Reference code(s): GB 0074 CLC/B/123
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
Title: INCHCAPE GROUP
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 2312 production units.
Name of creator(s): Inchcape and Co Ltd
Efforts to consolidate the extensive international investments of the Inchcape family and the directorships and partnerships held by the third Earl of Inchcape resulted in the public launch of a parent holding company, Inchcape and Company Limited, in 1958.
Interests in merchant trading, shipping and agency houses had been built up since 1874 when James Lyle Mackay (from 1911 the first Earl of Inchcape) joined the Calcutta-based merchant and agency firm of Mackinnon, Mackenzie and Company, established in 1847 by William Mackinnon. Mackinnon's business empire extended beyond India to Australia, the Middle East and East Africa. Founder of the British India Steam Navigation Company Limited (whose historic records are at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich) and the Australasian United Steam Navigation Company Limited, he also set up agency firms at strategic ports (Gray, Dawes and Company in London; Gray, Mackenzie and Company and Gray, Paul and Company in the Persian Gulf; and Smith, Mackenzie and Company in Zanzibar) to handle the passenger and merchandise cargo carried alongside the Royal Mail.
As Mackinnon's commercial heir, Mackay had risen by the 1890s to the position of partner within the firm. He had also begun a personal investment portfolio, buying major shareholdings in Indian tea estates (among them Assam Estates Company Limited, Greenwood Tea Company Limited, Northern Dooars Tea Company Limited and Salonah Tea Company Limited), textile firms (Binny and Company Limited) and their English and Indian managing agents (Macneill and Company, Duncan Macneill and Company, Barry and Company and J B Barry and Son) and in two river steamer companies (Rivers Steam Navigation Company Limited and India General Steam Navigation Company Limited) and their managing agents (Kilburn and Company). Before 1958, there was no structural link between the majority of these companies, whose common denominator was the Inchcape family interest in them. However, after the Second World War, change was necessary, especially in newly independent India, for reasons of taxation and other economic restrictions placed on foreign companies. The option finally decided on by the third Earl of Inchcape was for a rationalisation of holdings and the incorporation of those retained into a single publicly quoted company based in London rather than India.
After the launch of the Inchcape Group in 1958, the group expanded very rapidly, both by the development of existing companies and their range of activities, and by the purchase of other groups: among them, the Borneo Company Limited in 1967, Dodwell and Company Limited in 1972, Anglo Thai Corporation in 1975 and Assam Company Limited in 1980.
The London headquarters of Inchcape and Company Limited was at 40 St Mary Axe, 1960-88, and St James House, 23 King Street, Westminster, 1988-.
Scope and content/abstract:
Records of the companies making up the Inchcape Group, including:
- Adamson, Bell and Company: see Dodwell and Company;
- Adamson (W. R.) and Company: see Dodwell and Company;
- African Marine and General Engineering Company: see Smith, Mackenzie and Company;
- African Wharfage Company: see Smith, Mackenzie and Company;
- Alexandra Brickworks Limited: see Borneo Company;
- Anglo Siam Corporation: see Anglo Thai Corporation;
- Anglo Thai Corporation: Ms 27001-034;
- Arbuthnot, Ewart and Company: see Anglo Thai Corporation;
- Argonauts Investments Limited: see Assam and African Investments Limited;
- Assam and African Holdings Limited: see Assam and African Investments Limited;
- Assam and African Investments Limited: Ms 27035-45;
- Assam Company Limited: Ms 8794-8803; 9924-9936; 11497-504; 23723-5 and 27046-103;
- Assam Estates Limited: Ms 27104-7;
- Australasian United Steam Navigation Company: 27108-45;
- Baghdad Light and Power Company: 27146-7;
- Bahrein Slipway Company: see Gray, Mackenzie and Company;
- Bally Paper Mills Company: see Borneo Company;
- Bangalore Woollen, Cotton and Silk Mills Company: see Binny and Company;
- Barnagore Jute Factory Company: see Borneo Company;
- Barry and Company: see Macneill and Barry;
- Barry, J. B. and Son: see Duncan Macneill and Company;
- Bhooteachang Tea Company: Ms 27148;
- Binny and Company: Ms 27149-73;
- Borneo Agencies Limited: see Borneo Company;
- Borneo Company: Ms 27174-474;
- Borneo Motors Limited: see Borneo Company;
- Brae and Chingoor Tea Estates Limited: Ms 27475-7;
- British India and Queensland Agency Company: Ms 27478-9;
- British India Associated Steamers Limited: Ms 27480-6;
- Bruseh Tin and Rubber Estates Limited: see Borneo Company;
- Bulkships Limited: Ms 27487;
- Cawnpore Electric Supply Corporation: Ms 27488;
- Cheerie Valley Tea Company: Ms 27489;
- Child, Macfarland and Company: Ms 27490-1;
- Dalhousie Jute Company: Ms 27492;
- Delmege, Allen and Company: Ms 27493-4;
- Delmege, Forsyth and Company: 27495-7;
- Dilmun Navigation Company: see Gray, Mackenzie and Company;
- Dodwell and Company: Ms 27498-526;
- Dodwell, Carlill and Company: see Dodwell and Company;
- Dodwell Motors Limited: see Dodwell and Company;
- Duncan Macneill and Company: Ms 27527-90;
- Eastern and Australian Steampship Company: see Australasian United Steam Navigation Company;
- Ewart, Latham and Company: see Anglo Thai Corporation;
- Ewart, Lyon and Company: see Anglo Thai Corporation;
- Ewart, Ryrie and Company: see Anglo Thai Corporation;
- Ganges Transport and Trading Company: Ms 27591-2;
