Joseph Heap & Sons Ltd., Rice Millers, 1900-1974

Joseph Heap 1762-1833 was a sugar boiler trading with Barbados and Jamaica. In 1864, when rice shipments from the Carolinas were cut by the American Civil War, Heaps sent their Diamond H ships to lift a thousand tons of ‘Cargo’ rice for the family mill in Liverpool.

In 1866, 364,000 tons of rice left Rangoon, Akyab, Bassien and Moulmein aboard sailing ships bound from Lower Burma for the mills in Bremen, Hamburg and Liverpool. The first steamer loaded with rice passed through the Suez Canal in 1872. In 1890 Rudyard Kipling set the opening of his poem Mandalay in the old English capital of Lower Burma:

By the old Moulmein Pagoda, lookin’ lazy at the sea,
There’s a Burma girl a-settin’, and I know she thinks o’ me;
For the wind is in the palm-trees, and the temple-bells they say:
“Come you back, you British soldier; come you back to Mandalay! ”
Come you back to Mandalay,
Where the old Flotilla lay:
Can’t you ‘ear their paddles chunkin’ from Rangoon to Mandalay ?
On the road to Mandalay,
Where the flyin’-fishes play,
An’ the dawn comes up like thunder outer China ‘crost the Bay!


Parthenope, in the Queen’s Graving Dock, Liverpool
before she was sold to Italian owners in 1897.