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From Ship’s Cook to Baronet

Sir William Reardon Smith’s Life in Shipping, 1856 - 1935

Sir William Reardon Smith, founder of the Reardon Smith shipping line, was one of the foremost figures in south Wales in the early twentieth century. Starting as a cabin boy, he made a fortune as a ship owner at the height of the Welsh coal trade and subsequently showed great entrepreneurial initiative during the Great Depression, acquiring motor vessels and establishing new trade routes. He is also remembered as a great philanthropist, particularly through his association with the National Museum of Wales.

This thorough portrait of the entrepreneur combines an autobiography of the first forty years of Sir William’s life—which was discovered fifty years after his death at the age of eighty—a substantial essay on the latter half of his life, and extensive appendices that include a family tree, company lists, and shipping maps.

224 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2011

Biography and Letters


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Reviews

From Ship’s Cook to Baronet is an authoritative account of the life of Sir William Reardon Smith, an impressive and complex individual, and throws a great deal of light on tramp shipping and maritime business during a crucial historical period.”

Sarah Palmer, University of Greenwich

Table of Contents

Foreword: John Reardon-Smith, Chairman, Reardon Smith Nautical Trust
Acknowledgements

Introduction
Sir William Recollects, 1870–95
Master Mariner, Shipowner and Philanthropist, 1895–1935

Appendices
    Reardon Smith Family Tree
    William Reardon Smith’s seafaring career, 1870–1900
    Management and shipping companies
    Fleet lists, 1905–35
    Sailing ship rigs
    Ports world-wide to which William Reardon Smith sailed during his
    seafaring career, 1870–1900
Bibliography
Index

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