Samuda Brothers

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Samuda Brothers was an engineering and ship building firm at Cubitt Town on the Isle of Dogs in London, founded by Jacob and Joseph d'Aguilar Samuda. The site is now occupied by Samuda Estate.

File:An iron tube for the Waterloo and Whitehall Pnumatic Railway.png
An iron tube for the Waterloo and Whitehall Pneumatic Railway

Samuda Brothers began work at Orchard Place, Leamouth, London in 1843, by the mouth of Bow Creek. The firm moved to Cubitt Town in 1852, having outgrown a site that was hemmed in by other industrial premises. By this time the company was run by Joseph, Jacob having been killed in the trial of the Gipsy Queen.[1] The Cubitt Town yard specialised in iron and steel warships and steam packets and by 1863 was said to be producing double the output of the other London shipyards combined. Orders from Germany, Russia and Japan enabled the firm to survive the 1866 financial crisis which affected many other London yards.[2]

Togo at the time of his work experience with Samuda in 1877

In 1877 Togo Heihachiro, later a prominent Japanese admiral, came for work experience with the Samuda Brothers after completing his training at Naval Preparatory School in Portsmouth, and the Royal Naval College at Greenwich. He supervised the construction of the Fusō before returning to Japan. He went to be heralded as the "Nelson of the East" after he led the Imperial Japanese navy to victory in the Russo-Japanese War, establishing Japan as a Great Power.

Following the death of Joseph in 1885 attempts were made to sell the firm as a going concern. This was unsuccessful, resulting in closure in the 1890s, leaving Yarrows and Thames Ironworks as the last significant London shipbuilders.[2]

Ships built by the Samuda Brothers


  1. 'Leamouth Road and Orchard Place: Individual wharves and sites', Survey of London: volumes 43 and 44: Poplar, Blackwall and Isle of Dogs (1994), pp. 655-685. URL: Date accessed: 7 November 2007.
  2. 2.0 2.1 'Cubitt Town: Riverside area: from Cubitt Town Pier to the Graving Docks', Survey of London: volumes 43 and 44: Poplar, Blackwall and Isle of Dogs (1994), pp. 532-539. URL: Date accessed: 7 November 2007.
  3. The Melik Society Bordein
  4. Illustrated London News 18 May 1867
  5. A War Ship Foundered, New York Times 14 July 1892
  6. Clive Trebilcock,Phoenix Assurance and the Development of British Insurance, Vol II, The Era of the Insurance Giants 1870-1984, P19,Cambridge University Press

See also