Federal Line

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History

The ancestry of Federal goes back to 1782 when George Green, William Money and Robert Wigram came together to take over the Blackwall shipyard that built many of the East India Company vessels. Wigram and Money were very close friends and Wigram christened one of his sons Money Wigram, who in due course joined the partnership. In 1832 Money Wigram built the first ship for his own account for trade to Australia. The Green family followed suit and began to establish a larger fleet of ships.

In 1843 the shipbuilding partnership broke up with the shipyard being divided by a wall with the Green family taking one half and Money Wigram the other. In 1857 Money Wigram began to name his ships after English counties. His business continued to thrive until the Green family formed Orient Steam Navigation Co in 1878 and immediately dominated the Australian trade. The Money Wigram business steadily declined until its last ship was sold in 1894.

Federal Line was one of Britain’s most illustrious shipping companies and like many others had a convoluted history. Allan Hughes founded The Meteor Steam Navigation Company in London in 1892 and purchased the assets goodwill and flag of Money Wigram & Sons two years later. The company name was changed to King Steam Navigation to match the names of its first ships, 'Celtic King' and 'Maori King'. The name was changed again to the Federal Steam Navigation Company Limited in 1895.

Federal named its ships after English counties. In 1912 the New Zealand Shipping Company became the company’s major shareholder and in 1916 both companies were acquired by P & O. Federal and NZS operated as one company but eventually lost its identity within the P & O General Cargo Division in 1971.

Federal Steam Navigation Company was placed in liquidation in 1991.

Ships

Vessel Type Launched/Completed Tonnage DWT Builder
Cambridge Cargo 693,000 G. 1916 Gross: 10892 Net: 6700 13420 J. C. Tecklenborg, Geestmunde
Cambridge Cargo 739,659 B. 17/11/1936. Yard No: 546 Gross: 11073 Net: 6521 14067 John Brown & Co. Ltd. Clydebank
Cornwall Cargo 68,100 G. 03/04/1920. Gross: 10616 Net: 6667 Wm. Hamilton & Co. Ltd. Glasgow
Cornwall Cargo 514,960 G. 21/06/1951. Yard No: 627 Gross: 7583 Net: 4198 9417 A. Stephens & Sons. Ltd. Glasgow.
Cumberland Cargo 264,248 G. Dec 1948. Yard No: 614 Gross: 11281 Net: 6668 14800 A. Stephens & Sons. Ltd. Glasgow.
Devon Cargo 540,000 G. March 1915. Gross: 9661 Net: 6147 11300 Ateliers et Chantiers de France
Devon Cargo 106,960 G. 03/10/1945. Yard No: 602 Gross: 9940 Net: 5867 10320 A. Stephens & Sons. Ltd. Glasgow.
Dorset Cargo / Passenger April 1903. Gross: 7630 Net: 4905 John Brown & Co. Ltd. Clydebank
Dorset Cargo 721,000 G. Nov 1934. Gross: 10624 Net: 6298 Workman, Clark Ltd. Belfast
Durham Cargo 216,391 G. 07/06/1934. Yard No: 533 Gross: 10984 Net: 6123 13370 Workman, Clark Ltd. Belfast
Essex Passenger 01/11/1902. Gross: 7530 Net: 4831 John Brown & Co. Ltd. Clydebank
Essex Cargo Dec 1936. Yard No: 545 Gross: 11080 Net: 6844 13923 John Brown & Co. Ltd. Clydebank
Essex Cargo / Passenger 191,420 G. 21/12/1953. Yard No: 674 Gross: 10936 Net: 6090 12550 John Brown & Co. Ltd. Clydebank
Gloucester Cargo 197,315 G. July 1941. Yard No: 575 Gross: 8532 Net: 5022 9330 A. Stephens & Sons. Ltd. Glasgow.
Hertford Cargo 779,000 G. 1918 Gross: 10965 Net: 6902 Bremer Vulkan, Vegesak
Hertford Cargo 255,962 G. 24/03/1948.Yard No: 106 Gross: 11276 Net: 6640 14932 Vickers-Armstrong Ltd. Newcastle
Huntingdon Cargo 779,000 G. 1920 Gross: 11509 Net: 7200 15400 Bremer Vulkan, Vegesak
Huntingdon Cargo 252,660 G. 16/09/1947. Yard No: 612 Gross: 11281 Net: 6655 14800 A. Stephens & Sons. Ltd. Glasgow.
Middlesex Cargo 527,450 G. 23/09/1952. Yard No: 631 Gross: 8284 Net: 4609 10134 A. Stephens & Sons. Ltd. Glasgow.
Norfolk Cargo 779,000 G. 1948 Gross: 10973 Net: 6895 15400 Bremer Vulkan, Vegesak
Northumberland Cargo 786,000 G. Nov 1915. Gross: 11559 Net: 7824 Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd. Newcastle
Northumberland Cargo 198,700 G. 07/02/1955. Yard No: 676 Gross: 10335 Net: 5698 12200 John Brown & Co. Ltd. Clydebank
Norfolk No Info Dec 1936. Yard No: 545 Gross: 11080 Net: 6844 13923 John Brown & Co. Ltd. Clydebank
Nottingham Cargo 196840 G. June 1950. Yard No: 653 Gross: 6689 Net: 3701 8600 John Brown & Co. Ltd. Clydebank
Somerset Cargo 145,530 G. 11/09/1946. Yard No: 608 Gross: 9943 Net: 5870 10530 A. Stephens & Sons. Ltd. Glasgow.
Somerset Cargo 773,000 G. 17/11/1962. Gross: 10027 Net: 5554 10256 John Brown & Co. Ltd. Clydebank
Suffolk Cargo / Passenger July 1902. Gross: 7573 Net: 4854 John Brown & Co. Ltd. Clydebank
Suffolk No Info 1939?
Summity No Info
Surrey Cargo 563,680 G. 17/10/1951. Yard No: 630 Gross: 8227 Net: 4571 10270 A. Stephens & Sons. Ltd. Glasgow.
Sussex Cargo 763,556 G. 17/11/1936. Yard No: 546 Gross: 11073 Net: 6521 14067 John Brown & Co. Ltd. Clydebank
Sussex Cargo 264,248 G. 07/10/1948. Yard No: 643 Gross: 11272 Net: 6642 14640 John Brown & Co. Ltd. Clydebank
The Countess No Info Oct 1928. Yard No: 406 Ailsa Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. Troon
Thyra No Info
Tongariro No Info 14/10/1966. Yard No: 403 Gross: 8233 Net: 4483 11686 Bartram & Sons Ltd. Sunderland
Westmoreland Cargo 610,000 G. 1917 Gross: 8867 Net: 6099 12000 D & W Henderson & Co Ltd. Glasgow
Westmoreland No Info 09/09/1965. Yard No: 1158 Gross: 8230 Net: 4468 11858 Lithgows Ltd. Port Glasgow
Wiltshire Cargo / Passenger 375,000 R. Feb 1912. Gross: 12160 Net: 7801 John Brown & Co. Ltd. Clydebank

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