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British shipping companies (N)

Last modified: 2021-05-29 by rob raeside
Keywords: shipping lines |
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Niarchos Ltd.

[Niarchos Ltd. houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker, based on the website of the National Maritime Museum.

From the website of the National Maritime Museum, "the house flag of Niarchos Ltd., London. A white flag with a narrow horizontal band striped red, white a blue across the centre. In the middle is placed a large, black-bordered 'N'. The flag is made of a wool and synthetic fibre bunting. It has a cotton hoist and is machine sewn. A rope and toggle is attached."

Loughran (1979) shows nearly an identical flag for Niarchos Group, Athens; Hellenic Shipyards Co. Ltd., of Piraeus, is part of the empire of Stavros Niarchos, and uses his flag and funnel.
Jarig Bakker, 21 August 2004

Edwd. Nicholl & Co.

(Cardiff Hall Line)

[Edwd. Nicholl & Co. houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 30 April 2021

Sir Edward Nicholl was born at Pool, in Cornwall, on the 17th June, 1862. He came from a fairly modest background, and was apprenticed as an engineer. On completing his apprenticeship, he became a ship’s engineer, and worked his way up to become marine superintendent. Eventually he managed to raise some money and became a ship owner himself. He was very successful and founded the Hall Line of Cardiff, and later the Nicholl Shipping Co. He was a major benefactor in the Cardiff area and founded a children’s home as well as other charitable works.

A member of the Royal Naval Reserve since 1889, during World War One he became the Chief Examiner for shipping in the Bristol Channel area. In 1916 he was knighted for his services, but by 1917 he decided to sell up his shipping interests due to the pressure of his war work.
Village Matters, 1 April 2016

Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of Edwd. Nicholl & Co.(Cardiff Hall Line) (#1294, p. 98) as swallow-tailed, red with a white "N".
Ivan Sache, 30 April 2021

D.A.J. Nicol

(Passenger Steamers)

[Passenger Steamers houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 29 April 2021

Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of D. & J. Nicol (Passenger Steamers) (#1170, p. 92), a Dundee-based company, as blue with a blue saltire superimposed in the center with a blue-bordered white oval inscribing a red "N".

For whatever reason, Lloyd's separately shows the very same house flag for D.A.J. Nicol (Cargo Steamers) (#1345, p. 100).
Ivan Sache, 29 April 2021

James Nicoll & Co.

[James Nicoll and Co. houseflag] image by Ivan Sache

James Nicoll & Co., Dundee.
The flag is white with a border red (top and left) and blue (bottom and right) and N.D. (blue) in the middle.
Based on The Mystic Seaport Foundation
Ivan Sache, 1 February 2004

C. Nielsen & Sons

[G.W. & H.B. Jeffs houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 24 April 2021

Jens Christian Nielsen established his business in 1852 as a coal exporter and timber merchant so it was a natural progression to purchase shares in sailing vessels from about 1862. Some of the shares were owned by William Gray and John Denton. In 1872 he formed his company C. Nielsen & Co., with the purchase of his first steamer, "Saint Hilda", built by Withy, Alexander & Co. By 1882 the company had become C. Nielson & Son then in 1888 C. Nielsen & Sons. After his death the company became Hans C. Nielson & Co. The "Luis" was lost in 1918 and no further ships were registered at West Hartlepool. As most of their ships traded to the Scandinavian countries they were registered in those ports.

Jens Christian Nielson (1824-1896) was born in 1824 at Nordby, Fano in Denmark. He moved to England and by the 1851 census was living at Picton, Place, Newcastle-on-Tyne with his wife, Fanny/Fannie, and his son, Hans Christian. The family moved to Hartlepool soon after and Jens, usually known as Christian, established his business. Fanny passed away at Hartlepool in early 1866 and Christian was remarried in 1867 at Hartlepool to Eliza Frances Taylor. The couple had two sons and two daughters. By the 1881 census Christian had become a naturalised British Subject.
During his lifetime Christian was Danish vice-consul and was created a Knight of Dannebrog by the King of Denmark. He was also a consular agent for the U.S.A., a Justice of the Peace and a mayor of Hartlepool in 1870-71. He was a vice-chairman of the Hartlepools Shipowners Society, chairman of the Hartlepool Pilotage Board and a representative on the Port and Harbour Commission.

Hans Christian Nielsen (1851-1939) became Danish vice-consul after his father's death. He was also a member of the Port and Harbour Commission the Hartlepool Pilotage Commission, and was a Justice of the Peace for Hartlepool.
Charles Nielsen (1858-1939) became a timber merchant. He was a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society.
Hartlepool History Then and Now

Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of C. Nielsen & Sons (#421, p. 57) as red with a white castle.
Ivan Sache, 24 April 2021

Niger Company, Ltd.

