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

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Name: LADY BULLER
Type: Passenger Ship
Launched: 30/04/1903
Completed: 1903
Builder: R & W Hawthorn, Leslie & Co Ltd
Yard: Hebburn
Yard Number: 390
Dimensions: 174grt, 58nrt, 116.0 x 20.1 x 7.5ft
Engines: Diagonal C2cyl (20 & 40 x 42ins), 87nhp
Engines by: Allsup & Co, Preston
Propulsion: Paddle
Construction: Steel
Reg Number: Not registered
History:
1903 Devon & Cornwall Steam Packet Co Ltd, Plymouth
1905 Government of Russia, Ministry of Ways & Communications, St Petersburg
1905 Renamed KRASNOJARSK
04/1909 Wrecked
Comments: 4/1909: Total loss on the River Yenisei
David Asprey researched the company registration file of the Devon & Cornwall Steam Packet Co Ltd at TNA (BT 31/9924/74002) to understand why the LADY BULLER was not registered in the UK.
The Devon & Cornwall Steam Packet Co Ltd was incorporated 6/1902 to operate a range of excursion, passenger and cargo services on the Tamar, Plymouth area and nearby coastal ports.
The leading light was a William Dusting, former managing director of the Saltash, Three Towns & District Steamboat Co Ltd, though the initial financial backing came from a London barrister Walter Morshead (5000 of the 5750 issued capital in 1903).
In 2/1903 the company issued a prospectus seeking to raise the remainder of the 25,000 authorised capital. They intended to:
- purchase one or more 70 ton steam barges for the Tamar trades, also fitted for towing
- purchase fast paddle steamers for Plymouth excursions - about 400 passengers each
- built a fast light-hulled paddle steamer for the Tamar market traffic
Tenders had been invited for the first two, but the last had already been contracted, on 7/1/1903 from Hawthorn Leslie for delivery 25/5/1903.
It is clear that the company failed to raise sufficient capital to get started. As a result of enquiries by the Registrar of Companies in 1908 as to why no annual returns had been made, they were informed "With the exception of ordering a ship, the purchase of which was never completed and which was sold by the builder, no business has ever been done". And later "Hawthorn Leslie & Co of Newcastle were paid 2000 on account of the purchase of the ship. I understand that they sold the ship, but the price did not reach the 8000 balance of the contract price." Thereafter the company was formally dissolved in 1910. Morshead presumably lost his investment - and died in 1909.


Shields Daily Gazette, Friday, 01/05/1903