Chronology & Sources

Shipbuilding Chronology and sources

 

1684 The first trans-Atlantic voyage made by a Clyde ship when a vessel sailed from Greenock employed on a special mission to America with 22 persons transported to Carolina for attending conventicles and 'being disaffected to Government'

Weir: History of Greenock 1829 : page 67

 

The above vessel named as the 'George'.

Brown : Early Annals of Greenock 1905 : page 133

 

1711 Firm of Scott's founded by John Scott. Building herring busses and small craft

'Two centuries of shipbuilding' 1906 : Scott's

 

1719 First Greenock based vessel crosses Atlantic. It was part of the Darien expedition, having been fitted out at Cartsdyke in 1697.

Weir: History of Greenock 1829 : page 69

 

Above vessel stated as being built at Crawfurdsdyke in 1719.

Brown : Early Annals of Greenock 1905 : page 135

 

1728 In Greenock a fleet of nine hundred fishing boats, locally built, carrying 20-24 nets and manned by a crew of four men.

'Two centuries of shipbuilding' 1906 : Scott's

 

1764 First square rigged vessel built in Greenock for the West Indian trade by a Mr. McKirdy. Named 'Greenock'. Launched from the shore at the bottom of Charles Street. Also: same year by Peter Love

Weir: History of Greenock 1829 : page 69 & 89

 

Vessel built by Love stated as being the first and built on the shore at the foot of Virginia Street.

Brown : Early Annals of Greenock 1905 : page 136

 

1765 William Scott (1722 - 1769, son of John Scott) " Built his first square-rigged ship. The first constructed on the Clyde for non-Scottish owners, a group of merchants in Hull.

'Two centuries of shipbuilding' 1906 : Scott's

 

John Scott II (1752 - 1837, son of William Scott) During his period Dry Dock and Basin constructed (later part of Caird's yard). Shipwork for the Navy undertaken.

'Two centuries of shipbuilding' 1906 : Scott's

 

1776 18 vessels up to 77 tons and a total of 1073 tons constructed in Greenock, of which six were built by Scott's

'Two centuries of shipbuilding' 1906 : Scott's

 

1780's First mention of a shipbuilder in Port Glasgow: 'Thomas McGill'

 

1783 John Wood senior operating as a shipbuilder.

Macarthur : History of Port Glasgow 1932 : page 106

 

1791 John Scott builds Custom House Quay.

Campbell's 'Historical Sketches of the Town and Harbour of Greenock' page 68

 

1791 The 'Brunswick', 600 tons, built by Scott's for the Nova Scotia trade. The largest vessel built in Scotland that year.

 

1794 The 'Caledonia', 650 tons, built by Scott's for the carriage of timber to Navy Yards. Largest vessel built in Scotland that year.

'Two centuries of shipbuilding' 1906 : Scott's

 

1796 Steele and Carswell begin business at the Bay of Quick The first vessel built by them is the 'Clyde'. Carsewell took a branch of the business to Port Glasgow where he died in 1815 and the partnership dissolved. During this period Steele and Carswell built 24 square rigged vessels and 11 fore and aft rigged vessels. Of the former type was the 'Bengal' launched in Feb. 1815 the first vessel built in Scotland for the East India trade.  'Messrs. Steele & Co. entered the premises at the east of the town in 1816, and have built 30 square-rigged vessels, and 14 fore-and-aft rigged vessels. In April, 1826 they launched the 'United Kingdom', which is the largest and most splendid steam- vessel built in this country.'

Weir: History of Greenock 1829 : page 90

 

1806 'Grenada', 650 tons & 'John Campbell', 446 tons both built by Scott's. The first vessels on the Clyde to be launched with all the rigging in position.

'Two centuries of shipbuilding' 1906 : Scott's

 

1806 First warship built by Scott's, a sloop-of-war named the 'Prince of Wales'

'Two centuries of shipbuilding' 1906 : Scott's

 

1810 Sepping system of construction introduced by Scott's

'Two centuries of shipbuilding' 1906 : Scott's

 

1812 Construction of the 'Comet' - see separate file.

 

1816 'Earl of Buckinghamshire', 600 tons, the first ship to sail from Scotland to the East Indies, leaves Greenock.

Weir: History of Greenock 1829 : page 70

 

1816 Messrs. R. & A. Carswell established at Bay of Quick. First square-rigged vessel the brig 'Maria'. The largest launched there the 'Clydesdale', 584 tons.

