In 1860 George Dorman
Tyser founded Tyser & Haviside for the purpose of undertaking
voyage broking and insurance. Initially they chartered vessels
for the India trade but it wasn't long before they went into
shipowning and acquired the elderly sailing ship Northumberland
(812grt) which had been built in 1838. By the end of 1863
the fleet operating on the India run consisted of five vessels,
the Bombay (937grt) built in 1861, the Berar (902grt) built
in 1863, the Himalaya (1008grt) built in 1863, the Trevelyan
(1042grt) built in 1863, and the famous clipper Lightning
(1248grt) built in 1863 and which was jointly owned with J.
Morison. The Berar, Himalaya and Trevelyan were three almost
identical sister ships built by Wm. Pile at Sunderland.
At that time the company had no plans to expand to other routes
but in 1864 they undertook the first voyage to New Zealand
with a chartered vessel and the Himalaya also went to Australia
from the Clyde. In the same year the Howrah (1098grt) built
by Wm Pile at Sunderland joined the fleet. Three years later,
in 1867, the Wm Pile sailing ship Poonah (1199grt) was delivered.
All the vessels built by Wm. Pile were ship rigged and between
200ft and 225ft in length with a short fo'c'sle and a poop
deck. During 1868 two more ships were built, the Arcot (1191grt),
and the North (1333grt), named after Lord North, by which
time the company was operating eight ships which were either
owned or chartered.
George Tyser's sons, W. H.
Tyser and G. W. Tyser, joined the company in 1873 and the
firm became known as G. D. Tyser & Co. In the same year
the Trevelyan and the Himalaya were sold to Shaw, Saville
& Albion but in May 1874 Wm. Pile delivered the Plassey
(1764grt) which was the largest sailing ship owned by the
company and which also had the highest passenger carrying
capacity. To the Australian brokers this high passenger capacity
meant only one thing, the ship was destined for the Australia
In 1878 the Australian Associated
Owners and Brokers Conference was founded, intended for sailing
vessels only but which included for the first time brokers
as well as owners. G. D. Tyser & Co, a company trading
to India but with aspirations to expand to Australia, was
excluded from membership but allowed to charter vessels to
member companies which included John H. Flint's Colonial Line
which had been formed in 1873. Tyser's turned their attention
from India to Australia in 1881 when they formed the Alliance
Line of Packets to operate their own and chartered ships on
the Australia run. The Australian Associated Owners and Brokers
was not impressed and insisted that Alliance withdrew else
they would load for India by way of retaliation. A two year
moratorium was agreed but Tyser's were soured by the experience
and became very antagonistic towards the 'Conference' system.
As a means of protection the New Zealand traders formed their
own Conference for sailing ships only.
The steel hulled Lucknow, the last sailing ship ordered by
Tyser's and built by Doxford's, was delivered in 1883 and
the name suggested that the company continued to favour the
Indian connection in view of the fact that the company had
been virtually excluded from the Antipodes except by chartering
to member companies. In 1884 the Australian Associated Owners
and Brokers Conference extended their membership to include
steamship owners and brokers.
Tyser's were still intent
on operating the Australia and New Zealand routes and, in
conjunction with J. H. Wackerworth, formed the non conference
Merchant Line of Sailing Ships in 1885 but an application
to join the Conference was rejected. However, an opening presented
itself in 1886 when Shaw Saville & Albion rejected the
Nelson Bros. contract to carry frozen meat at 2.25 pence per
pound instead of the going rate of 2.5 pence per pound. Tyser's
stepped in and secured the contract forming the Colonial Union
Line Ltd to carry the meat but their application to join the
New Zealand Conference was rejected. To fulfill the contract
additional ships had to be chartered and equipped with refrigerated
cargo space, an additional cost for G. D. Tyser & Co.
The Ashleigh Brook was
chartered from H.Pollexfen, the Balmoral Castle from J. Kilgour
and the Bayley from C.C. Barton but, more importantly, the
requirement to charter brought the company into contact with
J.P.Corry's Star Line when they chartered the Star of England
and the Star of Victoria.
The meat contract was inbound only and Tyser's ships had to
have the freedom to load general cargoes for the outward passage
to New Zealand. To counter any potential threat the New Zealand
Shipping Company, which was actually managed from London,
appointed G. D. Tyser & Co. as their loading agents. Tyser's
offer to manage the New Zealand Shipping Co. was declined.