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British shipping companies (D)

Last modified: 2021-05-29 by rob raeside
Keywords: shipping lines |
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Dale Steamship Co., Ltd.

(Lucas & Co.)

[Dale Steamship Co., Ltd. houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 30 April 2021

Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of Dale Steamship Co., Ltd. (Lucas & Co.) (#1240, p. 96) a Bristol-based company, as red with a thin white cross, charged in the center with a blue rectangle inscribing a red "D".
Ivan Sache, 30 April 2021

R.S. Dalgliesh Ltd.

R.S. Dalgleish Ltd. houseflag image by Jarig Bakker, 29 December 2004

R.S. Dalgliesh Ltd., Newcastle - blue flag, red "D"; inside D white space.
From Scott, R.M., The Caltex book of Flags and Funnels, Capetown, Caltex Africa Ltd. (1959).
Jarig Bakker, 29 December 2004

Brown (1951) [Wedge (1951)] has a "D" whose inside is blue.
Jarig Bakker, 29 December 2004

R.S. Dalgleish Ltd. houseflag image by Jarig Bakker, 29 December 2004

R.S. Dalgliesh Ltd. The version by Scott with the white core to the "D" is not shown by any other source.
Neale Rosanoski, 23 March 2005

A plate at this website also shows the D pierced blue.
Jan Mertens, 13 May 2005

Robert Dalgliesh commenced business in 1906 when the Dalgliesh Steam Shipping Co was formed in Newcastle. By the start of World War I the company owned three tramp steamers, but all were lost due to enemy action. However several second hand ships were purchased in 1917 and two new ships built the same year. At the end of the war, the company owned five deep sea tramps and two coastal colliers.
A large expansion took place after the war and the fleet was divided into the foreign going tramps which were managed by Dalgliesh SS Co and the coastal fleet which was managed by Robert Stanley Shipping Co. The Stanley Shipping Co was wound up in 1929 and the coastal fleet transferred to Dalgliesh SS Co. Seven ships were lost during the second World War. In 1964 the company took delivery of their first bulk carrier and in 1969 the subsidiary company Watergate Steam Shipping Co was acquired by Lonrho and in 1974 was resold to Jebsen (UK) Ltd, although still managed by Dalgliesh. By 1979 the last of their ships had been sold and the company went into liquidation.

Mariners L

Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of Dalgliesh Seam Shipping Co. Ltd. (R.S. Dalgliesh) (#1858, p. 125) with the "D" pierced blue.
Ivan Sache, 4 May 2021

Dart Container Ships

[Dart Container Ships houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 17 March 2004

The flag is swallow-tailed, blue with three darts horizontally divided white-red and placed 2 + 1.

C.R. Davidson & Co.

[C.R. Davidson & Co. houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 21 April 2021

Lloyds Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of "C.R. Davidson & Co." (#2, p. 37), a company based in Aberdeen (Scotland), as quartered per saltire red and blue with, in the middle, a white disk charged with a blue "A".
Ivan Sache, 12 March 2008 

J. & A. Davidson, Ltd.

[J. & A. Davidson, Ltd. houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 28 April 2021

Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of J. & A. Davidson, Ltd. (#1043, p. 86), an Aberdeen-based company, as horizontally divided red-blue, charged in the center with a white "D".
Ivan Sache, 28 April 2021

Thos. Davidson

[Thomas Davidson houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 2 April 2008

Lloyds Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of "Thos. Davidson" (#146, p. 43), a company based in Aberdeen (Scotland), as divided blue-yellow by an ascending diagonal.

There are a few mentions of a "Thomas Davidson Fishing Co., Ltd.", based in Aberdeen. "[...] Among the nets Thomas Davidson, of Aberdeen, Scotland, exhibited one called the jackal net, a long narrow net, by dropping which from a boat it is claimed that it may be seen whether there are any herrings under the boat and at what depth. [...]"
The Edinburgh Fisheries Exhibition, "The New York Times", 3 July 1882
Ivan Sache
, 2 April 2008 

Dean & Dyball Shipping Ltd.

[Dean & Dyball Shipping Ltd houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker, 3 November 2005

Dean & Dyball Shipping Ltd., Poole - white flag, red disk charged with a white circle containing a white horse's head.
Source: Loughran (1995)
Jarig Bakker, 3 November 2005

Deddington S.S. Co., Ltd.

