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The Fleets

British Colonial Steamship Company Limited / Temperley Line / Temperley-Ross Line

Officially named the British Colonial Steamship Company, Limited, the line became better known as the Temperley Line. The company started operations between London - Quebec - Montreal in June, 1864 and from 1871 westbound passengers were also embarked at Plymouth but most of their business was in the cattle trade.

"Messrs. Temperley, Carter & Darke long owned several sailing ships trading between London and Montreal, the best known being the John Bull. Mr. Carter was formerly a member of the firm of Carter & Bonus, of London, who owned a favourite Montreal trader, the Great Britain, Captain Swinburne. She was followed by the New Great Britain, and she in turn was succeeded by a third Great Britain, Captain Wilson, which once carried troops from Quebec to Fort York, Hudson's Bay. Ultimately she had to give way to steam, and in 1871, Messrs. Temperley built at Dumbarton and elsewhere the Thames, Scotland, and St. Lawrence, and afterwards the Medway and Gamma."

After 1868 the name British Colonial Steamship Company was dropped, principally because Ontario and Quebec combined with New Brunswick and Nova Scotia in 1867 to form the Dominion of Canada. No other name for the company was substituted for several years, enquiries being to the brokers - Temperley, Carter & Darke. In 1872 the name Temperley Line appeared in advertisements and the company was thenceforward known by that name.

From 1879 joint sailings with the King Line (Wm Ross & Co.) commenced and lasted until 1893 when Temperley withdrew from ship owning, mostly due to intense competition from the Allan Line. Ross Line transferred most of their ships to the New Orleans service.

Many thanks to Ted Finch for his assistance in collecting this data. The following list was extracted from various sources. This is not an all inclusive list but should only be used as a guide. If you would like to know more about a vessel, visit the Ship Descriptions (on-site) ot the Immigrant Ship web site.


Vessel Built Years in Service Tons
Achilles 1865 1866 chartered from E.Gourlay, Sunderland for two voyages. 1,426
Atlas 1861 1870 chartered from E.Gourlay, Sunderland for two voyages. 1,108
Avon 1870 1870 chartered for three voyages. 1,594
Cleopatra 1865 1868 purchased from Pile & Co., 1869 wrecked at Trepassey Bay, NF; no loss of life. 1,012
Clyde 1870 ex- City of Poonah, 1878 purchased from City Line, renamed Clyde, 1879 wrecked Cape Colony while military transport. 2,288
Dacia 1867 1869 chartered from Norwood & Co., London for four voyages. 1,856
Delta 1872 1873 purchased from Smith, Hill & Co., Hull, 1873 chartered to South Wales Atlantic SS Co. for two voyages, 1874 wrecked Cape Chat, Quebec; no loss of life. 1,974
Erl King 1865 1878 chartered from Robertson & Co. 2,193
Gamma 1872 1875-1878 chartered from Smith, Hill & Co., Hull for eight voyages. 1,852
Hector 1863 1864 chartered from E.Gourlay, Sunderland for one voyage, 1872 chartered from E.Gourlay, Sunderland for three voyages. 1,979
Manitoban   see Ottawa.  
Medway 1865 1869 purchased, 1873 wrecked in Belle Isle Strait; loss of with 4 lives. 1,823
Niger 1868 1871-1872 chartered from C. Norwood, London for six voyages. 1,442
Nile 1868 1872 chartered from C. Norwood, London for two voyages. 1,442
Nyanza 1867 1873 chartered from J. Dunkerly & Co. for three voyages. 1,870
Ocean King 1878 1879 chartered from Wm Ross & Co., 1891 wrecked on East Frisian Islands. 2,449
Ottawa 1865 1868 sold to Allan Line, 1872 rebuilt to 2395 tons renamed Manitoban, 1876 chartered from Allan Line for one voyage. 1,810
Scotland 1869 1872 purchased from J. Key, Leith, 1874 rebuilt to 2,645 tons, 1889 transferred to Ross Line, 1893 scrapped. 2,146
Severn 1870 1871 chartered from E. Gourlay, Sunderland, 1873 purchased from E. Gourlay, 1883 sold to British owners. 1,271
St Lawrence (1) 1865 1868 sank off Farianto Point, Montreal; no loss of life. 1,398
St Lawrence (2) 1874 1876 wrecked near Capetown while trooping. 2,220
Tagus 1868 1873-1876 chartered from J. Dunkerly & Co. for three voyages. 1,908
Thames (1) 1864 1867 chartered to Hiller & Strauss for 1 voyage, 1874 no longer listed by Lloyds Register. 1,364
Thames (2) 1871 1885 transferred to Ross Line, 1895 wrecked Cape Breton. 1,687
Tweed 1870 1870 chartered from J.Morrison, Newcastle for four voyages. 1,304
Viking 1874 1878 chartered from Wm Ross & Co., 1883 wrecked Anticosti Island. 2,588

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