The guinea was a coin of one quarter ounce of gold, minted in Great Britain between 1663 and 1814. The name came from the Guinea region in West Africa, where much of the gold used to make the coins originated, it was the first English machine-struck gold coin worth one pound sterling, equal to twenty shillings, but rises in the price of gold relative to silver caused the value of the guinea to increase, at times to as high as thirty shillings. From 1717 to 1816, its value was fixed at twenty-one shillings; when Britain adopted the gold standard the guinea became a specialised term. Although the coin itself no longer circulated, the term guinea survived as a unit of account in some fields. Notable usages included professional fees, which were invoiced in guineas, horse racing and greyhound racing, the sale of rams. In each case a guinea meant an amount of one pound and one shilling, or one pound and five pence in decimalised currency; the name forms the basis for the Arabic word for the Egyptian pound الجنيه el-Genēh / el-Geni, as a sum of 100 qirsh was worth 21 shillings at the end of the 19th century.
The first guinea was produced on 6 February 1663. One troy pound of 11⁄12 fine gold would make 44 1⁄2 guineas, each thus theoretically weighing 129.438 grains. The denomination was worth one pound, or twenty shillings, but an increase in the price of gold during the reign of King Charles II led to the market trading it at a premium; the price of gold continued to increase in times of trouble, by the 1680s, the coin was worth 22 shillings. Indeed, in his diary entries for 13 June 1667, Samuel Pepys records that the price was 24 to 25 shillings; the diameter of the coin was 1 in throughout Charles II's reign, the average gold purity was 0.9100. "Guinea" was not an official name for the coin, but much of the gold used to produce the early coins came from Guinea in Africa. The coin was produced each year between 1663 and 1684, with the elephant appearing on some coins each year from 1663 to 1665 and 1668, the elephant and castle on some coins from 1674 onward; the elephant, with or without the castle, symbolises the Royal African Company, whose activities on the Guinea Coast of Africa resulted in the importation of much gold into England.
The obverse and reverse of this coin were designed by John Roettier. The obverse showed a fine right-facing bust of the king wearing a laurel wreath, surrounded by the legend CAROLVS II DEI GRATIA, while the reverse showed four crowned cruciform shields bearing the arms of England, Scotland and Ireland, between which were four sceptres, in the centre were four interlinked "C"s, surrounded by the inscription MAG BR FRA ET HIB REX; the edge was milled to deter clipping or filing, to distinguish it from the silver half-crown which had edge lettering. Until 1669 the milling was perpendicular to the edge, giving vertical grooves, while from 1670 the milling was diagonal to the edge. John Roettier continued to design the dies for this denomination in the reign of King James II. In this reign, the coins weighed 8.5 g with a diameter of 25–26 mm, were minted in all years between 1685 and 1688, with an average gold purity of 0.9094. Coins of each year were issued both without the elephant and castle mark.
The king's head faces left in this reign, is surrounded by the inscription IACOBVS II DEI GRATIA, while the reverse is the same as in Charles II's reign except for omitting the interlinked "C"s in the centre of the coin. The edge of the coins are milled diagonally. With the removal of James II in the Glorious Revolution of 1688, his daughter Mary and her husband Prince William of Orange reigned jointly as co-monarchs, their heads appear conjoined on the guinea piece in Roman style, with William's head uppermost, with the legend GVLIELMVS ET MARIA DEI GRATIA. In a departure from the previous reigns, the reverse featured a new design of a large crowned shield which bore the arms of England and France in the first and fourth quarters, of Scotland in the second quarter, of Ireland in the third quarter, the whole ensemble having a small shield in the centre bearing the rampant lion of Nassau. By the early part of this reign the value of the guinea had increased to nearly 30 shillings; the guineas of this reign weighed 8.5 g, were 25–26 mm in diameter, were the work of James and Norbert Roettier.
