Royal Mail Steam Packet Company
The Royal Mail Steam Packet Company was a British shipping company founded in London in 1839 by
ScotJames Macqueen. After good and bad times it became the largest shipping group in the world in 1927 when it took over the White Star Line[http://www.plimsoll.org/OnTheLine/ShippingLines/royalmail/default.asp#2] .
The company ran into financial trouble, and the British government investigated its affairs in 1930. As a result chairman Lord Kylsant was imprisoned in 1931 for misrepresenting the state of the company to shareholders. So much of Britain's shipping industry was involved in RMSPC that arrangements were made to guarantee the continuation of ship operations after it was liquidated. The Royal Mail Lines Ltd (RML) was created in 1932 and took over the ships of RMSPC and other companies of the former group [http://www.users.on.net/~snicol/story/index3.html] .
The new company's operations were concentrated on the west coast of
South America, the West Indiesand Caribbean, and the Pacificcoast of North America; the Southampton- Lisbon- Brazil- Uruguay- Argentinaroute was operated from 1850 to 1980. The Royal Mail was also a leading cruise ship operator.
In 1965 Royal Mail Lines was acquired by Furness, Withy & Co., and rapidly lost its identity as it was absorbed into the Furness Withy Group. In the 1970s parts of the Furness Withy Group, including RML, were sold on to Hong Kong shipowner C Y Tung, and later sold on to former River Plate rival
Hamburg Süd; by the 1990s "Royal Mail Lines" was no more than the name of a Hamburg-Süd refrigerated cargo service from South America to Europe.
The "Royal Mail Steam Packet Company" is not the same company as the "British and North American Royal Mail Steam Packet Company" founded in Halifax by Cunard and others, which later became the
* [http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/lines/royalmail.html Routes and fleet list]
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