The company was founded in 1801 in Whitehaven in Cumbria as Thos.& Jno.Brocklebank, with one sailing ship trading coal. When the East India Company’s monopoly for trade with India was abolished in 1813, Brocklebank made it their key trading area. They also operated in North and South America, the West Indies and the East Indies. Brocklebanks moved to Liverpool in 1819 and although they purchased their first steam ships in 1889 they continued using sailing ships until 1901. Brocklebanks did not use the Suez Canal and continued ot use the Cape route until almost the end of the 19th Century. The company purchased shares in the Shire Line in 1906 but sold it to the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company in 1907 who bought out the remainder of the Jenkins shares. Brocklebanks then worked in partnership with the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company. Brocklebanks sold the rest of the company to Cunard who also purchased the Anchor Line and formed Anchor-Brocklebank.
During WW1 the company lost 9 ships and 1 was retained by the Admiralty, however 21 ships were added to the fleet. The company entered WW2 with 25 excellent ships, but during the conflict it suffered 16 losses and 1 ship was wrecked, with only 3 acquisitions.
Trade with India and Pakistan was badly affected when those countries gained independence in 1947 and the closure of the Suez Canal between 1967 and 1971 added to the problems by causing a return to the use of the Cape route with associated cost increases. Container ships finally killed off the trade to India and the Brocklebank and Cunard fleets were merged in 1968 when Cunard-Brocklebank Ltd. was formed.
Losses continued and the last two Brocklebank ships were sold in 1983.
|Page Link||Ships on Page|
|Brocklebank Line Ships (1):
Holywell to Mahronda (1925)
|Holywell, Lycia, Macharda, Magdapur, Mahanada (1914), Mahanada (1943), Mahout (1925), Mahout (1963), Mahratta, Mahronda (1925)|
|Brocklebank Line Ships (2):
Mahronda (1963) to Malabar
|Mahronda (1963), Mahseer, Mahsud (1917), Mahsud (1943), Maidan, Maihar (1917), Maihar (1968), Maipura, Makalla, Malabar|
|Brocklebank Line Ships (3):
Malakand (1918) to Mangla
|Malakand (1918), Malakand (1942), Malakuta, Malancha (1917), Malancha (1960), Mandagala, Mandasor (1919), Mandasor (1944), Mangalore, Mangla|
|Brocklebank Line Ships (4):
Manipur (1945) to Mathura (1959)
|Manipur (1945), Manipur (1964), Markhor, Marwarri, Masirah, Maskeliya, Matangi, Matheran, Mathura (1920), Mathura (1959)|
|Brocklebank Line Ships (5):
Matra to Stockwell
|Matra, Maturata, Mawana, Media, Stockwell|