Jardine Ship Builing in the Early 1800's

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  • Topic: Ship, Trigraph, Sailing ship
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  • Published : April 6, 2013
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The Beginning
The first business that John Jardine (Old Jock) set himself was to cut pine timber for markets. After a time, he engaged a Halifax firm to build him a ship to get the lumber to Britain. He must have turned in quite the profit, he soon established his own ship yard, with a foreman named Neilson, who he brought over from the old country, and in 1819 this pioneer of the industry in Kent County launched his first ship, the ELLEN DOUGLAS. This ship yard was established at a point on the Richibucto River just a few miles from its mouth, and was the beginning of the settlement of Kingston, now Rexton. As in the other areas one of the primary objectives of shipbuilding in the Richibucto area in these early years was to convey fish and lumber to the markets of Britain and the U.S., so the ELLEN DOUGLAS was used to ship lumber to Great Britain, but she returned with a more valuable things like new settlers for the area. Through the numbers of men John Jardine eventually had working in his yard, and the immigrants his ships brought over, he was primarily responsible for founding and settling of the town of Kingston.

R & J Jardine
Together with his brother Robert, they formed the firm R & J Jardine around 1821, and built ships for the next ten years. During this time they built 7 ships, for a total of 2222 tons and a value $22,000. By 1828, there had been a total of 5723 tons of shipping built on the shores of the Northumberland Strait and the Jardine brothers built over 2000 tons of that total. The ships built by the Jardines were recognized for their high quality of construction and John Jardine was becoming a respected man in the community. John and Robert continued building ships, with lots of success, shipbuilding and lumbering being a big part of the changes in the world trade. In 1831, Robert left the partnership to settle in Upper Canada. The parting had been agreeable between the two of them, as 3 years later, in 1834; John was to launch a ship called JOHN AND ROBERT.

John Jardine (Old Jock)
From 1831 to 1844, John Jardine built at least 23 ships, most on contract for others, and a few to sail under his ownership. The year 1839 was a particularly good year in shipbuilding, as the overseas demand for timber was still heavy, and in a period of 2 months, John Jardine launched 3 ships, the barque INTERGRITY on May 25, the barque INDEPENDANT on June 11, and the INTREPID in early July. Two more ship was launched and cleared port by the end of October. The INTREPID was one that John kept and sailed under his own name and it was responsible for bringing many other Scottish immigrants to Kingston. This year was so busy for the industry that it caused trouble to the ships that came into the harbor in this area; the supply of manpower was so short that sailors were introduced off their ships with offers of larger sums of money. John Jardine (Old Jock) continued building in Kingston until 1844; he sold his interests in the area to his British agents in Hull, England. It was to be assumed that John, one of the early innovators and entrepreneurs of the area, felt he had built as much as he could in this country and so he sold his interests in Canada. He returned with his capital to England, where once again, he became involved in the shipping industry, but as an agent instead of a builder.

Upon returning with his family to England John Jardine entered into business with one of his sons (John Jardine & Son) as an agent for shipping and lumber interests. Another one of his sons, David, entered a firm of timber brokers; where he eventually became a partner in the firm, Farnsworth and Jardine. This son became very well know in England as a financier, lumber and steamship dealer and insurance executive. Farnsworth and Jardine were timber merchants who dealt all over the world. From rather humble beginnings in shipbuilding in Kent Co., the name of Jardine had spread to all...
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