The Royal Mail Steam Packet Company
was a British
shipping company founded in London in 1839 by Scot
James Macqueen. After good and bad times it became the largest shipping group in the world in 1927 when it took over the White Star Line
The company ran into financial trouble, and the British government investigated its affairs in 1930, resulting in the Royal Mail Case
. Chairman Lord Kylsant
was imprisoned in 1931 for misrepresenting the state of the company to shareholders. So much of Britain's shipping industry was involved in RMSPC that arrangements were made to guarantee the continuation of ship operations after it was liquidated. The Royal Mail Lines Ltd
(RML) was created in 1932 and took over the ships of RMSPC and other companies of the former group. The line's motto was Per Mare Ubique
(everywhere by sea).
The new company's operations were concentrated on the west coast of South America
, the West Indies
, and the Pacific
coast of North America
; the Southampton
route was operated from 1850 to 1980. RML was also a leading cruise ship operator.
In 1965 RML was acquired by Furness, Withy & Co.
, and rapidly lost its identity. In the 1970s parts of the Furness Withy Group, including RML, were sold on to Hong Kong shipowner C. Y. Tung, and later sold on to former River Plate rival Hamburg Süd
; by the 1990s Royal Mail......