Built in iron by Aitken & Mansel, Glasgow as a mixed passenger-cargo vessel in 1880, Ella was unusual in that, at at time when the paddle steamer reigned supreme on the English Channel, she was screw driven. She had an uneventful career sailing mainly on the Southampton - Channel Islands service. Rendered redundant by newer and larger tonnage, Ella was sold to the Shipping Federation in 1913.
During WW I Ella was used as an accommodation ship. She was broken up in 1926.