The name 'CATO' is derived from the Scottish 'CATTO'.

There are links with the Cato shipbuilding family of Whitby. A key Cato figure was Peter Cato 1775-1829 whose parents were probably from Aberdeenshire who came down to Whitby in about 1750. Peter married Jane Eskdale of Aislaby. Their son, Estill Cato 1806 married Elizabeth Gill 1816-1863 of Robin Hood's Bay in 1831. Interestingly Elizabeth Gill's mother was Elizabeth Estill 1772-1816 i.e.the name ESTILL was also the first name of her son-in-law!

Peter built his first ships in 1795 (2 ships totalling 117 tons) and continued building in partnership with others until 1829 when he fell off the quayside on to a boat moored below. A shipward of his became one of Turnbull's.

Peter and Jane had another son also called Peter 1802-1875 and he was also a shipbuilding Cato. He went to Liverpool where he first worked as a shipwright for Challoner & Co. before setting  up in partnership with others in 1832/4.

The company Cato & Miller Co. built about 50 ships around the Brunswick dock area. One of them was the Cleator built for the Holt shipping line. This was the first Holt ship to sail through the Suez Canal . Then the Marion Moors was a clipper ship built in 1852 specifically for the Australian run.

The business developed with the design and patent of the steam hammer enabling them to supply other ships with iron masts and yards.

This presentation was initiated by John Crane

  The barque Talavera built by Catu & Miller
Edited picture from Greenwich Maritime Museum