Thomas Wilson (shipping)

Thomas Wilson (shipping)

Thomas Wilson (1792-1869) was a 19th century shipping magnate from Hull in the East Riding of the English county of Yorkshire.


He was founder of the Wilson Line of Hull in 1822 as a joint venture with his partner John Beckinton and two others. He did not come to the business with a background in shipping but through the use of ships for ore extraction he quickly saw the potential opportunity and became a noted specialist shipowner. By 1825 he owned his first steam ship and saw the company become a prominent figure in promoting the port of Hull to the third largest port in Britain during the emergence and rise of steam shipping in Britain.

In 1841 Thomas Wilson took full control after the other partners left, and so he brought his eldest son David into the business as his partner, making the name Thomas Wilson & Son Ltd. In 1850 his other sons Charles and Arthur joined and became active partners, the name changing to Thomas Wilson & Sons Co Ltd, though usually known as the Wilson Line of Hull.


Thomas died in 1869 and the company was taken over by Charles and Arthur Wilson, with David being more of a silent partner as he always had been. A few years later when they were beginning to question their own sons ability to continue running the firm, Charles and Arthur brought in a non-family member to become the new Managing Director, Oswald Sanderson. Eventually the firm was bought out by Sir John Ellerman and eventually floundered and was dissolved many years later.


*cite journal
title = The Wilson Line of Hull
author = Arthur G Credland and Michael Thompson
journal =
year = 1994
volume =
issue =
pages =

*cite journal
title = The Wilsons of Tranby Croft
author = Gertrude M Attwood
journal =
year = 1988
volume =
issue =
pages = 7–19

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