Thomas Sturge junior
|Died||14 April 1866|
|Occupation||oil merchant and shipowner|
Thomas Sturge (1787-1866) was a British oil merchant, shipowner, cement manufacturer, railway company director, social reformer and philanthropist.
Whale oil is oil obtained from the blubber of whales. Whale oil was sometimes known as train oil, which comes from the Dutch word traan.
A shipowner is the owner of a merchant vessel and is involved in the shipping industry. In the commercial sense of the term, a shipowner is someone who equips and exploits a ship, usually for delivering cargo at a certain freight rate, either as a per freight rate or based on hire. Shipowners typically hire a licensed crew and captain rather than take charge of the vessel in person. Usually the shipowner is organized through a company, but also people and investment funds can be ship owners. If owned by a ship company, the shipowner usually performs technical management of the vessel through the company, though this can also be outsourced or relayed onto the shipper through bareboat charter.
Thomas Sturge was born in 1787, one of at least ten children of Thomas Sturge the elder (1749-1825), tallow chandler and oil merchant of Newington Butts, about a mile south of London Bridge. Thomas the younger joined his father’s business early in the 19th century, as did at least three of his brothers, Nathan, George and Samuel. Thomas Sturge & Sons, oil merchants and spermaceti processors operated from premises near Elephant and Castle, Newington Butts, until 1840.
Thomas Sturge the Elder (1749–1825) was a London tallow chandler, oil merchant, spermaceti processor and philanthropist. He was a Quaker.
Tallow is a rendered form of beef or mutton fat, and is primarily made up of triglycerides. It is solid at room temperature. Unlike suet, tallow can be stored for extended periods without the need for refrigeration to prevent decomposition, provided it is kept in an airtight container to prevent oxidation.
Newington Butts is a former hamlet, now an area of the London Borough of Southwark, that gives its name to a segment of the A3 road running south-west from the Elephant and Castle junction. The road continues as Kennington Park Road leading to Kennington; a fork right is Kennington Lane, leading to Vauxhall Bridge.
He was a first cousin of social reformer and philanthropist Joseph Sturge.
Joseph Sturge was an English Quaker, abolitionist and activist. He founded the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society. He worked throughout his life in Radical political actions supporting pacifism, working-class rights, and the universal emancipation of slaves. In the late 1830s, he published two books about the apprenticeship system in Jamaica, which helped persuade the British Parliament to adopt an earlier full emancipation date. In Jamaica, Sturge also helped found Free Villages with the Baptists, to provide living quarters for freed slaves; one was named "Sturge Town" in his memory.
Thomas Sturge junior had become the senior partner in the business by 1816, when he began to buy ships and send them to the Southern Whale Fishery to obtain whale oil, seal oil and spermaceti for processing and sale in London.He became the principal owner of at least 23 vessels, most of them South Sea whalers.
Spermaceti is a waxy substance found in the head cavities of the sperm whale. Spermaceti is created in the spermaceti organ inside the whale's head. This organ may contain as much as 1,900 litres (500 US gal) of spermaceti.
His Quaker faith and values were reflected in his business dealings. He tried to choose committed Christians to command his whale ships and in his sailing instructions gave his captains detailed advice on how to treat their crewmen.His vessels each seem to have been supplied with a small library and at least five of his vessels carried a "surgeon" or ship's doctor. One of these was Dr Thomas Beale who later wrote, The Natural History of the Sperm Whale (1839), which he dedicated to his employer. Herman Melville drew on the book for his novel Moby Dick (1851). The book also inspired three paintings of whaling scenes by J.M.W. Turner, exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1845 and 1846. Turner tried to sell them to his patron, oil merchant, shipowner and art collector Elhanan Bicknell. Bicknell was an associate and friend of Sturge at Newington Butts.
A whaler or whaling ship is a specialized ship, designed, or adapted, for whaling: the catching or processing of whales. The former includes the whale catcher – a steam or diesel-driven vessel with a harpoon gun mounted at its bow. The latter includes such vessels as the sail or steam-driven whaleship of the 16th to early 20th centuries and the floating factory or factory ship of the modern era. There have also been vessels which combined the two activities, such as the bottlenose whalers of the late 19th and early 20th century, and catcher/factory ships of the modern era.
Elhanan Bicknell was a successful London businessman and shipowner. He used his wealth as a patron of the arts, becoming one of the leading collectors of contemporary British art of his time.
