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Extracts from newspapers and publications

This section contains text transcribed from articles and reports that appeared in contemporary newspapers, journals and other publications. In most cases, the museum does not hold original copies of these documents.

Such transcriptions are generally lengthy accounts and have been selected as they may be relevant to a number different areas of study, and may be referenced from different areas of the website.

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  • Estate notices
    • 1764 | 1765 | 1766 | 1767 | 1768 | 1769 | 1770 | 1771 | 1772 | 1773 |
      1774 | 1775 | 1776 | 1777 | 1778 | 1779 | 1780 | 1781 | 1782 | 1783 |
      1784 | 1785 | 1786 | 1787 | 1788 | 1789 | 1790 | 1791 | 1792 | 1793 |
      1794 | 1795 | 1796 | 1797 | 1798 | 1799 | 1800 | 1801 | 1802 | 1803 |
      1804 | 1805 | 1806 | 1807 | 1808 | 1809 | 1810 | 1811 | 1812 | 1813 |
      1814 | 1815 | 1816 | 1817 | 1818 | 1819 | 1820 | 1821 | 1822 | 1823 |
      1824 | 1825 | 1826 | 1827 | 1828 | 1829 | 1830 | 1831 | 1832 | 1833 |
      1834 | 1835 | 1836 | 1837 | 1838 | 1839 | 1840 | 1841 | 1842 | 1843 |
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      1854 | 1855 | 1856 | 1857 | 1858 | 1859 | 1860 | 1861 | 1862 | 1863 |
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      1904 | 1905 | 1906 | 1907 | 1908 | 1909 | 1910 | 1911 | 1912 | 1913 |
      1914 | 1915 | 1916 | 1917 | 1918
    • 1764
      • A00006: 03/03/1764

        There is to be set and........immediately or at Whitsunday....such number of years as parties can agree, the going coal at Breich belonging to Sir David Cunynghame of Livingstone, Baroner, lying twelve miles west of Edinburgh and within two of Bathgate, and Mid-Calder. The seam is betwixt an ell and forty inches thick, dipping one foot in six, and above 200 feet of streek from cropt to depth quite level-free. A shank upon the middle of the streek is about eight fathoms deep. For further particulars, enquire John Gray, Factor to the said Sir David Cunynghame, at his house at Livingstone-kirk.

        The Caledonian Mercury 3rd March 1764

    • 1795
      • A00007: 06/06/1795


        To be SOLD by public roup, within the Royal Exchange Coffcehouse, Edinburgh, on Wednesday the 8th day of July 1775, betwixt the hours of one and two afternoon, THE EASTER HALF of the LANDS of HANDOXWOOD EASTER, or RASHIEHILL, with the houses and pertinents thereof, in the parish of West Calder, and sheriffdom of Edinburgh, containing 552acres, 352 of which are croft, and the rest pasture land. The projected Canal to Edinburgh will most probably go through some part of these lands, or parts in their immediate neighbourhood whatever line may be ultimately adopted; and being full of coal, iron, and freestone, this circumstance must, add very considerably to their value. There is at present a free stone quarry, of a very superior quality, open in the grounds, of twenty feet in thickness, within four feet of the surface, which can be wrought at a small expense, and where the stones can be cut of any size. The lands themselves are highly improveable. They are under rack at present at a rent of 701. and for delivery of one fat wedder, two stones of butter, md eighteen hens. There are fourteen years from Martinmas next yet to run of the prefent lease, originally granted for thirty-eight years from Martinmas 1771, and the rental may be fairly expectd at least to double at the expiry thereof. The proprietor was offered from the present tenant, several years ago, a confiderable immediate rise of rent for an additional nineteen yeers lease, and 12 per cent, for any sum he might lay out on the erection of a Mill upon the water of Briech, which runs through the lands, and which is much wanted in the neighourhood. The croft land, containing. 352 acres, may he inclosed with drystone dykes at a trifling expence, from the command of the finest stone for that purpose.

        The Caledonian Mercury, 6th June 1795

    • 1801
      • A00008: 13/04/1801


        If not sold before Wednesday the 29th day of April curt. then to be exposed by public auction, in John's Coffeehouse, Edinburgh, upon that day, at 1 o'clock: THE LANDS of NORTH BRIECH, consisting of 392 Scotch acres, or thereby, all arable ground. and etwixt 8 and 9 acres of planting. This valuable property lies only about 2- hours ride to the west of Edinburgh, two miles south-west from Livingston, and about a quarter of a mile to the southward of the great turnpike road from Edinburgh to Glasgow, and a mile from the villages of Blackburn and West Calder. There is coal in the lands, and plenty of lime can be procured from different works at an easy rate, nor more than 11/2 miles distance. If it shall appear more agreeable to intending purchasers, the premisses will be disposed of so three Lots, each lying conmpactly wthin itself, and all having very desirable situations for mansion-house.