[Niger Company, Ltd. houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 29 April 2021

The Niger Company, Ltd. succeeded in 1900 the Royal Niger Company, which had been chartered in 1886 by the British government and originally formed in 1879 as the United African Company and renamed to National African Company in 1881. The Niger Company was taken over in 1929 by the United Africa Company, subsequently controlled by Unilever, which eventually absorbed it in 1987.

Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of the Niger Company, Ltd. (#1171, p. 92) as blue with a red cross fimbriated in white and the white letters "N" and "C" in the first and fourth quarters, respectively.
Ivan Sache, 29 April 2021

Nisbet, Calder & Co.

[Clanrye Steamship Co., Ltd. houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 24 April 2021

The Nisbet, Calder partnership formed Clydesdale Navigation Co Ltd in 1906 and bought a second-hand tramp steamer. A second ship was bought in 1909 and a third in 1913, when the managing company became George Nisbet & Co. Two of the ships were sold during WW1 and the third was torpedoed on a voyage between Middlesbrough and the Tyne in ballast.

George Nisbet & Co resumed as shipowners in 1924, when Nisbet Shipping Co Ltd was formed and adopted the prefix 'Blair' for their vessels. The business expanded and a third company, Northern Navigation Co Ltd was formed. By 1929 the fleet consisted of 10 ships; 4 owned by Clydesdale, 3 by Nisbet Shipping and 3 by Northern Navigation. Their main trading activity was from UK to Canada and the USA, but some voyages were undertaken to Russia, the Mediterranean and Australia.

Like all tramp owners Nisbet suffered during the Great Depression, but survived and at the start of WW2 owned 9 vessels and another 8 were allocated to the company by the MOWT. Their losses were heavy; 8 by enemy action, 2 by collision and 1 ship foundered. Nisbet continued after the war, although by 1955 the fleet was down to 3 ships. These were sold in 1961 and the companies liquidated.
Benjidog Historical Research Resources: The Allen Collection

Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of
Nisbet, Calder & Co. (#459, p. 58) as swallow-tailed, white with a red stripe at the top and bottom, charged in the center with the blue letters "NC".
Ivan Sache, 24 April 2021

Nitrate Producers' Steamship Co., Ltd.

(Lawther, Latta & Co.)

[Nitrate Producers' Steamship Co., Ltd. houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 28 April 2021

John Latta (1867-1946) was born on 9 May 1867 in Old Cumnock, Ayrshire. He had his early schooling in Cumnock before proceeding to Ayr Academy and then to the Greenock firm of Craig and Scott.
John, who was the chairman of Lawther, Latta & Co. Ltd, ship owners and merchants, at his death, first went into the shipping industry in 1883 and soon afterwards introduced steamships into the nitrate trade. As chairman of the Nitrate Producers' Steamship Company, he managed his own fleet. He was an individualist and a strong believer in free trade.

In 1896, John Latta married Ada May, daughter of the late J Y Short, of Ashbrooke Hall, Sunderland. Thus he formed an alliance with the family of shipbuilders, Short Brothers Ltd, Sunderland, who built most of the large cargo carriers with which the steamship company engaged in general trading. In November 1904, he was one of the British ship owners presented to King Edward VII in recognition of services to their country.
The company's fleet was also of the utmost importance in the wars of 1914-18 and 1939-45, and at the end of the First World War, his services were recognised by his being created a baronet.
Sir John Latta, 1st Bart, of Portman Square, was knighted on 9 February 1920.
East Ayrshire Council

The Nitrate Producers Steamship Company Ltd sometimes called the Anglo Line were the most favourite of liner tramps to visit the West Coast between the years of 1900 and the 1930s. These Anglo vessels, specially built for this run, were looked upon as the aristocrats on the Coast. It was a pleasure to one and all when they came in and this they did without any fuss at all.The masters knew their business from A-Z were persons grata everywhere and much respected by everyone with whom they came into contact.
The Nitrate Boats, by David Burrell.

Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of
Nitrate Producers' Steamship Co., Ltd. (Lawther, Latta & Co.) (#1049, p. 86) as composed of a rectangular flag, charged in the center with a light blue lozenge inscribing an orange star and with the black letters "N", "P", "S" and "C" in the respective corners, placed over a long light blue pennant bordered in red and charged with the black letters "LL".
Ivan Sache, 28 April 2021

British Shipping lines: continued