They were produced in all years between 1689 and 1694 both without the elephant and castle. Following the death of Queen Mary from smallpox in 1694, William continued to reign as William III; the guinea coin was produced in all years from 1695 to 1701, both with and without the elephant and castle, the design being the work of Johann Crocker known as John Croker, since James Roettier had died in 1698 and his brother Norbert had moved to France in 1695. The coins of William III's reign weighed 8.4 g with an average gold purity
MS Queen Victoria
MS Queen Victoria is a Vista-class cruise ship operated by the Cunard Line and is named after the British Monarch Queen Victoria. Queen Victoria is of the same basic design as other Vista-class cruise ships including Queen Elizabeth; the external and internal designs are more in keeping with Cunard's style, at 90,049 GT it is the smallest of Cunard's ships in operation. Queen Victoria's facilities include seven restaurants, thirteen bars, three swimming pools, a ballroom, a theatre. Unlike many previous Cunard ships, Queen Victoria is not a traditional ocean liner as she does not have the heavy plating throughout the hull; however the bow was constructed with heavier plating to cope with the transatlantic run, the ship has a high freeboard. The Queen Mary 2 had cost $300,000 US per berth, nearly double that of many contemporary cruise ships, so Cunard made the economical decision to base Queen Victoria on a modified Vista-class cruise ship, Queen Elizabeth retains the same design with some minor changes.
Nonetheless, Ian McNaught, Queen Victoria's captain in 2009, has asserted that the ship is a liner based on her classic decor. Destined to be an addition to the Holland America Line fleet, the order for a Vista-class vessel put into Fincantieri was soon transferred by Carnival Corporation & plc to Cunard with the intent that the vessel would become the MS Queen Victoria; the keel was laid down at the Fincantieri ship yard in 2003. However, due to restructuring within Carnival Corp. as well as a decision by Cunard that modifications should be made to the design to bring in certain aspects which had proved successful on Queen Mary 2, the hull was designated to become the P&O ship MS Arcadia. A new Queen Victoria was subsequently ordered with Fincantieri in 2004, 11 metres longer, 5,000 tons larger, with an increased passenger capacity of 2,000; the keel was laid on 12 May 2006. 80 prefabricated steel "blocks", each complete with interior structure and ducts, each weighing 325 tons, were added.
The completed hull with superstructure was floated out on 15 January 2007, after having a bottle of Prosecco smashed against her side by Maureen Ryan, a Cunard employee who has served on all four Cunard Queens. The ceremony saw the traditional placing of coins on the mast – in this case a Euro and a gold Queen Victoria sovereign were welded beneath the radar mast. Queen Victoria departed the Port of Venice on 24 August 2007 to commence her sea trials, after handover to Cunard, arrived in Southampton to fanfare and media attention on 7 December; the same day, the ship was named by Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, continuing the tradition of Cunard Queens being named by royalty. The bottle of champagne did not break upon impact with Queen Victoria's hull, which according to nautical superstition is a bad omen. However, a backup bottle was successful. Captain Paul Wright was appointed as the first master of Queen Victoria in October 2006. Captain Christopher Rynd became secondary master. Captain Ian McNaught commanded Queen Victoria before transferring to Seabourn.
Queen Victoria undertook her maiden voyage, a 10-day cruise to northern Europe, on 11 December 2007. Following this and a cruise to the Canary Islands, Queen Victoria embarked on her first world cruise, circumnavigating the globe in 107 days; the first leg of this voyage was a tandem crossing of the Atlantic with Queen Elizabeth 2, to New York City, where the two ships met Queen Mary 2 near the Statue of Liberty on 13 January 2008, with a celebratory fireworks display, marking the first time three Cunard Queens had been present in the same location. Cunard declared that this would be the only time the three ships would meet, owing to the QE2's impending retirement from service in late 2008, though the ships did meet again in Southampton on 22 April 2008, resulting from a change in Queen Elizabeth 2's schedule. In May 2008, Queen Victoria struck a pier in Malta; however the damage was minimal, allowing the ship to continue operating, but repairs resulted in her missing a port of call in La Goulette.