        LOT 1, The Farm of EASTER BREICH preserrtly possessed by Thomas Grahame, but whose lease expires with the present crop, when possession will be given. There are about 140 Scotch acres in this farm, all excellent arablc ground, in high condition; it is divided by stone dykes, some of thein are backed well with hedges, into five inclosures, well watered and sheltered; the public road to Hamilton forms the southern boundary, and on the east and north it is partly bounded by the Waters of Almond and Breich, both of them fine trouting streams, and the country around abounds svith game. The Vote, if wished for, will go along with this lot.

        LOT II.-The Farm of MIDDLE BREICH, immediately to the westward of the former: It contains about 119 arable acres, ornamented and sheltered with 7 acres of very-thriving planting, from 12 to 18 years old. The ground of this lot, excepting about 10 acres, is of an equal good quality with the first, and possesses the same local advantages, having the same boundary on the south, and the waters of Tailend and Almond on the north; it is divided with hedge and ditch into five fields, and is at present rented for no more than 50l. per annum, with some kain and carriages, but upon the expiry of the lease in six years, a very great rise will be got.

        LOT 111.-The Farm of WESTER BREICH, adjoining to the last Lot, and containing about. 134 acres. This farm has been two years in the proprietor's own hands, who has been at a very great expence in improving them by hedging, ditching, draining, liming, and labouring them, according to the most approved modes. Eighteen years ago the lands were set for 5s. 9d. per acre on a lease, which was brought up, but as consequence of the late improvements, three fields of the farm were let by public roup, for the present year only, at irom 3l. 17s. 6d. to 5l. per acre. Possession will be given of this lot at Martinmas first. Intending purchasers will apply to Mr Wilkie, the proprietor, John's Street, Glasgow ; Mr Martin, No. 5 George Street, Edinburgh, or Mess. M'Nair. and Elder, writers in Giasgow, either of whom will show a plan of the grounds. Mr Martin has powers to sell hy private bargain. The premisses will be shewn by James Watson, at Wester Breich Farm.

        The Caledonian Mercury, 13th April 1801

    • 1802
      • A00010: 16/01/1802

        FARM IN WEST LOTHIAN, to be sold by private bargain at a very low price

        REMAINING LOT OF NORTH BRIECH ESTATE, viz, the WES'I'ER FARM, two miles south-west of Livingstone. and one mile from the south turnpike road from Edinburgh to Glasgow containing 134 acres all arable, 40 of which were sown off with grass seeds last spring, the greater part being previously fallowed and limed. Twenty acres have been summer fallowed and limed during last summer, part dunged for pease and turnips, and now finished for a crop, together with other improvements executed in a superior style, and at a great expense. The public burdens are trifling. Two lime-kilns are within a mile of the property. A purchaser may have immediate possession; or a respectable tenant will give One Pound of rent per acre, for a lease of nineteen years. Apply to Mr Wilkie, the proprietor at Mrs Brown's lodgings, No.5, North side, George Street, Edinburgh who will furnish indubitable good rights and purge all encumbrances, to the satisfaction of a purchaser. James Watson, overseer at Breich, will show the premises

        The Caledonian Mercury, 16th January 1802

    • 1804
      • A00001: 07/09/1804


        THE ESTATE of WESTWOOD, consisting of the following Farms: Easter and Wester Breich, Dykes, Auchinhard, City, and Stepend , containing about 500 English acres, situated in the parish of Livingstone, West Lothian, only 2 ½ hours ride from Edinburgh. A great part of these farms are sheltered with valuable plantations,- 30 years old. there are a. COAL, 5 ½ feet thick, extending over more than a hundred acres; the lands also abound with IRON STONE and a FREE STONE; the Mansion house is new and well finished, containing dining and drawing-roomns, Also bed-chambers, kitchen &c.; the offices are at a convenient distance, consisting of a double coach-house, stable, barn, hay-loft, and servants house. During the last four years very extensive improvements have been going on a upon this estate; lime and coal. is to be had within a mile ofthe mansion-house. A purchaser may have immediate possession of the farms of City and Stepends, containing upwards of one hundred and seventy English acres, (all in grass and corn) with the manslon-house, offices, kitchen garden, and the plantations surrounding said farms. The title deeds are clear and distinct. For further particulars please apply to Mr Wilkie, the proprietor; or Mr James Elder, writer in Glasgow.

