Began in the 1850’s where he quickly realised the potential of the Newcastle - Melbourne coal trade in the wake of the gold rush expansion. He procured a fleet following his arrival in Melbourne in 1852 and his early career at the diggings. The fleet comprised of timber sailing vessels until he acquired the Lady Darling in 1874, his first iron steamship. Paterson embraced this period of modernisation and knew that he must keep up with his rival players, and developments in vessel design. He later added a number of other iron steamers to the trade, including the Taramung, Easby (1879) and Glaucus(1873). It is worth noting that when purchased in 1874, the Lady Darling was ten years old and no longer at the forefront of iron steamer design. In the 1870s the firm became the largest coal importer in Melbourne and diversified into the bay towage business after buying two iron paddle steam tugs, an investment that remained important for the life of the company.
Paterson's civic life was varied. He was elected to the Melbourne City Council and represented Lonsdale Ward from 1870 until 1885. He was mayor in 1876-77, and also worked hard to have the Eastern Market rebuilt; it was reopened in 1880. His influence was present again in maritime matters as a member of the Victorian Shipowners' Association from its inception in the mid-1860s and chairman in 1875. In addition he represented the shipowners at the inaugural meeting of the Melbourne Harbor Trust in April 1877. Moreover he was closely involved with the development of the port while a commissioner of the trust in 1877-79. He was also a member of the Marine Board of Victoria for some time. Other public offices included the royal commissions on low-lying lands in 1873, and the Paris Exhibition in 1878.
An active churchman, Paterson materially assisted in establishing the West Melbourne Presbyterian Church and was associated, especially in his later years, with Scots Church and the Hawthorn Presbyterian Church. He was always generous in his gifts not only to the church and its agencies but also to many other charitable and philanthropic institutions. His main sporting interest was horse-racing and for some time he served on the committee of the Victoria Racing Club. He was an owner-breeder of several fine thoroughbreds, the best known being Hymettus, and the successes of his stable included the Oaks, the Adelaide St Leger and two Caulfield Cups.
Paterson died on 6 November 1906, survived by his wife Mary Jane, née Forbes; they had no children. The nearest kin were nieces and nephews, of whom Henry Masterton was Paterson's chosen successor to control the business. Continuing to add steamships, he also maintained the coal transportation from Newcastle New South Wales to Melbourne, where at least in 1920, owned a healthy wholesale and retail coal trade. At this juncture, Huddart Parker Ltd owned one third of James Paterson & Co. This Company survived up to approximately 1960
NOTE: This webpage by no means complete of all vessels, history etc. More added as known

FUNNEL (perhaps)

Ed Ed Ed Ed Ed
LADY DARLING (103464b) image courtesy State Library Queensland
TARAMUNG (a23960), EASBY (b45769) art & GLAUCUS (b36996) images courtesy State Library Victoria
EASBY (1) sepia image (a637304r) courtesy State Library New South Wales
LADY DARLING 649 gross tons, 528 net. Lbd: 189'4" x 27'8" x 16'5". Iron steamship built by W H Potter & Co., Liverpool. Three-masted and of 2 cylinder engine producing 100 horsepower. Owned by T & H Bright, registered at Liverpool. February 1866 owned by C E Bright registered Melbourne (read: Bright Bros & Co., Melbourne) who announced her as a passenger vessel on the Melbourne - Sydney - Newcastle route. Transferred back to Liverpool in 1869 where she underwent lengthening in 1870 revealing tonnage as 895 gross and 722 net. Her dimensions read: 239'6" x 28'1" x 16'4". Returned to Australian shores 1874, purchased by this concern that year and January 1875 officially owned by James Paterson & E Newbiggin (James Paterson & Co). Since her refitting it seems she became a cargo vessel, collier only, carrying coal from Newcastle to Melbourne. November 11 1880 wrecked of Cape Dromedary, New South Wales
TARAMUNG 1,281 gross, 814 net tons. #79517. Lbd: 246'5" x 33'6" x 16'5". Iron screw steamship, Built by Russell at Cartsdyke, Glasgow, Scotland, 1880 for Carson & McIlwraith, Melbourne and registered Melbourne. Later 1880 of James Paterson & Co. On her usual run from Newcastle to Melbourne, disappeared near Twofold Bay, southern New South Wales, 31 May 1891. Twenty-three lives lost. She was last sighted off the southern New South Wales coast on May 31, but failed to pass Gabo Island. Lost in or near Wreck Bay. Several days later wreckage from her washed ashore
EASBY (1) 1,489 gross 969 net tons. Lbd: 250'7" x 32' x 21'4". (76.4 x 9.8 metres) Iron steamship, collier built by Richardson Duck Thornaby Stockton, England for R C Byrne & others, London, Single screw. Compound engine. 1873. Bought 1879 by this concern. Under command of Captain Wallace struck Skerries Reef, twelve miles east of Point Hicks, and was subsequently beached, wrecked, in the tiny harbour on the northern side of Gabo Island, 16 April 1907. Crew of 26 escaped unharmed. The remains of the Easby are still visited by divers, although she has broken up considerably in recent years. She is probably best remembered for her tragic collision with steamship 'Gambier'
GLAUCUS 1,363 tons. Lbd 238'5" x 34'2" x 18 feet. Iron steamship cargo capacity built by Laing at Deptford Yard, Sunderland 1878 for T Kish & Co, Sunderland. Recorded as under ownership of or managed by J Paterson & Co., date unknown. After useful service in Australia and the Pacific, laid up in Melbourne and dismantled and converted into a hulk, August 1927. then broken up and scuttled in the North arm graveyard, Port of Adelaide

