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The Clyde Passenger Steamer 



PUBLISHED BY 

JAMES MACLEHOSE AND SONS, GLASGOW 
publishers to the autbersits. 



MACMILLAN AND CO., LTD., LONDON. 



Nerv York, 
London, - 
Cambridge, 
Edinburgh, 
Sydney, • 



The Macmillan Co. 
Siinpkin, Hamilton and Co. 
Macmillan and Bowes. 
Douglas and Foulis. 
Angus and Robertson. 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2007 with funding from 

IVIicrosoft Corporation 



http://www.archive.org/details/clydepassengerstOOwillrich 




WILLIAM DENNY 



The 
Clyde Passenger Steamer 

Its T{ise a?td Progress during 
the nineteenth Century 

From the 'Comet' of 1812 to the 
* King Edward' of 1901 

By 

Captain James Williamson^ c^ G^-aj^^vo cl^ 



Glasgow 
James MacLehose and Sons 

Publishers to the University 
1904 






GLASGOW : PRINTED AT THE UNIVERSITY l^RESS 
BY ROBERT MACLEHOSE AND CO. LTD. 



6 ^ x<^ ( 

BmustoU Liutmn 



Preface 

A DESIRE has been widely expressed for some 
permanent record of the rise and progress of 
the passenger steamer on the Clyde. I have 
ventured to undertake the task on the strength 
of an intimate and continuous association with 
the enterprise from my earliest years, and of 
an active share in it since 1868. 

For records and data, I gratefully acknow- 
ledge my indebtedness to the builders and 
engineers of the steamers, and to other gentle- 
men who have had a personal connection with 
the traffic. In every case pains have been 
taken to obtain authentic information. 



Craigbarnet, 
Greenock, July, 1904. 



Contents 



CHAPTER I. 

PAGE 

Early Days, - i 



CHAPTER II. 
Successors to the 'Comet,' 22 

CHAPTER III. 
Excursions, Enterprises and Disasters, - - 44 

CHAPTER IV. 
Inventions and Developments, - - - • - 67 

CHAPTER V. 
Railway and Steamer, 81 

CHAPTER VI. 
The Lively Fifties, 99 



X CONTENTS 

CHAPTER VII. 

PAGE 

The Railway Invasion, 121 

CHAPTER Vlll. 
Railway Rivalries, 158 

CHAPTER IX. 
Decline of Private Ownership, - - - - 180 

CHAPTER X. 
Fight of the Packet Companies, - - - - 212 

CHAPTER XI. 
The Turbine Steamers, 246 

CHAPTER XII. 
Owners, Masters and Crews, ... - 260 

CHAPTER XIII. 
The Present Position, 294 

CHAPTER XIV. 
Boilers and Engines, 301 



CONTENTS xi 

CHAPTER XV. 

PAGE 

Robert Napier, - 318 

CHAPTER XVI. 

Peter Denny, LL.D., 331 

Complete List of Steamers from the 'Comet' 

TO the ' King Edward,' 347 

Directors and Chief Railway Officials in 1901, 378 



I 



List of Illustrations 



I 



PAGE 

William Denny, Frontispiece 


John Wilson, - 


PAGE 


Henry Bell, - 


3 


'Rothesay Castle, '- 


109 


'Comet,' 1812, 


8 


'Vulcan,' 


no 


John Wood, - 


12 


'Superb,' - - 


"3 


'. Bell's Promissory Notes, 


13 


♦ lona ' No. I, 


114 


Plan and Lines of ' Comet,' 


14 


Captain Wm. M'Intyre, - 


117 


John Robertson and ' Comet 


5 


' Duntroon Castle,' 


119 


Engine, 


17 


• Ruby ' No. II, - 


122 


'Industry,' - 


25 


* Rothesay Castle,' - 


123 


At Loch Goil Jetty, 


27 


Captain Richard Price, - 


123 


Port-Glasgow, 


42 


'Neptune,' - 


124 


Greenock, 


43 


'Juno,' - - - - 


126 


' Leven's ' Engine, - 


50 


' Ruby ' No. Ill, - 


127 


'Clarence,' - 


58 


'Sultan,' 


131 


David Napier, 


70 


' lona ' No. Ill, - 


133 


Gray's Engine, 


71 


Captain M'Gowan, 


135 


Engine of ' St. Mungo,' - 


1Z 


Captain M'Gaw, - 


135 


'Luna,' 


74 


John Murray, 


135 


' Isle of Bute,' 


75 


Alex. Paterson, 


135 


' Superb,' 


76 


John M'Aulay, 


135 


Rothesay, 


77 


'Vivid,' 


T^37 


* Lady Brisbane,' - 


S8 


' Eagle ' No. II, - 


13S 


* Lady Kelburne,' - 


88 


'Argyle,' - 


139 


' Emperor,' - 


89 ' 


A. Watson, - 


141 


' Craignish Castle,' 


92 


Captain Duncan Campbell, 


143 


John Reid, 


92 


'Athole,' 


144 


' Monarch,' - 


93 


Bob Stewart, - 


145 


' Mars,' .... 


94 


Captain Robert Young, - 


148 


' Breadalbane,' 


96 


'Lancelot,' - 


150 


The Queen's Visit, - 


97 


* Marquis of Bute,* - 


151 


'Eclipse,' - 


lOI 


• Sultana,' 


152 


'Venus,' 


103 


Captain Jas. Williamson, 


153 


Wreck of * Mountaineer,' 


104 


' Guinevere, '- 


156 


•Eagle,' 


105 


John Reid, Jr., 


157 


' Loch Goil,' - 


106 


James Gilchrist, - 


165 



XIV 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 



'Viceroy,' - - - 170 

'Adela,' - - - 171 

'Sheila,' - - - 172 

Captain Peter M'Dermid, 173 

' Lord of the Isles,' - 174 

Captain Alex. M'Kinnon, 175 

'Columba,' - - - 176 

Captain Angus Campbell, 177 

Captain John Barr, - 178 

'Ivanhoe,' - - - 181 

Dining Saloon, - - 183 

General Saloon, - - 185 

Robert Darling, - - 188 

'Scotia,' - - - 190 

Captain Alex. Gillies, - 191 

' Meg Merrilies,' - - 193 

Captain Hugh Macpherson, 194 

'Jeanie Deans,' - - 195 

'Grenadier,' - - - 197 

Captain Arch. M 'Arthur, 198 

Captain Donald M 'Galium, 198 

'Victoria,' - - - 199 

Malcolm M'Naughton, - 200 

' Madge Wildfire,' - - 201 

Captain Arch. Cameron, 202 

' Lucy Ash ton,' - - 203 

Capt. Roderick M 'Donald, 204 

' Caledonia,' - - - 205 

Captain Smith, - - 206 

'Galatea,' - - - 207 

Captain Arch. M'Pherson, 208 

Captain John Buie, - 208 

Pier Signals, - - - 209 
' Marchioness of Breadalbane' 214 

Captain Duncan Munro, - 215 
Captain Duncan Macdougall, 215 

' Duchess of Hamilton,' - 216 

General Saloon, - - 217 

Dining Saloon, - - 218 

Captain Robt. Morrison, 219 

Eb. M'Millan, - - 219 

John Houston, - - 220 

Robert Houston, - - 220 

' Marchioness of Lome,' - 221 

Captain W. Gordon, - 222 

'Lady Rowena,' - - 223 

Captain D. M 'Arthur, - 223 

Captain Angus Carmichael, 223 
' Duchess of Hamilton ' 

as Club Steamer, - 224 



PAGE 

' Lord of the Isles ' No. II, 225 
Captain Donald Downie, 226 
' Glen Sannox,' - - 227 
Captain Colin M'Gregor, 228 
Captain Fowler, - - 228 
' Mercury,' - - - 229 
Captain Peter M'Gregor, 230 
Captain Charles Brown, - 230 
'Minerva,' - - - 231 
Captain John Cameron, - 232 
Captain A, Turner, - 232 
' Duchess of Rothesay,' - 233 
Captain Allan Macdougall, 234 
Captain Donald M'Phedron, 234 
' Red Gauntlet,' - - 235 
' Dandie Dinmont,' - 235 
Captain D. M'Farlane, - 236 
Captain D. M'Neill, - 236 
* Glenmore,' - - - 237 
'Jupiter,' - - - 238 
Captain Donald M'Tavish, 238 
'Talisman,' - - - 239 
Captain J. M. Gray, - 239 
' Strathmore,' - - 240 
'Juno,' - - - - 241 
Captain D. M'Phedron, - 241 
' Kenilworth,' - - 242 
Captain John Clark, - 242 
'Waverley,' - - - 243 
Captain Malcolm Gillies, 244 
Chart of 'Turbinia,' - 247 
Turbine, - - - 248 
' King Edward,' - - 249 
H. Hall, Chief Engineer, 250 
Hon. C. A. Parsons, - 253 
John Williamson, - - 254 
Walter Brock ofDenny& Co., 254 
Captain M'Innes, - - 257 
Captain John Thompson, 257 
Captain John Sinclair, - 257 
Captain M 'Galium, - 257 
Diagram of Costs of the work- 
ing of Paddle Steamers, 258 
Captain John M'Millan, 259 
Captain Neil M'Tavish, - 259 
Captain Lachlan Campbell, 259 
Captain J. D. Buchanan, 259 
Captain Wm. Buchanan, 259 
Captain John M'Kinnon, 271 
Captain Duncan M'Kellar, 272 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 



XV 



Captain Alex. M'Kellar, 


PAGE 

272 


Captain Alex. Campbell, 


PAGE 

281 


D. Hutchison, 


274 


Dunoon Pier, 


295 


Alex. Hutchison, - 


274 


Rothesay Pier, 


295 


David MacBrayne, - 


275 


Gourock, 


297 


Captain Alex. Campbell, 


275 


Wemyss Bay, - 


298 


Captain John Campbell, - 


275 


Craigendoran, 


299 


Captain Bob Campbell, - 


277 


Princes Pier, - 


300 


Peter Campbell, - 


277 


'Vivid's' Engine, - 


302 


Capt. Alex. Williamson, Sr 


,277 


'Vivid's' Engine, - 


303 


Captain W. Buchanan, - 


277 


' Ivanhoe's ' Boiler, 


305 


Captain Jas. Williamson, 


278 


'Duchess of Montrose' Boilei 


,307 


A. Williamson, Jr., 


278 


' Lome's ' Engine, - 


309 


Allan Stewart, 


279 


Paddle Whee , 


311 


Bob Stewart, - 


279 


Robert Napier, 


319 


Captain Alex. M'Lean, - 


280 


Peter Denny, 


333 


Jas. Gillies, - 


281 


Map of Steamboat Route, 


346 



The illustrations are from photographs taken by 
Messrs. Adamson & Son and C. Sweet, Rothesay ; 
Robertson & Co., Gourock ; and Valentine & Co., 
Dundee. The photos of David Napier and the Hon. 
C. A. Parsons are by Messrs. R. Brinkley & Son, 
Glasgow, and Elliott & Fry, London. 



CHAPTER I 

EARLY DAYS 

Peculiar Interest belongs to the inception and 
development of the passenger steamer on the 
River Clyde. The Clyde was the cradle of the 
steamship enterprise of the world, and the Clyde 
passenger steamer has been the pioneer of 
many, if not most, of the improvements in hulls 
and machinery and of the countless amenities 
which make travelling by sea a pleasure to-day. 
The sustained excellence of the boats is proved 
by the fact that most of them are ultimately 
bought up for service elsewhere. During the 
American War many were purchased and sent 
across the Atlantic to distinguish themselves 
as blockade-runners, while others have been 
acquired for places as far apart as Bordeaux 
and the Bosphorus, Japan and the River Plate. 
Locally, the benefits conferred by the pas- 
senofer steamer are bevond calculation. To 
say nothing of the health and prosperity given 
to the city of Glasgow, one has only to point 
to the shores of the Firth, where pleasure 
resorts have everywhere sprung into flourish- 



2 THE CLYDE • PASSENGER STEAMER 

ing existence since the coming of the swift 
steam craft. Sir James Marwick, In his admir- 
able account of The River Clyde and the 
Harbour of Glasgow, points out ''how much 
not only the City of Glasgow, but the whole 
of the Clyde district, owe to the far-seeing 
energy of those who have made the river a 
great commercial highway." On the other 
hand, a large part of the credit Is undoubtedly 
due to the steamship enterprise which ren- 
dered the deepening and widening of the river 
a necessity, and In that enterprise the Clyde 
passenger steamer played a leading part. 

Previous to the year 1812, according to the 
Chronicles of St. Mimgo, ^'the vehicles of com- 
munication to the new port of Greenock were 
a species of wherry-bullt nutshells designated 
' Flyboats,' and the value of this term will be 
appreciated when It Is considered that they 
generally completed their voyage in the short 
space of ten hours. The conveyance of goods 
and passengers to places more remote than 
Greenock was a more ambitious ship, generally 
known by the name of ' Packet,' which, with a 
fair wind, could reach the Isle of Bute in three 
davs, but, when adverse, thouoht It ' not wonder- 
ful ' to plough the billowy main for as many 
weeks ! " 

All this was to be changed by two men who 
hailed from the shores of the Firth. It was 
James Watt, a native of Greenock, who, 
as instrument-maker in Glasgow University 
in 1765, had the little model of Newcomen's 



EARLY DAYS 




HENRY BELL 



engine placed in his hands for repair, and, 
in the course of the work, discovered the 
separate condenser which has revolutionised 
the navigation of the world. 
And it was Henry Bell, a .^pr^'^^'Si^ ^ 

resident of Helensburgh, g ^^'Ik 

who, in 1812, placed on ' 

the waters of the Clyde the 
little steamer ''Comet," 
which was the pioneer of 
the splendid fleet of pas- 
senger steamers which ply 
on these waters at the 
present day. 

This is not the place to 
discuss the disputed claims as to who was 
the original inventor of the steamship. Henry 
Bell has left it on record that in 1800, and 
again in 1803, he laid before Lord Melville 
and the Lords of the Admiralty a scheme 
showing "the practicability and great utility of 
applying steam to the propelling of vessels 
against winds and tides, and every obstruc- 
tion on rivers and seas, where there was 
depth of water." Of all the Lords of the 
Admiralty, Lord Nelson alone believed in 
the practicability of the scheme. '' My lords 
and gentlemen," he said emphatically, " if you 
do not adopt Mr. Bell's scheme, other nations 
will, and in the end vex every vein of this 
empire. It will succeed, and you should 
encourage Mr. Bell." Notwithstanding the 
advocacy of the most influential naval officer 



4 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

of his day, *' My Lords" considered that ''the 
plan proposed would be of no value." Com- 
menting on the result of his appeal to the 
Admiralty, Mr. Bell proceeds : " Having 
obtained no support from my country, I made 
correct prospectuses of my long matured plan, 
and forwarded copies to the nations of Europe 
and to the United States of America. The 
Americans were the first who put my plan into 
practice, and were quickly followed by other 
nations." 

There had been experiments before Bell's 
time in propelling vessels by steam. In 1781 
the French Marquis de Jouffroy had made fruit- 
less attempts on the Saone at Lyons. In 1785 
two Americans, Ramsay and Fitch, encouraged 
by George Washington, made similar efforts 
with the same result; and in 1788, Patrick 
Miller of Dalswinton, with Andrew Syming- 
ton for his engineer, experimented with a 
mid-wheel boat on Dalswinton Loch with 
some degree of success. But it was not until 
the year 1802 that the project proved itself 
to be practicable. In March of that year, at 
the instance of Lord Dundas, governor of the 
Forth and Clyde Canal, Symington put his 
stern-wheel steamer, the "Charlotte Dundas," 
upon that water-way, and towed two loaded 
sloops, the " Euphemia " and "Active," of 
seventy tons each, from Lock 20 to Port 
Dundas — 19-I miles in six hours — against a 
strong wind. Robert Fulton, who had visited 
Henry Bell, and been in correspondence with 



EARLY DAYS S 

him on the subject, came next, and in 1807 
the steamer ''Clermont" was plying between 
New York and Albany. The triumph of the 
Helensburgh inventor came four years later. 
Whoever may be entitled to priority in the 
conception of a navigable steamer, it is an 
undoubted fact that the credit of the intro- 
duction of the first steamboat on the Clyde 
is due to Henry Bell. 

Edward Morris, in his biography of Bell, 
describes him as " a man of a restless, ingeni- 
ous mind, ever plodding and scheming to reach 
an eminence by original inventions. His 
curious propensity to try experiment after ex- 
periment, to drive at a new scheme when the 
previous one was but half completed, perplexed 
and involved him in great difficulties, but the 
steamboat was ever before his mind's eye, and 
after all our British engineers, and James Watt 
at their head, had nearly abandoned the hope 
of conquering the ocean by fire-driven, steam- 
propelled vessels, Henry Bell made the 
Broomielaw resound with the shout of thou- 
sands when he put the new fiery power to 
his little vessel." The inventor was descended 
from a family which had followed the occupa- 
tion of millers and mill-wrights for centuries, 
and at one time held all the principal mills on 
the Water of Evan. He was born at Tor- 
phichen Mill, near Linlithgow, on 7th April, 
1767, and after trying masonwork and serving 
an apprenticeship with his uncle as a mill- 
wright, he wrought successively at the trades 



6 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

of ship-modelling and engineering, and was 
engaged for a time under the celebrated en- 
gineer, Rennie, in London. In 1790 he settled 
In Glasgow, and as chief partner of a building 
firm erected many public works In the city. 
Eight years later, to quote his biographer 
again, ''he turned his attention chiefly to his 
grand object, the steamboat. In the spring 
of 1800 he became acquainted with a gentle- 
man who had a fine pleasure vessel. In this 
Bell placed a boiler and engine of four horse 
power, with machinery for the paddles, and a 
strong cover-board that folded over from the 
top of the bulwarks, to prevent the rushing up 
of the water when at work." In the following 
year, seeking to Improve on his experiment, 
he applied to James Watt at Birmingham for 
advice as to a portable engine that would stand 
on Its own base with stout levers, of which he 
prepared a plan. Watt's reply was discouraging. 
** How many noblemen, gentlemen, and engin- 
eers," he wTOte, *'have puzzled their brains, 
and spent their thousands of pounds, and none 
of all these, nor yourself, has been able to 
bring the power of steam In navigation to a 
successful issue?" Driven back upon his own 
resources. Bell struggled for ten years for the 
realization of his project, but he realized It 
at last. 

The " Comet," so called from a meteor which 
appeared In the heavens at this period, and 
attracted much attention, was built in 181 1, to 
the order of Henry Bell, by John Wood at 



EARLY DAYS 7 

Port-Glasoow,^ and was advertised in Augfust, 
1 81 2, as a public conveyance for passengers 
on the River Clyde, between Glasgow and 
Greenock. The vessel was 43 feet 6 inches 
long, 1 1 feet 4 inches beam, and 5 feet 9 
inches deep, and was 24|f tons burden. The 
engine was made by John Robertson, of 
Dempster Street, Glasgow. It was four 
nominal horse power, with a single upright 
cylinder of I2|^ inches diameter and 16 inches 
stroke, and driving, by means of two rods, a 
pair of half side levers. The crank shaft, on 
which was fixed a heavy flywheel, was worked 
from the levers by a connecting rod. The 
slide valve was driven by an eccentric on the 
main shaft through a rocking shaft, while the 
condenser was placed between the side levers, 
which drove the vertical air pump. Originally 
the engine was fitted with a smaller cylinder, 
but after being used for some months, this was 
replaced by the one described. Steam was 
supplied by an internal flue boiler, built by 
David Napier.^ The vessel was originally 
propelled by two paddle-wheels on each side, 

^ For details regarding the " Comet," I am indebted to records 
kindly supplied me by the Secretary of the Victoria and Albert 
Museum, London, where the original machinery of the vessel 
now stands. 

^ Napier has put it upon record that he had some difficulty 
with the boiler. " Not being accustomed to make boilers with 
internal flues, we made them first of cast iron, but finding that 
would not do, we tried our hand with malleable iron, and 
ultimately succeeded by various devices in getting the boiler 
filled." For this work Bell gave Napier his promissory note at 
three months. 



8 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 



driven by spur gear, with the paddles on de- 
tached arms, but this arrangement giving 
trouble, complete wheels were substituted, and 
subsequently, after the vessel had been length- 
ened about twentv feet, the number of wheels 
was reduced to two. A speed of about five 
knots per hour was attained. 




''Comet" 
was the 



After several experiments, the 
sailed regularly from Glasgow. She 
first vessel moved by steam which successfully 
carried on a regular service in Europe, 
thirteen years before the opening of the first 
public railway. Her first master was Captain 
William Mackenzie,^ originally a schoolmaster 

1 The records in the Custom House at Port-Glasgow give the 
name of the first master of " Comet" No. i as J. Bruce, although 
all other records state that Wm. Mackenzie was first master. 



EARLY DAYS 9 

in Helensburgh, and the engine room was at- 
tended to by Robert Robertson. The crew 
consisted of eight hands, including a piper. 

The advertisement in the Glasgozv Chronicle 
of 14th August, 18 1 2, ran as follows : — 

The Steamboat ''Comet." 

Between Glasgow, Greenock, and 
Helensburgh. 

For Passengers only. 

The subscriber, having, at much expense, 
fitted up a handsome vessel to ply upon the 
river Clyde from Glasgow, to sail by the power 
of air, wind, and steam, intends that the vessel 
shall leave the Broomielaw on Tuesdays, Thurs- 
days, and Saturdays about mid-day, or such an 
hour thereafter as may answer from the state 
of the tide, and to leave Greenock on Mondays, 
Wednesdays, and Fridays in the morning to 
suit the tide. 

The elegance, safety, comfort, and speed of 
this vessel require only to be seen to meet the 
approbation of the public, and the proprietor is 
determined to do everything in his power to 
merit general support. 

The terms are for the present fixed at 4/- for 
the best cabin and 3/- for the second, but be- 
yond these rates nothing is to be allowed to 
servants, or any person employed about the 
vessel. 

The subscriber continues his establishment 
at Helensburgh Baths, the same as for years 



lo THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

past, and a vessel will be in readiness to con- 
vey passengers by the ''Comet" from Greenock 
to Helensburo'h. 

Passengers by the "Comet" will receive in- 
formation of the hours of sailing by applying 
at Mr. Houston's Office, Broomielaw, or to 
Mr. Thomas Blackney's, East Quay Head, 
Greenock. Henry Bell. 

Helensburgh Baths,i 5th August, 181 2. 

The feelings with which the first appearance 
of the "Comet" were regarded by the natives 
of the coast towns may be judged by an anec- 
dote supplied to me by the late Captain William 
Orr, of Greenock, as follows : — 

" I was born in Greenock not far from the 
river side, and have a distinct recollection when 
the 'Comet' first came to our quays, and of the 
opinion then entertained about her by many in 
our town. When she would be reported as 
coming round Bailie Gammell's Point, all of us 
children ran down the quay to see her blow up 
and see the sailors and passengers 'fleein' in 
the air.' We were not much disappointed at the 
time, as it was sure to happen soon." 

On the 2nd September the sailings of the 
"Comet" were extended via Tarbert and the 
Crinan Canal, to Oban, Port Appin, and Fort- 
William, the return journey occupying four 
days. Before long, however, the steamer seems 

iBell had removed to Helensburgh in 1808, and become 
tenant of the new Baths Hotel, which continued to be 
managed by his wife till her death in 1856. 



EARLY DAYS 



II 



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BELL S PROMISSORY NOTES 



12 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

to have been transferred to Grangemouth, but 
in August, 1 8 19, she re-appeared on the West 
Highland route.^ She continued that service 
till the following year, when, on 13th Decem- 
ber, 1820, on the passage from Fort- William to 
Glasgow, she was caught by the strong tide- 
race and easterly wind, and wrecked at the 
Doris-Mhor, outside Crinan. The after part 
of the vessel drifted towards Corrievreckan, 
but the fore end, from which Henry Bell and 
the crew and passengers had scrambled ashore, 
remained on the rocks, and from it the ma- 
chinery was afterwards removed.^ 

In connection with this earliest of Clyde 
passenger steamers some details regarding 
builders and engineers seem worth preserving 
here. The followino- account of the career of 
John Wood, the builder of the "Comet," 
appeared at his death in the Glasgow Herald 
of 24th December, i860: 

"Mr John Wood was born on the loth of 
October, 1788, and learnt the elements of his 
profession from his father, who was also a ship- 
builder in Port-Glasgow, and a man of much 

1 August, 1819, is the date of the first run recorded in the Re- 
ports of the engineers of the Crinan Canal, WilHam Thomson 
and Thomas Telford. 

'^ It may interest many readers to know that General Beatson, 
R.E., the late brother of the present respected secretary of the 
Royal Exchange, Glasgow, when a youth at Greenock, made a 
sketch of the " Comet," which he sent to the Hon. Mrs. Mac- 
kenzie of Seaforth. That lady passed it to the Duchess of 
WeUington, and it was the means of procuring for Beatson his 
first commission. The model of the " Comet" is in possession 
of James Reid, Glenhuntly, Port-Glasgow, whose father was 
partner with Wood, its builder. 



EARLY DAYS 13 

talent and ingenuity. About 1806 he was 
placed under Mr. Brocklebank, shipbuilder in 
Lancaster, for ten years. At this time Lan- 
caster enjoyed a considerable reputation for 
shipbuilding, and it was with the view of pro- 
fiting by a superior know- 
ledge there to be acquired 
that Mr. Wood served a 
part of his apprenticeship 
at that place. In 181 1, 
on his father's death, Mr. 
Wood assumed the respon- 
sibilities of the building yard 
at Port-Glasgow, having for 
a year or two previously 
been actively engaged in 
the management of the J^"'' '''^^^ 

work. One of his first engagements was the 
construction of the steamer 'Comet' for Mr. 
Henry Bell, which had been contracted for by 
his father. He subsequently built an immense 
number of river steamers, and steamers for 
deep sea navigation. One of the most cele- 
brated of the latter at the time, and in every 
way successful (though the first of sea-going 
steamers), was the 'James Watt,'^ which he 




^ Above statement as to the "James Watt" being the first of 
sea-going steamers is incorrect. Pollock (^Modern Shipbuild- 
i?tg) gives her date as 1822, four years after the "Rob Roy" had 
been placed by David Napier on the route between Glasgow 
and Belfast. Probably the reference is to the "Caledonia," 
built by John Wood in 181 5. According to Galloway {Steam 
Engine and its Inventors) she was bought by James Watt, jun., 
in 181 7, fitted with new engines by Boulton and Watt, and sent 
from England to Holland. 



14 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

built In conjunction with his brother, Mr. 
Charles Wood, to open a steam communica- 
tion between London and Edinbureh. In the 
middle portion of his career he was chiefly en- 
gaged In building deep- sea and ocean steamers. 
By him the reputation of the Clyde as a field of 
production of steam vessels was raised to the 




I>»ArT or IBE 001».T BV JOHX W<X)^. 



PLAN AND LINES OF ' COMET 



highest pitch, and other Clyde firm.s partici- 
pated In the reputation thus brought to their 
doors. Of late years Mr. Wood has built few 
wooden ships, partly from the fact of these 
having fallen much Into disuse, and partly from 
his having become a partner of his relative, Mr. 
John Reid, shipbuilder, Port-Glasgow, and, as 
such, aiding in raising the firm of Messrs. John 
Reid & Co. to the high reputation It now 



EARLY DAYS 15 

enjoys. From this firm he retired some years 
ago. 

'' Mr. Wood's brother, Mr. Charles Wood, 
who died a few years ago, was for some time 
associated with him in business, and he, too, 
was a very remarkable man, but perhaps too 
far in advance of the age in which he lived. 
Among his other designs he projected and 
constructed the great ship-rafts 'Columbus' 
and ' Baron of Renfrew' as a new expedient for 
bringing timber to this country. Although the 
latter of these w^as lost, the soundness of the 
principle may be held as established from the 
fact that the former reached this country in 
safety. There can be no doubt that these 
brothers have, by their talents and other gifts, 
conferred honour upon their profession, and 
have added to the lustre of their native land." 

To this may be added an interesting anecdote 
of Wood's boyhood, furnished to the present 
writer by Mr. Matthew Blackwood, Port- 
Glasgow. 

"His father," Mr. Blackwood says, "had 
got a large chest of tea sent him, and he begged 
hard of his father to get the chest, which he 
made into a boat, and sailed in it, on one of the 
burns at Bishopton. The first night he was 
out he was watched by the natives of the place, 
and when he came ashore in his boat, lifted it, 
and put it on his head, to carry it home, the 
people fled to their homes, thinking he was 
a 'kelpie.' I expect this would be the first 
attempt at shipbuilding in the Wood family." 



1 6 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

The following account of John Robertson, 
maker of the "Comet's" engine, has been 
furnished to me by Mr. David Bell, of the late 
firm of Messrs. Napier, Shanks & Bell, ship- 
builders, Yoker, to whom I am Indebted for a 
number of particulars regarding early Clyde 
steamers : 

"Mr. John Robertson, whose name Is asso- 
ciated with the first 'Comet,' as maker of its 
engines, was born In the year 1782, In the 
village of Nellston, Renfrewshire, where his 
father, James Robertson, was superintendent 
of the cotton-spinning machinery at Broadley 
Mills. 

"At the age of 14 John was apprenticed to 
the trade of spinning-wheel wrIght with a Mr. 
Cuthbertson In the same village. On complet- 
ing his apprenticeship he went to Stanley 
Cotton Works, Perthshire, and after two years 
got employment In the machine shop of the late 
Mr. Dunn, of Duntocher and John Street, 
Glasofow. He continued in this service for 
eight years, and then commenced business for 
himself (about 18 10) in a small machine shop 
in Dempster Street, off North Frederick 
Street, Glasgow. 

"In 1808 Henry Bell, then lessee of the 
Baths Hotel, Helensburgh, had seen a small 
steam engine made by Robertson In his leisure 
hours, and got him to fit it up at the hotel, to 
pump sea water for the baths. Robertson was 
among the first to undertake the heating of 
mills and factories by steam, one of his con- 



EARLY DAYS 



17 



tracts, In 18 10, being to supply and fit the 
heating apparatus for the drying stoves at 
Messrs. Stirling & Sons' Printworks, Cordale, 
Vale of Leven. He also constructed steam 




JOHN ROBERTSON AND ' COMET ' ENGINE 

engines of small size, and carried on a variety 
of engineering work, being recognised as a 
clever and expert mechanic. 

" In 181 1 Robertson commenced a small side- 



1 8 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

lever engine, having a cylinder 1 1 inches dia- 
meter, 1 6 inches stroke, and about 3-horse 
power.^ Henry Bell, being then engaged with 
his first steamer, arranged with Robertson to fit 
this engine, which was then about finished, into 
the * Comet,' the price, without boiler, being 
^165. It was fitted into the vessel while in 
Mr. Wood's yard, Port-Glasgow, and appears 
to have been also started under steam there. 

" Robertson was convinced that this engine 
would prove insufificient in power for Bell's 
purpose, and, it is also said, recommended 
strongly the fitting of only two paddle wheels — 
one on each side, instead of the two wheels on 
each side, which Bell had arranged for. The 
'Comet' commenced to run in August, 181 2 
(Captain William M'Kenzie, master), but 
her speed was found unsatisfactory, and, after 
two months trial. Bell made a further agree- 
ment with Robertson to supply a cylinder of 
12J inches diameter and about 4-horse power. 
The first engine had not been paid for, and 
the price agreed on, to include both engines, 
with alteration of paddle wheels, etc., was 
^365. The alterations being completed, the 
' Comet' was again started, and, under favour- 
able circumstances, went easily at the rate of 
six miles per hour. Unfortunately, however, 
she did not prove a success financially, and. 
Bell's affairs becoming embarrassed, it is be- 

^This cylinder was in 1876 presented by Mr. Andrew Mac- 
George to the Corporation of Glasgow. It is now exhibited in 
the Art Galleries. 



EARLY DAYS 19 

lieved that neither the builders' nor Robert- 
son's accounts were ever settled. 

'* The orlo^Inal engine of the ' Comet' was 
acquired by the late Bailie MacLellan, coach- 
builder, Glasgow, as payment for a vehicle he 
had previously supplied to Mr. Bell. After 
being used to drive the machinery In Mac- 
Lellan's coach works, Miller Street, for 
several years, It was taken to Greenock and 
did duty at a brewery there, whence It came 
back to Glasgow. It was ultimately purchased 
by Messrs. R. Napier & Sons, of Lancefield and 
Vulcan Foundries, Glasgow, and by them It 
was. In 1862, presented to the South Kensington 
Museum, London, where it Is preserved. Be- 
fore being despatched, it was photographed at 
Vulcan Foundry, with Robertson sitting beside 
it, and he was sent to London to see It re- 
erected in the Museum. The photographs 
then taken give a very good likeness of 
Robertson, and another small likeness, pre- 
sented by his old friend, Mr. Carswell, is pre- 
served In the Art Galleries Museum, Glasgow. 
The photograph bears the inscription, * Engine 
of the ''Comet," designed and constructed by 
the Subscriber at Glasgow in 181 1, and started 
In vessel in August, 181 2. (Signed) John 
Robertson.' 

" With the experience of the ' Comet ' to 
guide him, Robertson set about the construc- 
tion of another engine, which he hoped would 
give satisfactory results, and arranged with 
Mr. Wood to build for him the ' Clyde,' 1813, 



20 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

the dimensions of which were 72 ft. x 14 ft. 
X 7J ft. Capt. Wm. M'Kenzie's memoir 
states that he was appointed pilot to the 
'Clyde ' in March, 181 3, and that she sailed in 
June of that year with passengers between 
Glasgow, Greenock, and Gourock. He became 
master early in 181 5, and continued to sail her 
till February, 181 7. This boat was a favourite 
with passengers, regular in sailing, and proved 
comparatively successful financially. She could 
steam from Glasgow to Gourock and back — 
about 48 miles — with 24 cwts. of coal, the time 
being about 3I hours each way, including eight 
stoppages at ferries, etc. 

"Next year, 1814, Robertson had a river 
steamer built for him at Dundee. He con- 
structed the engine, and fitted it on board 
there. The 'Tay,' as she was named, plied 
for four years between Perth and Dundee, 
and thereafter, under the name of the 'Oscar,' 
sailed between Glasgow and Lochgoilhead 
in 1818. 

" Two more boats — the ' Caledonia ' and the 
'H umber' — were, in 18 14, built to Robertson's 
order at Dundee, and engined by him ; being 
then taken under steam to the river Humber — 
one to ply between Hull and Selby, the other 
to Gainsboro'. Probably , therefore, Robert- 
son's steamers were the first sent from Scotland 
to England. They were run on his own 
account for about eighteen months, but not 
proving profitable, were disposed of by him at 
a considerable loss. 



EARLY DAYS 21 

'* In 1817 Mr. Wood built for him the 
• Defiance,' and in 181 8 the ' Marquis of Bute,' 
the enofines of both beino- from the same 
patterns as those of the ' Clyde.' These boats 
appear to have plied on the Clyde, but the 
competition between the various river steamers 
became, after a time, so very keen, that Mr. 
Robertson found it impossible to maintain the 
position he had so honourably won by his earlier 
engineering successes. Gradually his property, 
which was wholly in steamboats, passed into 
other hands, and during- the latter years of 
his life he became, to a large extent, dependent 
on the generosity of friends who had appre- 
ciated the distinguished merits and labours of 
the old engineer." 



CHAPTER II 

SUCCESSORS TO THE "COMET" 

When the "Comet" was wrecked, Henry- 
Bell was on his way to Glasgow to make 
arrangements with subscribers for the building 
of a new and more powerful boat for the 
West Highland trade. So rapidly had events 
marched, that in the space of eight years the 
pioneer steamer had become antiquated, and 
was being pushed from the waters by newer 
and more powerful rivals. 

The second steamboat on the Clyde was the 
" Elizabeth." She was also built by John 
Wood, and to judge from an advertisement 
in the Glasgow Chronicle of 3rd April, 1813, 
she appears to have met with immediate suc- 
cess. That advertisement intimated that '* the 
proprietors of the ' Elizabeth ' passage steam- 
boat are happy to inform the public that for their 
accommodation there will be another boat ready 
in the course of a few weeks, when one will 
start from Glasgow and one from Greenock every 
morning, and return the same evening." The 
''Elizabeth "was transferred to Liverpool in 18 14. 



SUCCESSORS TO THE ^ COMET' 23 

The "Clyde" being next in the Hst, must 
have been the other boat referred to in the 
foregoing advertisement. She was re-named 
the '' Gourock " in 1823, the ''Lord Byron" 
in 1825, and the "George IV." in 1826, and 
was broken up in 1828. 

Judging from the records of the early steam- 
boats, re-christening seems to have been very 
common. No reason is stated, but possibly the 
device was necessary to hide identity in those 
experimental days. 

The " Glasgow," built in the same year, was 
supplied with machinery by Anderson & Camp- 
bell, of Greenock, under the superintendence 
of Henry Bell. The engines proved a failure, 
and by involving Bell in much litigation, con- 
tributed seriously to his financial embarrass- 
ments. New engines were substituted by James 
Cook, of Tradeston, and they seem to have 
given satisfaction. This was the first steamer 
placed on the Largs trade. 

In the following year (1814) no fewer than 
nine steamers were launched. They were the 
"Morning Star" and "Inveraray Castle," by 
John Wood, Port-Glasgow; the "Trusty" and 
the "Marjory," by Archibald MacLachlan, 
Dumbarton; the "Princess Charlotte" and 
" Prince of Orange," by James Munn, of 
Greenock; the "Duke of Argyle," by Martin, 
Port-Glasgow; the "Oscar," by Smart, of 
Dundee; and the " Industry," by William Fyfe, 
of Fairlie. 

Most students of Clyde river steamer lore 



24 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

are more or less familiar with the fact that 
Fairlie's reputation for shipbuilding originated 
in the construction of a trading steamer, not of 
a racing yacht. It is not so well known, 
however, that had the William Fyfe, who 
founded the yard — ^just about a hundred years 
ago — not been passionately determined to be 
a yacht builder, and nothing else, the destiny 
of the now world- renowned yacht-building 
yard might have been different Nay, more; 
but for the enthusiasm of this William Fyfe 
for boats of pleasure, rather than for the 
ships of commerce, much of the shipbuilding 
that is now carried on above Greenock, might 
have been conducted on the foreshore of Largs 
and Fairlie. 

The " Industry," which was built at Fairlie 
in 1 8 14 by William Fyfe, the grandfather of 
the present famous Fairlie yacht designer and 
builder, was the seventh river steamer to be 
constructed on the Clyde, and she earned the 
distinction of being the oldest steamer in the 
world before she was broken up. Mr. Fyfe 
built the " Industry," with oak grown in his 
native parish of Kilbirnie, for a small syndicate 
of far-seeing speculators belonging to Beith. 
So well pleased were these gentlemen with the 
'industry" that they would gladly have ad- 
vanced Mr. Fyfe money on easy terms for the 
purpose of equipping his yard at Fairlie for 
the construction of trading vessels — more par- 
ticularly vessels like the '' Industry." They 
would give him neither help nor countenance. 



SUCCESSORS TO THE 'COMET 



25 



however, If he persisted In building yachts; 
but yachts and smart fishing smacks, and 
nothing else, would William Fyfe build, and 
so, from that day to this, among the 500 and 
odd boats that have been built at Fairlie there 
never has been another trading steamer. 




The original engines of the " Industry " were 
made by Dobbie, but in 1828, she was re- 
engined by Caird & Co., of Greenock, and it 
Is this later machinery which now rests In 
Kelvingrove Park, Glasgow. 

In this connection the description given by 
Mr. John Hastle at the meeting of the Insti- 
tute of Engineers and Shipbuilders In Scotland 



26 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

on 2 1 St December, 1880, is of interest. Mr. 
John Hastie said he was the last engineer that 
had to do with the " Industry" before she was 
laid up, and could supply some information 
regarding her. The original engines were 
taken out and replaced with the engines now 
on board by Caird & Co., of Greenock ; he 
could not state the date, but it was at least 
thirty years ago. The spur gearing for driving 
the paddle wheels was retained to the last, and 
was a constant source of trouble on account of 
the cogs giving way, and spare wheels were 
always kept in readiness to replace them. She 
was known in Greenock harbour as the " coffee 
mill," from the grinding noise caused by the 



cogs. 



Of the other vessels built in 18 14, the 
" Princess Charlotte " and the " Prince of 
Orange " were the first steamers engined by 
Boulton & Watt of Birmingham for Clyde 
traffic. The former was re-named the "Gree- 
nock" in 18 1 5, and in 1826 the machinery 
was removed, and she was converted into a 
sailing craft. There is no record as to whether 
the hull or the engine was at fault, or as to 
what became of the machinery. The " Prince 
of Orange " was re-named the '' Port-Glasgow" 
in 1 819, and broken up in 1828. The " Argyle" 
sailed a very short time on the river, being sold 
to foreio^n owners. She was taken abroad 
under sail, the funnel being used as a mast. 
London owners acquired the " Marjory." She 
was taken through the Forth and Clyde Canal, 



SUCCESSORS TO THE 'COMET' 27 

and down the east coast, and the story is told 
how, when she entered the Thames, she created 
an immense sensation among the crews of the 
British fleet. She was the first steamer they 
had seen.^ All the steamers built in 18 14 
traded for shorter or longer periods between 
Glasgow and Greenock, except the " Inveraray 




AT LOCH GOIL JETTY 

Castle " and " Oscar " — the former running- 
bet ween Glasgow and Loch Fyne, and the 
latter between Glasgow and Loch Goil, com- 
mencing in 181 8. 

The "Dumbarton Castle," built in 1815, was 
the first steamer in the Rothesay trade, and to 

^ The over-all beam of the " Marjory " was 4 feet 4 inches 
more than the width of the canal locks, and the fact necessitated 
the removal of one or both wings. 



28 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

celebrate her advent Captain Johnston, her 
master, was presented by the local authorities 
with a punch bowl. These early admirers, it 
would appear, considered the command of one 
of these craft a post calling for nerve and 
daring — somewhat similar, perhaps, to the con- 
trol of a sixty miles an hour motor to-day. 

An interesting circumstance belongs to the 
history of this steamer. During his last visit 
to Greenock, in 1816, James Watt made a 
voyage to Rothesay on board of her, accom- 
panied by his friend Mr. Walkinshaw. The 
excursion then occupied the greater part of a 
day. Naturally Watt entered into conversation 
with the engineer of the boat. In the course 
of their talk the latter told him of an incident 
which had occurred on the previous evening. 
The steamer had been aground on the river 
bank, and, as the tide rose, the pressure of the 
current on the paddle floats had caused the 
engines to reverse. Watt instantly grasped the 
situation, and proceeded to demonstrate with a 
footrule the importance of what had occurred. 
Falling, however, to make the engineer under- 
stand, he at last, under the impulse of the ruling 
passion, threw off his overcoat, and putting his 
hand to the engine, gave a practical illustration 
of his lecture. Previous to that date the re- 
versing of machinery was either unknown or 
not generally practised. The custom was to 
stop the engine a considerable distance from 
the point of mooring, and drift alongside. This 
was a difficult operation, and involved con- 



SUCCESSORS TO THE 'COMET' 29 

sideration of both wind and tide. Watt's 
discovery, therefore, was momentous, and 
enabled the steamer to take the pier with 
precision and promptitude. The incident ap- 
pears to have occurred at Rothesay quay, and 
was evidently the first intentional reversing of 
an engine. 

During the five years, from 181 5 to 1819, 
there seems to have been quite a "boom" in 
steamboat buildinof on the river. Includinof 
the " Dumbarton Castle," already alluded to, 
the construction of twenty-six steamers is re- 
corded. Of these, the most notable was the 
'' Britannia," built in 181 5 by John Hunter, 
Port-Glasgow, and engined by D. M 'Arthur, 
Glasgow. Her principal owner was Archibald 
M'Taggart, who was also the first distiller in 
Campbeltown, and great-grandfather of Mn 
Dan. M'Taggart, present Procurator-Fiscal 
at that place. 

After trading for a time to Campbeltown via 
Rothesay, she was acquired by Messrs. Alex. 
A. Laird & Co., of the Londonderry fleet, and 
was the first steamer owned by that old and 
energetic firm. She was wrecked at Donagha- 
dee in 1829. 

Among the other steamers of the period, the 
"Caledonia" was sold to go to Hull, the 
" Argyle " (second of the name) to go to Alloa ; 
the "Waterloo" was re-named "Maid of I slay" in 
1825, and the "Neptune" was broken up in 1826. 

The construction and equipment of the 
"Albion" cost ^3450. John Kay was her 



30 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

master, and his crew consisted of a pilot, two 
seamen, one engineer, one fireman and two 
stewards. Captain Kay, who superintended 
her construction, was long and favourably- 
known on the Clyde, and on his retiral was 
presented by his owners with a valuable testi- 
monial of their " esteem, gratitude, and appro- 
bation." 

The '^ Albion" was a famous boat on the 
Glasgow and Largs route, but she did not 
achieve much of her fame through the instru- 
mentality of her speed. So little blessed was 
she, in fact, with this valuable quality that the 
boys of Largs and Skelmorlie were often wont, 
in their youthful glee, to run her races, so to 
speak, and as they dashed away from her they 
would toss their caps in the air and shout de- 
risively to her to come on or they would be at the 
quay before her. Mr. George Riddle, a Largs 
mason, who died there only a few years ago at 
an advanced age, was wont to tell how when 
he was working as an apprentice at a house 
near the Parish Church of Largs, his master 
came to him one Saturday morning and told 
him to run home, wash his face, change his 
clothes, get his breakfast, and go in the 
" Albion " to Greenock for money to pay the 
wages of the workmen. There was no bank 
in Largs in those days. The lad replied that 
he could not do all that, as the steamer was 
already round the Farland Point. " Aye, you 
can dae that, an' be in plenty d time,'' the 
master insisted, on which young Riddle at once 



SUCCESSORS TO THE 'COMET' 31 

set off to try. True, the toilet of an apprentice 
mason of those days was not elaborate, nor 
was it burdensome to count the courses of his 
breakfast, and Riddle had ample time to catch 
the steamer. 

It is usually supposed that the '' Mars" was 
the only one of the old steamers that came to 
grief on the shores of Largs, but this same 
" Albion " was badly damaged on one occasion 
by drifting on to the top of some rough piles 
that constituted the face of a rude sort of wharf 
which occupied the site of the ''inner" part of 
the present harbour. The tops of the piles 
ripped the bottom out of the steamer, and so 
serious did her plight become that her regular 
crew left her. 

Her skipper, happily, was a man of courage 
and resource as well as humour, and pressing a 
few of his old Largs friends into the service he 
contrived to patch her up in a way that enabled 
her to keep afloat till he got her to Greenock, 
where she was soon made *'as good as new." 

The '' Rothesay Castle,"^ of 34-horse power, 
and a speed of about 12 knots, traded first 
between Glasgow and Rothesay, and latterly 
between Glasgow, Ardrishaig, and Inveraray. 
She was then lengthened, re-engined, and sold 
to Liverpool owners, and in August, 1831, she 
was lost with a large number of passengers, 
on the Dutchman's Bank, off Beaumaris. 

^Captain John M'Kinnon, a well-known figure in his time, 
was master — his son, Sandy, being Captain Young's successor 
in the first "Lord of the Isles." 



32 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

The '' Marion," named after the wife of her 
owner, David Napier, sailed on the river for 
one year. She was then taken to Loch 
Lomond, and was the first steamer to ply on 
that lake. The *' Duke of Wellington " was 
re-named the "Highland Chieftain" in 1821, 
and the '' Lady of the Lake " was transferred to 
Alloa in 1828. The " Defiance," built in 1817, 
was the first steamer on the Loch Goil route. 
She was re-named the " Highland Lad." and 
was broken up in 1827. Captain Graham, 
formerly of the " Comet," was one of the 
oriorinal shareholders of the Loch Goil Steam- 
boat Company, and continued in that trade for 
over thirty years. When he died, on nth 
January, 1849, he was the oldest steamboat 
master in Europe. 

The "Talbot," built at Port-Glasgow in 18 19 
by John Wood, and engined by David Napier, 
was the first steamer fitted with feathering 
floats ; but, of course, her apparatus had not the 
perfection of the present day paddle-w^heel. 

The " Marquis of Bute" was re-named the 
*' Bangor Castle" in 1825, and crossed to the 
Green Isle, where she ran as a passenger 
steamer between Belfast and Bangor. 

Second last of the list belonging to this 
period was the " Post Boy," built at Dumbar- 
ton, by Denny, in 1820. She ran between 
Glasgow and Greenock, and had a connection 
at Dumbarton with the Loch Lomond tourist 
route, and she was the first steamer advertised 
to sail at a regular hour, regardless of wind or 



SUCCESSORS TO THE 'COMET' 33 

tide. This last fact was due, not only to the 
increased power of machinery, but to the 
'* Post Boy's" shallow draft (three feet) and to 
the rapid deepening of the river, which the 
Clyde Trustees had been carrying on. When 
the " Comet" began to run, in 181 2, though she 
drew only four feet, she found it necessary to 
leave both Glasgow and Greenock at or near 
high water, to avoid taking the ground in the 
river; and lighters depending on sails, oars, and 
horse haulage, though they drew no more than 
four feet six inches, had been known to take 
six weeks for the trip up the river. There 
is a tradition, indeed, of one of the steamer 
captains of this period, who was so anxious 
about the limited depth of the Clyde, that 
he would not allow an old woman to draw a 
stoupful of water till he had passed. 

During the same period, another event as 
vital and significant as the deepening of the 
river had taken place. The Government had 
at last begun to take notice of the new means 
of marine propulsion, and to make regulations 
in its conduct for the safety of the lieges. In 
the Annals of Lloyds Register^ it is noted that 
as other vessels followed quickly in the wake of 
the "Comet," a Committee of the House of 
Commons sat in 181 7 to consider means of pre- 
venting accidents arising from explosions on 
board steamboats. As the result of the Com- 

1 Presented by the Chairman and Committee of Lloyd's Re- 
gister of British and Foreign Shipping in commemoration of 
the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Society. 

C 



34 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

mittee's investigations, regulations were issued 
which required steamboats to be registered. 
Further, in the case of passenger vessels the 
boilers, which it was thought necessary to pre- 
scribe should be of wrought iron or copper, 
were to be fitted with two safety valves, and to 
be tested to three times the working pressure, 
which was not to exceed one-sixth of the pres- 
sure the boiler was calculated to withstand. 

In 1820, encouraged by the increased facili- 
ties for travelling, Messrs. James Lumsden & 
Son published one of the pioneers of our 
modern descriptive guidebooks. It is entitled 
The Steamboat Companion and Strangers Guide 
to the Western Islands and Highlands of Scot- 
land. Its description of the scenery of Loch 
Lomond, the River and Firth of Clyde, the 
West Highlands and Hebrides, with the anti- 
quities, traditions, and natural history of each 
locality, displays an accuracy quite equal to that 
of similar books of the present day. In a foot- 
note to the description of Loch Lomond it in- 
forms the reader of the means of conveyance : — 
''The 'Post Boy' steamboat leaves Glasgow 
every morning, at 6.0 o'clock, with passengers 
for the ' Marion,' plying on Loch Lomond, and 
lands them at Dumbarton, five miles from Bal- 
loch, from whence the 'Marion' starts every 
day, at 10 o'clock. The 'Post Boy' again 
takes them up on their return to Dumbarton, 
at 6 o'clock in the evening; so that by this con- 
veyance a stranger can leave Glasgow in the 
morning, visit the beautiful scenery of Loch 



SUCCESSORS TO THE 'COMET' 35 

Lomond, and be again at Glasgow, in 14 hours. 
A coach runs from Dumbarton to Balloch, for 
the convenience of passengers by the ' Post 
Boy,' and again brings them back to meet the 
boat in the afternoon." The book also con- 
tains a list of twenty-three steamboats plying 
on the river and Firth of Clyde, with their date 
of building, tonnage, horse-power, and draft. 
A list of the fares charged is given on p. 2>^. 
As Lumsden's little Companion is now 
somewhat scarce, and important changes have 
taken place upon the river banks since 1820, it 
may not be amiss to quote the description of 
the sail from Glasgow to Greenock at that 
period : 

"■ The first object that comes in view is the 
village of Govan, not inelegantly situated 
among surrounding trees ; having previously 
passed the Verreville Glasswork, Geddes ; and 
Finnieston Village, Stobcross, Phillips ; and 
York Hill, Gilbert. 

''At Govan there is a regular ferry to the 
confluence of the Kelvin, a beautiful stream, 
originating in the Campsie hills, and has its 
course diversified by various falls and windings, 
while its banks are adorned by numerous ele- 
gant villas and plantations, tastefully laid down. 
Opposite to Govan are the village and city 
Mills of Partick, and near it the ruins of a 
mansion formerly occupied by the archiepis- 
copal prelate of Glasgow, which, before the 
introduction of manufactures and commerce 
rendered the banks of the Clyde and Kelvin so 



36 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 



2 


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GREENOCK „ 
LARGS 
ARDROSSAN „ 



SUCCESSORS TO THE < COMET' 37 

populous, must have been a situation of beauty 
and comfort ; to both of which advantages the 
clergy of former times were not indifferent. 

" Proceeding along, many villas, the residence 
of opulence, and the efforts of industry, are to 
be seen on both sides of the river, and a few- 
miles from the city the view becomes more 
extensive. 

'' On the right, i mile from Govan, is 
Broomhill, Perston ; and i^ mile farther on the 
left, Linthouse, Watson ; on the same side, but 
more distant, Shieldhall, Oswald ; and on the 
right, also at some distance, Jordanhill, Smith ; 
on the plain below it, about i-^ mile further on, 
Scotstoun, Oswald ; opposite, on the left. Brae- 
head, McCall ; and i mile further, Elderslie 
House, the elegant mansion of Spiers ; a short 
way forward, on the same side, the town of 
Renfrew, an ancient burgh, near which once 
stood a palace of the first Stewart monarchs. 
The old church still contains some antique 
statues, and near the town is a tumulus, reared 
to commemorate the defeat of Somerlid, thane 
of Argyle, by Angus, in 11 64. At Renfrew, 
there is a regular ferry, where carriages and 
horses are safely crossed, 3 miles distant from 
Paisley. On the opposite side, Yoker Lodge, 
Bennet ; and on the left, i mile further, is 
Renfield, Campbell of Blythswood, a superb 
modern house ; a short way on the same side, is 
the mouth of the Cart River, looking up which 
is seen Inchinnan Bridge, at its junction with 
the Gryffe ; and, at 3 miles distance, the town 



38 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

of Paisley and Glenlffer Hills ; near this bridge 
is a stone, placed where the gallant Marquis of 
Argyle was taken, in 1685 ; at the mouth of the 
Cart once stood the palace of Inchinnan, a 
royal residence, of which there remains no 
vestige, and the site is now that of a farm 
steading;. Here is a small island called New- 
shot, so named from its recent appearance, 
being formed of mud and alluvion. A little 
on, in the high ground, at a distance, is 
Cockney, Hamilton. Here a great extent of 
Dunbartonshire comes into view. On the 
right, 2 miles on, the Alkaline Works of Lord 
Dundas ; Dalmuir House, and Paper Mills, 
Collins ; the most extensive paper works in 
Scotland. Auchentoshan, Cross, and Mount- 
blow, Bowie ; a little further on, at some dis- 
tance, In a valley, Duntocher Cotton Mills, 
Dunn. Almost opposite, on the left, Park, 
Fulton ; i mile further, North Bar ; and near 
the water, the house which belonged to, and 
where Peggy, the enfant trouve of Ramsay's 
Gentle Shepherd, was born. One mile distant, 
on the right, is Erskine Ferry, and near it, 
Dalnotter Hill, from which is a charming view 
down the Clyde. Beyond this is the Church 
and Village of Kilpatrlck, said to be the birth 
place of the tutelar saint of Ireland. Not long 
since the old church was taken down, after 
having stood for several centuries ; and on its 
site the present one was erected. Many tomb- 
stones of great antiquity are to be seen in the 
cemetery. At Duntocher, about two miles to 



SUCCESSORS TO THE * COMET' 39 

the right, there is still to be seen a Roman 
bridge, perfectly entire, near the line of the 
Roman wall. 

" Here suddenly bursts upon the sight one 
of the most admirable prospects perhaps in the 
world. In front, the Clyde expands to a noble 
breadth, bounded on the north by the steep 
and wooded hills of Kilpatrick, and on the 
south by the sloping hills of Renfrewshire, 
while the castles of Dunglas and Dunbarton 
jutting into the sea, with the lofty mountains of 
Argyle in the distance, form a picture, which, 
for richness and variety, is rarely to be 
contemplated. 

*' Nearly opposite, on the left, is Erskine 
House, formerly the property of the Earls of 
Mar, now that of Lord Blantyre ; further on, i 
mile, on the right, is Glenbuck, Robertson ; and 
near it is Bowling Inn and Bay, where the 
great canal from the Forth joins the Clyde. It 
is in contemplation to carry a branch of the 
canal from this place to Dunbarton, so as to 
render the navigation more certain, as the 
Clyde above Dunbarton is only passable at 
high water, whereas vessels can reach that 
town at any time of the tide. A mile further 
on is Frisky Hall, Smith ; and Auchentorlie, 
Buchanan. Here, on a rocky promontory, 
stand the ruins of Dunglas Castle, a Roman 
Station, anciently the western termination of 
Antoninus' wall, which extended from Blackness 
Castle, on the Firth of Forth, nearly in the line 
of the canal ; and no situation could more ap- 



40 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

propriately have been chosen for such a strong- 
hold. Dunglas might still have been a fortress 
in the delightful landscape now before us had 
it not been blown up, in 1640, by the treachery 
of an English boy, and nearly reduced to the 
state in which, at present, it appears. On the 
left, at a distance, is the Church and Manse 
of Erskine ; and 1 mile further, Bishopton 
House, Sir J. Maxwell ; and close to it, Drums, 
King ; opposite, on the right. Little Mill 
Bleachfield, and Milton, Mitchell ; and, behind 
it, Dumbuck Hill. Having passed Dunglas 
Castle, the most prominent and striking object 
is Dunbarton Rock and Castle ; behind which 
is the sloping point of Rosneath ; to the left, 
the town and shipping of Port Glasgow and 
Greenock ; and, dimly rising in the distance, the 
blue mountains of Argyleshire appear. 

'' Here, if the weather be clear, a fine view 
of Ben Lomond is to be obtained along the 
valley of Leven ; with the relative situation of 
its kindred lake. 

'' The Steam Boats, in passing Dunbarton 
Castle, generally keep so close to it, that a 
pretty accurate view may be had. The diffi- 
culty and danger that must have attended the 
building of the walls will be evident ; and 
though apparently inaccessible, it was taken, 
by escalade, in 1551,^ an exploit hardly credible, 
when the fortress is examined. On the highest 

^The writer of the Companion probably refers to the 
romantic capture of the stronghold by Crawford of Jordanhill 
and the Laird of Drumquhassel in 1571. 



