The iron screw steamer John Brogden was built by Mitchell at Newcastle for A. Brogden in 1866. Registered at 719 tons gross (547 net), she measured 199½ feet in length with a 27½ foot beam and was powered by a compound inverted 2-cylinder 95hp. engine by J. & W. Dudgeon of London. Although Lloyds' Registers note her home port as Swansea, she was originally intended for the coastal trade operating out of Newcastle even though her destination was soon changed to the Mediterranean out of London. John Scott has painted her off Newcastle in 1866, probably on her maiden voyage, and since none of his known works bears a later date than this, it may be assumed that this was one of the artist's final ship portraits.