September 20th Sir Peter Hain (Death)

St. Ives – born Sir Edward Hain (1851 – 1917) was one of the most important shipping magnates of Edwardian times.

His father, also  Edward Hain, one of a long line of shipowners, owned the, 2,523 acre Porthia Estate which comprised twenty three farms, downs, moorlands and numerous houses; the estate comprised essentially the vast majority of the land and houses between St. Ives, Towednack and Zennor.  Not wishing to enter his family’s business, Hain went to London to work for a bank and then as a tea merchant.

He did, however, return to St. Ives, convinced from his importing experience that his family’s company should move from sail to steam. He eventually convinced his sceptical father that the future of shipping depended on steam and, funded by the Bolitho Bank, he ordered his first steamship from John Readhead & Co. of South Shields. ‘Trewidden’ named after the Bolitho family estate was launched on November 19th 1878.

Over the course of his business life, Hain commissioned the extraordinarily high number of eighty seven ships.  By 1901, Hain had established a number of steamship companies, which he amalgamated as The Hain Steamship Company Limited. A non-conformist, Hain funded the United Methodist Church and was MP for St. Ives (1900 – 1906).  In 1917, after his death, Hain’s company was sold to the P&O and British India Steam Navigation Company for £4 million and which forms a significant of  P&O as we know it today.



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