SUCCESSORS TO THE ^ COMET' 41 

pinnacle of the rock, are the remains of a build- 
ing, supposed of Roman origin, or more pro- 
bably of Celtic formation, which must have 
been an alarm tower, or w^atch beacon, to com- 
municate intelligence to a distance. Behind 
the castle stand the town and glass works of 
Dunbarton, to be noticed afterwards.^ 

''Opposite the castle, on the left, West Sea 
Bank ; and beyond the castle, on the right, 
Leven Grove, Dixon ; on the left, 2 miles 
further on, Finlayston, Campbell ; on the 
right, Clyde Bank, M'Kenzie; and i mile 
further, Clyde Cottage, Graham ; about 2 
miles further, on the left, Broadfield, Craw- 
ford ; on the right, and i mile distant, Cardross 
Village, Church and Parsonage, and the ferry 
of Craigend ; opposite on the left, Parklee, and 
Carnegie Park ; and near the town and harbour 
of Port Glasgow, is the venerable ruin of Newark 
Castle, the former residence of a noble family of 
that title, now the property of Lord Belhaven. 

'' Port Glasgow was built upon land acquired 
by the city of Glasgow, in 1667, from the barony 
of Newark, and endowed by charter from 
Charles II. From its vicinity to Greenock, 
the erection of this port may appear super- 
fluous ; but it took place from a dispute be- 
twixt the merchants of Glasgow trading across 
the Atlantic, and those of Greenock, regarding 

^ In a later chapter the writer says, "The town of Dunbarton 
has nothing in it to claim the notice of a traveller, unless it 
be an extensive Glasswork. Situated on the banks of the 
river Leven, it is, during stream tides, nearly surrounded with 
water, which flows up the river to a considerable distance." 



42 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

harbour dues, which induced die former to 
establish this as an independent harbour of 
their own.^ Two miles further, on the right, 
is the hill of Ardmore, Giles, a peninsulated 
hill, rising abruptly from the water ; a little 
above which, is Camus Eskan, or Colgrain, 
Denniston ; two miles north of which is Kil- 





PORT-GLASGOW 

mahew Castle and Drumfork House. In the 
centre of an extensive bay to the north, stands 
the village of Helensburgh, round which are 
many gentlemen's seats. 

" After a sail of about two hours and a half 
from Glasgow, the Steam Boats arrive at 

^ In the first place the magistrates of Glasgow approached 
Dumbarton with a proposal to acquire land and construct a 
harbour there ; but the suggestion was declined, on the ground 
that the great influx of mariners and others would raise the 
price of butter and eggs to the inhabitants. 



SUCCESSORS TO THE 'COMET 



43 



Greenock. This town has of late years become 
one of the most considerable sea ports in the 
kingdom ; and from the recent formation of 
quays and docks, very large vessels can now be 
received into them. The town, though some- 
what handsome and regularly built, has nothing 
particularly attractive, unless it be the new 




GREENOCK 



customhouse, near the quay, which Is an elegant 
building. The town, however, abounds in good 
inns, which are not inferior to the best in the 
kingdom. The trade is great, from all parts 
of the world, and ship building, and various im- 
portant manufactures are carried on to a large 
extent." ^ 



CHAPTER III 

EXCURSIONS, ENTERPRISES, AND DISASTERS 

During the twenties thirty-four steamers were 
built. Of these the ^' Comet " No. 2 is the most 
memorable, on account of the tragedy which 
ended its career as a passenger boat. William 
Thomson, civil engineer, in a letter printed in 
Morris's Life of Henry Bell, after describing the 
wreck of the older '* Comet," says : '' A new boat 
was at this time determined on, towards which 
the gentlemen of Lochaber gave their warm sup- 
port by taking shares, not less from the advan- 
tage seen to accrue to themselves and to the 
country, than from the great merit and en- 
couragement due to Mr. Bell. I had the 
pleasure of obtaining some subscribers for him, 
among others, Neil Malcolm, Esq,, of Poltalloch, 
paid a ^50 share, and I rather think his lady 
did the same, liberally leaving the money in 
Mr. Bell's hands." Alas! like most of the 
enterprises in which Bell was personally con- 
cerned, the new boat was to prove unfortunate. 
Built in 1 82 1 by James Lang of Dumbarton, 
and engined by D. M 'Arthur & Co., she 



EXCURSIONS AND ENTERPRISES 45 

was provided with a copper boiler, and was 
employed in the West Highland trade, via 
Rothesay and Crinan Canal, till 21st October, 
1825. 

About midnight of that date, while on a voy- 
age from Inverness to Glasgow,^ she collided 
with the steamer ''Ayr," Captain M'Clelland, 
off Gourock, and sank in three minutes in I7-|- 
fathoms with seventy of the passengers. The 
Captain, MTnnes, and five of his crew were 
saved through their own exertions, under almost 
miraculous circumstances. The disaster was due 
to the carelessness of those in charge, who had 
not exhibited a proper light. As some said at 
the time, '' the awful calamity might have been 
prevented by the placing of a penny candle in 
the bow of each steamer." As it was, the loss 
of life might have been less, but the "Ayr" 
steamed away, and left the unfortunate souls on 
the doomed vessel to their fate — an unpardon- 
able offence which is rarely heard of in the 
history of British shipping. In palliation of 
this conduct, it should be said that the 
"Ayr" reached Greenock harbour in a sink- 
ing state. 

Among the passengers drowned were Captain 
Wemyss Erskine Sutherland and Sarah Duff, 
his wife. They had been married at Inverness 
only seven weeks previous. When all hope of 
the vessel being kept afloat w^as abandoned, 
the gallant captain clasped his wife and leapt 

^The Caledonian Canal had been opened in an incomplete 
state in 1822. 



46 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

into the sea, but unfortunately they did not reach 
the shore, although the Captain was a powerful 
swimmer. His body was recovered three days 
before that of his wife. They were interred 
together on the 29th October at the Episco- 
palian Chapel, Glasgow, with military honours. 

A touching incident occurred in the case of 
Jane Munro, one of the saved. She was 
rescued by the efforts of a dog. The faithful 
companion remained by her insensible body 
after it was taken in charge, but was unwittingly 
driven away. Although, after her recovery, 
the young lady made every effort to find the 
dog, no trace of it could be discovered. The 
wreck was raised in the following July by Brown 
of Aberdeen, and among the effects recovered 
were the accoutrements of Captain Sutherland, 
a silver teapot, which had been one of his 
wife's wedding presents, and a parcel of notes 
amounting to ;^ 1,000, known to have been in 
possession of Mr. Rollo, W.S., Edinburgh, 
one of the drowned. After being raised, the 
'' Comet " was converted into a sailing craft, 
and continued in the coasting trade till 1876.^ 

The following letter from Henry Bell with 
reference to the accident appeared in the Glas- 
gow Free Press, suggesting regulations which 
are similar in many respects to those of the 
present day : — 

1 The disaster to the " Comet" ended the steamship enterprise 
of Henry Bell. A subscription was raised for him, and the 
Clyde Trustees bestowed on him an annuity of ;{^ioo, which 
they continued to his widow. He died at Helensburgh in 
November, 1830. 



EXCURSIONS AND ENTERPRISES 47 

*' Sir, 

*^ The dreadful accident which took 
place between the ''Comet" and the Ayr 
steamboat on the 21st October, by which the 
former was run down and a great many lives 
lost, makes it necessary that some steps should 
be taken to prevent in future, as far as possible, 
such accidents taking place, by carelessness or 
mismanagement. As I have had the honour 
of bringing steam vessels into practice in Great 
Britain, as well as other countries, I would beg 
leave to suggest what would, I conceive, be an 
improvement, and for the safety of the lieges. 

*' ist. I would recommend a bill to be brought 
into Parliament, laying down a proper code of 
laws and regulations for the management of 
those steam vessels. I have had such experi- 
ence in steam navigation, and have made it 
my study to observe and watch over all its 
movements ; and I now plainly see that it is 
absolutely necessary for the interests of all con- 
cerned, that the legislature should interfere, as 
the present accident, as well as that which 
formerly occurred, was entirely through care- 
lessness. In these laws it is by no means to 
be wished that commerce should be fettered 
with unnecessary expenses or delays ; and I 
would suggest what I conceive would answer 
all the purposes required. I would recommend 
that each steamboat should be licensed and 
numbered, as stage coaches ; and, in these 
licenses, that the tonnage of the vessel, and 
number of horse power of the engine, should 



48 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEADIER 

be inserted, the expense of the license not to 
exceed one shilling per horse power, on a stamp 
of five per cent, on the value of the license. 

** 2nd. That all steam vessels at or under 
twenty horse power be restricted not to carr)^ 
on board, at one- time, more than forty passen- 
gers (children from six to twelve years of age 
to count as one half passenger), each passenger 
to be allowed 56 lbs. of luggage ; and all steam- 
boats upwards of twenty horse power to be at 
liberty to carry one passenger more for each 
horse power above twenty. Thus, a boat of 
fifty horse power would be licensed to carr)^ 
seventy passengers, independent of the crew ; 
licenses to be taken out annually. 

" 3rd. That these vessels be navigated by 
experienced seamen for captains, pilots,, mates, 
etc., and should also have experienced engine- 
keepers ; of which the proprietors must produce 
certificates, and for whom they should be re- 
sponsible ; and these people's names should be 
indorsed on the license. 

"4th. That those steam vessels be at least 
furnished with two lio^hts, one at the bow and 
one at the masthead, to be put up at one hour 
after sunset, and properly attended to ; also an 
alarm bell, at ni^ht, attached to the eno-ine, and 
a proper watch kept ahead with a speaking 
trumpet, to direct the steersman of the vessel. 

*' 5th. That all steam -boats meeting each 
other give way to the larboard side ; and all 
steam-boats, when overtaken by a swifter one, 
do the same, and allow them to pass on their 



EXCURSIONS AND ENTERPRISES 49 

starboard side by stopping their engines as 
soon as the one overtaking them comes within 
thirty feet of their stern ; and all sailing vessels 
to give a sufficient berth for steam-boats pass- 
ing with freedom ; not being properly attended 
to, has formerly caused the loss of lives. 

" 6th. That a general inspector be appointed 
for examining each steam-boat and engines, 
machinery, etc., whose certificate will enable 
them to get their licenses, having power to 
appoint competent deputie.s at each proper 
station, and who may call in proper judges to 
decide upon any disputed point between the 
proprietors and inspectors ; the salaries to be 
paid from the licenses. 

"A great number of other regulations might 
be suggested, regarding accommodations at 
harbours, ferries, etc., which might be intro- 
duced in the said bill ; and I hope the few 
hints I have thrown out, or such like, will show 
the public the necessity of some better regula- 
tions being immediately adopted. 

" I remain a friend and well-wisher to the 
good of my country and safety of my fellow- 
creatures, u Henry Bell. 

"Helensburgh Baths, 25th October, 1825." 

The " Leven," built in 1823 by William 
Denny, Dumbarton, was the first steamer 
engined by Robert Napier, who was ably 
assisted by David Elder, father of the cele- 
brated John Elder, late of Fairfield. 



50 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

The engine of the " Leven " was of the side- 
lever type. It proved its efficiency by working- 
out two wooden hulls, the second being that 
of the "Queen of Beauty," and it can still be 
seen standing as a monument at the head of 
Dumbarton pier. 




leven's' engine 



The tools which sufficed for executing the 
work of an engineering shop in those days 
would astonish engineers of the present time. 
A few ten to fourteen inch turning lathes, 
with wooden shears and narrow pulleys, and 
belts which were constantly slipping, a rude 
horizontal boring mill, and a smaller vertical 
boring machine — these constituted the greater 
part of the plant. 



EXCURSIONS AND ENTERPRISES 51 

The " Leven " sailed regularly between 
Glasgow and Ayr, and the following advertise- 
ment, showing how an excursion was arranged, 
is not without interest : 

Pleasure Excursion. 

The '' Leven " Steam-Packet 

will sail from Dumbarton on Friday the loth 
day of August current, at 8 o'clock morning, 
calling at Port Glasgow, Greenock, Gourock, 
Largs, Ardrossan, Irvine, Troon, and Ayr. 
At the latter place she will remain that night, 
giving passengers ample opportunity for view- 
ing Burns' Cottage, his Monument, the auld 
Brigg o' Doon, and Alloway Kirk ; — and on 
Saturday morning will proceed (weather per- 
mitting) round the Craig of Ailsa., so as to give 
passengers a near prospect of that stupendous 
Natural Curiosity ; and return to Dumbarton 
in good time in the evening. 

Fares — Going and Returning, First Class, 
7s. ; Second, 5s. 

7th August, 1827. 

Dumbarton Printing Office. 

It was at this period that the watering-places 
on the shores of the Firth began to develop. 
With the increasing facilities of access afforded 
by the new steam vessels some of the shrewder 
of the Glasgow people began to foresee the 
possibilities of the shores of the Firth for summer 
residence. Thus, in 1822, James Ewing, M.P. 



52 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

for Glasgow, began to build the marine villa 
known afterwards as the Castle House of 
Dunoon. The taste which he displayed in its 
erection and in the laying out of its grounds 
attracted others to the place, till in a short 
period it grew from a hamlet of not more 
than three or four slated houses, with a 
parish church and manse, to a place of con- 
siderable resort, and has since developed into 
a town with a permanent population of 6,779 
persons. 

Of such pioneers the most enterprising and 
energetic was David Napier, already referred 
to as the maker of the boiler for the first 
"Comet," and builder of the engines for the 
"Talbot" in 1819. He had already, as we 
have seen, been the first to put a steamer on 
the waters of Loch Lomond. He now entered 
upon a larger undertaking. He purchased land 
on the north shore of the Holy Loch, then in 
a state of nature. He built the hotel and pier 
at Kilmun, formed a road to Loch Eck, and 
opened up that route as a new means of access 
to the Western Highlands. He ran the 
steamers "Venus," "Loch Eck," "Kilmun," 
and " St. Mun " regularly between Glasgow 
and Kilmun. From that place he ran a steam 
carriage on his new road to Loch Eck. Pas- 
sengers were transported along the narrow 
waters of this inland loch on a little steamer, 
the "Aglaia." And from Strachur, on Loch 
Fyne, he had another steamer to convey them 
to Inveraray. Napier was, indeed, the first to 



EXCURSIONS AND ENTERPRISES 53 

boom the coast traffic, and though his steam 
carriage ceased to run, the shrewdness of 
his enterprise is testified by the fact that 
the Loch Eck route remains one of the 
routes most favoured by tourists at the present 
day. 

It was in connection with the little ''Aglaia" 
on Loch Eck that Homish M'Lean, afterwards 
of the ''Vulcan" and "Marquis of Bute," and 
a well-known figure on the Clyde, first came 
into repute. M'Lean seems to have been a 
"character" from his earliest days, and many 
amusing stories are told of him. He was boy 
on the Loch Eck boat, when one day a hitch 
occurred with the machinery. The engineer 
had been re-jointing the cylinder cover, and 
when he started the engine again he could 
not get it over the centre. The quick eye 
of Homish discovered the cause, and pointing 
to the cylinder, he told Mr. Napier, who was 
himself puzzled at the difficulty, that " the 
pot lid," meaning the cylinder cover, was 
on the wrong way. This little incident 
seems to have been the beo^innino; of M' Lean's 
fortune. 

In 1820 the "Inveraray Casde," No. 2, was 
built, and in 1822 the "Toward Casde," the 
former by Wood and the latter by Denny. 
Both were employed between Glasgow and In- 
veraray, calling at Greenock, Rothesay, Tar- 
bert, and Ardrishaig. Undernoted is a copy of 
the advertisement : 



54 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

REGULAR CONVEYANCE 

To Inveraray every lawful day, ajid Arran every Tuesday 
a7id Saturday. 

At Glasgow, 

The Royal Mail Steam Packets, 
" Dunoon Castle," - - - - Captain Johnston. 
" Inveraray Castle," - - - Captain Thomson. 

" Rothesay Castle," - - - Captain Adam. 
" Toward Castle," - - - - Captain Stewart. 

The above Packets will Sail as under — calling at Port- 
Glasgow, Greenock, Gourock, Dunoon, Rothesay, Tarbert, 
and Lochgilphead. 

The "Rothesay Castle," on Tuesday morning, May 19. 
The "Dunoon Castle," on Wednesday morning. May 20. 
The "Rothesay Castle," on Thursday morning, May 21. 
The "Dunoon Castle," on Friday morning, May 22. 
The " Rothesay Castle," on Saturday morning, May 23. 
The "Dunoon Castle," on Monday morning, May 25. 

For Brodick and Lamlash, Island of Arran. 
The "Toward Castle," on Tuesday morning. May 19. 
The " Inveraray Castle," on Saturday morning. May 23. 

Hours of Sailing will be seen on the Boards. 

One of the above Packets sails from Glas- 
gow to Inveraray, and one sails from Inveraray 
to Glasgow, every lawful day; and from Glas- 
gow to Arran every Tuesday and Saturday, 
leaving Arran for Glasgow every Wednesday 
and Monday; and to and from Rothesay 
daily. 

One of the Packets sails from Rothesay for 
Greenock every Sunday morning, at half-past 
eight o'clock, with the Mail ; and leaves Green- 
ock for Rothesay same day at eleven o'clock 
forenoon. 



EXCURSIONS AND ENTERPRISES 55 

Notice. — Families frequenting the Watering 
Places to which these Vessels ply, will be sup- 
plied with Tickets on terms as low as any 
other Vessel going that way, and they will 
have the liberty of Sailing in any of the four 
Castles. 

Tickets to be had only of Mr. David 
M 'Donald, Jeweller, No. 134 Trongate. 

Notice. — Any person putting whisky or 
other illicit goods on board will be pro- 
secuted. 

Estimates Wanted for supplying the above 
Steam- Packets for One Year with the best 
Hard Coals, commencing on the ist June next. 
Those wishino- to contract for the same must 
give in their offers on or before the 25th in- 
stant, to Alexander Ure, writer, 26 Glassford 
Street. 

A Steward Wantkd for one of these Vessels. 
None need apply but those that can be well 
recommended for sobriety and ability. Certifi- 
cates to be lodged on or before the 21st instant 

with X ,;r.y 

James M'Intosh, 

99 Main Street, Gorbals. 
Glasgow, 1 6th May, 1829.1 

About this period, six steam packets sailed 
daily between Glasgow and Helensburgh, and 
about 30 steamers daily for ports on the river 
and Firth, sailing every hour to Dumbarton, 
Port-Glasgow, Greenock, Gourock, Rothesay, 

^ The above is a copy of an advertisement at present in the 
possession of a steamboat master in Glasgow. 



56 THE CLYDE PASSExNGER STEAMER 

Largs, Millport, Ardrossan, Troon, and Ayr. 
The Largs and Millport steamers extended 
their journey every Saturday to Brodick and 
Lamlash, and returned on the Monday. There 
was, however, in addition a daily service 
between Ardrossan and Arran. 

The following is a quaint account of a plea- 
sure excursion made by the steamer "Largs" in 
1827. It is probably the earliest existing 
account of a trip, which at that time would be 
considered a novelty and an event of no little 
importance. 

" Late in the evening of 6th curt., the Steam 
Boat ' Largs' came in here, having been hired 
by the Kilmarnock Arran Club, and next morn- 
ing, at six o'clock, the Club, to the number of 
fifty or sixty, with an instrumental band, sailed 
in her for Brodick, which place they reached 
between eight and nine o'clock. 

" Here several of the gentlemen landed, 
whilst the ' Largs' with the remainder stood 
off, passing eastward of Holy Isle, by Pladda, 
for Ailsa Craig. This they reached about 
twelve, and spent some time going clearly 
round the rock, after which they returned in- 
side of Holy Isle, through Lamlash Bay, and 
landed at Brodick at four o'clock. 

" They were now joined by a number of the 
islanders, and about seventy sat down to dinner 
under a shade erected for the purpose, super 
prato viridi. 

" The band meantime, stationed on the green, 
played national airs : some glee and duet singers 



EXCURSIONS AND ENTERPRISES 57 

attending on purpose, gave several excellent 
songs, many appropriate toasts were also given, 
and, at eight, the party broke up, and sailed for 
Troon, which place they reached between ten 
and eleven o'clock. They experienced the 
utmost attention from Mr. Kay, commander 
of the ' Largs,' and were well satisfied with his 
vessel, which is a capital sea boat, and with his 
steward, and his various accommodations. 
"Troon, 24th July, 1827." 



Towards the end of the twenties, the river 
steamers seem to have been included in the 
regatta programme of the Northern Yacht 
Club. The course was from Rothesay Bay to 
a mark off the Greater Cumbrae and back, and 
the first to win the cup was the '' Clarence," on 
2nd August, 1827. The ''Helensburgh," Cap- 
tain John Turner, made a good second. The 
cup is now in the possession of Mr. Napier, iron 
merchant, Oswald Street, Glasgow. 

Eight years later the appearance of the river 
steamers at these regattas ended in a tragic 
manner. On 24th July, 1835, the "Clarence" 
was preparing for another race (but not for the 
cup) when a terrible boiler explosion occurred 
on board one of her rivals, the " Earl Grey," at 
Greenock quay. By that explosion six persons 
were killed and about a score injured, and from 
that day no record appears of steamers taking 
part in the regattas. It was never ascertained 
how the accident occurred. The engineer in 



58 THE CLYDE PASSExNGER STEAMER 

charge of the '' Earl Grey" was tried at the 
Circuit Court, but was found ''not guilty." 
Probably the cause of the accident is to be 
found in the usage of the time. In those days 
one of the duties of the trimmers was to pass 
the orders from the captain to the engineer, 
and to regulate the safety-valve weights accord - 




CLARENCE 



ingly. This complicated arrangement no doubt 
frequently led to undue boiler pressure, and 
occasionally to an explosion, which caused the 
Clyde Trustees to issue the following notice and 
letter: 

" The Parliamentary Trustees on the River 
Clyde hereby offer a premium of lOO guineas 
to any person who shall in the opinion of the 
Trustees or of a committee of their number 



EXCURSIONS AND ENTERPRISES 59 

within I month of this date essay or furnish 
the best practical mode of effectually preventing* 
accidents from the imperfect construction or 
use of the Steam E nomine or Gearino- of Steam 
Vessels In their navigation upon navigable 
rivers and of carrying the same into permanent 
effect or execution, Independent of the control 
or discretion of the Master or Crew of the vessel. 

'' The Trustees have also placed at the dis- 
posal of a committee of their number ^100 to 
be distributed among such scientific or other 
persons as may be unsuccessful competitors for 
the above premium, but who may nevertheless 
suggest such Improvements upon the plan of 
the successful competitors as in the opinion of 
the committee may be beneficially adopted or 
Ingrafted upon the said plan. 

" Sealed plans, descriptions, or specifications 
to be lodged in the hands of the 1 own Clerks 
on or before the loth October, 1835. 
" Council Chambers, 

"Glasgow, 14th Sept., 1835." 

" Council Chambers, 
"Glasgow, 8th Feby., 1836. 

' "The Trustees on the River Clyde 
shortly after the accident which happened on 
board of the " Earl Grey " Steam Boat at the 
Harbour of Greenock, appointed a committee 
of their number to offer by public advertisement 
a premium of 100 guineas to the person who 
should furnish the best specification and des- 
cription of the most effectual mode of preventing 



6o THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

such accidents on board of steam vessels in 
future. 

" In consequence of that advertisement a 
considerable number of plans have been lodged 
with the committee for the above premium, and 
as the Trustees are desirous of obtainins: the 
assistance of scientific gentlemen in considering 
the merits of the several plans, they have 
directed me to ascertain whether you are will- 
ing to give your opinion on the plans as one 
of the gentlemen to whom that committee have 
resolved to submit them, before awarding the 
Premium to the successful Competitor. 
" I am, &c., 

'' Sgd. A. Turner, 

"Secretary to the Trustees. 

"To Robert Napier, Esq., Glasgow. 
"James Smith Esq., Deanstone. 
"D. MacKain, Esq., Glasgow." 

'* Report given in reply to the foregoing : 

'' Notwithstanding the above theories ad- 
vanced by the competitors and also of several 
others promulgated by persons of high standing 
in the scientific world, we cannot after a careful 
comparison between their reasoning and our 
own experience arrive at any other conclusion 
than that the explosion of steam boilers proceed 
from a gradual accumulation of steam which 
being deprived of sufficient means of escape is 
by the continued action of the fire in the fur- 
naces raised to a dangerous and often destruc- 
tive degree of density, and we can conceive 



EXCURSIONS AND ENTERPRISES 6i 

that all danger can be avoided by the regular 
action of the common safety valve if properly 
constructed, and made of sufficient capacity. 
It sometimes happens that these valves from 
neglect become fixed, and we are of opinion 
that the apparatus designed by Essayists Nos. 2 
and 41, which are drawn as figures A. and B., 
are well calculated to apply a force in addition 
to the strength of the steam. To overcome 
this adherence and they have the advantage of 
being so designed that after the overplus of 
steam shall have escaped, the safety valve is 
allowed to resume its useful position. 

" We have remarked that the greater number 
of explosions of steam boilers have occurred at 
the instant of starting the engine. Without 
taking on ourselves to assign any reason for this 
or our being able to trace the immediate cir- 
cumstances which precede and may have 
caused the explosion, we are of opinion that 
the risk of accident may be lessened by the 
weight on the safety valve being diminished 
until the enoine is in motion, and the steam 
flowing away by a regular current. 

'' In compliance with this instruction we have 
no hesitation in recommending to you the plans 
marked by the committee, Nos. 2 and 41, lodged 
by Mr. James B. Neilson and Mr. George Mills, 
both of Glasgow. It will be evident on inspec- 
tion that they are identical in design, and that 
the difference in their proposed construction is 
quite immaterial. 

" You are further pleased to request that we 



62 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

should name the three persons who have 
brought forward in your opinion the three next 
best plans, so as to enable the Trustees to 
consider whether any portion of the additional 
sum of ^loo allocated by the Trustees as in 
the circumstances fairly and justly due to any 
of the competitors who may be unsuccessful in 
obtaining- the principal premium of ^loo. 

'' From the extreme similarity in design and 
execution of the plans which appear to us 
entitled to rank in the second class, we are 
unable to reduce their number to less than 
four, viz., those numbered by the committee, 
4-38-55 and 56, which were severally lodged — 
the three first by Messrs. Allan Clarke and 
David Thompson of Glasgow, and Mr. John 
Baird of Shotts, and the last, the joint pro- 
duction of Messrs. Wm. Neilson, and Wm. 
Muir of Glasorow. 

** Signed, R. Napier. 
,, J AS. Smith. 

D. MacKain." 

The '' Helensburgh," previously referred to, 
was built by William Denny in 1825, and was 
engined by Robert Napier. Her owners were 
the Glasofow, Helensburorh, and Roseneath 
Steamboat Company ; Captain Alexander 
M'Leod was her master, and she was con- 
sidered a clipper in her time. The machinery 
consisted of a side-lever of 52 horse power, 
which was the first single engine to be fitted 
with two eccentrics, one for ahead and the 
other for astern. She was sold in 1835 to sail 



EXCURSIONS AND ENTP^RPRISES 63 

between Liverpool and Woodside, and in 1845 
was broken up at Birkenhead. 

Before the close of 1830 the Clyde steamboat 
masters had evidently become a body to be 
reckoned with, and the following copy of a 
minute of meeting preserved serves to show 
the position and action they felt themselves 
entitled to take^ : — 

'' At a meetinof of steam boat masters held 
in Muir's Hotel, Broomielaw, Glasgow, 3rd 
December, 1829, to take into consideration 
a letter received by Mr. Peter Grahame from 
James Turner, Town Clerk of Greenock, on 
the subject of Harbour accommodation at 
Greenock. Present — Mr. Peter Graham, of 
*' St. George" and *' Oscar " ; Mr. John 
M 'Arthur, of "Ayr"; Mr. Daniel M'Leod, 
of "St. Catherine"; Mr. Archd. Adam, of 
*' Rothesay Castle " ; Mr. Peter Turner, of 
'' Ben Lomond" ; Mr. John Niven, of "Albion" 
and " Largs " ; Mr. Robert Douglas, of 
" Waverley " ; Mr. James Henderson, of 
"Sultan"; Mr. James Johnston, of "Dunoon 
Castle"; Mr. Alex. M'Leod, of "Helensburgh" ; 
Mr, John Turner, of " Clarence " ; Mr. Wm. 
Maclntyre, of "Countess of Glasgow." 

"Mr. Peter Graham was called to the chair, 
when it was resolved — 

" First. That the following masters be ap- 
pointed a committee to wait on the trustees of 

^The original minute was obtained from Miss Graham, 
Gourock, daughter of Captain P. Graham. 



64 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

the harbour of Greenock on the subject of 
harbour accommodation for passage steam boats 
at Greenock, namely : — Mr. Peter Graham, 
Mr. James Johnston, Mr. James Henderson, 
Mr. Robert Douglas, Mr. Alex. M'Leod, Mr. 
James White, any three of whom to be a 
quorum. 

" Second. That there is evidently a want of 
harbour accommodation for the passage steam- 
boats carrying passengers on the River and 
Firth of Clyde, and, therefore, that three 
lengths of ordinary boats four hundred feet 
from the feued ground above the lighthouse 
and westward be appropriated for this exclusive 
purpose, and, in order to effect this, that the 
trustees appoint a person duly qualified, with 
full power to see this regulation carried into 
effect. 

" Third. That the committee be appointed 
to represent to the trustees the great danger 
and inconvenience that frequently arises in 
taking the new East Harbour with gales of 
wind from north to east from the great quantity 
of timber allowed to remain in that harbour, 
and from the number of small vessels that come 
to an anchor inside of it, and to urge upon the 
trustees the necessity of causing this obstacle 
to be removed. (Sgd.) Peteii Graham." 

Lumsden's Steamboat Companion for 1828 
ofives the followino- list of steam vessels em- 
ployed in the trade of the Clyde in that 
year : — 



EXCURSIONS AND ENTERPRISES 65 

To Rothesay, Campbeltown, and Londonderry — " Eclipse," 
104 tons; "Britannia," 73 tons; "Londonderry," 102 
tons. 

To Rothesay and Inveraray — " Inveraray Castle," 70 tons ; 
"Dunoon Castle," 79 tons; "Rothesay Castle," 74 
tons; "Toward Castle," 79 tons; "George Canning," 
80 tons; "James Euing," 77 tons. 

To Tarbert— " Maid of Islay," 78 tons. 

To Stranraer — "Dumbarton Castle," 81 tons. 

To Ayr— "Ayr," 75 tons. 

To Campbeltown — "Argyle," 72 tons; "Duke of Lan- 
caster," 91 tons. 

On Loch Lomond — "Marion," 35 tons; "Lady of the Lake." 

To Largs, Ardrossan, Millport, and Irvine — "Albion," 64 
tons ; " Countess of Glasgow," 83 tons ; " Largs," 83 
tons. 

To Greenock, Gourock, and Helensburgh — "Robert Bruce,' 
48 tons ; " Caledonia," 57 tons ; " Sovereign," 68 tons 
"Sultan," 69 tons; "Waverley," 55 tons; "Helens 
burgh," 88 tons ; " Clarence," 70 tons ; " Bangoi 
Castle," 7,6 tons. 

To Lochgoilhead and Arroquhar — "St. George," 72 tons; 
"St. Catherine," 73 tons; "Oscar," 37 tons. 

To Inverness — "Highland Chieftain," 53 tons; "Ben 
Nevis," 44 tons ; " Highlander " (to Skye), 5 1 tons ; 
" Maid of Morven," 52 tons. 

To Dumbarton — " Leven," 54 tons ; " Dumbarton," 36 
tons ; one building. 

Between West Loch Tarbert and Port Askaig, Islay— 
" Maid of Islay," 140 tons. 

With regard to the Islay steamer, a story- 
may be given which was told by the late 
William Henderson, of Kirn, and which serves 
to illustrate the feelings with which the advent 
of the new power, '' walking upon the waters," 
was regarded by the natives of the Hebrides. 
Henderson was steward on board the first 
steamer which sailed to Islay. The natives 



66 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

had heard of the marvel, but when it arrived 
they showed some reluctance to come near it. 
When they did sumnion courage enough to 
approach, one of them at any rate got his worst 
fears confirmed. Henderson had a pet monkey 
on board, and when this man, who had never 
seen either a steamer or a monkey before, 
got his eye upon the latter, he fairly turned 
tail, and crying out '' Mac-an-diabhol ! Mac-an- 
diabhol!" fled to the hills, telling all he met 
that the Devil was on board making the 
steamer go. 



CHAPTER IV 

INVENTIONS AND DEVELOPMENTS 

From 1830 to 1839 was a period of immense 
development and of many improvements, both 
in the steamers themselves and in the water- 
ing-places to which they plied. During that 
decade no fewer than fifty-four vessels were 
built for the passenger traffic. An idea of the 
rapid development of the industry may be 
formed from the following list of steamboats 
given in Fowler's Commercial Diredoiy of the 
Lower Ward of Lanarkshire for 1831-32 : 

STEAMER AND MASTER. Tons. Men. 

To Arrochar, summer only, "Dumbarton" 

(M'Leod), - - - - - 49 6 

To Ayr, Wednesday and Saturday, " Countess of 

Glasgow" (P. M 'Arthur), - - - 75 8 

To Gourock, Dunoon, and Rothesay, daily, " Arran 

Castle" (Johnstone), - - - - 81 9 

To Gourock, Dunoon, and Rothesay, daily, "Euing" 

(Taylor), - - - - - 77 7 

To Gourock, Dunoon, and Rothesay, thrice a week, 

" Dunoon Castle" (Thomson), - - 100 9 

To Gourock, Dunoon, and Rothesay, daily, "George 

Canning" (Hunter), - - - - 81 9 

To Gourock, Dunoon, and Rothesay, daily, 

"Inveraray Castle" (Barr), - - - 70 8 



68 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

STEAMER AND MASTER. Tons. Men. 

To Gourock, Dunoon, and Rothesay, thrice a week, 

" Maid of Islay " (Wallace), 
To Gourock, Dunoon, and Rothesay, daily, 

"Superb" (M'Kenzie), - - - - 

To Gourock, Dunoon, and Rothesay, daily, 

"Rothesay" (M'Kinnon), 
To Helensburgh and Glasgow, daily, " Caledonia" 

(James White), ----- 
To Helensburgh and Glasgow, daily, "Clarence" 

(John Turner), ----- 
To Helensburgh and Glasgow, daily, "Greenock" 

(James Henderson), - - - . 

To Helensburgh and Glasgow, daily, " Helens- 
burgh" (Alex. M'Leod), - - - - 
To Helensburgh and Glasgow, daily, " Sultan " 

(Alex. M'Kellar), .... 

To Helensburgh and Glasgow, daily, "Waverley" 

(Robert Douglas), .... 

To Kilmun and Greenock, daily, "Gleniffer" 

(Robertson), ----- 
To Kilmun and Glasgow, twice daily, " St. Munn " 

(Hunter), - - - . . 

To Largs, Millport, &c., daily, " Albion " (Lapsley), 
To Largs, Millport, &c., thrice a week, " Countess 

of Glasgow (J. M Arthur), 
To Largs, Millport, &c., thrice a week, "Largs" 

(J. Niven), ----- 

To Lochgilphead, thrice a week, "Dunoon Castle" 

(Thomson), - - 

To Lochgilphead, thrice a week, " Euing" (Taylor), 77 
To Lochgilphead, occasionally, "Inveraray Castle" 

(Barr), ------ 

To Lochgilphead, thrice weekly, " Maid of Islay" 

No. I (Wallace), ----- 
To Lochgilphead, thrice weekly, "Superb" 

(M'Kenzie), ... - - 

To Lochgilphead, daily, "St. Catherine" 

(M'Kellar), 

On Loch Lomond, daily, "Euphrosyne" (Buchan), 
To Paisley, daily, "Gleniffer" (Robertson), 



74 


8 


76 


8 


70 


8 


57 


7 


70 


8 


70 


8 


81 


8 


68 


8 


55 


7 


32 


3 


63 
64 


8 

7 


89 


8 


70 


8 


100 

77 


9 

7 


70 


8 


74 


8 


76 


8 


73 


8 


32 


7 



INVENTIONS AND DEVELOPMENTS 69 

STEAMER AND MASTER. Tons. Men. 

To Rothesay and Inveraray, thrice weekly, "Dunoon 

Castle" (D. Thomson), - - - - 100 8 

To Rothesay, daily, "Arran Castle" (Johnston), - 81 9 

To Rothesay, thrice weekly, "Euing" (Taylor), - 77 7 

„ daily, " Inverary Castle" (J. Barr), - 70 8 

„ thrice weekly, " Maid of Islay" 

(Wallace), - - - - - 74 8 

To Rothesay, daily, "Rothesay" (M'Kinnon), - 70 8 

„ " Superb" (M'Kenzie), - 76 8 

To Largs and Millport, daily, "Albion" (J. Niven), 64 7 

„ „ „ " Largs" (Jas.Lapsley), 70 8 

An important Innovation took place In 1831 
in the material of the steamers. Up to this the 
hulls had been built of wood, but iron steamers 
were now introduced. So early as the year 
1787 boats built of iron were in use on the 
canals in South Staffordshire. The earliest 
iron steamer was the '' Vulcan," built at 
Faskine, on the Monkland Canal, in 18 18, by 
Thomas Wilson, a master carpenter, and the 
earliest iron passenger steamer was David 
Napier's " Aglala," on Loch Eck. But the 
pioneer iron steamer for the Clyde traffic was 
the " Fairy Queen," built by John Neilson, 
Glasgow, in 183 1. She was otherwise remark- 
able from the fact that she possessed the first 
oscillating engine In use on the Clyde. She 
traded between Glasgow and Millport. The 
cautious mothers and wives of Largs instructed 
their husbands and families on no account to 
have anything to do with a vessel " made o' 
iron — for a' the world like a pot or a pan : it 
was clean again natur' to think such a thing 
could be either safe or canny." 



70 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

Several other departures in machinery and 
appliances took place about the same period. 
The " Ayrshire Lass," built by R. Duncan 
in 1839, and engined by Wingate, had a 
geared side lever engine, and a box or square 
boiler. She sailed on the Ayr Station until 
sold to the Japanese, and was seen in the inland 
sea of Japan by a friend of the writer in 1867. 

In 1837, the first steam whistle was used, 
although the credit of introducing it is due to 
America. It was first fitted on board the 
'' King Philip/' running on the Fall River in 
the United States. 

A year later, John Gray of Irvine, one of 
Robert Napier's apprentices (late senior partner 
of the Calton Spinning Company of Glasgow, 
and uncle of the Messrs. Gray, of the Newark 
Sailcloth Co., of Port-Glasgow), made a working 
model of a compound surface-condensing engine, 
which seems to have been 
the first engine of the com- 
pound type now so common. 
But the man to whom 
more than anyone else we 
are indebted for improve- 
ments In the early steam- 
boats was David Napier. 
This extraordinary man, 
with his " Marion " on 
Loch Lomond and his 
" Aglaia" on Loch Eck,was, 
as we have already shewn, among the first to 
exploit the Clyde region as a tourist resort. He 




DAVID NAPIER 



INVENTIONS AND DEVELOPMENTS 71 




GRAY S ENGINE 



72 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

was one of the first, with his '' Aglaia," to adopt 
iron as the material for shipbuilding on the 
Clyde, and to his genius we are indebted for 
other vital improvements. To him is due the 
credit of producing the surface condenser — not 
the surface condenser of to-day, but its reverse, 
and among his other inventions were patent 
floats, the steeple engine, so long in use on the 
river, and the haystack boiler. 

The writer has been informed that the idea 
of the steeple engine occurred to Napier about 
midnight. He was in bed, but he instantly got 
up, and cleared his dining-room of furniture 
and carpet, that he might draw his plans in 
chalk on the floor. He sent a servant post 
haste for David Tod, and when the latter 
hastened to the house, thinking his friend was 
ill, he was met with the remark, '* Man, I'm 
gled tae see ye, Davie ! I thocht I wis gaun' 
tae los' it." A pattern-maker, who was an 
expert draughtsman, was sent for, and the 
plans were completed there and then. 

The earliest recorded steeple engine was that 
fitted on board the sea-going steamer "Clyde" 
in 1832, belonging to G. & J. Burns, but the 
first fitted on board a river steamer was that of 
the "St. Mungo" in 1836. 

Previous to the year 1838 the engines on 
board the river steamers were for the most part 
of the side-lever type, with flue boilers. The 
first tubular boiler was fitted into the " Luna," 
built by Jas. & Wm. Napier in 1837. She 
was a long narrow crank boat, but very 



INVENTIONS AND DEVELOPMENTS 73 

steeple 



single 



fast, and was driven by a 
engine. 

The last pair of steeple engines made for a 
Clyde steamer were supplied to the " Scotia " 
by William King & Co., Paisley Road, Glasgow, 




ENGINE OF 'ST. MUNGO * 



for William Buchanan ; and the last steeple 
running on the river was on board the ''Vivid," 
which is now in the scrap heap. The haystack 
boiler, however, is still with us, and is favoured 
by some owners on account of its large grate 
and heating surface and its minimum of weight. 



74 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

But to return to the steamers themselves. 
The ''Hero," built by Denny in 1832, and 
engined by Robert Napier, with dimensions of 
98'5''xi5'i^ was the first boat owned by 
Duncan M'Kellar, who continued on the Largs, 
Millport, and Arran trade until the opening of 
the Wemyss Bay Railway in 1864. 




'luna' 

The "Tarbert Casde," built by Wood & 
Mills in 1836, was wrecked on Ardmarnock 
beach. Her machinery, however, was after- 
wards fitted on board the " Inveraray Castle," 
where it did duty until a few years ago. 

The last steamers built in this decade were 
the " Maid of Bute " and the '' Isle of Bute " in 
1835, for the Glasgow and Rothesay station; 
the " Luna" in 1837, to run between Greenock 



INVENTIONS AND DEVELOPMENTS 75 

and Kilmun ; the "Windsor Castle" in 1838, 
between Greenock and Inveraray; the ''British 
Queen" also in 1838, and the "Shandon" in 
1839, for the run between Greenock and Helens- 
burgh ; the "Inveraray Castle" in 1839, be- 
tween Greenock and Inveraray ; and the 
" Superb," the " Flambeau," and the "Warrior," 




ISLE OF BUTE ' 



all in the same year, for the runs between 
Greenock and Helensburgh, Arran, and Mill- 
port and Arran respectively. The last-named 
steamer was the first two-funnelled boat. She 
only ran for a short period on the firth, when 
she was chartered to, and ultimately purchased 
by, the British Government for survey work on 
the west coast of Ireland. Her sailing master 
was Captain Alexander M'Kellar, of the Glas- 
gow and Millport steamers. 



'j^ THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

At this period the authorities at the various 
towns and watering places on the firth shores 
began to recognise that it was in their interest 
to provide faciHties for the steamer traffic. 
Hitherto very few of these places possessed a 
pier or harbour at which the steamers could call, 
and passengers had to be landed by means of 
rowing boats ; and in addition, it was the prac- 




tice to drop passengers into private small boats 
opposite each of the houses along the Bullwood 
between Dunoon and Innellan. The story of 
the various quays and piers which now came 
into existence possesses an interest of its own. 

Several harbours, indeed, existed before this 
time. Of these, one of the earliest seems to 
have been the quay of Rothesay, which is said 
to have existed as early as the eleventh cen- 
tury.^ Owing, however, chiefly to the require- 

1 This information was obtained from the Rothesay Harbour 
Office. 



INVENTIONS AND DEVELOPMENTS ^7 

ments of the river steamers, the arrangements 
had become inadequate, and in 1822 an excel- 
lent harbour was built, at a cost of ;^6oo. 
Greenock, too, had a harbour built by Sir John 
Shaw, the superior of the town, between the 
years 1703 and 1734, at a cost of ^5600, and 
Cartsdyke, then a separate place, possessed a 




ROTHESAY 



quay as early as 1697, when part of the Darien 
Expedition was fitted out there. But we have 
already seen how, in 1829, the masters of the 
Clyde steamers had found it necessary to de- 
mand better accommodation from the harbour 
trustees. We have seen also that the pier 
at Kilmun owed its erection in 1828 to the 
enterprise of David Napier. Millport pier 
was erected by subscription in 1833, the prin- 
cipal promoter being the Marquis of Bute. 



78 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

Largs quay followed in 1834, at a cost of 

/4275- 

Largs was the scene of one of the most 
painful incidents of its kind which have oc- 
curred in the annals of Clyde river steamer 
sailing. On a Monday morning shortly before 
the harbour was opened for traffic, the ferry 
boat was taking off a cargo of passengers to 
the " Hero " when she was swamped by the 
'* back wash " from the west wall of the har- 
bour, and seven or eight persons were drowned. 
The memory of the tragedy haunts the shores 
of Largs to this day, and it was years before 
its first poignancy passed away from the 
secluded and self-centred little town. 

A wooden jetty, 130 yards long, was built at 
Dunoon in 1835 by a private joint-stock com- 
pany. At this date the permanent population 
of the Dunoon and Kilmun districts was 1300. 

After this there seems to have been a pause, 
but other quays and piers followed at a later 
date. Strone pier was built in 1847, Blairmore 
in 1848, Kilcreggan in 1850, Innellan in 185 1, 
Cove in 1852, and Hunter's Quay and Ardna- 
dam in 1858. The longest to remain without 
a suitable landing-place was the charming 
island of Arran, its proprietor, the Duke of 
Hamilton, displaying a prejudice against any- 
thing tending to alter the natural appearance 
of the island. For this reason the pier at 
Brodick, the earliest, was only erected on the 
island in 1872, and the latest, that at Whiting 
Bay, was only completed in 1901. 



INVENTIONS AND DEVELOPMENTS 79 

In several cases the rise of a watering-place 
was the direct result of the building of a pier. 
Thus, when John M'llroy built his pier at 
Cove in 1852 there was not even a village at 
the spot. At his own expense he built a small 
pier with timber from the neighbourhood, and 
for years kept a man on it to take the steamers' 
ropes. Ultimately, however, his enterprise was 
rewarded. Houses sprang up, the pier became a 
valuable property, and it was only recently that 
the Duke of Argyle, exercising a right reserved 
to him in the original agreement with M'llroy, 
took over the pier at its original cost of ;^6oo. 

The steamboats revolutionised the methods 
of travel not only on the river and firth, but on 
their shores. The coaches were all run off the 
roads, and prophets were busy alleging that 
soon there would be no use for horses, and that 
even roads would be abolished. The latter 
foreboding is portrayed in a song which was 
familiar to the natives of Cowal at this period. 
It was probably composed in that district. The 
burden of " The Totums," as the song is called, 
is that the steamers are against the prosperity of 
the stone-breaker, but there are compensations. 

THE TOTUMS. 

" Contented wi' Maggie, how blythe ha'e I been ! 
This seventeen towmonds we've met aye at e'en ; 
Though whiles we fa' oot, yet we quickly agree, 
A kiss turns the diff'rence 'tween Maggie an' me, 
Tiiough steamboats are 'gainst us we maunna complain. 
For oor wee bits o' totums are toddlin' their lane, 
Toddlin' but and toddlin' ben, 
Oor wee bit's o' totums can toddle their lane. 



8o THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

*• Nae bills I've to pay, nor wi' racking fyke, 
But to cairney up stanes at the side o' the dyke ; 
I'm pleased to see them break, and the vivid sparks fly, 
But gloom at the steamboats as they're passin' by. 
But though they're against me I maunna complain. 
For my twa bits o' totums are toddlin' their lane, 
Toddlin' but and toddlin' ben, 
Oor wee bits o' totums can toddle their lane. 

" So I'll sing. Captain Glen, wi' a heart fu' o' glee, 
And be joined by the mavis that sings on yon tree; 
It warbles sae sweet mak's my hammer stand still ; 
A' join in the tunes, e'en the wee wimplin' rill. 
Steamboats may afflict us, but I'll ne'er complain. 
For my twa bits o' totums are toddlin' their lane, 

Toddlin' but and toddlin' ben, 

Oor wee bits o' totums can toddle their lane." 

So sang honest John as he splintered a stane, 
Till twa bairns wi' his breakfast cam' toddlin' their lane, 
They cam' toddlin' their lane, arms roon' ither sae fain, 
And the twa bits o' totums cam' toddlin' their lane — 
They cam' toddlin' their lane, arms roon' ither sae fain, 
And the twa bits o' totums cam toddlin' their lane, 

Toddlin' but and toddlin' ben, 

Oor wee bits o' totums can toddle their lane. 

" Hey, daddy dear, here's your parritch quite hot : 
Ma struck Jock wi' the spurtle for scartin' the pot." 
" Whist, bairns ! " says he, and his bonnet he raised. 
Looked up at the sky while his Maker he praised ; 
Leaves a sowp to the dog, hands the cog back again, 
And the twa bits o' totums gaed toddlin' hame, 

Toddlin' but and toddlin' ben, 

Oor wee bits o' totums can toddle their lane. 

" The sun it looks blythe owre Corlorach sae hie, 
I'll meet my ain wife wi' the smile in her e'e ; 
She'll hae Jean at her fit and Tam in her lap. 
And she'll toddle to meet us when I'm at the slap ; 
Collie's bark welcomes me to a clean heartstane. 
Where my twa bits o' totums gang toddlin' their lane, 

Toddlin' but and toddlin' ben, 

Oor wee bits o' totums can toddle their lane." 



CHAPTER V 

RAILWAY AND STEAMER 

The steamboat trade on the river was now at 
its busiest and most prosperous period. The 
coaches which had pHed formerly between Glas- 
gow and Greenock and Glasgow and Inveraray 
were no longer on the road, and the Glasgow 
and Greenock Railway was not yet opened. As 
a result, the number of steamers which plied 
from the Broomielaw was astonishing. In the 
evidence taken before a Committee of the 
House of Lords on the Clyde Navigation Bill 
of 1 840, it was stated that the steamers were so 
numerous in the summer months that in getting 
passengers and goods on board they only 
touched the quay at one point and lay at an 
angle in the river. No fewer than sixty-nine 
collisions, more or less serious, had occurred 
within the harbour during the years 1838 
and 1839. The reason adduced for these 
was the narrowness of the river, but of course 
the correlative reason was the great crowd of 
steamers. 



82 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

A new and important factor, however, now 
entered upon the scene. The Glasgow and 
Greenock Railway was opened in 1841. At 
the opening the Railway Company purchased 
the steamers '' Isle of Bute," and '' Maid of 
Bute," and built in '44/45 the " Pilot," the 
" Pioneer," and the " Petrel," and a competition 
for the coast traffic, more formidable than any- 
thing experienced by the river steamers among 
themselves was introduced. 

The steamboat companies opposing the 
railway were the Castle Company, the Helens- 
burgh and Gareloch Company, and the 
Largs, Millport and Arran Company, better 
known as ''M'Kellar's boats." These owners 
met the new competition by inaugurating direct 
sailings between Glasgow and Gourock, and 
their efforts were attended with conspicuous 
success, especially when the tide was favour- 
able. 

It was at this period that the public entered 
into what may be termed the Clyde Steamboat 
Racing Ring. The races between the com- 
peting steamers assumed the importance which 
the Derby holds in the horse-racing world, with 
this difference, that it was not merely a one 
day's contest. All day and every day the 
rivalry went on, and keen interest and hot 
disputes arose over the merits of the favourite 
boats. 

The spirit of rivalry was, of course, keenest 
among the captains and crews themselves. 
It cannot be said to be dead yet, and though, 



RAILWAY AND STEAMER 83 

when a race was over, the skippers and 
crews have usually been able to discuss the 
merits of the competing boats in cool blood, 
and with ofood humour "over a dram," 
while they were "at it" their motto was 
a marine version of "Death or Glory, boys"! 
Unfortunately, however, the rivalry from time 
to time occasioned personal and regrettable in- 
cidents, which could not be dignified with the 
name either of business or sport, but must be 
attributed to unmistakable bad temper. Human 
nature has its failings on Clyde steamers as 
elsewhere. 

There is little room for doubt that some 
of the deplorable accidents which occurred 
about this time were attributable to this fierce 
rivalry. 

Among these were the explosion of the 
boiler of the "Telegraph" at Helensburgh in 
1842; the wreck of the "Countess of Eglin- 
ton" at Millport in 1846, and the explosion 
on board the " Plover" at the Broomielaw in 
1848. 

After a time, the Railway Company modified 
the competition by making terms with the 
steamboat owners to run their vessels in con- 
nection with the trains, and from that time 
the present system of rail and boat to and 
from the coast was firmly established. This, 
with the hurrying and "sprinting" which has 
always accompanied it, was made the subject 
of a song in 1843 by the well-known Glas- 
gow poet, Andrew Park. The piece has some 



84 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

descriptive merits, and may not be out of place 
here. 



THE GREENOCK RAILWAY. 

'Twas on a Monday morning soon, 

As I lay snoring at Dunoon, 

Dreaming of wonders in the moon, 
I nearly lost the Railway. 

So up I got, put on my clothes, 

And felt, as you may well suppose, 

Of sleep I scarce had half a dose. 

Which made my yawns as round as O's. 

No matter, on went hat and coat, 

A cup of coffee boiling hot, 

I poured like lava down my throat, 
In haste to catch the Railway. 
Racing, chasing to the shore. 
Those who fled from every door, 
There never was such haste before — 
To catch the Greenock [Railway. 

The steam was up, the wind was high, 

A dark cloud scoured across the sky, 

The quarter-deck was scarcely dry 

Of the boat that meets the Railway. 

Yet thick as sheep in market pen 

Stood all the Sunday watering-men — 

Like growling lions in a den. 

With faces inches five and ten. 

Some were hurrying to and fro, 

Others were sick and crying, " Oh ! 

Who's wooden peg's that on my toe?" 
In the boat that meets the Railway. 
Rushing, crushing, up and down. 
Tipping the cash to Captain B- 



Oh what a hurry to get to town, 
Upon the morning Railway. 

When arrived at Greenock quay. 
What confusion ! Only see 



RAILWAY AND STEAMER 85 

Each selfish wight as quickly flee 

In hopes to catch the Railway ! 
High and low, and thick and thin, 
Trying who the race will win — 
Creaking boots and hobnailed shoon — 
All determined to get in ! 
People laughing at the shore : 
Merchants smiling at each door; 
Those running who ne'er ran before, 
And all to catch the Railway ! 

Fleet through Greenock's narrow lanes, 
Over mud and dubs and stanes. 
Careless o' their boots and banes — 
And all to catch the Railway. 

See the rear-guard far behind, 

Out of temper, out of wind. 

Out of patience, out of mind, 

For fear they lose the Railway. 

Last comes old Fatsides with his wife, 

Waging a real hot-mutton strife, 

" Such scenes in Scotland sure are rife ! 

It's very hot, upon my life ! " 

" Alack ! there'll be no room for us — 

Let's get into the homnibus !" 

*' Oh pray, my dear, don't make a fuss 
If we should lose the Railway !" 
Blowing, glowing all the way, 
Crying upon the train to stay : 
" We'll never get to town to-day 
Upon the morning Railway ! " 

Now the crowded station gained, 
Rain-bedrenched and mudbestained, 
Melting-browed and asthma-pained. 

Hurrying to the Railway. 
A boat has just arrived before. 
Which later left a nearer shore, 
And fills a full-sized train and more, 
Which is a most confounded bore; 
But coach to coach are quickly joined, 
Which surely is surpassing kind; 



86 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

And off we ply as fleet as wind, 
Upon the Greenock Railway. 

Thus the sports of railway speed, 
Nought on earth can now exceed, 
Except my song, which all must read, 
About the Greenock Railway. 

The moral of my song I add. 

To make you married ladies glad, 

Who lately were a little sad — 
Before the Greenock Railway. 

So now dispel each mopish frown, 

And don your most attractive gown : 

Your loving husbands can get down 

In one short, fleeting hour from town. 

While vessels waiting at the quay 

Conduct them swiftly home to tea. 

Or to a drop of barley bree — 
So certain is the Railway. 

Then let us steal a march on Time, 
And echo forth this ranting rhyme. 
Which street Rubinis think sublime, 
About the Greenock Railway. 

The following information relating to the 
new railway may also be of interest : — 

Glasgow^ Paisley^ and Greenock Railway. 
Directors — Robert Dow Ker, Chairman ; Archibald 
Falconer, Deputy-Chairman ; Roger Aytoun ; William 
Frederick Burnley; William Dixon; William MTie; Alex- 
ander M'Callum ; John Poynter; Christopher Saltmarshe; 
Patrick Maxwell Stewart; James Tasker; Alexander 
Thomson. 

Consulting Engineer — Joseph Lockie; Acting P^ngineer 
— John Edward Errington ; Secretary — Mark Huish ; Law 
Agents — Gabriel Hamilton Lang, and James Turner. 
Agent at Glasgow Station — Andrew Thomson. 
,, ,, Paisley „ George Penfold. 

„ „ Port-Glasgow Station — Wm. Auld. 
„ Greenock „ Alexr. Paul. 



RAILWAY AND STEAMER ^7 

The trains ran at the following hours during 
summer : — 

From Glasgow at 8, 9, and 10 a.m.; 12 noon, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 

and 8 p.m. 
From Greenock at 8.30, 9, 10.30, 12.30, 1.30, 3.30, 4- 30, 

6.30, 7-30, and 8.30. 

There were no trains run on Sundays. 

During the forties no fewer than forty-two 
steamers were built for the Clyde passenger 
traffic. Most of them contained improvements 
upon their predecessors both in design and in 
the general arrangement of the hulls and 
machinery. The first of these steamers to be 
launched was the " Telegraph "in 1841. She 
was built by Hedderwick & Ransomes, and 
was employed in the Glasgow and Helens- 
burgh trade under the charge of Captain 
Ewan. In 1842, however, as already men- 
tioned, her boiler exploded alongside Helens- 
burgh Pier. The accident resulted in the 
death of twenty-five persons, and it sealed the 
fate of high-pressure boilers or non-condensing 
engine, on passenger steamers. 

Among other steamers turned out at this 
period were the '' Lady Brisbane " and " Lady 
Kelburne," both by Mr. Young, father of the 
late Captain Robert Young, better known as 
" Captain Kid." These steamers were built to 
oppose M'Kellar's boats, but the rivalry was of 
short duration, and resulted in amalgamation. 
The former steamer was afterwards re-named 
the " Balmoral," and during the eighties was 
put to a very severe test by the late Thomas 



88 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 




LADY BRISBANE' 




• LADY KELBURNE ' 



RAILWAY AND STEAMER 89 

Gray, principal officer of the Board of Trade, 
who wished to condemn her. The test was 
the removal of the keel blocks, when on 
Kelvinhaugh Slip, from under her engine 
and boiler space. She survived this severe 
treatment, however, and consequently was 
respited, and she sailed in the Greenock and 




Helensburgh trade for several years afterwards. 
She is now a coal hulk at Newry. 

In the year 1843 Tod & M'Gregor built the 
*' Emperor " for Henderson & M'Kellar's 
Glasgow and Helensburgh trade. This was 
the first steamer to take up Sunday sailing on 
the Clyde: this she did in June, 1853.^ She 

^ It will be seen from the advertisement which appears on 
page 54 that in May, 1829, one of the packets sailed from Rothe- 
say to Greenock every Sunday morning with mails : this was 
the first instance of Sunday sailing, but it was not openly for 
passengers. 



90 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

was afterwards re-named the " Aqullla," and 
left the river. The '' Invincible," turned out 
by the same builders in the following year for 
M'Kellar's Millport trade, was sold to foreign 
owners. 

