1816-1860 Early Years

1816 Where it all began

Category: Corporate

John Swire (1793-1847) founded an import-export business in Liverpool, UK.

1847 The sons take the reins

Category: Corporate

John Swire died and left the business to his sons, John Samuel Swire (1825-1898) and William Hudson Swire (1830-1884) and it was later renamed John Swire & Sons. John Samuel Swire took the company overseas and laid the foundations of what we are today.

1854 Australia-bound

Category: Corporate

John Samuel Swire sailed to Australia and established Swire Bros. in Melbourne to import a range of goods, from fencing wire and cement to olive oil and Guinness. He returned to Liverpool in 1858.

Inside Story


1861-1870 The China Trade