Leyland Line History and Ephemera
A Brief History of the Leyland Line
The Leyland Line may be said to date from the year 1851, when the first Mr Bibby founded his steamship line with the small vessels Arno and Tiber for service to the Mediterranean. The company extended its business to the North Atlantic and in the early eighteen-seventies changed its name, Mr F. R. Leyland, one of its managers, assuming the control.
On his death in 1892 the concern became a limited company. In 1900 it purchased the fleet and connections of the West India & Pacific Steamship Company - a business which had been founded nearly forty years previously in Liverpool and which served, beside many West India Islands, the cotton ports of Galveston and New Orleans, having also a connection to Colon for places on the western coast of America.
This company at the date of its absorption had a fleet of twenty-two steamships totaling over 111,000 tons gross register. This amalgamation was the first step towards the great American combine. Mr Ellerman, however, who was chairman of the old Leyland Company, separated himself from it at this juncture, and founded his own line. The Leyland Company had a number of transatlantic services.
Other Documents in the Archives
- 1902 ca. Deck Plans for the S.S . Devonian - Promenade and Saloon Decks
Leyland Line Boston-Liverpool Direct
THE Leyland Line regular service between Boston and Liverpool direct is maintained at the present time by five splendid steamers—the popular steamships Devonian, Winifredian, Canadian, Bohemian and Cestrian, comprising the fleet, passenger and freight. The New England section and the adjacent Canadian Provinces have benefited largely through this well-established Line, whose ships have acted as carriers for the large manufacturing interests of this part of the country and toward which the approval of travelers is best evidenced by their continued support of these popular vessels. In fact no effort is spared to add to the comfort of passengers.
Large cargoes, combined with immense displacement and that modem innovation—the bilge or fin keel—contribute to the already established reputation for steadiness in all weathers which is the pride of the Leyland Line. On all these ships the passenger accommodations are limited as to number, passengers being carried strictly in first-class only; no second or third-class passengers being provided for, the entire wide expanse of the decks thus available makes a voyage on this route especially enjoyable.
Comfort is the prime consideration on the Leyland Line, and those who seek a new port for their outward voyage will turn to Boston the more readily because of the steady passage these powerful ships assure. The cuisine and service on the Leyland boats are fully equal to the best of the other lines; and the discipline maintained, as well as the careful attention to those details of ship-management which mean so much for the passengers’ welfare, tend to increase annually the popularity already achieved. Moderate rates are in effect at all seasons.
The Devonian And Winifredian
The shipyards at Belfast also turned out recently the twin steamships Devonian and Winifredian, so that these fine vessels are new and thoroughly modem in every point. Of steel construction throughout, they are elegant specimens of large steady vessels, equipped with luxurious first-class passenger accommodations. Each of these ships has four masts and a mammoth funnel, and their principal dimensions are: Length, 571 feet; beam, 59 feet; gross tonnage, 10,418 tons, while a comfortable speed is maintained by engines of a special design.
As on all other Leyland Liners, the passenger accommodations on the Devonian and Winifredian—entirely isolated from the arrangements for cargo—are located upon the promenade and saloon decks, the choicest possible situation, where plenty of light and excellent ventilation make the rooms doubly attractive.
The dining saloon is situated on the forward section of the amid ship deckhouse, and is most tastefully arranged and perfectly appointed. The delicacies of home and foreign markets are supplied, and the culinary departments have the careful, constant supervision of experienced chief stewards.
A pretty music-room and a luxurious smoking-room are among the apartments on the promenade deck, where social hours add pleasure to the voyage.
The Canadian, Cestrian, and Bohemian
The Canadian, Cestrian and Bohemian are sister ships in design, and also approximate the plans of the Devonian and Winifredian, although varying slightly in dimensions. These steamers are noted for the regularity of their passages between Boston and Liverpool, and, in common with the other Leyland ships, share the reputation for absolute cleanliness which prevails in every department—a consideration of the greatest moment at sea.
Altogether, the Leyland Line is one of the extremely popular routes at moderate rates, offering a strictly first-class service.
Source: International Mercantile Marine Company, "Leyland Line Boston-Liverpool Direct," Facts For Travelers: American Line, Atlantic Transport Line, Dominion Line, Leyland Line, Red Star Line, White Star Line, 1908: P. 31-35