At this period was built the earliest of what 
may be termed the "freak" steamers which 
from time to time have appeared on the 
Clyde. 

The " Queen of Beauty," built by Thomas 
Wingate in 1844, and engined by Robert 
Napier, was the idea and property of John 
Kibble, the original owner of the Con- 
servatory known as the Kibble Palace, in 
Glasgow Botanic Gardens. The boat was 
fitted with two paddle-shafts on each side, one 
forward and one aft, between two and three 
feet above the water line. On each shaft a 
drum was fixed, and a belt with floats fastened 
to it extended from one drum to the other. 
This was intended as an improvement on the 
ordinary paddle-wheel, but it did not prove a 
success. She was afterwards fitted with the 
less ambitious paddles ; the " Leven's " engine 
was fitted into her, and she was re-named the 
'' Merlin." 

The next steamer worthy of mention was the 
'' Cardiff Castle," built by Caird & Co., 
Greenock, in 1844. She was fitted with the 
first double diagonal engine, and besides 
running in the Rothesay trade, she inaugurated 
the Royal Route to Ardrishaig and the West 
Hiorhlands. The builder's certificate for this 



RAILWAY AND STEAMER 91 

steamer Is the earliest record of the kind that I 
have seen. It runs as follows : — 

''These certify that we, Caird & Co., 
Engineers and Founders In Greenock, County 
of Renfrew, built in our building yard here, In 
the year one thousand eight hundred and forty- 
four, and launched from thence on the third day 
of June of the same year, the steamer 'Cardiff 
Castle,' John Campbell, master, being a square- 
sterned, clinker-built Iron vessel, constructed to 
be propelled by steam, rigged, two-masted 
schooner, with one deck, a scroll head and 
quarter pieces, and that her length, from the 
Inner part of the main stem to the fore part 
of the stern post aloft, is one hundred and 
seventy feet three-tenths. Her breadth amid- 
ships on deck is nineteen feet ; depth of hold 
amidships, nine feet three-tenths ; and ad- 
measures after deducting the engine-room. 
And that William Campbell, Esquire of 
Tllliechewan ; John Watson, Esquire, Mer- 
chant, Glasgow ; James Hunter, Esquire of 
Hafton ; Alexander Struthers Findlay, Es- 
quire, Merchant In Glasgow, and other part- 
ners of the Castle Steam Packet Company, 
are the first purchasers and sole owners, 
and that the said vessel was never registered 
before. 

" Given under our hands at Greenock this 
eighteenth day of September, one thousand 
eight hundred and forty- four. 

-Caird & Co." 



92 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

The ''Craignish Castle" is mentioned in 
another part of the same document as having 




•CRAIGNISH CASTLE' 



been launched on 26th June, 1844, Neil 
M'Gill being her master. He was succeeded 
by John Reid, senior. 

__ In the same year the 

" Countess of Eglinton " 
was built by Barr & M'Nab 
for William Young, and 
was employed in the Glas- 
gow and Millport trade 
until 1846, when she was 
wrecked at Millport. Her 
engines were salved, and 
fitted on board the " Mon- 
arch " by Henderson of 
JOHN REID Renfrew. 




RAILWAY AND STEAMER 



93 



This vessel was sold In 1854 to go to 
Tasmania. There has been a good deal of 
controversy regarding her fate, but the follow- 
ing may be taken as authentic, being an extract 
from the log of the vessel : 

"Wednesday, 22nd February, 1854. — The 
pilot came on board, and the tug " William 




MONARCH ' 



Wallace " towed her to an anchorage in Gare- 
loch to adjust her compasses. Left Rothesay 
Bay for Hobart Town, Tasmania, schooner 
rig, on the 4th March, 1854, under the com- 
mand of T. M'Kinnon. Arrived at Hobart 
Town, i2thjuly, 1854." 

This extract was furnished by the Harbour 
Master at Hobart, who also informed me that 
the machinery was removed in 1899, and was 



94 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

running a saw-mill at the Huon River, Tasmania. 
These particular engines, therefore, had a 
somewhat varied and eventful career. 

The '' Edinburgh Castle," built by Smith & 
Rodger in 1844, sailed originally between 
Glasgow and Kilmun. She is now named 
the "Glengarry," and plies to the present 
day on the Caledonian Canal. 




The ''Caledonia" was also built by Smith & 
Rodger in 1844. She was of similar design to 
the " Koh-i-noor," and ran on the Kilmun 
route. Her master was Dugald Thompson, a 
well-known figure on the Clyde in his day. 

The ''Mars," built in 1845 by Wingate for 
the M'Kellars' Largs and Millport trade, had 
the engines of the " Victor " fitted into her, and 
sailed on the Clyde till 9th April, 1855, when 



RAILWAY AND STEAMER 95 

she went ashore at the Gogo Burn, Largs, 
and became a wreck. Her passengers were 
landed by means of a cart, which was able to 
come alongside, and on the following day she 
broke up, and the boiler rolled out of her. 

The ''Windsor Castle," built by Tod & 
M'Gregor in 1845 for the Rothesay trade, was 
re-named successively the "Mary Jane" and 
the ''Glencoe," and under the latter name still 
sails between West Loch Tarbert and Islay. 

In 1845, Denny Brothers built their first 
iron steamer, the '' Loch Lomond." She was 
engined by Smith & Rodger, and among other 
improvements on board was the fore-runner of 
the engine telegraph of to-day. The captain 
conveyed his orders to the engineer by means 
of a rack-pin, a knocking contrivance on the 
engine-hatch, which was followed by the well- 
known knocker, now in its turn obsolete. 

The idea of the experimental tank as a 
means of testing models was not unknown 
even at this early period, the first test having 
been made by David Napier in Camlachie 
Burn. The method employed, though some- 
what crude, was at least ingenious. For the 
purpose Thomas Seath, the shipbuilder (who 
died at Langbank in 1902), used the surface of 
the Johnstone Canal. His plan was to attach 
a model to each end of a jack-stick, fastened in 
its centre to the line of a fishing-rod. By this 
means he discovered which model gave the 
least resistance. It was certainly a good and 
original idea. 



g6 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

In 1847 the well-known Loch Goll steamer, 
'' Breadalbane," was built by Smith & Rodger 
(now the London and Glasgow Engineering 
and Shipbuilding Company). She continued 
regularly in the Loch Goil trade in charge of 
Captain Graham for ten years. Then she 
sailed for Sydney, N.S.W. 




' BREADALBANE ' 

It was in August, 1847, that the Royal 
Squadron arrived off Greenock. Queen Victoria 
was on board the royal yacht ''Victoria and 
Albert," and she was escorted to the Tail of 
the Bank by the river and other steamers 
'' Hercules," " Chieftain," '' Fire Queen," 
''Conqueror," ''Admiral," "Garland," "Mars," 
" Scourge," " Undine," " Fairy," " Thetis," 
"Sovereign," "Premier," and " Craignish 
Castle." It was a memorable event in the 



RAILWAY AND STEAMER 



97 



history of the Clyde, upon whose waters pro- 
bably no British sovereign had floated since 
Queen Mary sailed from Dumbarton Castle for 
France in July, 1548, nearly three centuries 
before, and the array of steam vessels which 
met and escorted Her Majesty not only testi- 
fied to the loyalty of her subjects on the Clyde, 




THE QUEEN'S VISIT 



but illustrated the triumph of the new power 
moving on the face of the waters. 

As we have now reached the middle of the 
century, thirty-eight years after the first steamer 
sailed on the Clyde, it may be interesting to 
note a few facts shewing the progress made in 
the construction of machinery, etc. Previous 
to the year 1850, 168 steamers had been built 
for the Clyde passenger traffic. The types of 
machinery in use had been : ist, the side-lever 
engine ; 2nd, the steeple engine with one piston 



98 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

rod ; 3rd, the oscillator. The boilers were : 
I St, waggon, fired underneath ; 2nd, the flue 
boiler ; 3rd, the haystack ; 4th, the horizontal 
tubular. The steam pressure had risen from 
5 lbs. per square inch in 181 2 to 25 lbs. in 
1849. 

In the matter of accidents, three boilers had 
exploded, and one hundred and eight people 
had been killed or drowned through the care- 
lessness or stupidity of those in charge of the 
deck or engine room. 



CHAPTER VI 

THE LIVELY FIFTIES 

The modern type of passenger steamer on the 
Clyde may be said to date from the year 1850. 
The period then begun was one of great im- 
provement and development in the design and 
construction of the hull and machinery. The 
competition was keen, the traffic had increased, 
and the shores of the estuary had become 
popular and fashionable summer resorts. It 
was at this period that feuing on an exten- 
sive scale began in some of the now popu- 
lar resorts on the Firth of Clyde — such as 
Kilcreggan, Cove, Blairmore, Dunoon, and 
Rothesay. 

During the decade from 1850 to 1859, 
forty-two steamers were built for the coast 
service. Of these, twenty-one were fitted with 
haystack boilers, and five with tubular, while 
one had a horizontal boiler, one a flue, and one 
a water-tube boiler. Of the engines, twenty 
were of the steeple, seven of the oscillator, 
three of the diagonal, one of the diagonal 
oscillating, one of the trunk, and one of the 



loo THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

rotary type. These were all fitted, so far as 
I can find, with jet condensers, except the 
*' Rotary," described later, and the boiler pres- 
sure averaged 30 lbs. per square inch. The 
engineers were, as a rule, men trained in the 
boats as firemen, the more intelligent being 
promoted to the position of engineer. Many 
of them were well qualified for the position, and 
gave their owners satisfaction. It must be said, 
however, that the boilers got very different 
treatment in those days from the treatment 
they get now, and in consequence the "life " of 
a boiler was shorter by 30 to 40 per cent, than 
it is at the present day. It must, however, be 
admitted that the care exercised at the present 
day in the construction of the boilers was not 
thought of at that time. 

Previous to 1850, the river craft were 
owned principally by companies and merchants. 
These owners, however, ultimately transferred 
the steamers to the men actually working or 
managing the boats. Shipbuilders frequently 
built vessels as a hobby, but, after trying the 
respective merits of the boats, they usually 
disposed of them, and as a general rule indi- 
vidual ownership prevailed. 

The first vessel of the decade was the 
" Queen,'' by Denny. In the same year, 
1850, one of the few unfortunate steamers of 
the Clyde was launched. This was the 
** Eclipse." She was built by Wingate, and 
was employed for four years on the Kilmun 
and Dunoon trade. One lovely summer morn- 



THE LIVELY FIFTIES 



:oi 



ing, however, as she left Dunoon, the Gan- 
tocks came in the way of the genius at 
the wheel, and there she remained. Her 
machinery was salved and fitted into a new 
hull built by Thomas Seath. The new boat 
was named the "Nelson," and after sailing 
on the river for many years she went to West 




' ECLIPSE 



Africa, and ultimately left her bones in the 
Bight of Benin. 

In 1851 the ''Victoria" was built by Robert 
Napier, and was fitted with the first oscillating 
engine made by him. 1852 saw the building 
of the "Glasgow Citizen" by John Barr at 
Glasgow. After being employed in the 
Rothesay trade for a few years, she was sold 
to Australian owners. She was taken out 



102 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

under sail by Captain John M'Lean, of Kirk- 
maiden. This mariner was better known in his 
time by the picturesque appellation of " Hell- 
fire-Jack." He did the voyage to Melbourne 
in fourteen days less time than one of the 
Glasgow clippers which sailed along with him. 
The captain of the sailing ship, it is said, had 
kindly promised to report the departure of the 
"Glasgow Citizen" from the Clyde when he 
should arrive at Melbourne. He was evi- 
dently unacquainted with the "go" of ''Hell- 
fire-Jack." As a matter of fact, when the 
clipper arrived M'Lean was already running 
on the station between Melbourne and Gee- 
long. He did well out there for his owners, 
and had a varied and eventful career. His 
next visit to the Clyde was the result of a trip 
which the writer made through the Australian 
colonies in 1886. On his return from Aus- 
tralia M'Lean took out the passenger steamer 
" Ozone," which revolutionised the passenger 
trade in Hobson's Bay. 

Besides the ''Glasgow Citizen" seven other 
notable steamers left the stocks in 1852. They 
were the "Venus," "Reindeer," "Rotary," 
"Mountaineer," "Eagle," "Osprey," and 
" Gourock." 

The "Venus," built by J. & G. Thomson, 
late of Clydebank, for the MacKellars, was a 
very tender craft. She was employed on the 
Largs and Millport route for many years, and 
ran ultimately between Wemyss Bay and Mill- 
port as one of the Gillies & Campbell fleet, in 



THE LIVELY FIFTIES 103 

company with the ''Largs" and ''Argyle." 
She ended her career in the scrap heap. 

The ''Rotary" was built by Henderson, of 
Renfrew, and engined by Wingate to the 
order of David Napier, and it embodied a 
number of the ideas of that remarkable man, 
which proved him to be far in advance of his 




• VENUS ' 

time. She was furnished with a surface-con- 
denser in the form of a tank placed under 
the machinery. This tank was filled with 
tubes, to which sea-water was admitted and 
discharged through apertures in the shell plat- 
ing. The boiler was of the "water- tube" type. 
It had double rows of tubes placed diagonally, 
and wrought, under the forced draught prin- 
ciple, at the pressure, remarkable in those days, 
of 1 20 lbs. per square inch. The furnace bars 



I04 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

were also circulating tubes, and each was fitted 
with a cock to draw off any deposit. These 
water-tube fire bars, together with the forced 
draught, were patented by Napier in 1851. 
The rotary engine, from which the boat took 
its name, proved hardly so great a success. 
It appears to have consisted of one long cylin- 




WRECK OF 'MOUNTAINEEK 



der in two compartments, ''through which the 
paddle shaft passed." After a short time this 
engine was replaced by a pair of diagonal 
oscillating engines, made by Henderson of 
Renfrew. This firm retained the boat, re- 
naming her the ''Gareloch," and ran her 
on the Garelochhead route for several years, 
until she was sold to German owners. 

The " Mountaineer" was a very smart, flush- 
deck little steamer. She was built by J. & G. 



THE LIVELY FIFTIES 105 

Thomson to the order of David Hutchison & 
Co., for the Glasgow and Ardrishaig service. 
Under Captain John M'Callum she sailed suc- 
cessfully for many years, and proved a popular 
steamer, well suited in those days for the ser- 
vice in which she was employed. Placed ulti- 
mately on the Oban station, in charge of 




Captain D. M'Callum, she was at last wrecked 
in the Sound of Mull in September, 1889, 
through her machinery becoming disabled. 

The ** Eagle," built by Messrs. Denny, and 
engined by M'Nab & Clark, Greenock, was 
owned for a time by the builders. She was 
afterwards acquired by Williamson & Buchanan, 
who employed her successively on the Rothesay 



io6 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

and Arran and the Kyles of Bute stations, 
and ultimately sold her in 1862 to run the 
American blockade. As a blockade runner she 
had a most eventful and successful career, but 
was at last sunk by the Federals. 

The '' Osprey " was built by Barclay, Curie, 
& Co., and engined by the Messrs. Inglis. 




LOCH GOIL 



Under Captain Neil M'Gill, who was part 
owner, she was employed in the Rothesay 
trade until sold to go to the River Plate. On 
the voyage out, after leaving Bermuda, she 
was lost with all hands. 

In 1853 the "Wellington," "Baron," "Chan- 
cellor," " Vesta," and " Loch Goil " were added 
to the list. 

The " Wellington," built by Barr for Hender- 



THE LIVELY FIFTIES 107 

son & M'Kellar, sailed in the Glasgow, Kilmun, 
and Dunoon trade for seven years. As she was a 
very slender craft, however, she was then broken 
up. Her machinery was fitted into the ''Sultan " 
in 1 86 1. This vessel was ultimately re-named 
the " Garelochy," and is now running as one of 
the MacBrayne fleet on the Caledonian Canal. 

The '* Baron " was built by Henderson of 
Renfrew, and engined with oscillators by 
Hobey. She had square 
boilers. These, however, 
proved a failure, and were 
replaced with a steeple en- 
gine and haystack boiler by 
Blackwood & Gordon, Port- 
Glasgow. After sailing for a 
few months on the Rothesay 
station in charge of Captain 
James M'Kinlay (ultimately 
of the North British Com- 
pany's steamers), she was J^"^ wilson 
sold to Russian owners. Misfortune, however, 
seemed to follow her. On her arrival at the 
Russian port of delivery, no cash was forth- 
coming. She accordingly returned to the Clyde, 
where she was re-christened the '' Diamond." 
Finally she went to Copenhagen. 

The '' Chancellor" was built by the Messrs. 
Denny for the Loch Long and Loch Lomond 
Steamboat Company, and sailed on the 
Arrochar and Glasgow route under Captain 
John Wilson (the inventor of the knocker) 
till sold to run the American blockade. 




io8 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

The "Vesta," built by Seath for Duncan 
M'Kellar, formed one of the latter's Largs and 
Millport fleet for many years. She was after- 
wards engaged in the Kilmun trade, and was 
burnt at Ardnadam in 1888. 

The '' Loch Goil " was built and engined by 
J. Barr for the Loch Goil Co., and sailed on 
the Glasgow and Loch Goil route. She had a 
steeple engine and haystack boiler. 

The other vessels of the fleet built during 
this decade must still be fresh in the memories 
of frequenters of the Firth who themselves were 
"registered" during the fifties. Two of them 
are still doing duty under Mr. MacBrayne's 
flag, namely, the '*Loch Goil " and the " Hero." 
The former is now sailing as the " Loch Ness " 
on the Caledonian Canal, and the latter, dating 
from 1858, is now the "Mountaineer," which 
sails out of Oban during summer. 

The following year, 1854, may be considered 
the beginning of the lively period. Caird's 
first " Rothesay Castle," and Henderson, Col- 
borne, & Co.'s first " Ruby," were placed in 
their natural element in that year. Both 
steamers were in the Rothesay trade. The 
former, commanded by Captain Neil M'Gill, 
was a beautiful little boat. She was famous 
for speed, and in respect of symmetry and finish 
seemed more a shipbuilder's model than a craft 
for commercial purposes. I am satisfied that 
more gold decorated her paddle-boxes, etc., 
than lined the pockets of her owner from that 
venture. The "Ruby" was not such a grey- 



THE LIVELY FIFTIES 



[09 



hound, but her commander, Captain Richard 
Price, improved upon that defect. At the same 
time, unfortunately, he increased his reputation 
for clever manoeuvring and racing to such an 
extent that he was obliored to retire from the 
field in July, 1861. 

The only other steamers built in 1854 were 
the "Gem," " Express," and "Vulcan." 




ROTHESAY CASTLE ' 



The " Gem," built by Henderson for Hender- 
son & M'Kellar's fleet of Helensburgh steamers, 
and commanded by Captain M'Aulay, ended 
her career, like many others, as a blockade 
runner. 

The "Express" was built by Barr for the 
Kilmun trade. After ten years' service she 
went into the scrap heap, while her machinery 
was fitted into "Vesper" No. 2. She was sold 
for blockade running, and was lost off Lambay 
Island. 



no THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

The ''Vulcan," built by Robert Napier, had 
fitted into her a beautiful little pair of oscillat- 
ing engines, and a boiler of the square shape 
which was then being tried. The latter was 
replaced with a flue boiler, and the little 
steamer did yeoman service between Glasgow 
and Rothesay, summer and winter, for many 




.. .J 



VULCAN ' 



years. Latterly she did duty between Glas- 
gow and Clydebank as a conveyance for the 
workmen of J. & G. Thomson until the railway 
was opened, when she was relegated to the 
scrap heap. 

Many will doubtless remember amusing 
incidents and anecdotes connected with this 
steamer, and with the brothers Alexander and 
Thomas (Homish) M'Lean so long associated 
with her. During their period on the river 



THE LIVELY FIFTIES in 

these two splendid men did more than the 
average share of practical benevolence. Not- 
withstanding their somewhat gruff manner, they 
let many a poor soul travel free, in many cases 
with food thrown in, and in some cases, I 
am sure, with a little '' Samuel Dow " to help 
it over. They v/ere generous to a degree, and 
were often taken advantage of. In those days 
the dinner in the ''fore cabin" was not the 
individual table arrangement of the present 
day. It had more of the family party character, 
and " hail fellow well met " was the rule. There 
was always a chairman, who said grace and did 
the carving, throwing in a good story or two to 
help digestion. One occasion I remember, the 
sea was by no means "like a lake," and the 
cook coming down the circular stair with '' the 
joint," made his entrance head foremost. Con- 
sternation seized Homish, but only for a 
moment. He was equal to the emergency, and 
in a voice loud enough to be heard by all the 
company, ordered the cook to bring down '' the 
other roast." This, when it appeared, was, of 
course, simply the unfortunate one, wiped up 
and basted afresh. Toddy usually wound up 
the repast. In fact, it usually wound up every 
banquet on board, tea generally concluding with 
'' a cinder " in the last cup. This latter custom 
recalls an incident of which I was a witness. 
The cook on this occasion had by mistake 
(a real treat for some) put a jug of whisky 
instead of water into the tea kettle. The effect 
was very peculiar and very amusing, and I need 



112 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

scarcely say there was no need for '' a cinder " 
in the last cup that night. 

When business was good '' down below" in 
the steward's bar, Homish had the reputation of 
quietly giving the engineer a hint not to hurry, 
punctuality being a matter of less account in 
those days. Of the many stories told about 
him was one of his going to his tailor for a new 
pair of trousers. He explained his object, it 
is said, by declaring that he wanted " a strong, 
warm pair o' breeks ^o ^^ a stea7nboatr He is 
also credited with the indignant retort to a 
passenger who complained about the condi- 
tion of the towel he had to use: ''A hunner 
have used it afore you, and you're the first 
to complain." Lavatory arrangements, it is 
needless to say, were then only in their in- 
fancy. 

The year 1855 saw five steamers put into 
the water — ''Superb," " lona" No. i, "Sir 
Colin Campbell," "Alma," and "Nelson." Of 
these the " Superb" was built by Denny for 
the Helensburgh and Gareloch route. The 
"Sir Colin Campbell" only sailed for the short 
period of two summers in the Kyles of Bute 
and Loch Fyne trade, till she was disposed of 
to Hull owners. She ran on the Clyde under 
command of Captain Alexander M' Lean (better 
known by his connection with the "Vulcan"), 
and she was popularly known as " the two- 
bowed steamer," from the fact that she had a 
rudder at each end. This peculiar feature was 
not repeated on any other steamer, except the 



THE LIVELY FIFTIES 



113 



'' Kingston," which may be taken as conclusive 
proof that it was not a success. 

The " Alma," built to the order of Duncan 
Stewart, ran, first on the Helensburgh and 
afterwards on the Rothesay route, and was not 
a bright specimen. She struggled along, how- 
ever, for ten years. Then a new hull was 
built for her machinery. This, named the 




'SUPERB 



" Argyle," was afterwards one of the Wemyss 
Bay fleet, and at the present day is doing duty 
at Dundee. 

Of the quintet by far the most famous was 
the " lona." This steamer, the first of a 
famous fleet, was built by J. ,& G. Thomson, to 
the order of David Hutchison & Co., for their 
Glasgow and Ardrishaig service. She was a 
repetition, enlarged and improved, of the 
'' Mountaineer" already referred to, which had 



114 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

run so successfully with the mall and tourist 
traffic on the first stage of the Royal route to 
the West Highlands. The successive '' lonas" 
were the only excursion steamers of first-class 
description on the Clyde for a period of twenty- 
two years, and this fact so firmly established 




' lONA ' NO. I 

their reputation that they are still spoken of 
all over the world as the premier passenger 
steamers. The honour was well deserved, for 
the appointments of the whole series were, In 
every respect, superior to those of other boats. 

''lona" No. i made her first run In June, 
1855, and continued on the station till the 
autumn of 1862, when she was sold for 



THE LIVELY FIFTIES 115 

blockade running. She did not, however, get 
beyond Fort Matilda. There has been a good 
deal of controversy as to the fate of this 
favourite steamer, but the following authentic 
account of the incident should finally dispose of 
any doubt on the subject. It has been fur- 
nished to me by an eye-witness, Mr. Peter 
Ferguson, late of the firm of Fleming & 
Ferguson, Paisley, to whom I have been 
indebted for other valuable information. The 
'' lona," Mr. Ferguson says, had her compasses 
adjusted in the Gareloch immediately previous 
to her departure for America in October. This 
being done, she was crossing to Gourock Bay 
for the night without lights, when, off Fort 
Matilda, she was run down by the new screw 
steamer '' Chanticleer," which was returning to 
Glasgow from her trial trip. Mr. Ferguson 
was the engineer in charge of the new steamer. 
He witnessed the final plunge of the " lona," 
and he says she still lies at the bottom of the 
firth off Fort Matilda, where she sank. 

The only two steamers recorded in 1856 
are the "Jupiter" and ''Mail." The former 
was built by Tod & McGregor, to the order of 
Duncan MacKellar, for the Largs, Millport, 
and Arran service, and was in every respect 
a notable addition to the MacKellar fleet. Her 
career on the Clyde, however, was short. She 
was sold for blockade running, an occupation in 
which she proved very successful. 

In 1857 three rather famous steamers were 
built — the ''Alliance," the " Spunkie," and the 



ii6 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

" Kelpie." All three were the production of 
Tod & M'Gregor. The first- named plied on 
the Loch Goil and Arrochar route, and was of 
a most peculiar desion. She had a double 
hull, with a trunk engine and a central paddle- 
wheel. She was also the first steamer to have 
saloons built on the main deck, and was, conse- 
quently, the original " saloon steamer." Her 
designer was young George Mills. 

The late Dr. Hedderwick, in his Backward 
Glances, refers to Mills and his father. The 
latter was at one time Lord Provost of 
Glasgow. The son's career, according to Dr. 
Hedderwick, was from first to last as interesting 
as it was varied. He was, in turn, a steamboat 
agent, a shipbuilder, a newspaper proprietor, 
and a chemist. The shipbuilding firm in which 
he had a share was probably that of Hedder- 
wick & Mills, at Bowling. Like so many other 
steamers of that time, the '^Alliance" was sold 
to Liverpool, and ultimately became a blockade 
runner. She appears to have got across the 
Atlantic safely enough, but I have no record of 
her performance in American waters. 

The building of the " Spunkie" and 
" Kelpie" created an undoubted sensation on 
the river. Until they also were sold for the more 
exciting work of running the blockade, they 
certainly infused vitality into the traffic on the 
Firth. Employed chiefly in the Largs and 
Millport trade, they were among the last of the 
well-finished type of flush-deck steamers, with 
steeple engines and haystack boilers, which 



THE LIVELY FIFTIES 



117 



were run on the motto of the shipbuilders of 
that period — ''speed regardless of expense." 

In 1858, the only steamers launched were 
the ''Hero" and "Dumbarton." The former, 
built by Wingate, was the first steamer with a 
flat floor. This enabled her to carry a full 
caro-Q without listino^ to the rail. Her boiler 
was the first of the haystack type to be built of 
steel, and her steeple engine was one of the 
most successful of its kind. As has been 
already stated, she was afterwards re-named the 
" Mountaineer," and was running out of Oban 
last summer (1903). 

The "Pearl," "Loch Long," and "Windsor 
Castle " were the only steamers launched in 
1859. The "Pearl," by Henderson, Colborne 
& Co., Renfrew, was not considered a success. 
She was of the usual flush-deck type, but her 
machinery was of a most unusual design — four 
diagonal cylinders oscillat- 
ing with one crank. After 
being employed on the 
Rothesay station for a few 
years, she was sold as a 
blockade runner. 

The "Loch Long," built 
and engined by Denny for 
the Loch Goil Company, 
was a smart flush-deck 
little steamer, and was 
commanded by William 
M'Intyre. A few years later she was dis- 
posed of to Copenhagen owners. 




CAPTAIN WM. M'INTYRE 



ii8 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

The last of the fifties, the ''Windsor Castle," 
by Caird & Co., was built of mild steel, with 
double diagonal engines and one haystack 
boiler in front of the paddle-boxes. Her speed 
was remarkable for a short spin, and altogether 
she was a very smart boat, somewhat similar 
in design and finish to the same builders' 
" Rothesay Castle," already referred to. A 
single summer, however, on the Rothesay station 
ended her career on the Clyde, and she was 
sold to go to the Bombay district. She left 
the Clyde under sail, but was stranded in the 
English Channel, and became a wreck. For- 
tunately her machinery had been shipped by 
another vessel, and a new hull was sent out. 

Among the most memorable of the later 
accidents was that which occurred in 1850, off 
the Cloch, between the " Duke of Cornwall " 
and the " Duntroon Castle," as follows: 

The "Duntroon Castle" when coming up 
the Firth of Clyde on Saturday, 26th October, 
1850, in fine weather and calm sea, and when 
somewhat over half a mile south of the Cloch 
Lighthouse, saw the "Duke of Cornwall" 
rounding the Cloch, the " Duke " steering so as 
to pass outside of the " Duntroon Castle," and 
about three quarters of a mile off the Cloch 
Lighthouse. When, however, the " Duke of 
Cornwall " was about one hundred and fifty 
yards from the Cloch Lighthouse she suddenly 
starboarded her helm to pass inshore of the 
"Duntroon Castle," and as the "Duntroon" 
must have ported at the same time, the two 



THE LIVELY FIFTIES 



19 



vessels came into violent collision, the '* Duke " 
being struck on the starboard side nearly amid- 
ships, the '' Duntroon " going right through the 
after hold, and shewing her bow name-board, 
'' Duntroon Castle," almost immediately on the 
" Duke's " port side. The hold being fortu- 
nately full of grain, bags of meal, flour, etc., 




DUNTROON CASTLE 



deadened the impact. The ladies' cabin being 
only separated from the hold by a wood bulk- 
head, those in it had a narrow escape from fatal 
injury. A trading sloop was the first rescue 
vessel alongside, to which the '^Duke's" pas- 
sengers were transferred. The first over the 
steamer's side, on to the sloop's deck, was a 
" Black Coat " from Southend, Arran, with his 
sermon bag, evidently in a "funk," and regard- 



120 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

less of the safety of the ladies. The '' Dun- 
troon Castle," when she saw that the " Duke 
of Cornwall " was sinking, kept her engines 
going full speed ahead, and thus succeeded 
in beaching the "Duke" close to the Cloch 
Lighthouse in a little sandy bay without mishap 
to anyone. 

The " Duntroon Castle " could easily have 
avoided the collision, had not her Captain's 
better judgment foolishly given way to the 
emphatic order of an owner then on board, 
*' Keep your course," which led to the disaster. 

Captain M'Lean of the "Duke" was tried 
before the High Court of Justiciary. The first 
witness was Captain MacDonald of the " Dun- 
troon Castle," who admitted by " a slip " his 
owner's order, when the President of Court, it 
was said, remarked, "You should now be in 
the dock, and the prisoner in the witness 
box." The jury unanimously acquitted Captain 
M'Lean. 

The only other serious collision recorded 
during the fifties was that between the " Duchess 
of Argyle " and the " Emperor " off West Shan- 
don in September, 1852, when the latter was 
sunk. 



CHAPTER VII 

THE RAILWAY INVASION 

During the early sixties the American War, as 
will have already been gathered, was respon- 
sible for the removal of a large number of the 
best and swiftest steamers on the Clyde, while 
several were sold to go in other directions. 
This was the means of bringing to a close the 
sporting or racing period in the history of the 
Clyde passenger steamboat. 

There was no doubt about the rivalry in 
those days. It was a contest for supremacy 
in speed, not only between the steamboat 
owners themselves, but between them and the 
railway companies. 

Several of the swiftest steamers sailed direct 
between Glasgow and Gourock, morning and 
afternoon, while the passengers by the railway 
steamers were transferred at Greenock. It 
was genuine sport and business combined, and, 
when the circumstances were considered, the 
rivalry was conducted with a remarkable im- 
munity from serious accident. These racers 
were all cleverly handled, both on deck and in 



122 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

the engine room, everyone being an expert and 
alert, and it was in a large measure owing to 
the intelligence and sailing capacity of the 
hands on the private steamers that for a long 
time the bulk of the traffic was secured by the 
direct boats. 

The favourite steamers were the " Ruby," 
Simons's "Rothesay Castle" No. 3, "Windsor 




'ruby' no. II 

Castle," and " Neptune." The " Ruby" No. 3 
was undoubtedly manoeuvred with marked 
ability, but in point of speed the " Rothesay 
Castle " was the superior boat. Some amusing 
advertisements appeared in the Glasgow news- 
papers of this period, which indicate the high 
pitch to which the rivalry . reached. One of 
these advertisements, by the owner of the 
" Rothesay Castle," ran : " Positive, ' Ruby' ; 
comparative, 'Neptune'; superlative, 'Rothesay 
Castle.' " 

In those days, and for nearly a quarter of a 



THE RAILWAY INVASION 



123 



century afterwards, there were no pier signals 
in operation, so merit had its reward, and it 




ROTHESAY CASTLE 



was during the summers of 1860-61 that the 
most exciting and reckless racing of the nine- 
teenth century occurred. 
Rothesay was the winning 
post, and it became a mat- 
ter of supreme indifference 
to the enthusiastic captains 
whether or not the passen- 
gers were landed at the 
intermediate piers, until 
eventually public indigna- 
tion became so orreat that 
the captain of the " Ruby " 
(Captain Richard Price), 
who was the most reckless 
resign his command. 




CAPTAIN RICHARD PRICE 

was forced to 



124 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

As a result of the rivalry some record 
running was made at that time between Glas- 
gow and Rothesay. The first stop was at 
Gourock, and the whole journey to Rothesay 
was performed in two and a half hours. This 
is occasionally cited by some as a better 
performance than that of the present day, but 




those who do so probably take no account ot 
the conditions and circumstances. Restric- 
tions regarding speed on the river were 
elastic in i860. The displacement of the 
boats, too, was very different from what it is 
now, a difference due partly to design and 
general arrangement, and partly to Board of 
Trade regulations. 

After the stirring: times of i860 and 1861 a 



THE RAILWAY INVASION 125 

general lull took place, and more business-like 
methods began to prevail. 

During this decade no fewer than forty-three 
steamers were built. In most respects the 
design and arrangement of the hulls were very 
similar to those of the fifties. The exceptions 
were ten steamers which had saloons built on 
the main deck, and twelve which had a poop 
or half saloon aft. The remaining twenty-one 
had flush decks. 

The vessels were fitted with the followinof 
styles of machinery and boilers : 14 had oscil- 
lating engines ; 13 had steeple engines ; 14 had 
diagonal engines ; 2 had diagonal oscillating 
engines — all with paddles provided with feather- 
ing floats ; 35 had haystack boilers, and 8 had 
horizontal boilers. 

It will be observed that the haystack boilers 
continued extremely popular during this period, 
although, in the case of machinery, taste was 
equally divided between the steeple, the oscil- 
lating, and the diagonal. Diagonal machinery 
afterwards became the favourite, and held its 
ground till the end of the century, when the 
Parson turbine was introduced. 

In i860 the ''Earl of Arran " was built by 
Blackwood & Gordon, Port-Glasgow,, to the 
order of an Ardrossan company for the Ard- 
rossan and Arran traffic. Her commander was 
Captain Blakeney, the only Irishman who ever 
commanded a Clyde passenger steamer. He 
was a most successful and popular skipper 
especially with the ladies. 



126 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

In the same year the ''Juno," the ''Mail," 
and "Ruby" No. 2 made their appearance. 
The last-named was built by Henderson for 
the Rothesay traffic, and after sailing under the 
famous Price for a single season, was sold for 
the blockade. The other two were built by 
Tod & M'Gregor, the "Juno" for the 
M'Kellar fleet, on the Largs, Millport, and 



JUNO' 



Arran station, and the " Mail " for the Camp- 
bells' Kilmun trade. Both steamers proved 
most successful, the "Juno" especially being in 
every way a well-appointed vessel, and her 
captain, Sandy M'Kellar, a favourite on the 
Arran route. 

1 86 1 was the memorable year already re- 
ferred to, in which the famous " Ruby" No. 3, 
by Henderson of Renfrew, the " Neptune," by 
Robert Napier, Glasgow, and the " Rothesay 
Castle" No. 3, by Simons of Renfrew, were 



THE RAILWAY INVASION 



127 



launched. The exploits of these three vessels 
have already been described. Their career on 
the firth was short, for all three were quickly- 
picked up for blockade runners ; but while it 
lasted theirs was the most stirring period ever 
known on the Rothesay route. The reason for 
this is not far to seek. The ownership of these 




RUBY NO. Ill 



boats was the last personal connection of Clyde 
shipbuilders with the actual running of the 
vessels. Having sufficiently established their 
reputation, and invested and probably sacrificed 
enough of their capital, they brought their joint 
relationship as builders and owners to a close 
with the sale of the three steamers. At that 
period the business was considered by them 
as more or less of the nature of a hobby, and 
strict attention was not paid to ''system and 



128 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

check " in respect of tickets and fares. No 
money was spared in the thorough maintenance 
of the three beauties, all of them being kept 
in splendid condition, and they were at any 
moment ready for a spin at any cost. 

After her short career on the Clyde, Simons's 
" Rothesay Castle " turned out a most success- 
ful blockade runner. She survived that ser- 
vice, and was until recently employed on the 
Canadian lakes under the name of the 
''Southern Belle." 

" Ruby" No. 3 was the well-known Richard 
Price's last command. 

" Neptune " was famous, and is well re- 
membered by her (in those days) unusually 
small paddle-wheel. Its full details, which 
should be of interest to the engineer of the 
present day, were as follows : — 

Built and engined by R. Napier & Sons in 
1861. 

Paddle Steamer " Neptune." 

Hull. — Length of keel, 200 feet. Half mid 
depth, 198 feet. Breadth moulded, 18 ft. 5 in. 
Depth moulded, 8 ft. 5 in. 

Tonnage. — 344/4 tons. Gross tonnage, 200 
tons. Registered tonnage, deducting engine 
room, 126 tons. Trial draft on frames, 4.25 ft. 
Keel additional, 3^ in., 4.542. Displacement, 
226 tons. C. of F., .508. Mid area, 66 ft. 
C. of O., .839. Centre of buoyancy, 6.8 ft. 
Bulkhead, 4. 

Engines. — Diagonal, 100 h.p. nominal. 



THE RAILWAY INVASION 



129 



Cylinders, two, 40 in. Stroke, 3 ft. 6 in. 
Weight of engine, 46 tons, 4 cwt. 

Haystack Boilers. — Two 1 1 ft. 2 in. x 12 ft. 
6. in. Grate, 134 ft. Heating surfaces, 2460 
ft. Number of tubes, 1400. External 
diameter, 2 in. Length of tube, 3 ft. 10 in. 
Weight of boilers, 38 tons 2 cwt. Steam 
pressure, 50 lbs. 

Paddle- Wheel — Over floats, 1 3 ft. 4 in. Over 
axis of floats, 10 ft. 9 in. Iron floats, 8 ft. 6 in. 
Breadth, 2 ft. 8 in. Water in boilers, 20 tons, 
14 cwt. Coal, 10 tons. Hull, 1 1 1 tons, 8 cwt. 
8 cwt. Carries 75 tons per 



Total, 226 tons, 
foot at load draft. 
Main Saloon, 34^ 
Dining Saloon, 25 
Steerage, 22 



15 
16 



— 3622 cubic ft. 
3000 

Total, 10946 cubic ft. 
Cloch. Revolutions, 



74- 

7i- 



Others, 2839 cubic ft. 

Trials. — Cumbrae to 
67. Pressure, 41.8. Vacuum, 24. Indicated 
h-P-j 995- Time occupied doing run, 46 min. 
30 sec. Rate of speed, 20.375 statute miles. 



17.63 knots. Slip, 21% 
heavy southerly swell. 
Measured mile, i. Time 



Wind strong and 



Strokes, 



Vacuum, 23! 
indicated h.p., 



2. „ 3-2 

3- M 2.59 

4- ., Z-Z 

5- n 3.2 

6. „ 3.0 

Steam about 46 lbs. Greatest 

with 47 pressure, making 72 



70. 

71. 
70. 

71. 
7ii. 

72. 



revolutions, 1321 h.p. Slip 24%. Mean draft. 



Jt^ 



130 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

4 ft. 6 in. Area, 68.5. Displacement, 233 
tons. Maximum recorded speed, 2^48" per mile. 
iV.j^.-- Trial before going to America, 
bottom foul.^ 

It is interesting to note that at this period 
each builder had his own type of machinery 
and boiler. Thomson's were the oscillating 
engines and horizontal boilers ; Henderson, 
Colborne & Co.'s the diasfonal engrines and 
haystack boilers, and Tod & McGregor's and 
Barclay, Curie & Co.'s steeple engines and 
haystack boilers. The average boiler pressure 
was forty pounds, and the patent wheel or 
feathering float was in general use. 

Another steamer launched in 1861 was the 
less famous, but longer known, " Sultan." 
She was built by Barclay, Curie & Co., for 
M'Kellar, of the Helensburgh steamers, and he 
fitted her with the machinery of the '' Welling- 
ton." For a single season she sailed as one of 
the " Green boats " in the Kilmun trade. 
In the following spring she was purchased by 
Captain Alexander Williamson, and became the 
first of what was afterwards called the " Turkish 
fleet." She sailed regularly in the Glasgow, 
Rothesay, and Kyles of Bute trade for many 
years, and during most of the sixties did a 
roaring traffic. This steamer was the writer's j 
first command, when he was twenty years of J 

/ ^ The above details are authentic, having been obtained from 

^1*^ the records of Robert Napier. For this and other information 
^ I am indebted to the kindness of Mr. James Napier, Oswald 

Street, Glasgow. 



THE RAILWAY INVASION 



131 



age, and very proud he was of her and of his 
occupation. The old craft has been re-named 
the '' Garelochy," and is still doing duty under 
the MacBrayne flag on the Caledonian Canal. 

Only one steamer was built in 1862. This 
was the '' Kingston," built by Wingate. She 




sultan' 



was a " freak," and did no good, getting 
ultimately into the hands of Sunday steamboat 
owners. 

The traffic seemed at this time to be in a 
state of transition. The experience of ship- 
builders who had been owners and had sold 
their steamers to the Americans, did not tempt 
them to rebuild, while the prospect of competi- 
tion by the Wemyss Bay Railway, then in 



132 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

course of construction, deterred others from 
entering the field. As a consequence the few 
remaining owners on the Clyde had a very 
good time, which was no doubt helped by the 
fact that the Board of Trade did not in those 
days devote their "kind attention " to the com- 
fort of the sailing public. 

In 1863 " lona" No. 2 was built by J. & G. 
Thomson, to replace her predecessor of the 
same name. Her career on the firth was, how- 
ever, very brief After a single summer on 
the Glasgow and Ardrishaig route, she was sold 
for a blockade runner. She was as unfortunate 
as " lona" No i. as she was lost in the Bristol 
Channel. 

In this year also the "Victory" was built 
by Barclay, Curie & Co., for Captain Duncan 
Stewart. She ran in the Rothesay trade under 
her owner's command until he sold her to the 
Wemyss Bay Railway Company. She was 
afterwards acquired by Duncan Dewar, who 
re-christened her " Marquis of Lome," and erii- 
ployed her in the Sunday traffic. Ultimately she 
passed into the hands of the Messrs. Hill. By 
them she was re-named the "Cumbrae," and 
employed on the run between Fairlie and Mill- 
port till she was converted into a coal hulk. 

In 1864 "lona" No. 3 (the "lona," of to- 
day) made her appearance. She was eleven 
feet lonoer and had six inches more beam than 
her predecessor, but in other respects she was 
identical. In fact, she inherited the deck 
saloons and most of the cabin fittings of No. 2, 



THE RAILWAY INVASION 



133 



for as these were useless for the intended 
career of the vessel among the Confederates, 
they had been left behind. As a consequence 
we have, in the ''lona" of to-day, the only 
remaining example of the saloon excursion 
steamer of forty years ago. Nine years after 
she beofan to run there was fitted on board 





lONA NO. Ill 



the first "telegraph" by Chadburn for com- 
municating between the bridge and the engine 
room. This superseded the old " knocker," 
which nevertheless was to be seen in use 
on some of the older steamers until a very few 
years ago. At the same time steam steering 
gear was fitted on board by Bow, M'Lachlan 
& Co., of Paisley, this being its first appear- 
ance on a Clyde passenger steamer. Both of 



134 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

these installations were considered great addi- 
tions to the efficiency of the vessel. 

As might be expected, it was considered in 
those days no ordinary privilege to be on 
terms of intimacy with the officers of " our only 
tourist boat." Captain M'Gowan was well 
known and highly respected as commander of 
the previous " lonas," but he only sailed the 
new vessel during half the season of 1864, and 
was then succeeded by the late Captain John 
M'Gaw. The pursers were John Murray, a 
most popular man, and Alexander Paterson, 
the present energetic purser of the ''Columba." 
The latter was, of course, at that time a 
mere stripling. At the head of the catering- 
department was the late John M'Aulay, who 
proved himself capable of satisfying the most 
fastidious taste, and could have done so 
without the encouragement of the liberal 
supply of appetising ozone obtainable on the 
firth. 

As was to be expected, the success of the 
two previous seasons revived the spirit of 
rivalry among Clyde steamboat owners, with 
the result that in this year, 1864, nine steamers 
were added to the passenger fleet. Not the 
least memorable of these was the ''Vivid." 
She was a smart little flush-decked steamer 
built by Barclay, Curie and Co., for Captain 
Bob Campbell's Kilmun service. She was 
afterwards acquired by Captain Buchanan, and 
employed in the Rothesay trade until committed 
to the scrap heap in December, 1902. 



THE RAILWAY INVASION 135 




ALEX. PATERSON 



JOHN M'AULAY 



136 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

The " Eagle " No. 2 was the only Clyde 
passenger steamer built by Charles Connell 
& Co. She was built for Captain Buchanan, 
and was the first of a new design. With the 
usual flush deck forward, she had a raised 
quarter deck or half saloon, with an extensive 
hurricane deck. She was fitted with two hay- 
stack boilers forward, and a pair of fixed 
diagonal engines by D. & W. Henderson of 
the Anchor Line. Her machinery as a whole, 
however, proved too heavy, and in 1878 a new 
hull was built for it, which was named the 
''Brodick Castle." The "Eagle" was then 
fitted by William King & Co., with one hay- 
stack boiler and a single diagonal engine which 
gave better results in every respect. During 
her entire career on the Clyde she plied be- 
tween Glasgow and Rothesay, being especially 
popular, in her early days, on the four o'clock 
run from the city. Latterly her sailings were 
extended to Arran, and in the end she was sold 
to go to the Manchester Canal. The passenger 
traffic there did not prove a success, and in 
consequence she went into the scrap heap at 
Liverpool. 

The building of the " Kyles " by Caird & 
Co., and the " Largs" by Wingate in this year 
for the Wemyss Bay Railway Company 
heralded a new departure which was viewed 
for a time with much concern by the owners 
of the up-river steamers. The railway was not 
opened until May in the following year, when 
the " Bute" was built, also by Caird & Co., as 



THE RAILWAY INVASION 137 

a consort to the '' Kyles." Both of these were 
well-appointed steamers, with deck saloons fore 
and aft, and were most attractive boats for the 
development of the new route to Rothesay. 
The " Largs " which attended to the Largs and 
Millport traffic, was a much smaller boat, with 




' VIVID ' 



flush deck fore and aft, and a larore brido^e 
between the paddle-boxes. 

Evidently it was the intention of the Wemyss 
Bay Railway directors to ''scoop the pool " with 
their new fleet. And this, it appears from later 
experience they might easily have done. But 
neither the railway nor the boats proved a 
success. In accounting for this it is difficult to 
avoid the conclusion that sufficient care and 
economy were not exercised by the manage- 
ment. The results might have been even 



138 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

worse but for the existence of the obsolete 
M'Kellar fleet on the Millport station. On the 
Rothesay route, the direct boats continued to 
carry the greater part of the traffic. Two 
years later the '' Kyles " and "Bute" were 
sold to London owners, and the " Argyle " and 
*' Victory" substituted, but even with these in- 




' eagle' no. Ill 



expensive steamers the management seemed 
unable to make ends meet, and early in 1869 
the Steam Packet Company collapsed. An 
arrangement was then made between the 
Wemyss Bay Railway Company and the 
private steamboat owners. Messrs. William- 
son, M'Lean, and Buchanan undertook to 
attend to the Rothesay trade, and Messrs. 
Gillies & Campbell and Graham, Brymner 
& Co., arranged that their steamers should 



THE RAILWAY INVASION 139 

call at Wemyss Bay on the route between 
Glasgow, Greenock, and Millport. Instead, 
however, of all these steamboat owners (Gillies 
& Campbell excepted) doing their best to 
develop the traffic as they ought to have 
done, some of them were foolish enough to 
think that they could bring about the col- 
lapse of the Railway Company, and wipe out 




the objectionable Wemyss Bay route alto- 
gether. But they were not allowed to proceed 
very far with this policy. In their determina- 
tion to secure a reliable service the Railway 
Company made a new exclusive arrangement 
with Gillies & Campbell, and placed the 
*' Largs " and " Argyle " under their manage- 
ment, to run along with the old Largs boat, 
the "Venus." At the same time they reduced 
the through return fares between Glasgow and 
Rothesay, and Glasgow, Largs, and Millport to 



140 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

2s. 6d. As a consequence the traffic went up 
at a canter, very much to the advantage of the 
steamboat owners who had made a good 
arrangement with the Railway Company. The 
compact lasted till 1890, with an interval of 
three . months during the winter of 1880/81 
when the steamers were withdrawn on account 
of a dispute between the Railway Company 
and the steamboat owners. 

Before relegating the subject of the Wemyss 
Bay route to the next decade, the ultimate 
history of the *' Kyles " may be referred to. 
This steamer was re-named the " Princess 
Alice," and after running for several years on 
the Thames, had a most tragic end. On the 
evening of 3rd September, 1878, she was re- 
turning up the river with a full complement of 
passengers, when she was run down by the 
screw steamer '' By well Castle," and sank 
immediately. Over six hundred of her pas- 
sengers were drowned. This was the greatest 
calamity that has ever happened in the history 
of river steam navigation. 

Another steamer, the " Arran Castle," built 
in 1864, also had a tragic end. She was a 
smart saloon steamer, constructed by Kirk- 
patrick MTntyre, and engined by Rankin & 
Blackmore. Her owner was Watson of 
Sunday steamer fame, and he sailed her in 
the Glasgow and Arran trade for a single 
season. In the following spring he sold her 
to a London company, and took a special 
party of friends with him to deliver the vessel 



THE RAILWAY INVASION 141 

In the Thames, but she never reached her 
destination, and Is believed to have gone down 
with all hands off the Isle of Man. 

In this year were built the last of the 
Dumbarton steamers, the " Leven " and the 
" Lennox." Both sailed between Glasgow and 
Dumbarton, but the opposition of the railway- 
soon ended their career. They were sold to 
go to the River Plate, but 
both were lost In home 
waters, one off the Isle of 
Man, and the other In the 
English Channel. 

"Chancellor" No. 2, 
built and englned by Black- 
wood & Gordon, was of the 
same design as the Loch 
Lomond steamers, with 
deck saloons fore and aft, 
and sponsons built all 
round from stem to stern. She was employed 
on the Arrochar service till 1880, when she 
was then re-named the '' Shandon," and was 
relieved by another "Chancellor." She formed 
one of the Keith & Campbell fleet of Greenock, 
Helensburgh, and Garelochhead steamers, until 
sold to a Manchester company. They re-named 
her the " Daniel Adamson," and put her on the 
Ship Canal. She returned to the Clyde for a 
short period, and ultimately went into the scrap 
heap. 

The " Undine," the last steamer built and 
owned by Henderson, Colborne & Co., was 




CAPTAIN WATSON 



142 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

not an improvement on her predecessors. She 
was a long, narrow, crank boat, good enough 
when running light, but, when she was 
loaded, many a poor soul had a very 
"bad quarter of an hour on board." Our 
present day Board of Trade, I am satisfied, 
would have questioned her stability. In those 
happy-go-lucky years, however, the captain was 
supreme, except when, in response to an in- 
vitation, which was not infrequent during the 
decade of the sixties, he appeared to answer for 
his deeds before the River Bailie. Captain 
Macaulay of the Helensburgh steamers became 
associated in the ownership of the ''Undine" 
with Captain Duncan Stewart of the "Alma" 
and " Victory," and maintained morning and 
forenoon sailings from Glasgow to Rothesay 
with her until she was sold to Italian owners. 

It is interesting to note that the "Undine" 
was fitted with the first single diagonal engine 
with a Scotch boiler. 

The following year, 1865, was one of caution 
on the part of steamboat owners, the future 
being rendered uncertain by the opening of the 
Wemyss Bay Railway in the month of May. 
Only three steamers were added to the register. 
Of these the " Bute " has been already de- 
scribed. There was also the " Vale of Clwyd," 
built by Seath for the Dunoon and Ayr traffic 
in summer. 

The third steamer was the " Rothesay 
Castle " No. 4. She was built by Henderson 
& Co. of Renfrew, to the order of Mr. Watson 



THE RAILWAY INVASION 143 

of the ''Arran Castle." The death of her 
owner appears to have delayed her completion, 
and she was turned out in an unfinished condi- 
tion during the Fair Holidays. Her machinery 
was made by Barr, and his brother, Captain 
John Barr, now of the Loch Goil Company, 
commanded the vessel. She sailed in the 
Glasgow and Rothesay trade till 1874, when 
she was purchased by Captain William 
Buchanan for the Ardrossan and Arran traffic. 
Ultimately she was sold to French owners, 
and is now, or was lately, sailing at Bordeaux. 

1866 was the last year of extensive steam- 
boat building by private owners. In that year, 
evidently with a view to resist the inroads of 
the Wemyss Bay and North British Railways, 
as well as the prospective competition of a third 
railway, the Glasgow and South-Western, 
which was about to enter the field with its 
extension to Greenock, no 
fewer than twelve steamers ,^gmt^> Ik. 

were added to the fleet. -^^^ ' ' 

The " Chevalier " was 
turned out by J. & G. 
Thomson to the order of 
David Hutchison & Co., 
for their West Highland 
traffic in summer, and for 
the Glasgow and Ardrishaig 
trade in winter. She was 
somewhat similar in design captain duncan campbeli. 
to the 'Tona," but smaller, and was commanded 
by a most popular skipper, Duncan Campbell, 




144 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

who continued In charge till his death at a com- 
paratively early age. She is now in charge of a 
very capable officer, Captain Macmillan, and 
is still doing duty on the station for which she 
was built. 

The " Athole " and " Argyle " No. 3, were 




built by Barclay, Curie & Co., to the order 
of Captain Duncan Stewart for the Glasgow 
and Rothesay trade. The former was of 
the semi-saloon or raised quarter deck type, 
while the latter was of the ordinary flush deck 
design with no particular finish about her. She 
had the engine of the " Alma " fitted on board, 
and was generally constructed on economical 



THE RAILWAY INVASION 145 

principles. These boats were managed by the 
Stewart family, father and three sons — Donald, 
Bob, and Allan — none of whom, except the 
father, had a long career. The "Argyle," as 
already stated, is still doing duty on the Tay, 
but will be long remembered as one of the old 
Wemyss Bay stagers, on which station she did 
good service for about twenty years. The 
" Athole," although a stronger and better boat 
in every way, is now in 
the scrap heap. She was 
the first steamer purchased 
by the Glasgow and South- 
Western Railway Company 
when they opened Princes 
Pier, Greenock, but, like 
the Wemyss Bay steamers, 
appears to have been badly 
managed, and ultimately 
was disposed of to Captain 
Alexander M'Lean, who bob stewart 

ran her as a consort to the '' Marquis of Bute," 
which he built in 1868. 

The "Vesper," built by Barclay, Curie & Co., 
for Captain Bob Campbell's Kilmun trade, was 
of similar design and finish to the "Athole," 
and had the engine of the "Express" fitted 
on board. She only sailed on the Clyde for 
one year, after which she was sold for a block- 
ade runner, but was lost on her passage off 
Lambay Island. 

The next two in the list were rather famous 
in their way. They were the " Meg Merrilies " 




146 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

and the '' Dandie Dinmont," built by A. & 
J. Inglis to the order of the North British 
Railway Company. This company had acquired 
the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway. Its 
chairman was of a fighting disposition, and 
wished to be on a level with his rival on the 
other side of the river. He also made a very 
bold bid for the Ardrishaig trade from Helens- 
burgh, in opposition to the Messrs. Hutchison. 
This contest was short-lived, but very lively 
while it lasted. What with East Coast manage- 
ment, however, and frequent accidents to their 
steamers, besides the general collapse of the 
company itself, the North British Railway 
was forced to withdraw from the contest. 
The private owners, after a stiff fight with the 
N.B. and the Wemyss Bay steamers (who also 
sailed to Ardrishaig for one season), carried the 
day, and, so far as the Ardrishaig and West 
Highland trade is concerned, the owners of 
these boats have since carried on the trade with 
conspicuous efficiency in connection with the 
three railway companies. 

The " Meg Merrilies " was removed to the 
Forth, and the " Dandie " did duty in an inter- 
mittent way between Helensburgh, Dunoon, 
and the Holy Loch until the opening of the 
pier at Craigendoran, when she was sold to go 
to Southampton waters. 

In those days the North British Company 
was at a decided disadvantage, compared with 
its rivals — the Caledonian and Glasgow and 
South- Western Companies — in working the 



THE RAILWAY INVASION 147 

coast traffic. A serious Inconvenience was the 
long distance at Helensburgh between the 
railway station and the steamers, though the 
road to be traversed was certainly pleasanter 
than the East Quay Lane at Greenock, through 
which Caledonian passengers had to make their 
way. They had also to contend with the 
awkward slip or wedge form of the pier at 
Helensburgh, which was not improved upon 
till 1870. 

The next steamer in the list was the "Vale 
of Doon." She was built by Seath for Robert- 
son, Seath & Steel. After sailing in the Ayr 
trade for a few summers, she was sold, and 
went to the River Plate. 

Another important development in this year 
was the formation of a company of Greenock 
and Helensburgh gentlemen, under the manage- 
ment of Graham, Brymner & Co., to re-establish 
a reliable steamboat service to Helensburgh and 
the Gareloch. The Company put four smart 
little steamers on the route — the " Ardencaple " 
and " Roseneath," built by Robert Duncan & 
Co. ; the " Levjin," by Blackwood & Gordon ; 
and the " Ardgowan," by Lawrence, Hill & 
Co. All were of the quarter deck type, and all 
were engined by Rankin & Blackmore. The 
"New Green boats," as they were popularly 
called, promised at first to be highly successful, 
and were well suited for the traffic, but the 
company did not exist long. The crews of the 
steamers were, without exception, the most un- 
disciplined in the experience of the Clyde 



148 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

passenger boats, and the owners found no other 
course open than to sell the property. 

The " Roseneath " went to Waterford, and 
the other three steamers were disposed of to 
London owners. The winding up of this com- 
pany was undoubtedly a misfortune to the dis- 
trict they served, and retarded its development 
as a summer resort. 

