1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Cunard, Sir Samuel

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21630381911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 7 — Cunard, Sir Samuel

CUNARD, SIR SAMUEL, Bart. (1787–1865), British civil engineer, founder of the Cunard line of steam-ships, was born at Halifax, Nova Scotia, on the 21st of November 1787. He was the son of a merchant, and was himself trained for the pursuits of commerce, in which, by his abilities and enterprising spirit, he attained a conspicuous position. When, in the early years of steam navigation, the English government made known its desire to substitute steam vessels for the sailing ships then employed in the mail service between England and America, Cunard heartily entered into the scheme, came to England, and accepted the government tender for carrying it out. In conjunction with Messrs Burns of Glasgow and Messrs MacIver of Liverpool, proprietors of rival lines of coasting steamers between Glasgow and Liverpool, he formed a company, and the first voyage of a Cunard steamship was successfully made by the “Britannia” from Liverpool to Boston, U.S.A., between July 4 and 19, 1840 (see Steamship Lines). In acknowledgment of his energetic and successful services Cunard was, in 1859, created a baronet. He died in London on the 28th of April 1865.