William Henry Tindall

Artist: Sir Arthur Stockdale Cope, RA

In office from 1881 - 1899

Background: Shipowner

William Henry Tindall rendered great service to Lloyd’s Register, first joining the Committee in 1856. He served as Deputy Chairman from 1871 before being elected as Chairman on the retirement of Thomas Chapman in 1881. His father was the London shipowner, William Tindall, who was born in Scarborough and served as Deputy Chairman of Lloyd’s Register from 1838 until his death in 1853. William Henry was also a shipowner, his company W H Tindall & Co. ran a small fleet of ships. He was elected as vice-president of the Institution of Naval Architects in 1883, having become an associate member of the council the previous year. 

Tindall’s genial bearing, tact and impartiality won for him the sincere respect both of his colleagues as well as those outside the Society. Important matters completed during his tenure included the amalgamation with the Liverpool Underwriters’ Registry, the Society’s first load line regulations, and rules for steel ships, and for refrigerating machinery and appliances. His speech at the Society’s Jubilee celebrations in 1884 included references to the depression in shipping and shipbuilding, which was then causing the shipowners and builders much concern. Tindall also expressed his hope for the future of Lloyd’s Register looking forward to the centenary; ‘I trust…that the lapse of fifty years will have tended only to strike its roots more deeply and firmly into the soil of public confidence’.  Tindall died in February 1899.

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Load Line

The Load Line, also known as Plimsoll Line, was developed based on calculations from Chief Surveyor, Benjamin Martell, to ensure the safe loading of cargo on board ships. With his expert knowledge and practical experience, Martell prepared Tables of Freeboard in 1873. Modified after discussion with various parties, they were adopted and issued by the Board of Trade in 1886.