Launched as a four-masted iron full-rigger, West Lothian was built for James Boyd of Helensburg by Connells at Glasgow in 1882. A handsome ship admired by all who saw her, she was registered in Glasgow at 1,882 tons gross (1,814 net) and measured 280 feet in length with a 40 foot beam. Her huge cargo capacity made her perfectly suited for the Australian wool trade and, in 1890, she ran out to Sydney in a very fast 87 days for that year's harvest. On the way home however, she caught fire off the Brazilian coast and had to put into Pernambuco for it to be extinguished. During the 1890s she turned in a number of excellent passages and in 1904, whilst en route from New York to Melbourne, weathered no less than five severe storms in as many weeks before making port safely. After a very successful career, towards the end of which she was cut down to a barque, she was torpedoed and sunk west of the Shetland Isles on 18th April 1917 when bound for Norway with a cargo of Argentine wheat.