Britannia, Arrived 21 September 1731

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Original ship’s passenger lists from Rotterdam to Philadelphia, on board the Britannia, Captain Michael Francklin.

The ship Britannia from London, under Master and Captain Michael Franklyn, carried 269 Palatine passengers from Rotterdam through Cowes to Philadelphia, arriving 21 September 1731. The passengers included 104 men and 81 women over age 16, and 37 boys and 45 girls under age 16 (which totaled 267 persons).[1][2]

Other Palatine bearing ships sailed during 1731 from Rotterdam to Philadelphia. The ship Samuel arrived 17 August 1731 via Cowes with 109 Palatines. The ship Pennsylvania Merchant arrived 11 September 1731 via Dover with 172 Palatines. And, the ship Snow Louther arrived 14 October 1731 via Dover with 81 Palatines.[2]

The ship Britannia, or others bearing the same or similar name, took part in further German passenger voyages to Philadelphia. Captain Thomas Arnot brought 250 passengers from Rotterdam on 26 September 1764. Master Alexander Hardy brought 39 listed passengers from Rotterdam through Portsmouth to Philadelphia on 26 October 1767. The ship Snow Britannia under Master Richard Eyres brought 6 passengers from Lisbon to Philadelphia on 3 October 1770. The ship Britannia under Master James Peter brought 250 passengers from Rotterdam through Cowes to Philadelphia on 18 September 1773.[3]

Much earlier, a ship bearing the Britannia name sailed under commander Richard Nicholls from Liverpool through Cork to Philadelphia, arriving on 24 August 1699 after about 14 weeks at sea (much longer than usual). It carried above 200 Quakers, of which more than 50 died at sea from a disease breakout.[4]

Britannia has been a popular ship name. A March 2023 search for “Britannia” at gives 36 records, all associated with Great Britain and including ships of the line, merchants, privateers, and hired vessels acquired from 1682 through 1820. The “Britannia (ship)” Wikipedia page lists more than 20 ships of that name between 1772 and 2015, including warships, merchant vessels, transports, whalers, slave traders, paddle steamers, steamships, a tour boat, a cruise liner, a racing yacht, and a royal yacht (HMY Britannia).


  1. Minutes of the Provincial Council of Pennsylvania, from the organization to the termination of the proprietary government, published by the State, Volume III, containing the proceedings of council from May 31, 1717, to January 23, 1735–6; Philadelphia: printed by Jo. Severns & Co., 1852. Page 414 records “at the Courtho. of Philadia., Sepr. 21st, 1731 … a List was presented of the Names of One hundred & six Palatines, who with their Families, making in all Two hundred & sixty nine Persons, were imported here in the Ship Britannia, of London, Michael Franklyn, Mr., from Rotterdam, but last from Cowes, as by Clearance from that Port.” Image at Internet Archive.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Israel Daniel Rupp, A collection of upwards of thirty thousand names of German, Swiss, Dutch, French and other immigrants in Pennsylvania from 1727-1776 ... = Chronologisch geordnete Sammlung von mehr als 30,000 Namen von Einwanderern in Pennsylvanien aus Deutschland, der Schweiz, Holland, Frankreich u. a. St. von 1727 bis 1776 ... (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA: Leary, Stuart & Co., 1927). Book at
  3. Ralph Beaver Strassburger, Pennsylvania German pioneers; a publication of the original lists of arrivals in the port of Philadelphia from 1727 to 1808 (Norristown, Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania German Society, 1934).
  4. Don Hayworth, “George Haworth’s Voyage to America: That Sick Ship from Liverpool” (November 2012). Article on Haworth Association of America website accessed 18 March 2023.

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