Ed Ed Ed Ed Ed
ALABAMA sepia image (a636069r) courtesy State Library New South Wales
ALABAMA 2nd (b36997) image and all JAMES PATERSON images (b38287, b38293, mp014459) courtesy State Library Victoria
ALABAMA 1,940 gross tons. Iron hulled steamship-collier. Built by Leslie at Hebburn, Newcastle, England in 1879 as the Tantallon for W Milburn & Co. 1896 renamed Raymondos for Foscolo Mango & Co . 1898 renamed Raymond for E J Olivier & Co . 1899 and renamedAlabama for Watts Watts & Co. Likely chartered by J Paterson & Co during the 1920's unless managed on owners behalf. Ran aground near Eden lighthouse, 1916, refloated with little damage. Sold to 'Eastern buyers' in 1925 and renamed Alabama Maru. Renamed in 1925 Pei Tai for North China Steamship Co. Broken up as at July 1935
JAMES PATERSON 247 gross tons. Steam tug as built by J P Rennoldson, South Shields for this concern. Collier for this concern circa 1920. Was known to carry passengers as required on any short journey. Still in service mid 1950's. No other details

Ed Ed Ed Ed Ed
DUMOSA 2nd image (a637280r) courtesy State Library New South Wales
WEAR (b36987), DUMOSA left image & WORTANNA image (bs001116) courtesy State Library Victoria
PAPANUI 6372 gross tons. Lb: 430 x 54'1" (131.1 x 16.5 metres). Passenger Cargo steamship built by William Denny & Brothers Dumbarton, Yard No 602 for the New Zealand Shipping Company, Plymouth. Launched: Tuesday, 1st November 1898 completed 26 December 1898. Single screw, triple expansion engine
Used on the London to Australia route until 1905 she was then placed into secondary service between London and New Zealand carrying cargo and emigrants. She could only make 13 knots at best and carry 80 passengers in first and second class and an undetermined number of steerage passengers. December 1909 struck an uncharted shoal to the north of Waterhouse Island, near Banks Straits, en-route Hobart - Melbourne where she arrived for repairs after initially seeking harbour at Beauty Point. The owners decided against repairing the ship and sold her to 1910 James Paterson, Melbourne. On sold to H C Sleigh and H B Black. They made temporary repairs with plans to take her to Japan for permanent repairs. When local officials would not certify the ship as being seaworthy they transferred the ships flag to Nicaraguan registry and sailed her without a pilot to Japan. In May of 1911 now ready for sea, she departed Melbourne full of passengers who were on the way to see the coronation of King George V. in London. Papanui departed London 25 August on her return trip to Australia with 318 emigrants bound for Fremantle and 50 emigrants bound for Melbourne. A fire was discovered in a coal bunker on September 5th, soon after they crossed the Equator. The crew attempted to extinguish the fire for five days but were unable to bring it under control. Finally the captain decided to head for St. Helena, there all 324 passengers and most of the crew were put ashore, following this he ran the ship aground at James Bay. 11 September 1911 the ship was allowed to burn itself out and in a few years what remained of the burned out hulk was consumed by the sea. 29 September 1911 The Opawa, having being converted and equipped into an emigrant steamer in less than four days, left the Mersey under command of Captain J J Cameron, for St Helena to pick up the emigrants
WEAR Coastal steamer, 1869 gross tons. Lbd: 268' x 37'9" x 17'6". (81.7 x 11.6 metres). ID #1129777. Built by Crown at Monkwearmouth Sunderland, England for Witherington & Everett, Newcastle. Registered Melbourne, March 1912. Collier for J Paterson & Co circa 1920. Possibly purchased or under charter. Sank following a collision with the motor vessel Anatina about nine miles off Montagu Island, New South Wales, 8th September 1944. All crew were rescued but one seaman received fatal injuries. The Wear was steaming at about ten knots in a smooth sea when she was struck amidships. Both vessels were locked together for about ten minutes but the Wear was almost cut in half and sank immediately they separated. One lifeboat was launched but some of her crew of fifty-six spent a short period in the sea before rescued by the Anatina and landed at Eden
DUMOSA 3,351 gross tons. Lb: 100.9 x 14.6 metres. Steel single screw steamship, cargo only as built at Williamstown Victoria for the Commonwealth Liner of Steamers. Triple expansion engine making 9 knots. Sold 1923 to James Paterson & Co. Sold 1952 to Gulf Steamships and renamed Mustanseri. Broken up at Karachi mid to late 1954
WORTANNA 191 tons. Iron auxilliary motor vessel. Propulsion: SL2cy 60nhp paddle. Built 1875 by Barclay Curle & Company Glasgow, as a paddle steamer rigged as a brig, named Albatross for Captain Mitchell. 1876 John Marshall, Melbourne. 1877 J Paterson, Melbourne. 1906 E Newbiggin & Partners. 1909 J Paterson & Co Ltd, Melbourne. 1917-18 J Wardle. 1918 Frank A Verco. 1917-18 new oil engine added and rebuilt as auxiliary 3 mast schooner. Lbd became 131'4" x 21'1" x 10'4". 1920 Victor C Reeves, Hobart. 1921 Cairns Timber Ltd. June 1922 Adelaide Steamship Co. Converted into a Sugar lighter, North Queensland ports. 1942-1945 requisitioned by US Army. Returned to Adelaide Steamship Co and re-engined into twin screw motor vessel diesel power of 228 gross tons. 18th November 1957 struck rocks Mourilyan Harbour, Queensland (en route Mourilyan to Cairns with sugar) and abandoned as a total loss. Sold for scrapping 8th January 1958

