Founded ain the 1820s by Benjamin Bowring. By the 1840s, his son, Charles Tricks Bowring was the functional head of the company which had expanded to Liverpool.
The 1860s saw rapid growth in the company with routes opened to India and New Zealand, Australia and the West Coast of America.
From 1880 the company built up a fleet of ocean going steamships and a new company, English & American Shipping Co. Ltd was formed in 1888 to operate passenger and cargo services, mostly between Liverpool, St. John’s and New York.
They also operated the Red Cross Line (New York, Newfoundland & Halifax SS Co.) from the early 1880s, which ran a passenger and freight service along the Atlantic Seaboard to New York and later expanded into the cruising business out of New York.
Heavy ship losses were encountered in WWI and the Red Cross Line was sold and their ships transferred to Furness, Withy & Co’s Bermuda & West Indies SS Co. in 1929.
The English & American Shipping Co. was liquidated in 1919 and a new company "The Bowring Steamship Co." was formed. The passenger trade was dropped about this time and Bowrings concentrated on the oil tanker, iron ore and freight business.