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Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company

Identity area

Type of entity

Corporate body

Authorized form of name

Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company

Parallel form(s) of name

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules

Other form(s) of name

  • Randolph & Elliott
  • Randolph, Elder and Company

Identifiers for corporate bodies

Description area

Dates of existence



The Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company, Limited was a Scottish shipbuilding company in the Govan area on the Clyde in Glasgow, Scotland. The company was a major warship builder, turning out a number of vessels for various navies through the First World War and the Second World War. It also built many transatlantic liners, including record breaking ships for the Cunard Line and Canadian Pacific, for whom they built the "Empress" line of ocean liners, many of which established records for both the Pacific and Atlantic crossings. Fairfield built cross channel, coastal and mail steamers and ferries for locations around the world, including many of the ships in Canadian Pacific's Great Lakes fleet.

Fairfield Shipbuilding was founded as Randolph & Elliott by engineer Charles Elliott in 1834; at the time, they manufactured engines and machinery. In 1852, John Elder joined the firm, its name was changed to Randolph, Elder and Company, and it diversified into shipbuilding. In 1858 it acquired its Govan shipyard and in 1886 the firm changed its name to Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company, after the second shipyard it had acquired at Govan in 1864.

Between 1919 and 1968, Fairchild became part of various other shipbuilding companies, through a series of amalgamations: Northumberland Shipbuilding Company (1919-1935) and Lithgows of Port Glasgow (1935-1965). In 1965 Lithgows sold the Fairfield shipyards and it was reconstituted as a separate firm, Fairfield (Glasgow) Ltd., which survived for three years before being absorbed into a series of firms. Currently, the Fairfield shipyards are part of BAE Systems Surface Ships, a subsidiary of BAE Systems plc, a British multinational defence, security and aerospace firm.


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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

2017-10-23, SLW




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