|Born||10 February 1824|
|Died||3 June 1898 74)(aged|
|Occupation||MP; social reformer|
|Known for||Plimsoll line|
Samuel Plimsoll (10 February 1824 – 3 June 1898) was an English politician and social reformer, now best remembered for having devised the Plimsoll line (a line on a ship's hull indicating the maximum safe draft, and therefore the minimum freeboard for the vessel in various operating conditions).
In sailing and boating, a vessel's freeboard is the distance from the waterline to the upper deck level, measured at the lowest point of sheer where water can enter the boat or ship. In commercial vessels, the latter criterion measured relative to the ship's load line, regardless of deck arrangements, is the mandated and regulated meaning.
Samuel Plimsoll was born in Bristol and soon moved to Whiteley Wood Hall, Sheffield, also spending part of his childhood in Penrith, Cumberland. Leaving school at an early age, he became a clerk at Rawson's Brewery, and rose to be manager.
Bristol is a city and county in South West England with a population of 459,300. The wider district has the 10th-largest population in England. The urban area population of 724,000 is the 8th-largest in the UK. The city borders North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, with the cities of Bath and Gloucester to the south-east and north-east, respectively. South Wales lies across the Severn estuary.
Whiteley Wood Hall was an English country house which was demolished in 1959. It stood off Common Lane in the Fulwood area of Sheffield, England. The hall’s stables and associated buildings are still standing and along with the surrounding grounds now serve as an outdoor activities centre for Girlguiding Sheffield. The stables are a Grade II listed building.
Sheffield is a city and metropolitan borough in South Yorkshire, England. Historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, its name derives from the River Sheaf, which runs through the city. With some of its southern suburbs annexed from Derbyshire, the city has grown from its largely industrial roots to encompass a wider economic base. The population of the City of Sheffield is 577,800 (mid-2017 est.) and it is one of the eight largest regional English cities that make up the Core Cities Group. Sheffield is the third-largest English district by population. The metropolitan population of Sheffield is 1,569,000.
In 1853, he attempted to become a coal merchant in London. He failed and was reduced to destitution. He himself told how for a time he lived in a common lodging for seven shillings and two pence a week.
Through this experience, he learnt to sympathise with the struggles of the poor, and when his good fortune returned, he resolved to devote his time to improving their condition.
His efforts were directed especially against what were known as "coffin ships": unseaworthy and overloaded vessels, often heavily insured, in which unscrupulous owners risked the lives of their crews.
Coffin ship is the name given to any ship that has been overinsured and is therefore worth more to its owners sunk than afloat. These were hazardous places to work in the days before effective maritime safety regulation. They were generally eliminated in the 1870s with the success of reforms championed by British MP Samuel Plimsoll.
In 1867, Plimsoll was elected as the Liberal Member of Parliament for Derby, and endeavoured in vain to pass a bill dealing with the subject of a safe load line on ships. The main problem was the number of powerful ship-owning MPs in Parliament.
The Liberal Party was one of the two major parties in the United Kingdom with the opposing Conservative Party in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The party arose from an alliance of Whigs and free trade Peelites and Radicals favourable to the ideals of the American and French Revolutions in the 1850s. By the end of the 19th century, it had formed four governments under William Gladstone. Despite being divided over the issue of Irish Home Rule, the party returned to government in 1905 and then won a landslide victory in the following year's general election.
Derby is a former United Kingdom Parliamentary constituency. It was a constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of England, then of the Parliament of Great Britain from 1707 to 1800 and of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1801 to 1950. It was represented by two members of parliament. It was divided into the single-member constituencies of Derby North and Derby South in 1950.
In 1872, he published a work entitled Our Seamen, which became well known throughout the country. Accordingly, on Plimsoll's motion in 1873, a Royal Commission was appointed, and in 1875 a government bill was introduced, which Plimsoll, though regarding it as inadequate, resolved to accept.
On 22 July, the Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli, announced that the bill would be dropped. Plimsoll lost his self-control, applied the term "villains" to members of the House, and shook his fist in the Speaker's face.
Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield, was a British statesman who twice served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. He played a central role in the creation of the modern Conservative Party, defining its policies and its broad outreach. Disraeli is remembered for his influential voice in world affairs, his political battles with the Liberal Party leader William Ewart Gladstone, and his one-nation conservatism or "Tory democracy". He made the Conservatives the party most identified with the glory and power of the British Empire. He is the only British Prime Minister to have been Jewish by birth and the first person from an ethnic minority background to hold one of the Great Offices of State. He was also a novelist, publishing works of fiction even as Prime Minister.
The Speaker of the House of Commons is the presiding officer of the House of Commons, the United Kingdom's lower chamber of Parliament. The office is currently held by John Bercow, who was initially elected on 22 June 2009, following the resignation of Michael Martin. He has since been re-elected (unopposed) three times, following the general elections in 2010, 2015 and 2017.
