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Pyman S.S. Co. Ltd.

Details about Pyman S.s. Co. Ltd.

George Pyman was born in May 1822 in Sandsend, North Yorkshire. He went to sea as an apprentice and by 1843 he was Master of the vessel Nameless.

He married Elizabeth English in 1843 and they had two daughters and seven sons.

In 1850 he left the sea and the family settled in West Hartlepool where he went into partnership with his brother-in-law Francis English, as grocers and ship chandlers. In about 1854 he changed direction and went into partnership with Thomas Scurr as shipbrokers for the local collieries. They owned shares in a number of sailing vessels. Other shareholders included Francis English, John Smurthwaite, Thomas Wood & Ralph Ward Jackson.

Thomas Scurr died in 1861 and George then formed his own company as George Pyman & Co. In 1865 he purchased his first steamship, the George Pyman, and gradually shares in the brigs were sold off. Eventually the company became the largest owners of steamships in the north of the U.K.

In 1873 Thomas Bell of Newcastle joined as a partner in the firm. From 1879 the company opened branches in Hull, Grimsby, Immingham and Glasgow. When George retired in 1882 the Bell family took over the running of the company.

Pyman, Watson & Co. was set up in Cardiff in 1874 by John, one of George’s sons along with Thomas Edward Watson and Francis and Frederick, another two of his sons, set up Pyman Bros. in London in 1903. Some of these companies ships were registered in West Hartlepool.

George was elected a Poor Law Guardian in 1861, an Improvement Commissioner in 1868, and was sitting on the Durham County Bench from 1872. In 1879 he was appointed Vice Consul for Belgium and in 1888 was elected the second Mayor of West Hartlepool. In 1895 he received the honour of being made a Freeman of the Borough. George died in November 1900 at his home, Raithwaite Hall.

There is a wealth of further information in Peter Hogg’s book ‘The Pyman Story’.


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