1867 was a very lean year so far as the build- 
ing of Clyde passenger steamers was concerned, 
only two new craft being put 
upon the water. Of these 
the " Elaine " was built by 
Robert Duncan & Co., for 
Graham, Brymner & Co., 
for the Millport trade. She 
was a smart little poop deck 
steamer, and was com- 
manded by Captain Robert 
Young, perhaps better 
known as ''Captain Kid,"^ 
a soubriquet earned by the 
fact that he was a trifle more particular about 
his personal appearance than was com.mon to 
his class. He usually appeared on the bridge 
wearing the finest of kid gloves, and there is a 
tradition that on the passage from Glasgow to 
Millport he has been known to ascend to his 

^The original Captain Kid was a very different personage 
from the kindly, if somewhat over-refined, bearer of the soubri- 
quet on the Clyde. He was one of the terrible pirates who 
followed in the wake of the famous Buccaneers of the Spanish 
Main, and he was ultimately hanged at New York for his mis- 
deeds in the year 1701. 




CAPTAIN ROBERT YOUNG 



THE RAILWAY INVASION 149 

post in three successive suits of clothes. 
The " Elaine " was ultimately acquired by 
Captain Buchanan, and remained in his posses- 
sion until broken up a few years ago. 

The other steamer of the year was the 
'' Dunoon Castle," built by Wingate for the 
Dunoon and Rothesay Carriers. The carriers, 
four in number, were very much dissatisfied 
with what they considered the exorbitant 
charges made by the steamboat owners for 
the carriage of their goods. Consequently, 
like the Mac Leans at the Flood, they decided 
to have a boat of their own. The enterprise, 
however, turned out disastrous in every way. 
At first the running of the boat created a 
stronof feelingr between the owners of other 
steamers and their public supporters, which 
had the effect of infusingr a little life into the 
competition. But the inexperience of the 
carrier company in running a steamer made 
them an easy conquest for their more experi- 
enced rivals. The boat passed into the hands 
of Messrs. Hill & Co., who re-christened her 
the '' Arran," and afterwards sold her to Gillies 
& Campbell who ran steamers in connection 
with the Wemyss Bay Company. After the 
stoppage of this company's steamers she passed 
first to Liverpool, then to London, and is now, 
I am informed, doing duty as a tug on the 
River Shannon. 

Up to this period the Wemyss Bay Railway 
enterprise proved no more than a doubtful 
success. The owners of the up-river boats 



ISO THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

were encouraged accordingly to increase their 
efforts to retain the rapidly developing traffic 
to the coast With this object in view several 
steamers were added to the up-river fleet. 

In 1868 Graham, Brymner & Co. were en- 
couraged to build the '' Lancelot," to compete 
with the railway on the Largs and Millport 




LANCELOT 



route. In the summer of the following year 
an arrangement was made with the railway 
company for her to call at Wemyss Bay 
on the way up and down. Her service, how- 
ever, proved so unreliable and unsatisfactory 
to the railway company that the arrange- 
ment was broken off The '' Lancelot " was 
of the poop deck type, and was altogether a 
very smart little boat. She was well managed, 



THE RAILWAY INVASION 151 

too, by Captain Bob Young. But after a few- 
years she passed into the hands of Gillies & 
Campbell for the Wemyss Bay service. She is 
now running at Constantinople. 

Another steamer added to the list was the 
'' Marquis of Bute." She was built and en- 
gined by Barclay, Curie & Co. for the brothers 




' MARQUIS OF BUTE ' 

M'Lean, and rapidly made a good reputation 
on the Glasgow and Rothesay route. For 
many years she was a most successful boat, 
and was managed with economy and care ; 
but latterly the alertness of the management 
relaxed, too great confidence was reposed in 
subordinates, and slowly but surely the pros- 
perity of the steamer declined. This result 
was the more to be regretted, as it deprived 



152 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

a very worthy old man of the comfort and 
leisure earned by half a century of constant 
toil. Homish M'Lean had contributed his 
own share not only to the success but to the 
genial traditions of the passenger steamer en- 
terprise on the Clyde. 

Of the same date, and of much the same 




'sultana' 

size and design of hull and machinery, was 
the "Sultana." She was built by Robertson 
& Co.. Greenock, and engined by King & Co., 
Glasgow, to the order of Captain Alexander 
Williamson, for his Rothesay and Kyles of 
Bute trade. During the first ten years of her 
career the writer had a very close and intimate 
association with this boat, having wrought as 
an apprentice engineer in her construction, and 



THE RAILWAY INVASION 153 

having subsequently occupied the posts of 
emergency engineer and skipper on board. 
Somehow, during most of the period of his 
skippership there seemed to be great neces- 
sity — or it may have been great temptation — 
to reHeve the monotony of ordinary plain sail- 
ing, the consequence being a weekly or bi- 
weekly invitation to make explanations to the 
River Bailie, to the tune of ^5 per visit. 
Upon one occasion his wor- 
ship's invitation arrivedmost 
inopportunely. The day and 
hour appointed for the inter- 
view had already been set 
apart by the young steam- 
boat captain for an appoint- 
ment of a very different 
sort — no less than his ap- 
pearance, in company with 
a certain young lady, for the 

performance of a solemn ^^^'^^^^ J^^- Williamson 

and important ceremony, before the Rev. Dr. 
Knox, of Pollok Street U.P. Church, Glasgow. 
It was a very awkward contretemps, but the 
good old Bailie proved himself to be by no 
means lacking in good humour. On being 
informed of the difficulty he kindly cancelled 
the appointment with himself, and on this 
occasion the "fiver" was expended on the 
youthful skipper's honeymoon. 

One of the achievements of this handy little 
boat was to make the Wemyss Bay Railway 
and Steamboat Company ''sit up," and effect 




) 



154 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

a reduction of forty minutes in the run be- 
tween Glasgow and Rothesay. This brought 
the journey by Wemyss Bay down to eighty 
minutes, a performance which has been main- 
tained to the present time. The acceleration 
also benefited the Largs and Millport traffic, 
completely eclipsing the up-river steamers, and 
putting them out of the running in that 
direction. 

The '' Sultana" for several years ran in con- 
nection with the Glasgow and South-Western 
Railway from Princes Pier, Greenock, direct to 
Innellan and Rothesay. But after the Wemyss 
Bay acceleration this had to be abandoned, 
and the course taken was to Kirn, Dunoon, 
Innellan, and Rothesay. This route was 
covered, including stops, in fifty-seven minutes 
— a performance which still remains the " re- 
cord." On one occasion the little steamer 
made the run from Princes Pier to Rothesay 
and back in the time it took one of the Dublin 
skippers to get alongside the pier. 

These results were not achieved without 
some exciting incidents. It can be under- 
stood that on a Monday morning, when the 
traffic from the coast is heaviest, it was the 
object of each captain to get his passengers 
first to the train, and so of course first to 
Glasgow. As the trains were sent off in sue- 
cession as soon as they were filled, a skipper s 
promptitude might enable his passengers to reach 
Glasgow a full half hour before their fellows, 
an advantage which naturally added greatly 



THE RAILWAY INVASION 155 

to the popularity of the successful boat One 
Monday morning three rival steamers were 
manoeuvring against each other for the fore- 
most place at Princes Pier. They were still 
skirmishing when the nimble "Sultana" coming 
up seized her opportunity and slipped in to the 
pier. The triumph cost another " fiver," but 
the passengers were in Glasgow long before 
those on board the rival boats, and this was 
well worth the money. On another occasion 
the handy litde craft furnished a treat even 
more exciting to devotees of steamboat prowess 
on the Firth. It was on a Saturday afternoon, 
when, of course, all the steamers are crowded, 
and every one of the hundreds of passengers 
was in haste to reach his destination and join 
his friends for the week-end holiday. One 
steamer was discharging at Dunoon Pier, and 
four others were waiting their turn. At that 
moment the ''Sultana" was three miles off 
Nevertheless she took Dunoon Pier first. The 
scene on the pier w^as "animated," the lan- 
guage of the rival skippers was anything but 
parliamentary, but the fun was excellent. 
Needless to say, there were no pier signals 
in those days ; the rule was simply " first 
there." These are only a few of the incidents 
which helped to impart variety to the day's 
work, and to relieve the monotony of plain 
sailing. 

The " Sultana " was sold at last to French 
owners, and was recently sailing on the Seine. 

Last of the steamers built in 1868 was the 



156 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

*' Lady Mary." Her owner was the late Duke 
of Hamilton, and she was built by Blackwood 
& Gordon, for the Ardrossan and Arran traffic. 
She developed the trade on the route to such 
an extent that in 1870 the Duke's com- 
missioners were induced to order a larger and 
faster boat. The builders of the new steamer 




' GUINEVERE' 



took the " Lady Mary " in part payment, and 
early in 1871 sold her to Mr. Watson, of Skel- 
morlie. The new boat, the " Heather Bell," 
however, proved a failure, and Mr. Watson 
was fortunate enough to get the " Lady Mary" 
chartered for her old station for the better part 
of two years. In 1873 the " Lady Mary " was 
employed in odd trips, and in December of 
that year was sold to the commissioners of the 



THE RAILWAY INVASION 157 

Marquess of Bute for service in the Bristol 
Channel, where, I understand, she still remains. 
Only one steamer was launched in the last 
year of the sixties. This was the " Guinevere." 
She was built by Robert Duncan & Co., and en- 
gined by Rankin & Black- 
more to theorder of Graham, 
Brymner & Co. In charge 
of Captain Bob Young she 
ran in the Glasgow and 
Arran service in opposition 
to the ''Hero." The 
"Guinevere" proved very 
popular, and had a success- 
ful career for about ten 
years. Towards the latter 
part of that period she was Jo^^ ^^^^' ^^^ 

owned by Keith & Campbell, and skippered by 
John Reid, Jr., who was a general favourite. 
Under the care of these owners she was not 
so well maintained as previously, and she 
gradually drifted into evil days. Ultimately 
she was sold to the Turks, but on the voyage 
to Constantinople was seen by the crew of a 
Clan Liner to go down with all hands in the 
Bay of Biscay. 




CHAPTER VIII 

RAILWAY RIVALRIES 

The close of the sixties saw the real beginning 
of the diversion of the passenger traffic from 
Glasgow to the coast from the direct river 
steamers to the railways. " All the way 
by boat " had lost its charm for the multitude. 
Part of the reason for this is perhaps to be 
found in the easy-going methods of the up- 
river steamers, which began to be out of date, 
but the change was no doubt also due to the 
malodorous state of the upper reaches of the 
river in the hot weather of the summer months. 
The most effective cause was the greater 
expedition and more business-like methods of 
the railways. The first inroad, as has been 
already mentioned, was made by the Glasgow 
and Greenock Railway in 1841, when it put the 
'' Isle of Bute " and " Maid of Bute," and after- 
wards the " Pioneer" and the " Petrel," on the 
Dunoon, Rothesay, Largs, and Millport routes. 
Then in 1852 the Caledonian Railway, dis- 
satisfied with the independent steamer service, 
built for their own use the '' Greenock," the 



RAILWAY RIVALRIES 159 

'' Glasgow Citizen," the '' Eva," and the " Fla- 
mingo," to attend to the Gareloch, Holy Loch, 
Dunoon, and Rothesay traffic. The company, 
however, tired for the second time of steamboat 
owning, and after two years' service sold its fleet. 
As a result, the railway companies and the 
independent steamboat owners were once more 
brought into friendly association, and from the 
competition among the latter the railway com- 
panies obtained a controlling power over the 
traffic for the landward part of the journey. 
Previous to the opening of the Glasgow, Dum- 
barton, and Helensburgh Railway in 1858, an 
agreement was made between that Company 
and the Caledonian Railway Company that 
certain steamboat routes should be allocated to 
the two companies, that beyond Greenock to the 
Caledonian, and that beyond Helensburgh to 
the North British. In furtherance of this 
agreement the two companies agreed to adopt 
the same policy in arranging terms with the 
steamboat owners. In this agfreement the 
steamboat owners were not consulted. Nor 
was it necessary that they should be. In their 
disunited and disorganised state, the boat pro- 
prietors were not in a position to resist, and 
could be relied on to submit to, any terms. 

Two years later, in i860, an effort was made 
by a steamboat owner to checkmate the rail- 
way companies by forming a " combine " of 
the owners of the Clyde passenger steamers. 
The suggestion was not adopted by the private 
owners, and the result was that the control of 



i6o THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

the traffic was finally and irretrievably lost 
by them. The proposal was put forward in a 
pamphlet entitled " A suggestion to the Pro- 
prietors of the Clyde Passenger Steamers, by 
one of themselves." This was privately printed 
and issued with the note — "As the only copies 
of this paper that have been thrown off have 
been exclusively sent to the Proprietors of 
Clyde Passenger Steamers, it is hoped that 
they will not be given away, but treated as 
being confidential." 

The writer of the pamphlet began by pointing- 
out the disadvantages under which the owners 
of Clyde passenger steamers then ran their 
vessels. " For the past two or three seasons," 
he said, " these vessels have in some instances 
been carrying passengers distances of forty 
miles for sixpence in the cabin ; and in no case 
can it be shown that the charge of a halfpenny 
per mile per cabin passenger has been obtained 
for anv distance betwixt Glasoowand the limits 
of Rothesay, Largs, Millport, &c., as a regular 
fare, excepting, it may be, for short inter- 
mediate distances, while of course the charges 
for steerage passengers have been proportion- 
ately low." In consequence, he averred, the 
Clyde steamers rarely paid more than their 
working expenses. At the same time, he 
pointed out, the vessels were not marketable 
commodities. Though a large number of 
steamers were in the market there were no 
buyers, except at ruinous prices. This state 
of affairs he attributed partly to the com- 



RAILWAY RIVALRIES i6i 

petition of the railways recently opened on both 
sides of the river, and partly to the fact that too 
many vessels had been built, but principally to 
the keen and ruinous competition among the 
steamboat owners themselves. 

As a remedy, he urged the adoption of the 
Joint Stock Companies Acts of 1857 and 1859, 
and the formation by the steamboat owners 
of a strong limited liability company, which 
should take over all the vessels at a fair 
valuation, and run them in an economical and 
businesslike way. If this were done owners 
who, in consequence of the existing competi- 
tion, could not get ;^3,ooo for a steamer, 
might expect to receive for her ;^4,500 in the 
stock of the company. That the company 
would prove successful and pay good dividends 
to its proprietors, he held, might be considered 
certain from the advantages it would possess. 
It would sail the vessels of its fleet upon proper 
principles. There would be no scrambling for 
favourite hours and trades, no such absurdity 
as three, or even four, vessels starting from, or 
arriving at, a port at the same hour, and so 
playing the ruinous game of " beggar my 
neighbour." If outside competition should 
arise, the company, he pointed out, would be able 
to beat it down. '' Having a sufficiently large 
fleet, it would sail its vessels at regular hours 
throughout the day, while the individual com- 
petitors, having a limited number of vessels, 
would sail theirs at isolated hours. It would 
be competent for the strong company to reduce 



1 62 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

its fares at the opposed hours, and keep them 
up at the unopposed hours," and so drive its 
competitors from the field. 

The chief advantage, however, which the 
combination would have over a number of 
individual owners lay in the fact, pointed out 
by the writer of the pamphlet, that it would be 
able to make better terms with the railway 
companies. Here, evidently, lay the gist of 
the whole matter : '* In consequence of the 
disorganised procedure of the passenger 
steamers," he declared, ''the Greenock Rail- 
way has them, to a certain extent, at its mercy, 
and, therefore, the humiliating sight is seen 
every season of the steamboat owners sub- 
mitting to the dictation of the railw^ay, in 
consequence of the little patronage the latter 
has in its power to confer, in the shape of 
conjoint fares and continuous hours from 
Greenock to the several watering-places. The 
steamers actually contend for this questionable 
privilege, set their hours to and from Glasgow 
to accommodate the railway, and reduce their 
share of the fares even below the miserable 
ordinary rates that their own intestine com- 
petition has brought about, and all this to 
propitiate the railway magnates who get the 
lion's share of the conjoint charges, and reap all 
the benefits going. If a strong, combined 
company, however, were formed, the case 
would be completely altered ; for then, if fotmd 
necessary, the steamboat company could dictate, 
instead of being dictated to." 



RAILWAY RIVALRIES 163 

The argument of the pamphlet, it must be 
allowed, was reasonable and businesslike. The 
policy advocated was, in fact, exactly that 
which has been carried out with conspicuous 
success in numerous industrial enterprises since 
that time. On looking back, in the light of 
later experience, there appears little doubt that 
the proposal embodied the last and only hope 
for the continuance of a prosperous steamboat 
ownership on the Clyde, independent of the 
railway companies. For various reasons, the 
most prevalent being mutual jealousy, it was 
not adopted, and the ruinous rivalries and 
consequent decadence of private ownership 
went on. 

The Wemyss Bay Railway and Steamboat 
Company was now permanently established, 
and controlled the bulk of the important traffic 
to Rothesay, and all the traffic to Largs and 
Millport. As a consequence, the up-river boats 
were left to survive or to starve on the traffic 
to Dunoon and the smaller watering-places on 
the Argyle shores, and beyond Rothesay the 
traffic between the intermediate piers and the 
enthusiasts who preferred the long sail from 
the Broomielaw. 

At this period the coast towns may be said 
to have been at the zenith of their popularity 
as " family summer resorts." Great was the 
demand for house accommodation, and for 
ground to build more. In the Kyles of Bute, 
especially, the demand was greater than the 
supply. The proprietors, there, however, 



i64 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

though poor, were proud, and would suffer no 
part of their territory to be invaded by city 
folk, and accordingly they lost a golden oppor- 
tunity. 

Towards the end of the sixties the Glasgow 
& South-Western Railway Company, or, as it 
was then called, the Greenock & Ayrshire 
Railway Company, sought powers to connect 
Greenock with Ayrshire. These were obtained 
without difficulty, as, from a superficial point of 
view, the extension did not involve interference 
with the territory served by the other com- 
panies. But no sooner was the bill passed 
than the Caledonian Railway Company became 
aware that it had been caught napping. The 
real object of the enterprise was seen to be the 
creation of a Glasgow and Greenock line for 
local and coast traffic, in direct competition 
with the existinof lines of the Caledonian and 
North British Companies. The enterprise, of 
course, was perfectly legitimate, but its real 
object had been concealed for diplomatic 
reasons. 

The new railway to Princes Pier was opened 
in December, 1869. For a time the private 
steamboat owners hesitated to connect with the 
new terminus. The reason for this was, no 
doubt, partly their experience of the action 
of the other two railway companies, but 
there is reason to believe that a still stronger 
cause was the personal influence of Mr. Gilchrist, 
the Greenock representative of the Caledonian 
Company. He was on intimate terms with 



RAILWAY RIVALRIES 165 

all the steamboat men of these days, and his 
power over them was astonishing. This was 
the position of affairs when, by way of experi- 
ment, the writer, who was master of the 
*' Sultana" at the time, made the first call at 
the new terminus. It was a Monday morning, 
and there was a crowd of passengers on board 
on their return from the coast. They nearly 
all made a rush for the South-Western train. 
The fat was now fairly in 
the fire. Not even Mr. Gil- 
christ could stand in the 
way of improved facilities. 
The travelling public were 
plad to be rid of the malo- 
dorous atmosphere of the 
passage from the Cale- 
donian station by East 
Quay Lane, no less than 
of the inconveniences to 
which they had been sub- james gilchrist 
jected at the old Custom House Quay. The 
traffic there had for a long period been seriously 
congested, and on all occasions the passenger 
steamers were treated with scant courtesy. 
They were frequently forced to lie two tiers 
deep outside the cross channel steamers, over 
whose much-cumbered decks the passengers 
from the Caledonian trains had to find a way 
as best they could. It was little marvel that 
the public showed an immediate preference for 
the convenient access by Princes Pier. 

It must be allowed that in this crisis the 




1 66 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

energetic and loyal official of the Caledonian 
Railway Company acted undiplomatically. In- 
stead of setting to work to improve the facilities 
at the Custom House Quay, he tried a hostile 
policy. He deliberately delayed the down 
traffic from Glasgow. The steamers were by 
this means forced to wait for the Caledonian 
passengers at Custom House Quay, and as a 
consequence were late in reaching Princes Pier, 
where the South- Western passengers were of 
course kept waiting. By throwing this obstacle 
in the way of the South-Western traffic he 
expected to induce passengers to continue 
travelling by the Caledonian. But the actual 
result was that some of the steamboat owners 
broke away from his influence. The climax 
arrived when an attempt was made to delay 
the mail steamer, of which the writer was in 
command. The steamer had a connection to 
make at Princes Pier, and due warning was 
given to the Caledonian Company that if the 
mails were late they would be left behind. 
They were late, and they were left. The 
result was that the Post Office forthwith 
severed the Caledonian connection and sent 
the mails by Princes Pier. 

To defeat its opponent's tactics the South- 
Western Company purchased the "Athole" 
and the " Craigrownie " to run in connection 
with its own trains. The Caledonian Company 
replied by subsidising the "Dunoon Castle" 
and Bob Campbell's boats, the ''Vivid" and 
the "Vesta," and for a time the competition 



RAILWAY RIVALRIES 167 

was lively enough. But gradually the superior 
facilities at Princes Pier prevailed, and its older 
rival carried fewer and fewer passengers, till 
scarcely any traffic went through East Quay 
Lane. The railway companies then for the 
third time ceased to own and subsidise steamers, 
and the traffic settled into new channels. The 
Glasgow and South -Western was supreme 
on the upper reaches of the Firth, and the 
Caledonian, via Wemyss Bay, on the lower. 

So firmly indeed had the Wemyss Bay route 
established itself in the popular esteem that 
when the tunnel between Port-Glasgow and 
Upper Greenock, on the Wemyss Bay line, 
collapsed, passengers for Innellan and Rothesay 
actually took train to Greenock, walked or 
drove to Upper Greenock station, and re- 
trained there for Wemyss Bay. All this not- 
withstanding the fact that a direct connection 
to Innellan and Rothesay existed via Princes 
Pier. Such conspicuous loyalty to the Wemyss 
Bay route, in the face of great inconvenience, 
convinced the writer that it was hopeless to 
continue the up-river passenger traffic, and he 
determined to retire from the contest ; and as a 
matter of fact ''all the way traffic" by steamer 
from Glasgow rapidly declined, and the system 
of "rail and steamer" to and from the coast 
became universal, except on Saturday after- 
noons and public holidays. 

1870 saw the building of the "Bonnie 
Doon," the " Carrick Castle," and the " Craig- 
rownie." Of these, the "Bonnie Doon" ran 



1 68 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

on the Glasgow and Ayr route during summer, 
and the '' Carrick Castle " sailed successfully in 
the Loch Goil trade for many years, till she 
went to Leith. Ultimately she was transferred 
to Cardiff, and re-named the '' Lady Margaret." 
The " Craigrownie " was intended to oppose 
Bob Campbell on the Kilmun station, but 
during the first year of the opposition the 
public showed so decided a preference for 
Captain Bob's established steamers that the 
new steamer was sold to London owners. 

In the following year two vessels were put 
upon the water. The "Lome," built for 
Captain Duncan Stewart by Macmillan of 
Dumbarton, and furnished with engines by 
J. & J. Thomson, plied on the morning run 
from Glasgow to Rothesay. Although small 
compared with the present-day craft, she was 
considered too costly for the trade, and her 
owner is reported to have danced a hornpipe 
when he sold her at the end of her first season 
to go to Copenhagen. She was a very smart, 
able little boat, somewhat after the design of 
" Ruby " No. 3, and was a distinct feature on 
the river, but her coal and wages bills, as 
compared with those of the ''Victory" and 
" Argyle," were more than her owner was 
prepared to tolerate. 

The other steamer of the year, the '* Heather 
Bell," was built by Blackwood & Gordon, Port- 
Glasgow, to the order of the Duke of Hamilton, 
to replace the " Lady Mary " on the Ardrossan 
and Arran service. As has been already 



RAILWAY RIVALRIES 169 

mentioned, the new boat was not considered a 
success, and after occupying the station for 
only two years, she was sold for Southampton. 
This brought His Grace's ownership of steam- 
boats to a close. The fact that his enterprise 
had not been in the most experienced hands 
no doubt assisted him in his decision. The 
Ardrossan and Arran service then passed into 
the hands of Captain William Buchanan, who 
placed the "Rothesay Castle " on the station, 
in charge of Ronald M'Taggart. 

Only two steamers were built in 1872. One 
of these, the " Gareloch," was built by Henry 
Murray & Co., for the Helensburgh and Gare- 
loch service of the North British Railway Com- 
pany. The other, the '' Lady Gertrude," was 
built by Blackwood & Gordon, for Gillies and 
Campbell's Wemyss Bay service to Rothesay. 
She was of the ordinary flush deck type, but 
did not prove a striking success, and had a com- 
paratively short career. As she was going 
alongside Toward Pier in 1876, the engineer 
was unable to reverse the engine, and the 
steamer slipping on the, rocks to the south of 
the pier, became a wreck. It was an unfortu- 
nate accident for the owners, as she was un- 
insured. Her machinery, however, was salved 
and fitted into a new hull built by Caird & Co., 
which was named the " Adela." 

The dearth of building in the two following 
years was the first long break in the continuity 
of river boat production since the first " Comet " 
was put upon the Clyde. Previously there had 



I/O THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

only been three single years in which no steam- 
ers were constructed — 1824, 1830, and 1833. 

In 1875 the "Windsor Castle" was built by 
Seath of Rutherglen, and engined by William 
King & Co., for the Loch Goil Company. 
She was of the ordinary flush deck type, and 




had the popular machinery of the day- 
diagonal engine and haystack boiler. 



-a single 
After a 
successful career on the Glasgow and Loch 
Goil station, she was sold to the Turks in 1 900, 
and is now at Constantinople. 

The only other production of the year was 
the ''Viceroy," built by D. & W. Henderson & 
Co., for Captain Alexander Williamson, for the 
Glasgow, Rothesay, and Kyles of Bute trade. 
She was of the poop deck aft and flush fore 



RAILWAY RIVALRIES 171 

deck type, with single diagonal engine and 
haystack boiler, but she could not be considered 
a greyhound. In other respects, nevertheless, 
she proved suitable for the traffic, and ran suc- 
cessfully until sold with the remainder of the 
" Turkish fleet " to the Glasgow and South- 




' ADELA 



Western Railway Company in 1891, and she is 
still in the service of that company. 

Rutherglen produced the only two steamers 
of the following year, 1876. They were the 
" Benmore " and the ''Bonnie Doon " No. 2, 
both built by Seath. The former was to the 
order of Captain Bob Campbell, and ran suc- 
cessfully on his Glasgow and Kilmun route for 
about ten years. She was then sold to Captain 
Buchanan, and at the present day she forms 
one of Captain John Williamson's fleet, doing 



1/2 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

duty on the service between Glasgow and the 
Kyles of Bute. The '' Bonnie Doon " sailed 
for several summers in the Glasgow and Ayr 
excursion traffic. She afterwards became the 
property of Gillies and Campbell, and did a 
little service in connection with the railway, but 
was principally employed in creneral excursion 




'sheila' 



work. She was not considered in any way a 
successful boat, and was known sententiously 
as the "Bonnie Breakdoun " till she left the 
Clyde for Bristol. 

A flutter was produced on the river in 1877. 
Three of the four steamers then built were 
notable boats. 

The least remarkable of the four was the 
'' Adela," built by Caird & Co. The machinery 



RAILWAY RIVALRIES 173 

of the ill-fated "Lady Gertrude" was fitted 
into her, and she did useful all-year-round 
work on the Wemyss Bay station for many 
years, being finally sold to London owners. 

The "Sheila" and the "Glen Rosa," also 
built by Caird & Co., were poop deck boats, 
identical in every respect. The former was 
owned by Captain Campbell, and employed by 
him in the ever-increasing trade via Wemyss 
Bay. She proved a decided 
acquisition to that station, 
and did splendid service, 
till she was purchased by 
the North British Railway 
Company. Her new owners 
re-christened her the " Guy 
Mannerino," and she main- 
tained her reputation in 
their service. Finally she 
was acquired by the Messrs. 
Buchanan. She was again 
re-christened by them the " Isle of Bute," and 
is still running in their Glasgow and Rothesay 
trade on the river. 

Messrs. Shearer & Ritchie, for whom the 
" Glen Rosa" was built, evidently thought there 
was room for opposition to the " Guinevere" on 
the Arran route via Rothesay and Kilchattan 
Bay. The new steamer commanded by Peter 
M'Dermid, as was to be expected, took the 
lead, and a large share of the traffic. But the 
popularity of Captain John Reid of the older 
boat proved a very hard nut for his rival to 




CAPTAIN PETER M'DERMID 



174 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

crack, and the upshot so familiar on the Clyde 
soon followed — the '' Glen Rosa " was disposed 
of, and went to London in 1881. She is now 
sailing in the Bristol Channel. 

But the chief sensation of the year was the 
appearance of the " Lord of the Isles." This 
vessel was built for a new firm of owners, the 




'LORD OF THE ISLES ' 



Glasgow and Inveraray Steamboat Company, 
by D. & W. Henderson at Partick. She was 
the first formidable rival to the "lona," and 
broke up the monopoly of tourist and excursion 
traffic so long held by David Hutchison & Co. 
In every respect the " Lord of the Isles" was 
an ideal saloon excursion steamer. Many im- 
provements and innovations were introduced in 
her equipment to add to the comfort of the 
passengers. The venture was from the first 



RAILWAY RIVALRIES 



175 



an undoubted success, and in its efforts the 
company, under the management of M. T. 
Clark, was loyally supported by Captain Robert 
Young, already so favourably known on the 
Largs, Millport, and Arran route. Much of its 
success was also due to the exertions of the late 
Mr. David Sutherland, who had charge of the 
cuisine. 

For the first few years the daily start was 
made from Greenock, and 
the course lay by Dunoon, 
Wemyss Bay, Rothesay, 
and Kyles of Bute, to In- 
veraray and back. In con- 
nection also with the 
steamer's run the company 
re-established the tour via 
Loch Eck and Strachur, 
which, as already stated, 
had been originated by 
David Napier in 1828. At 
a later day the steamer commenced her run 
at the Broomielaw, thus adding forty-five miles 
to the day's sail. The original vessel was sold 
to London owners in 1890, but "Lord of the 
Isles " No. 2 took up the running in the follow- 
ing year, and has continued it to the present 
day, under the command of Donald Downie. 

In order to meet the formidable opposition 
of the ''Lord of the Isles," the ''Columba" 
was produced in 1878. At this time the busi- 
ness of David Hutchison & Co. was acquired 
by Mr. David Mac Bray ne, and by the intro- 




M. T. CLARK 



1/6 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

duction of this largest and finest of the river 
fleet he regained for his firm that premier 
position on the Clyde which had been lost 
for one year. The " Columba " was built by 
Messrs. J. & G. Thomson, and embodied 
improvements in design and accommodation 




calculated to satisfy the most fastidious taste. 
Most notable of the improvements were the 
deck saloons, which were built the full width 
of the vessel and throughout two-thirds of her 
entire length. Internally she was well fitted 
up. Her upper saloon had double settees 
placed thwartwise on each side, with a passage 
along the centre, while her lower, or dining 



RAILWAY RIVALRIES 177 

saloon, was handsomely decorated and panelled, 
and had accommodation for the dining of 130 
passengers. Provision was made for the ex- 
peditious working of the vessel at wharves and 
piers by the installation of warping sheaves 
fore and aft by Muir & Caldwell, an entirely 
new feature on board a Clyde passenger 
steamer. She was fitted with steam steering 
gear, also by Muir & Caldwell, and with 
Chadburn's telegraphs between bridge and 
engine room, which had 
now become recognised as 
an essential part of the 
regular outfit of steamers. 

The new vessel replaced 
the "lona" on the Glas- 
gow and Ardrishaig route, 
and for eight years was com- 
manded by John M'Gaw. 
His successor, Angus 
Campbell, kept control of 
the telegraph until his death captain angus campbell 
in December, 1903, while Alexander Paterson 
still has charge of the ticket office. 

The only other production of 1878 was 
the " Brodick Casde." Her owner, Captain 
William Buchanan, had the machinery of the 
'' Eagle " fitted into her. The hull was of an 
original design — forecasde head, flush deck, 
long bridge, deck saloon extending half way 
aft with passage alongside, then the poop 
deck. She was evidendy designed for all 
seasons and all weathers, but was no beauty. 

M 




178 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

She maintained the service between Ardrossan 
and Arran until sold to go to Bournemouth, 
where she now is. 

Last to be launched in the seventies was 
the " Edinburgh Castle." She was built by 
R. Duncan & Co., for the Glasgow and 
Loch Coil traffic of the Loch Goil Com- 
pany. She still plies on 
her original route in charge 
of her original commander, 
Captain John Barr, who is 
now the senior skipper 
in harness on the Clyde 
passenger steamers. Cap- 
tain Barr, I am informed, 
suggested the twenty-two 
feet paddle wheel with 
which this steamer is fitted 
CAPTAIN JOHN BARR __^ stHking contrast to the 
wheel of to-day, which is very little more than 
half of this diameter. 

Altogether, during the seventies, only 
eighteen steamers were put upon the water — 
twenty-five fewer than had been produced in 
the previous decade, and half the number 
built during the fifties. Thirteen of the 
vessels were fitted with the single diagonal 
engine and the haystack boiler working at 
fifty pounds pressure. The probable reason 
for the popularity of this arrangement at this 
period was the increasing competition of the 
railways. The private owner felt himself be- 
coming rapidly a factor of the past, in respect 




RAILWAY RIVALRIES 179 

of the conveyance of passengers, and in con- 
sequence desired to invest a minimum of 
capital in each venture. He was disincHned 
accordingly to spend money on higher pres- 
sures, and compound engines. There also 
existed a prejudice against the surface con- 
denser, as it was strongly averred that the 
system set up pitting in the boilers. It will 
doubtless seem incredible that in 1879, when 
the writer was negotiating for the building of 
the " Ivanhoe," the compound engine was con- 
demned for river traffic by all the Clyde 
engineers with one exception. The exception 
was the firm of Rankin & Blackmore of 
Greenock, and often afterwards I rep'retted 
that I did not accept their recommendation. 
The surface condenser, however, was intro- 
duced on the vessel, and was one of the few 
on the Clyde at that period. Such delay in 
adopting innovations shows how cautious and 
conservative we are. Even the Swiss had 
compound paddle steamers on their lakes 
twenty years before us. It is remarkable how, 
even at the present day, we hesitate to " scrap " 
for the purpose of introducing new methods, 
although we may be convinced of the advantage 
of the course, but such hesitancy is not confined 
to the steamboat business by any means. 

During those ten years the design of the 
hulls seems to have been in a state of transition. 
Three different types were built — flush deck, 
poop deck, and deck saloon. 



CHAPTER IX 

DECLINE OF PRIVATE OWNERSHIP 

During the eighties there was a still further 
decrease in the number of steamers built. 
Only fourteen were put upon the water. Seven 
of these were for private owners, to be em- 
ployed in tourist excursion traffic, and seven 
were in direct connection with the railway 
service. Twelve were fitted with deck saloons, 
and the two which resembled the vessels built 
during the seventies showed a distinctly im- 
proved type of hull. With three exceptions, 
however, the machinery remained of similar 
type to that in vogue in the previous decade. 
The exceptions were the "Grenadier," built in 
1885, and the "Caledonia" and " Galatea " in 
1889. 

First of the steamers launched in 1880 was 
the " Ivanhoe," commonly known as "the tee- 
otal boat." The vessel was built for the 
purpose of testing the practicability of running 
an excursion steamer successfully on strictly 
temperance principles. Such a possibility had 
often been discussed by the temperance party 



DECLINE OF PRIVATE OWNERSHIP i8i 

and others interested in the Clyde steamboat 
traffic. The object aimed at was to provide 
an all-day sail without the liability of witnessing 
the disorderly scenes too frequently met with 
on board the river steamers, and to exclude 
persons unable to enjoy a holiday without 




' IVANHOE ' 



getting drunk, creating disturbance, and causing 
discomfort to their fellow passengers. The 
syndicate which ran the vessel consisted of 
Alexander Allan of the Allan Line, George 
Smith of the City Line, Captain James Brown 
of the City Line, Robert Shankland of 
Greenock, and the writer, who acted as secre- 
tary and manager of the company, and master 



1 82 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

of the steamer for nine summers. To most of 
her owners the venture was a hobby, but to the 
writer it was of pecuniary Importance, and In- 
volved a risk. From experience and an Intimate 
knowledge of the feelings of the travelling public, 
however, he had no hesitation In embarking on 
the enterprise. There were not wanting persons 
who prophesied that the boat would prove a 
"teetotal failure." Some gave It three months, 
while the more charitable allowed It a season 
to exhaust Its resources. But the teetotal craft 
kept her flag flying for seventeen years, when, 
after a career that was not unsuccessful, she 
was sold to the Caledonian Steam Packet 
Company. 

The vessel was built and engined by D. & 
W. Henderson & Co., of Glasgow and Partick, 
to the order of the Frith of Clyde Steam 
Packet Company, Limited, and In point of 
finish and equipment was second to no other 
steamer. As regards order and discipline, it 
was universally conceded that the " Ivanhoe " 
closely resembled a private yacht. This 
description applied In an equal degree to the 
company which one could always rely upon 
meeting on board. The conduct of the pas- 
sengers stood in marked contrast to that of the 
crowd too frequently encountered on other 
excursion steamers. The patrons of the 
'' Ivanhoe," however, were by no means all 
of the teetotal persuasion. To the discredit 
of many of the temperance party, it has to 
be stated that they did not recognise and 



DECLINE OF PRIVATE OWNERSHIP 183 

encourage the enterprise they had so long been 
crying out for until five years after it was 
started, when they had reason to fear it was to 
be withdrawn. The attitude, in fact, of the 
temperance party towards the " Ivanhoe " 
afforded a notable example of that sort of 
preaching which does not develop into practice. 




DINING SALOON 



The extremists, at any rate, did not encourage the 
steamer as they might have done. It was the 
moderate class of the community who responded 
to the effort to maintain one first-class excursion 
steamer, characterised by peace and comfort, 
and but for the support of these the venture 
would soon have come to grief. On the other 
hand, some of the members of the temperance 
party, I reluctantly regret to state, were the 



1 84 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

most difficult of the vessel's passengers to 
please. In the steward's department, they 
expected to get a first-class article at a second- 
class price. Many instances of this peculiarity 
might be cited, but I refrain. The experi- 
ence of the vessel showed clearly how hollow 
principles can prove themselves when their 
sincerity comes to the test of £ s. d. It was 
frequently remarked that, contrasted with the 
usual vapourings on the subject of temperance, 
the running of the " Ivanhoe " was the most 
practical and effective temperance sermon ever 
preached. 

The programme of the vessel's route was as 
unique as her principles. She did not sail from 
Glasgow like the other excursion steamers, but 
from Helensburgh, and thence by Greenock, 
Gourock, Kirn, Dunoon, Wemyss Bay — where 
most of the passengers from Glasgow joined — 
and Rothesay, through the Kyles of Bute, to 
Corrie, Brodick, Lamlash, King's Cross, and 
Whiting Bay. The inhabitants of the Arran 
watering-places were indebted to the ''Ivanhoe" 
for a much improved service, particularly to 
Whiting Bay. At first, the latter place had a 
connection once a week ; two years later a 
daily service was given, which was the means 
of greatly popularising the south end of the 
island. On the return passage the outward 
journey was retraced as far as Corrie, then the 
course deviated by the south end of Bute to 
Rothesay, and thence to Wemyss Bay, Dunoon, 
Kirn, and the other outgoing places of call. 



DECLINE OF PRIVATE OWNERSHIP 185 

In order to make hay while the moon shone, 
and improve both the time and the finances, 
the company inaugurated evening and moon- 
light cruises. The idea was generally supposed 
to be original, but was not really so, as 
I find in the records of the twenties that on 
very special occasions at that period an 




GENERAL SALOON 



occasional '* evening pleasure trip was indulged 
in." The only originality lay in the name, and 
possibly even that had been used before. 
These cruises were varied each evening. They 
became very popular, and continued so during 
the entire career of the steamer, their suc- 
cess being due to the absence of rowdyism 
on board. At any rate, though many other 
steamers started evening cruises in emulation, 



1 86 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

none of them met with success, and one after 
another was forced to retire. Of these efforts 
the boldest and most determined was made by 
the management of the " Lord of the Isles." 
They flattered the " Ivanhoe " by issuing a 
complete copy of her programme. This was 
met, on the part of the " Ivanhoe," with the 
announcement that the entire proceeds of the 
week's evening cruises would be handed over 
to the infirmaries of Greenock and Helens- 
burgh. The result was that while the " Ivan- 
hoe " found herself unable to take all her 
passengers who offered, the " Lord of the 
Isles" ran practically empty. The contest 
ceased in three nights' time, and was not 
repeated by the "Lord of the Isles" or any 
other steamer. 

The loyal support of the public was recog- 
nized, and this took the form of an " Annual 
Benefit Evening Cruise," the proceeds of which 
were devoted to the deserving institutions 
already named. This cruise was always well 
supported, and resulted in the annual remit- 
tance of a good round sum to each of the in- 
firmary treasurers. 

V^ariety, again, had to be maintained. To 
this end Pain, the London pyrotechnist, was 
engaged to give a firework display on the 
shores of the Gareloch. The enterprise cost 
;^ioo, which was considered a fabulous sum 
to spend for such a purpose. In order to 
make ends meet, it was necessary to employ 
assistance and bring crowds from all the 



DECLINE OF PRIVATE OWNERSHIP 187 

watering-places of the firth. Ten steamers 
were chartered for the purpose, and ten 
thousand people were conveyed to the scene — 
the greatest number ever assembled in the 
Gareloch. The display was acknowledged to 
be splendid, and the enterprise proved a 
financial success. In addition to the sightseers 
afloat there were several thousands on shore, 
who of course paid nothing, and these people 
had the advantage of another display, the pro- 
cession of the eleven steamers in brilliantly 
lighted array, down the loch, a sight never to 
be forgotten. 

The enterprise was repeated, but on the co- 
operative principle, as the other boat-owners 
desired a larger share of the profit. Their experi- 
ence, however, proved less satisfactory than on 
the previous occasion. Accordingly, later dis- 
plays and musical entertainments on ''the Braes 
of Coulport" and elsewhere were left to the specu- 
lation of the writer. The idea was afterwards 
adopted by the authorities at Dunoon and 
Rothesay as a means of attracting the public, 
and advertising these towns. The contour of 
the Bay of Rothesay in particular was by 
nature suited for an illumination and firework 
display. These accordingly became an annual 
event, the cost of which was defrayed by local 
contribution. In addition, each steamer which 
took advantage of the attraction and brought 
passengers to see it contributed a sum of not 
less than five pounds to the funds of the Com- 
mittee in charge of the display. With this 



1 88 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

inducement as many as twenty-five steamers 
would sometimes visit Rothesay Bay on these 
occasions, carrying as many thousands of sight- 
seers on board. 

Upon the opening, in 1883, of the North 
British Railway coast terminus at Craigendoran, 
which was controlled by Robert Darling, the 
steamboat manager, the "Ivanhoe" arranged 
to make a connection there, thus extending its 
accommodation to passen- 
gers by all three railways, 
the North British, Glasgow 
and South-Western, and 
Caledonian. Unpleasant- 
ness, however, arose in the 
relationship between the 
" Ivanhoe " owners and the 
two former companies, and 
led to the withdrawal of 
the connections with them, 
ROBERT DARLING .^^^^ ^-q ^ closer alllance 

with the Caledonian at Wemyss Bay, and 
latterly at Gourock when the line to the 
latter place was opened for traffic on ist 
June, 1889. This alliance was maintained 
until the ''Ivanhoe" was sold to the Cale- 
donian Steam Packet Company In 1896. The 
boat was then given up to general excursion 
traffic, and was succeeded on the Arran "Royal 
Route" by the ''Duchess of Rothesay." 

The occasion of dignifying the "Ivanhoe" 
route with the tide of " Royal" was the unex- 
pected interesting visit of the late King of 




DECLINE OF PRIVATE OWNERSHIP 189 

Saxony to the Clyde in 1886. On that occasion 
His Majesty spent a day on board the vessel as 
an ordinary passenger. As might have been ex- 
pected, he proved much easier to entertain than 
his equerry, who, indeed, had to be reminded 
before he was long on board that the " Ivan- 
hoe" was not a specially chartered yacht. In 
the course of a pleasant chat upon the bridge, 
the King remarked that the sun had passed the 
meridian, and laughingly suggested that, of 
course, it was quite out of the question to expect 
that even a bottle of Rhine wine should be found 
on board a temperance steamer. A bet was 
ventured on the subject, and lo! a sample was 
produced from the medicine chest, which was 
evidently enjoyed all the more for its being 
unexpected. His Majesty's forfeit took the 
form, not indeed of a Cross of the Legion of 
Honour of Saxony, but of the royal monogram 
set in brilliants. 

It may not be amiss to mention that floral 
decoration was first introduced on board this 
steamer. The dining-saloon in particular was 
treated in an unique fashion. Vines planted in 
pots were ranged along the sheets on each side, 
and the branches were trained across the ceil- 
ing. In that position their reality was fre- 
quently doubted, but they actually produced 
clusters of grapes, and on very special occa- 
sions one of these was cut. One day a bunch 
was severed in honour of a lady passenger 
who made herself unusually companionable, and 
displayed extraordinary interest in the vessel 



190 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

and the scenery of the day's route. It was not 
till several weeks later that the Identity of the 
fair unknown was discovered by the appearance 
of an article in The Queen entitled ''A day on 
the Ivanhoe." The interested and interesting 
passenger was the late editress of that journal. 




' SCOTIA ' 



Besides the '' Ivanhoe," only two steamers 
were launched in 1880. The ''Scotia," built 
by H. M'Intyre & Co., of Paisley, and en- 
gined by William King & Co., of Glasgow, 
to the order of Captain William Buchanan, was 
fitted with a double steeple engine and two 
haystack boilers. This last detail is of note, 
for the engine was the last of the once popular 
steeple design to be built on the Clyde. The 



DECLINE OF PRIVATE OWNERSHIP 191 

iirst was made by Murdoch Aitken & Co., 
in 1836 for the "St. Mungo," and from that 
date steeple engines continued at work on 
Clyde steamers till the close of the century. 
The last in use on the Clyde was that on 
board the "Vivid." Several may yet be seen 
working, however, on the Caledonian Canal and 
other West Highland steamers, where they are 
likely to survive for some 
time longer. 

So far as the design of J F5I8& % 

the hull was concerned, the 
" Scotia," commanded by 
Alexander Gillies, one of 
the very few remaining 
men of the fifties, was 
somewhat similar to the 
" Brodick Castle," and was 
no beauty. Nor was she 
successful in any way. The ^-^p'^-^'^ ^l^-^- «^"^^^^ 
first few years of her career were devoted to the 
Glasgow and Rothesay traffic. An extension 
to Arran via Kilchattan Bay was afterwards 
introduced, in succession to the service of the 
^' Guinevere." And, finally, she superseded the 
" Brodick Castle " on the Ardrossan and Arran 
route, doing both summer and winter duty, and 
proving a more useful boat than her predecessor. 
During the winter of 1881, when Captain 
Campbell withdrew his steamers for three 
months in consequence of a dispute with the 
Wemyss Bay Railway Company, the " Scotia" 
relieved the stranded islanders of Cumbrae 




192 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

morning and evening with a run between Mill- 
port and Fairlie. This was done in addition 
to her Ardrossan and Arran service, but 
the venture proved less fortunate, for one 
evening, touching near Fairlie Patch, she 
rapidly settled down, and remained on the 
bottom for several days. Happily, no lives 
were lost. She was afterwards purchased by 
the Glasgow and South- Western Railway Com- 
pany, and retained by them on the Ardrossan 
service until relieved by the "Glen Sannox." 
She was then sold to Bristol owners, and is 
now sailing on the Bristol Channel. 

The remaining steamers of the year, 
'' Chancellor" No. 3, and last of the name, was 
built to the order of the Loch Long & Loch 
Lomond Steamboat Company for the Glasgow 
and Arrochar service in connection with the 
Loch Lomond and Trossachs tours. She was 
of the deck saloon type, fore and aft, and 
proved a successful boat on the station for 
several years. She passed into the hands of 
the North British Company when they pur- 
chased the Loch Lomond steamers. A few 
years later she was sold to the Loch Goil and 
Loch Long Company. Still later she was 
transferred to the Glasgow and South- Western 
Railway Company, and finally they disposed of 
her to Lisbon owners, who are now running 
her on the River Tagus. 

The shadow of coming events induced 
another halt in steamboat building for two 
years, and in 1883 the only vessel recorded was 



DECLINE OF PRIVATE OWNERSHIP 193 

the ''Meg Merrilies" No. 2, built to the order 
of the North British Steam Packet Company for 
their Craigendoran traffic to Rothesay. Messrs. 
Barclay, Curie & Co., who built and engined 
her, were unfortunate in this production. The 
'' Meg Merrilies" was luckless during her entire 
career, and involved her successive owners in 




MEG MERRILIES 



large periodical expenditure. After the first 
season the North British Company returned 
her to the builders as unsuitable. The latter 
gave her a new after body underneath, which 
improved matters slightly. She was then 
chartered to run in Belfast Lough for two 
seasons, an experience which did not improve 
her constitution. Next she was acquired by 
Captain Bob Campbell for the Kilmun service. 



194 THE CLYDE TASSENGER STEAMER 

Here a '* sleep-in" one morning on the part of 
the "black squad" led to the burning of one of 
her boilers, with the result that an explosion 
was narrowly averted. Much sympathy was 
felt in the circumstances for Captain Bob, who 
had just passed through a period of misfortune. 
The boat, however, was re-boilered and again 
''done up," and three years later passed into 
the hands of the Caledonian Steam Packet 
Company. Finally, in 1902, 

tshe was sold by them to the 
Leopoldina Railway Com- 
pany, and is now sailing 
across the Bay of Rio de 
Janeiro. 
But for the ill-luck of the 
' ' Meg Merrilies," no steamer 
would have been launched 
in 1884. To take her place 
Barclay, Curie & Co. built 
CAPTAIN HUGH MACPHERsoN ^^^ -Jeanie Deans" for the 

North British Steam Packet Company. The 
new vessel was a marked improvement on the 
" Meg," and turned out a success. She was of 
the quarter deck design, with a single diagonal 
engine and haystack boiler, and of scantlings 
throughout, to make sure of there being "no 
mistake this time." 

This produced a grasshopper movement 
which could only be tolerated on short 
journeys. The runs on which she was em- 
ployed, however, were of this description, and 
her excess of speed over most of the other 



DECLINE OF PRIVATE OWNERSHIP 195 

boats neutralised her defect to a great extent. 
Altoofether, durinor her North British owner- 
ship, the " Jeanie," as she was commonly 
called, had a successful career. But on her 
transfer to Irish owners at Londonderry she 
became '' down in the heels," and on her return 




'jeanie deans' 

to the Clyde as the '' Duchess of York," and 
her employment in the Sunday traffic, she 
completely lost her reputation. She is now 
laid up at Bowling, and does not seem to be 
anybody's child. • 

In 1885 four steamers were added to the 
Clyde list. Only two, however, were for regular 
Clyde service. Of these the "Waverley" 



196 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

was built by H. M'Intyre to the order of 
Captain Bob Campbell for the Glasgow and 
Kilmun trade. She was found to be too big 
for the Loch traffic, and in consequence was 
frequently employed for excursion traffic. 
Ultimately she was chartered to go to Bristol. 
This proved a fortunate event for the Campbells 
of Kilmun. It led them to transfer their steam- 
boat experience to a district which required the 
introduction of Clyde methods. The brothers 
saw their opportunity, and on the disposal of 
the '' Meg" and the "Madge" to the Caledonian 
Company, they took farewell of the Clyde 
steamboat traffic in 1889, and settled down in 
Bristol. 

The " Diana Vernon " was a small saloon 
steamer built by Barclay, Curie & Co., for the 
Gareloch service from Craigendoran. She was 
a very smart little craft, and well suited for a 
limited traffic, but was very ''tender" with a 
few hundred passengers on board. Rumour 
had it that she was not originally designed for 
deck saloons, hence perhaps the defect in her 
stability. After continuous employment for a 
number of years in the service for which she 
was built she was sold, a few years ago, to- 
South of England owners. 

The two other steamers were the "Grenadier" 
and the " Fusilier," built to the order of David 
MacBrayne, for service in the West Highlands 
during summer, and between Greenock and 
Ardrishaig during winter. 

The builders of the former were J. & G. 



DECLINE OF PRIVATE OWNERSHIP 197 

Thomson, of Clydebank, and the boat was 
remarkable for the fact that she was the 
first Clyde passenger steamer to be fitted 
with a compound surface-condensing oscillating 
engine. * 

The circumstance reveals a very strange 




state of affairs. It might be said to be the 
reverse of complimentary to Clyde steamboat 
owners. From the early years of the century 
these owners enjoyed the reputation of possess- 
ing the finest and most up-to-date fleet in the 
world, yet they continued down to 1885 to 
employ engines which were by no means the 
latest or most economical. The reasons were 




198 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

probably to be found in the cheapness of 
coal, and the imminence of railway extensions 
and competition. The ship- 
builders, who possessed 
the necessary capital, and 
might have ventured to 
pioneer, had retired from 
the hobby of steamboat 
ownership, and in face 
of the steady decline of 
the up-river traffic it may 
be understood why the 
individual owner hesitated 
CAPTAIN ARCH, m'arthur ^^ yenture upou improve- 
ments which involved the employment of 
considerable additional capital. 

The "Grenadier" was originally fitted with 
Scotch boilers, but recently these have been 
replaced by boilers of the haystack variety. 
Curiously, these latter seem 
to have become favourites 
with Mr. MacBrayne when 
other owners (North British 
excepted) are discarding 
them. A few years ago he 
had not one haystack boiler 
in his fleet, while the other 
owners had that type alone. 
Although this steamer has 
never possessed a reputation 
for speed, she has in other ^^™^^ ^^"^^^^ m«callum 
respects proved most successful, economical, 
and up-to-date. She is still doing good service. 




DECLINE OF PRIVATE OWNERSHIP 199 

The " Fusilier," on the other hand, built by 
M 'Arthur, though of modern design so far as the 
hull is concerned, was fitted with the still popular 
single diagonal engine and haystack boiler, 
possibly with the view of reducing the initial 
cost. She also is still on the MacBrayne list. 




'victoria 



The building of steamers to the order of 
private owners was now fast coming to a close. 
1886 was the last year in which two were built, 
and only four others followed singly at intervals. 
The first of the four, the " Victoria," could 
scarcely be considered as for private ownership. 
She was built and engined for the Campbell 
fleet of Wemyss Bay steamers by Blackwood 
& Gordon, Port-Glasgow, and was intended for 
an improved edition of the " Ivanhoe." She 



200 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

was the first steamer fitted with an electric 
installation for Clyde traffic. The installation 
did not, however, work well, and the vessel as 
a whole was not considered a successfijl craft. 

For some time Captain Campbell had shown 
an inclination to treat the traffic between 
Wemyss Bay and Rothesay, and Wemyss Bay, 
Largs, and Millport, as a monopoly, to give the 
train connections an indifferent service, and to 
employ upon it only his 
older class of steamers, 
while he reserved his new- 
est and best vessels for 
general excursion purposes. 
At the earnest request of 
the railway company he 
was induced to place the 
" Victoria " upon the rail- 
way service. But the 
excursion business was 
MALCOLM M'NAUGHTON cvideutly too good to be 
allowed to fall into the hands of others, and 
the vessel was not long on the station until 
the owner was at his old game. Action of 
this kind could end only in disaster, and in 
1890 this arrived. As already mentioned, 
the difference between Campbell and the 
railway company now came to open rupture. 
After this the " Victoria " was sold to London 
owners, and she sailed as an excursion boat 
on the Thames for a few years with varied 
fortunes. She was brought back to the Clyde, 
but, as has happened invariably with old Clyde 




DECLINE OF PRIVATE OWNERSHIP 201 

vessels which have returned to the scene of 
their youth, she fell into disrepute. She 
engaged in Sunday sailing, and was seriously 
damaged by fire at the Broom ielaw. She went 
again to London, and was lately reported to 
be at Bermuda. From start to finish, it may 
be said, the " Victoria " was unfortunate — 




MADGE WILDFIRE 



"builders, owners, and others associated with 
her, all suffered alike. 

The other steamer launched in 1886 was 
the '' Madge Wildfire." She was built by 
S. M 'Knight & Co., Ayr, for Captain Bob 
Campbell's Glasgow and Kilmun trade, and 
proved a much more sensible production for 
the station than her predecessor, the " Waver- 
ley." A handy, economical little boat, fast 



202 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 



enough for all practical purposes, she sailed 
under the Campbell flag for three years. Along 
wlth the '' Meg Merrilies " and all their 
belongings she was sold as a going concern to 
the Caledonian Steam Packet Company, and 
the transaction ended the connection of the 
Campbells with the Holy Loch as steamboat 
owners. The '' Madge" still forms one of the 
Caledonian fleet, and does good service on the 
Millport and Wemyss Bay 
station, particularly during 
the winter months. 

The year 1887 was a 
barren year, and in 1888 
only one steamer was built. 
This was the '' Lucy 
Ashton," constructed for the 
North British Company, by 
Seath, of Rutherglen. Of 
the deck saloon type, fitted 
with the still popular single 
diagonal engine and haystack boiler, she was 
well suited for the coast traffic from Craigen- 
doran, in which she is still employed, although 
at no time has she been a prominent boat. 

But the final blow to small private ownership 
on the Clyde was given in the last two years 
of the decade. For some time the extension of 
the Caledonian Railway to Gourock had been 
in progress, and on ist June, 1889, the line 
and pier were opened for traffic. During the 
previous summer the directors had invited pro- 
posals from all the steamboat proprietors for 




CAPTAIN ARCH. CAMERON 



DECLINE OF PRIVATE OWNERSHIP 203 

the proper development of the passenger trade 
to all parts of the coast. But previous experi- 
ence of railway alliances, together with an 
attachment to the Glasgow and South-Western 
Company which had lasted for twenty years, 
made the proprietors, with one exception, 




LUCY" ASHTON 



hesitate to commit themselves to the new route. 
The upshot was the formation of the Caledonian 
Steam Packet Company on the lines proposed 
by " the exception," and the appointment of the 
writer as its Secretary and Manager. 

As already stated, the steamers " Meg 
Merrilies" and "Madge Wildfire" were pur- 
chased by the company, and, in addition, 



204 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

two other steamers, the '' Caledonia " and the 
''Galatea" were put in construction. 