[Deddington S.S. Co., Ltd. houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 30 April 2021

Deddington is about as far from the sea as you can get in England, so how was it that, at the end of the 19th century, it had its own Steam Ship Company and its very own steam ships, s.s. "Deddington" and "Clifton"? Both the company and the ships were owned by Henry Samman, who was born in the village in 1849.
Samman, and its variants, is an old Deddington name but Henry’s parents do not seem to have had any links to the village. His father Alban was born in Walton Grounds, Kings Sutton, and his mother, Sarah Fallower, in Hammersmith.

In 1844, aged 26, Alban Samman opened a drapers shop in the Market Place. In later life he also became a valuer and selling agent of drapery businesses, and an agent for the Standard Life Insurance Co., the County Hailstorm Insurance Co. and the Birmingham-made Patent Airtight Metallic Coffin. Clearly a successful businessman, when he died in 1888, by then living in New Street, he left an estate of £8223 1s. 4d. It’s not recorded whether he was buried in a Metallic Coffin.
Apparently, his son Henry started out as an apprentice on a tea clipper or even, more romantically, a “cabin boy”. What is certain is that, on the 1871 census, he is shown as a seaman, aged 21, visiting his aunt in London along with Alban, his father.
Henry married Elizabeth Sanders of Kiddington in 1877. he 1881 census shows the Samman family living in Hull; Henry, aged 32, was already a “Steam Ship owner and broker.” His first vessel, purchased in 1876, appears to have been “Bonnie Kate”, a small steamship of 827 tons which was built in 1870. In 1878, commanding "Bonnie Kate", he was engaged by the Admiralty to carry explosives to the Mediterranean. "Elf" and "Knight Templar" were purchased in the 1880’s, but "Oxon", launched in 1883, was the first brand-new ship he owned. Almost all the ships that followed were specifically built for his companies. He seemed to have an aversion to owning any ship more than ten years old so frequently sold them on and launched new ones.

The launch of "Deddington", "Clifton" and "Somerton" in 1889 marked the start of a major expansion for the Deddington Steam Ship Co. "Bonnie Kate" had been sold in 1883, "Elf" went in 1889, presumably to raise capital, and the remaining ship, "Oxon", sank that same year. By 1900 the company owned 10 vessels, all built-to-order, none more than ten years old. It’s possible that Henry's father Alban, who died in 1888, left him a legacy which provided enough working capital to commission "Deddington", "Clifton" and "Somerton", thereby kick-starting the company.
With Captain Samman at the helm, the Deddington Steamship Company went from strength to strength, launching new ships and selling old ones until World War 1 intervened.
All the indications are that, as befits a sea-captain, Henry was pugnacious, argumentative, outspoken, and impatient. A man who liked hunting, trout-fishing and hare-coursing and was, naturally, a world traveller, he was proud to acknowledge his Deddington roots and his adopted town of Hull.
Covering his visit in 1921, the Australian newspapers described him as “a picturesque character”, “larger than life” and “aggressive and mentally vigorous at seventy-two.”
Henry always seemed “up for a fight” as seen from a number of court cases, and, in one instance at least, actual fisticuffs. Often, only trifling sums of money were involved, indicating that it was the principal that mattered to him, rather than any monetary gain or loss.
He was sued by the Board of Trade for £1 10s., claimed £16 14s. 3d. from the Trinity House Corporation, disputed the compensation due to a ship that came to the aid of "Elf", committed an "Extraordinary assault in the hunting field," and, aged 62, got into a 'scrap' with a man abusing his wife.
Perhaps the most entertaining is the claim for £30 18s. 4d. made against Captain W. H. Coysh, formerly master of s.s. "Somerton" for various items, chiefly the cost of carriage of 200 turkeys which belonged to the Captain, the ship’s mate, and steward. There was also some suggestion that the turkeys had been fed on the ship’s cargo of grain. And, according to a report in the "York Herald", “On the question of the pigs his [i.e. the Court Registrar’s] decision was in favour of the defendant.”

