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Flagships of ImperialismThe P&O Company and the Politics of Empire From Its Origins to 1867$
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Freda Harcourt and Sarah Palmer

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780719073939

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719073939.001.0001

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Full steam ahead: west and east of Suez, 1840–45

Full steam ahead: west and east of Suez, 1840–45

(p.67) Chapter Two Full steam ahead: west and east of Suez, 1840–45
Flagships of Imperialism

Freda Harcourt

Manchester University Press

This chapter focuses on the origins of the steamship services of P&O in the Mediterranean as far as Alexandria and the east of Suez to India and China. P&O received the contract for the Mediterranean in 1840 and received the contract for the Red Sea route to India in 1845. P&O's monthly Alexandria–Southampton service could not meet passenger demand during high season and revenue was lost in consequence and as a result a second line from Alexandria to Southampton was opened in May 1845, designated the Bombay line. The Constantinople branch was opened in 1845 and, when the Bombay line was discontinued in 1848, it became responsible for taking in and landing all the Bombay heavy mails at Malta. The only other branch that P&O began in the Mediterranean in this period was a line to Genoa, Italy, which was closed due to lack of tonnage.

Keywords:   steamship services, P&O, Suez, Bombay, Alexandria

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