Sturge was a member of a committee to assist “distressed seaman” by 1818.His firm donated £15 15 shillings in 1821 toward the cost of a suitable vessel to serve as a floating hospital for the “assistance and relief of sick and helpless seamen.” The Seamen's Hospital Society was established that year, with William Wilberforce as one of the many vice presidents; Sturge was one of a couple of dozen men on its management committee, along with Zachary Macaulay and Captain William Young.
A hospital ship is a ship designated for primary function as a floating medical treatment facility or hospital. Most are operated by the military forces of various countries, as they are intended to be used in or near war zones.
William Wilberforce was a British politician, philanthropist, and a leader of the movement to abolish the slave trade. A native of Kingston upon Hull, Yorkshire, he began his political career in 1780, eventually becoming an independent Member of Parliament (MP) for Yorkshire (1784–1812). In 1785, he became an Evangelical Christian, which resulted in major changes to his lifestyle and a lifelong concern for reform.
Zachary Macaulay was a Scottish statistician, one of the founders of London University and of the Society for the Suppression of Vice, an antislavery activist, and governor of Sierra Leone, the British colony for freed slaves. Like his famous son Thomas Macaulay, he divided the world into civilisation and barbarism with Britain representing the high point of civilisation because of its adherence to Christianity. He worked endlessly to end the slave trade and to Christianize and improve the world.
He was a member of the Anti-Slavery Society and substantial financial contributor to the cause.Another member of the society was the historian and politician Thomas Babington Macaulay (1800-1859) who became friends with Sturge. There were many Quakers in the abolition movement. Among these was his cousin the prominent anti-slavery abolitionist and philanthropist Joseph Sturge (1793-1859).
Thomas also made regular donations to a range of other charitable causes.He provided transport to missionaries going to the South Seas on his whaling ships. Robert Moffat and his wife left their children in the care of Sturge and his invalid sister when they were in South Africa in the 1860s. Thomas or his father, Thomas senior, was supporting the education of the deaf by May 1821.
In 1838 Sturge joined a group of London shipowners to purchase two vessels, the schooner Eliza Scott (154 tons) and the cutter Sabrina (54 tons). These were sent to the Antarctic, under the overall command of Captain John Balleny, to search for undiscovered offshore islands that might host seal colonies that could be harvested.Among the discoveries made were a cluster five previously unknown islands. They were given the collective name of the Balleny Islands with individual islands named after those who had funded the expedition. Sturge Island is 23 miles long and 6 miles wide and permantly covered in a mantle of snow and ice.
In 1837 and 1838 he purchased two blocks of land on the Thames near Northfleet at a cost of £9,313.On that 74 acre plot he built a cement works to make Portland cement. Construction of the cement kilns started in 1851 and production began in 1853.
He was interested in the building of new railways and in 1842 he spoke at a public meeting in favour of the construction of the Dean Forest and Gloucester railway line.He became a significant shareholder in the Eastern Union Railway Company and a major shareholder and director of the West Hartlepool Harbour and Railway Company.
In 1842 he moved downriver to Northfleet, where he had purchased Northfleet House, a mansion under construction, for £3900.Thomas Sturge the younger died there on 14 April 1866. He never married and most of his estate, valued at about £180,000, was left to his brother, George.
Northfleet is a town in the Gravesham Borough of Kent. It borders the Dartford Borough. It is immediately west of Gravesend and on a western border has its own railway station about a hundred metres east of Ebbsfleet International railway station.
Whaling in Australian waters began in 1791 when the 11 ships in the Third Fleet of settlers to the colony of New South Wales landed their passengers and freight at Sydney Cove and five of those vessels then left Port Jackson to engage in whaling and seal hunting off the coast of Australia and New Zealand. The two main species hunted by such vessels in the early years were right and sperm whales. Later, humpback, bowhead and other whale species would be taken.
The Northfleet was a British full rigged ship that is best remembered for her disastrous sinking in the English Channel in January 1873.
Commercial whaling in the United States dates to the 17th century in New England. The industry peaked in 1846–1852, and New Bedford, Massachusetts, sent out its last whaler, the John R. Mantra, in 1927.The Whaling industry was engaged with the production of three different raw materials: whale oil, spermaceti oil, and whalebone. Whale oil was the result of "trying-out" whale blubber by heating in water. It was a primary lubricant for machinery, whose expansion through the Industrial Revolution depended upon before the development of petroleum-based lubricants in the second half of the 19th century.
