Indian Trader (1791 ship)

Indian Trader was launched in 1791. She made one voyage for the British East India Company (EIC). She was on her second voyage when a French privateer captured her. The British recaptured her and she returned to merchant service, sailing to the Americas. She was lost c.1830.

The East Indiaman Hindostan in company with Indian Trader, Ewretta, and Nancy, ships employed in the Canada trade. Thomas Whitcombe, c.1793
Great Britain
Name: Indian Trader
  • 1791:John Brickwood[1]
  • 1798:M. Benson[2]
  • 1823:J. Somes
Builder: Barnard, Deptford[1]
Launched: 28 November 1791
Fate: Wrecked and condemned 1829
General characteristics
Tons burthen: 340,[3] 3402094[1] or 342,[4] or 345,[4] or 368[5] (bm)
  • Overall: 101 ft 8 in (31 m)[3]
  • Keel:80 ft 6 in (25 m)[3]
Beam: 28 ft 2 14 in (9 m)[3]
Depth of hold: 11 ft 5 12 in (3 m)[3]
Propulsion: Sail
  • 1794:8 × 6&4-pounder guns + 2 swivel guns[4]
  • 1796:10 × 6&4-pounder guns[4]
  • 1798:14 × 6&9-pounder guns[4]
  • 1801:16 × 18&6-pounder guns[4]
  • 1815:4 × 9-pounder guns + 4 × 12-pounder carronades
Notes: Three decks


Indian Trader enters Lloyd's Register in 1792 with John Edwards, master, Brickwood, owner, and trade London–Montreal.[6][1]

Lloyd's Register for 1794 shows Indian Trader's master changing from Edwards to Dunlop, and her trade from London–Montreal to London–Bengal.[7]

On 1 May 1794 Captain David Dunlop acquired a letter of marque. Before she was ready for a voyage for the EIC, Wells repaired her.[3] On 25 June Gilbert Ferguson and William Gillett certified to the EIC's Court of Directors that before she, and seven other vessels, had left the Thames, "everything was done, that in our opinion was necessary, to make them sufficiently strong to bring home a cargo from India".[8]

Dunlop sailed from Portsmouth on 11 June, bound for Bengal. However, Indian Trader was detained there for over a month.[9] She did not reach Falmouth until 14 August. She was at Madeira on 5 September,[Note 1] and arrived at Calcutta 15 February 1795. Homeward bound, she was at Diamond Harbour on 14 April, reached St Helena on 25 August.[3] On 3 September she sailed from St Helena. She sailed together with Boddam, Rockingham, and Latona, and a number of other vessels, all under the escort of HMS Hector.[11] Indian Tradet arrived at the Downs on 24 November.[3]

Captain Edmund Barker acquired a letter of marque on 5 May 1796. He sailed for Bengal on 15 May. However, in November the French captured her in the South Atlantic. Her captors sent her into Cayenne.[12]

In 1797 HMS Thetis recaptured Indian Trader as Indian Trader was sailing from Cayenne to Baltimore. Thetis sent her into Halifax, Nova Scotia.[13]

Indian Trader returned to Lloyd's Register in the 1798 volume. Her master was Manlove, her owner was M. Benson, and her trade was Liverpool–Jamaica.[2] Captain Joseph Manlove acquired a letter of marque on 18 June 1798.[4] Lloyd's List reported on 18 July 1800 that Indian Trader, Manlove, master, had sailed from Jamaica for Liverpool, but had to return because of damage to her masts.[14]

Captain James Corless acquired a letter of marque on 26 August 1801.[4] D. Sheepe replaced him according to Lloyd's Register for 1803.[Note 2]

The data below is from the Register of Shipping.

Year Master Owner Trade Notes
1805 Skaife Benson Liverpool–Jamaica
1810 Skaife Benson Liverpool–Jamaica
1815 Lea Benson Liverpool–Jamaica Large repair 1807

On 26 September 1815 Indian Trader, Lea, master, ran aground at Liverpool while returning from Jamaica. She was got off, reportedly without damage.[15]

Year Master Owner Trade Notes
1820 Cameron R. Hall & Co. Liverpool–Montevideo Damages repaired and good repair 1815
1823 P. White
W. Ewart
Liverpool–New Brunswick Damages repaired and good repair 1815

On 31 May was at Sierra Leone when a lightning strike destroyed her mainmast[16]

Year Master Owner Trade Notes
1825 Reynoldson
Somes London transport
Underwent a good repair in 1823 and a large repair in 1824

Lloyd's List reported on 21 December 1827 that Maria had damaged Indian Trader.

On 13 January 1828 a gale drove Jessie Lawson into Indian Trader. Jessie Lawson then ran aground and was wrecked in Mountbatten Bay. All on board survived. Jessie Lawson was on a voyage from London to Van Diemen's Land.[17][18]

Year Master Owner Trade Notes
1830 Trist Somes London–Campechy Damages repaired in 1828


On 26 October 1829 a steamboat towed Indian Trader into Stockholm. Indian Trader had been sailing from "Laguna" to St Pertersburg when she had struck on Gothland. It was expected that Indian Trader would be condemned.[19]

The Register of Shipping for 1831 has the notation "LOST" by her name.[20] Lloyd's Register continued to carry Indian Trader with stale data until 1833.[5]

Notes, citations, and references


  1. Before she left England, the Court of Directors had agreed with Indian Trader's ship's husband, William Hamilton, that she would be allowed to stop at Madeira.[10]
  2. Corless apparently had died. His will was proved in 1803.



  • Hackman, Rowan (2001). Ships of the East India Company. Gravesend, Kent: World Ship Society. ISBN 0-905617-96-7.
  • Proceedings Relative to Ships Tendered for the Service of the United East-India Company, from the Twenty-sixth of March, 1794, to the Sixth of January, 1795: With an Appendix.
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