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General Shipping Co.

Details about General Shipping Co.

The Company was formed in 1836 with a capital of £16,074. The capital later increased to £30,000 in shares of £25.00 each.

The trustees were: Sir William Chaytor; Rowland Webster; William Vollum; John Burrell; Thomas Wood and George Appleby.

The committee members were; Rowland Webster; Robert Scurfield; William Vollum; John Burrell; Robert Burrell; John Wood; Thomas Wood; Joseph Wood; John Stephenson; Joseph Parkin; Thomas Richardson; Joseph Billsborrow; William T. Vollum; William Davison and Stephen Robinson.

Shareholders included; William Watson (master mariner, died 1850 at South Shields); James Saville of Sunderland and Robert Elstob Hutton (master mariner).

Family History of Hartlepool Shareholder:

Robert Elstob Hutton was born on 29th November 1804 at Bishopwearmouth to parents Ann Duncan/Donkin (nee Elstob) and Robert Hutton. He married Catherine Elstob on 27th December 1828 at Bishopwearmouth. By 1851 the couple were living at Cliff Terrace, Hartlepool with their two daughters and five sons.

Robert went to sea as an apprentice in January 1820 and from 1827 sailed on four Sunderland ships as master (C.N. 42414). He retired from the sea in December 1840 and in 1841 joined the General Shipping Company as a shareholder. When the company folded in 1844 Robert continued to own shares in ships.

 Robert died at Hartlepool aged 53 on 30th April 1858 leaving effects of under £3,000. He was interred at Spion Kop Cemetery.

In March of 1844 it was decided that the company should be dissolved and this took place in April 1844 with the following fleet  put up for sale by auction.

Fleet List (giving life of vessel):

Athelstan 1834-1878

Barbara 1817-1845

Duchess of Cleveland 1836-1850

Elliots 1832-1850

Messenger 1835-1853

Rhoda 1828-1851

Thornley 1835-1870



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