Disraeli moved that he be reprimanded, but on the suggestion of Lord Hartington agreed to adjourn the matter for a week to allow Plimsoll time for thought.
Eventually Plimsoll made an apology. Many people, however, shared his view that the bill had been stifled by the pressure of the shipowners, and popular feeling forced the government to pass a bill which in the following year was amended into the Merchant Shipping Act.
This gave stringent powers of inspection to the Board of Trade, and the mark that indicates the safe limit to which a ship may be loaded became generally known as Plimsoll's mark or line.
Plimsoll was re-elected for Derby at the general election of 1880 by a great majority, but gave up his seat to William Vernon Harcourt, believing that the latter, as Home Secretary, could advance sailors' interests more effectively than any private member.
Offered a seat by 30 constituencies, Plimsoll was an unsuccessful candidate in Sheffield Central in 1885. He did not re-enter the house, and later became estranged from the Liberal leaders by what he regarded as their breach of faith in neglecting the question of shipping reform.
He was for some years the honorary president of the National Sailors' and Firemen's Union, and drew attention to the horrors of the cattle-ships, where animals were transported under appalling and over-crowded conditions.
Later, he visited the United States to try to secure the adoption of a less bitter tone towards England in the historical textbooks used in American schools. He died in Folkestone on 3 June 1898, and is buried in St Martin's churchyard, Cheriton, Kent.
Plimsoll married his first wife, Eliza Ann, daughter of Hugh Railton of Chapeltown, near Sheffield, in 1858. In Census 1871 they were enumerated in Hastings where Eliza Ann is recorded as being blind in her right eye and deaf in her left ear. She died in Australia in 1882. There were no children by this marriage. He married his second wife, Harriet Frankish, daughter of Mr. Joseph Armitage Wade, J.P., of Hull and Hornsea, in 1885. By this marriage there were six children, of whom a son, Samuel Richard Cobden Plimsoll, and two daughters survived him.
In 1873, the Samuel Plimsoll, an iron hulled full-rigged merchant sailing ship, was launched at the shipyard of Walter Hood & Co. in Aberdeen, Scotland for the Aberdeen White Star Line (G. Thompson & Co.). She was assigned the official British Reg. No. 65097 and the signal MKDH. In 1899, she caught fire in the Thames River and had to be scuttled, but was refloated and repaired in 1900. In 1902, she was severely dismasted and damaged on voyage to Port Chalmers, Australia. Towed to Sydney and subsequently to Fremantle, she was reduced to hulk status the following year.
In the 1920s, Plimsoll shoes were named for their similarity in appearance to the Plimsoll line on boats.
In Whitehall Garden, a Victoria Embankment garden, there is a monument to Samuel Plimsoll in front of the railings.
British writer Nicolette Jones published The Plimsoll Sensation, a highly acclaimed biography – getting the idea for it from living in 1995 in Plimsoll Road in Finsbury Park, north London, but knowing hardly anything about whom it was named after.
Samuel Plimsoll appears in the third series of the BBC historical television drama The Onedin Line , portrayed by actor David Garfield.
The Tower Hill Memorial is a pair of Commonwealth War Graves Commission memorials in Trinity Square, on Tower Hill in London, England. The memorials, one for the First World War and one for the Second, commemorate civilian merchant sailors and fishermen who were killed as a result of enemy action and have no known grave. The first, the Mercantile Marine War Memorial, was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and unveiled in 1928; the second, the Merchant Seamen's Memorial, was designed by Sir Edward Maufe and unveiled in 1955. A third memorial, commemorating merchant sailors who were killed in the 1982 Falklands War, was added to the site in 2005.
Impressment, colloquially "the press" or the "press gang", is the taking of men into a military or naval force by compulsion, with or without notice. Navies of several nations used forced recruitment by various means. The large size of the British Royal Navy in the Age of Sail meant impressment was most commonly associated with Britain. It was used by the Royal Navy in wartime, beginning in 1664 and during the 18th and early 19th centuries as a means of crewing warships, although legal sanction for the practice can be traced back to the time of Edward I of England. The Royal Navy impressed many merchant sailors, as well as some sailors from other, mostly European, nations. People liable to impressment were "eligible men of seafaring habits between the ages of 18 and 55 years". Non-seamen were impressed as well, though rarely.
Shanghaiing or crimping is the practice of kidnapping people to serve as sailors by coercive techniques such as trickery, intimidation, or violence. Those engaged in this form of kidnapping were known as crimps. The related term press gang refers specifically to impressment practices in Great Britain's Royal Navy.
The National Union of Seamen (NUS) was the principal trade union of merchant seafarers in the United Kingdom from the late 1880s to 1990. In 1990, the union amalgamated with the National Union of Railwaymen to form the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT).
