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Isle of Wight Royal Mail Steam Packet Company
The Paddle Steamer PS Prince of Coburg was introduced on a Cowes - Southampton service by Messrs Ward and Fitzhugh of Cowes in 1820, and from 1828, the route was shared on a co-operative base with the the Isle of Wight Steam Packet Company, a venture started in 1826 by Southampton-based owners.

The Southampton, Isle of Wight & South of England Royal Mail Steam Packet Co was formed in 1861 by way of a merger of the interess of the two companies. In 1861 a new entrant placed two modern steamers on the station, prompting this pooling of resources which was to form the company which became the dominant force in steamer operations in the area.

Vessels taken over by the "Southampton" company:

Ruby
Medina
Pearl
Queen

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South Coast