Though the company assumed its name in 1882 when Edwin A. Beazley joined William Gracie, it traces its origins back to 1845 when it traded under the name of Edmund Thompson & Co., in whose service William Gracie entered as an apprentice in 1859. James Beazley founded the Beazley Line in 1845, owning twenty-eight sailing ships between 1849 and 1875, making regular sailings from Liverpool to Australia and New Zealand. In 1864 he founded and managed the British Shipowners' Co., extending crossings to San Francisco and South America. In 1866 Edmund Thompson & Co., was renamed Thompson, May & Co., becoming Thompson, Gracie & Co., on the admission of William Gracie as partner in 1870, and subsequently renamed William Gracie & Co. Gracie, Beazley & Co. acted as loading brokers for the service of other lines to Australia and New Zealand, including White Star Line, Shaw Savill & Albion, Tyser Line Ltd., and Manchester Australia Shipping Company. For further details see the attached catalogue.