        The Caledonian Mercury, 7th September 1804

    • 1805
      • A00009: 22/04/1805

        MIDDLE BRIECH. - To be Let for such term of'years as shall be agreed upon, and entered to at Martinmas 1806,

        THE LANDS of MIDDLE BRIECH, situated in the the parish of Livington, about 5 miles west of' Mid-Calder upon the road leading to Hamilton, which forms the southern boundary, and bounded upon the north by the Foulshiels Burn and water of the Almond. These lands consist of 126 acres or thereby, including about 7 acres of planting, and are divided with hedge and ditch into five fields. The ground, excepting a few acres next the road, is of as excellent quality, and plenty of lime can be procured from different works in the neighbourhood at an easy rate. Offers in writing may be made to the proprietor Mr. Moodie, No. 31. George Street and such as shall not be accepted of; will, if required, be concealed.

        The Caledonian Mercury, 22nd April 1805

    • 1817
      • A00012: 20/02/1817


        To LET, on a lease for nineteen years, and entered to at Martinmas 1817, THE LANDS and FARM of BRIECH- MILL, with the CORN and BARLEY MILL there to belonging, lying in the parish, and about a mile from the village,of West Calder. The farm contains 100 Scotch acres, or thereby, mostly inclosed with stone dykes, and subdivided with thriving hedges. The soil is a good loam, and partly holm land. Offers may be given in, on or before the 29th March curt. to Mr Archibald Mackinlay, Treasurer to George Watson's HospItal South Bridge Street, or James Jollie, W. S. Duke Street, Edinburgh. Edinburgh, 11th March 1817.

        The Caledonian Mercury 20th March 1817

    • 1820
      • A00013: 22/04/1820


        Upon Monday the 8th day of May next, at one o'clock, upon the ground, if not previously disposed of by private bargain, THAT valuable FIELD of GROUND, known by the name of BRIECH DYKES, with the Steading of Houses thereon, part of the estate of WESTWOOD, West Lothian.

        This field measures about 68 Scots acres, 9 or 10 of which are in crop, the remainder in valuable pasture, eight years old. It is bounded by a river on the south, by a public road on the north, and on the west by a park lately sold. On the opposite side of the river is a corn mill, on the lands of Briech Mill, the property of Watson's Hospital. There is a coal in the land 5 1/2 feet thick, the crop of which was worked for many years in the adjoining field; and for which in this district the demand would be considerable. The adjoining farm has produced excellent wheat. for years. The public burdens are trifling.. Immediate possession may be had, and the arrangements for payment will be liberal. A servant will show the ground. For further particulars application may be made to D. Bain; accountant, 27 Castle Street, Edinburgh; or to the proprietor.

        The Caledonian Mercury, 22nd April 1820

    • 1836
      • A00017: 23/03/1836


        Upset Price Reduced

        To be SOLD by public roup, within the Old Signet Hall, Royal Excenge, Edinburgh, on Wednesday 6th April next, at two o'clock afternoon, either in one lot or in three lots conveniently divided

        THE LANDS of WESTWOOD, in the parish of Livingstone, 16 miles from Edinburgh and 26 from Glasgow, containing about 354 Scots acres of arable land and about 16 of thriving plantation.

        The land is capable of great improvement and is particularly adapted for line, of which the neighbourhood affords and ample supply. One side of the property, nearly a mile in extent, is bounded by the water of Briech, which has a gradual fall of about 55 feet.

        Beside the mansion house which is a compact modern cottage with substantial farm steadings on the property. The lands abound in coal, which was wrought in a former period, and they also abound with ironstone and fireclay, which might be wrought to advantage.

        The proposed railway betwixt Edinburgh and Glasgow is intended to be carried through, or to skirt the property. The upset price will be such as to afford and ample return to a purchaser.

        For further particulars, application may be made to Mr. BAUCHOP, Brucefield, who will give directions to show the lands; Mr Roderick Mackenzie, writer, 13 John St, Glasgow; or to Robert Johnston jnr W.S, 2, Scotland Street, Edinburgh, who is in possession of the title-deeds and a plan of the estate.

