Robert Miles Sloman

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Robert Miles Sloman in 1839
19th century portrait painting

Robert Miles Sloman (born October 23, 1783 in Great Yarmouth ; † January 2, 1867 in Hamburg ) was an English - German shipowner .


Robert Sloman's father, William Sloman , moved to Hamburg in 1791 and founded a small shipping company there in 1793 , under the name Rob. M. Sloman & Co. oHG still exists today and is the oldest existing shipping company in Germany.

After Robert Sloman took over the shipping company from his father, he increased the number of ships and the number of shipping lines served considerably. Initially, the shipping company dealt exclusively with the traditional voyages to and from England, in the following years connections were added all over the world, with New York becoming the main port of destination. On February 17, 1836, the Sloman shipping company opened the Bark Franklin liner service to New York, setting up the first regular transatlantic traffic connection.

On May 8, 1841, the Hanseatic Steamship Company , founded by Sloman and eight other shipowners, took over two paddle steamers built in England , the Hamburg and the Manchester , with which the first steamship liner service between Hamburg and Kingston upon Hull began.

"Helena Sloman" on stamp 1977

In 1845 Sloman tried to be the first shipowner to offer tourist cruises with a circumnavigation of the world for passengers , but did not find enough interested parties.

For the sum of 400,000 marks in Banco , Sloman had a propeller-driven steamer designed for Atlantic passages built at an English shipyard , which was put into service on May 29, 1850 for regular services to New York and was Hamburg's first overseas steamship. With the ship Helena Sloman , named after Sloman's daughter , the first regular transatlantic steamer connection was established.

In October 1851 Sloman opened the first German dry dock on Steinwerder for his shipping company.

On September 26, 1855 Robert Sloman acquired, away from his usual business, for 170,000 Konventionstaler with the City Theater , the recently bankrupt previous largest theater of Hamburg, which remained in the possession of the family until Sloman 1,873th In 1859, under Robert Sloman's management, the shipping company had risen to become the largest shipping company in Hamburg with 21 ships. In 1865, Sloman was one of the founders of the German Society for the Rescue of Shipwrecked People .

Together with Johan Cesar Godeffroy , Johann Christian Jauch junior (1802–1880), Ernst Merck and Johann Heinrich Schröder, he was one of the initiators of the International Agricultural Exhibition in 1863 on the Hamburg Heiligengeistfeld and signed the guarantee fund.

1867 died Robert Miles Sloman two weeks after he and his wife Gunda Lena, daughter of the Frisian Greenland rider Hinrich Braren , diamond wedding was celebrated. He had five children, including the writer Eliza Wille (1809-1893) and Robert Miles Sloman Jr. (1812–1900), who took over the management of his father's shipping company. Six other children had died in childhood. The Hamburg lawyer Henry B. Sloman (1812–1867) was his nephew, the Hamburg saltpetre importer Henry B. Sloman was his great-nephew.

From 1859 to 1861 Sloman belonged to the Hamburg citizenship .


  • The development of the Hamburg shipping company: Casual memories (no year)
  • Comments on the applicability of the scratching machine, prompted by the writing of Mr. Huebbe, director of hydraulic engineering (Hamb. 1844)
  • Some remarks about my trip to England in 1829 for my children and grandchildren (Hamb. 1894)
  • Some notes from my father's early business life in Antwerp and Tönning: 1801-1807 (Hamb. 1899)


Web links

Commons : Robert Miles Sloman  - Collection of Images, Videos and Audio Files

Individual evidence

  1. House Documents, Otherwise Publ. As Executive Documents: 13th Congress, 2nd Session-49th Congress, 1st Session, 1863: Message from the President of the United States, Transmitting Correspondence of the minister of the Hanseatic republics in relation to an international agricultural exhibition in the city of Hamburg. P. 31
  2. Illustrierte Zeitung No. 1044 of July 4, 1863, p. 8
  3. Frank M. Hinz, Planning and Financing of the Speicherstadt in Hamburg: Mixed-Economy Enterprises in the 19th Century with Special Consideration of the Hamburger Freihafen-Lagerhaus-Gesellschaft, 2000, ISBN 3-8258-3632-0 , p. 40, footnote 120