Robert Mackenzie

c.1813 - 1853

Trader. Born in Campbeltown, Mackenzie arrived in Calcutta in 1836 where he was soon engaged in the coasting trade in the Bay of Bengal. In 1840, he became the Bengal agent for the India General Steam Navigation Company, based in Ghazipur.

He met up with an old friend, William Mackinnon (1823-93), and together they founded the Mackinnon Mackenzie Company in 1847, which chartered ships in Glasgow and Liverpool and went on to become important in trading between India, China, Australia and Britain.

Having set out to seek new opportunities in trade with Australia in 1852, Mackenzie was lost in the wreck of the SS Aurora off the coast of Queensland on his return trip the following year. The company went on to become the British India Steam Navigation Company, one of the largest shipping lines in the world, eventually becoming the multi-national Inchcape Plc.

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