- Garden Reach Spinning and Manufacturing Company: Ms 27592A;
- Garden Reach Workshops Limited: see Rivers Steam Navigation Company;
- Gibb, Livingston and Company: Ms 27593-6;
- Gillanders, Ewart and Company: see Anglo Thai Corporation;
- Gilman (Holdings) Limited: Ms 27597;
- Gourepore Company: Ms 27598;
- Gourepore Electric Supply Company: Ms 27599;
- Gray, Dawes and Company: Ms 27600-87;
- Gray, Mackenzie and Company: Ms 27688-745;
- Gray, Paul and Company: see Gray, Mackenzie and Company;
- Greenwood Tea Company: Ms 27746-52;
- Haboko Tea Company: see Borneo Company;
- Hain (Edward) and Son: see St Mary Axe Securities Limited;
- India General Navigation and Railway Company: Ms 27753-65;
- India General Steam Navigation Company: see India General Navigation and Railway Company;
- India Rivers Steam Navigation Company: see Rivers Steam Navigation Company;
- Islay, Kerr and Company: Ms 27766-9;
- Java Agency Company: Ms 27770;
- Kalline Tea Company: Ms 27771-4;
- Kenya Landing and Shipping Company: see Smith, Mackenzie and Company;
- Kilburn and Company: see Macneill and Barry Limited;
- Kilburn, Brown and Company: Ms 27775-82;
- Koyah Tea Company: Ms 27783;
- Macdonald, Hamilton and Company: Ms 27784-7;
- Mackay and Company: Ms 27788-92;
- Mackay, Lynch and Company: see Mackay and Company;
- Mackinnon, Mackenzie and Company: Ms 27793-848;
- Mackinnon (W.) and Company: Ms 27849-50;
- Macneill and Barry Limited: Ms 27851-94;
- Macneill and Company: see Macneill and Barry Limited;
- Macneill and Kilburn Limited: see Macneill and Barry Limited;
- Macneill and Magor Limited: see Macneill and Barry Limited;
- Macneill, Barry and Company: see Duncan Macneill and Company;
- Majagram Tea Company: Ms 27895;
- Mediterranean Transport Company: Ms 27896-902;
- Mesopotamia Persia Corporation: see Gray, Mackenzie and Company;
- Metro-Dodwell Motors Limited: see Dodwell and Company;
- New Rivers Company: see Rivers Steam Navigation Company;
- Ngambo Limited: see Assam and African Investments Limited;
- Northern Dooars Tea Company: Ms 27903-8;
- Nuddea Mills Company: Ms 27909;
- Pahang Consolidated Company: see Borneo Company;
- Pakistan River Steamers Limited: see Rivers Steam Navigation Company;
- Pakistan Rivers Steam Navigation Company: see Rivers Steam Navigation Company;
- Rejang Agencies Limited: see Borneo Company;
- River Steamers Company: see Rivers Steam Navigation Company;
- Rivers Steam Navigation Company: Ms 27910-28101;
- St Mary Axe Securities Limited: Ms 28102-5;
- Salonah Tea Company: Ms 28106-11;
- Sarawak Rubber Estates Limited: see Borneo Company;
- Sarawak Steamship Company: see Borneo Company;
- Scottish Assam Tea Company: Ms 28112-16;
- Siam Forest Company: see Anglo Thai Corporation;
- Silonibari Tea Company: Ms 28117;
- Singapore Plywood Company: see Borneo Company;
- Smith, Mackenzie and Company: Ms 28118-53;
- Tanganyika Landing and Shipping Company: see Smith, Mackenzie and Company;
- Tarrapore Tea Company: Ms 28154-5;
- Thanai Tea Company: Ms 28156-62;
- Upper Assam Tea Company: Ms 28162A;
- Western Cachar Company: Ms 28169-73.
Also published history 'Pioneering Spirit: The story behind Inchcape's remarkable journey', 2010.
Records of Inchcape and Company Limited (1939-2010), including subject files belonging to Kenneth James William Mackay (third Earl of Inchcape) and other directors and seniors. Files concern the formation of the holding company in 1958 and also individual companies within the group.
ACCESS AND USE
Language/scripts of material: Nearly all in English but some in French, Dutch, Thai, Japanese, German, Italian, Spanish, Arabic or Farsi.
System of arrangement:
The archives are divided into sub-fonds under the names of the individual companies within the group. Each individual company sub-fond has its own introductory note setting out its history. Those companies with significant archives have more extensive notes; other notes are necessarily rather brief.
Conditions governing access:
These records are available for public inspection, although records containing personal information are subject to access restrictions under the UK Data Protection Act, 1998.
Conditions governing reproduction:
Copyright to this collection rests with the depositor.
Please see online catalogues at: http://search.lma.gov.uk/opac_lma/index.htm
Immediate source of acquisition:
The records both of the companies brought together in 1958, and of those acquired subsequently, were deposited in the Manuscripts Section of Guildhall Library between May 1987 and December 1988. (These records were all made an outright gift to Guildhall Library in June 1995.) They were catalogued in 1988-9. No records of Inchcape and Co Ltd were deposited. The Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section merged with the London Metropolitan Archives in 2009. Further deposits were made in 2011 and 2012.
See Lambert Brothers Limited (CLC/B/142).
For further historical details of all companies and the development of the group, see:
1. P Griffiths, A History of the Inchcape Group (1977);
2. S. Jones, Two Centuries of Overseas Trading: the Origins and Growth of the Inchcape Group (1986);
3. S. Jones, Trade and Shipping: Lord Inchcape 1852-1932 (1989).
Copies of all three are held by the Printed Books Section of Guildhall Library. 2. includes an extensive bibliography of works on Inchcape companies and more general business topics. Major published works relating to one company only are referred to in the sub-fonds to the records of individual companies.
Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.
Date(s) of descriptions: January to May 2011. Updated February 2016.