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The port in 1901

The port on census night
The London and St Katharine Docks
The West and East India Docks
Millwall and Surrey Docks
The Royals
The river
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The Royals

The 'Royals' - at this time, only the Royal Victoria and the Royal Albert - were the largest and most modern of the inner London docks. More than 100 vessels were in these docks at the time of the census. Apart from the newest and largest liners linking London with distant continents, there were also surprises, like the veteran Lady Jocelyn.

The Royal Victoria Dock

The Lady Jocelyn

Lady Jocelyn (1852).
View full size imageThe Lady Jocelyn (1852). © NMM

The Lady Jocelyn (1852) had perhaps the most interesting career of all the ships in London in 1901. Built for the first regular mail service to India, she carried troops home from the India Mutiny. In 1863 she carried troops to New Zealand for the second Maori War.

Between 1872 and 1881, she carried emigrants from London to New Zealand, and from 1882 until 1889 she carried general and refrigerated cargo from New Zealand for Shaw, Savill and Albion.

The 'Lady Jocelyn' (1852) as a hulk.
View full size imageThe Lady Jocelyn (1852) as a hulk. © NMM

From 1889 she was used as a hulk, first in the West India and then at the Royal Victoria Dock.

She served first as a refrigeration ship and then in a variety of roles.

During the strikes at the London docks in 1911, she was used as a floating barracks for strikebreakers. She was broken up in 1923.  


The liners

The 'Aberdeen' (1881).
View full size imageThe Aberdeen (1881). © NMM
The Aberdeen (1881) was the first ship built for the Aberdeen Line’s regular steam services between London and Australia, which started in 1882. She was sold to the Turkish government in 1906.

The 'Shannon' (1881).
View full size imageThe Shannon (1881). © NMM
The P&O steamer Shannon (1881) made regular trips from London to India. This must have been one her last appearances in London; she was scrapped in Bombay later that year.

The 'City of Corinth' (1898).
View full size imageThe City of Corinth (1898). © NMM
The City of Corinth (1898) was built for George Smith & Sons, who ran services to India and Africa. She became part of the Ellerman City Line in 1901 and was sold to a French line in 1912.

The 'Tekoa' (1890).
View full size imageThe Tekoa (1890). © NMM
The Tekoa (1890) carried cargo, mainly refrigerated meat, for the New Zealand Shipping Company. In 1902 she was sold to the Nelson Line and became the Highland Corrie. She was scrapped in 1909.

The 'Scotia' (1889).
View full size imageThe Scotia (1889). © NMM
The Scotia (1889) was built for the Anchor Line’s services to India, but she had a varied career, which included carrying emigrants from the Mediterranean to New York. She was sold to the Kingsley Steamship Company in 1903. The Scotia had a dramatic end; she went missing in 1906.


The Royal Albert Dock

At the time of the census this dock was full of passenger and cargo liners serving routes to Australia, India and the Americas. These included the Anchor Line's Algeria (1891), Corry's Star of England (1889), and the ill-fated Fifeshire (1898), which sank in the Gulf of Aden in June 1911.

The 'Strathdon' (1885).
View full size imageThe Strathdon (1885). © NMM

The Aberdeen Line’s Strathdon (1885) was a 3-masted barque built as the Queen’s Island. Bought for the Australia trade in 1890, she was sold to a French line in 1906. During the 1901 census, she was in the Royal Albert Dock on her way into the Victoria Dock.

The 'Jumna' (1886).
View full size imageThe Jumna (1886). © NMM
The Jumna (1886) was built by William Denny of Dumbarton for British India Associated Steamers Ltd. She sailed from London to India and Australia. In 1903, she passed into the hands of the British India Steam Navigation Company, and was broken up in 1907.

The 'Matiana' (1894).
View full size imageThe Matiana (1894). © NMM
The Matiana (1894) served on the British India Steam Navigation Company’s London-Calcutta route. She was torpedoed in 1918, while aground on a reef in the Mediterranean.

The 'Palawan' (1895).
View full size imageThe Palawan (1895). © NMM
Several P&O cargo and passenger liners were in the dock, including the Java (1892) and the Palawan (1895).

The Mesaba (1898).
View full size imageThe Mesaba (1898). © NMM
The Mesaba (1898), of the American Atlantic Line, was built as the Winifreda. She was sunk by a U-boat in St George’s Channel in 1918.

The 'Delphic' (1897).
View full size imageThe Delphic (1897). © NMM

At 8273 GRT, the White Star Line's Delphic (1897) was easily was easily the largest ship in the inner London docks at the time of the 1901 census.

She carried troops and horses to South Africa during the Boer War. 

Presumably, the Delphic was in London in connection with this activity, since White Star ships normally sailed from Liverpool. She was torpedoed by a U-boat in August 1917.

The tug 'Condor' (1896).
View full size imageThe tug Condor (1896). © NMM
The tug Condor (1897) was one of the dozens of tugs helping the large liners to manoeuvre into the docks.


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