The Royal William
was the first Canadian ship to cross the Atlantic entirely under steam power. It was built by Messrs Black and Campbell and launched on 27 April 1831 by Lord and Lady Aylmer at Québec. The steam engines were made and installed in Montréal. It made several trips between Québec and the Atlantic colonies in 1831, but was quarantined because of the cholera epidemic in 1832 and the owners lost some £16 000 on the venture. It left Pictou on 18 August 1833 with 7 passengers and a load of coal and arrived at Gravesend after a 25-day passage. The Royal William
was eventually sold to the Spanish navy.
In 1834, the "Royal William" became the first ship to cross the Atlantic under steam power (courtesy Library and Archives Canada/C-9041).