UK Data Service data catalogue record for:

Women Shipowners in the Nineteenth Century, 1824 - 1899

Title details

SN: 6142
Title: Women Shipowners in the Nineteenth Century, 1824 - 1899
Alternative title: Women Shipowners in the Nineteenth Century
Persistent identifier: 10.5255/UKDA-SN-6142-1
Depositor: Doe, H., University of Exeter. School of Humanities and Social Sciences . Centre for Maritime Historical Studies
Principal investigator(s): Doe, H., University of Exeter. School of Humanities and Social Sciences . Centre for Maritime Historical Studies
Data collector(s): Doe, H., University of Exeter. School of Humanities and Social Sciences . Centre for Maritime Historical Studies


The citation for this study is:

Doe, H. (2009). Women Shipowners in the Nineteenth Century, 1824 - 1899. [data collection]. UK Data Service. SN: 6142,

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Subject Categories

Economic history - History
Gender history - History
Gender roles - Social stratification and groupings
Social history - History
Transport history - History
Travel and transport


Abstract copyright UK Data Service and data collection copyright owner.

The results shed new light on women as independent economic agents and show widows, spinsters and wives actively buying and selling shares in ships. Twelve per cent of the shipping shares in the five ports were held by women. One small but significant group are the number of wives who held shares in their own names before the Married Women's Property Acts of 1871 and 1882. These data will be of use to anyone studying women investors or shipping investment in the nineteenth century.

Main Topics:
A study of women shipowners in five ports in England. This study forms part of research on women in the maritime industry shortly to be published by Boydell and Brewer as Enterprising women in shipping in the nineteenth century. The data on women shipowners were extracted from the shipping registers of five ports, Exeter, Fowey, King's Lynn, Whitby and Whitehaven. The study comprises 867 women, investing in 692 ships and shows the history of the transactions over time - 1377 transactions are recorded showing how the shares were acquired, from whom and whether they were purchased, inherited or mortgaged. As an individual could have several shares in different ships and one ship had up to 32 owners, the data are presented in a relational form allowing for a wide range of queries. Information on the location of the shipowners, the ships (size and fate) and the name of the master are included.

Coverage, universe, methodology

Time period: 01 January 1824 - 31 December 1899
Country: England
Geography: Exeter
King's Lynn
Spatial units: No spatial unit
Observation units: Individuals
Kind of data: Textual data
Numeric data
Alpha/numeric data
Universe: Subnational
Women shipowners in five English ports 1824-1899
Time dimensions: Cross-sectional (one-time) study
Sampling procedures: No sampling (total universe)
Method of data collection: Transcription of existing materials
Weighting: no weighting used
Data sources: Shipping Registers:
Cornwall Record Office (CRO): MSR/FOW/3-9 Fowey Shipping Registers
North Yorkshire Record Office (NYRO): NG/RS/WH/2, 9 and 10 Whitby Registers
Whitehaven Record Office (WRO) YTSR 1/9-12 and YTSR 16-21 Register of shipping
Devon Record Office (DRO) 3289s/3-17, 10 Exeter shipping registers
Norfolk Record Office (NRO): P/SH Shipping Registers: King's Lynn, Wells, Cley and Great Yarmouth 1825-1892
Additional Sources:
Census returns, Lloyd's Register

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Administrative and access information

Date of release:
First edition: 08 April 2009
Copyright: Helen Doe, University of Exeter. School of Humanities and Social Sciences. Centre for Maritime Historical Studies
Access conditions: The depositor has specified that registration is not required.
Please note: These data are available to any user for any purpose under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International Licence (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Availability: UK Data Service
Contact: Get in touch


Zip files contain data, documentation and licence details

Title Size (KB)
Access (Zip) 657[MD5Checksum: F0F4E60AED54ABDF8E24C73866AE5003]
Tab-delimited (Zip) 524[MD5Checksum: F75016B9693F25227B15F650DF50622A]


Title File Name Size (KB)
Study documentation (portable document format) guide.pdf 139
Study information and citation UKDA_Study_6142_Information.htm 17
READ File read6142.txt 1


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