        The Scotsman, 23rd March 1836

    • 1845
      • A00015: 17/01/1845

        TO BE LET, For such a term of Years as may be agreed on, THE FARM and LANDS of WESTER BRIECH, in the Parish of Livingstone, as the same were lately possessed by Mr. Robert Shanks, situated about a mile south from Blackburn, and lying centrically between that village and West Calder, Whitburn and Livingstone. The Farm contains 151 Acres or thereby, Scotch Measure, all arable, and is of excellent soil, well sub-divided, and sheltered by tidying plantations. Entry may be had immediately to both Houses and Lands. Apply to Geo. Strang, writer, 20, Miller Street, Glasgow, with whom offers may be lodged.

        The Glasgow Herald, 17th January 1845

    • 1855
      • A00014: 04/04/1855

        FARMS TO BE LET.

        FARM of CITY, in the Parish of Livingstone, near West Calder, containing about 100 Imperial acres, the greater portion of which is tile-drained; and The FARM of BRIECH DYKES, part of the same Estate, containing about 220 Imperial acres, two-thirds of which have been recently tile-drained, and the remainder will be also done if required; are both to be Let for Nineteen Years, with immediate entry, and the ploughing done for this crop. The gardener at Westwood, will show the Lands, and all further particulars may be obtained from the Proprietor, there, or at 32, Royal Terrace, Edinburgh.

        North British Agriculturalist, 4th April 1855

    • 1859
      • A00002: 19/03/1859


        SEAMS of SMITHY and other COALS, FIRECLAY, IRONSTONE, and LIMESTONE, in the Estate of Westwood, extending to upwards of 230 acres, lying in the Parish of Livingstone, and about a mile distant from the Bathgate and Morningside Railway, are to be Let. A good Seam of Smithy Coal, upwards of 5 feet in thickness, with several smaller Seams of good quality, and well adapted for the manufacture of Coke, have been opened up in different parts of the property. Two of these rest upon Seams of good Fireclay, suitable for making Ovens, or any other purposes. There are also several Seams of Ironstone, amounting altogether to some feet in thickness, and which may be seen at the outcrop, with Lime, and dense stratum of Pitchy Bituminous Shale. For farther particulars and terms, application may be made to the Proprietor, Robert Steuart, Esq. of Carfin, Moray Place, Edinburgh; or Thomas Sprot, Esq., W.S., there.

        The Falkirk Herald, 17th March 1859

    • 1861
      • A00019: 04/10/1861


        GAS COAL, BITUMINOUS shale, HOUSEHOLD; and SMITHY COAL, and OTHER MINERALS, in part of the Estate of Houston, the Parish of Uphall and County of Linlithgow, adjoining the Edinburgh and Bathgate Railway, extending to about 280 acres. The Mineral Field has not been fully explored, but, only at a short distance from the Torbanehill Mineral District, there are good prospects of Gas Coal and Bituminous Shale being found in the Lands. For further particulars, apply to William Waddell, W. S., Royal Circus, Edinburgh ; or, to the Proprietor, Houston House, who will show the Mineral Field. 16th October, 1861.

        The Falkirk Herald, 4th October 1861

      • A00018: 23/11/1861


        THE FARM of WESTER BRIECH, in the Parish of Livingstone, County of Linlithgow, distant about a mile from the villages of Blackburn and West Calder, and three miles from Bathgate, presently possessed by Mr Hugh Wood. Is TO LET for such number of Years may be agreed on, with Immediate Entry to part the lands, including the Fields that were in Tillage this year, and Entry the remainder of the Lands and to the Houses at Whitsunday next. The Farm contains 151 Acres, or thereby, Scotch Measure, and is good soil and well watered, sub-divided, and Fenced. With the exception of from Seven to Nine Acres in Plantation, &c., it all Arable, and to the extent of fully one-third has been thoroughly Drained. The Dwelling House, which consists of Two Storeys, whole other houses are Substantial and chiefly New, and afford ample accommodation.

        The Lands are little more than three miles distant from the Harburn Station, on the Edinburgh Branch of the Caledonian and from the Bathgate Livingstone Stations, on the Edinburgh and Bathgate Railway, and there are two Goods Railway Stations within about two miles of the Farm. Offers to lodged, on or before the 30th day of December next, with the Proprietor, Mr George Strang, 13 Carlton Place, Glasgow. A person employed the Farm will point out the Boundaries. The Proprietor does not bind himself to accept the highest or any offer.