The waterline is the line where the hull of a ship meets the surface of the water. Specifically, it is also the name of a special marking, also known as an international load line, Plimsoll line and water line, that indicates the draft of the ship and the legal limit to which a ship may be loaded for specific water types and temperatures in order to safely maintain buoyancy, particularly with regard to the hazard of waves that may arise. Varying water temperatures will affect a ship's draft; because warm water is less dense than cold water, providing less buoyancy. In the same way, fresh water is less dense than salinated or seawater with the same lessening effect upon buoyancy.
William Clark Russell was an English writer best known for his nautical novels.
A plimsoll shoe, plimsoll, plimsole or pumps is a type of athletic shoe with a canvas upper and rubber sole developed as beachwear in the 1830s by the Liverpool Rubber Company.
The Seamen's Act, formally known as Act to Promote the Welfare of American Seamen in the Merchant Marine of the United States or Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act, was designed to improve the safety and security of United States seamen and eliminate Shanghaiing.
The maritime history of the United States is a broad theme within the history of the United States. As an academic subject, it crosses the boundaries of standard disciplines, focusing on understanding the United States' relationship with the oceans, seas, and major waterways of the globe. The focus is on merchant shipping, and the financing and manning of the ships. A merchant marine owned at home is not essential to an extensive foreign commerce. In fact, it may be cheaper to hire other nations to handle the carrying trade than to participate in it directly. On the other hand, there are certain advantages, particularly during time of war, which may warrant an aggressive government encouragement to the maintenance of a merchant marine.
The maritime history of the United States (1800–1899) saw an expansion of naval activity.
Sir William Christopher Leng, known as W. C. Leng was a newspaper publisher in Sheffield.
Domala was an 8,441 ton cargo liner which was built in 1920 and launched as Magnava. Following damage sustained in an air attack in 1940, she was rebuilt as a cargo ship and renamed Empire Attendant. In 1942 she was torpedoed and sunk with the loss of all crew.
SS London was a British steamship which sank in the Bay of Biscay on 11 January 1866. The ship was travelling from Gravesend in England to Melbourne, Australia, when she began taking in water on 10 January, with 239 persons aboard. The ship was overloaded with cargo, and thus unseaworthy, and only 19 survivors were able to escape the foundering ship by lifeboat, leaving a death toll of 220.
SS Thurso was a cargo steamship operated by Ellerman's Wilson Line. Thurso was built in 1919 by S. P. Austin & Sons in Sunderland as the War Bramble for the Shipping Controller. Displacing 2,436 tons she had a speed of 9 knots. She was sold to Ellerman Lines while still building and remained with them until lost in the Second World War.
Minna was a 1,544 GRT cargo ship that was built in 1922 by Nylands Verksted, Kristiania, Norway for Swedish owners. In 1934, she was sold and renamed Britt. In 1939, she was captured by the Kriegsmarine and sold to German owners in 1940 and was renamed Leba. In 1945, she was seized by the Allies and passed to the Ministry of War Transport(MoWT). She was renamed Empire Conavon and was sold in 1947 to a British company and was renamed Baltkon. She served until 1959 when she was scrapped.
Pinnau was a 1,198 GRT cargo ship that was built in 1922 by Nobiskrug Werft GmbH, Rendsburg, Germany for German owners. She was seized by the Allies in May 1945, passed to the Ministry of War Transport (MoWT) and was renamed Empire Constructor. In 1947, she was sold into merchant service and renamed Estkon. She served until 1959 when she was scrapped.
The attack on the SS Baton Rouge Victory was a commando attack launched by the Viet Cong on August 26, 1966, in which they attacked the Victory ship SS Baton Rouge Victory using two 2,400-pound limpet mines while it was proceeding along the Lòng Tàu River, about 22 miles (35 km) southeast of Saigon. The explosions killed seven American civilian sailors on board and tore a 16-by-45-foot hole in the ship's hull forcing the captain to run the ship aground to avoid sinking and blocking the shipping channel. Water rushed the hole and immediately flooded the ship's engine room, seven of the nine crew members working in the engine room drowned. Only the Chief Engineer and an Oiler were able to get out of the engine room. The SS Baton Rouge Victory had departed the San Francisco Embarcadero on 28 July 1966 with a crew of 45, loaded with military trucks and other heavy equipment. She was refloated on 30 August 1966 and towed to Vũng Tàu. In 1967, she was scrapped at Hualien, Formosa, now called Taiwan.
Eliza Orme, also called Elizabeth Orme was the first woman to earn a law degree in England, which she did from University College London in 1888.
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|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
William Thomas Cox
Michael Thomas Bass
| Member of Parliament for Derby |
1868 – 1880
With: Michael Thomas Bass
Sir William Vernon Harcourt
Michael Thomas Bass