TSS Duke of Clarence

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SS Duke of Clarence.jpg
Duke of Clarence
Name: Duke of Clarence
Owner: London and North Western Railway and Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway (joint owners 1892–1906)
Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway (1906–1922)
London and North Western Railway (1922–1923)
London, Midland and Scottish Railway (1923–1930)
Port of registry: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Fleetwood (1892–1907)
United Kingdom Goole (1907–1930)
Route: BelfastFleetwood
Fleetwood – Derry
Builder: Laird Brothers, Birkenhead
Yard number: 582
Launched: 17 November 1891
Completed: 1892
Out of service: 1930
Identification: UK Official Number 89707
Code Letters MNSP ( -1930)
ICS Mike.svgICS November.svgICS Sierra.svgICS Papa.svg
Fate: Scrapped
General characteristics
Tonnage: 1,458 gross register tons (GRT), 531 NRT
later 1,653 GRT, 687 NRT
Length: 312 ft 5 in (95.22 m)
Beam: 36 ft 2 in (11.02 m)
Depth: 16 ft 7 in (5.05 m)
Installed power: Twin 3-cylinder triple-expansion steam engines
Propulsion: Twin screw propellers
Speed: 19 knots (35 km/h)

TSS Duke of Clarence was a passenger vessel operated jointly by the London and North Western Railway and the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway (LYR) from 1892 between Fleetwood and northern Irish ports. In 1906 she was bought outright by the LYR and transferred to their summer service from Hull to Zeebrugge, returning to the Irish Sea in winter. During the First World War Duke of Clarence served as an armed boarding steamer. She resumed passenger service in 1920, passing through changes of ownership in the reorganisations of Britain's railway companies in the 1920s, until she was scrapped in 1930.


Duke of Clarence was 312 feet 5 inches (95.22 m) long, with a beam of 36 feet 2 inches (11.02 m) and a depth of 16 feet 7 inches (5.05 m).[1] As built, she was 1,458 GRT.[2] She was later listed in Lloyd's Register as 1,653 GRT, 687 NRT.[1]

She was propelled by a pair of three-cylinder triple-expansion steam engines, each of which had cylinders of 22 inches (56 cm), 34 inches (86 cm) and 51 inches (130 cm) diameter by 33 inches (84 cm) stroke, connected to twin screws. The engines were built by Lairds.[1][3] They could propel the ship at 19 knots (35 km/h).[2]


Ordered by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway (LYR), Duke of Clarence was built at Laird Brothers, Birkenhead,[1] as the first of seven ships delivered by the company between 1892 and 1909.[3][4] It was originally intended to name her Birkenhead, but it was thought that passengers might be put off by thoughts of the sinking of HMS Birkenhead.[2][3] She was allocated the United Kingdom Official Number 89707 and the code letters MNSP.[1] She was completed for the joint ownership of LYR and the London and North Western Railway (LNWR).[3] She was acquired outright by the LYR in 1906 for service on the North Sea.[3][4] She passed to the LNWR in 1922 and, following the grouping of Britain's railways under the Railways Act 1921, to the London, Midland and Scottish Railway in the following year.[1][3]

Duke of Clarence was used on routes from Fleetwood to Belfast and Derry until 1906. Following this she served on the Hull to Zeebrugge route during the summer and west coast routes during the winter,[3][5] including the Liverpool to Drogheda route.[4] The Zeebrugge service was suspended uring World War I and she was requisitioned by the Admiralty as an armed boarding steamer, stationed in the Channel approaches and later on the Northern Patrol. She returned to the Zeebrugge service in February 1920.[3]

Withdrawn and laid up at Fleetwood in September 1929, she was sold in May 1930 for scrapping to Thos W Ward Ltd and broken up at Barrow in Furness.[2][3] Duke of Clarence was replaced by Duke of Connaught.[3][5]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Register of Ships (PDF). London: Lloyd's Register of Shipping. 1930–1931. Retrieved 2 January 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d Lee, Tom. "Duke of Clarence". Paddle Steamer Picture Gallery. Retrieved 2 January 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Haws, Duncan (1993). Brtiain's Railway Steamers: Eastern & North Western Companies. Hereford: TCL Publications. p. 61. ISBN 0 946378 22 3. 
  4. ^ a b c Duckworth, Christian; Langmuir, Graham (1968). Railway and Other Steamers. Prescot: T Stephenson & Sons Ltd. p. not cited. 
  5. ^ a b "Duke of Clarence". Simplon Postcards. Retrieved 2 January 2010.