Devitt & Moore

The records were deposited on loan by Captain Lewis of the Pangbourne Nautical College in 1968. Those relating to vessels owned, chartered and loaded by the company include: copies of registers of vessels, 1859 to 1897; voyage books, 1883-1917; lists of sailing ships and steamers loaded by Devitt & Moore, 1836 to 1926 and F. Green & Co, 1839 to 1918; a log book of the PORT JACKSON, 1908 to 1909; the log books of the MEDWAY, 1912 to 1913, 1915 to 1916 and one log book of the ST GEORGE, 1920 to 1921. The business records include: ledgers, 1903 to 1907, 1914 to 1921; cash books and journals, 1910 to 1914 and letterbooks, 1911, 1916 to 1920. The records relating to officers and cadets include lists of ship's officers and cadets, 1864 to 1916; registers of apprentices 1868 to 1899, 1902 to 1903, 1906 to 1917; and registers of midshipmen, 1897 to 1917. In addition there are three volumes of newspaper clippings, 1904 to 1918, note books, miscellaneous correspondence and papers relating to the history of the company, plans of vessels, photographs and sailing schedules.

Administrative / biographical background
The partnership of Devitt & Moore was started in 1836 by Thomas Henry Devitt (1800-1860) and Joseph Moore (fl.1836-1870). They began as trading brokers for a number of merchants who owned sailing vessels on the Australia run. On the death of Thomas H. Devitt in 1860 his eldest son, Thomas Lane Devitt (1839-1923), who had joined the company in 1855, and Joseph Moore Jr became partners with Joseph Moore Sr. Under the direction of Thomas L. Devitt, the business was greatly expanded and in 1863 the company purchased their first sailing ships and began their long association with the passenger and cargo trade to Australia. In 1870 they purchased their only steamship. In December 1878 Devitt & Moore joined with F. Green & Co of London. As the importance of the sailing ship in the Australian trade began to decline the company turned its attention to the training of sea cadets, and The Ocean Training Scheme, devised by Lord Brassey and Thomas Lane Devitt, was begun in 1890. Known as the 'Brassey Scheme', its vessels were owned jointly by Lord Brassey and Devitt & Moore but managed by the latter company. The object was to develop a method of training officers for the Merchant Marine. Apart from practical seamanship, training instructions were provided on board the vessels to teach the cadets arithmetic, algebra, geometry, navigation and nautical astronomy. The first vessels acquired for the new scheme were the iron ships HARBINGER and HESPERUS. The four-masted barque PORT JACKSON was acquired in 1906. Another four-masted barque, the MEDWAY, was purchased in 1910 and the training scheme extended under a new company, Devitt & Moore Ocean Training Ship Ltd. The MEDWAY remained in service until 1918. In 1917 Devitt purchased 'Clayesmore', a large country house near Pangbourne and, together with his youngest son Philip Henry Devitt (1876-1947) founded the Nautical College. In 1929 the firm of Verne, Son and Eggar took over the shipbroking and chartering business of Devitt & Moore. In 1931 the company was reconstructed and renamed Devitt & Moore Nautical College Ltd.

Record Details

Item reference: DEM; GB 0064
Catalogue Section: Records of semi-governmental and non-governmental organisations
Measurements: Overall: 152 cm
Creator: Devitt and Moore
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London

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