Sperm whaling is the hunting of these marine mammals for the oil, meat and bone that can be extracted from their bodies. Sperm whales, a large and deep-diving species, produce a waxy substance that was especially useful during the Industrial Revolution, and so they were targeted in 19th-century whaling, as exemplified in Moby Dick. Sperm oil is no longer needed, but another unusual product, ambergris, is still valued as a perfume fixative. Although the animal is classified as a vulnerable species, aboriginal whaling in limited numbers is still permitted, notably from two villages in Indonesia, for subsistence.
Constantine Richard Moorsom (1792–1861) was a Vice-Admiral in the Royal Navy. He commanded HMS Fury a Hecla-class bomb vessel which saw wartime service in the Bombardment of Algiers, an attack on Barbary pirates at Algiers in HMS Fury in August, 1816. Moorsom was the son of Admiral Sir Robert Moorsom, a veteran of Trafalgar. Moorsom was on the roster of HMS Revenge, his father's ship, when it was at the Battle of Trafalgar. However records show that Constantine was actually at school at the time of the battle. Moorsom rose to be chairman of the London & North Western Railway.
Sir Charles Price, 1st Baronet was a merchant in the City of London, shipowner Lord Mayor of London and politician.
HMS Lynx was a 16-gun ship-rigged sloop of the Cormorant-class in the Royal Navy, launched in 1794 at Gravesend. In 1795 she was the cause of an international incident when she fired on the USRC Eagle. She was at the Battle of Copenhagen in 1801, and during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars took numerous prizes, mostly merchant vessels but also including some privateers. She was also at the second Battle of Copenhagen in 1807. She was sold in April 1813. She then became the whaler Recovery. She made 12 whaling voyages, the last one ending in 1843, at which time her owner had her broken up.
Samuel Enderby & Sons was a whaling and sealing company based in London, England, founded circa 1775 by Samuel Enderby (1717–1797). The company encouraged their captains to combine exploration with their business activities, and sponsored several of the earliest expeditions to the subantarctic, Southern Ocean and Antarctica itself.
Charles Enderby (1798–1876) was one of three sons of Samuel Enderby Junior (1756–1829). He was the grandson of Samuel Enderby (1717–1797), who founded the Samuel Enderby & Sons company in 1775. Samuel Enderby & Sons was one of the most prominent English sealing and whaling firms, active in both the Arctic and Southern Oceans. Charles and his two brothers, Henry and George, inherited Samuel Enderby & Sons when their father Samuel Junior died in 1829. They moved the company headquarters in 1830 from Paul's Wharf to Great St. Helens in London.
George Pollard Jr. (1791–1870) was the captain of the whalers Essex and Two Brothers, both of which sank. Pollard's life, including his encounter with the sperm whale that sank Essex, served as inspiration for Captain Ahab, the whale-obsessed character in Herman Melville's Moby-Dick.
Britannia was a ship launched at Sunderland in 1783. In 1791 she received a three-year license from the British East India Company to engage in whaling in the South Pacific and off New South Wales. Britannia engaged in a small amount of sealing and whaling during her absence from Britain. She was also employed shuttling between Port Jackson and other ports bringing supplies to the new colonists. Shortly after her return to Britain in 1797 she temporarily disappeared from Lloyd's Register. From 1800 to 1822 she was a Greenland whaler, and then from 1822 to 1837 she was a Southern Whale fishery whaler. Between 1840 and 1844 she was a London-based collier. After a 61-year career, she was no longer listed in 1845.
George Hayley (1722-1781) was a British merchant, shipowner, whaler and politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1774 to 1781.
Commercial whaling in Britain began late in the 16th century and continued after the 1801 formation of the United Kingdom and intermittently until the middle of the 20th century. The trade was broadly divided into two branches. The northern fishery involved hunting the bowhead whale off the coast of Greenland and adjacent islands. The southern fishery was activity anywhere else, including in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans and off the Antarctic. The Sperm whale, the Southern right whale and Humpback whale were the main target species in South Sea whaling. The industry went on to become a profitable national enterprise and a source of skilled mariners for the Royal Navy in times of war.
Thomas Sturge (1787–1866) was a British oil merchant, shipowner, cement manufacturer, railway company director and philanthropist.
Alexander Birnie was a Scottish merchant and shipowner.
John Ellerker Boulcott (1784-1855) was a London merchant and shipowner. He was a director of the London and Dublin Bank and also of the New Zealand Company and he served as the sheriff of Merioneth in Wales. He owned considerable land and buildings in London and other property just outside the city by the time of his death in 1855.