John Willis & Sons, Shipowners, 1830-1899

By John Cross, published November 1972


This Victorian ship owning firm lasted for 69 years and was run by two generations of the same family. It is best remembered as having Cutty Sark built for its fleet and having operated her during the 26 years she traded under the British flag. The company was founded by a sea captain in 1830 and continued by his sons, one of whom was also a ship master. At one time or another the company owned at least 24 sailing ships. Its last ship was sold in 1899. A list of all the Willis ships and their fates along with an interesting bar graph showing how long each vessel was in service are included.

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Filed under: Other (Nineteenth C) | Other (location)
Subjects include: Historic Vessels, Museums & Restoration | Merchant Marines

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