Unit History: Harrison Line
Thos. & Jas. Harrison/Harrison Line
Formed in Liverpool in 1853 when the Harrison brothers, who had previously been partners in the firm of George Brown and Harrison, took over the company on the death of George Brown and renamed it Thos & Jas. Harrison. The original trade was the importation of brandy from the Charente region of France.
In 1860 the company took delivery of their first two steamships and gradually disposed of their sailing ships, the last one being sold in 1889. In 1871 the Charente SS Co. was formed, managed by T & J. Harrison.
John T. Rennie, Sons & Co Aberdeen Direct Line was taken over in 1911 together with their fleet of seven ships and passenger services to Natal. The Rankin, Gilmour fleet was also taken over in 1918 and the Crown Line fleet of Prentice, Service & Henderson, Glasgow in 1920.
The same year, the fleet of Scrutton, Sons & Co., London was acquired. During World War I, 27 ships were lost to enemy action and a further 30 in WWII. By 1988 with the decline in British shipping, the company only owned three ships and chartered several more, but have subsequently withdrawn from shipowning.
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