LORD KYLSANT AND THE ROYAL MAIL ioj‘
graphies,l in the contemporary records of other (non-shipping) firms2 and in die
periodicals of the financial and commercial press.3 Unfortunately none of these
provides a comprehensive or adequate picture-although they can play an important
part in bringing to life the bare statistics supplied by the Registrar of Companies.
The present authors feel that the topic is of such great interest and importance in so
many fields that it must no longer be neglected. They had the advantage of beginning
with a solid knowledge of Elder Dempster's part in the business4 and have
been subsequently encouraged by the co-operation of Furness Withy-and Company
Limited, the current owners of Royal Mail Lines Limited. It is therefore
intended to cover the whole affair in as complete a manner as possible, the ultimate
aim being a full length study of the rise and fall of the Royal Mail Group--
together with an analysis of the reasons for Kylsant's early success and subsequent
failure. This, it is hoped, will then put the matter into its true historical perspective.
At one time the PhilipPS family owned much property at Picton in Pembrokeshire
but these possessions passed out of the male line early in the 19th cent~ry.~
The twelfth baronet, Sir James Erasmus Philipps, was a member of what might best
be described as the minor aristocracy. He was a clergyman, being the Vicar of
Warminster for many years and later becoming Prebendary of Salisbury Cathedral.
His wife, Mary Margaret, was the eldest daughter of the Rector of Abbots
Lnn, Hampshire, and her brother was the fifth Baron Wynford. Six sons were
born to this well-connected but rather impoverished couple. The eldest,-John
Wynford Phllipps,6 was later to become Viscount St. Davids; the second waslater
to be knighted as Sir Ivor Philipps' and the thlrd-Owen Cosby Philipps-
.. . .- -.
Basil, ~ o rSha nderson of Ayot, Ships and Sealing Wax, (1967) 108-1 15. Thomas Jones,...