over the assets of the William Robertson partnership. The management of the fleet, however, was left in the hands of the partnership. The partnership appears to have been wound up in 1958, when William Robertson Shipowners Ltd changed its name to Gem Line Ltd and a new company called William Robertson Shipowners Ltd was formed to continue the management of the fleet.

Places

Legal status

Functions, occupations and activities

Mandates/sources of authority

Internal structures/genealogy

General context

Relationships area

Related entity

William Robertson Shipowners Ltd, 1958-1975 (1958-1975)

Identifier of the related entity

C0257

Category of the relationship

temporal

Dates of the relationship

1958

Description of relationship

In 1958, William Robertson Shipowners Ltd was formed to take over the management of the Robertson fleet from William Robertson.

Related entity

William Robertson Shipowners Ltd, 1949-1997 (1949-1997)

Identifier of the related entity

C0026

Category of the relationship

associative

Dates of the relationship

1949-1958

Description of relationship

In 1949, William Robertson Shipowners Ltd was formed to take over the assets of the William Robertson partnership. The management of the fleet was left in the hands of the partnership.

Related entity

Kneeshaw, Lupton and Company Ltd (1922-)

Identifier of the related entity

C0255

Category of the relationship

associative

Dates of the relationship

1922-1952

Description of relationship

Kneeshaw, Lupton and Co Ltd was an associated company of Wiiliam Robertson.

Related entity

Robertson, William, 1832-1919, coal merchant and shipowner (1832-1919)

Identifier of the related entity

P0125

Category of the relationship

associative

Dates of the relationship

1852-1919

Description of relationship

William Robertson, the shipping business, was founded by William Robertson in 1852.

Related entity

Robertson, William Francis, 1920-2005, shipowner

Identifier of the related entity

P0126

Category of the relationship

associative

Dates of the relationship

Description of relationship

Control area

Description identifier

C0254

Institution identifier

GB 249

Rules and/or conventions used

ISAAR(CPF): International Standard Archival Authority Record for Corporate Bodies, Persons and Families, International Council on Archives (2nd edition, 2003); Rules for the construction of personal, place and corporate names, National Council on Archives (1997).

Status

Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Created by Victoria Peters, October 2010.

Language(s)

Script(s)

Sources

Maintenance notes