Sir Charles Cayzer, founder of the family fortunes, was a visionary entrepreneur. Starting in business in Liverpool he then went on to establish himself amongst the Glasgow shipping fraternity with the formation of Cayzer, Irvine & Co in 1878. From this point on, in various incarnations, and by acquisition and merger, the Cayzer family were to have a profound influence on the history of shipping. The companies and lines associated with the Cayzer name include: Clan Line, Scottish Shire Line, Greenock Dockyard, Houston Line, Union-Castle Line, King Line, Springbok Line and the British & Commonwealth Shipping Co.
In this section of the website can be found some of the material forming the heart of the Cayzer Family Archive. Above all, documents relating to the Clan Line and the Union-Castle Line are strongly represented here. Both fleets were seriously affected by the two world wars and this and the careers of the ships’ crews can be traced within the collection. An example of a crew’s list and other documents relating to life on board ship are displayed in this section.
The image of the ocean liner or cargo ship, embattled by war, or forging across oceans in times of peace, captures the imagination. Paintings of some of these majestic vessels have been photographed for the website. In addition, The Union-Castle archive contains vibrant art-work amongst its promotional material and this can also be seen.