Queen Victoria completed her third World Cruise in 2010 where she was joined by Captain Chris Wells, aboard to familiarise himself with the Vista-class ship before taking command of Queen Elizabeth in late 2010. During a call at Sydney, Queen Victoria was illuminated in pink in support of Breast Cancer Research. On 9 December 2010 Cunard announced its first female captain, Faroese born Inger Klein Olsen, who would take command of Queen Victoria beginning on 15 December. At the end of October 2011 Queen Victoria and her fleet mates changed their registries to Hamilton, Bermuda, to host weddings on board; the word "Southampton" across the stern was replaced by Hamilton. January 2011: Two years after the first Cunard Royal Rendezvous, on the same date, Queen Mary 2 met up with both Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth for another Royal Rendezvous in New York City on 13 January 2011. Both the Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth made a tandem crossing of the Atlantic for the event. All three ships met in front of the Statue of Liberty at 6:45 pm for a Grucci fireworks display.
The Empire State Building was lit up in red to mark the event. March 2011: Queen Victoria passed Queen Mary herself, a former Cunard ship, now permanently docked in Long Beach, California, as a hotel for the first time, along with a fireworks display in Lon
RMS Lusitania was a British ocean liner and the world's largest passenger ship. The ship was sunk on 7 May 1915 by a German U-boat 11 mi off the southern coast of Ireland; the sinking presaged the United States declaration of war on Germany. Lusitania was a holder of the Blue Riband appellation for the fastest Atlantic crossing, was the world's largest passenger ship until the completion of her sister ship Mauretania, three months later; the Cunard Line launched Lusitania in 1906, at a time of fierce competition for the North Atlantic trade. She sank on her 202nd trans-Atlantic crossing. German shipping lines were aggressive competitors for the custom of transatlantic passengers in the early 20th century. In the face of the competition, Cunard responded by trying to outdo them in speed and luxury. Cunard used assistance from the British Admiralty to build Lusitania, on the understanding that the ship would be available as a light merchant cruiser in time of war. Lusitania had gun mounts for deck cannons, but no guns were installed.
Both Lusitania and Mauretania were fitted with revolutionary new turbine engines that enabled them to maintain a service speed of 25 knots. They were equipped with lifts, wireless telegraph and electric light, provided 50% more passenger space than any other ship; the Royal Navy had blockaded Germany at the start of the First World War. The UK declared the entire North Sea a war zone in the autumn of 1914, mined the approaches; when RMS Lusitania left New York for Britain on 1 May 1915, German submarine warfare was intensifying in the Atlantic. Germany had declared the seas around the United Kingdom a war zone, the German embassy in the United States had placed newspaper advertisements warning people of the dangers of sailing on Lusitania. On the afternoon of 7 May, a German U-boat torpedoed Lusitania 11 mi off the southern coast of Ireland and inside the declared war zone. A second, internal explosion that of munitions she was carrying, sent her to the seabed in 18 minutes, with the deaths of 1,198 passengers and crew.
The Germans justified treating Lusitania as a naval vessel because she was carrying hundreds of tons of war munitions, therefore making her a legitimate military target, argued that British merchant ships had violated the Cruiser Rules from the beginning of the war. The internationally recognized Cruiser Rules were obsolete by 1915 - with the British introduction of Q-ships in 1915 with concealed deck guns, it had become more dangerous for submarines to surface and give warning. RMS Lusitania was transporting war munitions, she operated under the control of the Admiralty, she could be converted into an armed auxiliary cruiser to join the war, her identity had been disguised, she flew no flags, she was a non-neutral vessel in a declared war zone, with orders to evade capture and ram challenging submarines. However the ship was technically unarmed and was carrying thousands of civilian passengers, so the British government accused the Germans of breaching the Cruiser Rules; the sinking caused a storm of protest in the United States because 128 American citizens were among the dead.
