Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Handyside and Henderson

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1838 Brothers Nicol and Robert Handyside entered business in Glasgow as shipbrokers and merchants under the name of N and R Handyside & Co. They initially specialised in the Balkan and Russian trade

1850 They also became managers of the Glasgow and Lisbon Steam Packet Co.

1852 They started using the name Anchor Line in their advertisements. They recruited Captain Thomas Henderson to develop intercontinental brokerage business. Thomas Henderson was the son of a ship’s captain from Pittenweem in Fife.

1855 Henderson proposed a steamship service from the Clyde to America; a partnership Handysides and Henderson was formed.

1856 First transatlantic sailing.

1859 Alexander Stephen and Sons's Kelvinhaugh yard built the steamers Cora Linn and Ailsa Craig for Messrs. Handyside and Henderson. These were not ocean-going vessels

1860s Several more steamers were acquired from the same yard.

Anchor Line went on to become a leading transatlantic carrier of emigrants with a network of services from the Mediterranean to New York, as well as up to three sailings per week on its Clyde-Northern Ireland-New York service. Also became a major operator in the Glasgow-Liverpool-Mediterranean and Glasgow-Liverpool-India trades.

When the two Handyside brothers retired, their places in the partnership were taken by Thomas Henderson’s brothers and the firm was renamed Henderson Brothers. John Henderson assisted Thomas in the management of the shipping services; David and William later took over the Clydeside shipyard and engine builders as D. and W. Henderson.

1872 the California, 360 ft. long, was delivered

1873 Stephens built the Ethiopia, one of the largest vessels of her time, "long, lean and fast".

c.1872/4 The Hendersons acquired Tod and McGregor's yard at Meadowside, Partick for £200,000. Subsequently this was owned by David and William Henderson[1].

Brothers Thomas and John Henderson were partners in Anchor Line, as the Handyside and Henderson line had become known, which then sourced its vessels from Meadowside.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. British Shipbuilding Yards. 3 vols by Norman L. Middlemiss
  • Anchor Line [1]