Ulster Firm One of Lloyd's Oldest Agents

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Document ID 9803528
Date 01-01-1900
Document Type Newspapers (Shipping News)
Archive Public Record Office, Northern Ireland
Citation Ulster Firm One of Lloyd's Oldest Agents; PRONI D 2015/5/4; CMSIED 9803528

With regret the shipping community
of Belfast have learned that the 120
year old shipping firm of Sinclair &
Boyd are to resign their agency for
   the famous Lloyd's concern.

THE firm of Sinclair and Boyd was
established at Belfast in 1822
and has now been connected
with Belfast shipping for 120
years. On the death of Mr. Nicholas
Fitzsimmons (Lloyd's Agent at
Belfast) in 1859 Mr. Robert Boyd was
appointed as his successor and the
firm of Sinclair and Boyd now claim
to be one of the oldest Lloyd's agents
in the world. The shipping community
of Belfast have learned with
great regret that this old-established
concern now propose to resign their
Lloyd's agency.
  In the earlier days the duty of
Lloyd's agent dealt almost exclusively
with shipping, but on occasion he was
authorised to act in matters relating
to fire and non-marine business when
so desired.
  It must be remembered that the
master of a ship has absolute control
over both ship and cargo, and nothing
less than a special power can take
his control away from him. In the
event of a disaster it is his province
[to?] act for the good of all concerned,
just as if the ship, cargo and freight
were his own personal property. In
doing so he will not sacrifice the cargo
[for?] the benefit of the ship, or vice-versa.
He can, if he so chooses,
appoint an agent to act on his behalf,
and in the event of a disaster Lloyd's
agent is the most desirable man to
act for him. The duties of the agent
are primarily to protect the under-writers
of both ship and cargo from
fraud and negligence. In the case of
shipwreck and in the absence of the
master or owner Lloyd's agent takes
charge of the wreck and makes such
arrangements for its protection as he
thinks fit.
  The original partners in the firm
[?] Messrs. Sinclair and Boyd were
Mr. William Sinclair and Mr. Robert
Boyd, who, I understand, was a native
of Armagh. About the end of the
[1830's?] Mr. Sinclair severed his
connection with the firm and, without
changing the name, the business was
carried on Mr. Robert Boyd. In
the next generation the three sons of
this Mr. Boyd, Messrs. Henry, Robert,
and William Sinclair Boyd, were the
heads of the firm, and to-day its chief
is Mr. Robert Sinclair Boyd, a
grandson of Mr. Robert Boyd, one of
the founders.
  In their ealy days Messrs. Sinclair
and Boyd were described at [as?] shipowners
West India and general
merchants. They had extensive West
India interests and were probably
also shipowners from the time they
started business, and early in 1826
they commenced to build their ships
  Mention is made that on August 5,
1826, the firm of Messrs. Ritchie &
M'Laine launched from their shipyard
a beautiful brig named the
Emulus, of about 200 tons burthen,
built of British and Sierra Leone oak.
It was said that she went off the
stocks "in desirable style amid the
cheers of a vast concourse of people,"
and that she had been built for our
respectable young townsmen Messrs.
Sinclair & Boyd and was intended
for the West India trade.
  The Emulus had a long career and
was a tribute to her builders.
  The Lina was another of the
firm's ships. She was built by
Charles Connell & Sons in 1847. A
young girl was killed at her launch
by a piece of ordnance that was fired
as she came off the stocks. In 1851
this vessel arrived at Belfast from
Barbadoes with a cargo of sugar,
having made the round voyage,
loaded with a full cargo both ways,
in two months and 26 days. They
were also the owners of the
beautiful little schooner Cree, built
by Charles Connell in 1840, and said
to be the smallest vessel that ever
cleared out of this port for a voyage
across the Atlantic.
  In 1844 their brig the Morgiana
made the record passage of the
season from Belfast to Miramichi.
Another of their West India traders
was the brig Parrsboro. She sailed
the day after the mail steamer and
arrived at our quay on June 9, 1843,
the same day that the mail steamer
arrived at Falmouth. In 16 hours
she discharged her full cargo of sugar
and inside a week sailed again fully
laden for a West India port.
  The firm wee also owners of the
barque Rebecca, built by Alen
M'Laine in 1834; the Lady May Fox
and the Waringsford. The latter
vessel went missing in 1851. In
nearly all the vessels I have mentioned
a Mr. James Macnamara, of
Holywood, had a financial interest
with Mr. Robert Boyd. When Mr.
Boyd was appointed Lloyd's agent
in 1859 the firm had their offices at
45 Donegall Quay. They were afterwards
for many years in Waring
Street, and are now in Linenhall
  The residence of Mr. Boyd,
some of the ruins of which are still
standing, at the top of what is now
the Bloomfield Road, will be remembered
by many of the older residents
of the district. His estate has been
developed for building purposes, and
Messrs. Sinclair & Boyd are the
managers of it under the name of
the Bloomfield Land and Building
Co. Ltd. They also carry on their
large insurance business.