The sinking helped shift public opinion in the United States against Germany and was one of the factors in the United States' declaration of war nearly two years later. After the First World War, successive British governments maintained that there were no munitions on board Lusitania, the Germans were not justified in treating the ship as a naval vessel. In 1982, the head of the British Foreign Office's North America department admitted that there is a large amount of ammunition in the wreck, some of, dangerous and poses a safety risk to salvage teams. Lusitania and Mauretania were commissioned by Cunard, responding to increasing competition from rival transatlantic passenger companies the German Norddeutscher Lloyd and Hamburg America Line, they had larger, more modern and more luxurious ships than Cunard, were better placed, starting from German ports, to capture the lucrative trade in emigrants leaving Europe for North America. The NDL liner Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse captured the Blue Riband from Cunard's Campania in 1897, before the prize was taken in 1900 by the HAPAG ship Deutschland.
NDL soon wrested the prize back in 1903 with the new Kaiser Wilhelm Kronprinz Wilhelm. Cunard saw its passenger numbers affected as a result of the so-called "Kaiser-class ocean liners". American millionaire businessman J. P. Morgan had decided to invest in transatlantic shipping by creating a new company, International Mercantile Marine, and, in 1901, purchased the British freight shipper Frederick Leyland & Co. and a controlling interest in the British passenger White Star Line and folded them into IMM. In 1902, IMM, NDL and HAPAG entered into a "Community of Interest" to fix prices and divide among them the transatlantic trade; the partners acquired a 51% stake in the Dutch Holland America Line. IMM made offers to purchase Cunard. Cunard chairman Lord Inverclyde thus approached the British government for assistance. Faced with the impending collapse of the British liner fleet and the consequent loss of national prestige, as well as the reserve of shipping for war purposes which it represented, they agreed to help.
By an agreement signed in June 1903, Cunard was given a loan of £2.6 million to finance two ships, repayable over 20 years at a favourabl
SS Servia known as RMS Servia, was a successful transatlantic passenger and mail steamer of revolutionary design, built by J & G Thomson of Clydebank and launched in 1881. She was the first large ocean liner to be built of steel instead of iron, the first Cunard ship to have an electric lighting installation. For these and other reasons, maritime historians consider Servia to be the first "modern" ocean liner. In 1878, Samuel Cunard's British and North American Royal Mail Steam Packet Company was reorganised into limited company and named Cunard; this capitalisation allowed it to use shareholder money to build more expensive ships. A new policy to this end was put into effect by Cunard's new chairman, John Burns, announced in the London Times. Launched on 1 March 1881, Servia was the first of Cunard's new breed of ocean liners, she was the second largest ship in the world at 515 feet long and 52.1 feet wide, surpassed only by Brunel's SS Great Eastern. With her design and construction guided by admirality specifications, Servia had many features that satisfied the requirements for her to be placed high on the admiralty's reserve list of the armed auxiliary cruisers, where she could be called into service in times of war.
It was named after historical English name for country Serbia. Servia’s engine was similar to the one installed on the Guion Line’s crack passenger liner SS Alaska of 1881, it was a triple-crank compound steam engine with one 72 in high-pressure cylinder, two 100 in low-pressure cylinders, a stroke of 6.5 ft. The steam was supplied at 90 lbf by seven Scotch boilers, each of which were 18 ft in diameter and contained six furnaces. Six of these boilers were double-ended, while the seventh was single-ended and contained three furnaces; the power developed was 10,300 ihp. Servia's maximum recorded speed during her trials was 17.85 knots, her average speed during a crossing was around 16 knots. Although Servia did not achieve any speed records, she was a competitive liner that performed well, in 1884 she managed to make a crossing in less than seven days, averaging at 16.7 knots. Servia differed from earlier Atlantic liners in a number of significant ways, but most notably, she was the first liner to specialise in passenger transportation, due to her cargo space being sacrificed for her large power-plant.
