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Thomas Henry Ismay

Thomas Henry Ismay
Thomas Henry Ismay

Thomas Henry Ismay was born on 7 January 1837 at Ropery House, Ellenborough, Maryport, Cumberland, the eldest son of shipbuilder Joseph Ismay.

At the age of 16 he took up an apprenticeship with Liverpoool shipbrokers Imrie & Tomlinson. When the apprenticeship ended he travelled to South America. Returning to Liverpool he began a business trading to Australia and in 1867 acquired the defunct White Star Line which had run clippers from Australia to Great Britain. In collaboration with William Imrie he founded the Oceanic Steam Navigation Company initially trading on the Australian run but then, from 1871 to the United States.

Ismay developed a unique partnership with shipbuilders Harland and Wolff in Belfast. All White Star Line vessels would be built at Harland and Wollf.

Ismay married Margaret Bruce in 1859 , together they had three sons and four daughters

Ismay retired from the firm of Ismay Imrie and Co in 1892 but retained the chairmanship of the White Star Line, active control of the firm passed to his son Joseph Bruce Ismay.

Thomas Henry Ismay died at Dawpool near Birkenhead on 23 November 1899 and was buried in the Thurstanton Churchyard.

References and Sources

The Times, 24 November 1899, Obituary
Whos Who, 1899
Whitaker's Almanac, 1901
Sidney Lee ed. (1901) The Dictionary of National Biography, Supplement Vol. 3

Research Articles

Glenn Simpson Titanica! (2011) Harland & Wolff and the partition of Ulster

Newspaper Articles

The Times (19 November 1888) Life-Saving Appliances Committee, 1888
New York Times (17 August 1889) An Unpleasant Incident
The London Gazette (8 January 1892) Legal notice of the retirement of Thomas Ismay
The Times (17 December 1896) T. Ismay Contributes to Pirrie Hospital Fund
The Times (22 July 1899) Thomas Ismay Honored by City of Belfast
The Times (24 November 1899) DEATH OF MR. T. H. ISMAY
New York Times (24 November 1899) THOMAS HENRY ISMAY DEAD
New York Times (25 November 1899) THOMAS HENRY ISMAY [Letter to the Editor]
The Times (28 November 1899) FUNERAL OF MR. ISMAY
The Times (12 March 1900) THE LATE MR. ISMAY'S WILL
New York Times (12 March 1900) Thomas H. Ismay Left £1,297,881
New York Times (10 April 1907) Obituary of Margaret Ismay
The Times (10 April 1907) OBITUARY: Margaret Ismay
New York Times (22 April 1912) SEALBY DEFENDS ISMAY
(30 June 1913) ISMAY OUT OF MARINE CO.
The Times (2 January 1919) £25,000 FOR BRITISH MERCHANTMEN
New York Times (26 May 1924) CAPT. BOWER ISMAY DIES
The Times (26 May 1924) OBITUARY---MR. C. BOWER ISMAY
The Times (25 January 1930) Obituary---MR. J. H. ISMAY


Prof. Sir John Knox Laughton, Litt.D. ISMAY, THOMAS HENRY
John P. Eaton Voyage (2004) Royal Standard
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Comment and discuss

  1. Martin Hughes (1133)

    It's Thurstaston where he is buried

  2. Oceanic

    The Original "Oceanic Steam Navigation Company Liverpool" logo and company is now back in Liverpool owned by a man from Liverpool. The logo is now used to make Beers in Liverpool. Mr Thomas Henry Ismay has returned to Liverpool. The Legend is BACK.

Reply Watch Thread


Name: Mr Thomas Henry Ismay
Nationality: English
Marital Status: Married to Margaret Bruce
Occupation: Shipowner
Died: Thursday 23rd November 1899 aged 62 years
Buried: Thurstanton Churchyard, Birkenhead, Lancashire, England

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