Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,439 pages of information and 233,876 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

P. Henderson and Co

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1802 Patrick Henderson was born in the fishing village of Pittenweem. He had four brothers. A different Henderson family, from the same small village, founded Anchor Line and the D. and W. Henderson shipyard.

1833 Patrick’s brother Thomas married the sister of Alexander and William Thomson, the founders of Ben Line. This led to a close association between the two families

1834 Patrick Henderson and Co was formed to export Scottish textiles to Italy and import marble.

1835 Patrick built his first ship for this trade.

1841 Patrick died; his brother George took over.

1852 George died; replaced by his brother Robert; company changed name to P. Henderson and Co.

The firm diversified and brought in outside investors, most notably Peter Denny.

Chartered two vessels to the French Government as troopships for the Crimean War. After the war, by agreement with the French authorities, P. Henderson used the French colours reversed to form its houseflag.

1845 Started a service from Glasgow to Bombay and Australia

1848 The company entered the emigrant trade to New Zealand calling at Burma for cargo on the return voyage, initially with chartered ships.

1864 A subsidiary company, Albion Shipping Co, was formed

1874 the British and Burmese Steam Navigation Co was formed to operate regular liner sailings to Burma.

1947 ships were chartered to Elder Dempster Lines

1952 Elder Dempster purchased the British and Burmese Steam Navigation Co and fleet. The chartered ships were retained on the West Africa routes while P. Henderson and Co continued to manage the Burma traders.

1965 Ocean Steamship Co acquired control of the group

1967 When the Six-day war closed the Suez Canal, Henderson's service to Burma ceased and their last three ships transferred to Elder Dempster routes.

The last Henderson ship was sold in 1970 and the name of Henderson disappeared from the shipowning scene.

See Also


Sources of Information

  • British Burma Line [1]