John Samuel Swire (1825
- 1898), merchant and shipowner
Significant events in Swire's life are outlined
- 24th December 1825 born in Liverpool. John
was the eldest son of the merchant John Swire and his wife Mary
Louisa Roose. His father ran an import - export business from
Liverpool that he had founded around 1816
- 1832 the business became John Swire & Sons
- 1847 Johns' father died and the business was split equally
between John Samuel and his brother, William Hudson Swire (1830
- 1849 in the American west
- 1854 travelled to Australia where he worked in diggings in
New South Wales and founded a Melbourne branch of the family
- 15th November 1859 having returned to Liverpool, John married
Helen Abigail Fairrie, daughter of Adam Fairrie of a notable
family. The couple had the one child, John.
- 5th May 1862 John's wife tragically died at sea
on holiday in the Bay of Smyrna.
- 1865 John was an initial investor in the Ocean
Steam Ship Company - Blue Funnel Line - a firm he was to maintain
a close relationship with.
- 1866 John travelled to China, establishing a branch
of the firm in Shanghai in a partnership with Richard Shackleton
Butterfield (dissolved two years later). The firm of Butterfied
and Swire was known as 'Taikoo'. Swire subsequently established
in Yokohama, Japan before returning to Britain in 1867
- By 1867 the company been steadily growing with
the brothers establishing
in New York
and Australia, and broadening the range of goods traded. The
company also moved its head office to London
- 1868 Taikoo became the Blue Funnel Line's agents in Shaghai
- 1870 Taikoo became the Blue Funnel Line's agents in Hong Kong
- 1872 Swire raised the capital in London to form
the China Navigation Company (CNC) which was to operate on the
Yangtze River. Initially CNC had two ships
- 1876 John bought out his brother's share in the business
- 18th October 1881 John married Mary Warren daughter of George
Warren a Liverpool shipowner. The couple had one son, George.
- 1883 CNC had twenty ships
- 1884 John moved with his family to Leighton House, Leighton
Buzzard, where they were asscoiated with many philanthropic ventures.
John also had a love for riding to hounds.
- 1894 CNC had twenty nine ships and was the largest shipping
fleet on the Yangtze
- 1st December 1898 John died at his London home,
31 Pembridge Square. He was buried at All Saints' Church, Leighton
on 6th December 1898. At his death John still had control of