This sacrifice was viable because at that time, tramp steamers had taken over much of the freight across the Atlantic, while the demand for passenger transportation had increased. Because of her passenger specialisation, Servia is considered to be first liner of what became known as the Express Transatlantic Service. Servia had a number of innovative technical features which are noteworthy in the history of ocean-going liners; the following list is a summary of those features: Servia was the first major ocean liner to be built of steel, which gave her large hull the advantage of additional strength while at the same time making her lighter. She was the first liner to re-introduce the cellular double-bottom design which Brunel had invented 20 years earlier for the Great Eastern; the double-bottom was 4' 8" deep, could be flooded with 800 tons of water ballast. Because Servia was built to admirality specifications, she incorporated several safety features, the most notable being the sub-division of her hull into 12 transverse water-tight compartments, fitted with water-tight doors.
She could remain afloat with any two of these compartments flooded. The water-tight doors between the boiler and engine room were fail-safe and could be closed from any deck. Servia was the first Cunarder to introduce electric lighting, using Edison's invented incandescent lamp, proven successful on ship usage by its first commercial installation on board the American passenger liner Columbia; the lamps were installed in engineering spaces. Servia was fitted with a new type of compass and deep-sea sounding device. Servia had public rooms of a scale and luxury greater than known. Of the three decks, the upper deck consisted of deck-houses that included a first-class smoking room, a luxuriously fitted ladies drawing room and a music room; the entrance and grand staircase was the largest that had appeared on a liner, was panelled in polished maple and ash. It led down to the a landing on the main deck. Twenty-four first-class state-rooms were situated aft of this landing, while the first-class dining salon was situated forward.
The dining salon could sit 220 of Servia's 480 first-class passengers on five long tables, was richly decorated with carved panels and carpets. In the centre was an open well that rose 17 ft to a skylight. Forward of the dining salon were a further 58 staterooms, followed by crew accommodation areas. On the lower deck was a servants dining room and a further 82 first-class staterooms; the forward section of this deck was reserved for 730 steerage passengers. This section was a large area of about 150 feet long, included a dining area; the berths were grouped into separate male and female areas. With the appearance of the crack Cunard liners RMS Campania and RMS Lucania in 1893, Servia was relegated to intermediate service, she was used to transport troops to South Africa during the Boer war. She was broken up in 1902 by Thos W Ward. Writers Jane Addams and Henry James both sailed on a crossing aboard Servia in August 1883, though it does not appear they met. Edward Pellew, 4th Viscount Exmouth, Vicountess Exmouth sailed aboard the Servia leaving New York City for Liverpool on 1 Octobe
Liverpool is a city in North West England, with an estimated population of 491,500 within the Liverpool City Council local authority in 2017. Its metropolitan area is the fifth-largest in the UK, with a population of 2.24 million in 2011. The local authority is Liverpool City Council, the most populous local government district in the metropolitan county of Merseyside and the largest in the Liverpool City Region. Liverpool is on the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary, lay within the ancient hundred of West Derby in the south west of the county of Lancashire, it became a borough in 1207 and a city in 1880. In 1889, it became a county borough independent of Lancashire, its growth as a major port was paralleled by the expansion of the city throughout the Industrial Revolution. Along with handling general cargo, raw materials such as coal and cotton, the city merchants were involved in the Atlantic slave trade. In the 19th century, it was a major port of departure for Irish and English emigrants to North America.
