The Part-Owners of a British Sailing Vessel, 1887-1910
The traditional structure for ownership of cargo vessels was a single-ship limited stock company. The iron hulled four-masted barque London Hill, built in Port Glasgow, was under British registry for 23 years. During these years more than seventy different individual held shares with up to two dozen shareholders at a given time. There were only two original owners – the shipbuilder with 43 shares and a shipowner with 21. Both rapidly found individual investors to buy shares. The shareholders included a wide range of middle class individuals: sailmakers, ship chandlers, farmers, brokers, a spinster, a shipmaster, a “gentleman” a mill manager in India, a timber merchant, a Constable and others. London Hill was sold to Liverpool owners after 15 years and then in 1910 to a Norwegian owner.