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Location: Tower Hotel, The Mall Waterford

Waterford Steamship Company




In 1817 gas lights were introduced along the Quay and Waterford citizens saw their first steamship, Princess Charlotte, paddling up the Suir.  Nine years later (1826) a local group of businessmen, with their Bristol counterparts, set up the Waterford and Bristol Steam Navigation Company.  The company was a huge success carrying passengers, goods and cattle between Waterford and Bristol.  John Malcomson’s signature appears on the deed of settlement for a wooden paddle steamer Water Witch built in 1883 at Birkenhead for the company.  It was claimed at the time she was ‘perhaps the fastest vessel that ever floated’.  His tenure as trustee of the Waterford and Bristol Steam Navigation Company was the nursery and breeding ground that spawned the era of Malcomson’s as ship-owners.