TL Devlin

Trawler Owners, Granton Harbour

Company History

  TL Devlin and Family  -  Part of the Family Tree

From 1884

Thomas Devlin

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.

From 1890

Thomas 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.

From 1919

Grace Devlin and Robert Devlin

On the death of Thomas Leishman Devlin 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 business business.

From 1926

Thomas 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 Devlin.

World War 2 broke out in 1939, and again, Devlin trawlers were requisitioned to be converted to mine sweepers.

From 1942

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 Secretary.

The company was dissolved in 1984.

Thank you to John D Stevenson fro providing much of the material above.


Post-War Years

1946 onwards

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  trawlers.

The last Devlin trawler sailed from Granton in July 1962.
[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' details above.



T L Devlin (Trawler Owners)


Family Car





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