Financial records

Scope and Content

  • Voyage account books, 1871-1920;
  • Cargo earnings book, 1911-1963;
  • Victualling book, 1919-1954;
  • Bills payable book, 1934-1958;
  • Second World War voyages account book, 1940-1945;
  • E. G. Thomson's voyage account book, 1948-1963;
  • Voyage account files, 1949-1978;
  • Cheque books, 1970-1983;
  • Adjustments of general and particular averages on ships, 1980-1983.

Administrative / Biographical History

These financial records start at the time when when the first modern ‘Ben’ steam ship, Benledi I, came into operation in 1871 and the company began advertising as "The Ben Line of Steamers." The records include an account book belonging to E. G. Thomson who was a director of The Ben Line Steamers from 1919-1966 as well as Chairman from 1929-1966 and President from 1966-1976 whilst also owning his own shipping company, E G Thomson (Shipping) Ltd (EGTS). In about 1949 E. G. Thomson bought 20% of Ben Line shares from the Mitchell family (increasing his holding to a total of 45%). He then transferred almost all of his shares to EGTS, making it the major shareholder. EGTS also bought and owned some ships in its own right, which were then chartered to Ben Line Steamers Ltd. Ben Line Steamers Ltd and EGTS ships were accounted for within the same account books held by E. G. Thomson.


Arranged chronologically within record subfonds.