Alfred Lewis Jones

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Alfred Lewis Jones
Alfred Lewis Jones2.jpg
Alfred Lewis Jones
Died(1909-12-13)13 December 1909
OccupationShip Owner, Business man
OrganizationLiverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Bank of British West Africa (Chairman), British Cotton Growing Association (President), Liverpool Chamber of Commerce (President)

Sir Alfred Lewis Jones, KCMG (1845 – 13 December 1909), was a British ship-owner.

At the age of twelve he was apprenticed to the managers of the African Steamship Company at Liverpool, making several voyages to the west coast of Africa. By the time he was twenty-six he had risen to be manager of the business. Not finding sufficient scope in this post, he borrowed money to purchase two or three small sailing vessels, and started in the shipping business on his own account. The venture succeeded, and he made additions to his fleet, but after a few years' successful trading, realizing that sailing ships were about to be superseded by steamers, he sold his vessels.[1]

About this time (1891) Messrs. Elder, Dempster & Co., who purchased the business of the old African Steamship Company, offered him a managerial post. This offer he accepted, subject to Messrs. Elder, Dempster selling him a number of their shares, and he thus acquired an interest in the business, and subsequently, by further share purchases, its control. took a keen interest in imperial affairs. He acquired considerable territorial interests in West Africa, and financial interests in many of the companies engaged in opening up and developing that part of the world.[1]

Elder Dempster employed both E.D. Morel and Roger Casement who in time became bitter enemies of Jones.

Jones (left) with Guglielmo Marconi (in fur coat) and Thomas Henry Barker (Secretary of the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce).

In the early 1900s Alfred Jones had a monopoly on the Congo-Antwerp mail traffic as well as consular duties representing King Leopold’s Congo State in Liverpool. Described by W.T. Stead as the "Uncrowned King of West Africa", Jones had myriad interests. In 1900, in order to supply his ships with bunker fuel, he formed Elder's Navigation Collieries Ltd. and bought two mines in Maesteg, south Wales.[citation needed] He took the leading part in opening up a new line of communication with the West Indies, and in stimulating the Jamaica fruit trade and tourist traffic.[1] He also developed the tourist trade in the Canary Islands and the banana industry there. Jones was instrumental in founding the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and was chairman of the Bank of British West Africa and the President of the British Cotton Growing Association.

He was President of the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce.

Jones was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) in the 1901 Birthday Honours list on 9 November 1901, in recognition of services to the West African Colonies, and to Jamaica,[2] and invested as such by King Edward VII at St James's Palace on 17 December 1901.[3] In May 1902 he was elected an Honorary Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford.[4]

Sir Alfred died unmarried on 13 December 1909, leaving large charitable bequests. A main street in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Canary Islands) is named after him.


  1. ^ a b c  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Jones, Sir Alfred Lewis". Encyclopædia Britannica. 15 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 498.
  2. ^ "No. 27374". The London Gazette (Supplement). 9 November 1901. p. 7287.
  3. ^ "Court Circular". The Times (36641). London. 18 December 1901. p. 6.
  4. ^ "University intelligence". The Times (36776). London. 24 May 1902. p. 13.

External links[edit]

  • "The West Indies". The Empire and the century. London: John Murray. 1905. pp. 877–882.