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Pastré Frères (Shipping company, France)

Last modified: 2013-07-13 by ivan sache
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[Flag of Pastre Freres]

House flag of Pastré - Image by Ivan Sache, 25 January 20054


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History of Pastré

Pastré was an important family of merchant-shipowners in the middle of the 19th century in Marseilles. "Merchant-shipowners" means that they were merchants who progressively became shipowners to ship their products abroad - mostly to Algeria and the colonies. In Marseilles, such an individualization of shipowners occurred in the late 19th century, triggered by technical progress in shipping.

The five Pastrébrothers directed the family business;, together with their mother, after the death of Pastré Sr. The family, owner in Egypt the biggest trading post in the Mediterranean Sea, needed sail boats to ship their products there. They progressively expanded their activity to the Red Sea and the western coast of Africa.

After the death of the five brothers, the Pastré company stopped its proper shipping activity; it sold its last ship, SS Yémen, in 1862.

Source: Paul Bois. Armements marseillais - Compagnies de navigation et navires à vapeur (1831-1988), published by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Marseille-Provence [boi03].

Jean-Baptiste Pastré (1804-1877) owned a trade post in Alexandria, where he received the Vice-Roy of Egypt Ibrahim Pacha (1789-1848) and Ferdinand de Lesseps (1805-1894), the builder of the Suez Canal. He was President of the Chamber of Commerce of Marseilles from 1852 to 1866, founder and first President of the bank Société Marseillaise de Crédit and director of the Messageries Maritimes.
During the Second Empire (1852-1870), the Pastré family built the château Pastré, a bastide (vacation house), in the borough of Montredon in the southern part of Marseilles, where they bred ostriches.
The four brothers Joseph, Eugène, Paul et Jules Pastré founded estabishments in Alexandria, Trieste, Tunis, Le Havre, Paris and London. Their shipping company operated very big sailing ships and two smaller steamships in Alexandria and on the Red Sea. In 1855, they purchased a shipyard in Port-de-Bouc, near Marseilles, and mines in Languedoc. Three of the brothers died in 1869 and the company relocated its shipping activity to West Africa.
During the Second World War, Countess Lili Pastré (born Double de Saint-Lambert, 1891- 1974) transformed the château Pastré into a place of refuge for artists attempting to leave France. She protected several Jews, including the harpist Lily Laskine (1893-1988). Fond of lyric art, the Countess contributed to the fundation of the Festival of Aix-en-Provence. After the death of the Countess, the château Pastré and its domain (campagne Pastré) were given to the town of Marseilles, which opened it to the public. The château Pastré hosts now the Municipal Earthenware Museum.

Source: Pierre Guiral & Félix Reynaud (Eds.). Les Marseillais dans l'histoire, Privat (Toulouse, 1988)

Ivan Sache, 25 January 2005


House flag of Pastré

P. Bois [boi03] shows the house flag of

Ivan Sache, 8 February 2004