The ship 'The Tweed'
A portrait of the tea clipper 'The Tweed' shown broadside-on. She was owned by Captain John Willis and in 1869 he commissioned a composite-built tea clipper that he hoped would outstrip all others, including the newly built 'Thermopylae'. He enlisted the talents of a young designer, Hercules Linton, a partner in the recently established firm of Scott & Linton at Dumbarton. Captain Willis was so impressed with the performance of his favourite vessel, 'The Tweed', whose lines were reputedly descended from those of a French frigate that he aimed to develop a new ship building on her strengths. Linton was taken to see 'The Tweed' in dry dock, and it is certain that her lines influenced his design to some extent. Thus she was the inspiration for the design of the most famous tea clipper, 'Cutty Sark' who was given a very lean bow. The special modifications to the 'Tweed's' design made the 'Cutty Sark handle better and sail faster. 'The Tweed' was built at Moulmein originally for the Royal Indian Navy as a paddle wheel frigate named 'Punjaub'. She was purchased by John Willis and Company in 1863 and fitted out as a barque. 'The Tweed' was chartered in 1864 by the Indian Government for the first Persian Gulf cable and again in 1869 for the duplicate cable.
- Image reference: BHC3663
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
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