Thomas Devlin was born in
Ireland, probably in the late 1820s. He bought his first and only
trawler in 1884, a wooden steam-powered vessel named GRACE (GN43)
The subsequent sale of this
vessel from Thomas to his son is recorded in 1888. That year, Thomas
(the father) was described in Lloyds Register as Thomas Devlin, Trawler
Owner, but he was never to own any more trawlers.
Leishman Devlin (1)
Thomas Devlin's son, Thomas
Leishman Devlin began to buy trawlers in the early 1890s. He went on
to establish a large
fleet of trawlers, and had workshops and a yard on the south side of Lower
Granton Road, close to Granton Eastern Harbour
The company that he established was known (initially, and possibly
right up to his death in 1919) as T L Devlin.
Subsequently, the company is recorded in Lloyds Register as:
- 1920: T L Devlin & Son
- 1922: T L Devlin & Sons
During World War 1, Devlin
trawlers were requisitioned and converted to mine sweepers.
Devlin and Robert Devlin
On the death of Thomas
in 1919, ownership of the business passed to his wife, Grace, and the
running of the business passed to his son Robert. His other son Thomas
Leishman (2) took responsibility for the Glasgow branch of the
Leishman Devlin (2)
In 1926, Robert died, leaving
the operation of the whole business to his brother, Thomas Leishman (2).
The trawling business from
Granton Harbour was healthy. There were 62 vessels fishing from
Granton in 1928, and 80 by 1936. The largest fleet belonged to T L
World War 2 broke out in 1939,
and again, Devlin trawlers were requisitioned to be converted to mine
In 1942, the year after Grace
Devlin's death, a private limited company, Thomas L Devlin & Sons Ltd, was
set up to take over the business of TL Devlin & Sons then being carried on
at Granton, Glasgow, Ayr and Oban.
The company had a capital of £30,000. Its directors were Thomas L
Devlin, Mrs Anne A Gilmour or Devlin, Miss Margaret G F Devlin, all
of 'Linthorpe', Craighall Road and George F Sandison, Company
The company was dissolved in 1984.
Thank you to John D Stevenson fro
providing much of the material above.
Like other trawling companies,
the Devlin fleet hit difficult times following World War 2, due to
over-fishing in the North Sea and the high cost of acquiring new
The last Devlin trawler sailed from Granton in
[What was my source for this date?]
Granton Harbour closed to
commercial traffic in 1974, though trawlers continued to land catches
there until 1978.
I must check what source I used for the 'Post-War Years'