The Cayzer Family of Sir Charles Cayzer stretches back into the 18th century, and continues to the present day.  This Chronology contextualises events in family history against milestones in world history, some of which involved family members.

15th July 1843



Charles William Cayzer employed by William Nicol & Co. in Bombay


Donald Currie & Company formed


Charles William Cayzer leaves Nicol & Co and briefly moves to Cardiff

21st January  1876


Charles William Cayzer moves to Liverpool where he begins trading as Charles Cayzer & Co


Charles William Cayzer establishes Cayzer Irvine & Co in Liverpool, having made business contacts in Glasgow


Clan AlpineCharles William Cayzer’s first steamship, built in Glasgow

23rd July 1881


Clan Line Association Steamers formed, managed by Cayzer Irvine & Co, and 109 Hope Street, Glasgow becomes company headquarters


Castle Packet Company becomes Castle Mail Packet Company


Clan Line Steamers Limited is formed


Charles William Cayzer becomes Member of Parliament (Conservative) for Barrow-in-Furness


Charles William Cayzer knighted


Union Steam Ship Company and Castle Mail Packet Company amalgamate to become the Union-Castle Steamship Company

12th December 1904

Charles William Cayzer created 1st Baronet of Gartmore

28th April 1904

August Bernard Tellefsen Cayzer marries Ina Frances Stancomb


Cayzer Irvine & Co becomes a limited company


Sir Charles William Cayzer fails in his attempt to be elected MP for Monmouth Boroughs

21st January 1910


Union-Castle Line taken over by Royal Mail Steam Packet Company


Britain enters the First World War.   Six Cayzer family members and company directors are called to active service.

28th September 1916

Sir Charles William Cayzer 1st Bart., dies

October 1916

August Cayzer becomes chairman of Cayzer, Irvine & Co. He appoints his brother Herbert Cayzer as deputy chairman, with an identical salary to his own.


Assets of the Scottish Shire Line acquired, adding refrigeration capacity to the fleets.


August Cayzer is instrumental in the purchase of the Greenock Dockyard Company, putting Cayzer Irvine & Co in the unique position, for a shipping line, of possessing its own shipyard.  The company headquarters move to No. 2 St Mary Axe in the City of London


August Cayzer begins to rebuild the firm by acquiring the British & South American Steam Navigation Company.


August Bernard Tellefsen Cayzer is created 1st Baronet of Roffey Park in recognition of his and the Clan Line’s services to the war effort.


Sir Charles Cayzer3rd Bart., wins the parliamentary constituency of Chester for the Conservatives and remains their M.P. for 20 years.

January 1924

Herbert Robin Cayzer is created 1st Baronet of Tylney in the New Year’s Honours list


Clan Line’s capital is reduced from almost £4 million to under £2 million. It is forced to sell the British & South American Steam Navigation Company to the Royal Mail Group


The crash of the New York Stock Exchange brings dire consequences for world economics and trade. The Great Depression begins.


Fred Bedford the Managing Director of Cayzer, Irvine & Co., is forced to introduce a 10% salary cut across the firm as a result of the worldwide economic depression.


Union-Castle Line becomes independent again


Both the Clan Line, its associated Greenock Dockyard, and Union-Castle are much affected by wartime requisitioning.

8th June 1939

Sir Herbert Cayzer created 1st Baron Rotherwick of Tylney in the King’s Birthday Honours

28th February 1943

Sir August Cayzer dies.  Lord Rotherwick becomes the chairman of the family business


By the end of the war Clan Line have lost 37 ships and Union-Castle 11 through enemy action.


Clan Line buys eight freighters, limited shipyard capacity and high building prices preventing the construction of new ships.


Union-Castle negotiates new mail and freight contracts with the South African government.


Mrs Smuts launches the Pretoria Castle in Belfast by radio from South Africa.

15th October 1953

Clan Line take over Hunting Group‘s air transport and servicing business. Hunting-Clan Air Transport is formed.


Hunting-Clan Air Transport begin a weekly ‘Africargo‘ service.


Clan Line group merges with the Union-Castle Line group to form the British & Commonwealth Shipping Company Limited.


Hunting-Clan begins to offer passenger flights and package holidays.

17th March 1958

Lord Rotherwick dies.   Sir Nicholas Cayzer 2nd Bart., (of Roffey Park) becomes Chairman of British & Commonwealth


British & Commonwealth purchase Springbok Shipping Company.


Hunting-Clan merges with Airwork to form British United Airways.


British & Commonwealth purchases Hector Whaling Company.


The decision is made that the Clan Alpine will be the last ship built for Clan Line.


Air Holding Limited is formed, bringing together major shipping companies with an interest in air freight including British & Commonwealth 


British & Commonwealth take a 36 per cent interest in the South African Marine Corporation [Safmarine]


British United Airways is bought by Caledonian Airlines.   It becomes British Caledonia.

1st January 1982

Sir Nicholas Cayzer is created Baron Cayzer of St Mary Axe in the City of London in the New Year’s Honours.   


Caledonia Investments separates from British & Commonwealth