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Glamorgan Archives
Evan Thomas, Radcliffe and Company, shipowners, Cardiff records

Reference code(s): GB 0214 DETR

Held at: Glamorgan Archives

Title: Evan Thomas, Radcliffe and Company, shipowners, Cardiff records

Short Title: Evan Thomas, Radcliffe and Company, shipowners, Cardiff records

Creation date(s): 1882-1973

Level of description: Fonds

Extent: 476 vols, 5 boxes, 2 bdles and 1 sack

Name of creator(s): Evan Thomas, Radcliffe and Co. (Shipowners)


Administrative/Biographical history: Dock Chambers, Bute Street, Cardiff (Glamorgan), was founded by Evan Thomas (1832-91) and Henry Radcliffe (1857-1921) in 1881. Initially, although the partners had little money between them, they raised enough capital to purchase the steamer 'Gwenllian Thomas' for £17,750, after which the business succeeded beyond all expectations; in the next three years, they were able to purchase four more vessels. During the 1880s, much of their capital was raised by the Rev. J. Cynddylan Jones (1840-1930), a preacher from Cardiganshire, who urged congregations throughout Wales to invest in the company. After the death of Evan Thomas in 1891, the company, run by Henry Radcliffe and his brother Daniel (1860-1933) went from strength to strength, and by 1914, the Company was the largest shipping firm in Cardiff, with 28 vessels; at one point, the company had as many as 31 single-ships companies registered in its name. After the First World War, the company, with compensation received for war losses, invested in new ships. However, the Second World War proved disastrous for the company, and 11 out of their 15 vessels were, leaving only 5 ships in 1946, a figure that remained constant until 1970. In 1981, with all ships disposed of, the company attempted to operate two small coasters, but failed, and sold both vessels in 1983.


Scope and content/abstract: Records relating to partnerships, 1882-1922; private ledgers, 1886-1927; personal papers of W. I. Radcliffe, 1892-1923; papers relating to the formation and liquidation of shipping companies and to shareholders, 1882-1955; records relating to the construction of ships, 1882-1936; records relating to voyages, 1908-1965; records relating to crew and passengers, 1885-1954; financial records, 1882-1966; insurance records, 1914-1965; Income Tax records, 1896-1924; accounts for agency of outside vessels, 1946-1948; agreements relating to managing ships, 1915-1960; records relating to government owned records, 1941-1949; records relating to various steamship companies, [c.1890]-1973; and records relating to other companies, 1901-1963.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement: Arranged as follows: Family/Personal Records; Company Records; Managed Vessels, 1915-1960; Individual Shipping Companies Owned by Evan Thomas, Radcliffe and Co. Ltd.; and Other Companies.

Conditions governing access: No restrictions. These records are stored in an outside repository. They should be ordered at least a week in advance of an intended visit so that they can be brought into the Record Office for consultation in the search room.

Conditions governing reproduction: Usual copyright regulations apply.

Finding aids: A hard copy of the catalogue is available at the Glamorgan Record Office.


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information: All records which meet the collection policy of the Glamorgan Record Office have been retained.

Accruals: Accruals are not expected.

Archival history: This collection was formerly deposited in the Welsh Industrial and Maritime Museum, Cardiff, and was transferred to the Glamorgan Record Office with the agreement of the owners.

Immediate source of acquisition: Transferred by the Welsh Industrial and Maritime Museum, 1989 and 1991.



Note: Title supplied from the contents of the Fonds.

Archivist's note: Compiled by Hayden Burns for the ANW project. The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: Glamorgan Record Office, Catalogue of records for Evan Thomas, Radcliffe and Company; Morgan, Dennis, The Cardiff Story (Cowbridge, 1991); Jenkins, J. G., and David Jenkins, Cardiff Shipowners (Cardiff, 1986).

Rules or conventions: This description follows ANW guidelines based on ISAD(G) second edition, AACR2, and LCSH.

Date(s) of descriptions: January 2004

Evan Thomas, Radcliffe and Company | Archives
Shipowners | Wales | Cardiff
Shipping | Wales | Cardiff

Personal names
Radcliffe , Daniel , 1860-1933
Radcliffe , Henry , 1857-1921
Thomas , Evan , shipping merchant of Cardiff

Corporate names
Evan Thomas, Radcliffe and Company


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