Chris also gives some details about the Gordon family and their business, and they turn out to be surprisingly upmarket!
Chris continues by discussing the site of the yard - pointing out that many historians have mistakenly located it at Deptford Green - however he says 'As the directories and Deptford rate books make clear, the Gordons' shipyard was at Grove Street Deptford. This was at the old Dudman's Dock, where major shipbuilding activities had previously been undertaken by William Barnard, William Dudman and Henry Adams, from 1763 until 1813. During the time of Gordons' occupation the yard consisted of the large wet dock that was Dudman's Dock itself, two dry docks and five slipways. Then one of the largest facilities on the Thames, the yard would have offered maximum flexibility for both shipbuilding and ship repairing. Some idea of what the the yard was able to achieve in busy periods, is indicated by statistics relating to John Dudman’s operation of the yard, during the years 1803-1812. Across this period, the yard – 25 naval ships and 13 merchant ships, repaired 282 ships, and employed between 174 and 340 men.
And in relation to the Deptford Green site: "The Gordon family did have an operation at Deptford Green but it was a metalworking one, focusing on iron founding and anchor making. This was developed in the last quarter of the 18th century by David Gordon (1751-1831), and his then partners John Biddulph (his brother-in-law) and William Stanley - of Lime Street in the City.
|View fromm Dudman's Dockyard Deptford |
John Cleveley 1774
Chris ends the paper with a postscript about the yard "fifteen days after the launch of the second Enterprise (in 1838) much of Gordon's Deptford shipyard - including warehouses,. timber house, workshops ... were destroyed in a major fire." and "the yard eventually closed in 1842"
If you want to read the whole story of Enterprise you will need a copy of Proceedigns of the Fourth Symposium held on 28th February 2009. This is edited by Dr J.R.Owen and obtainable from firstname.lastname@example.org