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

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Shipbuilders: Robert, Thomas & John Wallis, South Shields (1720 - 1869)

Henry I (1069 to 1135) granted Newcastle a virtual monopoly of all trade to or from the River Tyne. From time to time this monopoly would be tested by Tynemouth and North Shields, backed by the Prior of Tynemouth and also by South Shields, backed by the Bishop of Durham. However this monopoly continued to be maintained, often by force, by the freemen and guilds of Newcastle.

However in about 1720, in defiance of the claims of Newcastle, which had decreed that none but freemen of that town should build ships on the river Tyne, and that no vessel should be constructed at Shields, Robert Wallis, commenced building and repairing ships in a yard adjoining the Coble landing in Pilot Street. He was formerly warned that this would be a breach of the Charter rights of Newcastle. The Corporation sent down an Alderman with a posse of officers to forcibly hinder the work but the Newcastle dignitary was treated to an involuntary bath in the river when his boat's gang plank was shoved off the landing.

The Corporation brought two actions at law against Mr Wallis, both of which he successfully defended, and thus destroyed for ever the veto so long imposed by Newcastle on shipbuilding at South Shields.

1790 to 1811: Yard leased to Nicholson & Horn.
29/10/1816: Sale of SUSANNAH, Thomas Wallis bankrupt.

The Wallis yard, which included a patent slipway, was eventually absorbed into the yard of JP Rennoldson in 1869.

The following ships were built at the Wallis shipyard at South Shields.

Yd No Year Ship Name D / H / P
1790 Providence D / H
1841 Ocean Child D / H
1844 John & Eleanor D / H
1846 Boadicea
1847 Equity D / H
1847 Melissa
1848 Terpsichore D / H
1851 Mary D / H
1854 City of Palaces D / H