Weir: History of Greenock 1829 : page 90

 

1817 Messrs. William Simon & Co. started (near to R. Steele). Their first vessel was the brig 'Christiana'. Their largest ship was the 'Madras', 550 tons. In the period 1817 - 1829 they built 13 square-rigged vessels, 3 large steamboats and 5 fore and aft rigged vessels. Total tonnage 5,220 tons.

Weir: History of Greenock 1829 : page 90

 

1820's  'Boatbuilding used to be carried on along with the other branches; but for a number of years back, has been almost a separate branch. The boats of Mr. Thomas Niccol have been long famed; and the most of those which have won the prizes, during the regatta races, have been built by him. Mr. Niccol gives an accurate idea of the number of boats he has built, by mentioning, that they would now reach about 24 miles in length. - Mr. Nicol McNicol also carries on the same business with much success, and builds excellent boats.'

Weir: History of Greenock 1829 : pages 90-91

 

1820's 'A most important branch, though but recently established here, is that of the manufacture of steam engines etc. Messrs. Scott, Sinclair & Co.'s is situated near Cartsburn House, and occupies a large space of ground: indeed, this work is considered as complete as any in the kingdom, and to the visitor has an interesting appearance. This work was first commenced by Burrow & Lawson, as a foundry in 1791. It was bought by Wm. Brownlie in 1796 or 1797, and continued in his possession as such, till purchased by the present proprietors in 1825. In the short period which has elapsed, they have manufactured some splendid engines; and, what is more to be looked to than the appearance, they have wrought well. They have in their hands the largest engine ever made, which is to consist of 200 horses' power, and is intended for a vessel building at Bristol. The number of men employed amount to about 220, while the weekly distribution of wages is £180.

A little farther east is a similar work, belonging to Messrs. Caird & Co. It was first begun as a foundry in 1809, and extended for the purpose of manufacturing machinery in 1826. This work is on almost a similar style of magnificence to the other, while the engines made here are nothing inferior. They employ about 200 men; and consequently the amount of wages paid weekly cannot be far behind. To the stranger who has it in his power to visit these works, we can hardly imagine a finer treat.'

Weir: History of Greenock 1829 : pages 94 - 95

 

1825 Scott's manufacturing of steam machinery starts.

'Two centuries of shipbuilding' 1906 : Scott's

 

1835 Nearly 200 carpenters employed at œ1 to œ1 1s. per week in the Port Glasgow shipbuilding yards.

Macarthur : History of Port Glasgow 1932 : page 113

 

1839 First Clyde built steam Naval frigate. 'H.M.S. Greenock' Built by Scott's

'Two centuries of shipbuilding' 1906 : Scott's

 

1839 Scott's vessel the 'India' the first steam vessel to reach India via the Cape.

'Two centuries of shipbuilding' 1906 : Scott's

 

1840's John Wood's yard at Port Glasgow builds the early Cunard vessels: 'Acadia', 'Britannia', 'Columbia' and 'Caledonia' for mail contract use.

Macarthur : History of Port Glasgow 1932 : page 112

 

1842 - 1850 Collapse of Shipbuilding market. Only three builders : Scott, Steele and Simons survived the collapse. In 1842 the income of journeymen carpenters went from 21 shillings per week to 1 shilling a day for breaking stones for roads. Seven soup kitchens opened in the town. 'According to Lloyd's Register, there were only about 30 foreign-going vessels built in Greenock by Greenock shipbuilders for Greenock shipowners between the years 1842 and 1850.' Shipbuilding began to revive in the late 1840's with the discovery of guano at Ichaboc. The last complete wooden ship built in Greenock was the 'Canadian' in 1859 built by Scott and sons. for Mr. William Orr. The last wooden steamer was the 'Lion' built in 1866 by R. Steele and Co. for seal fishing.

Brown : Early Annals of Greenock 1905 : page 137 - 138

 

1850 Charles Cunningham Scott (1794 - 1875) and his elder brother John Scott III (1785 - 1874) sons of John Scott II Cartsdyke Yard established. Operates under name: 'Scott and Co.'

'Two centuries of shipbuilding' 1906 : Scott's

 

1859 Last wooden ship built in Greenock by Scott's, the 'Canadian.'

 

John Scott IV (1830 - 1903) & Robert Sinclair Scott (1843 - 1905) sons of Charles Cunningham Scott.

1900 Registered under Limited Liability Company Law

 

1906 Charles Cunningham Scott, son of John Scott IV chairman of 'Scott's Shipbuilding and Engineering Company Limited' with Robert Lyons Scott as a Director.

'Two centuries of shipbuilding' 1906 : Scott's

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