Ed Ed Ed Ed
EASBY (11)
EASBY (11) image (gr000257) courtesy State Library Victoria
PATTAWILYA 3,538 gross tons. Cargo ship (heavy lift) built by Gray at West Hartlepool as the Empire Caicos for the Ministry of War Transport, Britain. managed by H.Hogarth & Sons Ltd. 1946 MOWT managed by Rodney SS Co, London. 1950 owned by Silvertown Services (Dalgliesh Ltd, Newcastle) and renamed Sugar Transporter. 1951 Kentships Ltd (Dalgliesh Ltd, Newcastle). 1951 Silvertown Services Ltd, London. 1957 under J Paterson & Co renamed Pattawilya. Under this concern's ownership she carried mainly coal, gypsum and limestone. Her engines were set aft. She traded the coastal ports of Australia as general cargo and some bulk loading. 1962 owned by J Manners & Co., Hong Kong (aka Cronulla Shipping Co., Hong Kong) and renamed Clovelley. 1963 of the San Jeronimo SS Co, Panama. 1967 after heavy weather damage, scrapped Uchiumi, Shodo Island (Shodojima) commencing 13th May 1967
EASBY (11) 3,341 gross tons. Lbd: 100.88 x 14.54 metres. Steel single screw steamship, cargo only as built at Walsh Island Sydney for the Australian Government's Commonwealth Line of Steamers as the Dinoga. Triple expansion engine saw a service speed of 10 knots. Sold to Huddart Parker & Co., Melbourne in 1926 and renamed Colac. 1951 acquired by J.Paterson & Co and renamed Easby. 1956 purchased by J.Manners & Co (Hong Kong) and renamed Clyde Breeze. Scrapped Foochow 1959

Lighters, Barges, Coal hulks
No image available
DUNLOE Official no. 63445 Built: Glasgow, Scotland 1870. 3 masted Ship. Length: 180.9 feet. Owner: James Patterson & Co. Pty Ltd (31 August 1909. On its last voyage under sail, the full-rigged ship Dunloe sailed from Sydney Heads to Port Phillip Heads in just 40 hours. It was then converted into a coal hulk and served in this capacity from 1909 to 1947 when, at the age of 77, it was scuttled in the Ships' Graveyard 2nd July, 1947


2007-09 ©John E Hoskin/Flotilla-Australia
All Rights Reserved