TYNE BUILT SHIPS
A history of Tyne shipbuilders and the ships that they built

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Above: Select the required shipbuilder by using initial letter of the surname eg: Armstrong, Palmer or Readhead.
KEY BELOW: D / H / P (D means basic dimensions are shown; H means a history is given; P means one or more photographs are available)

Shipbuilder: J Coutts & J Parkinson, Willington Quay (1850 - 1854)

The arrival of the Aberdeen-built JOHN GARROW in the Tyne in 1840 is often regarded as the initial inspiration 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.

KEY BELOW: D - Dimensions; H - History; P - Photographs

Yd No Year Ship Name D / H / P
1850 Courier D / H
1850 Sally Gale D / H
1851 Thomas Hamlin D / H
1852 Clyde D / H
1852 Duke of Northumberland D / H
1852 W S Lindsay D / H
1853 Sorrento
1853 Swarthmore D / H
1854 Mars D / H
1854 Tynemouth D / H
1855 Excelsior D / H
1855 Queen Victoria D / H
1855 Sir Charles Napier D / H
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