The 6,235grt Explorer was built in 1935 by Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson at Wallsend. In 1957 she was sold to Panamanian Oriental SS Corporation and renamed Eleanor. On 21st September 1959 she arrived at Hong Kong to be broken up by Hong Kong Rolling Mills. (John B. Hill collection)

The marriage in 1812 between James Harrison, farmer and landowner, and Ann Hodgson at Cockerham in Lancashire produced six sons and two daughters. Five of the sons survived into adulthood, named Richard Harrison (1813-1862), Thomas Harrison (1815-1888), John Harrison (1819-1867), James Harrison (1821-1891), and Edward Hodgson Harrison (1825-1907). Thomas Harrison in 1830 and James Harrison in 1838 joined George Brown & Company, a busy firm of ship’s agents, charterers and owners of a dozen sailing ships on the 64th principle in King Street in Liverpool, with the main trade being brandy and wines from the Charente area of Bordeaux for brandy merchants Hennessy and Martell. The owner of the business died in 1853, and on 1st July 1853 after negotiations with the deceased family trustees, the Harrison family took over the business under the style of Thos. & Jas. Harrison to manage the fleet and continue the investment in sailing ships that all five of the Harrison brothers had made. Many of the sailing ships were owned by Thomas Harrison (22 shares), James Harrison (20 shares), Edward Harrison (8 shares), Richard Harrison (4 shares), John Harrison (4 shares), with the remaining six shares owned by a co-partner resident in Tonnay Charente, Richard P. Williamson.


The Harrison fleet of Liverpool soon grew into one of the largest privately owned fleets in the world, with cargo-liners engaged on many worldwide trade routes. The first steamers came into service in 1860 and later their tall vertical cowl topped funnels and a red and white houseflag taken from the Knights Templar were seen on all of the oceans of the world. The first services were from Liverpool and London to Calcutta, New Orleans, Galveston, Bahamas and Caribbean islands such as Jamaica, Brazil, British Guiana, Venezuela, Curacao, Colombia, Cristobal on the Caribbean side of Panama, Central America, Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, Honduras, Mexico as well as to Red Sea ports, Indian ports, East and South African ports with a regular cargo of railway lines from Middlesbrough.

The 8,078grt Defender was built in 1915 by Charles Connell & Co. at Scotstoun. On 8th June 1952 she arrived at Barrow to be broken up by T.W. Ward. (John B Hill collection)



Subscribe today to read the full article!

Simply click below to subscribe and not only read the full article instantly, but gain unparalleled access to the specialist magazine for shipping enthusiasts.

Subscribe nowLog In


Sorry, comments are closed for this item

Up next

Related articles