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Shipbuilder: John Coutts, Low Walker (1842 - 1848) KEY BELOW: D - Dimensions; H - History; P - Photographs
The arrival of the Aberdeen-built JOHN GARROW in the Tyne in 1840 is often regarded as the initial insspiration for iron shipbuilding on the river.
For almost immediately Messrs Coutts & Co of Low Walker began building iron vessels.
It should be remembered however, that the head of the firm, John Henry Sangster Coutts, was the former draughtsman for the Aberdeen firm of Vernon, Bourne & Co which had built the JOHN GARROW in 1835.
In 1842 Coutts launched his first ship, the PRINCE ALBERT, the first full-sized iron ship.
In 1844 he built the Q E D which was the first ship to be built with double bottoms in which to carry water ballast as opposed to filling the holds with chalk rock.
However Coutts could not find a sound economic base for his technical innovations and his firm was closed in 1848.
But Coutts had great faith in the future of iron ships and on 25/03/1849 he went into partnership with John Parkinson at Willington Quay. Three years later they built the largest iron ship in existence THOMAS HAMLIN. However the success of the yard was short-lived. Parkinson retired in 1853 and after continuing for a couple of years on his own account, Coutts also gave up the struggle.
Yd No Year Ship Name D / H / P 1842 Prince Albert D / H 1843 Flash D / H 1844 Foig-a-Ballah 1844 Q E D D / H 1845 Admiral Bingham D / H 1845 Admiral Collingwood D / H 1845 Admiral Drake D / H 1846 Admiral Benbow D / H 1846 Admiral Blake D / H 1846 Admiral Codrington D / H 1846 Admiral Duncan D / H 1846 Admiral Hood D / H 1846 Admiral Howe D / H 1846 Admiral Jervis D / H 1846 Admiral Rodney D / H 1846 Admiral York D / H 1846 Iron Gem D / H 1846 Blunderbuss D / H 1847 Adonis D / H 1847 G F D 1848 Rifleman ----- -------------------- ----------
Shipbuilder: John Coutts, Low Walker (1842 - 1848)
KEY BELOW: D - Dimensions; H - History; P - Photographs