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Alfred Booth

Birthdate: (80)
Death: November 2, 1914 (80)
Liverpool, UK
Immediate Family:

Son of Charles Booth and Emily Booth
Husband of Lydia Allen Booth
Father of Charles Booth; Mabel Booth; Alfred Allen Booth, 1st Bt.; Hester Emily Hughes; Constance Lydia lloyd and 1 other
Brother of Anna Booth; Thomas Booth; Rt Hon Charles Booth, PC, FRS and Hester Emily Booth

Managed by: Jonathan Evans
Last Updated:

About Alfred Booth

Alfred Booth and Company

Alfred Booth and Company was founded in 1863 by Alfred Booth and his more famous brother, the English philanthropist and poverty reformer, Charles Booth[1] and grew from being a small merchant house into a large international concern.

The merchant house was established primarily for the importing of English light leathers into the USA, and had offices in both Liverpool and New York. The reason this trade was chosen was that the staple trades of Liverpool (e.g. cotton) were already dominated by well established firms. The opportunity for a newcomer was to profit form earnings in a specialised trade. In addition as America was expanding economically due to a rapidly growing population created demand for raw materials which could not be obtained from home-grown sources.

Contracts for the first two ships of The Booth Steamship Company (established in 1881) were placed in February 1865. The value of the ships was divided into sixty-four parts and Alfred Booth and Company as the managing owners took up as many as its resources would allow. The remainder was largely subscribed to by family and relatives.

The steamship service operated to North Brazilian ports and they exported sheepskins, tanned and untanned to the United States. On the retirement of Robert Singlehurst the Red Cross Iquitos Steamship Co. was amalgamated with the Booth Steamship Company.[2]

In 1914 the fleet comprised over 30 steamers however many of these were sunk during the First World War so that by 1919 there were only 18 ships left. The last chairman of the company was Richard Amis, CBE a grandson of Sir Alfred Booth, 1st Bt, on whose watch the business was finally sold in 1986. Sir Alfred, who served as chairman of Cunard, was a younger brother of Charles, mentioned below.

Alfred Booth & Company diversified into civil engineering and in 1919, it acquired The Unit Construction Company from Crittalls. Alfred Booth's baronetcy was succeeded in 1948 by his eldest son, Philip Booth, and in 1960 by Philip's eldest son, Douglas Booth, a screenwriter living in New York City. Today, in 2009, the heir presumptive to the baronetcy, Derek Booth[3], is a leading academic in the water resources world.

In 1912, Charles Booth relinquished the chairmanship to his nephew, Charles Booth (b.1868 d.1938) but he later returned to work for the company in 1915.

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Alfred Booth's Timeline

September 3, 1834
October 27, 1868
Age 34
November 18, 1869
Age 35
September 17, 1872
Age 38
September 27, 1874
Age 40
January 25, 1876
Age 41
January 9, 1879
Age 44
November 2, 1914
Age 80
Liverpool, UK