T L Devlin's

Trawlers

Granton Steam Trawler, Daily Chronicle, operated byT L Devlin Ltd, Granton

From a small beginning in the 1880s, T L Devlin's fleet went on to become the largest private fleet of steam trawlers in Britain.

John Stevenson, Edinburgh, writes:

Grace

"A wooden steam-powered vessel GRACE  was built in 1884 at Hawthorn's for Thomas Devlin.  Hawthorn's was a small shipyard near West Pier, Granton. 

GRACE was launched at Granton and towed to Leith to have her engine fitted.  She was then registered at Leith (Fishing No LH1133).

-   In 1887, GRACE was sold by Thomas Devlin, 5 Annfield to his son, Thomas L Devlin, 60 Hawthornvale.

-  In 1889, GRACE was sold by Thomas L Devlin to a trawler owner in North Shiles.

This was the only vessel to be owned by Thomas Devlin, and the only trawler that any of the Devlin family registered at Leith.  All subsequent Devlin trawlers were registered at Granton.

GRACE was described as a 'steam fishing vessel' and was a 'liner', using lines with baited hooks as opposed  to the later 'trawl nets'.

The reasons for T L Devlin's purchase of GRACE from his father, and for his subsequent sale of the vessel, are not known."

1880s

"In July 1890, Thomas L Devlins first new trawler was registered in his name.  It was a new trawler,  COMMODORE (Fishing No GN31), built by Hawthorn at Junction Bridge, Leith.

He kept this for only a few months before selling it to S Brocklebank, London in December 1890.  

Apparently, at that time second-hand trawlers could command higher prices than new ones, because they were available for use immediately.

So TLD presumably benefited from this deal.  He went on to purchase several more new trawlers that he kept for only short periods.

However, he kept CHALLENGER for five years before selling it in 1897, and he kept a second trawler named COMMODORE (No GN33) from 1891 until 1924, before selling it to a relative of John D Stevenson.

By the mid 1890's T L Devlin was purchasing second hand tonnage, and also ordering new trawlers from Hawthorn's"

Here are fuller details, provided by John D Stevenson, of some of the trawlers that T L Devlin purchased in the early 1890s:

COMMODORE  ON 97551  GN 31

7/1890. Built Hawthorn , Leith,  Owner T L Devlin

1890  December.  Sold to Robert S. Brocklebank , ship owner, London.

1900  Sold to Peter Johnstone , fish salesman,  Aberdeen . Reg transferred to Aberdeen.

COMMODORE  ON 97553  GN 33.

7/1891  Built Hawthorn, Leith.  Owner : T L Devlin jr

1924. Sold to David Stevenson, 21 Hawthornbank ,Leith ,steam trawler owner.

1925  26th May. Ship foundered 12 miles  east of Barns Ness. Total loss.

SUNBEAM   ON 97554

8/1891 Built Hawthorn, Leith.    Owner : T L Devlin jr

1891  20th August Sold to Robert S. Brocklebank, shipowner, London

ADMIRAL  ON 97556.

10/1891 Built Hawthorn, Leith.  Owner : T L Devlin jr

1891. 20th November. To Thomas W. Duncan , Glasgow . To his  account for selling

28th  Sold to Milford Haven Fishing Co., Ltd, same name Fishing No M 88

1894. Sold to Liverpool owners

CHALLENGER  ON  97558

3/1892 Built Hawthorn , Leith.  Owner : T L Devlin

1892.  5th March. Sold to Daniel M Stevenson , Merchant, Glasgow.

8th March . Sold to Spanish owners.

CAPTAIN ON 97560.

5/1892  Built Hawthorn, Leith.  Owner : Thos Devlin jr

1892  28th March Sold to D M Stevenson, Merchant , Glasgow.