Liverpool was home to both the Cunard and White Star Line, was the port of registry of the ocean liner RMS Titanic, the RMS Lusitania, RMS Queen Mary and RMS Olympic. The popularity of the Beatles and other music groups from the Merseybeat era contributes to Liverpool's status as a tourist destination. Liverpool is the home of two Premier League football clubs and Everton, matches between the two being known as the Merseyside derby; the Grand National horse race takes place annually at Aintree Racecourse on the outskirts of the city. The city celebrated its 800th anniversary in 2007. In 2008, it was nominated as the annual European Capital of Culture together with Norway. Several areas of the city centre were granted World Heritage Site status by UNESCO in 2004; the Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City includes the Pier Head, Albert Dock, William Brown Street. Liverpool's status as a port city has attracted a diverse population, drawn from a wide range of peoples and religions from Ireland and Wales.
The city is home to the oldest Black African community in the country and the oldest Chinese community in Europe. Natives and residents of the city of Liverpool are referred to as Liverpudlians, colloquially as "Scousers", a reference to "scouse", a form of stew; the word "Scouse" has become synonymous with the Liverpool accent and dialect. The name comes from the Old English lifer, meaning thick or muddy water, pōl, meaning a pool or creek, is first recorded around 1190 as Liuerpul. According to the Cambridge Dictionary of English Place-Names, "The original reference was to a pool or tidal creek now filled up into which two streams drained"; the adjective Liverpudlian is first recorded in 1833. Other origins of the name have been suggested, including "elverpool", a reference to the large number of eels in the Mersey; the name appeared in 1190 as "Liuerpul", the place appearing as Leyrpole, in a legal record of 1418, may refer to Liverpool. Another such suggestion is derivation from Welsh llyvr pwl meaning "expanse or confluence at the pool".
King John's letters patent of 1207 announced the foundation of the borough of Liverpool. By the middle of the 16th century, the population was still around 500; the original street plan of Liverpool is said to have been designed by King John near the same time it was granted a royal charter, making it a borough. The original seven streets were laid out in an H shape: Bank Street, Castle Street, Chapel Street, Dale Street, Juggler Street, Moor Street and Whiteacre Street. In the 17th century there was slow progress in population growth. Battles for control of the town were waged during the English Civil War, including an eighteen-day siege in 1644. In 1699 Liverpool was made a parish by Act of Parliament, that same year its first slave ship, Liverpool Merchant, set sail for Africa. Since Roman times, the nearby city of Chester on the River Dee had been the region's principal port on the Irish Sea. However, as the Dee began to silt up, maritime trade from Chester became difficult and shifted towards Liverpool on the neighbouring River Mersey.
As trade from the West Indies, including sugar, surpassed that of Ireland and Europe, as the River Dee continued to silt up, Liverpool began to grow with increasing rapidity. The first commercial wet dock was built in Liverpool in 1715. Substantial profits from the slave trade and tobacco helped the town to prosper and grow, although several prominent local men, including William Rathbone, William Roscoe and Edward Rushton, were at the forefront of the abolitionist movement. By the start of the 19th century, a large volume of trade was passing through Liverpool, the construction of major buildings reflected this wealth. In 1830, Liverpool and Manchester became the first cities to have an intercity rail link, through the Liverpool and Manchester Railway; the population continued to rise especially during the 1840s when Irish migrants began arriving by the hundreds of thousands as a result of the Great Famine. In her poem "Liverpool", which celebrates the city's worldwide commerce, Letitia Elizabeth Landon refers to the Macgregor Laird expedition to the Niger River, at that time in progress.
Great Britain was a major market for cotton imported from the Deep South of the United States, which fed the textile industry in the country. Given the crucial place of both cotton and slavery in the city's economy, during the American Civil War Liverpool was, in the words of historian Sven Beckert, "the most pro-Confederate place in the world outside the Confederacy itself." For periods during the 19th century, the wealth of Liverpool
Cunard Line is a British–American cruise line based at Carnival House at Southampton, operated by Carnival UK and owned by Carnival Corporation & plc. Since 2011, Cunard and its three ships have been registered in Bermuda. In 1839 Samuel Cunard, a Halifax, Nova Scotia, was awarded the first British transatlantic steamship mail contract, the next year formed the British and North American Royal Mail Steam-Packet Company together with Robert Napier, the famous Scottish steamship engine designer and builder, to operate the line's four pioneer paddle steamers on the Liverpool–Halifax–Boston route. For most of the next 30 years, Cunard held the Blue Riband for the fastest Atlantic voyage. However, in the 1870s Cunard fell behind the White Star Line and the Inman Line. To meet this competition, in 1879 the firm was reorganised as the Cunard Steamship Company, Ltd, to raise capital. In 1902 White Star joined the American-owned International Mercantile Marine Co. and the British Government provided Cunard with substantial loans and a subsidy to build two superliners needed to retain its competitive position.
