Nomadic, specially built as a livestock carrier, was launched at Harland & Wolff, Belfast on 11th February 1891. Completed with twin propellers and two triple-expansion engines, she was handed over on 14th April 1891. Her maiden voyage left Liverpool on 24th April 1891, and she arrived at New York on 5th May.
She was quickly requisitioned in 1899 in preparation for the Boer War, as HM Transport 34. Nomadic made three trips to South Africa carrying horses for the cavalry, in October 1899, December 1899 and June 1900. After this she was released and returned to commercial service. In February 1903 Nomadic was transferred to another IMM company, Dominion Line, and in December 1903 was renamed Cornishman. In July 1921 she was transferred to Frederick Leyland & Co. but kept her name and stayed in Dominion livery. Finally in March 1926 she was sold to Ward’s and was broken up at Hayle in Cornwall.