Records of Leith Hull & Hamburg Steam Packet Co Ltd, shipping company, Edinburgh, Scotland

Scope and Content

  • Financial materials 1837-1969
  • Correspondence 1842-1917
  • Personal service records 1866-1942
  • Salaries and wages 1859-1969
  • Personnel records 1846-1970
  • Plans and property 1858-1947
  • Vessel particulars 1866-1949
  • Certificate of Registry 1844-1949
  • Vessel movements 1871-1957
  • Accidents, damage and repairs 1839-1969
  • Sale of vessels 1841-1900
  • Freight books 1919-1940
  • Trading records 1851-1940
  • Taxation records books 1898-1961
  • Public relations material 1816-1928 and undated (pre 1939)

Administrative / Biographical History

The Hull & Leith Shipping Co and the Leith & Hamburg Shipping Co combined in 1836  to form the Hull & Leith Steam Packet Co. They merged with the Edinburgh & Dundee Steam Packet Co in 1847 and in 1848, control of the company was vested in Thomas Barclay, a well-known Glasgow shipbuilder, and Robert Cook of Leith. They worked together towards expanding the company's activities. In 1852  a regular sailing between Leith and Hamburg caused a change of name to the Leith Hull & Hamburg Steam Packet Co Ltd . In 1862  James Currie joined the company and was responsible for an extensive programme opening up more routes. In 1866 Donald Currie & Co was formed jointly by James Currie and his brother, Donald Currie. In 1891 there was a period of depression and a number of vessels were laid-up in Leith. Trade steadily increased and by 1905 it was doing well. By 1919  Donald Currie & Co ceased to operate and their remaining steamers were transferred to the Leith, Hull & Hamburg Steam Packet Co. In 1933  the Isaac Line Ltd was acquired, resulting in the entry of the company into Portuguese, Western and Central Mediterranean trades. By 1940  , all regular sailings were suspended and so the name Leith, Hull & Hamburg Steam packet Co was no longer appropriate. The company name was changed to Currie Line Ltd . In Walter Runciman & Co Ltd 1969  ( now controlled by Anchor Line Ship Manangement Ltd) acquired Currie Line Ltd and launched themselves into the bulk carrier trade. In 1976  the Anchor Line Ltd structure was recast and had five operating divisions - Anchor Line Eastern Services Ltd (concerned with Eastern commercial activities); Anchor Line Ship Management Ltd (handling the bulk carriers and any managed vessels); Currie Line Ltd ( concerned with European services, mainly with chartered tonnage, warehousing and road haulage); George Gibson & Co Ltd (concerned with the gas tanker fleet); Runciman Shipping Ltd (dealing with the administration). Anchor Line Eastern Services Ltd, Anchor Line Ship Management Ltd and George Gibson & Co were all active in 2005.


The arrangement of this material reflects the original order in which it was received

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Deposit : Mr Brian Newman, Newcastle University : 1991 : ACCN 00142

Other Finding Aids

Digital file level list available in searchroom

Alternative Form Available

No known copies

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the Archivist.

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents.

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 248 procedures

Custodial History



None expected

Related Material

Glasgow University Archive Services: GB 248 UGD 255/01, Records of Anchor Line Ltd, UGD 255/02, Records of Walter Runciman & Co Ltd; UGD 255/03, Records of Moor Line Ltd; UGD 255/05, Records of Currie Line Ltd; UGD 255/06, Records of The Isaac Line; and UGD 255/07, Records of George Gibson & Co Ltd.

Location of Originals

This material is original


No known publications using this material

Additional Information

Fonds level description compiled by Vikki Laidlaw, Hub Project Assistant, 01 September 2005.

Geographical Names