During the last four years I have been researching the history of the Northfleet (Pitcher’s) dockyard.
Briefly the history of the yard is as follows 1745 – birth of Thomas Pitcher 1782 – birthf of son William 1788 –Thomas Pitcher founded the yard at Northfleet. 1805 – Founded another Yard at Isle of Dogs 1811 – At age of 66 Thomas went into semi retirement. Yard now known as Thomas Pitcher and sons. Henry Jones Pitcher runs Northfleet Yard and William the Isle of Dogs. c.1827 – Yards now under the name of Henry and William Pitcher. 1830 – Thomas distributed his assets among his children. C1832 – Henry Jones retires (from shipbuilding) and moves to Jersey where he becomes a bookseller. His wife was Anne Sotheby, sister of John Sotheby who founded the famous auctioneer company. 1837 – Thomas died and William became owner of the dockyards. Henry Sotheby Pitcher, the son of Henry Jones Pitcher, assisted him in the management. 1850 – Sold Isle of Dogs yard. 1860 – William died and his youngest sister Sophia inherited the yard. (she was a spinster) The Pitcher’s built over 166 ships. Many of them very well known. 1861 – Yard heavily in debt and Official receiver appointed. 1864 – yard sold by auction to C.J.Mare.
I have a family tree back to the mid 17th century. William Pitcher never married. If you are connected with the family I would be interested and could pass on further information