The former vessel was built by John 
Reid & Co.,^ Port-Glasgow, and was engined 
by Rankin & Blackmore, Greenock. Hull 
and machinery were both of a distinctly new 
type. The principal dimensions of the boat 
were 200 ft. x 22 ft. x 7 ft. 6 in., and she 
had a continuous and unbroken promenade 
deck 170 ft. long, and the 
full width of the vessel, 
giving comfortable accom- 
modation in the saloons 
underneath for the full 
complement of passengers 
she was certified as her 
quota by the Board of 
Trade to carry. The en- 
gine-room was not boxed 
in, as had previously been 
CAPT. RODERICK M'DONALD |-j^g custom, but had Open 

rails and stanchions fitted all round, affording a 
clear view of the machinery, which is always in- 
teresting to passengers. In other respects the 
fittings and furnishings were arranged to suit the 
local passenger traffic for which the steamer was 
intended. For the convenient working of the 
vessel, in addition to the now familiar telegraph 
between the bridge and the engine-room, a 
device of docking telegraphs was introduced. 
These enabled the captain to work his steamer 

1 It is of interest to note that Mr. Reid is a grand nephew 
of John Wood, builder of the " Comet." 




DECLINE OF PRIVATE OWNERSHIP 205 

alongside piers on a silent system, instead of 
in the old exasperating manner of shouted 
orders, which were apt to be mixed with 
adjectives, sometimes amusing, but often offen- 
sive to the ears of the average passenger. 
The crews were soon educated into the habit of 




* CALEDONIA 



looking at the dial for orders from the bridge in- 
stead of relying on the vocal method of the ''good 
old days." One Celt on the bridge, however, 
proved so antagonistic to ''these new-fangled 
notions " that, as a reproof, he was transferred 
for the better part of a year to the old " Meg," 
where such "notions" were not part of the equip- 
ment. This effectually removed his prejudice. 



206 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

Further particulars of the machinery, and 
comparisons with former types will be found 
in the chapter devoted to engineering. It is 
sufficient to mention that the "Caledonia " was 
the first Clyde passenger steamer fitted with 
the navy type of boilers working under forced 
draught, and with the compound tandem sur- 
face-condensino- diao-onal sinMe crank enoine. 
On account of the innovations in boilers and 
machinery, local opinion was decidedly against 
the boat at first. But, not- 
withstanding the new condi- 
tions and a certain amount 
of ill - usage, unavoidable 
during the initial stage, the 
boilers served for fifteen 
years, working ten and a 
half months per annum, 
at the original pressure. 
Otherwise, in point of size 
and the economical working 

CAPTAIN SMITH ^f ^^^ ^^^^^ f^j. ^^^^^l she 

was designed, the vessel proved a decided 
success, and as a matter of fact most of 
the steamers built during the following ten 
years were merely improved editions of the 
" Caledonia." 

The "Galatea," commanded by Archibald 
M'Pherson, was a very smart-looking saloon 
steamer, with a clear promenade deck two 
hundred feet long and the full width of the 
vessel, her general arrangements and equip- 
ment being equal to the requirements of the 




DECLINE OF PRIVATE OWNERSHIP 207 

most fastidious. She was built and engined by 
Caird & Co., Greenock, the machinery being 
of the compound diagonal type with two cranks, 
and navy boilers with forced draught, and she 
attained a fair success in point of speed. 
The " Caledonia," '* Galatea," and " Meg 




Merrilies" were placed on the Rothesay service, 
and the '' Madge Wildfire " was run to Kil- 
creggan and Kilmun, all in direct connection 
with express trains at Gourock. The service 
opened successfully. Its immediate result was 
to divert the greater portion of the traffic from 
the Princes Pier route. This it accomplished 
as completely as the Princes Pier route, twenty 



2o8 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

years earlier, had diverted the traffic from the 
older Caledonian route via the Custom House 
Quay at Greenock. 

The Gourock route also proved a formidable 
rival to that by Wemyss Bay, and its opening" 
led to the unpleasantness already referred to 
between the Wemyss Bay Steamboat Company 
and the Caledonian Railway Company, as 





CAPTAIN ARCH. M'PHERSON CAPTAIN JOHN BUIE 

owner of a portion of the railway from Glas- 
gow to Wemyss Bay. 

In the last year of this decade an innovation 
was introduced which was equivalent to a 
revolution in the navigation of the passenger 
steamers on the firth. On 29th March, 1889, 
the present system of controlling the approach 
of steamers by means of signals on each pier 
came into operation. Particulars of the system 
were embodied in the Clyde Navigation Act of 
1887. Down to that year no means existed 
for regulating the arrival of vessels approaching 



DECLINE OF PRIVATE OWNERSHIP 



209 



the piers at the same time. Each skipper did 
his best for himself, and sometimes, when three 
or four boats approached a pier together, the 
unrestricted scrimmage for the berth threatened 
to bring about serious disasters. To put an 
end to this state of affairs competitive devices 




•NFtOI 



fSWW^ 




ipp I \f 

Pier open to Single or Middte Steamer 



PIER SIGNALS 



were invited, and their designs were submitted 
to the Clyde Pilot Board, as the local authority. 
The device selected was that of Mr. Charles 
Allan, third son of the late Alexander Allan of 
the Allan Line. The system of signalling thus 
introduced has answered its purpose admirably, 
and has put an end most effectually to the risks 
which were formerly run by rival skippers 



210 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

in anxiety to get their boats first to the 
piers. The innovation was also most oppor- 
tune. During the decade which followed, the 
competition for the coast traffic was the most 
acute, uncompromising, and wasteful that had 
yet been known. 

Description of the Signalling Apparatus. 

The Signalling Apparatus, as shown on the 
diagram, consists of a triangular box raised 
above the level of the pier to such height 
as is necessary. One corner of the box faces 
the water, and the two adjoining sides are set 
at the most suitable angle for each particular 
pier, so as to face the line of approach of 
steamers to each side of the pier. The sides 
of the box are painted white, and each exposed 
side contains three circular openings in a 
horizontal row, the edges of the openings 
being painted black. Behind each of these 
openings, a sliding board is arranged to 
show through the openings, black when let 
down and white when pulled up. The black 
parts have small red glass centres, and the 
white parts have white glass centres. 

The intention is that the row of three discs 
facing approaching steamers should be the 
signals to three steamers approaching in these 
relative positions, namely, the inshore signal 
for the inshore steamer, the middle signal for 
the middle steamer, and the outside signal for 
the outside steamer. When the pier is blocked 



DECLINE OF PRIVATE OWNERSHIP 211 

against the approach of any steamer, all the 
discs show black ; but when it is intended to 
open the pier to any steamer — by day — the 
disc corresponding to her position is changed 
to show white. This is done by pulling the 
cord attached to the special disc, which locks 
all the other discs, so that no other signal can 
be shown while the first is exhibited. 

At night a light shows through the red glass 
centres of the black discs, and through the 
white glass centre of any disc which may be 
pulled up, and the discs so lighted are used 
at night in the same way as the unlighted discs 
are used during the day. 



CHAPTER X 

FIGHT OF THE PACKET COMPANIES 

We have now arrived at the nineties, a period 
in which the three railway companies, the 
Caledonian, the North British, and the Glasgow 
and South- Western, with their allies, owned the 
finest fleet of passenger steamers in Europe. 
The advantages and inducements now offered 
for the conveyance of passengers from all parts 
of the country to the popular watering-places 
on the Clyde, by the elegant and commodious 
steamers provided by the railway companies 
contrasted strongly with the arrangements of 
fifty years previous. Still stronger was the 
contrast with the facilities in existence at the 
beginning of the century. Then a single mail 
coach and one lumbering long coach ran daily 
with a few passengers between Glasgow and 
Greenock. Travellers to Dunoon and the 
Cowal District had to find their way to the 
Cloch, and cross the firth in an open ferry boat, 
while those for Rothesay embarked in small 
sailing packets whose arrival at their destina- 
tion depended entirely on the state of the 



FIGHT OF THE PACKET COMPANIES 213 

weather. On the other side of the river, 
Helensburgh was reached by a caravan which 
left Glasgow early in the morning and halted 
at Bowling for dinner. Gourock and Helens- 
burgh were in those early days the " salt water 
quarters " of Glasgow citizens. At the end of 
the century, on the other hand, what with 
express trains every hour, and the constantly 
plying fleets of swift saloon steamers, Dunoon 
was within three quarters of an hour's run, 
Rothesay was brought within eighty minutes, 
and the shores of Arran were within the return 
excursion of an afternoon from Glaso^ow. It 
can readily be understood that these modern 
facilities increased the volume of traffic to 
the coast beyond the dreams of nautical 
prophets. 

Early in 1890 there appeared ominous signs 
of discontent on the part of the Wemyss Bay 
Steamboat Company. To be prepared for any 
emergency the Caledonian Company ordered 
two steamers, the " Marchioness of Breadal- 
bane," and the " Marchioness of Bute," to be 
built by John Reid & Co., and engined by 
Rankin & Blackmore. The two vessels were 
identical, and were in every way similar to the 
" Caledonia," except that the power was 
slightly increased, and that the bridge, instead 
of being erected between the paddle-boxes 
amidships, was placed in front of the funnel. 
This position of the bridge has since become a 
prominent feature on all the Caledonian boats, 
its advantage being to give the captain and 



214 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

steersman an uninterrupted view forward, and 
thus reduce the chances of accidents. 

These boats were completed in April, and 
not a day too soon. The Wemyss Bay Steam- 
boat Company, thinking to interrupt the traffic, 
and coerce the Railway Company, gave one 




MARCHIONESS OF BREADALBANE 



week's notice, instead of six months', and with- 
drew their service of steamers. But no inter- 
ruption occurred. The Caledonian Company 
placed its new steamers on the station and the 
traffic went on as before. The only result was 
that the old Wemyss Bay Company's vessels 
were first laid up and then disposed of, as 
already related. 



FIGHT OF THE PACKET COMPANIES 215 

The Caledonian Steam Packet Company- 
was now in possession of the traffic both via 
Gourock and via Wemyss Bay. A few weeks 
later, on ist June, 1890, it established a steam- 
boat service between Ardrossan and Arran in 
connection with the new Lanarkshire and Ayr- 
shire Railway, which completed the Company's 
connection with all parts of the coast, and 
practically "scooped the pool." 





CAPTAIN DUNCAN MUNRO CAPTAIN DUNCAN MACDOUGALL 

The "fat was now in the fire." The 
Ardrossan and Arran station was the oldest 
and most cherished preserve of the Glasgow 
and South- Western Company, and they found 
themselves completely out-flanked by the 
appearance of the new boat. This steamer, 
the " Duchess of Hamilton," built and engined 
by Denny Brothers, was, and still is, beyond 
doubt the finest and most successful craft in the 
Clyde passenger traffic. Her principal dimen- 
sions are 250x30x10 ft, and her general 



2i6 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

arrangements are of the most commodious 
character. The promenade deck extends the 
entire length and width of the vessel, being the 
first of this kind to be built. On the main deck 
are the general saloon aft, and the second-class 
saloon and smoking-room forward. Under the 
main deck are the respective first and second 




'I fiaii irtft'ifffaftiirirl iit'iirit# 



l^ki^Ut 




' DUCHESS OF HAMILTON 



class dining saloons, and sleeping accommoda- 
tion for the crew. As a testimony to the 
perfection of the arrangements on board it may- 
be stated that the Committee of the Clyde 
Yachting Clubs will have no other steamer to 
act as Club boat during the Clyde yachting 
fortnight. The engagement is complimentary, 
but the absence of the steamer from her 
Ardrossan and Arran station during the busy 



FIGHT OF THE PACKET COMPANIES 217 

season is not without its disadvantages to the 
owners. 

The machinery of the "Duchess" is of the 
double diagonal compound type, with three 
navy boilers working under forced draught, the 
whole giving excellent results. It may be of 




GENERAL SALOON 



interest to note that on board this steamer was 
fitted the first of Parson's turbine engines for 
generating the electricity required to illuminate 
the saloons and other parts of the vessel. 

To the Caledonian Company the population 
of Arran and the summer visitors to the island 
are indebted for the magnificent steamers and 
ample service which they now enjoy on this 
route. Not only has the time been reduced by 



2i8 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

half an hour between Glasgow and Brodick, 
but a direct connection between Ardrossan and 
Whiting Bay Is now given twice dally and 
three times on Saturday, which Is of great 
advantage to the south and popular end of the 
island. As a result of the Improved service, 




DINING SALOON 



the traffic to Arran was more than doubled In 
ten years after the '' Duchess of Hamilton " was 
placed on the station. 

Twelve years after the appearance of the 
Caledonian Company upon the scene, the traffic 
from the south end of Arran had developed 
so much that the inhabitants of Whiting Bay 
and its district petitioned the two railway 
companies for a fair division of the service. 



FIGHT OF THE PACKET COMPANIES 219 

They suggested that, instead of the two 
companies' steamers running on the heels of 
each other, one company should take the old 
track, or Brodick route, from and to Ardros- 
san, while the other should sail direct to and 
from Whiting Bay. In this way Whiting Bay 
pier and Brodick pier would each form the 
terminus of one of the companies. The pro- 
posal appeared not only fair and sensible, 





CAPTAIN KOBT. MORRISON 



E. R. M'MILLAN 



but one which would most assuredly develop 
the traffic and benefit all concerned. The 
question, however, arose, who was to leave 
the old track ? This the Glasgow and 
South-Western Company declined to do, giving 
as a reason the fact that it carried the mails. 
The refusal was reasonable enough, but the 
South- Western also declined to bind itself to 
adhere to the old track if the Caledonian 
Company yielded to the prayer of the peti- 
tioners and took the other route. The predi- 



220 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 



cament looked awkward for the south-enders, 
but after a little correspondence and conference 
between the petitioners and Caledonian Com- 
pany, the latter agreed to institute its '' new 
and improved service," and on ist May, 
1901, the ** Duchess of Hamilton" began her 
sailings between Ardrossan and Whiting Bay 
direct. Within a month the expected compe- 
tition began. The 



new arrangement was a 





JOHN HOUSTON 



ROBERT HOUSTON 



pronounced success, and the Glasgow and 
South- Western Company introduced a second 
steamer to run direct from Whiting Bay. To 
the credit of the community, it has to be said, 
the south-enders supported the company that 
introduced the improved service, and, as the 
second direct steamer from W^hiting Bay to 
Ardrossan was about as necessary as a third 
wheel is to a cart, it was withdrawn. The new 
Caledonian arrangement reduced the journey 
from Glasgow to Whiting Bay by three quarters 



FIGHT OF THE PACKET COMPANIES 221 

of an hour, and as a result the district 
flourished, and has become more popular and 
populous than before. 

The old '' Duchess " still maintains her posi- 
tion as the finest and most successful steamer 
engaged in the Clyde passenger traffic. It is 
admitted that there are some steamers to-day 




MARCHIONESS OF LORNE 



a trifle faster, but as an all-round passenger 
boat she takes first rank. She has been com- 
manded from the first by Robert Morrison, who 
was at first ably assisted by Eben M'Millan, 
purser, and latterly by John Houston, a very 
prominent figure on the Caledonian steamers. 
In 1 89 1 four steamers were added to the 
fleet upon the Firth — one for the Caledonian 



222 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

Company, two for the North British, and one 
to replace the old '' Lord of the Isles." 

The " Marchioness of Lome," for the Cale- 
donian Company, was built by Russell & Co., 
Port-Glasgow, and engined by Rankin & 
Blackmore. She was a small repetition of the 
'' Duchess of Hamilton," except as regards 
machinery. This was of the triple tandem 
type, with two cranks, two high-pressure cylin- 
.^■^ ders, one intermediate and 

one low pressure, with the 
usual navy boilers and forced 
drauoht. The boat was 
built principally for the 
spring, autumn, and winter 
traffic between Ardrossan 
and Arran, and for general 
summer traffic between 
Gourock and Rothesay, or 
Wemyss Bay and Rothesay 
CAPTAIN w. GORDON ^^ Millport. In these ser- 
vices she is still employed under command 
of William Gordon. 

The two steamers for the North British 
Steam Packet Company were the '' Lady 
Rowena," built by M 'Knight of Ayr, and the 
*' Lady Clare," by M 'Arthur of Paisley. The 
machinery of both, by Hutson & Corbett, was 
of the type adhered to by the North British 
Company, single diagonal engines with hay- 
stack boilers, working at 50 lbs. pressure. 
Both were saloon steamers employed in con- 
nection with the railway at Craigendoran. 




FIGHT OF THE PACKET COMPANIES 223 




'lady rowena 





CAPTAIN D. M 'ARTHUR 



CAPTAIN ANGUS CARMICHAEL 



224 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

The ''Lady Rowena " succeeded the "Chan- 
cellor" in the Dunoon, Holy Loch, Loch 
Long and Arrochar traffic, and remained on 
the route until sold to Italian owners. 

The '' Lady Clare " was a smaller boat, and 
is still employed on her original route, in the 
Gareloch. 




DUCHESS OF HAMILTON' AS CLUB STEAMER 



" Lord of the Isles " No. 2 was by the same 
builders as No. i, D. & W. Henderson & Co. 
She was of similar design to her predecessor, 
but was somewhat larger, and had her deck 
saloons built the full width of the vessel. She 
still maintains her owners' original Kyles of 
Bute and Loch Fyne sailings to Inveraray, 
with the connecting coach tour between Strachur 
and Loch Eck. Neither in point of speed, 



FIGHT OF THE PACKET COMPANIES 225 



however, nor otherwise, 
sidered so successful as 



has she been con- 
■ Lord of the Isles " 



No. I, and she is now suffering from the severe 
competition and the many other attractions 
offered in all directions by the railway com- 
panies and the new turbine steamers. She 




'LORD OF THE ISLES ' NO. II 



has been commanded throughout by Captain 
Downie, who also sailed the first " Lord." 
He succeeded Captain Alexander M'Kinnon, 
whose predecessor was Captain Robert Young. 
Peter M'Farlane, the engineer of the vessel, is 
the senior engineer on the Clyde. He was 
engineer on board the ''Alliance" on the 
Arrochar service in 1857. 



226 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

A great battle for supremacy was now immi- 
nent, the keenest and most serious, because of 
the interests involved, that has ever been fought 
between passenger steamer owners on the 
Clyde. The Caledonian Company's invasion 
of 1889 and 1890, as we have seen, had swept 
away a large part of the rival company's trade, 
both from Princes Pier and Ardrossan. To 
position the Glasgow and South- 
Western Company, after 
much deliberation, decided 
upon the construction of a 
large and powerful fleet. 
By some of the public the 
enterprise was regarded as 
a very courageous one, but 
by others who had experi- 
ence in steamboat affairs, 
it was looked on with 
doubt. At the best it could 
cAPTAiM DONALD DowNiE ^^^^ ^^ regarded as a bold 

but hazardous enterprise. One result of the 
struggle, which is still going on, is that the 
public receives a maximum of comfort and 
good service for a minimum of payment. 
Another result is that the number of privately 
owned steamers on the Clyde has been reduced 
to limits below those of the earliest days of the 
industry. And a third result has been a wonder- 
ful acceleration of speed by boat and rail, the 
record of forty-five minutes between Glasgow 
and Dunoon having been reached by the 
Gourock route. 




FIGHT OF THE PACKET COMPANIES 227 

In 1890 the Glasgow and South- Western 
Company had purchased the ''Viceroy," ''Sul- 
tana," "Sultan," and "Marquis of Bute," to- 
gether with their trade, from Captain Alex- 
ander Williamson, whose son, Alexander, was 
appointed Marine Superintendent. In addition, 
in 1892, the company ordered the building of 



GLEN SANNOX 



three new steamers. All three, as was to be 
expected, were required to go "one better" 
than the Caledonian boats, so lively times were 
in view. 

J. & G. Thomson of Clydebank received the 
order for the " Glen Sannox." She was un- 
questionably a fine steamer, being somewhat 
similar to the " Duchess of Hamilton" in design, 
finish, and equipment, but ten feet longer. 
Only, in her engine-room, about double the 



228 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

power and double the fuel had to be expended 
in order to get a knot more than the speed of 
her rival on the Ardrossan and Arran route, 
whom she was to oppose in succession to the 
'' Scotia," which the Glasgow and South- 
western Company had purchased from Captain 
William Buchanan. As a result of the employ- 
ment of two of the finest and fastest steamers 
on the Clyde on this route the traffic to Arran 





CAPTAIN COLIN M'GREGOR 



CAPTAIN FOWLER 



has greatly increased, but the restrictions as to 
feuing which unfortunately prevail on the island 
put an effectual bar to the capacity of the two 
steamers being fully utilised. Nevertheless 
they still run. The " Glen Sannox " was com- 
manded, till his death three years ago, by 
Colin M'Gregor, a native of Shiskine in Arran, 
whose ability in handling his steamer was very 
marked. 

The other two vessels, the *' Mercury " and 
" Neptune," were built by Napier, Shanks & 



FIGHT OF THE PACKET COMPANIES 229 

Bell, and engined by David Rowan & Co., and 
they proved very successful. In fitting the 
machinery on board these boats a record was 
made which Rowan & Co. will probably not 
repeat. Between the launch and the trial trip 
only six days elapsed, and within that time the 



feat was accomplished. There is a time limit, 
even to throwing machinery on board a Clyde 
steamer, and probably six days is that limit. 
The two vessels were employed in the trade 
between Princes Pier, Greenock, Dunoon, 
Rothesay, and the Kyles of Bute, and are still 
on that route. The *' Neptune " was also used 
during the summer months for general excur- 
sion traffic. 



230 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 



In the following year the Glasgow and South- 
Western Company added two other steamers 
to their fleet, the "Glen Rosa" and the 
*' Minerva." Both boats were built and engined 
by J. & G. Thomson. They w^ere a little 
smaller than the previous steamers, though 
the expenditure in the engine department was 
on the same liberal scale. In build, they were 
of a distinctly new type, which has not been 





CAPTAIN PETER M'GREGOK 



CAPTAIN CHARI.ES BROWN 



repeated. They were provided with a short 
poop and a short forecastle-head on the level 
of the main rail. The main and promenade 
decks were respectively about three feet below 
and above these ends. The result of the 
novel arrangement forward was that, in bad 
weather, a fiat surface was presented to the 
pressure of wind and sea, and the upper deck 
acquired something of the appearance of a 
breakwater. During summer these two boats 
were employed in general traffic to Holy Loch 



FIGHT OF THE PACKET COMPANIES 231 

and Loch Long, and to Dunoon, Rothesay, 
and the Kyles of Bute, and during winter one 
of them replaced the "Glen Sannox " between 
Ardrossan and Arran, in the same way as the 
Caledonian Company's "Marchioness of Lome" 
replaced the "Duchess of Hamilton." 



Throughout all seasons of the year, but 
especially between June and September, the 
rivalry between the boats of the two companies 
was mantained at white heat. In 1893 indeed 
the display of recklessness on the part of cap- 
tains had the effect of checking to some extent 
the popularity of the coast as a summer resort, 
and it is doubtful if the lost ground was re- 
covered during the decade. 

Between 1891 and 1895 the Caledonian 



232 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

Company kept a steady course with their 
modern and moderate fleet, and continued to 
develop and increase their traffic in face of the 
large and powerful fleet of their opponents. 
Time was economised as far as possible by 
method and expedition at Gourock, and though 
several steamers would be despatched within 
two minutes of the arrival of a train, the feat 
was accomplished without fuss of any kind. 





CAPTAIN JOHN CAMERON 



CAPTAIN A. TURNER 



In 1895 th^ Caledonian Company put the 
" Duchess of Rothesay " on the water. The 
boat was built and engined by the Clydebank 
Shipbuilding Company (successors to J. & G. 
Thomson), under the directorship of Mr. John 
G. Dunlop. An up-to-date vessel In every 
respect, she proved a valuable acquisition to 
her owners, and was associated principally 
with the traffic between Gourock, Wemyss 
Bay, and Arran, via the Kyles of Bute, in 
succession to the *' Ivanhoe." For many 



FIGHT OF THE PACKET COMPANIES 233 

years she was ''cock of the walk" on the firth, 
being certainly the smartest looking craft turned 
out by the Clydebank firm, and she is still 
doing excellent work. She was commanded 
for seven years by Donald MThedron, who 
was succeeded by Allan MacDougall, formerly 




DUCHESS OF ROTHESAY 



of the '' Ivanhoe," while the ticket office has 
been in charge of Robert Houston, a favourite 
purser on board the Caledonian steamers. 

Upon the appearance of this vessel, the 
Glasgow and South-Western and the Cale- 
donian Companies concluded an armistice of 
five years. The arrangement was not, in all 
respects, advantageous to the latter company. 



234 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

whose geographical advantages would doubtless 
have ultimately overcome their rivals, but it 
was wise to put a stop, by friendly means, to a 
reckless competition, which might have ended 
in disastrous results. 

Up to 1895 the North British Company had 
been working quietly, developing Its own side 
of the river and improving its system generally. 
It had, so to speak, been sitting on the wall. 





CAPTAIN ALLAN MACDOUGALL CAPTAIN DONALD M'PHEDRON 

watching the developments across the water, at 
Princes Pier and Gourock. In that year, 
however, it woke up, and ordered two new 
steamers, the *' Redgauntlet," from Barclay, 
Curie & Co., and the "Dandle DInmont " 
No. 2, from A. & J. Inglis. Both were smart, 
up-to-date steamers so far as the hulls were 
concerned, but the company adhered to the 
type of machinery and boilers in common use 
twenty-five years before. 

The former steamer gave a very good 



FIGHT OF THE PACKET COMPANIES 235 





DANUIE DINMONT' 



236 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

account of herself in the race for Rothesay, 
and was recognized as one of the greyhounds 
of that time. An accident which caused con- 
siderable sensation happened to her in the 
summer of 1899. While on an excursion 
round Arran she ran on the Iron Rocks on the 
west side of the island, receiving damage 
which compelled her to be beached immedi- 
ately. None of the passengers suffered, except 





CAPTAIN D. M'FARLANE 



CAPTAIN D. M'NEILL 



from the annoyance incidental to serious 
delay, and the court of enquiry let the cap- 
tain off. 

The '* Dandie Dinmont" did duty principally 
on the Dunoon and Holy Loch route, and as 
new districts on the North British Railway 
system were brought into touch with the Clyde 
in a manner never before attempted, she de- 
veloped a good traffic. The *' Dandie " has 
been commanded from her earliest by Duncan 
M'Neill, one of the most respected and careful 



FIGHT OF THE PACKET COMPANIES 237 

skippers of the day. Both steamers are still 
plying in the North British service. 

The fourth vessel built in 1895 was the 
'' Glenmore," by Russell & Co., for Captain 
John Williamson's Rothesay and Kyles of Bute 
traffic. She was modern in every respect, 




' GLENMORE ' 



except that of speed. Her owner did not 
intend her for express service in connection 
with the railways, but as a steady money- 
making machine. She was sold in 1896 to 
Captain Wiggins, whose name figures fre- 
quently in Muscovite politics, and she is now 
trading in the heart of Russia. 

In 1896 two notable steamers were launched. 



238 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

The first of these was the ''Jupiter," built for 
the Glasgow and South-Western Railway 




Company by the Clydebank Shipbuilding Co. 

She was smaller than the "Glen Sannox," but in 
most other respects was of 
the same desicrn and finish. 
Clydebank, indeed, has be- 
come famous for the build- 
ing of this class of steamer, 
the majority of the type 
produced during the decade 
having been put upon the 
water by this firm. In ap- 
pearance and finish they 
have been second to none, 

CAPTAIN DONALD m'tavish and all of them may be 




FIGHT OF THE PACKET COMPANIES 239 

considered successful boats. The ''Jupiter" was 
frgm the first identified with the Princes Pier, 




'talisman 



Kyles of Bute, and Arran round trip, in opposi- 
tion to the Caledonian Company's '' Duchess 
of Rothesay," but the com- 
bined business of the two 
has never been equal to that 
of the '' I vanhoe" in its early ^h^^HR 
days on the same route. K^nm^^V \ 

The other steamer of the 
year, the ''Talisman," was 
built by A. & J. Inglis for 
the North British Company. 
In design and finish she was 
similar to the others of the 
North British fleet, which captain j. m. gray 




240 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

are all smart boats, and of a type suitable for their 
short distance traffic. She has done ofood ser- 
vice for her company, which in these years found 
itself in the heart of the severe competition for 
the coast trade with the other two companies. 
The only steamer launched in 1897 was the 




STRATHMOKE 



" Strathmore." Her builders were Russell & 
Co., Port-Glasgow, who turn out the greatest 
tonnage on the Clyde, chiefly of the cargo 
class. She was intended to replace the '' Glen- 
more," and to act as a consort to the " Benmore" 
for Captain John Williamson's passenger and 
cargo work, and was of modern design both in 
hull and machinery, the latter, as in the case of 
the " Glenmore," being supplied by Rankin & 



FIGHT OF THE PACKET COMPANIES 241 

Blackmore. She still plies on the Kyles of 
Bute service in connection with the Caledonian 




'jUNO' 

and Glasgow and South- 
and is notable as the last 
steamer built on the Clyde 
in the nineteenth century 
for a private owner. 

In 1898 another pair of 
"greyhounds" were built, 
one for the Glasgow and 
South - Western Railway 
Company and the other 
for the North British. 

The "Juno," built by the 
Clydebank Company for 



Western Railways, 




CAPTAIN M'PHEDRON 



242 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

the excursion traffic of the Glasgow and South- 
western Railway was of up-to-date design. 




KENIL\V(»KTH 



She was, however, rather of the size of a 
channel steamer than of the regular Firth of 
Clyde craft. Of somewhat 
similar accommodation to 
the ''Glen Sannox," she is 
of a much heavier build, 
and is employed principally 
for traffic out of Ayr during 
the summer months. 

The '' Kenilworth," con- 
structed by A. & J. Inglis 
for the North British traffic, 
may be described as an im- 
cAPTAiN JOHN CLARK proved edition of this Com- 




FIGHT OF THE PACKET COMPANIES 243 

pany's previous steamer, the " Talisman." She 
is also employed on the Craigendoran and 
Rothesay route, and has all along given a good 
account of herself. 

The next steamer, the " Waverley," was the 
only boat turned out in 1899. Built, like the 




WAVERLEY 



" Kenilworth," by A. & J. Inglis to the order of 
the North British Company, she was in many 
respects a distinct advance on previous North 
British craft. She was fitted with the first 
compound engine employed by this conservative 
company. They still, however, adhered to the 
haystack boiler, though it was of modern type 
and with the present-day pressure of no lbs. 



244 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

The boat has proved most successful in every 
respect, and a distinct acquisition to the North 
British fleet. While generally employed in the 
ordinary coast traffic from Craigendoran, she is 
frequently in request for excursions, and alto- 
gether keeps well in line with the steamers of 
the two rival companies. She is frequently to 
be seen trying conclusions as to speed with her 
rivals on the firth. The result of these com- 
petitions, however, it is to 
be feared, must be attributed 
altogether to favouring cir- 
cumstances on board one or 
other of the racers. 

With reference to the 
departure made in the 
machinery of this steamer, 
it is interesting to note an 
occurrence of the previous 
year, 1898. An arbitration 

CAPTAIN MALCOLM GILLIES ^^^^ ^^^ ^^^eU Submitted tO 

Sheriff Cheyne by the Caledonian and North 
British Companies, as joint owners, regarding 
the type of steamer to be built for the Loch 
Lomond traffic. On that occasion the North 
British Company's representative and others 
gave evidence recommending strongly the 
adoption of the low pressure engine with the 
haystack boiler. They also recommended that 
the two steamers about to be built should be of 
a size to enable them to be floated up the 
Leven, under the bridges, to Loch Lomond. 
The Caledonian recommendation was for 




FIGHT OF THE PACKET COMPANIES 245 

steamers of larger dimensions to be fitted 
together on the loch side, with triple diagonal 
machinery and water-tube boilers, or with 
compound diagonal engines with navy boilers. 
This recommendation was supported by the 
eminent firm of Messrs. Denny, of Dumbarton, 
and others. The old-fashioned method, how- 
ever, carried the day — a decision which can 
hardly be considered complimentary to the 
modern science of mechanics, and which found 
its answer in the experience of the steamers 
themselves. 

After advocating so retrograde a policy with 
regard to these Loch Lomond steamers, the 
North British management showed considerable 
pluck in ordering the '' Waverley" to be fitted 
with compound engines. At the same time, it 
must be said that this class of machinery had 
become general on the Clyde ten years before. 
It is matter of congratulation, nevertheless, 
that the Company at last saw their way to 
make«the change, as the '' Waverley " was the 
last paddle-steamer built in the nineteenth 
century. She was also the last provided with 
reciprocating engines. 



CHAPTER XI 

THE TURBINE STEAMERS 

It is an interesting coincidence that on the 
first Clyde passenger steamer to be built in the 
new century there should be introduced an 
entirely new method of propulsion by steam. 
The placing of the " King Edward" on the 
water has played a notable part in the intro- 
duction of a type of machinery which is likely 
to revolutionise the engineering world in the 
twentieth century hardly less than James Watt's 
invention of the separate condenser did in the 
nineteenth. The inventor of the marine-steam 
turbine was the Hon. C. A. Parsons, M.A., 
F.R.S., and the first vessel on which the new 
machinery was put to the test was the 
''Turbinia," built in 1894, for the Pioneer 
Syndicate, the chief members of which were 
the Earl of Rosse, Messrs. C. J. Leyland, 
George Clayton, Norman C. Cookson, H. C. 
Harvey, John B. Simpson, A. A. C. Swinton, 
G. G. Stoney, and the inventor. The success 
of the " Turbinia" led to the introduction of the 
turbine system on two torpedo boat destroyers, 



THE TURBINE STEAMERS 



247 



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248 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

_^^_liJ 




THE TURBINE STEAMERS 



249 



the "Viper" for the British Government, and 
the " Cobra" for Sir W. G. Armstrong, Whit- 
worth & Co. The fourth vessel to be fitted 
with turbine machinery was put upon the 
waters of the Clyde. 

^'The '' King Edward" was built in the spring 
of 1 90 1 by William Denny & Bros., Dum- 




KING EDWARD 



barton, and englned by the Parsons Marine 
Steam Turbine Co., Limited, of Wallsend-on- 
Tyne. The order was given by Captain John 
Williamson, as managing director of a syndicate 
formed for the purpose of testing the suitability 
of the steam turbine for commercial purposes 
on board a passenger steamer. A more 
practical and severe test could not have been 
made, or one more calculated, in the event of 



250 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 



success, to convince the world of the superiority 
of the turbine over the reciprocating engine for 
fast steamers. 

In a paper read at the summer meeting of the 
Institution of Naval Architects on 26th June, 
1903, the Hon. C. A. Parsons described the 
vessel as follows : — " She Is 250 ft. by 30 ft. by 
10 ft. 6 In., with 6 ft. draught of water. Her 
engines are similar in construction to those of 
the ' Turblnia,' and consist 
< ^ttk^ ^^ three turbines — one of 

/ ' ^P^ ^ high pressure, driving the 

iHlk^H^ centre shaft, and two of 
^|B|p- IHR. low pressure, working in 
^^^P"" ' parallel, and driving the 

^—■- side shafts. In the exhaust 
casing of each of the low 
pressure turbines Is placed 
a reverslnof turbine. The 
centre shaft drives a pro- 
peller of 57 Inch diameter, 
and each of the side shafts carries two of 40 Inch 
diameter and about nine feet apart. When the 
vessel is manoeuvring, steam Is admitted by 
valves directly Into the low pressure, or into the 
reversing turbine, for going ahead or astern 
respectively, on either side of the vessel, the 
centre turbine and propeller meanwhile re- 
maining idle. When the main stop valve Is 
opened to the high pressure turbine all the 
turbines go ahead. The auxiliary machinery Is 
of the usual type, and needs no special mention 
except that the air pumps are worked by 




H. HALL, CHIEF ENGINEER 



THE TURBINE STEAMERS 251 

worm wheels from the low pressure turbine 
shafts. The boiler is of the usual return- 
double-tube, ended type, working at 150 lbs. 
pressure." 

The trial of the " King Edward " was made 
on the Clyde on 26th June, 1901, and on the 
Skelmorlle mile a mean speed of 20.48 knots 
was recorded, the revolutions of the centre 
shaft being 505 and of the side shafts 755 
per minute. From model experiments in 
the tank at Dumbarton the indicated horse 
power was estimated to be 3,500. On the 
run of about 160 miles to Campbeltown and 
back during the T901 season the average 
sea speed was 19 knots, and the average 
coal consumption, covering lighting-up, 
&c., was 18 tons per day, or 1.8 lbs. per 
equivalent indicated horse power per hour. 
Altogether the results of speed and coal con- 
sumption have been stated by the Messrs. 
Denny to be more favourable than could have 
been obtained from a similar vessel with 
triple - expansion reciprocating engines. In 
detail the statement by Mr. James Denny 
declares that if the '^ King Edward " had 
been fitted with balanced twin triple-expansion 
engines of the most improved type, and of 
such size as to consume all the steam the 
existing boiler could make, the best speed 
that could possibly be expected would be 19.7 
knots, against the 20^ knots actually attained 
by the '' King Edward." The difference be- 
tween 19.7 knots and 20.5 knots corresponds 



252 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

to a difference in indicated horse power, in 
favour of the turbine steamer, of 20 per 
cent. 

The performance of the vessel during the 
seasons of 1901 and 1902 has been most satis- 
factory, no hitch or trouble having occurred 
with the machinery. After they had covered a 
distance of 27,000 knots the writer examined 
the turbines, and found everything in excellent 
order and condition, and he does not hesitate 
to declare that the turbine engine has come to 
remain until, at any rate, something better turns 
up. Much has been said to the contrary ; 
the coal consumption in particular having been 
declared excessive. As a matter of fact the 
coal consumption compares very favourably 
with that of the ordinary compound engine. 
To reduce the comparison to definite figures 
the performance of the ''King Edward" may 
be compared with that of the " Duchess of 
Hamilton." The hulls of the two steamers 
are identical in size, but the " King Edward," at 
the rate of 8.87 knots per ton of coal, travels at 
an average speed of 18 knots per hour, while 
the '' Duchess of Hamilton," at the rate of 8.47 
knots per ton of coal, travels at an average 
speed of only 16 knots per hour. 

The names of Messrs. Parsons, Denny, 
and John Williamson will long be honourably 
associated with the conclusive proof of the 
superiority of the turbine system of propulsion 
for steamers as demonstrated by the produc- 
tion and performance of the " King Edward." 



THE TURBINE STEAMERS 253 

With regard to the more ordinary details of the 
vessel, in design and general arrangement the 
hull is somewhat similar to the hulls of the most 
recent paddle steamers, providing all the com- 
forts and conveniences demanded by the most 
exacting patron of the Clyde passenger steamer. 

Such is the most recent development of the 
Clyde passenger steamer. What the next step 
will be it is by no means easy to predict. An 
idea of the probable demands of the traffic may 
be inferred from the fact 
that during the last ten 
years of the nineteenth 
century the number of pas- 
sengers carried amounted 
to upwards of four millions 
per annum, nearly three 
times the number carried 
in 1890. Such rapid pro- 
gress need not surprise 
anyone who is familiar with 
the style, equipment, and 
comfort, to say nothing of the efficiency and 
discipline, to be found on board the Clyde 
steamers. By their means, access to all parts 
of the firth is as rapid as it is pleasurable, and 
the moderate charges and continually increasing 
population of Glasgow and the valley of the 
Clyde point to a greater increase in the future 
than has even occurred in the past. 

The improvements made in recent years in 
the comforts and discipline of the steamers have 
reacted upon the manners of the public who 




HON. C. A. PARSONS 



254 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 



support them. During the Glasgow Fair hoHday 
season, when the steamers are crowded, the 
Clyde tripper stands in marked contrast, in 
appearance and behaviour, to what he was even 
so recently as the eighties, and it is pleasant 
to observe that the improvement becomes more 
apparent from year to year. 

During the last decade of the century twenty- 
four steamers were built, bringing the fleet 





JOHN WILLIAMSON 



WALTER BROCK OF DENNY & CO. 



trafti( 



the 



engaged in the passenger tramc up to 
number of forty. When consideration is given 
to the number of runs per day effected by each 
of the railway boats — by Craigendoran, Green- 
ock, Gourock, Wemyss Bay, Fairlie,^ and 
Ardrossan — some idea of the service may be 
formed. 

Altogether, in the years from 1850 to 1901, 
141 steamers were built on the Clyde, of which 

\The Fairlie route was opened for traffic on ist July, 1882, 
but it was not until the introduction of the turbine steamer 
"King Edward" that any considerable volume of traffic travelled 
by that route. 



THE TURBINE STEAMERS 



255 



four were lost, ten were broken up, and seventy- 
nine were sold to leave the firth. Two boilers 
exploded during the period, and twelve persons 
were injured, drowned, or killed. Of these, 
however, only two fatal accidents are traced as 
having occurred to passengers, the balance of 
the casualties having occurred to those engaged 
on and about the steamers. In view of the 
millions of passengers who have been carried 
during these fifty years the record reflects the 
hiohest credit on those in command of the 
steamers and the crews. For the previous forty 
years the records were not so favourable, three 
boilers having exploded, and one hundred and 
fifteen casualties having happened to passen- 
gers and crews. 

The totals for the whole of the nineteenth 
century are — 309 steamers built ; 1 1 steamers 
lost in Clyde waters ; 258 steamers broken up 
or sold out of the Clyde, leaving a balance of 
40 steamers on the list in 1901, as follows : 





mber of 
sengers 
der No. 
imits. 


'0 


Master. 




3 J3 ChJ 


sU 






^fS^^ 


;z; 




Caledonian Steamers. 








" Duchess of Hamilton," - 


1780 


42 


Robt. Morrison 


" Duchess of Rothesay," - 


1376 


36 


D. M'Phedron 


" Marchioness of Lome," 


I2I3 


24 


Wm. Gordon 


" Marchioness of Bute," - 


III9 


19 


Duncan MacDougall 


" Marchioness of \ 
Breadalbane," j 


III9 


19 


Duncan Munro 


"Ivanhoe," - 


I 198 


32 


Allan MacDougall 


"Galatea," - 


1307 


30 


John Buie 


" Meg Merrilies," - 


1004 


20 


Hugh M'Pherson 


" Madge Wildfire," - 


983 


16 


Archd. Cameron 


"Caledonia," - 


1093 


19 


D. A. Smith 



256 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 







u- 






"o S2 6 









tnber 
senge 
ier N 
imits. 


^ 


Master. 




s S3 cj 


30 






'H^^'P^ 


iz; 




G. & S.-W. Steamers. 








" Glen Sannox," - 


I70I 


47 


Alex. Fowler 


"Juno/' - - - . 


1497 


43 


Donald M'Phedron 


"Jupiter," 


1406 


38 


Donald M'Tavish 


" Glen Rosa," - 


1035 


26 


John Cameron 


" Minerva," 


1035 


26 


Archd. Turner 


"Neptune," - 


1267 


33 


Charles Brown 


" Mercury," 


1267 


32 


Peter M'Gregor 


"Viceroy," 


1 140 


19 


John Sinclair 


"Marquis of Bute," - 


781 


14 


Hugh M'Callum 


North British Steamers. 








" Waverley," - - - 


1467 


33 


Malcolm Gillies 


"Talisman," - 


1244 


18 


John M'Caul Gray 


" Redgauntlet," 


ii]4 


27 


Dugald M'Farlane 


" Lucy Ashton," - 


903 


16 


Roderick M'Donald 


" Lady Rowena," - 


938 


23 


Donald M'Arthur 


" Lady Clare," 


709 


16 


Angus Carmichael 


"Kenilworth,"- 


1230 


18 


John Clark 


" Dandie Dinmont," 


961 


17 


Duncan M'Neill 


MacBrayne's Steamers. 








"Columba," - 


2116 


74 


Angus Campbell 


"Chevalier," - 


1074 


24 


John M'Millan 


"Grenadier," - 


1 1 50 


20 


Arch. M'Arthur 


"Fusilier," - 


1078 


18 


Donald M'Callum 


"lona," - - - - 


1400 


30 


Neil M'Tavish 


Loch Goil and Inveraray 








Steamers. 








" Edinburgh Castle," 


1028 


20 


fWm. Barr or 
\ Archd. Muir 


"Lord of the Isles," 


1600 


44 


Donald Downie 


Buchanan's Steamers. 








"Isleof Arran," 


1333 


22 


Wm. Buchanan 


"Isle of Bute," 


1017 


20 


Jas. D. Buchanan 


"Vivid,"- 


890 


12 


Lachlan Campbell 



THE TURBINE STEAMERS 257 





CAPTAIN M'JNNES 
CAL, CO. 



CAPTAIN JOHN THOMPSON 
CAL. CO. 





CAPTAIN JOHN SINCLAIR 
G. AND S,-W. CO. 



CAPTAIN M'CALLUM 
G. AND S.-W. CO. 



258 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 




Master. 



Jno. Williamson's Steamers 

" Strathmore," 
**■ Benmore," - 

Turbine Syndicate. 

■" King Edward," - 



1113 
934 



1994 



24 
16 



50 



John Gillies 
James Stewart 



(Alex. Fowler 1 
\H. Hall, Engineer 



1 Captain Fowler was the first master of the " King Edward " for about half 
the season, when he returned to his own steamer, the " Glen Sannox," 
and was succeeded by Angus Keith. 



J, 
















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DIAGRAM OF COSTS OF THE WORKING OF PADDLE STEAMERS 



.■.^^^ 





CAPTAIN JOHN M'MILLAN 

macbrayne's steamers 



CAPTAIN NEIL M'TAVISH 
macbrayne's STEAMERS 




CAPTAIN LACHLAN CAMPBELL, BUCHANAN'S STEAMERS 





CAPTAIN J. D. BUCHANAN- 



CAPTAIN WM. BUCHANAN 



CHAPTER XII 

OWNERS, MASTERS AND CREWS 

The precision and promptitude of steamboat 
management at the present day is in strange 
contrast to the steamboat methods of ninety 
years ago. To mention one feature only, 
the registration of steamers in the earlier period 
was erratic in the extreme. In the case 
of the " Comet," the records of the Custom 
House at Glasgow give J. Bruce as the name 
of the master, while in all other records 
William M'Kenzie figures as the captain. The 
anomaly is probably explained by the sup- 
position that J. Bruce was the man who took 
charge of the vessel until she was delivered to 
her owners, or was master when she was 
registered. In the case of other steamers, 
periods of from one to five years elapse before 
they are registered at the Custom House, and 
there are instances of vessels whose record 
exists only in the builders' lists. In one list, 
indeed, received from a well-known firm of 
builders, there was no record at all of two 
steamers which were unquestionably built by 



OWNERS, MASTERS AND CREWS 261 

them. It was only upon the production of 
evidence from an outside source that the fact 
was verified and the omission acknowledged 
by them. Again, in the original list, compiled 
by one of John Wood's assistants, of the 
steamers built by his firm between 18 12 and 
1820, the particulars by no means accord with 
those of the register kept by the Custom House. 
In this case, the Custom House record must be 
considered the more reliable, and it has been 
taken in preparing the complete list of steamers 
appended. 

Much of this want of method is to be 
accounted for by the fact that in its earlier days 
the steamboat enterprise exercised over all 
connected with it a fascination which is difficult 
to explain, and which is seldom found in con- 
nection with other undertakings. It was owing, 
perhaps, to this fascination that the pioneers of 
the enterprise obtained so little substantial 
return from it. They looked upon the steamers 
and their achievements rather from the point of 
view of the enthusiast than of the cool-headed 
business man bent on securing a return for his 
energies. It was on this account, probably, 
that Henry Bell found himself in constant 
financial straits, and closed his days in circum- 
stances less opulent than he deserved. His 
colleague, John Robertson, who made the 
engines of the "Comet," had a similar ex- 
perience, some details of which have already 
been alluded to in the brief account of his 
life. 



262 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

These men, however, paved the way, and it 
might be supposed that those who came after 
them, benefiting by their ideas, and reHeved of 
the expense and mistakes common to the 
inauguration of a new enterprise, would have 
reaped a golden harvest. This, however, was 
by no means always the case. The senti- 
mental side of steamboat owning and steamboat 
running seems to have increased rather than 
diminished during the successive decades, ex- 
hausting itself only with the periodic depletion 
of the resources of the enthusiasts. From first 
to last the jealous and uncompromising attitude 
of the owners towards each other incurred a 
waste of energy and means which made 
financial success impossible. Attempts were 
made from time to time to form a Steamboat 
Trust, but they invariably ended in failure. 
There must have been squandered in unneces- 
sary and costly competition a sum of over two 
millions sterling in round figures, and it is little 
to the credit of those engaged in the enterprise 
that the waste was never greater than at the 
close of the century. No attempt to run the 
steamers on business-like methods seems to 
have been made till the river was all but 
cleared of craft during the American Civil 
War in the early sixties. At that period the 
traffic was conducted by a reasonable number 
of economical steamers under the direct control 
of their owners, and, undoubtedly, for close 
on twenty years, money was rapidly made, 
but immediately after that time the traffic, 



OWNERS, MASTERS AND CREWS 263 

and the steamboat ownership, were graduall)^ 
absorbed by the railway companies. 

A similar looseness to that observable in 
registering the steamers is to be found in the 
records of the earlier owners. Between the 
years 181 2 and 1827 it has only been possible 
to find a record of the names of owners of two 
steamers — Henry Belk is registered as the 
owner of ''Comet," No. i, and G. Burns & T. 
Buchanan appear as owners of the " Argyle " in 
181 5. It may, therefore, perhaps, be assumed 
that the ownership of the early steamers was 
divided, and that in addition to the builder and 
the maker of the engines, who were often sharers 
in the venture, it included persons belonging to 
the localities to which the vessels plied. 

The name of David Napier appears as owner 
of the ''Venus" in 1827, of the "Cupid" in 
1828, of the "St. Mun" in 1830, the "Earl 
Grey" in 1832, and the " Kilmun " in 1834. 
Napier played so conspicuous a part in the 
development of the Clyde steamboat and the 
coast that his career possesses peculiar interest. 
His father, John Napier, was a founder and 
smith at Dumbarton, a man of some position, 
having in his workshop two steam engines, one 
for blowing a cupola, and another of the 
original kind, with open cylinder and wooden 
walking-beam, which he used for boring 
cannon. At that time nearly all the cannons 
made in this country were cast at Carron or 
the Clyde Ironworks, and a proportion of those 
cast at the latter place were sent to Dumbarton 



264 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

to be bored. It was here that, on 29th October, 
1790, David Napier was born. Twelve years 
later John Napier removed his business to 
Glasgow, and acquired premises in Howard 
Street. David was sent to school, and received 
instruction in French, mathematics, and draw- 
ing, having for instructor Peter Nicholson, an 
authority on architecture. By and by he 
assisted his father, not serving a regular ap- 
prenticeship to any trade, but, to use his own 
words, ''putting his hand to everything." By 
the time he was twenty years of age he was 
able to take complete charge of the business, 
and in 1 8 1 3 his father died. 

As a boy, Napier had been taken to see the 
''Charlotte Dundas," Symington's steamer on 
the Forth and Clyde Canal. She was a small 
tug, with a paddle at the stern, and a waggon- 
shaped boiler with a brick flue. Though only 
twelve years of age, Napier was impressed by 
this boat, and began to reflect on the possi- 
bility of further steam developments. 

Henry Bell, as a house builder, was frequently 
in Napier's foundry getting castings ; hence, 
when he resolved to venture upon building a 
steamer, he gave Napier the order for the boiler 
and castings required. It is recorded that the 
making of the boiler presented considerable 
difficulty, engineers being unaccustomed to 
manufacture internal flues. Cast iron was first 
tried and proved unsuitable, but malleable iron 
was afterwards adopted, and in the end a com- 
paratively tight job was made. 



OWNERS, MASTERS AND CREWS 265 

Seeing that steam navigation was likely to 
succeed, Napier began to erect works at Cam- 
lachie for the purpose of making marine engines, 
and in this enterprise he soon distinguished 
himself. There was a difficulty at first about 
the engines for deep-sea boats. Two steamers 
built at Greenock to the order of an Irish com- 
pany, and engined by James Cook, the oldest 
and most capable engine-maker then in Glas- 
gow, had not proved successful on the station, 
and it was thought impossible to construct 
machinery capable of withstanding the shock 
of a heavy sea. Napier, nevertheless, had ideas 
of his own on the subject. There is a story 
told of him, that, as the captain of one of the 
Belfast sailing packets was making a winter 
passage, he observed a young man perched, 
quite regardless of the waves, on the bow of 
the vessel, gazing intently on the seas as they 
broke over the ship. At intervals, he came to 
ask the master whether the sea miofht be con- 
sidered rough, and on each occasion being told 
that it was by no means unusually stormy, he 
returned to his post. The breeze, however, 
freshened, at last it blew a whole gale, and the 
captain admitted that he could not remember 
having faced a worse night. Delighted with 
the information, Napier retired below, saying, 
'' 1 think I can manage, if that be all." 

From the perusal of a French treatise on the 
resistance of fluids, he came to the conclusion 
that the full, round bow in use for sailing ships 
was unsuitable for steamers. Accordingly, he 



266 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

made a model of length, breadth, and depth 
proportionate to the dimensions of the steamer 
he contemplated, and experimented with this 
in the Camlachie burn in 1817. He began 
fining away the bow, and continued to do so 
as long as the fining produced any perceptible 
increase of speed, taking care to keep the weight 
constant. Having reached the point of maxi- 
mum advantage, he handed the model to the 
shipbuilder, and instructed him to take his lines 
from it. The result was the " Rob Roy," a 
vessel eighty feet in length by sixteen feet 
beam, with which in 1818 he established steam 
communication between Greenock and Belfast. 
The vessel plied between these ports regularly 
for two winters, and was then transferred to the 
English Channel as a packet between Dover 
and Calais. 

Having thus ascertained the proper model 
for steam vessels on the open sea, Napier pro- 
ceeded to turn his knowledge to further account. 
A year later, the Messrs. Wood built for him 
two larger boats, the '' Talbot" and the '' Ivan- 
hoe," into which he put two engines, each of 
thirty horse-power. These plied between Holy- 
head and Dublin, performing the journey in 
about eight hours, and were considered the 
most perfect vessels of the day. 

These were the first vessels to establish the 
practicability of navigating the open sea by 
steam, and the fact is recorded in two Blue 
Books of the House of Commons, which ap- 
pointed a Select Committee, under the presi- 



OWNERS, MASTERS AND CREWS 267 

dency of Sir Henry Parnell, to examine into 
the subject. 

Napier had now established a reputation as 
a marine engineer, and in 1821, to extend his 
business, he purchased lands at Lancefield, at 
the same time leasing his Camlachie premises 
to his cousin, Robert Napier. In his works at 
Camlachie he was assisted by David Tod and 
John Macgregor, who subsequently founded 
the well-known firm which bore their names. 

Napier engined the ''United Kingdom" in 
1826. First of the so-called '' leviathans," she 
was 160 ft. long by 26^ ft. beam, with 
engines of 200 horse power. People flocked 
from all quarters to see her as the wonder of 
the day, and it was predicted by the general 
public that she would prove unwieldy at sea. 

Among the inventions which Napier intro- 
duced or designed were the surface condenser, 
steeple engines with one, two, or four piston 
rods, and boilers with vertical tubes, besides 
feathering paddles, twin screws, a rotary engine, 
a steam carriage, a floating battery, a breech- 
loading gun, etc. He appears to have intro- 
duced the steeple engine about 1834, though 
he did not patent it till 1842. The story of 
how the idea occurred to him, and of how he 
worked it out at midnight on the floor of the 
dining-room at Lancefield, has already been 
told in these pages. 

At the same time this versatile genius was 
by no means without the misfortunes of an 
inventor. Possessed of an independent mind, 



268 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

he was not disposed to yield readily when 
accidents occurred on his steamers, and was 
prone to resist claims which arose out of 
them. For this reason he appeared more 
than once as a defender in the law courts. 
There is no evidence, however, that the 
accidents were caused by any inferiority in 
his work. 

The worst of his misfortunes has been 
already alluded to. On 24th July, 1835, as his 
steamer, the ''Earl Grey," was at Greenock 
Quay preparing to race against the renowned 
" Clarence," her boiler exploded, killing ten 
persons and injuring many others. The 
engineer in charge was tried at the Circuit 
Court, but was found " not guilty." The 
boiler, a new one, had been put in a few weeks 
previously by George Mansell. It carried a 
pressure of no more than eight pounds to the 
square inch, but the safety-valve was controlled 
by a rod passing down to the engine-room 
below deck. 

For a considerable time Napier had purposed 
going to London, and about this period he 
leased Lancefield House and works to his 
cousin, and removed to Millwall, where his 
sons, with his assistance, began shipbuilding 
and engineering on the banks of the Thames. 
Three iron steamers, the '' Eclipse," the '' Isle 
of Thanet," and the " Rocket," built by 
them for the Margate traffic, made a consider- 
able stir at the time. The " Eclipse," in 
particular, which had two funnels, was called 



OWNERS, MASTERS AND CREWS 269 

" Spring-heeled Jack," and is immortalised in 
the Ingoldsby Legenc/s : 

" If in one of the trips 
Of the steamboat 'Eclipse' 
You should go down to Margate 
To look at the ships." 

She was a very fast boat, and outsailed all 
others on the Thames. 

The firm continued in business for fourteen 
years, then leased their works to Scott Russell 
as an extension of his yard for the building of 
the " Great Eastern." 

At the time of the Crimean War Napier 
designed a ship which, in his opinion, would 
prove invulnerable and yet destroy anything 
afloat. The vessel was to have no sides above 
the water-line. To give the necessary buoy- 
ancy she was to have a curved deck two feet 
thick, covered outside with one-inch iron plates, 
and provided with half-inch plates inside the 
wooden backing to prevent splinters. He 
proposed to arm her with one or more dis- 
appearing guns, made of malleable iron, loading 
at the breech ; and, as he had had experience 
with guns in early life, he offered to get such a 
gun made, capable of firing two shots for one 
with any gun in the Navy. When on land, the 
gun was to be mounted behind an armoured 
shield on a steam carriage large enough to 
contain half-a-dozen men, and capable of moving 
backwards and forwards at pleasure. This 
invention he offered to the Admiralty on the 
"no success, no pay " principle, yet, strange to 



270 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

say, the authorities declined the proposal. At 
that time the Admiralty were themselves ex- 
perimenting with floating batteries of wood 
protected with armour plates, three being built, 
the " Erebus" by Robert Napier, the '' Terror" 
by Palmer, and a third by someone else. 

Another of the projects of Napier's later 
years was a scheme for the purification of the 
Clyde. He suggested to the authorities a plan 
for the removal of the sewage of Glasgow to 
the open sea by steam barges, and expressed 
his willingness to subscribe ^500 to test the 
plan. The offer, however, was not taken 
advantage of. 

In an earlier chapter a description has been 
given of the inventor's early enterprise in open- 
ing up the Kilmun and Lock Eck route to the 
West Highlands. The steam carriage which 
he put upon the road on that occasion was the 
first that carried passengers for hire. Its non- 
success was due partly to the softness and 
hilliness of the road, and partly to the fact that 
from want of knowledge in boiler-making the 
expected speed could not be attained. 

While resident in Glasgow, Napier bought 
the estate of Glenshellish, between Lock Eck 
and Strachur, and spent his summer holidays 
there, till, on removing to London, he leased it 
to tenants. On his final retirement from 
business he resided for a time at Worcester. 
It has been said that probably, with the excep- 
tion of his cousin, Robert, no single man did 
more to improve the steam navigation of the 



OWNERS, MASTERS AND CREWS 271 

world than David Napier, who died in London 
in November, 1869, in his eightieth year. 

Next on the list of steamboat owners on the 
Clyde are the names of Henderson and 
M'Kellar. The two were first associated with 
the Helensburgh and Gareloch traffic, and 
M'Kellar by himself was afterwards connected 
with the Kilmun route, their enterprises extend- 
ing altogether over a period of thirty years. 
They started with the first "Sultan" in 1828. 
Henderson was a shipbuilder at Renfrew, and 
M'Kellar belonged to a Glasgow family con- 
nected with the shipping 
industry during the greater 
part of the century. 

