Records of John Good & Sons Shipping Ltd

Scope and Content

This is a small archive for a company which has been active in Hull since the 1830s. Many early records were lost during the bombing of Hull during the Second World War and most of the collection dates from the period after 1908. Minutes of meetings of directors and shareholders, as well as private ledgers and journals, cover the period from incorporation up to 1958. There are detailed records of agency vessels covering 1942 to 1967 and registers of shipping maintained by the Finnish Consulate in Hull for the period 1919 to 1982. Samples of company advertising are available for 1920 to 1981. The most important single source is the diary of John Good, which he began in 1829 and continued until a few years before his death; he also recorded details of his early life. This is supplemented by some travel diaries for voyages to Scandinavia in 1858 and 1864. The main diary contains a wealth of information about John Good's business activities, travels in Scandinavia, his religious beliefs and his humanitarian work in Finland. His son Joseph also kept diaries and two of these have survived, but are not of such interest.

The second accession (U DGO/56-109) consists of a number of property records, mainly relating to the firm's property in High Street, Hull, and three folders containing historical notes about the firm and the Good family, newspaper cuttings, photographs, and miscellaneous documents.

The majority of the collection is in English, with some items in Finnish.

Administrative / Biographical History

John Good was born in Scarborough in 1801 and was a seafarer for many years before settling in Hull with his family in 1833. Here he set up in business as a ship chandler in premises in Salthouse Lane. He first came into contact with the Society of Friends in the late 1820s and was admitted into membership in Hull in 1834. In 1839 the Good family moved to 19 High Street and the business grew in connection with the trade between Hull and the Baltic and Scandinavian countries. John began to purchase shares in a number of vessels, eventually purchasing his own schooner, the Bothnia. When he retired in 1864, he left a successful business to his sons Joseph and Thomas (neither of whom were Quakers). He died in 1876. The brothers joined with Francis and James Reckitt in 1870 to form a steamship company, known as Good Brothers & Co. They acted as agents for a number of Finnish shipowners (later united as the Finland Steamship Company) who traded between Finland and ports along England's north eastern coast. In 1908 the company was incorporated under the name of John Good & Sons Ltd.; members of the Good family were still involved as company directors in the late 1980s. Other operations undertaken by the firm included the shipment of coal, liner agency work, tanker handling and warehousing. The firm is still in existence under the name John Good & Sons (Shipping) Ltd.

Note: Historical information is taken from the files of Fred Fletcher (1915-1993), a local Quaker historian [U DFF/2/7 & U DFF2/3/7].


U DGO/1 Corporate records, 1908-1938

U DGO/2-6 Accounting and financial records, 1882-1958

U DGO/7-12 Legal records, 1910-1955

U DGO/13-19 Operational records, 1919-1982

U DGO/20-25 Marketing and publicity records, 1911-1981

U DGO/26-30 Other business records, 1895-1946

U DGO/31-39 John Good, 1774-c.1993

U DGO/40-42 Joseph Good, 1859-1922

U DGO/43-44 Ambrose Good, 1952

U DGO/45-58, 93-109 Miscellaneous, 1838-1990s

U DGO/59-92 Property records, 1741-[1910]

Access Information

Access will be granted to any accredited reader

Conditions Governing Use

John Good & Sons (Shipping) Ltd. and others

Custodial History

The company deposited the first deposit on 4 April 2001 and the second on 21 January 2016.


WR Mead, John Good i Oesterbotten (Finsk Tidskrift, 1951) - at U DGO/38 with English translation