30th Sold to Spanish owners

Thank you to John Stevenson for providing the details above.  John says:

"The above is some of the info held in CE106/11/1  "Granton Ship Registrations" , held at the National Archives of Scotland in Edinburgh

I believe that all the owner names above (T L Devlin, T L Devlin jr and Thos Devlin jr) refer to the same person, Thomas Leishman Devlin (d.1919)."

John D Stevenson, Edinburgh:  December 21+26, 2006

 

T L Devlin's

New Trawlers

New

Sold

Name

Where Built

1884

1887

GRACE

LH1133

Hawthorn, Granton

1890

1890

COMMODORE

GN31

Hawthorn, Leith

1891

1924

COMMODORE

GN33

Hawthorn, Leith

1891

1891

SUNBEAM

 

Hawthorn, Leith

1891

1891

ADMIRAL

 

Hawthorn, Leith

1892

1897

CHALLENGER

 

Hawthorn, Leith

1892 1897 CAPTAIN   Hawthorn, Leith
1893

1918

sunk

COLUMBA GN43 Hawthorn, Leith
1895 1897 CHANCELLOR GN45 Hawthorn, Leith
1897 1927 CHALLENGER   Hall Russell, Aberdeen
1897   CHAMPION   Hall Russell, Aberdeen
1898 1926 CAPTAIN   Hall Russell, Aberdeen
1898

1915

sunk

CRUISER   Hall Russell, Aberdeen
1898 1908 CALEDONIA   Hall Russell, Aberdeen
1899 1911 CONQUERER GN60 Hawthorn, Leith
1899 1908 COMMANDER GN63 Hawthorn, Leith
1899 1908 CHIEFTAIN GN64 Hawthorn, Leith
1903 1930 COMPANION   Hall Russell, Aberdeen
1903 1930 CONDUCTOR   Hall Russell, Aberdeen
1904 1930 CENTURION   Hall Russell, Aberdeen
1904 1934 CHANCELLOR   Hall Russell, Aberdeen
1905 1930 CHAMBERLAIN   Hall Russell, Aberdeen
1905 1930 COMMISSIONER   Hall Russell, Aberdeen
1906

1917

sunk

CALEDONIA   Hall Russell, Aberdeen
1906 1926 CANDIDATE   Hall Russell, Aberdeen
1906 1926 COMRADE   Hall Russell, Aberdeen
1907 1922 CAVALIER GN47 Hawthorn, Leith
1907 1917 CHIMAERA GN66 Hawthorn, Leith
1915

1916

sunk

COMMANDANT GN36 Hawthorn, Leith
1915   COADJUTOR GN41 Hawthorn, Leith
1915

1957

broken-up

COLLEAGUE GN53 Hawthorn, Leith

Acknowledgement:  John D Stevenson, Trinity, Edinburgh, January 23, 2007

 

Early 1900s

In 1910 they Devlin operating a fleet of 21 steam trawlers,  21 in 1922 and 12 in 1933. 

Early 1900s

By early 1960's they were down to  8 vessels."

"Stranger on the Shore - A short history of Granton": James Gracie Argyll Publishing, 2003

 

'Commodore'

(GN33)

In his book, 'Port of Leith & Granton' (Publ; Tempus Press) Graeme H  Somner has illustrations of Devlin trawlers including 'Commodore' (GN33) which was operated by Devlin from 1891 to 1924 and  sunk in 1925.

Recollections

1.

Iain C Purves

Waterdown, Ontario, Canada

Thank you Iain C Purves who wrote:

'Colleague'

"The last named of the Devlin Trawlers in John Stevenson's list above is 'Colleague'.

It was skippered by 'Big Geordie' Main.

I believe that the trawler engineer was Mr Cummings."

Iain C Purves:  Waterdown, Ontario, Canada:  October 7, 2011

 

 

T L Devlin (Trawler Owners)

Index

Family Car

Trawlers

Company

Recollections

 

More Pages

Granton
Pictures

Granton
Recollections
Edinburgh
Recollections

Recollections
Contributors

 

 

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