William M'Kenzie, al- 
ready mentioned as master 
of ''Comet" No. i, his first 
command, appears as owner 
for the first time in 1830, 
in connection with the 
"Superb," of which he was 
also master. Captain J. 
M'Kinnon comes next, as captain john m'kinnon 

master and owner of the "Rothesay," in 1831, 
and in the same year appears J. Neilson, 
owner and builder of the " Fairy Queen," 
but he does not seem to have continued his 
connection with the traffic. 

Duncan M'Kellar, of the Largs and Millport 
and Arran steamers, was first registered as 
owner in 1832 in connection with the "Hero," 
and his association with the traffic, coupled 




272 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

latterly with that of his sons, Alexander and 
John, continued until the opening of the 
Wemyss Bay Railway. In the same year, 
1832, Thomas Wingate, the shipbuilder and 
engineer, appears as owner of the " Apollo." 
His only other record as owner occurs in 1858 
in connection with the " Hero," but, of course, 
he built many other steamers. 

In 1834 Messrs. Currie & Clark were regis- 
tered as owners of the '' Nimrod," Currie also 





CAPTAIN DUNCAN M'KELLAR CAPTAIN ALEX. M'KELLAR 

acting as master. In this year W. Young first 
appears in the list, as owner of the " Rob Roy." 
A Glasgow plumber to trade, he was associated 
with the traffic until the ownership of the 
steamers " Lady Brisbane " and '' Lady 
Kelburne " was amalgamated with that of 
M'Kellar's Laro^s line. His connection with 
the enterprise was continued, however, through 
his son. Captain Robert Young. 

J. & W. Napier entered the list in 1837 as 



OWNERS, MASTERS AND CREWS 273 

owners of the " Luna," and continued their 
relations with the traffic directly or indirectly 
for several years. They were succeeded by 
Napier & MTntyre, who built and owned the 
"Vulcan" in 1854 and the "Neptune" in 
1861. 

The name of another well-known firm of 
engineers and shipbuilders, Tod & M'Gregor, 
appears in the list of owners for the first time 
in 1838 in connection with the " Queen." 
They continued their connection with the 
traffic until the building of the " Spunkie " 
and " Kelpie" in 1857, and were also interested 
in M'Kellar's Largs and Millport boats. 

Besides these, numerous names of part- 
owners of individual steamers will be found in 
the detailed list of steamers and owners in the 
appendix. 

The owning of steamers by the railway com- 
panies dated from the opening of the Glasgow 
and Greenock Railway in 1841, but till 1889 
the interest of these companies remained, for 
reasons now forgotten, only half-hearted and 
spasmodic. The last decade of the century, 
however, found the Caledonian, North British, 
and Glasgow and South-Western Companies 
owning twenty-seven steamers, while the pri- 
vate owner had become all but extinct. 

It was not until 1842 that the Glasgow 
merchant princes began to take part in the 
enterprise. The history and ultimate result of 
their endeavour are of considerable interest. 
On the building of the " Duntroon Castle " 

s 



274 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

the names of W. Campbell of Tillichewan, J. 
Hunter of Hafton, and A. S. Finlay of Toward 
were entered as representative owners. The 
association was known as the Castle Company, 
from the names of the various steamers which 
it put upon the water, but it only lasted till 
1845. The steamers were then sold to G. & J. 
Burns. This firm immediately made a deter- 
mined effort to get control of the traffic on the 





D. HUTCHISON ALEX. HUTCHISON 

Clyde. To this end they reduced the fares all 
round to the lowest limit on record, conveying 
passengers to any point of call for twopence. 
The attempt, however, produced no result to 
justify the trouble taken and annoyance caused, 
and in 1848 the steamers were turned over to 
David Hutchison & Co. Hutchison was a 
clerk in the office of the Messrs. Burns, and was 
closely associated by family ties with the firm. 
Twenty-nine years later, the undertaking 
was acquired by Mr. David MacBrayne, who 



OWNERS, MASTERS AND CREWS 275 



appeared as an owner with the building of the 
" Columba " in 1877, and who is still engaged, 
with his sons, in the West 
Highland traffic. 

In connection with this 
enterprise, it is necessary to 
record the services of Cap- 
tain John M 'Arthur. Son 
of Alexander M 'Arthur, 
harbour master at Tarbert 
on Loch Fyne, he began 
his steamboat career on 
board the ''St. Mun," and 
after superintending the 
building of most of the 

steamers, became ultimately manager of the 
company. In that position, he displayed marked 
ability, but on the transference of the steamers 




DAVID MACBRAYNE 

Castle Company's 





CAPTAIN ALEX, CAMPBELL CAPTAIN JOHN CAMPBELL 

to David Hutchison & Co. his connection 
with them ceased. 

Alexander and John Campbell appear first 



2/6 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

on the register in 1848 as owners of the 
'' Duchess of Argyle." The Campbells were 
natives of the Gareloch, but are chiefly remem- 
bered in connection with the Kilmun traffic. 
The two brothers were succeeded by their 
nephew, Captain Bob, and he continued 
the business along- with his sons, Peter and 
Alexander, until their steamers were purchased 
by the Caledonian Steam Packet Company 
in 1889. During their time they built or 
purchased the "Mail," "Vivid," "Vesper," 
"Benmore," " Waverley," and " Madge Wild- 
fire," and the Greenock and Helensburgh 
steamers "Vesta" and "Meg Merrilies." 

In 1853 in connection with the "Eagle," 
appear the names of Alexander Williamson 
and William Buchanan. The latter was a 
native of the Vale of Leven, and was originally 
engaged in the shipping trade on the Forth. 
He came to the Clyde in 1852, and built on 
his own account " Eagle '^ No. 2, "Brodick 
Castle," and "Scotia," and he purchased the 
"Rothesay Castle," built by Henderson in 1865, 
and ultimately acquired Keith & Campbell's 
fleet. His three sons, William, John, and James, 
now own the "Isle of Arran"and "Isle of Bute." 
Alexander Williamson belonged to Luss, and 
was connected in the thirties with the Dum- 
barton and Glasgow steamers. He was after- 
wards engaged in the Largs, Millport, and 
Arran service, until he became associated with 
Buchanan in the ownership of the " Eagle." 
The two afterwards owned the " Cardiff 



OWNERS, MASTERS AND CREWS 277 



Castle" and the "Petrel." In 1861, the 
partnership was dissolved. Williamson then 





CAPTAIN BOB CAMPBELL 



PETER CAMPBELL 



purchased the '' Sultan." He afterwards built 
the "Sultana" and "Viceroy," and, later 





CAPTALS ALEX. WILLL\MSON, SR. 



CAPTAIN W. BUCHANAN 



Still, acquired the " Marquis of Bute." All 
these vessels were ultimately sold to the 
Glasgow and South- Western Company. His 



2/8 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

\/ three sons, James, the writer of these pages^i 
Alexander, and John, are now respectively 
manager of the Caledonian fleet, manager of 
the Glasgow and South-Western fleet, and 
manager and part owner of the turbine and 
other steamers. 

Messrs. Henderson, engineers and ship- 
builders at Renfrew, appear as owners in 1854, 
with the building of "Ruby" No. i. The 





f 



CAPTAIN JAS. WILLIAMSON A. WILLIAMSON, JR. 

boats which they produced, notably the three 
^ " Rubys," were remarkable and up-to-date in 

" -^ every respect, and the firm continued their 
connection with the steamboat business until 

'^^ I the disposal of their steamers for the purposes 

of the American blockade. 

Captain Robert Young first appeared on the 
river as master of the " Gourock." As already 
stated, he was the son of William Young, 
plumber, Glasgow, and was principal owner of 
the " Lady Brisbane" and other steamers. In 



OWNERS, MASTERS AND CREWS 279 



many respects Captain Bob, as his friends 
called him, was the type of man necessary for 
the development of the traffic, his popular nick- 
name of " Captain Kid " was in a measure due 
to his self-respect, and it is to be regretted that 
more of his kind were not associated with the 
business. 

In 1855, another well-known name, that of 
Captain Duncan Stewart, appeared on the list as 





ALLAN STEWART 



BOB STEWART 



part owner of the " Superb." Stewart belonged 
to Perthshire, but was early associated with 
the Gareloch service. He built the "Alma," 
"Argyle," "Victory," " Athole," and "Lome," 
and purchased the "Undine." Latterly, he 
was assisted by his sons Donald, Allan, and 
Robert, but the career of each of these was 
short, and on the disposal of the " Undine " the 
old man retired from the business, one of the 
few owners who had been fortunate in it, from 
a financial point of view. 



28o THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

A few years after this date, Captain Alex- 
ander M'Lean became associated with his 
brother Thomas in the ownership of the 
*' Vulcan." The two hailed from Loch Eck 
side, and were early employed on board the 
river steamers, Alexander beginning his steam- 
boat career on the *' Luna," and continuing 
it on the Largs boats, his first command being 
the " Reindeer." His brother was a steward 
on the **Gareloch." In 
1868, they built the *' Mar- 
I "^R., quis of Bute," and they 

afterwards acquired the 
''Athole." 

Among Sunday steam- 
boat owners, the most not- 
able appeared in 186 1. A. 
Watson began with the 
" Rothesay Castle," and, in 
company with Harry Sharp, 
CAPTAIN ALEX. M'LEAN ^g afterwards acquired the 
''Cardiff Casde " and the "Petrel." Finally, 
in 1864, he built the ''Arran Casde," and, as 
already stated, went down with her on the 
voyage to London in the spring of 1865. In 
the Sunday sailing of these and later Sunday 
boats, the chief attraction lay in the steward's 
department. Pandemonium usually reigned on 
board, and the steamers may be described as 
nothing but fioating hells. The withdrawal of 
the Sunday licence in 1882 checked the Sunday 
traffic for a time, but the pests of the river 
usually tumbled into the Sunday work as a last 




OWNERS, MASTERS AND CREWS 281 

resource. The first Sunday boat started in 
June, 1853. It was the "Emperor," and it 
was succeeded by the "Alliance," "Cardiff 
Casde," " Petrel," " Kingston," " Prince of 
Wales," " Dunoon Casde," " Lough Foyle," 
"Marquis of Lome," "Victoria," "Heather 
Bell," and " Duchess of York." 

Captain James Gillies and his son-in-law, 
Alexander Campbell, appear in the list of 





JAS. GII.LIES CAPTAIN ALEX. CAMPBELL 

owners in 1868. The former was, to beoin 
with, employed by the Largs Steamboat Com- 
pany in various capacities, and after acting as a 
master of that company's steamers for many 
years, he purchased the "Venus." Captain 
Alexander Campbell had his early training on 
board the Clyde steamers, and served after- 
wards in the Anchor Line. After their 
engagement in the Wemyss Bay service in 
1869, the two partners purchased the " Argyle," 
''Victory," "Largs," "Dunoon Casde," and 



282 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

" Bonnie Doon," and built the '' Lady Ger- 
trude," ''Sheila," "Adela," and "Victoria." 
Their retirement from the Wemyss Bay service 
in 1890 has already been described. 

The last to appear on the list, and the last 
private owner to build in the nineteenth cen- 
tury was Captain John Williamson, fourth son 
of Captain Alexander Williamson. The 
" Strathmore," launched by him in 1897, from 
present appearances is likely to be the last 
steamer built by a private owner for Clyde 
passenger traffic. 

During their whole career, and particularly 
since 1850, these owners had a record remark- 
ably free from disaster. Their worst catas- 
trophe was the hurricane in February, 1856, 
when nearly all the steamers laid up at Bowling 
were more or less seriously damaged. 

Hardly less interesting than the list of 
owners is the list of captains who commanded 
the vessels. To begin with the master of the 
early "Comet," William M'Kenzie, the follow- 
ing short account, by himself, found among the 
papers of the late Robert Napier of West 
Shandon, may be quoted in full: 

" In March, 181 2, was engaged by Mr Henry 
Bell of Baths, Helensburgh, to sail his 'Comet' 
steamer as master, and on ist April of same 
year was sent to superintend her building in 
Mr. John Wood's shipbuilding yard, Port- 
Glasgow ; launched her in July with all her 
machinery, &c., on board, completely ready for 
sailing ; sailed early in August following with 



OWNERS, MASTERS AND CREWS 283; 

passengers between Glasgow and Greenock. 
Got badly In my health in December, 181 2, 
and was obliged to leave the ' Comet ; ' joined 
the 'Clyde' steamer in March, 181 3, as pilot 
(John Robertson and Robert Steven, owners) ;; 
sailed on 20th June of same year with 
passengers between Glasgow, Greenock, and 
Gourock. Appointed master of the ' Clyde '' 
steamer early in 181 5, and continued to sail her 
till February, 181 7, when I got command of the 
' Marquis of Bute ' steamer (John Robertson, 
owner) ; plied with passengers between Glasgow, 
Greenock, and Gourock. Left the ' Marquis of 
Bute ' early in 1819 and joined the ' Greenock ' 
steamer as master (Malcolm M'Gregor, Aitchi- 
son, and others, owners) ; sailed with passengers 
between Glasgow, Greenock, and Helensburgh. 
In June, 1821, Dr. Stevenson became owner of 
the ' Greenock ' steamer, and continued her still 
on that station, I still as master ; in February, 
1825, joined the 'George Canning ' steamer as 
master (Dr. Stevenson, Hugh Price, and 
others, owners) which sailed between Glasgow 
and Belfast with passengers. Left the ' George 
Canning' early in 1826 and joined the * James 
Ewing ' as master, owned by the same owners, 
plying between Glasgow, Greenock, and Loch- 
gilphead, and occasionally to Inveraray, with 
passengers and goods. Left the ' James 
Ewing' steamer, in the winter of 1827, and 
joined the ' Sir John Moore ' steamer as master 
(Dr. Stevenson, Hugh Price, and others, 
owners) and sailed with passengers between 



284 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

Glasgow, Greenock, Rothesay, and Lochgilp- 
head, I becoming an owner of her at the same 
time. The * Sir John Moore ' being sold in 
February, 1828, I returned to my old vessel, 
the ' George Canning,' owned by her former 
owners, and sailed her as master between Glas- 
gow and Rothesay with passengers. In the 
-end of 1829 left the 'George Canning' and 
contracted for and got built the ' Superb ' 
steamer, myself owner, and sailed her as master 
between Glasgow, Greenock, and Rothesay, 
and occasionally in the summer months to Tar- 
bert with goods and passengers in the years 
1830 and 1 83 1. In March, 1832, sold the 
■* Superb ' steamer to Dr. Stevenson, who con- 
tinued to run her on the Rothesay station, I 
still sailing her as her master. The Doctor 
having disposed of the ' Superb ' in the summer 
of 1832, I sailed the ' Largs ' steamer as master 
(James Whitelaw, Robert Kennedy, and others, 
owners), which plied between Glasgow and 
Largs with passengers and continued in her till 
laid up. Sailed the ' Windsor Castle ' steamer, 
for Captain Thomson, three to four months in 
the winter of 1832 and 1833 (Kirkman Finlay, 
James Ewing, and others, owners), plying 
between Glasgow and Rothesay with pas- 
sengers. In May, 1833, sailed the 'Clarence' 
steamer as master, which plied between Glasgow 
and Helensburgh with passengers (James Smith, 
Lorn Campbell, and others, owners), continuing 
on her till the end of November, when she was 
Jaid up. In May, 1834, was appointed master 



OWNERS, MASTERS AND CREWS 285 

of the ' Albion ' steamer, which sailed between 
Greenock, Largs, Ardrossan, and Arran with 
passengers (James Whitelaw, Robert Kennedy^ 
and others, owners), and continued by her till 
laid up at the end of the summer. In 1835, 
laid up with a severe attack of rheumatism, and 
not able for employment. In March, 1836, 
joined the Kilmun steamer as pilot, and ap- 
pointed master in August (Hugh Price, George 
Ord, and others, owners), plying between Glas- 
gow and Kilmun with passengers, and con- 
tinued by her till a change of owners took place 
in December. In May, 1837, appointed to the 
' Cigar ' steamer (James Lumsden, Andrew 
Campbell, and others, owners), and sailed her 
as master, plying between Glasgow, Greenock, 
and Gourock with passengers, and continued 
by her till the end of summer, when it was 
found that the plan on which she was con- 
structed would not answer their expectations, 
and she was altogether laid aside. In May of 
1838 went mate of the ' Edinburgh Castle ' 
steamer, from the Clyde to Rye in England, 
being purchased by a Mr. Fruen in that vicinity 
to open up a communication between that port 
and Boulogne in France, but finding that after 
six months' trial it would not pay, the vessel 
was withdrawn from that station and sold. 
In May, 1839, sailed the 'Royal Victoria' 
steamer as master, chartered by Hamilton 
Brother & Co., from Mr. Barr, owner, to carry 
passengers between Glasgow, Greenock, and 
Dunoon for the summer months. In 1840 not 



^m THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

employed. In May, 1841, appointed master 
of the ' Staffa ' steamer (Thomson & M'Connell, 
and others, owners), and sent out to Oban to 
remain there to keep up their arrange- 
ments in conveying passengers and goods to 
the various places in the Highlands, and 
remained by her till ordered to Glasgow and 
laid up in January, 1842. In June, 1842, was 
laid up with a severe attack of rheumatism, and 
confined to bed nearly twelve months, and am 
now only restored to my wonted health. 

''(Sgd.) Wm. M'Kenzie. 

"Glasgow, 26th January, 1844." 

During the early days of the enterprise all 
sorts and conditions of men appear to have 
been attracted to the command of the steamers. 
They possessed no certificates — indeed, in the 
earlier clays certificates of efficiency do not seem 
to have been required. The oldest document 
of the kind was in the form of a river licence, 
granted by the Pilot Board, and available for 
the navigation of passenger steamers inside the 
Cumbrae heads, and as a matter of fact, no 
other paper is necessary at the present day, 
although in all well-regulated steamboat com- 
panies a Board of Trade certificate is essential 
to obtaining a command. The first Pilot Board 
licence was granted to John Ferguson on 17th 
November, 1829. 

The early list of captains contains the names 
of men who had formerly been schoolmasters, 
weavers, carriers, and the like, and apparently 



OWNERS, MASTERS AND CREWS 287 

they managed to get along well enough, in an 
easy-going way. The captain of the " Comet," 
however, seems to have possessed real natural 
ability. 

The next skipper, of this good old-fashioned 
sort, of whom a record remains, was Captain 
James Johnstone. He first appeared as master 
of the "Inveraray Castle" in 18 14, and assumed 
at once the position expected of a master 
towards his passengers and crew, being polite 
in his bearing towards all with whom he came 
in contact. There seems to have been good 
old-fashioned courtesy in his manner, and it is 
told of him that he used to make the announce- 
ment to his cabin passengers — '' Ladies and 
gentlemen, we are now collecting the passage- 
money." This collection of the fares, by the 
way, formed one of the duties of the captain 
until quite recently. Captain Johnstone seems 
to have been something of a sportsman in his 
time, as he is credited with the introduction 
of the rabbit into Bute, with a view to the 
spending of his leisure time in shooting. He 
next appears in command of the '' Dumbarton 
Castle" in 181 5, and was subsequently master 
of the ''Dunoon Castle" in 1826, the " Arran 
Casde " in 1830, and the " Earl Grey" in 1832. 
The "Maid of Bute," in 1835, seems to have 
been his last command. 

The other well and favourably known 
masters of this period were Dugald Thomson, 
Dan M 'Arthur, D. Wyse, Leitch, and John 
Kay. The last named was associated with the 



288 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

"Albion" in 1816, on the Largs and Millport 
station, and on his retirement, received a testi- 
monial from his owners. 

Peter Graham, of the Loch Goil company, 
was the first to occupy the dual position of 
captain and part owner. He made his dSbut 
on board the "Oscar'' in 181 8, and afterwards 
appeared as master of the " St. Catherine " in 
1825, the "St. George" in 1826, the "Loch 
Goil" in 1835, and the " Loch Goil" No. 2 in 
1 84 1. Graham was most popular and ener- 
getic, and at the time of his death was the 
oldest captain associated with steam in Europe. 

The masters whose names were associated 
with unfortunate incidents in the twenties were 
Captain M'Innes of the "Comet" No. 2, and 
Captain Clelland of the "Ayr." The latter, 
on the collision occurring between his vessel 
and the "Comet," seems to have become 
demoralised. At any rate he acted the part of 
a coward during the sinking of the other ship, 
and has thus left the most unenviable record in 
the list of Clyde steamboat masters. 

Neil M'Kinnon appears for the first time as 
captain of the " Ben Nevis," although R. Bain 
is entered on the register as first master of 
the boat. The former was brother of the late 
Captain John M'Kinnon of Gourock, and uncle 
of the present Captain Alexander M'Kinnon of 
Greenock and Gourock. 

Captains Kay and Niven were in turn 
masters of the " Largs," the former appearing 
on the register as master in 1822. 



OWNERS, MASTERS AND CREWS 289 

Captain James Henderson, of the Henderson 
& M'Kellar fleet of Helensburgh steamers, was 
another master who was also an owner. He 
began with the ''Sovereign" in 1824. 

Captain Peter Turner began his career on 
the "Ben Lomond" in 1825, and in 1827 
commanded the " Clarence." He won the cup 
given by the Northern Yacht Club. From the 
"Clarence" he went to the "Rob Roy" in 
1834, and he became master of the " Culloden " 
in 1845. 

Still another master who was also an owner 
was Captain John M'Kinnon. He began life 
as boy on board the "Comet" No. i, and 
continued his connection with the traffic till his 
death in 188 1. His first appearance as master 
was on the "Rothesay" in 1831, and in the 
latter part of his long career on the river he 
was well-known as a tug-boat owner. 

The role of captain and part owner was 
in fact early established, and continued in a 
greater or less degree to the end of the century. 
On the list, at successive dates, appear the 
names of M'Kellar, Henderson, Currie, M'Gill, 
Stewart, Buchanan, Williamson, Young, Camp- 
bell, M'Lean, Gillies, and M'Aulay. Each of 
these was both captain and owner, and was 
closely identified with the traffic. 

Down to the seventies, the captain under- 
took the duties of purser, while the steersman 
acted as supercargo, and in isolated cases to the 
present day the same arrangement is in force. 
Since the seventies, however, a regular purser 



290 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

has as a rule been added to the crew, and in 
most cases, a chief officer also. These additions 
certainly have imparted greater efficiency to 
the management of the steamers. At the 
present day the temporary pursers and their 
assistants are during the busy summer months 
recruited from the ranks of the Gilmorehill 
students. By this means, these young men 
secure during the summer recess a respectable 
remuneration and a healthful holiday combined, 
while they have an opportunity of adding, to their 
curriculum a knowledge of human nature which 
could not be obtained in the halls of learning, 
and will no doubt be useful to them in what- 
ever profession they decide to follow. 

The composition of the deck crew has always 
been Highland, and the men possess the merit 
of being steady, intelligent, and well-conducted. 
The personnel of the engine-room, on the other 
hand, is varied as to race, character and ability, 
though it must be noted that a great improve- 
ment in intelligence has taken place within the 
last quarter of a century. The crew on the 
average steamer of the twenties numbered 
thirteen, all told. On board the smaller classes 
of steamer of the present day, the number is 
sixteen. In the interval, the wages have 
doubled, and the average value of the vessel 
has become five times as great. 

Order and discipline have varied according to 
circumstances, these circumstances being for the 
most part dependent on the character of the 
captain and officers, which give the keynote to 



OWNERS, MASTERS AND CREWS 291 

both manners and methods on board. An all- 
round marked improvement, however, in the 
demeanour of all connected with the traffic has 
taken place within recent years. For this 
improvement a large part of the credit is, no 
doubt, due to the transference of control into 
the hands of the great railway companies, with 
their rules and regulations and power of enforc- 
ing them. 

In the character of the passengers carried by 
the steamers great changes have also taken 
place. Some amusing incidents naturally 
occurred in the early days of the industry. It 
is told, for instance, that, on the first run of the 
*^ Comet," two passengers left her at Bowling, 
and walked to their destination at Helensburgh; 
they had so little faith in the safety of the craft. 
Even in the thirties, there is a story of an alter- 
cation between the captain of the Largs steamer 
and an old lady passenger. The latter wanted 
the steamer to be run ashore at Skelmorlie so 
that she might walk to Largs, as she was 
apprehensive of the vessel " rummeling ower." 

Occasionally, passengers attempted to ''take 
their fun off" the officials, and occasionally they 
met their match. On the introduction of the 
first opposition to the Largs and Ayr Company, 
there was appointed as Largs agent a towns- 
man of that place who was noted for his wit. 
One of the agent's duties was to exhibit a board 
showing the times of arrival and departure of 
his company's steamers. On one occasion he 
had just posted up his afternoon sailings, 



292 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

when some youths, bent on having a joke 
at his expense, asked him if he knew the 
meaning of the letters p.m. His reply was, 
'* Ou aye, fine I ken the meanin' o' them. I 
took a lang while to fin' it oot, but no sae lang 
as the likes o' you wad tak'." ''And what is 
the meaning of them ? " they enquired. '' They 
just mean," he replied, '' P. for punctual, and M. 
for ' meenit ' — Punctual to the meenit. A' oor 
boats sail punctual to a meenit, an if ye wad 
traivel wi' them ye wad fin' that oot for 
yoursels." 

The Glasgow people, again, appear to have 
had a great dread of the first iron steamer, the 
*' Fairy Queen," built in 1831. She was carted 
in pieces from the Phoenix Ironworks, where 
she was made, to the Broomielaw, and put 
together there ; and it is said that several who 
witnessed the process wrote to friends along the 
river side entreating them not to go on board 
if she ever reached their neighbourhood, as "it 
was weel kent in Glesca that iron couldna 
soom." 

A marked improvement has taken place in the 
personal behaviour and even in the appearance of 
holiday passengers during the last twenty years, 
a fact, no doubt, due in part at least to the more 
efficient management introduced by the railway 
companies. During Glasgow Fair Holidays, 
as late as the eighties, the rowdy element 
among the passengers amounted to ninety per 
cent. During the same holidays at the present 
day it does not reach five per cent. 



OWNERS, MASTERS AND CREWS 293 

From very early days, the steamers have 
been freely chartered for special purposes and 
official excursions. Several of these engage- 
ments have already been alluded to. One 
deserving particular mention is the annual 
inspection of lighthouses. The earliest record 
of this inspection occurs in 1835, when the boat 
engaged was the " Northern Yacht." The 
vessel was a great favourite with the Glasgow 
magistrates, but whether their preference was 
due to the merits of the boat itself, or to the 
hospitality of the steward's department on board, 
is not quite clear. 



CHAPTER XIII 

THE PRESENT POSITION 

The facilities afforded by the steamers on the 
River and Firth of Clyde had perhaps their 
most striking effect in the development of the 
coast towns and pleasure resorts. During the 
last fifty years many of the most popular 
watering-places have practically been brought 
into existence by the plying of the steamers, 
while the older communities have increased 
beyond all expectation. In the Cowal district, 
for instance, the resident population in 1836 
was 1306. In 1 90 1 it was 10,468. The valua- 
tion roll in 1885 was ^124,911, and in 1901 it 
was ;^ 1 40, 8 2 6. In Bute and Cumbrae, again, 
the population in 1821 was 13,797; in 1851, 
16,608; and in 1901, iS,'/S'/; while the valua- 
tion increased from £19,686 in 1850 to 
^7 1 J 533 i^ 1900. An attempt to estimate 
the summer population of these resorts during 
the early period is difficult and uncertain ; 
but towards the close of the century the resi- 
dent visitors to the Cowal district would number 
not less than 40,000, and those to the Cumbraes 
and Bute not less than 80,000 in each season. 



THE PRESENT POSITION 



295 



^^^''^^^-— 


i_^ 


i 






m 




sMdyisa^ 


I. 


mf^^^^i 


-^^mi .w...':t!rt5! 


^ 






^^^ 





DUNOON PIER 



«— ^^ 




KOTHESAY PIER 



296 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

Dunoon and Rothesay are the greatest 
centres of attraction on the firth. At present 
they are being rapidly developed, and from 
their importance they will always be in a 
position to demand from the railway steamers 
the first call on arrival and the last on departure 
at the important hours of the day, an advan- 
tage which must greatly help their future de- 
velopment. In the island of Arran, on the 
other hand, progress has been slow, on account, 
as already stated, of the severe restriction on 
feuing. If this restriction were removed, and 
feuing permitted under reasonable conditions, 
there can be little doubt the development of the 
island as a summer resort would be all but 
unlimited. 

As matters stand, the Clyde passenger traffic 
to-day is practically controlled by the three 
railway companies, Caledonian, North British, 
and Glaso-ow and South-Western, the Cale- 
donian possessing outlets at Gourock, Wemyss 
Bay, and Ardrossan ; the North British at 
Craigendoran ; and the Glasgow and South- 
Western at Princes Pier (Greenock), Fairlle, 
and Ardrossan. Four private owners, in ad- 
dition to their railway connections, attend to 
the up-river traffic, but this has been reduced 
to insio^nificant dimensions. 

Some idea of the decline of the up-river 
traffic may be gathered from the following 
table : 

Number of vessels plying between Glasgow 
and Greenock, Helensburgh, Gareloch, Kil- 



THE PRESENT POSITION 297 

mun, Gourock, Dunoon, Rothesay, Largs, 
Millport, Ayr, and Arran : 

During Summer. During Winter. 

In i860, - - - 30 6 

„ 1870, - - - 25 5 

„ 1880, - - - 26 3 

„ 1890, - - - 14 3 

„ 1900, - - - 10 I 

The position is viewed with alarm by some 
pessimists, but the majority of the public is not 




only satisfied with things as they are, but has 
good reason to be so. In the pre-railway days 
the business was unprofitable to the private 
owner, and in his circumstances he could not be 
expected to build and equip boats possessing the 
comforts of the steamers running in connection 
with the powerful railway companies. No- 
where in the world is the same accommodation 
and comfort in sailino^ to be had, with the same 



298 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

frequency of service, at fares so moderate. An 
idea of this service may be gathered from the 
following facts : 

In connection with the Caledonian Railway 
Company there are twenty sailings from Gourock 
pier daily to all parts of the Coast, and a cor- 
responding number on the return journey ; 



m 







WEMYSS BAY 



twelve from Wemyss Bay to Rothesay and 
Largs and Millport ; and two from Ardrossan 
to Arran, with additional services in each case 
on Saturdays. 

In connection with the Glasgow and South- 
western Company there are sixteen sailings 
from Princes Pier ; five from Fairlie to Mill- 
port and Kilchattan Bay ; and two from Ardros- 
san to Arran, with several additions on Saturdays 
in each case. 



THE PRESENT POSITION 



299 



From Craigendoran there are sixteen sailings 
daily, with additional runs on Saturdays. 

But while the public is thus served with 
thorough efficiency, and the coast towns and 
places of resort are thriving and being de- 
veloped at an unheard-of rate, there is another 
side to the business. There is reason to believe 




CKAIGENDOKAN 



that without diminishing the efficiency of the 
service to the public, the trade might be man- 
aged with greater economy and profit to the 
companies themselves. The sailing programme 
will be seen, from the statement given above, 
to be practically one in triplicate. As a matter 
of fact much of the service is superfluous and 
needless, the sole advantage derived from the 
running of three steamers where one would 
serve being to afford the public a choice of 
route. One has only to watch the converg- 



300 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

ing of the steamers from the coast towns 
off Gourock on a summer morning between 
eight o'clock and a quarter past. At that 
hour there are in sight no fewer than nine 
steamers on five days of the week, and 
eleven on Mondays. This flotilla is employed 




PRINCES PIER 



to carry passengers who, in the aggregate, 
could be accommodated comfortably on board 
three steamers. The point and hour, it is 
true, are the most congested on the firth ; 
but at various other points, and at more or 
less frequent intervals throughout the day, a 
similar surplus of service is to be observed. 
The entire performance is in reality a continua- 
tion of the steamboat fight for supremacy, the 
only difference being, that the combatants are 
now more formidable and the struggle more 
wasteful than it ever was before. 



CHAPTER XIV 

BOILERS AND ENGINES 

Without attempting to repeat engineering 
history or to submit anything like a treatise on 
the subject, it may be of service to state here 
simply and concisely the different designs of 
boilers and engines which have been em- 
ployed on the Clyde steamers. 

As already mentioned, the "Comet" of 1812 
was fitted with a half side-lever engine and an 
internal flue boiler. No authentic record has 
been left as to the steam pressure, but it may 
safely be assumed that this did not exceed 
5 lbs. per square inch. The side-lever engine 
with flue boiler was next introduced, and 
seems to have continued in favour till the 
close of the thirties. The ** St. Mungo," in 
1835, was the first river steamer fitted with 
a steeple engine, and the first tubular boiler was 
fitted to the '' Luna" in 1838. In the interval 
the steam pressure had gradually risen to 
20 lbs., and since then improvement has fol- 
lowed improvement until the steam engine has 
been superseded by the steam turbine. 



302 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 




vivid's engine 



BOILERS AND ENGINES 



303 




vivid's engine 



304 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

During the forties, the types of engine In 
vogue were the steeple and the diagonal, 
supplied with steam from flue and haystack 
boilers. In the fifties, the steeple engine and 
haystack boiler were the combination which 
predominated, and In the sixties, favour was 
equally divided between oscillating and diagonal 
engines. Three-fourths of the boilers made 
during this decade were of the haystack type. 
The remainder were horizontal. The steam 
pressure was 40 lbs. 

In the seventies the combination In favour 
was the diagonal engine and haystack boiler, 
with a steam pressure of 50 lbs. During the 
eighties, the vogue was for diagonal engines 
with jet condenser and haystack boilers. The 
diagonal compound engine, with navy type of 
boiler, also came Into use, with steam pressures 
of 90 and 100 lbs., and forced draught was 
Introduced. And In the nineties, the compound 
diagonal engine, with navy boiler, came Into 
general use, working at pressures of 100 to 
150 lbs. 

In 1 90 1, a radical departure was made with 
the launching of the " King Edward," the first 
passenger vessel to be propelled by steam 
turbines. 

It Is unnecessary to discuss obsolete types of 
boilers and machinery, but it may not be amiss 
to close with some observations on the present- 
day type of machinery and boiler. The 
machinery is altogether of the diagonal type : 

Single diagonal ; surface condensing. 



BOILERS AND ENGINES 305 



y" 




m 

1 




1 


I 
1 




■■ i 


* ; ^ > 


:ii 


,.J,r 


"^^~ - , |, j 




. - - ' '" Jt • 




^.s^;;^"""" __ 


; 





I; 



' IVANHOE'S ' BOILER 

U 



306 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

Single diagonal tandem compound ; surface 
condensing. 

Double diagonal tandem triple expansion ; 
surface condensing. 

Double diagonal compound ; surface con- 
densing. 

The last mentioned, with a boiler pressure 
of 1 20 lbs., is undoubtedly the most success- 
ful paddle engine for the conditions attached to 
Clyde traffic. The triple expansion engine, 
although showing economy of 10 per cent, to 13 
per cent, over the compound on long distances 
and steady steaming, possesses, for intermediate 
or short distance traffic, the disadvantages of 
greater first cost, weight, and condensation, as 
well as of greater waste of steam in the fre- 
quent stoppages ; its greatest advantage being 
obtained while manoeuvring alongside piers. 

As the person responsible for the introduction 
of the compound tandem surface-condensing 
engine, with navy type of boiler, and forced 
draught, placed first on board the '' Caledonia" 
in 1889, the writer may be allowed to give 
some details of its working. Altogether the 
combination has given excellent results. The 
coal consumption in particular has shown a 
decided economy over that of the low-pressure 
types. It must be admitted that the boilers 
gave some concern, not on account of their 
construction or workmanship, but on account 
of the excessive use of the fan. At first, it was 
not uncommon for the engineers to indulge in 
2 in. air pressure, and this meant leaky tubes ; 



BOILERS AND ENGINES 



307 



fg'^ 






* ■£*_ ■. ^^,v<<..^j)«««»-«»»5>^.^w «fv 



i 




DUCHESS OF MONTROSE S BOILER 



308 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

but the air pressure has been steadily reduced 
to i in. and | in. for regular working, and i in. 
as a maximum, which ^rves no trouble so long- 
as the fire grate is kept covered. 

In regard to the treatment of the navy boiler 
under forced draught, there has been consider- 
able controversy, and many experiments have 
been made to overcome the leakage of tubes 
and furnace ends. The device employed by 
the Admiralty is to fit ferrules into all the tubes, 
and the only drawback to this is the " bird- 
nesting," which forms within a few days. In 
our latest pattern of navy boiler there is a sub- 
division of the combustion chamber. The area 
of the chamber is at the same time very much 
increased, while the tubes are reduced in length 
with good results. The landings of the furnace 
ends are protected by circular fireclay brick 
2 in. thick by 9 in. broad, and at the centre of 
the combustion chamber, there is a hanging 
bridge. The latter is supported by " lugs " at 
each side of the chamber, the bottom of the 
bridge itself being just in line with the top of 
the back bridge at the end of the fire bars, and 
on a level with the bars at the furnace door, 
the bars drooping i J in. per foot. 

Care, however, has to be taken that the ash- 
pit and furnace doors are a good fit, and kept 
closed after the machinery is stopped ; in fact, 
all the entrances to the stokehold must be a 
good fit in order that the cooling down may be 
as gradual as possible. Boilers ought not to be 
blown down, but allowed to cool gradually for 



BOILERS AND ENGINES 



309 



at least twelve hours, and then run out. Steam 
should never be raised from cold water under 
1 2 hours — longer if time will permit, otherwise 
the life of the boiler will be shortened propor- 
tionately. Another most important precaution 
in the treatment of boilers is to keep them as 




LOKNK .S ENGINE 



free from oil and other impurities as feed filters 
will permit. 

The small diameter of the paddle wheel and 
the greater piston speed certainly increase 
the tear and wear, but as compensation there is 
less weight to carry, which means economy. 

A considerable amount of the tear and wear 
to paddle wheels can be overcome if attention 
is eiven to the design. Wheels are like boilers 



310 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

— always pared to a fraction, the result being 
inefficiency. The former, no doubt, are 
correctly designed from a scientific point of 
view, but the fact that they have often to be 
very suddenly reversed wrth a full cargo on 
board, and sometimes in charge of a captain 
who is not scientifically inclined, the strengths 
and surfaces are often altooether wrono-. 

O O 

Deterioration has been most pronounced in 
steel paddle shafting. This, although of ample 
strength for the first few months, gradually 
becomes weaker by reason of the crystallization 
brought about by vibration. Experience has 
proved that 15 per cent, over Board of Trade 
rules must be allowed as a margin of safety, 
and even that is not enough if the vessel has 
incompetent men on the bridge or in the engine- 
room. 

The following are particulars of a test, made 
on board the " Meg Merrilies," of the Haythorn 
water-tube boiler, which had to be withdrawn 
after fifteen months' use. 

The trial was made with two of Haythorn's 
water tube boilers fitted on board the above 
steamer and jointly supplying steam to a set of 
compound, surface-condensing, diagonal paddle 
engines, having cylinders 24-in. diameter and 
42-in. diameter by 5-ft. stroke, and working 
under forced draught on the closed stoke- 
hole principle. The trial was made on 21st 
December, 1898, and lasted about six hours, 
during which time the vessel was cruising about 
the Firth of Clyde generally on a straight course, 



BOILERS AND ENGINES 



311 




PADDLE WHEEL 



312 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

and, when turning was unavoidable, the bends 
were long and easy so as not to affect the speed 
of the engine. The engine was supplied by- 
steam through a reducing valve, the mean pres- 
sure at the engine and at the boilers being given 
below in the results. The trial was made 
immediately after the boilers had been over- 
hauled, and they were clean and in good order. 
The coal was weighed out of the bunkers on to 
the floor plates with a tested Salter Balance. 
Fires were not cleaned out during the trial. 
After everything had been going steadily for 
about an hour the firing was stopped, and 
whenever the pressure began to go back, 
weighed coal was put on the fires and the trial 
started. At the end of the trial firing was again 
stopped till the steam pressure again began to 
fall, when the trial ended. Feed water was 
measured into two Tanks in the ordinary way. 
No hitch occurred during the trial, and the 
measurements can be taken as absolutely accu- 
rate. It will be seen, however, from the results 
that the engine is very inefficient, while the 
boilers are extraordinarily good, and again, in 
the heat balance, it will be seen that there is 
only '2 3% of the total heat unaccounted for, 
and this without any allowance being made for 
heat lost by radiation. All this points to a 
considerable quantity of water passing from 
the boiler into the engine unevaporated. 
A subsequent test was made by Professor 
Watkinson to find the " dryness factor " of the 
steam. This trial was made on 1 7th February, 



BOILERS AND ENGINES 



315 



1899, while the steamer was on her usual service, 
the mean steam pressure being 183 lbs., air 
pressure in stokehole yi-\n. water ; revolutions 
of main engines 31. The mean result of this 
experiment shows 2*6 per cent, of water in the 
steam. This brings down the efficiency of the 
Boilers to barely 72 per cent., but the difference 
is so small that the calculations have not been 
corrected for this. The Calorimeter used was 
the '' Barrus " without a Separator, and, as this 
instrument does not show large quantities of 
priming, the conclusion is that there must have 
been a very considerable amount of priming 
going on at the trial. 

Boilers — Two Haythorn Water Tube Boilers — 

Heating surface, 3444 sq. ft. 

Grate area, - - - - - - 61 „ 

Heating surface — 

Ratio grate area, 56*4 

Mean steam pressure above atmosphere, 186 lbs. 

Engines — 

Mean revolutions per minute, - - 32*4 

Mean indicated horse power, - - 613 
Mean steam pressure above atmosphere 

at engine, 125I lbs. 

Temperatures — 

Mean funnel temperature, about - - 600° 

Mean temperature of stokehole, - - 68° 

Mean temperature of feed water, - - 127*4° 

Draught — 

Mean funnel draught below atmosphere, '35 in. water. 
Mean air pressure in stokehole above 
atmosphere, *55 j? 



Total, 



•9 m. water. 



314 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 



Coal— Quality— Welsh— 



14014 



*^arDon vaiue per id. 01 c 


oai — -, — 
14600 


•96 


Analysis— Carbon, 


- 


83'63 per cent 


Hydrogen, - 


. 


370 „ 


Oxygen, 




4'4B 


Nitrogen, 


- 


•99 


Sulphur, 


- 


7 


Water, 


- 


1-28 


Ashes, 


- 


5-22 



The actual ashes found after the trial amount to 62 per cent. 
Theoretical evaporative power 14*5 lbs., water from and 
at 212". 



Analysis of SiMOKE— Mean of Three Samples. 



Carbonic Acid, 
Carbonic Oxide, 
Hydro Carbons, 
Oxygen, 
Nitrogen, 




Total coal used in 6 hours 3 minutes, - 9321 lbs. 

Used per hour, 1541 „ 

„ per sq. ft. of grate, - 25*26 „ 

„ „ of heating surface, "447 „ 

„ per indicated horse power, 2"52 „ 

Carbon Value used per hour per lh.p., 2*42 „ 



Ashes- 



Total ashes for 6 hours 3 minutes, 
Total cHnker for 6 hours 3 minutes. 



95 lbs. 
482 „ 



Total, - - - 577 lbs. 
Ashes and clinker per hour, - - - - 95 >, 
„ „ percentage of coal, 6*2 per cent. 



BOILERS AND ENGINES 315 

Water — Measured for 5 hours 47 mins. 11 sees. — 

Total quantity from hotwell, - - - 80943 lbs. 

Supplementary from tanks, - - - - 2133 ., 



Total, - - - 83076 lbs. 

Water per hour, - 14345 „ 

„ per sq. ft. grate, - - - 235 „ 

„ „ heating surface, - 4"i65 „ 

„ per indicated horse power, - 23*44 „ 

Water evaporated per lb. of coal from 

temperature of feed water, - - - 9*309 „ 
Water evaporated per lb. of coal from and 

at 212°, 10*62 „ 

Water evaporated per lb. of carbon value 

from and at 212°, ii*o6 „ 

Heat— 

Heat units per lb. of coal used, - - 14014 units. 

Heat taken up by feed water per minute, 263727 „ 
Heat taken up by feed water per i.H.P. 
per minute, 431 „ 

Efficiency of engine ^^ — 9*9 per cent. 

Efficiency of boiler — ^^ - '732 - 73*2 per cent. 
Combined efficiency of engine and boiler, 7*24 per cent. 

Heat Balance. 



Heat Evolved. 


Units. 


Per 

Cent. 


Heat Absorbed. 


Units. 


Per 

Cent. 


Total heat units 






Heating and evaporat- 






per lb. of coal 






ing feed water, 


IO271 


73-2 


used. 


I4OI4 


100 


Evaporating moisture 












in coal, - 


18 


•13 








Loss due to moisture 












formed by burning 












hydrogen in coal, - 


431 


3-07 








Heating furnace gases, 


3160 


22*55 








Loss by imperfect com- 












bustion, - 


lOI 


•72 








Unaccounted for. 
Total, 


33 


•23 


Total, 


I4OI4 


100 


14014 


99-90 



3i6 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

In 1893 3. test of oil fuel was conducted on 
board the " Caledonia " under the superintend- 
ence of Mr. J. Farmer of Glasgow. The test 
lasted for six months, and proved successful, 
dispelling all doubt as to the superiority of oil 
as a fuel compared with coal. The increased 
prices demanded by the oil merchants, however, 
proved prohibitive, and it was with much regret 
that the apparatus had to be withdrawn. The 
absence of smoke added to the comfort of the 
passengers on board the steamer, and enabled 
them to view the magnificent scenery on the 
firth unimpeded by the dense volume of cloud 
raised by the consumption of coal fuel. 



Comparative Statement of Consumpt of Coal Fuel, 

1892, AND Oil Fuel, i893~P.S. "Caledonia." 

1892— Coal. 



Months. 


Working 
Days. 


Miles 
for month. 


Coal 

for month. 

Tons. 


Average 

Miles 
per day. 


Average 
Coal 

per day. 
Tons, 


May, 

June, 

July, - - 

August, - 


26 
26 
26 
27 


2,794 
3.050 
3,155 
3,216 


188 
198 
214 
221 


io7i 

117 
121 
119 


1\ 

I' 

8 



1893 — Scotch Furnace Oil, etc. 



Months. 


Work- 
ing 
Days. 


Miles. 


Oil in 

gallons. 


Coal, 

Coke, & 

Nuts. 

Tons. 


Average 

miles 
per day. 


Average 
gallons 
per day. 


Average 
Coke, &c. 


May, 
June, 
July, - 
August, - 


11 

26 
27 


2,169 
3,284 
3.417 

3.394 


16,590 
24.570 
30,570 
30,287 


62 
63 

54 
39 


861 
126 
i3ii 
125 


663 

945 
1,176 
1,122 


2'IO 

2- 8 

2" I 
I- 9 



BOILERS AND ENGINES 317 

At the furnace mouth, 12 in. furnace bars 
were fitted so that coke and coal could be used, 
the former to ignite the oil spray when the 
steamer was moored for long intervals, the 
latter for raising steam on Monday mornings. 

It is interesting to note that the average 
speed was better with the oil fuel than with 
coal. 



CHAPTER XV 
ROBERT NAPIER 

This volume would be incomplete without 
special mention of two men whose achievements 
form no inconsiderable part of the history of 
steamship building on the Clyde. Robert 
Napier and Peter Denny both contributed 
largely by their energy, perseverance, and 
ingenuity towards the Clyde becoming the 
greatest centre of the shipbuilding industries. 

Robert Napier, the founder of the firm of 
Robert Napier & Sons, was descended from 
a family which had for a long time been con- 
nected with Dumbartonshire. The line of his 
direct ancestors for nearly a century affords an 
example of a fact which is more common than 
usually supposed, viz., the hereditary trans- 
mission of skill and talent, for they all followed 
the craft of blacksmiths. 

James Napier, Robert's father, was smith to 
the town of Dumbarton and was a much 
respected burgess of that ancient Royal Burgh. 
Robert was his eldest son and was born on 
the 1 8th June, 1791. At an early age he was 



ROBERT NAPIER 



319 




ROBERT NAPIER 



320 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

sent to the Parish School, acquiring- there a 
knowledge of English and the rudiments of 
Latin and French. He also got instruction in 
drawing, and developed a taste for this which 
was carefully fostered by his master, Mr. Traill, 
to whom he considered himself under great 
obligations. His parents destined him for the 
Church, but he himself preferred the anvil, 
so, leaving the professional education for his 
brother Peter, who afterwards became minister 
of the College Church in Glasgow, he began 
in 1807 ^ fiv^ years' apprenticeship to his 
father. 

During his apprenticeship, Napier executed 
smith work for Stirlincr's Calico Works and other 
neighbouring establishments, and in his spare 
moments he occupied himself in making small 
•tools, drawing instruments, guns, gunlocks, etc. 
In 181 2, on the completion of his indenture, 
he set out for Edinburgh, where at first he had 
a hard struggle to live on low wages, but at 
last he succeeded in getting an appointment 
under Robert Stevenson, the celebrated 
lighthouse engineer, and there he remained for 
a time. 

In May, 1815, he commenced business for 
himself in Glasgow in Grey friars Wynd. He 
had only ^50 of capital, and at first worked 
with two apprentices, confining his efforts to 
smith work and occasionally making Bramah 
presses. He speedily became known as an 
expert craftsman, and was admitted into the 
Incorporation of Hammermen in which he took 



ROBERT NAPIER 321 

a prominent position. Before admission, the 
applicant had to give proof of his skill, and at 
one of his latest public appearances, Mr. Napier 
displayed the hammer he had forged in pre- 
sence of two members of the Master Court in 
token of his right to enter the Corporation. 

In 18 1 8 the young smith married his cousin 
Isabella, daughter of John Napier of Cardross, 
and sister of David Napier, and shortly after- 
wards we find him established in the latter's 
former premises at Camlachie. He now 
branched out a little, and began casting water 
pipes for the City of Glasgow, and making 
small land engines, in which undertakings he 
was assisted by David Elder, a well-known 
millwright, to whom he entrusted the full 
management of the works. He was, however, 
untried as a marine engineer, and it was not 
until 1824 that he managed to obtain an order 
for the engine of a steamboat. 

Some Dumbarton friends were building a 
vessel, and Napier induced them to entrust 
him the machinery, guaranteeing " to make the 
vessel sail equal to any other of the same 
draught." The steamer was called the ''Leven," 
a small vessel 86 ft. long, with a side lever 
engine of ;2,^ h.p. Various improvements on 
the air pump condenser and slide valve were 
introduced, and special care was taken in the 
construction of the machinery. The venture 
was a great success, and after working many 
years on the river, the engine was in 1844 
transferred to the *' Queen of Beauty," which 



322 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

ran on the Gareloch till the late fifties. 
This machinery now stands on a pedestal at 
Dumbarton Pier, a monument of honest work- 
manship, and a relic of a bygone age. 

Orders for other steamers followed, and in 
1827 Napier constructed the engine for the 
fastest boat on the river. The "Clarence" 
was 99 ft. long, 16 ft. broad, with an 
engine of 45 h.p., and was commanded 
by Captain Turner. At the Royal Northern 
Regatta in August, 1827, she won the cup for 
the swiftest steam vessel, after a race of three 
hours' duration, the " Helensburgh," also built 
by Napier, coming in second. This successful 
performance of the "Clarence" had far-reaching 
effects on his fortunes. It established his 
reputation as an engineer, and the steamboat 
race inspired Mr. Assheton Smith with a desire 
to have a steam yacht. Mr. Smith was a pro- 
minent member of the Royal Yacht Squadron, 
but the idea of steam yachts w^as so repugnant 
to the other members that he quarrelled with 
them and resigned. Determined to proceed 
with his plan, he sent for Napier to his house 
in Wales, and entrusted him with an order for 
a large paddle yacht. She was called the 
" Menai," and her owner was so much pleased 
with her that he built several yachts with 
Napier, continuing to do so till he was a very 
old man. Mr. Smith was a friend of the Duke 
of Wellington and other influential personages, 
and he was of great assistance to Napier in his 
early dealings with the British Government. 



ROBERT NAPIER 323 

Having successfully overcome the difficulties 
of river navigation, Napier now turned his 
attention to Channel steamers. The first he 
engined was the '' Eclipse," considered one of 
the finest vessels of her time. She was em- 
ployed in the Belfast trade, and in her case 
double side lever engines were introduced and 
other improvements suitable for long distance 
steaming. 

In 1828, to meet the growing requirements 
of the business, the Vulcan Foundry In 
Washington Street, where Mr. M 'Arthur had 
previously worked, was acquired, and a few 
years later the establishment was increased by 
the addition of Lancefield Works. 

Napier was now taking a prominent part in 
founding steamboat companies, and, among 
these, special mention may be made of the 
City of Glasgow Steam Packet Co., the kernel 
of the future Cunard Company. 

About 1832 he contracted with the Dundee 
Shipping Co. for two steamers, the " Dundee " 
and " Perth." These vessels gave very great 
satisfaction on account of the regularity of the 
passages they made, and the finish of their hulls 
and engines, and through them a connection 
with London was established. As a direct 
result he was entrusted with an order from the 
Hon. East India Co., and built for them the 
" Berenice." She was his first ocean going 
steamer, and steamed to India via the Cape 
at the rate of 8 knots on 18 tons of coal 
per day. 



324 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

In 1833, convinced of the possibility of ocean 
navigation by steam, he gave a favourable 
opinion on a project for an Atlantic service, but 
the scheme fell throuorh from want of funds. 
He subscribed liberally to the experimental 
voyage of the ''Sirius," and in 1838 he began 
making for the British and North American 
Steam Navigation Co. the engines of the 
'' British Queen." She was the largest vessel 
of her time, 275 ft. long and 40 ft. 6 in. beam, 
with engines of 500 n.h.p., and was so strongly 
built in her machinery space that when sold 
many years afterwards for breaking up purposes 
her dismantlers could not pull her to pieces. 

The following year, 1839, was a memorable 
one in Napier's history. As already stated, he 
was interested in local companies and had 
worked for the East India Company. A 
friendship with Sir James Melvill, who was 
Secretary to the Company, had been formed, 
and this led to great results. Samuel Cunard 
was agent for the Company in Halifax, and 
having negotiated a contract for carrying mails 
across the Atlantic he came to England to 
arrange for the construction of suitable 
steamers. 

Mr. Cunard asked Melvill for an introduction 
to a shipbuilder, and was informed that the 
most reliable man was Robert Napier. Shortly 
afterwards Cunard proceeded to Glasgow, and 
on 1 8th March, 1839, the contract for the first 
three Cunard steamers was signed, the sole 
contracting parties being Samuel Cunard and 



ROBERT NAPIER 325 

Robert Napier. This historic document is in 
the possession of Miss Napier, London. 

Cunard on his return to London informed 
the Admiralty and Treasury of his contract, 
and both were highly pleased with the size 
of the boats and other particulars. Napier, 
however, considering the size of the '' British 
Queen" and her sister ship, the "President," 
was not satisfied with the Cunard boats, and 
accordingly wrote Cunard, pressing him 
to increase the dimensions. This the latter 
refused to do, and accordingly Napier started 
on the contract. Cunard, however, informed 
Sir James Melvill of what had passed, and of 
Napier's desire for larger vessels, and his 
refusal to fall in with Napier's ideas, adding 
that the Admiralty were satisfied. Melvill's 
reply was that, in his opinion, Napier's views 
must be adopted at all costs. Cunard 
thereupon stated that, personally, he had no 
funds for a larger venture, and that he had 
been unable to persuade others to join him in 
the manner he had hoped for. Melvill advised 
him to go again to Glasgow and explain the 
whole situation, as Napier was an influential 
man and might be able to help him. So 
Cunard went north again, and a meeting took 
place at Lancefield House at which the financial 
difficulty was explained. Napier was a pro- 
moter of the City of Glasgow Company, and it 
occurred to him that shareholders in channel 
steamers would be likely to become share- 
holders in an ocean venture, so he consulted 



326 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

his friend and co-shareholder, Mr. Donaldson, 
who at once expressed his readiness to 
subscribe ^16,000. After sounding his im- 
mediate friends, including Mr. David M'lver, 
Napier approached the agents of a Company 
which had been running in opposition to the 
City of Glasgow Company. 

The agency for the steamers had been 
offered by Cunard to Wm. Kidston & Sons, 
and declined by them, and Napier now 
suggested to George Burns that if he got 
his shareholders to join with the City of 
Glasgow shareholders and form a large com- 
pany, he might obtain the agency. Burns fell 
in with this proposal, and on 30th April Napier 
was able to write Cunard: — "I saw Maclver 
and Burns. I was happy to learn you had got 
all your arrangements made with each other, 
at least, that you understood each other." 
Burns brought the scheme officially before 
Napier's friends and his own shareholders, and 
in a very short time, such was the magic power 
of Napier's name and the public confidence in 
his ability to perform anything he undertook, 
the whole sum aimed at, ^270,000 stg., was 
subscribed. Napier was the practical head and 
hand of the Cunard Company in its early days, 
without which it might have proved a less 
successful venture in the vast field of enterprise 
it so long monopolised. Burns was appointed 
to the agency as arranged, though he only sub- 
scribed about ;^5,ooo stg., and the management 
and efficient officering of the steamers were 



ROBERT NAPIER 327 

entrusted to Napier's old friends, Messrs. 
David and Charles Maclver of Liverpool. 

The first steamer, the " Britannia," arrived 
in Boston in July, 1840, after a passage of 14 
days 8 hours, and she was followed a month 
later by the ''Acadia," taking 12 days 18 hours. 
It may be remarked that in the early voyages 
the boats were not pressed, and a year later the 
*^ Britannia" covered the journey in 10 days. 

In the meantime Napier made his first con- 
tract with the British Admiralty, and engined 
H.M.S. "Vesuvius" and " Stromboli." The 
prejudice against a Scotch contractor was 
strong, but Napier again justified his reputa- 
tion. His work was so excellent that a 
comparison submitted to Parliament of the cost 
of repairs on his engines with that on engines 
made by English firms showed very much in 
his favour, and resulted in many additional 
orders. 

Ocean liners were now a recognised fact, 
and as the difficulties connected with wooden 
vessels were increasing, Napier determined to 
add iron shipbuilding to his business. For this 
purpose he acquired ground in Dumbarton, but 
afterwards, resolving to have his yard at 
Govan, he sold the Dumbarton property to 
Messrs. Denny. The first iron vessel he built 
was the '' Vanguard," launched on 29th June, 
1843, and shortly afterwards he had the honour 
of being entrusted by the Admiralty with the 
first iron steamers for the Navy, launching 
H.M.S. " Jackal," ''Bloodhound," and " Lizard," 



328 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

in 1 844- 1 845. They were followed by H.M.S. 
** Simoon," a vessel of over 2,000 tons register, 
the first iron frigate in the Navy. She took 
over three years to build, and continued in the 
service for nearly forty years. 

In the early fifties he made arrangements 
for working in what is now known as Govan 
Yard, admitted into partnership his two sons, 
and altered the style of the firm to Robert 
Napier & Sons. 

