The name of Galbraith's today perpetuates the tradition of personal service and reliability, the foundations of which have been firmly established over the past 150 years.
In 1847 a young ship's master, William Schaw Lindsay, from Ayrshire, Scotland, together with his brother-in-law, Robert Stewart, a Glasgow iron merchant, established themselves as Shipbrokers and Commission Agents in the City of London. Later new premises were acquired which were to be occupied by the partnership for a prolonged period. In 1852 insurance-broking at Lloyds was added to their activities, to which shipowning was joined in the early 1860's when the "Austin Friars", an iron framed steam screwship of 1,036 GRT was acquired.
The Shipbroking and Agency business expanded dramatically when James Galbraith in 1869 became Senior Partner. Together with another Glasgow shipowner, James Robert Henderson, he initiated the refrigerated cargo trade with New Zealand under the name of the Albion Line which he subsequently sold to Shaw Savill in 1882. James Galbraith also formed the famous Irrawaddy Flotilla Company and the British & Burmese Steam Navigation Company, which opened up the inland trade within Burma and overseas. When he died in 1885 he was regarded by his contemporaries as "...one of the great British Shipowners ofthe 19th Century..."
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