Of the 19 ships that belonged to the Deddington Steamship Co. and Henry's other companies, only 1, "Garton" (1895-1963), survived long enough to go to the breakers yard. Another, "Flixton", was scuttled in 1944 to act as a blockship at Leghorn in Italy but all the rest, 17, were wrecked, though not necessarily while Henry owned them; 6 were sunk by submarines during WW1. Newspapers carried frequent reports, not just of sinkings but also of groundings, collisions or any of a myriad of disasters which might befall a ship. Being a Merchant Seaman was a dangerous occupation.
Foreseeing a slump in shipping at the end of the war Henry sold up and, in his own words, “made a substantial profit.” On a visit to Australia in 1921 he gave several newspaper interviews in which he highlighted the depressive state of world shipping. He couldn’t resist adding some very trenchant, and non-PC, comments about Australia's problems and how to put them rig.

After he had sold his fleet Henry devoted himself to charitable activities. He built a seaman’s institute and church in Hull; gifted his former offices, Deddington Chambers, to the Hull Chamber of Commerce and Shipping, erecting a magnificent council chamber at the rear of the building complete with an impressive stained glass window. The Henry Samman Endowment Fund, which still exists, was founded to provide bursaries to assist students travel abroad to study business or foreign languages.
Henry was elected (Conservative) Mayor of Beverly in 1911. He was vice chairman of the Hull Chamber of Commerce and Shipping, a long-standing member of the committee of management of Lloyds's Register of Shipping management committee, a member of the Executive of the Shipping Federation and an Elder Brother of Trinity House. Sir Henry was made a baronet in 1921 for public services.
Aged 78, he was still ready for a fight, defending a court case in 1927 in which a former employee, Robert James Watkin, sued him £1350, "for services rendered." In a naked attempt at blackmail Watkin had written to Henry claiming that one such service involved handling a payment of £35000 to the Lloyd George Fund, which, he asserted, was aimed at buying Henry's baronetcy. He had also passed £1000 to two women, Henry's former housekeeper and her child, which Henry had fathered in his youth, and he also made the suggestion that some company profits had not been declared to the revenue.
The newspapers followed the case avidly, carrying headlines such as "what is hush money?" and "was it blackmail?". "Cash for honours" didn't quite make an appearance but was certainly implied. Even "The Times" carried the full story, relying on court transcripts to highlight the more lurid bits.
Henry died in 1928, in Nice, leaving an obituary in "The Times", £500 to his gardener and an estate worth £428575 1s. 9d.,andsirhenrysamman
Deddington History

Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of Deddington S.S. Co., Ltd. (H. Samman & Co., Managers) (#1317, p. 99), as blue with the white letters "D . S" (top) and "S . C°" (bottom).
Ivan Sache, 30 April 2021

Denaby & Cadeby Main Collieries, Ltd.

[Denaby & Cadeby Main Collieries, Ltd. houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 25 April 2021

The Denaby Main Co. chose the site for Cadeby Main in order to work reserves of the Barnsley seam within it Denaby colliery’s take. It was confined to a small area between the Cadeby Cliff and the Dearne Valley Line and the River Don. Because the Don is navigable to Conisborough, the colliery had a staith for shipping coal to the Humber. Upstream, boats could use the Sheffield & South Yorkshire Navigation.
Work began on sinking two shafts in March 1889. Large inflows of water meant that continuous cast-iron tubbing was used to line the shafts to a depth of 128 metres. The Barnsley seam was reached at a depth of 687 metres, and the shafts completed, in February 1893 with production starting later that year. It was worked until exhausted in 1966.

With its new colliery proved, the company restructured itself as the Denaby & Cadeby Main Collieries Ltd in 1893. In 1924 the Parkgate seam was developed by drifts from the Barnsley seam and it was worked until 1947. In 1936 the company became part of Amalgamated Denaby Collieries, which included: Denaby Main, Cadeby Main, Dinnington Main, Rossington Main & Strafford Main. It worked Cadeby until nationalisation.

The 0.86 metres thick Beamshaw seam was opened in 1944 and worked, at a depth of 578 metres, until 1966. Under the NCB the Dunsil seam was worked from 1952 to 1964. 1956 saw the Haigh Moor (aka Swallow Wood) came on stream, and it was worked until 1982. Also in 1956 Cadeby and Denaby Main were linked underground and all coal was wound at the former. The two collieries were officially merged on March 23rd 1968.
The Dunsil seam was re-entered in 1974 and worked until poor geological conditions forced the colliery’s closure on November 7th 1986. The surface plant was demolished and cleared in 1987.