It may be mentioned that Messrs. Thomson, 
who were foremen at Vulcan Works, left 
Napier in 1848, and founded the well-known 
firm of J. & G. Thomson, and that in 1852 
John Elder, who occupied a prominent position 
with him, was admitted a partner, and formed 
the firm of Randolph, Elder & Co. There 
was an intimate connection between the Napier 
and Elder establishments. In later years Sir 
William Pearce left Napier to become ultimately 
the head of John Elder & Co., and, after 
Napier's death, Dr. Kirk, who was a Napier 
apprentice, left Elder's to acquire the business 
of Robert Napier & Sons. 

When Napier had got his new yard equipped, 
one of his first orders was for the Cunard 
steamer " Persia." She was the first large 
steamer built on the Clyde, and, at the time, 
nothing afloat exceeded her dimensions. 

The Admiralty hitherto had a prejudice 
against iron, but the bombardment of Sebastopol 
opened their eyes to some of its advantages, 
and, accordingly, ironclads were ordered in 



ROBERT NAPIER 329 

great haste. Napier was one of the favoured 
contractors, and he built H.M.S. ''Erebus," 
a vessel 186 ft. long, 48 ft. beam, clad with 
armour plates 4 in. thick. The penalty for late 
delivery was ^1,000 a day, and the time 
allowed six months. The vessel was con- 
structed with extraordinary expedition, and 
launched with machinery on board in the almost 
incredible time of three and a half months. 

Napier had reached the allotted span of years 
when he was again called upon to bestir himself 
for his country's good. The Government 
commissioned him to build H.M.S. "Black 
Prince," one of the first sea-going ironclads 
Britain possessed. Her displacement was close 
on 10,000 tons, and her launch was considered 
an event warranting a public holiday in Glasgow. 
Thus late in life he opened a new avenue of 
fame, and he constructed many warships for 
the British, Turkish, Danish, and other navies. 
He executed about sixty contracts for the 
British Admiralty, the last being for H.M.S. 
'' Northampton," which was building at the 
time of his death. 

Napier had from small beginnings gradually 
worked up to a pinnacle of fame, occupying a 
pre-eminent position in the engineering world 
for over forty years. He had engined steamers 
for the Cunard, P. and O., Pacific, Royal Mail, 
Castle, and other leading companies, and had 
constructed machinery and warships for most 
of the European powers. The Emperor 
Napoleon recognised his merit by conferring on 



330 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

him the Cross of the Legion of Honour, and 
the King of Denmark bestowed the Order of 
the Dannebrog. About 1845 he built a 
mansion at Shandon on the shores of the 
Gareloch, and here he spent his well-earned 
leisure, taking great delight in pictures and 
articles of vertu, of which he formed a fine 
collection, and dispensing unbounded hospitality 
to the troops of friends and celebrities who 
came to see him. He lost his wife in the 
autumn of 1875, and a few months later, in the 
following summer, in the 86th year of his age, 
he died. 

Robert Napier must be looked on as the 
parent and patriarch of modern engineering 
and shipbuilding. By his efforts trade was 
brought to the Clyde, and owing to the excel- 
lence of his work the prejudice against Scotch 
contractors was overcome. Through him the 
Clyde gained a position of pre-eminence, which 
the large establishments, founded by men who 
were associated with him, are at the present 
day doing their best to maintain. 



CHAPTER XVI 

PETER DENNY 

The connection of the family of Denny with 
the business of shipbuilding in the Royal Burgh 
of Dumbarton dates from the earliest days of 
the last century, and the growth of the family 
as shipbuilders and engineers marches step by 
step with the successful application of steam 
power in the propulsion of vessels. 

Peter Denny, LL.D., was born in Dumbarton 
on the Hallowe'en of 1821, and was the sixth 
son of William Denny, a well-known and much 
esteemed shipbuilder before him. His father 
came of a family of farmers, who, for several 
generations, farmed their own lands of Braehead 
and West Faulds, situated near what is now 
known as the Townend of Dumbarton. 

The premises occupied by the father were 
known as the Woodyard, and were situated on 
the west side of the River Leven, not far 
below the bridge. That yard William Denny, 
senior, had first worked in as a carpenter, then 
managed as a partner, and ultimately controlled 
as proprietor. The class of shipwork then done 



332 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

on the Leven was, however, of a very humble 
character, consisting, for the most part, of 
small wooden coasting smacks, schooners, and 
the like. Among vessels, however, which may 
be deemed historical, he built in 1814 the 
paddle steamer " Marjory," the first steam 
vessel that plied upon the Thames for hire, 
and in 181 8 the '' Rob Roy," a paddle steamer 
of 90 tons burthen, which was the first steamer 
constructed in Scotland for oversea purposes. 
This latter was engined by the celebrated 
David Napier. 

William Denny (Peter's father) died in the 
year 1833, leaving a widow and eleven chil- 
dren. Peter was then only twelve years of age. 
Unfortunately at his death William Denny's 
affairs were found much involved, and very 
little means were left to his widow for the 
maintenance of the younger portion of the 
family. Peter remained at school in Dum- 
barton until his fourteenth year. 

William Denny, senr., was succeeded in his 
business at the Woodyard by John Denny (his 
son), but he only survived him five years. 
James went to America, where he remained 
until the year 1847. Robert became a ship 
carpenter, and William and Alexander moved 
about from place to place wherever they could 
obtain employment. The fourth son, William, 
at an early age showed outstanding talent as a 
naval architect, and with his brother Alexander 
was for some years employed in designing iron 
steamers, and superintending their construction 



PETER DExNNY 333 




PETliK DENNY 



334 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

in Glasgow and Paisley. It was during this 
period that Peter Denny, after serving some 
years as a clerk in the Dumbarton Glass Works 
and elsewhere, joined his brothers William 
and Alexander, and became initiated into the 
duties of their drawing office as a draughtsman. 

In 1842 William Denny had been engaged 
by Robert Napier as manager of his shipyard 
in Govan. This position he only held for a 
short time, when owing to difficulties which had 
arisen he threw up his position as manager and 
went to America. Peter having joined his 
brother William at Govan, retired with him 
and joined his brother Alexander at Paisley, 
where he was able to be of considerable use in 
preparing specifications, plans, etc. Alexander 
had a good knowledge of marine architecture, 
having gained much experience in assisting 
Scott Russell. 

William Denny returned from America in 
1844, and the three brothers, William, Alex- 
ander, and Peter, formed a partnership as 
marine architects in Glasgow, under the name 
of Denny Brothers, and were well employed. 
In the autumn of that year they determined to 
commence business in Dumbarton as iron ship- 
builders, having secured a lease of the shore 
ground below the parish churchyard, which at 
present forms a part of the yard of Messrs. 
Archibald MacMillan & Sons, Ltd. Their 
elder brother John had now been dead many 
years, and the old Woodyard was occupied by 
strangers, but it became vacant in 1847, and 



PETER DENNY 335 

was purchased by William Denny, and fitted 
with machinery, etc., for iron shipbuilding. 

Their first contract was for a paddle-steamer 
named the " Lochlomond," of 95 tons and 70 
nominal h.p. They also built the iron paddle- 
steamer "Rob Roy," of 30 tons and 15 h.p., 
and the screws-steamer "Water Witch," of 240 
tons and 35 h.p. This latter vessel, destined 
for the Dublin and English trade, was the first 
mercantile screw-steamer built on the Clyde. 

The reasons for the preference shown by the 
young firm for iron were probably twofold : 
first, as marine architects for several years pre- 
viously they had designed and superintended the 
construction of nearly all the iron vessels built 
on the Clyde ; and second, the intelligence and 
foresight of the brothers convinced them that 
the days of wood as a material for ships were 
fast coming to a close. To them it was 
evident that, with the advent of steam naviga- 
tion, the iron ship must become a necessity if 
the capabilities of the marine engine were to 
have full scope for development. It was this 
clear vision and faith in the future of steamship 
building which made the reputation of the firm 
of Denny Brothers, and led to the unique and 
honoured position among British shipbuilders 
and engineers occupied by Peter Denny for 
many years before his death. The firm set its 
fortunes on steam, and throughout its whole 
career, during which time it has built some 
734 vessels, it has produced only four sailing- 
ships. 



336 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

In 1846 James Denny returned from America 
and joined the enterprise ; and three years 
later the firm of Denny Brothers was dissolved 
by mutual consent, and Alexander retired from 
the business. The assets and liabilities of the 
firm were taken over by William, Peter, and 
James, and the new firm was started under the 
name of William Denny and Brothers, the 
designation retained to this day. Alexander 
started building in a small yard on the north 
side of the town, taking with him his brother 
Archibald, under the name of Alexander Denny 
and Brothers. 

In 1850, the inconvenience of having to send 
the vessels to other places to be fitted with 
machinery being much felt, it was determined 
to start works for the manufacture of marine 
enofines and boilers in Dumbarton. For this 
purpose Peter Denny formed a partnership with 
John Tulloch, engineer, of Greenock, and John 
M'Ausland, of Dumbarton, and built engine 
and boiler shops on ground which formed 
part of the site of the disused glass works, 
above Dumbarton Bridge. This firm assumed 
the name of Tulloch and Denny, and the desig- 
nation remained till 1862, when it was changed 
to Denny and Company. The shops then 
erected formed the nucleus of the magnificent 
modern engine works possessed by the firm. 

Having now the means of constructing iron 
steam vessels entirely within themselves, the 
firm soon advanced in favour with steam- 
ship owners, and its business largely increased. 



PETER DENNY 337 

The success of the firm kept pace with their 
increased accommodation. Important contracts 
were entered into with Messrs. G. and J. 
Burns and others in 1851 and 1852, and by 
the middle of 1854 65 vessels had been 
launched, several of which were 1,500 tons 
burthen and of 300 h.p. These figures in the 
light of the present time may seem trifling, 
such has been the advance on shipbuilding 
and engineering, but fifty years ago they were 
very considerable. 

In the midst of its prosperity the firm was 
destined to receive a severe blow. On the 
I St of July, 1854, William Denny, the senior 
partner and ruling spirit of the firm, died, after 
a very short illness. 

Peter Denny felt keenly the loss of his 
brother William, and he describes his feelings 
in the following words : — 

'' A great calamity to me took place in the 
death of my brother William, aged 39. I was 
so depressed and disheartened that it needed 
all the encouragement of my friends to induce 
me to carry on the business, being so im- 
perfectly qualified as to the technical and 
practical work, and having the necessity of 
the commercial department wholly upon my- 
self." 

The chief management of the growing 
business now devolved upon Peter Denny, and 
though suffering under the loss of his brother, 
and in indifferent health, he carried it on, first 
in partnership with his brother James, but after 



338 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

the retlral of the latter In May, 1862, for some 
years as sole partner. 

In 1863 Peter Denny, finding his position at 
the Woodyard (which remained the property of 
the trustees) somewhat irksome, and the terms 
of his lease not allowing sufficient scope for the 
extension necessitated by his increasing busi- 
ness, purchased ground further down the river, 
adjacent to Dumbarton Castle. In January, 
1864, he entered into possession, and as the 
level of the ground was too low, he proceeded 
to fill it up to the required height. To do this 
the part nearest the town was excavated, and 
the soil transferred to the remaining part. This 
plan had the additional advantage of creating a 
dock or tidal basin in which vessels could receive 
their machinery and remain afioat until comple- 
tion. In 1867, at the expiry of the lease of the 
Woodyard, the business of William Denny and 
Brothers was transferred to the new site. The 
business of Messrs Denny & Rankin ceasing at 
this time, a lease of their yard was secured, and 
it was incorporated with the firm's ground, the 
whole receiving the title of '' The Leven Ship- 
yard." 

In the year 1846 Peter Denny was married 
to Helen, the eldest daughter of Mr. James 
Leslie, supervisor in the Inland Revenue ser- 
vice. Their family, surviving, consists of John, 
Peter, Archibald, and Leslie, besides two 
daughters. On William, the eldest son, coming 
of age, in the year 1868, he was taken into 
partnership with his father, and those two con- 



PETER DENNY / 339 

stituted the firm of William Denny & Brothers 
until 1873, when Mr. Brock joined them. In 
January, 1881, Mr. Denny's son John and 
his nephew James became partners; in January, 
1883, Peter and Archibald joined the firm ; 
in February, 1885, Mr. John Ward, who 
had been general manager from 1877, was 
admitted a partner ; and in 1895 ^^- Leslie 
Denny and Mr. H. W. Brock were admitted. 
The breadth of mind and clearness of pre- 
vision which characterised Peter Denny 
throughout his career were distinctly manifested 
in the choice of his managers, and in his 
linking them into the life and ambitions of the 
firm as partners. He had a great faith in the 
benefit arising from an infusion of new blood 
into the body over which he presided, and he 
always acted upon the principle that the best 
work is given by those who have a direct 
interest in results. 

Peter Denny's eldest son, William, died in 
1887, and the shock of that event had a perma- 
nent effect upon the health and vigour of Peter 
Denny himself. 

In 1 88 1 Denny purchased the Castle- 
green property lying along the shore and 
between the Leven Shipyard and the foot of 
the Castle rock. This was thrown into the 
yard, which now extended from the high road 
to the castle itself. The new ground was 
utilised to form a deep water dock in which 
their largest vessels could lie afloat at nearly all 
states of the tide. Prior to this extension of 



340 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

the yard, the largest vessels built had not 
exceeded 4,000 tons gross measurement, but 
shortly afterwards a few of 4,700 and 5,000 
tons were built. 

The building yard in its present state, in- 
cluding the water area of the floating docks, 
covers about 42 acres. Of this area about 9 
acres are occupied by workshops, sheds, and 
other roofed spaces. The building berths give 
accommodation for laying down eight vessels, 
of a length ranging from 750 feet downwards, 
while the interior of the yard affords space for 
building river steamers and other light draught 
vessels for export. The vessels are there 
framed, plated, and fitted with the requisite 
gear ; when complete they are taken down, 
marked, and packed ready for transport. 

Branch lines from the North British and 
Caledonian Railway systems provide for the 
delivery of all material at the sheds in which it 
is to be worked. These lines run throughout 
the whole length of the yard. In addition 
there are about eight miles of " Decauville " 
narrow gauge portable railway, which largely 
contribute to speed and economy of transit 
within the yard. The whole of the works 
are served by an elaborate telephonic system, 
in connection with which is a sionallinof 
arrangement whereby any of the officials or 
foremen can be promptly brought to a tele- 
phone box in order to communicate with the 
offices. The works have also a complete 
installation of electric lighting, and hydraulic 



PETER DENNY 341 

and electrical power are conveyed throughout 
their entire extent. 

One of the most interesting features is the 
experimental tank, constructed upon the lines 
of that of the late William Froude at Torquay. 
Its value to the firm in making close calcula- 
tions of the H.p. required in propelling steam 
vessels of all classes can hardly be over- 
estimated, and the large expenditure involved 
in its formation, maintenance, and working, has 
been amply repaid by the success which has 
attended its use. 

Peter Denny, aided by his sons and other 
partners, aimed at and practically succeeded in 
making Dumbarton sufficient in itself for all the 
components of a steamship without having 
recourse to outside assistance. The Dennys- 
toun Forge and Levenbank Foundry are largely 
owned and controlled by Denny Brothers, and 
in their own shipyard the firm employs a com- 
petent staff of artist designers, decorators, glass 
stainers, upholsterers, carvers, and cabinet- 
makers. They also supply the electric instal- 
lations to the steamers they build. Further, 
in 1847 th^ Dumbarton shipyards employed 
only about 400 workmen ; by the year 1870 
the number had increased to 2,800, and at the 
present time the shipyard and engine works of 
Messrs. Denny and Company alone, together 
with their forge and foundry, give employ- 
ment to no less than 4,000 men, women, and 
girls. The gentler sex are chiefly occupied 
as tracers in the drawing offices and in the 



342 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

upholstery, stained glass, and French polishing 
departments. The firm reserve apprenticeships 
for the sons of their own workmen. 

Peter Denny's eminent practical acquaint- 
ance with shipbuilding was recognised by the 
British Government in 1871, when they ap- 
pointed him a member of the Committee on 
Designs for Ships of War, and a member of the 
Royal Commission which held two sessions in 
1 873- 1 874 to inquire into the causes of the loss 
of life and property at sea. Among other 
honours conferred upon him he received from 
the Spanish Government the Knighthood of the 
Ancient Order of Isabella In recognition of 
valuable services rendered to that kingdom. 
For similar reasons the Portuofuese Govern- 
ment created him a Knight of the Illustrious 
Order of Jesus Christ. And in April, 1890, he 
was the subject of a most gratifying honour, 
having conferred upon him the degree of 
Doctor of Laws and Literature by the Uni- 
versity of Glasgow. Further, Mr. H. M. 
Stanley, the explorer, named a mountain In 
Africa "Mount Denny" after his friend, the 
Dumbarton shipbuilder. All these honours 
conferred upon Mr. Denny were appreciated by 
his townsmen, for he was held in the highest 
esteem by them all. 

Although busily engaged In shipbuilding, 
Peter Denny had time to spare to the muni- 
cipal life of the town. He was elected Provost 
of the burgh In 1851, and occupied that position 
for three years, during which time he was 



PETER DENNY 343 

chiefly instrumental in initiating the excellent 
water scheme by which Dumbarton is now 
supplied. In 1865, before the days of Board 
Schools, he erected in the town a commodious 
school for the gratuitous teaching of the lads 
employed in the shipbuilding, engineering, and 
boiler works of the firm. The condition of 
employment was compulsory attendance at this 
school. Again, in combination with the late 
Mr. John MacMillan, in the year 1885, he gifted 
to the town of Dumbarton the Levengrove 
Public Park, which was laid out with great taste, 
and which cost the donors considerably over 
^20,000. Nor did this exhaust his generosity 
to his native town. In May, 1890, Denny 
presented to Dumbarton the ample area of 
Knoxland Square, including a handsome band- 
stand, from which musical performances are 
from time to time given during the summer. 
This gift was the occasion of a great public 
demonstration, at which the square was formally 
handed over to Provost Baptie on behalf of the 
community, and Mr. Denny received an illumi- 
nated address enclosed in a silver-gilt casket. 

In 1894, the jubilee year of William Denny 
and Brothers, a grand function was held in the 
spacious machinery shed of the Leven Ship- 
yard. A large company assembled in honour 
of the event, and an interesting feature of the 
proceedings was the presentation to Dr. Denny 
of an illuminated address and an album contain- 
ing signatures of the leading workmen in the 
employment of the firm. Mrs. Denny was at 



344 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 

the same time the recipient of a costly solid 
silver salver suitably inscribed. 

A year later, on 22nd of August, 1895, Peter 
Denny died. A bronze statue by Thorneycroft 
was erected to his memory, by a public subscrip- 
tion, in front of the new Municipal Buildings, 
Dumbarton. 

In unveiling it Lord Overtoun took occasion 
to say that it might be said of Denny as of 
the famous architect of St. Paul's, ' Si monu- 
mentum qua^ris, circumspice ' (if you wish a 
monument, look around). For when we look 
at the building up and prosperity of Dumbarton, 
Peter Denny does not require any other 
monument. 

Mr. Denny at his decease was a Vice- 
President of the Institution of Naval Architects ; 
an ex-President of the Institution of Marine 
Engineers ; a member of the Institution of 
Engineers and Shipbuilders in Scotland ; a 
member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, 
and an LL.D. of Glasgow University. 

In 1 90 1, in co-operation with Mr. Parsons, 
the inventor of the marine turbines, the firm 
of Denny Brothers built and took an interest in 
the first passenger steamer fitted with turbines, 
namely, the " King Edward." So successful 
was she on service that the following year a 
larger and speedier turbine steamer, the "Queen 
Alexandra," was commissioned from them for 
the same service and owners. Last year, for 
the South-Eastern and Chatham Railway Com- 
pany's cross channel service between Dover 



PETER DENNY 345 

and Calais, they built the turbine steamer 
" The Queen," and for the London, Brighton 
and South Coast's channel service between 
Newhaven and Dieppe, the turbine steamer 
'' Brighton." 

With the advent of these turbine steamers, 
a revolution in steam propulsion has been 
begun, the end of which no man can foresee. 
Already the Allan Line have under construc- 
tion two large ocean-going turbine steamers for 
their Canadian Mail service ; and it is more than 
likely that the latest and largest greyhounds 
for the Atlantic service of the Cunard Company 
will also be turbines. 

In Leven shipyard there are at present seven 
high-speed turbine steamers being built, two of 
them for cross channel service, and five of them 
for ocean navigation. 



346 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 




TARBERT. J, 



0-: . .^ \ Bay ^'^w-' vyGlengamock 

» .■^' I Auchen 

Kilwirmin^ 



Q — >0 Olen Sannoxo 
PiinmiU 



ADALE 












BROOtCf^o^^X 



/ Blaek'jraterXoot 



A 



Kingbcross oJ* y I 
Whiting Bay ^^ j 

MAP OF STEAMBOAT ROUTE 



/ 

/ 



-*fT 



List of Steamers 

from the 
Comet,' 1812, to the 'King Edward,' 1901 



348 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 



Name of Steamer. 



1. Comet, 



2. Elizabeth, 

3. Clyde, - 

4. Glasgow, 



5. Trusty, - 
<3. Industry, 

7. Morning Star, 

8. Inveraray Castle, - 

9. Princess Charlotte 

10. Duke of Argyle, - 

11. Prince of Orange, - 

12. Margery, 

13. Oscar, - 

14. Britannia, - 

15. Dumbarton Castle, 

16. Caledonia, - 

17. Greenock, 

IS. Lady of the Lake, 
19. Argyle, - 

^0. Waterloo, - 

21. Neptune, 

22. Lord Nelson, 

23. Albion, - 

24. Rothesay Castle, - 

25. Marion, - 



Year. 



1812 
1813 

1813 

1814 
1814 

1814 
1814 
1814 
1814 
1814 
1814 
1814 



1815 
1815 

1815 

1815 
1815 

1816 
1816 

1816 
1816 
1816 
1816 



Builders of Hull 



John Wood, Port- 
Glasgow, 



do. 



M'Lachlan, Dum- 
barton, 
Fyfe, Fairlie, 



John Wood, Port- 
Glasgow, 
do., 

James Munn, 
Greenock, 

Martin, Port -Glas- 
gow, 

James Munn, 
Greenock, 

Arch. M'Lachlan, 

J. Smart, Dundee, 



John Hunter, 
Port- Glasgow, 

Arch. M'Lachlan, 
J. & C. Wood, 

Port-Glasgow, 
Arch. M'Lachlan 

& Co., 

John Wood, - 

John Hunter, 
John & Chas. 
Wood, 

John Wood, - 

do., 
A. M'Lachlan, - 

do., 



Makers of 
Machinery. 



John Robertson, 



John Thomson, 
John Robertson, 

Anderson & 
Campbell, 
Greenock, Re 
engined by Jas 
Cook, Glasgow. 

Dobbie, 

Dobbie, Re-en 
gined by Caird 
& Co., 182S, 

John Robertson, 



Boulton & Watt, 

Jas. Cook, - 

Boulton & Watt, 

Jas. Cook, Glas- 
gow, 
John Robertson, 



D. M 'Arthur & 
Co., 

do., 
Greenhead Foun- 
dry, 
D M 'Arthur, - 

R. Napier, 
Gi'eenhead Foun- 
dry, 
Jas. Cook, - 
D. :M'Arthiu-, - 



Greenhead Foun- 
dry, 
Jas. Cook, - 

D. M 'Arthur, - 

D. Napier, 



Description and Principal 
Dimensions of Hull. 



Type. 



Wood 



do. 
do. 



do. 



do. 
do. 

do. 
do. 
do. 
do. 
do. 
do. 
do. 

do. 

do. 
do. 

do. 

do. 
do. 

do. 
do. 

do. 
do. 
do. 
do. 



Length 
B.P 



57' 
68' 



68' 4" 
66tV 

84' 
65' 
72' 
64' 
63' 
75' 3" 

93' 4" 

87' 
94' 

85' 3" 

70' 4" 
91' 1" 

87' 4" 

71' 

84' 11" 

92' 11" 

60' 



FROM 'COMET' TO 'KING EDWARD' 349 





Machinery. 


Owners. 


Master. 


Trade. 


Ton- 
nage. 


Type. 


S.H.F. 


Boilers, 


24|| 

30 

G5 


Single upright 
cylinder, 12" x 
18", half side 
levers. 


4 

8 
12 

14 


Low pressure, 
fired exter- 
nally, 

1 cylinder, 22" 

X24", 


Henry Bell, - - 


W. M'Kenzie, - 

Wm. M'Kenzie, 

Cook, 
W. M'lntyre, ■ 


Glasgow, 
Rothesay 
and In- 
verness 
Greenock 
Greenock 

Largs 


6ltf 




10 


_ 





A. M'Taggart, - 


Greenock 


52TVTr 


Side lever, cylr. , 
23" X 32", wheels 
11" dia., 


14 


1 flue, - 


John Henderson, 
Wm. Croil, 
Dugald M'Phee, 


Taylor, - 


Greenock 


112 
50 


2 cylinders, 8", 


40 


— 


— 


DugaldThomson 
D. M 'Arthur, 
Duncan, - 


Glasgow & 
LochFyne 


' 78 


2 engines, - 


14 


- 


- 


Dick, - - 


— 


50 


2 cylinders, 


8 


- 


- 


M'Innes, - 


- 


38M 


- 


10 


- 


— 


— 


— 


43H 


— 


" 


~ 


A. Dow, 


Peter Graham, - 


Glasgow &. 
Loch Goil. 
Establish- 
ed 1818 - 


raff 

108 


2 engines, - 


32 
30 


— 


— 


D. Wyse, - 
Jas. Johnstone, 


Rothesay 
& Camp- 
beltown 

LochFyne 


94M 


2 engines, - 


36 


- 


— 


T. Buckley, 


— 


98^V 


2 engines, - 


32 


- 


- 


P. Galbreath, - 


- 


8311 

90 
70ii 

93 




_ 





— 


J. Kincaid, 


— 


1 engine, - 


20 

20 

20 


- 


G. Brown, - 
T. Buchanan, 

T. Kirkwood, - 
Lorimer Corbett, 
J. Miller, 


Dan. M 'Arthur, 

M airhead, 
Leitch, - 

Carswell, - 


- 


§8|1 


_ 


20 


— 


— 


John Kay, 


Glasgow 
& Largs 

Glasgow & 
Rothesay 

Glasgow & 
Greenock 


74f| 

57 




34 
20 


- 


: 


D. Brown, 



350 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 





Year. 


Builders of Hull. 


Makers of 
Machinery. 


Description and Principa 
Dimensions of Hull. 




Type. 


Length 
B.P. 


Beam. 


Depth 

Mould 

ed. 


26. Margaret, - 

27. Duke of Wellington 


1816 
1817 


Sharp, Dundee, - 
A. M'Lachlan, - 


John Robertson, 
D. M 'Arthur & 

Co., 
John Robertson, 


Wood 
do. 


55' 

77' 4" 


14' 
14' 10" 


5' 5" 


28. Defiance, 


1817 


John Wood, - - 


do. 


54' 


15' 


_ 


20. Woodford, - 

30. Marquis of Bute, - 

31. Greenock No. 2, - 


1818 
ISIS 
ISIS 


W. Denny, - 
John Wood, - 
do., 


John Robertson, 
D. M 'Arthur & 
Co., 

D. Napier, 
do., 
Murdoch & Cross, 
Jas. Cook, - 
D. Napier, 
Jas. Cook, - 
D. M 'Arthur, - 


do. 
do. 
do. 


71' 
55' 
70' 


16' 5 J" 
14' 
15' 


8' 6" 


32. Rob Roy, - 

33. Robert Burns, 

34. Talbot, - - - 

35. Port-Glasgow, - 

36. Fingal, - 

37. Robert Bruce, 

38. Waterloo No. 2, - 

39. Sampson, 


1818 
1819 
1819 
1819 
1819 
1819 
1819 
1819 


Wm. Denny, 
John Wood, - 

do., 

do., 
W. Denny, - 
Scott & Sons, 

do., 
W. Denny, - - 


do. 
do. 
do. 
do. 
do. 
do. 
do. 
do. 


80' 11" 
70' 
92' 
76' 
62' 
94' 
100' 
82' 


15tV 
14' 
18' 
14' 
15' 

17' 
16' 11" 


9' 

11' 
8' 6" 


40. Dumbarton, - 


1820 


do., 


M 'Arthur, 


do. 


83' 6" 


14' 1" 


7' 9" 


41. Post Boy, - 


1820 


do., . 


D. Napier, 


do. 


74' 


13' 


_ 


42. Inveraray Castle 

No. 2, 

43. Eclipse, 

44. Comet No. 2, 

45. Ayr, 

46. James Watt, - 


1820 

1821 
1821 

1821 
1822 


John Wood, - - 

Steel, Greenock, - 
James Lang, 
Dumbarton, 
John Wood, - 
do.. 


D. Napier, 

D. M 'Arthur & 

Co., 
Neilson, - 
Boulton & Watt, 


do. 

do. 
do. 

do. 
do. 


95' 6" 
104' 

88' 
124' 


16' 
16' 9" 

16' 

24' 


9' 5" 
9' 10" 


47. Toward Castle, - 

48. Largs, - 


1822 
1822 


J. Lang & W. 

Denny, 
John Wood, - - 


D, M 'Arthur, - 


do. 
do. 


101' 10" 
91' 9" 


16' 8^" 
17' 


9' 
9' 


49. Leven, - 


1823 


W. Denny, - 


R. Napier, - 


do. 


80' 


16' 


- 


50. Favourite, - 


1824 


John Denny, 


- 


do. 


70rV 


15tV 


7tV 


51. Ben Nevis, - 


1824 


J. Lang, 


_ 


do. 


82' 9" 


13' 3" 


9' 2" 


52. Commerce, - 


1824 


do., 


- 


do. 


74rV 


15iV 


7tV 


53. George Canning, - 

54. Sovereign, - 


1824 
1824 


do., 
do.. 


Girdwood, - 


do. 
do. 


99iV' 
92' 9" 


15U' 
16' 


7fV 

8' 8" 


55. St. Catherine, 


1825 


John Wood, - 


Neilson, - 


do. 


94' 


16' 4" 





56. Helensburgh, 


1825 


W. Denny, - 


R. Napier, - 


do. 


100' 3" 


16' 2" 


8'7r 


57. James Ewing, 


1825 


J. Lang & Denny, 
Dumbarton, 


D. Napier, - 


do. 


lOT 


16' 1" 


8' 2" 





FROM 


'COMET' TO 


'KING EDWARD' 351 




Machinery. 
















Owners. 


Master. 


Trade. 


Ton. 
■ nage. 


Type. 


N.H.P. 


Boilers. 








54 


_ 


12 


_ 


_ 


_ 


_ 


5311 


— 


16 


— 


— 


D. Beith, . - 
M'Kinlay, 


— 


51 


— 


12 


— 


— 


— 


Glasgow & 
Loch Goil 


S2n 


— 


— 


— 


— 


J. Holliday, - 


— 


53 


— 


14 


— 


— 


— 


— 


62 


2 engines, - 


10 


— 


— 


— 


— 


87U 


_ 


— 


_ 


J. D. Napier, 


A. Smith, - - 


_ 


6(5 


— 


20 


— 


— 


— 


— 


150 


2 engines, - 


60 


— 


— 


— 


— 


84 


— 


16 


— 


— 





— 


'Ii 


2 engines, - 


16 


— 


— 


— 


— 


90fi 


2 engines, - 


60 


— 


— 


J. Paterson, - 


— 


200 


2 engines, - 


60 


— 


— 


— 


— 


53U 


2 engines, • 


40 


— 


Wm, Croil, - 
John Robertson, 


J. M'Kellar, - 


— 


50fi 


" 


42 


~ 


Robt. Davidson, - 
Thos. Barclay, 


John Hunter, - 


Glasgow 
& Dum- 
barton 


65 


— 


20 


— 


— 


— 


Glasgow & 
Greenock 


V07\ 


Single beam. 


40 


2 copper flue 
boilers, 


— 


Dug. Thomson, 


Glasgow & 
LochFyne 


8711 


— 


60 


— 


D. Napier, - 


J. Dalzell, 


— 


94 


— 


25 


— 


— 


M'Innes, - 


Glasgow & 
Inverness 


— 


— 


60 


— 


— 


M'Clelland, - 


— 


— 


— 


100 


— 


— 


— 


Glasgow & 
Greenock 


795\ 


— 


45 


— 


— 


JohnM'Coll, - 


Glasgow & 














LochFyne 


82tf 


~ 


36 


— 


— 


J. Kay, . - 


Glasgow, 
Largs & 


54 


Side lever, - 


33 


- 


- 


- 


Millport 
Glasgow 
& Dum- 
barton 


40tW 


— 


— 


— 


John Mitchell, - 
John Neill, 


Norman Jamie- 
son, 












Alex. Drysdale, 






44fi 


— 


— 


— 


— 


R. Bain, - 


Glasgow & 


■79 












Inverness 


i3r'is\ 


— 


— 


— 


John Mitchell, - 
John Neill, 


John M'Kinnon, 


— 










Alex. Drysdale, 






soil 


— 


— 


— 


H. Price, - - 


Wm. M'Kenzie. 


— 


68M 


— 


36 


— 


J. Henderson, 
A. M'Kellar, 


J. Henderson, - 


Glasgow & 
Gareloch 


— 


— 


34 


— 




P. Graham, 


Glasgow & 
Loch Goil 


8lff 


Side lever, - 


52 


— 


— 


A. M'Leod, 


Glasgow 
& Helens- 
burgh 
Glasgow & 


77n 


— 


35 


— 


D. Napier, • 


W. M'Kenzie, . 














Rothesay 



352 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 



Name of Steamer. 



58. Ben Lomond, 

59. Countess of Glas- 

gow, 

60. Caledonia No. 2, - 

01. Eclipse No. 2, 
(»2. Sir John Moore, 

63. St. George, - 

64. Dunoon Castle, 



65. Clarence, 

66. Venus, - 

67. Cupid, - 

68. Sultan, - 

69. New Dumbarton. 

70. Ardencaple, - 

71. Waverley, 

72. Loch Eck, - 

73. Superb, - 

74. An-an Castle, 

75. Greenock, No. 3, 

76. St. Mun, 

77. Rothesay, 

78. Fairy Queen, 

79. Gleniffer, - 
SO. Windsor Castle, 
81. Apollo, . 



Year, 



1825 

1825 



1826 
1826 

1826 

1826 

1827 
1827 
1828 
1828 

1828 

1828 

1828 
1829 

1830 

1830 

1830 

1831 

1831 
1831 

1831 

1832 

1832 



Builders of Hull. 



Lang, - 

J. Scott & Sons, 



W. Denny, 



J. Lang, 

J. Lang & Denny, 

Dumbarton, 
J. H. Ritchie & 

John Wood, 
Denny, 



Denny, Dumbar- 
ton, 

J. Barclay & John 
Wood, 

John Wood, • 

J. Lang, 
Denny, 



J. Lang & Denny. 

Dumbarton, 
J. Lang, 
John Wood, - 

J. Lang (St Wm. 

Denny, 
John Wood, - 



W. Denny & Sons, 

Denny, Dumbar- 
ton, 
Jas. Lang, - 
John Neilson, 



John Wood, - 
Hunter & Dow, 



Makers of 
Machinery. 



R. Napier, - 



R. Napier, - 
Murdochs Cross 

Neilson, 

M 'Arthur, • 



R. Napier, - 
D. Napier, ■ 

do., 
R. Napier, - 

do., 

do., 

Murdoch & Cross, 
D. Napier, - 

R. Nai)i«r, - 

do., 
D. Napier, . 
do., 



R. Napier, 



Description and Priucipa 
Dimensions of Hull. 



Type. 



Wood 
do. 



do. 



do. 
do. 

do. 

do. 

do. 
do. 
do. 
do. 
do. 

do. 

do. 
do. 

do. 

do. 

do. 

do. 

do. 
Iron 



Wood 



^-f*^ Beam. KS 



90' 11" 
100' 



84' 

108iV 
103' 7" 

101' 

107' 4" 

92' 
111' 3" 
58' 3" 
97' 6" 
92iV' 



89' 4" 
81' 9" 

103' 8" 

103' 9" 

102' 3" 

114' 3" 

96' 



110' 1" 
131' 2" 





FROM 


* COMET' TO 


'KING EDWARD' 353 




Machinery. 


Owners. 


Master. 












Trade. 


Ton- 
nage. 


Type. 


N.H.P. 


Boilers. 








voA 


_ 


35 




_ 


Peter Turner, - 





89ff 


- 


- 


- 


- 


W. M'Intyre, - 


Glasgow, 
Millport 


























and Ayr 


— 


" 


32 


" 


~ 


Jas. White, 


Glasgow 
& Helens- 
burgh 


10411 


— 


— 


— 


— 


J. DalzeU, 


— 


92|f 


— 


50 


— 


— 


P. Hamilton, - 


— 


77M 


- 


48 


- 


- 


Peter Graham, • 


Glasgow & 
Loch Goil 


lOOif 




55 






Jas. Johnstone, 


Glasgow, 
Rothesay 
and Loch 
Fyne 


70 


— 


45 


— 





Turner, - 


Glasgow & 
Gareloch 


86^\ 


— 


70 


— 


D. Napier, - 


Wm. Hall, 


Glasgow & 
KUmun 
Dunoon & 


17U 





10 


_ 


do., 


J. Thomson, - 














Kilmun 


68M 


— 


— 


— 


J. Henderson, 
A. M'Kellar, 


Jas. Henderson, 


Glasgow & 
Gareloch 


53t'A 


~ 


45 






M'Leod, - 


Glasgow 
& Dum- 
barton 


87/t 


— 


45 


— 


— 


T. Brown, - 


Glasgow & 
Gareloch 


45AV 


— 


36 


— 


R. Douglas, - 


Robt. Douglas, - 


— 


37|f 


— 


30 


— 


— 


R. Hunter, 


Glasgow & 
Kilmun 
Glasgow & 


76f| 











Wm. M'Kenzie, - 


Wm. M'Kenzie, 














Rothesay 


8lff 


" 


50 


" 


Wm. Watson, 
Andrew King, 
John Blackie, 


J. Johnstone, - 


Glasgow & 
Rothesay 


70H 


— 


50 


— 


J. Henderson, 
A. M'Kellar, 


J. Henderson, - 


Glasgow & 
Gareloch 


esH 


— 


60 


— 


D. Napier, - 


R. Hunter, 


Glasgow & 
Kilmun 


68|| 


— 


— 


— 


J. M'Kinnon, 


— 


— 


39H 


Osculating, 


— 


— 


J. Neilson, - 


L. M'Lellan, - 


Glasgow, 
Largs & 
Millport 


— 


~ 


~ 


~ 


~ 


Robertson, 


Glasgow, 
Largs & 
Millport 


80fi 




55 




John "Watson, 
Andrew King, 
A. Miller, 


~ 


~ 


104|i- 


— 


— 


— 


Wingate&Co., - 


Stewart Boyd, - 


Glasgow, 
Largs, 
Millport 


























and Ayr 






Z 

















354 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 






Year. 


Builders of Hull. 


Makers of 
Machinery. 


Description and Principa 
Dimensions of Hull. 


Name of Steamer. 


Type. 


Length 


Beam. 


Deptli 

Mould 
ed. 


82. Inverness, - 


1832 


Robt. Barclay, - 


- 


- 


82' 6" 


12' 10" 


8' 9" 


83. Hero, - 


1832 


Denny, 


R. Napier, - - 


Wood 


98' 5" 


15' 1" 


8' 3" 


84. Dumbuck, - 


1832 


John Wood, - 


- 


- 


99t%' 


ll-j^V 


Tf'V 


85. Earl Grey, - 


1832 


R. Duncan & Co., 


— 


Wood 


120' 3" 


16' 


8' 6" 


86. Alert, - 


1838 


Jas. Lang, Dum- 
barton, 


- 


do. 


61fV 


14t^' 


8' 


87. Kilmun, 


1834 


D. Napier, - 


D. Napier, - - 


do. 


120' 6" 


16' 


8' 6" 


88. Nimrod, - 


1834 


John Wood, - 


Caird & Co., - 


do. 


109' 4" 


16' 9" 


9' 5" 


89. Rob Roy, - 


1834 


R. Duncan & Co., 





do. 


83' 3" 


12' 11" 


9' 3" 


90. James Oswald, - 


1834 


J. Scott & Sons, - 


— 


do. 


101' 8" 


14' 9" 


8' 4" 


91. Albion, 


1834 


— 


— 


do. 


115' 5" 


16' 3" 


10' 3" 


92. Dolphin, - 


1834 


J. Lang, 


Caird & Co., - 


Iron 


96' 9" 


16' 4" 


8' 6" 


93. Benledi, - 


1834 


R. Barclay, - 


- 


Wood 


112' 


18' 2" 


9' 10" 


94. Northern Yacht, - 


1835 


do.. 


R. Napier, - - 


- 


116' 7" 


16' 8" 


9' 2" 


95. Jas. Dennistoune, 


1835 


Hunter & Dow, - 


do., 


- 


107' 8" 


15' 11" 


9' 2" 


96. Loch Goil, - 


1835 


Tod & M'Gregor, - 


do.. 


Wood 


— 


— 


— 


97. James Watt, 


1835 




- 


- 


79/^' 


16tV 


s^' 


98. St. Mungo, - 

99. Isle of Bute, 


1835 
1835 


R, Duncan & Co., 
John Wood, 


Murdoch, Aitken 

&Co., 
R. Napier, - 


Wood 


166' 6" 
109tV 


17' 
ISiV 


10' 2" 
8tV 


100. Maid of Bute, - 


1835 


do., 


do.. 


do. 


IIOtV 


15tV 


8^ 


101. Helen M'Gregor, 


1835 


Robt. Duncan, - 


Murdoch & Ait- 
ken, 
R. Napier, - 


do. 


82' 


13' 11" 


10' 2" 


102. Vale of Leven, - 


1836 


Tod & M'Gregor, 


- 


- 


- 


- 


103. Brenda, 

104. Royal Tar, - 


1836 
1836 


A. Macfarlane,Jr., 

&Co., 
Tod & M'Gregor, 


J. & W. Napier, 
Tod & M'Gregor, 


Wood 


123t'i;' 
125/^' 


16' 
16tV 


9' 
8tV 


105. Express, - 


1836 


R. Barclay & Co., 


- 


- 


130tV 


16t\' 


SrV 


106. Maid of Arran, - 


1836 


John Wood, 


R. Napier, - 


Wood 


94' 


17' 


- 



FROM 'COMET' TO 'KING EDWARD' 355 





Machinery. 
















Owners. 


Master. 


Trade. 


Ton- 
nage. 


Type. 


N.H.P. 


Boilers. 








43M 


- 


- 


- 


George Smith, - 
Jas. Melvin, 
Peter Turner, 
W. Young, 


Peter Turner, - 


- 


6StJ 


— 


37 


— 


D. M'Kellar, 


D. M'Kellar, - 


Glasgow & 
Millport 


39t%V 


— 


" 




Jno, Burns Mac- 

Brayne, 
Jno. M'lndoe, 


Alex. Lang, 


Glasgow 
& Dum- 
barton 


104^i 


— 


— 


— 


D. Napier, - 


Jas. Johnstone, 


Glasgow & 
Rothesay 


44tV(I 


" 


" 


" 


John Mitchell, - 
John Neill, 
Alex. Drysdale, 


Henry Hossack, 




102|i 


— 


20 


— 


D. Napier, - 


R. Wallace, - 


Glasgow & 
Kllmun 
Largs, 


96M 


_ 


70 


_ 


Currie & J. Clark, 


Currie, 














Millport 














and Ayr 


42U 


— 


— 


— 


W. Young, - 


P. Turner, 


— 


6rM 


— 


— 


— 


J. Stevenson, 


Jas. Whyte, - 


— 


(54 


- 


GO 


- 


- 


- 


Glasgow 
& Arran 


73M 


- 


45 


— 


— 


J. Campbell, - 


Glasgow & 
LochFyne 


115M 


— 


— 


— 


T. & R. Barclay, - 


J. Hunter, 


Largs and 
Millport 
Glasgow & 


oHl- 


_ 








do., 


John Leitch, - 














Millport 


87H 




' 


" 


J. Stevenson, 
H. Price, 
A. Tennant, 


John Hunter, - 


Glasgow, 
Largs & 
Millport 


— 




— 


— 


Loch Goil Co., - 


P. Graham, 


Glasgow & 
Loch Goil 


44A% 




' 


" 


John Henderson, 
Wm. Croil, 
Dugald M'Phee, 


Alex. Leitch, - 


" 


108f-| 


Steeple, 


— 


Flue, - - 


W.Young, - - 


W. Young, 


— 


93 


- 


60 


- 


Bute Steam Pkt. 
Co., 


J. M'Kinlay, - 


Glasgow & 
Rothesay 


91 


— 


70 


— 


Bute Steam Pkt. 
Co., 


J. Johnstone, • 


Glasgow & 

Rothesay 

Glasgow & 


49|4 


Double steeple, - 


_ 


_ 


G. Burns, - 


Jno, Macpherson 










W. Young, 




Inverness 


112 


" 


~ 




" 




Glasgow & 
Dumbar- 
ton 


107tW 


— 


100 


— 


R. Napier, - 


A. M'Leod, 


Glasgow & 
Gareloch 
Glasgow <fc 


783^\ 











J. Henderson, 


J. Henderson, - 










A. M'Kellar, 




Gareloch 


sgr'V^ 


— 




— 


Hugh Price, 
Colin M'Gregor, 
Robt. Watson, 


Robert Watson, 




— 


-■ 


60 


— 




— 


Lamlash 



356 THE CLYDE PASSENGER 


STEAMER 






Year. 


Builders of Hull. 


Makers of 
Machinery. 


Description and Principal 
Dimensions of Hull. 


Name of Steamer. 


Type. 


Length 
B.P. 


Beam. 


Depth 
Mould- 
ed. 


107. Tarbert Castle, - 


1836 


Wood & Mills, - 


- 


Wood 


122 rV 


lSi%' 


10' 


108. Victor, 


1836 


Hunter & Dow, - 


— 


do. 


109tV 


13tV' 


8tV 


109. Luna, - 


1837 


J. & W. Napier, - 


- 


do. 


108tV 


14t^^' 


7tV 


110. Grand Turk, 

111. Rothesay Castle, 


1837 
1837 


R. Duncan & Co., 
Tod & M'Gregor, 


Murdoch, Aitken 
&Co., 


Iron 


135tV 
133iV 


20Tf 
17' 


13' 

8tV 


112. British Queen, - 


1838 


T. Wingate&Co., 


— 


— 


125i*75' 


16A' 


8t%' 


113. Argyle, 


1838 


Robert Duncan, 
Greenock, 


~ 


- 


118tV 


18tV 


9tV 


114. Loch Lomond, - 


1838 


- 


- 


Wood 


- 


- 


- 


115. Royal Victoria, - 

116. Robert Bums, - 


1838 
1838 


Barr&M'Nab, - 
R. Duncan &Co., 


D. Napier, - - 


Wood 


106tV 
132tV 


13tV 
19tV 


7A' 
lOrV 


117. Sir Wm. Wallace, 


1888 


- 


- 


~ 


- 


- 


- 


118. Windsor Castle, - 


1838 


Tod & M'Gregor, 


Tod & M'Gregor, 


Iron 


128tV 


16iV 


S' 


119. British Queen, - 


1838 


T. Wingate & Co., 


Wingate, • 


- 


125t\' 


16tV 


8A' 


120. Queen, 

121. Maid of Erin, - 


1838 
1839 


Tod & M'Gregor, 
do.. 


Tod & M'Gregor, 


- 


90t^T)' 
104tV 


13tV 
15tV 


6A' 


122. Ayrshire Lass, - 


1839 


Robt. Duncan, - 


Wingate, - 


Wood 


123iV 


18 rV 


8tV 


123. Shandon, - 


1839 


John Wood, 


R. Napier, - 


do. 


134f'V 


16tV 


9tV 


124. Paisley, 


1839 


- 


- 


do. 


- 


- 


- 


125. Inveraray Castle, 


1839 


Tod & M'Gregor, 


Tod & M'Gregor, 


Iron 


136tV 


19t%' 


8tV 


126. Superb, 


1839 


J. Lang, 


R. Napier, - 


Wood 


122' 


20' 


8' 2" 


127. Warrior, - 


1839 


R. Duncan & Co., 


- 


do. 


128tV 


17tV 


8^' 


128. Flambeau, - 


1840 


do.. 


— 


Iron 


139iV 


19iV 


lOiV 


129. Dumbarton Castle 


1840 


Geo. Mills, - 




— i 









FROM * COMET' TO 'KING EDWARD' 357 





Machinery, 


Owners. 


Master. 












Trade. 


Ton- 
nage. 


Type. 


N.H.P. 


Boilers. 








100^^7 


Steeple, 


- 


- 


John Watson, 
Andrew King, 
Alex. MiUer, 


Donald Currie, 


Glasgow 
and Loch 
Fyne 


70tW 


— 


— 





D. M'Kellar, 


M'Kellar, 


Largs and 
Millport 














49t¥d 


Steeple engine, - 


— 


Tubular, - 


J. & W.Napier, - 


Peter Chalmers, 


Glasgow & 
Kilmun 


243^^ 


— 


— 


— 


W.Young, - - 


John M'Pherson 


— 


9&tA 


— 


~ 


- 


John Watson, 
Andrew King, 
Alex. Miller, 


Dugald Thom- 
son, 


Glasgow 
and 
Rothesay 


SOtVtt 


— 


— 


— 


J. Henderson, 
A. M'Kellar, 


J. Henderson, - 


Glasgow & 
Gareloch 


106t'A 


~ 




~ 


Jas. M'Donald, - 
Jas. Fleming, 
Wm. Ewing, 


Wm. Ewing, - 


~ 


~ 


," 




■^ 


" 


" 


Glasgow & 
Dumbar- 
ton 


5Sz\\ 


— 


_ 





Wm. Barr, - 


J. Robertson, - 




HOtw 


— 


— 


— 


W. Young, - 


Jas. Galloway, - 
T. Houston, 


Largs, 
Millport 
and Ayr 


106 


— 


— 


— 


W.Young, - - 


J. Gillies, - - 


Millport 


SOi'Tftr 


Steeple, - - 


- 


Haystack, 


R. Finlay, - 
J. Watson, 
A. Miller, 


Don. Currie, • 


and Ayr 
Glasgow 
and 
Inveraray 


8OAV 


Side lever en- 
gine, and 
reversed by a 
lever. 






J. Henderson. 
A. M'Kellar, 


J. Henderson, - 


Glasgow 
and 
Gareloch 


46tVit 




— 


— 


Tod & M'Gregor, - 


John Crawford, 


— 


63t'A 


— 


— 


— 


do., 


J. Crawford, - 


— 


84AV 


Side lever, - 


— 


Box boiler, - 


Wm. Young, 
Hugh Price, 
John Hunter, 


John Hunter, - 


Largs, 
Millport 
and Ayr 


103 


— 


— 


— 


R. Napier, - 
R. B. Clelland, 


A. M'Leod, 


Glasgow «& 
Gareloch 


— 


— 


— 


— 


— 


— 


Paisley 
and Largs 
Glasgow 


120tVu 


— 


113 


. 


R. Finlay, - 


Don. Currie, - 










J. Watson, 




and 










A. Miller, 




Inveraray 


70 


— 


— 


— 


D. Napier, - 


J. Dalzell, 


Glasgow & 
Gareloch 


89r¥Tr 


Steeple, - 


" 


~ 


D. M'Kellar, 
J. Fleming, 
W. Allan, 


D. M'Kellar, - 


Largs and 
Millport 


80 


— 


— 


— 


J. Thomson, 
J. Miller & Co., 


Tom Brown, - 


Glasgow & 
Rothesay 


08 










J. Livingstone, 


Glasgow & 
Dumbar- 
ton 



358 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 





Year. 


Builders of Hull. 


Makers of 
Machinery. 


Description and Principal 
Dimensions of Hull. 


Name of Steamer. 


Type. 


Length 
B.P. 


Beam. 


Depth 
Mould- 
ed. 


130. Princess, - 

131. Telegraph, - 


1841 
1841 


Tod & M'Gregor, 
Hedderwick & 
Ransome, 


Tod & M'Gregor, 


Iron 
Wood 


132/Tr' 
118' 7" 


17tV 
14' 11" 


8tV 

4' 7" 


132. Loch Goil, No. 2, 

133. Defiance, - 


1841 
1841 


Tod & M'Gregor, 


Tod & M'Gregor, 


do. 
Iron 


112tV 


20fV' 


11/75' 


134. Lady Brisbane, - 


1842 


Barr & M'Nab, - 


Barr & M'Nab, - 


do. 


133' 


17' 4" 


stV 


135. Jenny Lind, 


1842 


Denny, 


Penn, 


do. 


145' 


15' 


— 


136. Duntroon Castle, 


1842 


Anderson & Gil- 
mour, 


- 


do. 


140tV 


21' 


lOiV 


137. Engineer, - 


1843 


W. Napier & Son, 


J. & W. Napier, 


do. 


168' 


17' 6" 


S' 


138. Lady Kelbume, - 


1843 


Barr & M'Nab, - 


Barr & M'Nab, - 


do. 


149tV 


17' 5" 


8' 


139. Emperor, - 


1843 


Tod &, M'Gregor, 


Tod & M'Gregor, 


do. 


121i^Tt' 


16tV 


7t%' 


140. Invincible, - 


1844 


do., 


do., 


do. 


130rV 


16tV 


8' 


141. Cardiff Castle, - 


1844 


Caird & Co., 


Caird & Co., 


do. 


170-A' 


"• 


9tV 


142. Craignish Castle, 

143. Countess of 

Eglinton, 

144. Caledonia, - 

145. Edinburgh Castle, 


1844 
1844 

1844 
1844 


do., 
Barr & M'Nab, - 

Smith & Rodger, 
do.. 


do.. 
Smith & Rodger, 


do. 
do. 

do. 
do. 


170-A' 
139tV 

132' 
138-iV 


19' 
15A' 
15' 4" 
15tV 


9tV 


146. Pioneer, 


1844 


Barr & M'Nab, - 


Barr & M'Nab, - 


do. 


159tV 


17tV 


8t%' 


147. Pilot, - 


1844 


do.. 


do., 


do. 


137tV 


15i^' 


rA' 


148. Queen of Beauty, 


1844 


Wingate, 


R. Napier, - 


do 


137tV 


16tV 


8' 


149. Mars, - 


1845 


T. Wingate & Co., 


Wingate, - 


do. 


135tV 


16tV 


TtV 


150. CuUoden, - 


1845 


Caird & Co., 


- 


do. 


145' 


16tV 


8tV 


151. Loch Lomond, - 


1845 


Denny & Co., 


Smith & Rodger, 


do. 


126' 


16' 9" 


- 


152. Fire Queen, 


1845 


Robt. Napier, - 


R. Napier, - 


- 


132iV 


18' 


9A' 


153. Petrel, 


1845 


Barr & M'Nab, 
Paisley, 


~ 


Iron 


1Q5t%' 


17tV 


sA' 





FROM 


^ COMET' TO 


*KING EDWARD' 359 




Machinery. 
















Owners. 


Master. 


Trade. 


Ton- 
nage. 


Type. 


N.H.P. 


Boilers. 








UStVtt 


_ 


_ 





Tod «fc M'Gregor, - 


Jno. Knowles, - 





— 


— 


— 


High pressure, 


M'Indoe, - 


Ewan, 


Glasgow & 
Helens- ^ 
burgh 


— 


Steeple, - 


— 


— 


— 


Peter Graham, 


— 


VOtVit 


— 


— 


— 


John Mitchell, - 
Alex. Drysdale, 
John Neill, 


JohnM'Kinnon, 


— 


81tVV 


Steeple, - 


70 





W. Young, - 
M. Perston, 


T. Houston, - 


Largs, 
Millport, 
and Ayr 


165 


Oscillating en- 
gines, 


70 


— 


— 


M'Pherson, 


Glasgow & 
Gareloch 


120x^77 


Steeple, - 




Horizontal, - 


A. S. Campbell, - 
W. Campbell, 
J. Hunter, 


Don. Currie, - 


Inveraray 


68,^,^, 


Steeple, 


104 


~ 


G. Lyon, 
R. Paterson, 
P. Chalmers, 


P. Chalmers, - 


Glasgow 
and 
Millport 


85i?xrV 


Steeple, 


87 


— 


W. Young & 
M'Kellar, 


J. Houston, 


Largs and 
Millport 


G2rU 


Steeple, 


— 


Haystack, 


A. M'Kellar, 

J. Henderson, etc. 


R. M'Aulay, - 


Gareloch 


78tVit 


Steeple, 


— 


Haystack, 


W. Allan & 
D. M'Kellar, 


D. M'Kellar, - 


Largs and 
Millport 


96tW 


Double diagonal 
engine. 


84 


~ 


W. Campbell, - 
J. Watson, 
A. S. Finlay, 


J. Campbell, - 


Rothesay 


SGtVtt 


do., 


84 


— 


do.. 


Neil M'Gill, - 


Rothesay 


68 AV 


Steeple, 


— 


Haystack, - 


W.Young, - - 


A. Crawford, - 


Largs and 
Millport 
Kilmun 


— 


— 


— 


— 


— 


Dugald Thomson 


67/A 


Steeple, 


45 


Haystack, 


Campbell, - 

Watson, 

Finlay, 

J. & G. Burns, - 


C. GilUes, 


Kilmun 


104AV 


Steeple, - - 


95 


Horizontal, - 


Alex. Shields, - 


Greenock 










W. Smellie, 




and 


69AV 


Steeple, 


60 


Haystack, - 


do.. 


Arch. White, - 


Rothesay 
Greenock 
& Kilmun 


SQiVu 


~ 


~ 


" 


J. Smith, - 
J. Gourlay, 
J. Kibble, 


J. Clark, - 


Kilmun 


79tVcT 


Steeple, 


" 


~ 


J. Fleming, - 

W. Allan, 

D. A. M'Kellar, 


A. M'Kellar, 


Largs and 
Millport 


75tVit 


~ 


" 


~ 


J. Burns, 
W. Smellie, 
C. M'Kenzie, 


P. Turner, 


Kilmun 


95 


— 


70 


— 


— 


R. Lang, - 


Dumbar- 
ton 


65AV 


— 


— 


— 


Jas. Napier, 
John Napier, 


John Campbell, 


— 


lOOxfiT 


Steeple, - 




Haystack, 


J. & G. Burns, - 
W. Smellie, 


R. Gillies, 


Greenock 
and 
Rothesay 



36o THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 





Year. 


Builders of Hull. 


Makers of 
Machinery. 


Description and Principal 
Dimensions of Hull. 


Name of Steamer. 


Type. 


Length 


Beam. 


Depth 
Mould- 
ed. 


154. Sovereign, - 


1845 


Tod & M'Gregor, 


Tod & M'Gregor, 


Iron 


138tV 


16tV 


SiV 


155. Scotia, 


1845 


do., 


- 


- 


141iV 


irxV 


8t'tj' 


156. Dunrobin Castle, 

157. Prince, 


1846 
1846 


d^ 
Denny & Rankin, 


Windsor Castle's 

Engine, 
St. George's En- 

gine. 


- 


162iV 
120t%' 


19' 
15tV 


8tV 
8^^ 


158. Mary Jane, - 


1846 


Tod & M'Gregor, 


Tod & M'Gregor, 


Iron 


165' 4" 


20' 2" 


9' 4" 


159. Premier, - 


1846 


Denny & Co. , 


Tulloch & Denny 


do. 