Mauretania held the Blue Riband from 1909 to 1929. The sinking of her running mate Lusitania in 1915 was one of the causes of the United States' entering the First World War. In the late 1920s, Cunard faced new competition when the Germans and French built large prestige liners. Cunard was forced to suspend construction on its own new superliner because of the Great Depression. In 1934 the British Government offered Cunard loans to finish Queen Mary and to build a second ship, Queen Elizabeth, on the condition that Cunard merged with the ailing White Star line to form Cunard-White Star Ltd. Cunard owned two-thirds of the new company. Cunard purchased White Star's share in 1947. Upon the end of the Second World War, Cunard regained its position as the largest Atlantic passenger line. By the mid-1950s, it operated 12 ships to the United States and Canada. After 1958, transatlantic passenger ships became unprofitable because of the introduction of jet airliners. Cunard undertook a brief foray into air travel via the "Cunard Eagle" and "BOAC Cunard" airlines, but withdrew from the airliner market in 1966.
Cunard withdrew from its year-round service in 1968 to concentrate on cruising and summer transatlantic voyages for vacationers. The Queens were replaced by Queen Elizabeth 2, designed for the dual role. In 1998 Cunard was acquired by the Carnival Corporation, accounted for 8.7% of that company's revenue in 2012. In 2004, QE2 was replaced on the transatlantic runs by Queen Mary 2; the line operates Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth. As of 2019, Cunard is the only shipping company to operate a scheduled passenger service between Europe and North America; the British Government started operating monthly mail brigs from Falmouth, Cornwall, to New York in 1756. These ships carried no cargo. In 1818, the Black Ball Line opened a scheduled New York–Liverpool service with clipper ships, beginning an era when American sailing packets dominated the North Atlantic saloon-passenger trade that lasted until the introduction of steamships. A Committee of Parliament decided in 1836 that to become more competitive, the mail packets operated by the Post Office should be replaced by private shipping companies.
The Admiralty assumed responsibility for managing the contracts. The famed Arctic explorer Admiral Sir William Edward Parry was appointed as Comptroller of Steam Machinery and Packet Service in April 1837. Nova Scotians led by their young Assembly Speaker, Joseph Howe, lobbied for steam service to Halifax. On his arrival in London in May 1838, Howe discussed the enterprise with his fellow Nova Scotian Samuel Cunard, a shipowner, visiting London on business. Cunard and Howe were associates and Howe owed Cunard £300. Cunard returned to Halifax to raise capital, Howe continued to lobby the British government; the Rebellions of 1837 were ongoing and London realized that the proposed Halifax service was important for the military. That November, Parry released a tender for North Atlantic monthly mail service to Halifax beginning in April 1839 using steamships with 300 horsepower; the Great Western Steamship Company, which had opened its pioneer Bristol–New York service earlier that year, bid £45,000 for a monthly Bristol–Halifax–New York service using three ships of 450 horsepower.