On the 9th July 1912 a series of explosions rocked the pit; the first claimed the lives of 35 men and the second 6 hours later killed colliery managers & members of the rescue team who had gone to search for survivors killing 53 of them. After a third explosion the following day access to that section was sealed and the men withdrawn from the pit.
Northern Mine Research Society

Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of
Denaby & Cadeby Main Collieries, Ltd. (#629, p. 66), as horizontally divided blue-white-blue with the red letters "D&C" in the center.
Ivan Sache, 25 April 2021

J. & J. Denholm, Ltd.

[J. & J. Denholm, Ltd. houseflag] image by Phil Nelson, 10 April 2000

from Stewart and Styring's Flags, Funnels and Hull Colors 1963

White with a dark blue lozenge and a white "D" in the lozenge.
Jorge Candeias, 17 Feb 1999

The current name of the company is Denholm Shipping Services Ltd. The company was founded in 1866 as a ship agency on the Clyde, in Scotland. It is now registered in Glasgow. Denholm's first ship was the sailing ship David Sinclair, bought in 1873. The company experienced heavy losses in the 1940s and had to move to on-shore activities. Denholm recently diversified its activity among four branches: logistics (ship agency), shipping, sea foods and industrial services. The company website is at
Ivan Sache, 1 March 2004

The same house flag is shown (#1586, p. 112) in Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912).
Ivan Sache, 1 May 2021

Dennison Shipping Ltd.

[Dennison Shipping Ltd houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker, 28 October 2005

Dennison Shipping Ltd., Kirkwall (Orkneys) - horizontal white-blue-white; in center white disk, blue "D".
Source: Loughran (1995)
Jarig Bakker, 28 October 2005

William Denny & Son

[Devitt and Moore houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker

William Denny & Son, Dumbarton - white flag, blue elephant. This is an old-established firm of shipbuilders, having been founded in 1840. Their flag was quite unusual in having for its emblem an elephant. This device was taken from the civic arms of Dumbarton, bit also served to symbolizes the strength and solidity of the company's products. Denny's became famous as builders of short-sea passemger vessels and similar craft in British waters, and at one time, a very large proportion of the cross channel ferries and similar craft in British waters had been built by them. Their flag is no longer to be seen, for the company closed down during the 1960's.
Source: Loughran (1979) "A Survey of Mercantile Houseflags & Funnels".
Jarig Bakker, 4 April 2005

Devitt and Moore

[Devitt and Moore houseflag] image by Zachary Harden, 27 June 2001, modified by Jarig Bakker, 12 July 2001

Devitt and Moore ran a fleet of about 20 sailing ships in the wool trade to Australia in the 1800s and early 1900s. In the 1920s they got rid of the ships and founded The Nautical College Pangbourne which, along with the Conway and Worcester, provided cadet training for the MN, RNR and direct entry to the RN College, Dartmouth. The design was wine red and deep blue alternate quarters with a white rectangle (woolsack?) centred in the flag.

Peter Armitage, 24 June 2000

This flag is illustrated in Carr (1961), Flags of the World, and in Barraclough (1971), Flags of the World.
Jarig Bakker, 24 June 2000

Devitt & Moore of London carried passengers and cargo between Great Britain and Australia from 1863 until the end of the First World War, mainly in sailing vessels.
Port Cities: Jan Mertens, 7 February 2005

T. Devlin

[T. Devlin houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 30 April 2021

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. In 1910 Devlin operated a fleet of 21 steam trawlers, 21 in 1922 and 12 in 1933. By early 1960s they were down to 8 vessels.


Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of T. Devlin (#1438, p. 105), as white, charged in the center with a blue disc inscribing a red "D".
Ivan Sache, 30 April 2021

Devon Steam Trawling Co., Ltd.

[Devon Steam Trawling Co., Ltd.houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 4 May 2021

Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of Devon Steam Trawling Co., Ltd. (#1874, p. 126), a Fleetwood-based fishing company, as chequered, six squares in turn green and white.
Ivan Sache, 4 May 2021

British Shipping lines: continued