140' 2" 


17' 


6' 6". 


160. Monarch, - 


1846 


J. Barr, Renfrew, 


- 


do. 


126rV 


16' 


7tV 


161. Vesta, - 


1846 


Barr & M'Nab, - 


BaiT& M'Nab, - 


- 


166tV 


17t%' 


8tV 


162. Princess Alice, - 

163. Breadalbane, 

164. Isle of Arran, 


1847 
1847 

1847 


Tod & M'Gregor, 
Smith & Rodger, 
John Wood, 


Tod & M'Gregor, 
Smith & Rodger, 
R. Napier, - 


Iron 
do. 
Wood, 
flush 
deck 
Flush 
deck 


145tV 
140' 


istV 

16tV 


8' 
7' 9" 


165. Vesper, 


1848 


J. Henderson, - 


Barr & M'Nab, - 


us^' 


16tV 


8' 


166. Plover, 


1848 


Wingate, 


T. Wingate, 


Iron 


159tV 


16' 


7A' 


167. Duchess of Argyle 


1848 


Napier, - - 


— 


do. 


ISOi^ff' 


15tV 


6tV 


168. Star, - - - 


1849 


Tod & M'Gregor, 


Tod & M'Gregor, 


do. 


156' 


17tV 


8tV 


169. Queen, 


1850 


Denny, 


— 


do. 


141' 7" 


17tV 


7' 


170. Koh-i-noor, - 


1850 


T. Wingate & Co., 


- 


do. 


146A' 


lllV 


6tV, 


171. Bclipse, 


1850 


Wingate, 


Wingate, - 


do. 


165' 


17' 


- 


172. Prince Arthur, - 

173. Diana, - 


1851 
1851 


Tod & M'Gregor, 
J. Henderson & Son 


- 


- 


154tV 
156' 


15' 6" 
17tV 


7' 5" 
8tV 



FROM 'COMET' TO 'KING EDWARD' 361 





Machinery. 


Owners. 


Master. 












Trade. 


Ton- 
nage. 


Type. 


N.H.P. 


Boilers. 








76^\ 


Steeple, 


— 


Haystack, 


A. M'Kellar, 


J. Campbell, - 


Glasgow & 
Gareloch 


Sll^TT 





90 





Jas. Reid, - 


Dngald Thomson 










Jno. Reid, 














David Tod, 






119m 


Steeple, - - 


— 


Horizontal, - 


Castle Co., - 


J. Campbell, - 


Glasgow & 
Rothesay 
Glasgow & 


oTTTnr 











J. Henderson, 


J. Bain, - - 










A. M'Kellar, 




Gareloch- 
head 


223 


Steeple, 


120 


Horizontal, - 


SirJas.Mathieson 


Arch, Campbell, 


Stomoway 
thence on 
Rothesay 
and 
Inveraray 


98 


Steeple, - 


55 


Haystack, 


Dumbarton Co., - 


J Wilson, 


Glasgow & 
Dumbar- 
ton 














60t^^ 


— 


— 


— 


Henderson & 
M'Kellar, 


Jno. M'Leod 
Campbell, 


Glasgow & 
Helens- 
burgh 

Largs and 


HS'tVtt 


Steepie, - 








M. Paton, - 


— 










Alex. A. Laird, 




Millport 










Matt. Langlands, 






104,^ 


— 


96 


— 


Tod & M'Gregor, 


G. Williams, - 


— 


89AV 


Steeple, 


— 


Haystack, 


DuncanM'Murrich 


Hugh Smith, - 


Loch Goil 


— 


Single steeple, - 


— 


Tubular, 25 lbs. 


Ardrossan Steam- 
boat Co., 


Blackeney, 


Ardrossan 
& Arran 


873^77 


Steeple, - 


90 


- 


J. Henderson, 


Wm. Henderson 


Kilmun 
via Kil- 


99t^A 


Steeple, - - 


50 


Horizontal, - 


J. & G. Burns, - 
C. M'Kenzie, 


J. M 'Arthur, - 


creggan 
Bowling & 
Glasgow 
in connec- 
tion with 
the Dum- 
barton- 
shire Rly. 


84T^Tnr 


Steeple, - 


60 


" 


Napier, 


Robt. Campbell, 


Glasgow & 
Gareloch- 
head 


95t'A 


Steeple, - - 


100 


Flue, 


Allan Reid & 
M'Kellar, 


A. M'Kellar, - 


Largs, 
Millport, 
& Arran 


58t*A 


— 


70 


— 


P. L. Henderson, 


Lang, 


Dumbar- 
ton 


49TVTr 


~ 


' 


" 


R. Young, - 


R. Young, 


Kilmun & 

Glasgow 

t7irtDunoon 


200 


Steeple, - 


62 


1 Haystack, - 




M'KeUar, - 


Kilmun &, 

Glasgow 

viaDunoon 


mSh 


— 


— 


— 


Tod & M'Gregor, - 


Robt. Moss, - 




iistVtt 


Steeple, - - 


90 




J. MacFarlane, - 
A. Cochran, 
J. Henderson, 


J. Henderson, ■ 





362 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 





Year. 


Builders of Hull. 


Makers of 
Machinery. 


Description and Principal 
Dimensions of Hull. 


Name of Steamer. 


Type. 


Length 


Beam. 


Depth 
Mould- 
ed. 


174. Victoria, 


1851 


R. Napier, - 


R. Napier, - 


Iron 


123iV 


15tV 


IrV 


175. Ardentinny, 


1851 


Wingate, - 


Wingate, - 


do. 


163tV 


— 


6tV 


176. Reindeer, - 


1852 


Blackwood & Gor- 
don, 


- 


do. 


166' 


13?T»' 


7tV 


177. Glasgow Citizen, 


1852 


J. Barr, - - 


Barr, - 


do. 


156tV 


16tV 


StV 


17S, Venus, - 


1852 


J. & G. Thomson, 


J. & G. Thomson, 


Flush 
deck 


159tV 


IVtV' 


8t^' 


179. Rotary-, 


1852 


Wingate, 


Wingate, - 


- 


146tV 


14' 


6tV 


180. Mountaineer, 


1852 


J. & G. Thomson, 


J. & G. Tliomson, 


Flush 
deck 


174tV 


17tV 


7tV 


181. Gourock, - 


1S52 


Scott & Co., - 


- 




113tV 


.13tV 


CtV 


182. Eagle, - 


1852 


Denny, 


M'Nab & Clark, 
Greenock, 


Flush 
deck 


169tV 


16tV 


8iV 


183. Osprey, 


1852 


Barclay, Curie & 
Co., 


Caird & Co., - 


- 


169A' 


18tV 


8rV 


184. Baron, - 


1853 


Henderson &, Co., 


J. W. Hoby & 

Co., 
Barr, - 


Iron 


189t't»' 


16-iV 


9A' 


185. Wellington, 


1853 


Barr, - 


Flush 
deck 


163tV 


16' 


6tV' 


186. Eva, - 


1853 


W. Denny, - 


— 


— 


UItV 


14tV 


6iV 


187. Chancellor, - 


1853 


Denny & Co., 


Denny, 


Iron 


167tV 


17tV 


7t^<^ 


188. Vesta, - 


1853 


J. Barr, Glasgow, 


J. Barr, - - 


do. 


162' 3" 


16' 5" 


6' 8" 


189. Loch Goil, - - 


1853 


J. Barr, 


J. Barr, - 


do. 


losA' 


IQtu' 


7tV 


190. Gem, - - - 

191. Rothesay Castle, 

No. 3, 


1854 
1854 


J. Henderson & 

Son, 
Caird, - - - 


Henderson, Col- 
bourne & Co., 
Caird, - - 


do. 
do. 


161' 
181tV 


15' 9" 
17tV 


7tV 
StV 


192. Ruby, No. 1, 

193. Vulcan, 

194. Express, - 


1854 
1854 
1854 


J. Henderson & 

Son, 
R. Napier, - 

Barr, - 


Henderson, 
R. Napier, - 
Barr, - 


do. 

Flush 
deck 
do. 


172tV 

167tV 

179' 


15A' 
16tV 
16tV 


8tV 
sA' 

6tV 


195. Superb, 


1855 


Denny, 


— 


— 


— 


— 


— 



FROM ^ COMET' TO *KING EDWARD' 363 



Ton- 
nage. 



84tVV 

105tV«t 
99tV«t 



92tVt5- 

ioqAu 

ISItVtt 
82TT5'"iT 

TOx-W 
65t^A 

r24T'T5V 

112-/tA> 
lOSrViy 



Machinery. 



Type. 



Oscillating, 
Steeple, 

Steeple, 
Steeple, 

Rotary, 
Steeple, 

Oscillating, 



Oscillating, 
Steeple, 

Diagonal, ■ 

Steeple, 

Steeple, 
Steeple, 
Diagonal, - 

Oscillating, 
Oscillating, 
Steeple, 

Steeple, 



N.H.P. Boilers. 



120 



Haystack, 

Haystack, 
2 Tubular, 

Water tube, 
2 Tubular, 



2 Tubular, wag- 
gon-shaped, 
25 lbs., 



Box boilers. 
Haystack, 



Haystack, 
Haystack, 

Haystack, 
Haystack, 
Haystack, 

2 Haystack, - 
Tubular square, 
1 Haystack, - 

Flue, 



Owners. 



J. M'Lean, - 



J. Ballardie, 
J. Reid, 
P. Ralston, - 
W. Donnelly, 
J. M'Laren, 
J. BaiT, 

Allan, - 
Reid, 
Laird, 
David Napier, 

D. Hutchison & 
Co., 

Thos. Seath, 

Peter Ralston, 

Jas. M'Gregor, 

Williamson, 

Cook, 

Ferguson, 

Buchanan, 

F. Johnstone, 

Neil M'Gill, 

D. Weir, 

Jas. Ward Hoby, - 

A. M'Kellar, 



Morton, 
Little, etc., 
Loch Lomond Co., 

J. M'Leod Camp- 
bell, 
Robt. Campbell, 
Loch Goil Co., 

Jas. Henderson, - 

W. F. Johnstone, 

N. M'Gill, 

Henderson, - 

J. & W. Napier, - 

Campbell, - 

Dun. Stewart, 



Master. 



J. M'Lean, 

Peter Chalmers, 
P. Ralston, 

Neil M 'Donald, 
A. M'Kellar, - 

J. M'Gown, 
Thos. Seath, - 
R. Price, - 

Neil M'Gill, - 

Jas. M'Kinlay, - 
M'CoU, - 

R. Fisher, 
John Wilson, - 
John Campbell, 

A. M'Intyre, - 
Robt. M'Aulay, 
Neil M'Gill, - 

P. Henderson, - 
A. M'Lean, 
Campbell, 

Dun. Stewart, - 



364 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 





Year. 


Builders of Hull. 


Makers of 
Machinery. 


Description and Principal 
Dimensions of Hull. 


Name of Steamer. 


Type. 


Length 


Beam. 


Depth 

Mould. 

ed. 


196. lona. No. 1, 


1855 


J. & G. Thomson, 


J. & G. Thomson, 


Flush 
deck 


225t\' 


20tV 


9' 


197. Sir Colin Camp- 
beU, 


1855 


John Barr, - 


J. Barr, - 


do. 


166tV 


17tV 


7i^' 


198. Alma, - 


1855 


Barr & M'Nab, - 


Barr, - 


do. 


157tV 


16tV 


7^' 


199. Nelson, 


1855 


Seath, - 


Wingate, - 
Eclipse's engine. 


— 


150tV 


16tV 


6tV 


200. Mail, - 


1856 


John Barr, - 


Barr, - 


_ 


183' 


16' 6" 


7'1" 


201. Jupiter, 


1856 


Tod & M'Gregor, - 


Tod <b M'Gregor, 


- 


184A' 


18tV 


StV 


202. Royal Burgh, 


1857 


Seath, . - - 


— 


— 


102tV 


14' 


6tV 


203. Alliance, - 


1857 


Tod & M'Gregor, - 


Tod & M'Gregor, 


Deck 

saloon 

do. 


140' 


30' 


7' 


204. Spunkie, - 


1857 


do.. 


do.. 


19lA' 


isff 


7ff' 


205. Kelpie, 


1857 


do.. 


do., 


do. 


19lH' 


18ff' 


Tff 


206. Dumbarton, 


1858 


Smith & Rodger, - 


Smith & Rodger, 


Flush 


143' 5" 


17' 2" 


- 


207. Hero, - - - 


1858 


Wingate, - 


T. Wingate, 


— 


181' 


19' ItV' 


7' ItV' 


208. Loch Long, - 


1859 


Denny, 


Denny, 


- 


150t^' 


15tV 


7tV 


209. Pearl, - - - 


1859 


Henderson, Col- 
bourne & Co., 


Henderson, Col- 
bourne & Co., 


Flush 


1S2tV 


19tV 


7ff 


210. Windsor Castle, - 

211. Earl of Arran, - 

212. Ruby, No. 2, - 

213. Juno, - 


1859 

1860 
1860 
1860 


Caird & Co., 

Blackwood & 
Gordon, 

Henderson, Col- 
bourne & Co., 

Tod & M'Gregor, - 


Caird & Co., 

Blackwood & 
Gordon, 

Henderson, Col- 
bourne & Co., 

Tod & M'Gregor, 


Flush 
steel 
deck 
saloon 
Flush 

do. 

Flush 
deck 


191' 

140' 

188tV 
18&tV 


20' 

IS' 6" 
18t'o' 
19tV 


S'6" 
7iV 

8' 


214. MaU, - 

215. Sultan, 


1860 
1861 


do., 

Barclay, Curie & 
Co., 


do., 

Barclay, Curie & 
Co. (Welling- 
ton's engine), 


Raised 
quar. 
deck 


179tV 
166' 


I81V' 
16tV 


7tV 
7tV 



FROM 'COMET' TO 'KING EDWARD' 365 





Machinery. 
















Owners. 


Master. 


Trade. 


Ton- 
nage. 


Type. 


N.H.P. 


Boilers. 








173t^^ 


Oscillating, 


- 


Horizontal, - 


MacBrayne, 
D. & A. Hutchi- 
son, 


M'Gowan, 


Glasgow 
and Ard- 
rishaig 


119/A 


Steeple, - 


85 


Haystack, - 


J. Barr, 


Alex. M'Lean, - 


Glasgow 
and Ard- 
rishaig 


89t'A 


Steeple, 


— 


1 Haystack, - 


D. Stewart, - 


D. Stewart, 


Glasgow & 
Rothesay 


113t^7^ 


Steeple, 


60 


1 Haystack, - 


A. M'Kellar, 


— 


Glasgow & 
Kilmun 
trade via 


























Dunoon 


86tVit 


Steeple, - 


85 


— 


John Barr, - 





— 


lOrrVir 


Steeple, 


110 


2 M. Tubular, - 


J. Reid, 

D. & A. M'Kellar, 


M'Kellar, - 


Glasgow 
to Largs, 
Millport 
& Arran 


39tV(I 


— 


45 


— 


T. B. Seath, 


— 




51-97 


Trunk with 
centre wheel, 


85 


- 


Geo. Mills, - 


- 


Glasgow & 
Arrochar 


165tVV 


Steeple, - 


130 


2 Haystack, - 


P. M'Gregor, 


R. Young, 


Glasgow 
to Largs, 
Millport 
&, Arran. 


165tVV 


Steeple, 


130 


2 Haystack, - 


P. M'Gregor, 


Dugald Weir, - 


Glasgow 
to Largs, 
Millport 
& Arran 


— 


— 


— 


— 


— 


— 


Glasgow & 
Dumbar- 
ton 

Glasgow & 


isTt^A 


Steeple, - 


80 


1 Haystack, - 


T. Wingate, 


R. Young, 










J. M'Clymont, 




Rothesay 


72-95 


Oscillating, 


60 


1 Haystack, - 


Loch Goil Steam- 
boat Co., 


W. M'Intyre, . 


Glasgow & 
Loch Goil 


1671^1^ 


Diagonal oscil- 
lating— 
4 cylinders, 
1 crank, 


120 


2 Haystacks, - 


J, Henderson, 


M'Intyre, - 


Glasgow & 
Rothesay 


" 


D. diagonal. 


" 


1 Haystack, - 


Caird & Co., 


Campbell, 


Glasgow & 
Rothesay 


- 


Double steeple, - 


80 


Tubular, 30 lbs. 


Ardrossan Steam- 
boat Co., 


Blackney, 


Ardrossan 
& Arran 


ITSxVir 


Diagonal oscil- 
lating, 


100 


2 Haystacks, - 


P. L. Henderson, 


Price, 


Glasgow & 
Rothesay 


184tVt7 


Steeple, - 


110 


2 Haystacks, - 


M'Kellar, - 


M'Kellar, - - 


Glasgow, 
Largs & 
Arran 


ISStVo 


Steeple, 


85 


Haystack, 


J. A. & R. Camp- 
bell, 


R. Campbell, - 


Glasgow & 
Kilmun 


iirAV 


Steeple, 


60 


1 Haystack, 
30 lbs. 


A. M'Kellar, 


Barrie, 


Glasgow & 

Kilmun 

viaDunoon 



S66 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 



Name of Steamer. 



Builders of Hull. 



Makers of 
Machinery. 



Description and Principal 
Dimensions of Hull. 



Type. 



Length 
B.P. 



Beam. 



216. Ruby, No. 3, 

217. Neptune, - 

218. Rothesay Castle, 

219. Kingston, - 



220. lona. No. 2, 

221. Victory, 

222. lona, No. 3, 

223. Vivid, - 

224. Eagle, No. 2, 

225. Largs, - 

226. Leveu, 

227. Chancellor, No. 2, 

228. Lennox, 

•229. Arran Castle, 

230. Kyles, - 

231. Undine, 

232. Bute, - 

233. Rothesay Castle, 

234. Vale of Clwyd, - 

235. Chevalier, - 



1861 
1861 
1861 



1863 

1863 
1864 

1864 
1864 

1S64 

1864 

1864 
1864 

1864 

1865 

1865 
1865 

1865 

1865 



Henderson, Col- 
bourne & Co., 
R. Napier, - 

Simons & Co., 

T. Wingate, - 



J. & G. Thomson, 



Barclay, Curie & 

Co., 
J. & G. Thomson, 



Barclay, Curie & 

Co., 
Connell&Co., - 



Wingate, 

Clyde Shipbuild- 
ing Co., 

Blackwood & Gor- 
don, 

Clyde ShipbuUd- 
ing Co., 

K. M'Intyre, 
Caird & Co., 



Henderson, Col- 
bourne & Co., 
Caird & Co., 



Henderson, Col- 
bourne & Co., 

Seath, - 

J. & G. Thomson, 



Henderson, Col- 
bourne & Co., 
R. Napier, - 

Simons & Co., - 

T. Wingate, 



J. & G. Thomson, 

Barr, - 

J. & G. Thomson, 



Barclay, Curie & 

Co., 
Anchor Line, 



Wingate, - 

Rankin & Black- 
more, 

Blackwood & 
Gordon, 

Rjinkin & Black- 
more, 

do., 
Caird & Co., 



Henderson, Col- 
bourne &, Co., 
Caird & Co., 



Barr & Co. 



A. Campbell & 
Son, 

J. & G. Thomson, 



Flush 
deck 
do. 

do. 

Deck 
saloons 



do. 



Flush 

deck 

Deck 

saloons 

Flush 
deck 
Raised 
quar. 
deck 
Flush 
deck 

Raised 
quar, 
deck 
Deck 
saloons 
Raised 
quar. 
deck 
Deck 
saloon 
aft 



Flush 
deck 
Deck 
saloon 

Flush 
deck 

do. 



Deck 



209tV 

201tV 

191fV 

151' 



249fV' 



irerV 

255tV 

188T3(r' 
204' 



161tV 

139tV 

163tV 
139tV 

220A' 

•219tV 

200' 
219t*o' 

203' 

186tV 

211' 



19tV 
IStV 

19' 

20' 



25' 

I'm 
25tV 

18tV 
20tV 

19i^' 

14tV 

18i^' 
14tV 

21' 

20tV 

IStV 
20tV 



18i^' 
22rV 



FROM 'COMET' TO 'KING EDWARD' 367 



Ton- 
nage. 



200-i%V 
200T-A 

153 



367t't7TF 

UItVtt 
156tV\ 

87AV 

SOtVtt 
65T¥ir 

120t%V 

IyItTjTF 

171X^77 
112-^A 
98iV^ 
117iV\ 



Machinery. 



Type. 



Diagonal oscil- 
lating, 
D. diagonal, 

Oscillating, 

Diagonal, - 



Oscillating 

Steeple, 
Oscillating, 

Steeple, 
D. diagonal, 

D. oscillating. 

Oscillating, 

D. diagonal, 
Oscillating, 

Oscillating, 

Oscillating, 

Single diagonal. 
Oscillating, 

Steeple, 

Steeple, 

Oscillating, 



N.H.P. 



120 
100 
110 



180 



180 



80 
40 

130 

120 

90 
120 

80 

90 

150 



Boilers. 



2 Haystacks, 

2 Haystacks, 

2 Haystacks, 

35 lbs. 
2 Haystacks, 



Horizontal, 

Haystack, 
Horizontal, 

Haystack, 
2 Haystacks, 

2 Haystacks, 

Haystack, 

Haystack, 
Haystack, 

2 Haystacks, 

2 Haystacks, 

Horizontal, 
2 Haystacks, 

2 Haystacks, 

1 Haystack, 

Horizontal, 



Owners. 



Henderson, - 
J. & W. Napier, 
A. Watson, - 



D. & A. Hutchi- 
son, 
MacBrayne, 
D. Stewart, - 

D. & A. Hutchi- 
son, 
MacBrayne, 
J. & R. Campbell, 

Wm. Buchanan, - 



Wemyss Bay Rail- 
way Co. 

Denny & Co., 



Loch Lomond Co. 
Denny & Co., 

A. Watson, - 



Wemyss Bay Rail- 
way Co., 

J. & P. L. Hender- 
son, 

Wemyss Bay Rail- 
way Co., 

Wm. Barr, - 
A. Watson, 
W. Campbell, 
Seath & Steel, - 



D. & A. Hutchi- 
son, 
MacBrayne, 



Master. 



R. Price, • 
A. M'Lean, 
M. Campbell, 



M'Gowan, 

D. Stewart, 
M'Gowan, 

R. Campbell, - 
Wm. Buchanan, 



Price, 

Neilson, - 

R. Young, 



M'Aulay, - 
J. Reid, - 

W. Barr, - 

Downie, - 

Dun. Campbell, 



368 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 



Name of Steamer. 



286. Argyle, 
23r. Athole, 

238. Vesper, 

239. Dandie Dinmont, 

240. Meg Men-ilies, - 

241. Ardencaple, 

242. Vale of Doon, 

243. Rosneath, - 

244. Leven, 

245. Ardgowan, - 

246. Duuoon Castle, ■ 

247. Loch Lomond, • 

248. Elaine, 

249. Lancelot, - 

250. Sultana, 

251. Marquis of Bute, 

252. Lady Mary, 

253. Guinevere, - 

254. Bonnie Doon, 

255. Craigrownie, 

256. Carrick Castle, 



Year 



1866 



1866 

1866 

1866 

1866 

1866 

1866 

1866 

1867 
1867 

1867 

1868 
1868 
1868 
1868 
1869 

1870 

1870 

1870 



Builders of Hull. 



Barclay, Curie & 
Co., 

do., 

do., 
A. & J. Inglis, 

do., 
R. Duncan, - 
Seath, - 
R. Duncan, - 



Blackwood & Gor 
don, 

Laurence Hill, 



Wingate, 
Denny, 

R. Duncan, - 

do., 
Robertson & Co., 

Barclay, Curie & 
Co., 

Blackwood & Gor- 
don, 

R. Duncan, - 

Seath, - 

R. Duncan, - 

Fullerton, Paisley , 



Makers of 
Machinery. 



Barclay, Curie & 
Co., 

do.. 



Barr's ' Express ' 
Engine, 

A. «b J. Inglis, - 
do., 



Rankin & Black- 
more, 

A. Campbell, • 



Rankin & Black- 
more, 

do., 
do., 
Wingate, - 



Rankin & Black- 
more, 

do., 

Wm. King&Co., 

Barclay, Curie & 
Co., 

Blackwood & 
Gordon, 

Rankin & Black- 
more, 

A. Campbell, - 

Rankin & Black- 
more, 

Wm. King&Co., 



Flush 
deck 

Poop 
deck 

aft 

do. 



Deck 
saloons 



Description and Principal 
Dimensions of Hull. 



Type. 



do. 



Poop 
aft 

Flush 
deck 

Poop 

aft 

Poop 
deck 

aft 

do. 



Flush 
deck 



Poop 
deck 

aft 

do. 

Flush 

deck 

do. 

do. 

Poop 

deck 

aft 
Deck 
saloon 

aft 
Poop 
deck 

aft 
Flush 
deck 



Length 
B.P. 



177tV 

192tV 

173tV 

197 A' 

192t^)' 

150' 

197' 

150' 

150^-' 

150tV 

191tV 
129' 

175' 

19lA' 
188tV 
1963%' 
173' 5" 
200tV 

209' 5" 

175' 

192tV 



Beam. 



17x7' 

18iV 

16tV 

22tV 

23tV 

16t\' 

18tV 

16tV 

16tV 

16tV 

18tV 
16tV 

17tV 

18' 
13tV 
18t^' 

20' 
19tV 

19' I" 
18tV 



FROM 'COMET' TO 'KING EDWARD' 369 



Ton- 
nage. 

66tVV 

74 
213f*W 



42TV?r 

166tVV 
179 

213 
122T^7ri7 



Machinery. 



Type. 


N.H.P. 


Steeple, - 


75 


Steeple, 


80 


Steeple, - 


75 


D. diagonal and 
oscillating. 


no 


D. diagonal and 
oscillating, 


110 


Oscillating, 


50 


Steeple, 


110 


Oscillating, 




Oscillating, 


50 


Oscillating, 


50 


Steeple, - 


90 


- 


56 


Oscillating, 


70 


Oscillating, 


90 


Single diagonal. 


80 


Single diagonal. 


85 


Oscillating, 


110 


Oscillating, 


86 


Single diagonal. 


96 


Oscillating, 


70 


Single diagonal. 


85 



Boilers. 



Haystack, 
1 Haystack, 

1 Haystack, 

2 Haystacks, 

40 lbs., 

2 Haystacks, 
40 lbs., 

1 Haystack, ■ 
1 Haystack, • 
1 Haystack, ■ 
1 Haystack, ■ 

1 Haystack, - 

2 Horizontals, 



1 Haystack, 
40 lbs., 

1 Haystack, 
40 lbs., 

1 Haystack, 
45 lbs., 

1 Haystack, 

45 lbs., 

2 Haystacks, 

40 lbs., 

2 Haystacks, 

40 lbs., 

1 Haystack, 
1 Haystack, 
1 Haystack, 



Owners. 



D. Stewart, - 
D. Stewart, - 
J. & R. Campbell, 



R. Hodgson, 
North British 

Steam Pkt, Co., 
R. Hodgson, 
North British 

Steam Pkt. Co., 
J. Russell, - 



Seath, - 

Thos. Steele, Ayr, 

Greenock and 
Helensburgh Co. , 

Greenock and 
Helensburgh Co. , 

Greenock and 
Helensburgh Co. , 

D. Lennox, - 
Rothesay Carriers, 
P. Denny, - 



Graham, Brymner 
&Co., 

Graham, Brymner 

&Co., 
A. Williamson, - 

A. & T. M'Lean, - 
A. Watson, 
Duke of Hamilton, 

G. Brymner & Co., 



T. Seath & Steele, 
Brymner & Co., - 
Loch Goil Co., 



Master. 



C. Robertson, 

D. Stewart, 
R. Campbell, 
M'Kinlay, 

J. M'Kinlay, 

Downie, - 



W. M'Intyre, - 
Lang, 

R. Young, 

R. Young, 
A. Williamson, 
A. M'Lean, 
A. Brown, 
R. Young, 

D. Downie, 

Jno. M'Lachlan, 

W. Barr, - 



Trade. 



Glasgow & 
Rothesay 

Glasgow & 
Rothesay 

Glasgow & 
Kilmun 

Craigen- 
doran & 
Ardrishaig 
Craigen- 
doran & 
Ardrishaig 
Greenock 
&, Helens- 
burgh 
Glasgow 
and Ayr 

Greenock 
& Helens- 
burgh 

Greenock 
& Helens- 
burgh 

Greenock 
& Helens- 
burgh 

Glasgow & 
Rothesay 

Glasgow 
and Dum- 
barton 

Glasgow & 
Millport 

Glasgow «& 

Millport 
Glasgow & 

Kyles 
Glasgow & 

Rothesay 
Ardrossan 

& Arran 
Glasgow & 

Arran 

Glasgow 
and Ayr 

Greenock 
and Kil- 
mun 

Glasgow & 
Loch Goil 



2 A 



370 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 











Description and Principal 








Makers of 


Dimensions of Hull. 


Name of Steamer. 


Year. 


Builders of Hull. 


Machinery. 


Type. 


Length 
B.P. 


Beam. 


Depth 

Mould- 

ed. 


257. Lome, - 


1871 


M'Millan, Dum- 
barton, 


J. & G.Thomson, 


Flush 
deck 


212tV' 


20' 


7tV 


258. Heather Bell, - 


1871 


Blackwood & Gor- 
don, 


Blackwood & 
Gordon, 


do. 


207' 7" 


21' 


8' 8" 


259. Gareloch, - - 


1872 


H. Murray & Co., 


D. Rowan, 


Poop 
deck 
aft 


180' 


18t%' 


6tV: 


* 














260. Lady Gertrude, - 


1872 


Blackwood & Gor- 
don, 


Blackwood & 
Gordon, 


Flush 
deck 


190' 


18' 


7' 6" 


261. Windsor Castle, - 


1875 


Seath, - 


Wra.King&Co., 


.do. 


195tV 


19' 


7A' 


262. Viceroy, 


1875 


D. & W. Hender- 
son, 


D. & W. Hender- 
son, 


Poop 
deck 
aft 


194tV 


20^' 


7.V 


263. Benmore, - 


1876 


Seath, - - - 


Wm.King&Co., 


do. 


201tV 


19tV' 


7tV: 


264. Bonnie Doon, - 


1870 


do.. 


A. Campbell & 


Deck 


218' 


20' 


rrV 


No. 2 






Co., 


saloon 
aft 








265. Lord of the Isles, 


1S77 


D. & W. Hender- 
son, 


D. & W. Hender- 
son, 


Deck 
saloons 


246' 


2iT\' 


9' 


266. Sheila, 


1877 


Caird & Co., 


Caird & Co., - 


Poop 
deck 
aft 


205tV 


20Ti' 


7tV 


267. Glen Rosa, - 


1S77 


do.. 


do., 


do. 


206' 


20' 


7' 5" 


268. Adela, - 


1877 


do.. 


Blackwood & 
Gordon, 


Flush 
deck 


197' 


19A' 


rrV 


269. Columba, - 


1878 


J. & G. Thomson, 


J. & G. Thomson, 


Steel 

deck 

saloons 


301tV' 


27tV' 


9tV 


270. Brodick Castle, - 


1878 


H. M'Intyre, 


Wm. King & Co., 


Poop 

and 

saloon 

aft, 

shelter 

deck 

forw'd 


207t%' 


21tV 


7t'V 


271. Edinburgh Castle, 


1879 


R. Duncan & Co., 


Rankin & Black- 
more, 


Deck 

saloon 

aft 


205tV 




7A' 


272. Chancellor, - 


1880 


R. Chambers, Jr., 


M. I*aul&Co., - 


Deck 
saloons 


199i^V 


21tV 


8tV 



FROM 'COMET' TO 'KING EDWARD' 371 





Machinery 


















Owners. 


Master. 


Trade. 


Ton- 
nage. 


Type. 


N.H.P. 


Boilers. 








223T¥Tr 


2 D. oscillating. 


120 


2 Haystacks, - 


Dun. Stewart, - 


Dun. Stewart, - 


Glasgow & 
Rothesay 


268 


D. diagonal, 


150 


2 Horizontals, 
40 lbs.. 


Sir C. E. Scott, 
Bart., 


A. Brown, 


Ardrossan 
& Arran 


178tW 


2 Oscillating, - 


85 


1 Haystack, 
40 lbs.. 


R. Young, - 
N.B.S.P. Co., 


D. M'Kinlay, - 


Helens- 
burgh & 
Gareloch 


167t^tt 


Single diagonal, 


82 


1 Haystack, 
40 lbs.. 


Campbell & Gillies, 


D. Bell, - 


Wemyss 
Bay and 
Rothesay 


195jVxr 


Single diagonal, 
jet condensing, 


• 85 


1 Haystack, 
50 lbs.. 


W. M'Lean, - 
LochGoilCo., 


W. Barr, - 


Glasgow & 
LochGoil 


218TVTr 


Single diagonal, 
jet condensing. 


194 


1 Haystack, 

50 lbs.. 


A. Williamson, - 


A. Williamson, 


Glasgow & 
Kyles 


235AV 


Single diagonal, 
jet condensing. 


85 


1 Haystack, 
50 lbs.. 


R. Campbell, 


R. Campbell, - 


Glasgow & 
Kilmun 


150t'x.% 


Single diagonal, 
surface con- 
densing. 


96 


1 Haystack, 
50 lbs.. 


T. Steel & Seath, 


A. Gillies, 


Glasgow 
and Ayr 


427tVu 


Diagonal oscil- 
lating, surface 
condensing. 


320 


2 Haystacks, 
50 lbs., 


Glasgow and In- 
veraray Co. , 


R. Young, 


Glasgow & 
Inveraray 


255T'TAr 

254 
204i^ 
MStVtt 


Single diagonal, 
surface con- 
densing. 
Single diagonal, 
surface con- 
densing. 
Single diagonal, 
ex Lady Ger- 
.trude. 

Oscillating, sur- 
face condensing. 


120 

120 
90 
220 


1 Haystack, 
50 lbs., 

1 Haystack, 
50 lbs., 

1 Haystack, 
50 lbs., 

4 Horizontals, 
50 lbs.. 


A. Campbell, 

Shearer Bros. , 

A. Campbell, 

A. Hutchison, 
D. MacBrayne, - 


A. Campbell, - 
M'Dermid, 
D. Bell, - 
J. M'Gaw, 


Wemyss 
Bay and 
Rothesay 

Glasgow & 
Arran 

Wemyss 
Bay and 
Rothesay 

Glasgow 
and Ard- 
rishaig 

Ardrossan 
and 
Arran 


242tVtt 


Double diagonal, 

ex Eagle, 

jet condensing. 


96 


2 Haystacks, 
50 lbs., 


W, Buchanan, 


W. Buchanan, - 


234iV^ 


Single diagonal, 
jet condensing, 


83 


1 Haystack, 
50 lbs.. 


M'Lean, - - 
Loch GoilCo., 


W. Barr, - - 
0. 


Glasgow & 
Loch Goil 


232tW 


Double diagonal, 
surface con- 
densing. 


140 


1 Haystack, 
50 lbs.. 


Smollet& M'Lean 
Bros., 


T. Nelson, 


Glasgow & 
Arrochar 



372 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 





Year. 


Builders of Hull. 


Makers of 
Machinery. 


Description and Principal 
Dimensions of Hull. 


Name of Steamer. 


Type. 


Length 
B.P. 


Beam. 


Depth 
Mould- 
ed. 


273. Scotia, - 


1880 


H. M'Intyre, 


W. King & Co., - 


Poop& 
saloon 

aft, 
shelter 

deck 
for'ard 

Deck 
saloons 


211tV 


21tV 


stV 


274. Ivanhoe, 


1880 


D. & W. Hender- 
son, 


D. & W. Hender- 
son, 


225fV 


22tV 


StV 


275. Meg Merrilies, - 

276. Jeanie Deans, 


1883 
1884 


Barclay, Curie & 
Co., 

do.. 


Barclay, Curie & 

Co., 

do.. 


Deck 
saloon 

aft 
Poop 
deck 

aft 
Deck 
saloon 

aft 

do. 


210tV 
210' 


21x% 
20tV 


7rr 

7tV 


277. Waverley, - 

278. Diana Vernon, - 


1885 
1885 


H. M'Intyre, 

Barclay, Curie & 
Co., 


Hutson & Cor- 
bett, 

Barclay, Curie & 
Co., 


205' 
180tV 


2llf' 
18 iV 


7tV' 
7H' 


279. Grenadier, - 


1885 


J, & G. Thomson, 


J. & G. Thomson, 


do. 


222tV 


23tV' 


9tV 


280. Victoria, - 


1886 


Blackwood & Gor- 
don, 


Blackwood & 
Gordon, 


do. 


222iV 


23tV' 


8' 


281. Madge Wildfire, - 

282. Fusilier, 


1886 
1888 


S.M'Knight&Co., 
M 'Arthur, - 


Hutson & Cor- 
bett, 
do., 


do. 
do. 


190' 
202' 


20^f' 
21 A%' 


7H' 
8-H' 


283. Lucy Ashton, - 


1888 


T. Seath&Co., - 


do., 


do. 


190' 


21tV 


71^^' 


284. Caledonia, - 

285. Galatea, 


1889 
1889 


John Reid & Co., 
Caird & Co., 


Rankin & Black- 
more, 

Caird & Co., - 


Steel, 
deck 
saloon 

aft 

do. 


200tV 
230Tf' 


22tV 
25tV 


7fr 


286. Marchioness of 
Breadalbane, 


1890 


John Reid & Co., 


Rankin & Black- 
more, 


do. 


200f-8-' 


22H' 


7n^ 


287. Marchioness of 
Bute, 


1890 


do., 


do., 


do. 


200n' 


22H' 


7f^' 



FROM 'COMET' TO 'KING EDWARD' 373 





Machinery. 


Owners. 


Master. 












Trade. 


Ton- 
nage. 


Type. 


N.H.P. 


Boilers. 








259iVd 


Double steeple, 
surface con- 
densing, 


135 


2 Haystacks, 
50 lbs.. 


W. Buchanan, 


A. Gillies, 


Glasgow 
and Arran 


281tVt7 


Diagonal oscillat- 


123 


2 Haystacks, 


The Frith of Clyde 


Jas. Williamson, 


Helens- 




ing, surface con- 




50 lbs.. 


Steam Pkt. Co., 


Aol K o K 


burgh, 




densing, 








Greenock 














& Arran ^ 


241^ 


Double diagonal. 


205 


2 Haystacks, 


Young, 


J. M'Klnlay, - 


Craigen- 




jet condensing, 




50 lbs.. 


N.B.S.P. Co., 




doran & 
the Coast 


270tVV 


Single diagonal, 
jet condensing. 


166 


1 Haystack, 
45 lbs., 


do.. 


D. M'Kinlay, - 


Craigen- 
doran & 
the Coast 


243tVt 


Single diagonal, 
surface con- 
densing, 


99 


1 Haystack, 
50 lbs., 


R. & A. Campbell, 


R. Campbell, - 


Glasgow & 
Kilmun 


192i^ 


do., 


103 


1 Haystack, 
45 lbs.. 


Sir G. Harrison, - 
N.B.S.P. Co., 


Dun. M'Neill, - 


Craigen- 
doran & 
the Coast 


Silr'A 


Compound oscil- 
lating. 


150 


Scotch, - 


D. MacBrayne, - 


M'Callum, 


Greenock 
and Ard- 
rishaig, 
also West 
High- 
lands 


300tV(J 


Double diagonal, 
surface con- 
densing. 


160 


2 Haystacks, 
50 lbs.. 


A. Campbell, 


D. Bell, - 


Wemyss 
Bay and 
Coast 


210tVu 


Single diagonal. 


95 


1 Haystack, 
50 lbs.. 


R. Campbell, 


P. Campbell, • 


Glasgow & 
Kilmun 


251t*A 


Single diagonal, 
surface con- 
densing, 


133 


1 Haystack, 
50 lbs.. 


D. MacBrayne, - 


Baxter, - 


Greenock 
and Ard- 
rishaig, 
also West 
High- 
lands 


271 AV 


Single diagonal, 


150 


1 Haystack, 
50 lbs., 


Young, Grierson, 
etc.. 


D. M'Neill, 


Craigen- 
doran & 
the Coast 


244TV7r 


Tandem com- 


140 


2 Navy, forced 


The Caledonian 


C. Mitchell, - 


Gourock — 




pound diagonal, 




draught, 90 
lbs., 


Steam Packet 
Co., Ltd., 




& Coast 


330tV7 


Double diagonal 
compound. 


250 


4 Navy, forced 
draught, 109 
lbs., 

2 Navy, forced 


do., 


A. M'Pherson, - 


Gourock 
& Coast 


246A\ 


Tandem com- 


140 


do.. 


Wm. Gordon, - 


Gourock, 




pound diagonal. 




draught, 100 
lbs., 






Wemyss 
Bay and 
the Coast 


246iV7r 


do.. 


140 


2 Navy, forced 
draught, 100 
lbs., 


do.. 


D. Bell, - - 


Gourock, 
Wemyss 
Bay and 
the Coast 



374 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 





Year. 


Builders of Hull. 


Makers of 
Machinery. 


Description and Principal 
Dimensions of Hull. 


Name of Steamer. 


Type. 


Length 


Beam. 


Depth 
Mould- 
ed. 


288. Duchess of 

Hamilton, 


1890 


W. Denny & Bros., 


Denny & Co., - 


Steel 

deck 

saloon 

aft, 


250' 


30tV' 


10' 














289. Marchioness of 
Lome, 


1891 


Russell & Co., - 


Rankin & Black- 
more, 


prome- 
nade 
deck 
full 

length 
and 

width 
do. 


200' 


24' 


8' 3' 


290. Lady Rowena, - 


1891 


S.M'Knight&Co., 


Hutson & Cor- 
bett. 


Deck 
saloons 


200A' 


21tV' 


7*f 


291. Lord of the Isles, 

No. 2, 

292. Lady Clare, 


1891 
1891 


D. & W. Hender- 
son, 

J.M'Arthur&Co., 


D. & W. Hender- 
son, 

Hutson & Corbett 


Iron 

deck 

saloons 

do. 


255tV 
180A' 


25^' 
19tV 


9U' 
6tV 


293. Glen Sannox, - 


1892 


J. & G. Thomson, 


J. & G. Thomson, 


Steel 

deck 

saloons 

fore& 

aft. 


260t\' 


30tV' 


lOM' 


294. Isle of Arran, - 


1892 


T. B. Seath & Co., 


Wm.King&Co., 


prome- 
nade 
deck 
full 

I'gth & 

width 
Deck 

saloons 
fore 

and aft 
do. 


210' 


24t^c' 


7A' 


295. Mercury, 


1892 


Napier, Shanks & 
Bell, 


D. Rowan & Son, 


220tV 


26' 


9tV 


296. Neptune, - 


1892 


do.. 


do., 


do. 


220A' 


26' 


9rV 


297. Minerva, 


1893 


J. & G. Thomson, 


J. & G. Thomson 


do. 


200' 


25' 


8tV 


298. Glen Rosa, - 


1893 


do., 


do., 


do. 


200' 


25' 


stV 


299. Duchess of 

Rothesay, 


1895 


do., 


do., 


do. 


225A' 


26tV' 


8tV 



FROM ^ COMET' TO 'KING EDWARD' 375 



Ton- 
nage. 



294T15V 

362ff 
465x7% 

257 
609x7)% 



Machinery. 



Type. 



N.H.P. Boilers. 



Double diagonal 
compound, 



Double tandem 
triple, 

Single diagonal, 



Diagonal oscilla- 
ting, 

Single diagonal, 



Double diagonal 
compound, 



312TVtr 

378 rVu 
378tV77 
3O6TT7V 

306t¥t5- 

384TT5 



Single diagonal, 
surface con- 
densing, 

Double diagonal 
compound, 

do., 
do., 

do., 

. do., 



140 

166 
280 
108 
326 



250 

240 
240 

240 

240 



3 Navy, forced 
dravight, 120 
lbs., 



2 Navy, forced 
draught, 140 
lbs., 

1 Haystack, 
55 lbs., 

2 Haystacks, 
50 lbs., 

1 Haystack, 
55 lbs., 

1 Double-ended 

and 
1 Single-ended 
150 lbs.. 



1 Haystack, 
60 lbs.. 



Owners. 



The Caledonian 
Steam Packet 
Co., Ltd., 



do., 



N.B.S.P. Co., 



Inveraray Steam- 
boat Co. , - 

N.B.S.P. Co., 



G. & S.-W. Rail 
way Co. , 



W. Buchanan, 



Master. 



Robt. Morrison, 



2 Navy boilers, G. & S.-W. 

3 furnaces in way Coy., 

each, 115 lbs., 
2 Navy boilers, do. 

3 furnaces in 

each, 115 lbs., 
1 Double-ended do., 

6 furnaces, 

150 lbs., 



Rail- 



1 Double-ended 
6 furnaces, 
150 lbs., 

1 Double-ended 
6 furnaces, 
150 lbs., 



do. 



The Caledonian 
Steam Packet 
Co., Ltd., 



D. Downie, 
A. Carmichael, 
C. M'Gregor, 



Trade. 



Ardrossan 
and Arran 



Gourock, — 
Wemyss 
Bay and 

the Coast 
Craigen- 

doran & 

the Coast 
Glasgow & 

Inveraray 

Craigen- 
doran & 
the Coast 
Ardrossan 
and Arran 



^MMSKklt Ltbntfy 



W. Buchanan, - 

H. M'CaUum, - 
Arch. Turner, - 
Arch. Turner, - 

Dun. M'Dougall 

D. M'Phedron, 



Glasgow 
and Arran 



Greenock 
& Coast 



Greenock 
& Coast 



Greenock 

& Coast 



Greenock 
& Coast 



Gourock, 
Wemyss 
Bay and 
the Coast 



3/6 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 





Year. 


Builders of Hull. 


Makers of 
Machinery. 


Description and Principal 
Dimensions of Hull. 


Name of Steamer. 


Type. 


Length 


Beam. 


Depth 
Mould- 
ed. 


300. Red Gauntlet, - 


1S95 


Barclay, Curie & 
Co., 


Barclay, Curie 
&Co., 


Deck 
saloons 

fore 
and aft 


215' 


22tV' 


7t«^ 


301. Dandle Dinmont, 

No. 2, 


1895 


A. & J. Inglis, - 


A. & J. Inglis, - 


do. 


195A' 


22tV' 


7iV 


302. Glenmore, - 


1895 


Russell & Co., - 


Rankin & Black - 
more. 


do. 


190A' 


21tV 


7n' 


303. Jupiter, 


1896 


J. & G. Thomson, 


J. & G. Thomson, 


do. 


230' 


28tV 


9' 


304. Talisman, - 


1896 


A. & J. Inglis, - 


A. & J. Inglis, - 


do. 


215' 


23' 


7U' 


305. Strathmore, 


1897 


Russell & Co., - 


Rankin & Black- 
more, 


do. 


200t'7t' 


24H' 


7' 7" 


306. Juno, - 


1898 


Clydebank Engin- 
eering and Ship- 
building Co., 
Ltd., 


Clydebank En- 
gineering and 
Shipbuilding 
Co., Ltd., 


do. 


245' 


29tV' 


9tV 


807. Kenilworth, 


1898 


A. & J. Inglis, - 


A. & J. Inglis, - 


- 


215' 


23tV' 


rr fi / 

'T7 


308. Waverley, - 


1899 


do.. 


do.. 


- 


235' 


26tV' 


8i*V 


309. King Edward, - 


1901 


Denny & Bros., - 


Parson's Marine 
Steam Turbine 
Co., Ltd., 


Deck 
saloons 

fore 
and aft 


250tV 


30tV' 


10' 



FROM 'COMET' TO 'KING EDWARD' 377 





Machinery 


















Owners. 


Master, 


Trade. 


Ton- 
nage. 


Type. 


N.H.P. 


Boilers. 








276tV<T 


Single diagonal, 
surface con- 
densing, 


187 


1 Haystack, 
60 lbs., 


North British 
Steam Packet Co. 


Dan. M'Kinlay, 


Craigen- 
doran & 
the Coast 


2isn 


do., 


150 


1 Haystack, 
50 lbs.. 


do.. 


D. M'Neill, 


Craigen- 
doran & 
the Coast 


210t'A 


Double diagonal 
compound, 


81 


1 Navy, 
3 furnaces, 
120 lbs.. 


John Williamson, 


Gillies, - 


Glasgow 
and Kyles 


394f\nr 


Double diagonal 
compound. 


172 


1 Double-ended 
boiler, 6 fur- 
naces, 
150 lbs.. 


G. & S.-W. Rail- 
way Co. , 


Alex. Fowler, - 


Greenock 
& Coast 


278A% 


Single diagonal, 
surface con- 
densing 


183 


1 Haystack, 
(55 lbs.. 


North British 
Steam Packet Co. 


Dan. M'Kinlay, 


Craigen- 
doran & 
the Coast 


315fW 


Double diagonal 
compound, 


93 


1 Navy boiler, 
3 furnaces, 
120 lbs., 


John Williamson, 


Gillies, - 


Glasgow 
and Kyles 


592^=^ 


do.. 


204 


1 Double-ended 
8 furnaces, 
150 lbs.. 


G. & S.-W. Rail- 
way Co., 


M'Tavish,- - 


Ayr Ex- 
cursions 


332t¥V 


Single diagonal, 
surface con- 
densing, 


190 


1 Haystack, 
65 lbs., 


North British 
Steam Packet Co. 


Peter Dewar, - 


Craigen- 
doran 


448tVt7 


Double diagonal 
compound, 


350 


1 Havstack, 
lio'lbs., . 


do., 


M. Gillies, 


Craigen- 
doran 


562x^7 


Turbine, five pro- 
pellers, three 
shafts. 


399 


1 Double-ended 
8 furnaces, 
150 lbs., 


Turbine SjTidicate 


Fowler, - 


Greenock 
and 

Campbel- 
town 



378 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 



List of Railway Officials 

The following is a list of the officials of the three chief 
Scottish railways in 1901, and it may be of interest to 
compare the list with the list of officials in 1841 as 
given on page 86. 



CALEDONIAN RAILWAY. 



DIRECTORS. 

J. C. Bunten, Dunalastair, Perthshire, Chairman. 

Sir James King, Bart,, Campsie, Glasgow, Deputy -Chairman. 

Hugh Brown, Glasgow. 

Lord Newlands, Mauldslie Castle, Lanarkshire. 

Walter J, Houldsworth, Coltness, Wishaw. 

William McEwan, Edinburgh. 

Sir James Thompson, Glasgow. 

The Marquis of Breadalbane, K.G., Taymouth Castle, Aberfeldy. 

Chas. Bine Renshaw, M.P., Barochan, Houston. 

Sir R. Jardine, Bart., Castlemilk, Lockerbie. 

J. C. Bolton, Carbrook, Stirlingshire. 

James Neilson, Orbiston, Bellshill. 

Edward Cox, Cardean, Meigle. 

Hon. G. R. Vernon, Auchans, Kilmarnock. 



AUDITORS. 
Alex. Young, Accountant, London. | John Graham, C.A., Glasgow. 



LIST OF RAILWAY OFFICIALS 379 

GENERAL OFFICERS. 

General Manager, William Patrick, 302 Buchanan St. , Glasgow. 

Secretary, John Blackburn, 

General Superintendent, Irvine Kempt, ,, 

General Goods Manager, Arch. Hillhouse, ,, 

Out-Door Goods Manager ) ,,, ^ , 
and Mineral Supt., }Wm. Cook, 

Accountant, J. Drynan, ,, 

Traffic Auditor, James Martin, ,, 

„ . . r^,-c r Donald A. Matheson, M.I. C.E., Buchanan St, 

Engmeer-m-Chief, | ^^^^j^^^ Glasgow. 

Treasurer, Wm. Crookston, 302 Buchanan St., Glasgow. 

Solicitor, Henry B. Neave, ,, 

Locomotive Superintendent, J. F. Mcintosh, St. RoUox, Glasgow. 

Plant Supt. (Carriages), A. H. Dunlop, 3 Germiston St., Glasgow. 

(Wagons), John Stoddart, ,, 

Registrar, Wm. Thomson, 302 Buchanan St., Glasgow. 

Carting Superintendent, Geo. Robb, 11 Germiston St., Glasgow. 

Sack Superintendent, R. M. F. Watson, 18 Killermont St., Glasg. 

Live Stock Superintendent, Jas. MacCaull, Perth. 

^ , c^ . , , fjas. Clapperton, Canal House, Port Dunda?. 

Canal Supermtendent, j-* Glasgow. 

Stores Superintendent, Jas, Lorimer, St. Rollo.x, Glasgow. 

Telegraph Superintendent, W. Stevenson, Glasgow. 

Signal Superintendent, John Steven, 16 Killermont St., Glasgow. 

Factor, Robt. Watson, Glasgow. 

Hotel Manager, Saml. Timbrell. 

DISTRICT OFFICERS. 

District Traffic Superintendent, Jas. M. Kinghorn, Edinburgh. 

,, ,, ' Chas. Smith, Aberdeen. 

Wm. Mather, Carlisle. 
,, ,, John Anderson, Oban. 

District Superintendent, Robt. Currer, Glasgow. 

J. D. Lang, Perth. 
District Goods Manager, Andrew Robertson, Dundee. 

Assist. Dist. Supt. (unattached), Robert Millar, Glasgow. 

Engineer (Northern Division), Thos. M. Barr, M.I.C.E,, Perth. 

(Southern and Eastern Div.), W. A. Paterson, M.I.C.E., Edin. 
,, (Western Division), J. H, Anderson, M.I.C.E., Glasg. 

BANKERS. 
Commercial Bank of Scotland, London, Edinburgh, and Glasgow. 



38o THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 



GLASGOW AND SOUTH-WESTERN RAILWAY. 



DIRECTORS. 

Patrick T. Caird, Shipbuilder, Greenock, Chairman, 

Sir James Bell, Bart., Ardoch, Braco, Perthshire, Deputy-Chairman. 

Henry Tylston Hodgson, Harpenden, Herts. 

The Rt. Hon. Sir H. E. Maxwell, Bart., M.P., of Monreith, Wigtownshire. 

Benjamin Nicholson, Annan. 

James Finlayson, Merchiston, Johnstone. 

The Most Hon. the Marquess of Ailsa, Culzean Castle, Maybole. 

The Hon. George A. Burns, 30 Jamaica Street, Glasgow. 

The Right Hon. the Earl of Glasgow, Kelburne, Fairlie. 

Matthew Arthur, 78 Queen Street, Glasgow. 



A UDITORS. 

Robert C. Mackenzie, C.A., 2 West Regent Street, Glasgow. 
John M. MacLeod, C.A., 149 West George Street, Glasgow. 



OFFICERS, &=€. 



•General Manager, 

Secretary and Registrar, 

Goods Manager, 

Superintendent, 

Accountant, 

Engineer, 

Marine Superintendent, 

Locomotive Superintendent, 

Storekeeper, 

Chief of Audit, 

Telegraph Superintendent, 

Solicitors, 

Factor, 

Hotel Manager, 



David Cooper, St. Enoch Stn. , Glasgow. 

F. H. Gillies, 

Henry Evans, 

C. E, Cockburn, 

Peter Campbell, 

William Melville, 

Capt. A. Williamson, Greenock. 

James Manson, Kilmarnock. 

Andrew Lindsay, ,, 

William Brown, St. Enoch Stn., Glasgow. 

George Russell, ,, 

Messrs. Maclay, Murray & Spens, Glasg. 

W. Hutchison, St. Enoch Stn., Glasgow. 

J. H. Thomas, ,, 



LIST OF RAILWAY OFFICIALS 



381 



DISTRICT OFFICERS. 

London, St. Pancras Station, James Maxey. 

Manchester, 39B York Street, David Johnstone. 

Middlesbrough, Post Office Buildings, J. McL. Findlay. 

Newcastle-on-Tyne, 10 Neville Street, G. H. Scott. 

Belfast, 47 Queen's Square, Quintin Young. 



BANKERS. 
National Bank of Scotland, and Union Bank of Scotland. 



NORTH BRITISH RAILWAY. 



DIRECTORS. 

Sir William Laird, Glasgow, Chairman. 
Henry Grierson, Glasgow, Deputy- Chairtnan. 



Henry Torrens Anstruther, M. P., 
Gillingshill, Fife. 

Charles Carlow, Leven, Fife. 

The Earl of Dalkeith, M.P. 

John Howard, London. 

John Inglis, LL.D., Glasgow. 

Henry Maciver, Liverpool. 

Henry Shaw Macpherson, Glas- 
gow. 



Alexander Hay Moncur, Dundee. 

Alexander Charles Pirie, Aber- 
deen. 

Chas. Poston, Stevenage. 

Alexander Simpson, Glasgow. 

George Bradley Wieland, Edin- 
burgh. 

Harry George Younger, Edin- 
burgh. 



A UDITORS. 

A. B. Birkmyre Scott, C.A., Glasgow. 
R. C. Mackenzie, C.A., Glasgow. 



AUDIT COMMITTEE. 

William Weir, of Kildonan, Barrhill, Ayrshire. 

James Howden, C.A., Edinburgh. 

Sir Mitchell Thomson, Bart., Merchant, Lord Provost of Edinburgh. 

Lord Overtoun of Overtoun, Dumbartonshire. 

Michael B. Nairn, Inverkeillour, Cupar, Fife. 



382 THE CLYDE PASSENGER STEAMER 



GENERAL OFFICERS. 



General Manager, 

Secretary, 

Assistant Secretary, 

Solicitor, 

Chief Goods Manager, 

Outdoor Goods Manager, 

Superintendent of Line, 

Engineer in Chief, 

Loco. Superintendent, 

Assist. Locomotive Superintendent, 

Stores Superintendent, 

Telegraph , , 

Plant 

Police , , 

Sack 

Canal , , 

General Accountant, 

Audit 

Cashier, 

Registrar, 



W. F. Jackson, Edinburgh. 

Jno. Cathles, ,, 

J no. Martin, ,, 

James Watson, ,, 

A. Rutherford, Glasgow. 

J. Stewart, ,, 

D. Deuchars, Edinburgh. 

James Bell, ,, 

Matt. Holmes, Cowlairs. 

Robt. Chalmers, ,, 

J. J. Smith, 

A. F. Clement, Edinburgh. 

W. Binnie, Glasgow. 

James Allan, Edinburgh. 

J. Marshall, 

Peter Aitken, 

Geo. Simpson. 

D. Anderson, 

Jno. Stanley, 

George Smith, 



DISTRICT GOODS MANAGER. 
James Hay, Edinburgh. 



DISTRICT TRAFFIC SUPERINTENDENTS. 



Alex, Kidd, Coatbridge. 
Wm. Arnott, Burntisland. 



A. B. Robertson, Dundee. 
Geo. Innes, Fort- William. 



DISTRICT SUPERINTENDENTS. 
George Cunningham, Glasgow. ) Thos. Philip, Carlisle. 



DISTRICT ENGINEERS. 



Central District, 
Western , , 
Northern ,, 
Southern , , 



Robert Boath. 
John Gray, Glasgow. 
George Bell, Thornton. 
D. L. Anderson, Carlisle.