While British American, the other pioneer transatlantic steamship company, did not submit a tender, the St. George Steam Packet Company, owner of Sirius, bid £45,000 for a monthly Cork–Halifax service and £65,000 for a monthly Cork–Halifax–New York service; the Admiralty rejected both tenders. Cunard, back in Halifax did not know of the tender until after the deadline, he returned to London and started negotiations with Admiral Parry, Cunard's good friend from when Parry was a young officer stationed in Halifax 20 years earlier. Cunard offered Parry a fortnightly service beginning in May 1840. While Cunard did not own a steamship, he had been an investor in an earlier steamship venture, Royal William, owned coal mines in Nova Scotia. Cunard's major backer was Robert Napier whose Robert Napier and Sons was the Royal Navy's supplier of steam engines, he had the strong backing of Nova Scotian political leaders at the time when London needed to rebuild support in British North America after the rebellion.
Over Great Western's protests, in May 1839 Parry accepted Cunard's tender of £55,000 for a three-ship Liverpool–Halifax service with an extension to Boston and
Battle of Heligoland (1849)
The first Battle of Heligoland took place on 4 June 1849 during the First Schleswig War and pitted the fledgling Reichsflotte against the Royal Danish Navy, which had blocked German naval trade in North Sea and Baltic Sea since early 1848. The outcome was inconclusive, with no casualties, the blockade went on, it remained the only battle of the German fleet. At the outbreak of the First Schleswig War, the Danes instituted a blockade, stopping all German trade in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea; this prompted the German parliament at Frankfurt to form a new all-German navy. The Germans had to build a fleet from scratch, buying ships abroad and converting them, hiring foreign officers to lead native veteran merchant mariners. After about a year of preparation, on 4 June, German Admiral Karl Rudolf Brommy left Bremerhaven with the steam frigate SMS Barbarossa and the smaller steam corvettes Lübeck and Hamburg in order to disperse the Danish ships which were guarding the mouth of Weser River; the Danish forces present that day were inferior and retreated, but Brommy managed to cut off the sailing corvette Valkyrien which under captain Andreas Polder sought refuge near the island of Heligoland which at the time belonged to the United Kingdom.
The British, while being neutral, had made clear beforehand that a German Navy was not welcome and might be treated as pirates. Ships of both sides fired some shots, with no effect; when the German approached the island's three-mile zone, the British forces fired warning shots towards them, while allowing the Danish corvette to stay close. Brommy, not willing to draw the Royal Navy into the war, stayed at a distance while the Danish captain Polder was waiting for the arrival of reinforcements from the Danish main fleet; when the modern steamer Gejser, under Kaptajnløjtnant Jørgen Peter Frederik Wulff, came into sight, Brommy retreated, fearing further Danish reinforcements. The Danes followed the Germans to the mouth of the Elbe near Cuxhaven before resuming the blockade, it was the last excursion of the small fleet under the black-red-gold Flag of Germany. Battle of Heligoland Guntram Schulze-Wegener: Deutschland zur See. 150 Jahre Marinegeschichte. Mittler, Hamburg 1998. ISBN 3-8132-0551-7 Jörg Duppler: Germania auf dem Meere / Bilder und Dokumente zur Deutschen Marinegeschichte 1848 –1998.
Mittler, Hamburg 1998. ISBN 3-8132-0564-9 Giese, Fritz: Kleine Geschichte der deutschen Flotte Hansen, Hans Jürgen: Die Schiffe der deutschen Flotten 1848–1945 Hildebrand, Hans H. / Henriot, Ernest:: Deutschlands Admirale 1849–1945 Kroschel, Günter / Evers, August-Ludwig: Die deutsche Flotte 1848–1945 Rhades, Dr. Jürgen: Die deutsche Marine in Vergangenheit und Gegenwart Röhr, Albert: Deutsche Marinechronik Witthöft, Hans Jürgen: Lexikon zur deutschen Marinegeschichte Georg Wislicenus: Deutschlands Seemacht, Published 2007 Reprint-Verlag-Leipzig, 206 pages, ISBN 3-8262-2313-6 Lawrence Sondhaus: Naval Warfare, 1815–1914, Published 2001, Routledge, 272 pages, ISBN 9780415214780 Deutsche Marine, History Überblick über die Reichsflotte