        The Glasgow Saturday Post, 23rd November 1861

    • 1864
      • A00003: 27/07/1864


        A MINERAL FIELD, of about 230 Acres, containing Several Seams of Superior Bituminous Shale, with Smithy and other Coals, Fireclay, Ironstone, aud Limestone, in the Estate of Westwood, lying in the parish of Livingstone, about a mile distant from the Edinburgh, Bathgate, and Morningside Railway, and well suited for an extenstive Mineral Oil Work, is to be Let. For further particulars and terms, application may be made to the Proprietor, Robert Steuart, Esq. of Westwood, West Calder; Thomas Sprot, Esq., W.S., Edinburgh or Messrs. Mackenzie & Moore, ME, Glasgow.

        The Glasgow Herald, 27th July 1864

    • 1874
      • A00004: 22/07/1874

        FARM TO LET

        The FARM of BREICHDYKES, on the estate of Westwood and parish of Livingstone, extending to 210 Imperial Acres or thereby, to be let for nineteen years from Whitsunday, 1875. The farm is all thoroughly tile drained. Dwelling house and steading were re-roofed an thoroughly put in order in 1872. It is specially adapted for a dairy farm, the populous village of West Calder being within a mile, and there is a private railway siding (Caledonian) on the ground. The outgoing tenant (who is relinquishing farming) will show the boundaries. For other particulars, or with offers, address the proprietor, Westwood, West Calder, or Messrs Sprot & Wordie, W.S. 10 Drummond Place, Edinburgh

        The Scotsman, 22nd July, 1874

    • 1918
      • A00005: 12/01/1918


        The Lands extend to about 450 acres, about one-half of which is included in the Farm of City . The remainder is let for grazing and a portion for cropping. The Land is all within easy distance of West Calder, with excellent market facilities. The Mansion-House contains 4 Public and 14 Bed Rooms , with Ample Servants' Accommodation. There is a Gravitation Water Supply, Large Garden with Glass Houses, and Good Gardener's House; also a Conservatory at the House , Extensive Offices , and a Good Lodge. It is about 3 miles from West Calder Station by road , and about 1 1/2 miles by footpath, 5 miles from Bathgate, 12 from Linlithgow, and 17 from Edinburgh, with good roads . There is a row of 25 Cottages on the West End of the Estate: also two Large Cottages. The House and Offices at City Farm are comparatively new, and are suitable for the Farm. There it some Timber on the Estate ready for cutting. The Minerals are let on Lease , and are reserved from the Sale. The Rent, exclusive of Minerals, is about £480 , including £50 for the Mansion-House, and the Public Bnrdens are about £70 . The Rents could be increased as a considerable extent is let at a low rate for grazing . Further particulars and Orders to View can be obtained from Messrs CARMENT, WEDDERBURN & WATSON , W.S., 2 Glenfinlas Street , Edinburgh , who have the Titles and with whom Offers should be lodged.

        The Scotsman 12th January 1918

  • Company prospectus
    • 1871 | 1872 | 1873 | 1874 | 1875 | 1876 | 1877 | 1878 | 1879 | 1880 |
      1881 | 1882 | 1883 | 1884 | 1885
    • 1871
      • A01064: 04/10/1871

        The Dalmeny Oil Company (Limited)

        Capital £27,000 in 2700 shares of £10 each.

        Payable £2 per Share on application: £4 on Allotment: and the remainder in future call: not sooner

        than three months after the formation of the Company/


        • George Gray, Esq., Coal and Lime Merchant, Leavenseat
        • George Roberts, Esq., Builder, Edinburgh
        • John Kerr, Esq., Farmer, Bloom, Mid-Calder
        • George Gardiner, Esq., Carrington Deans, Lasswade


        • The British Lines Company, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Branches


        • Messrs Hill, Reid & Drummond, W. S., Edinburgh


        • Messrs Mitchell, Watson & Wine, National Bank Buildings, Glasgow

        This company is being formed for the purposed of acquiring the Dalmeny Shale and Oil Works near Queensferry, with the lease of the shale and other minerals in part of the Dalmeny Estate of the Earl of Rosebery. The mineral field is intersected by the Queensferry Branch of the North British Railway Company, and the works are connected with that branch by a short line of private railway.

        The extent and contents of the mineral field have been amply proved by mineral workings and by boring. The mining machinery has been completed so as to admit of an output of 300 tons of shale per day, and, by a little further expenditure, this can be easily increased. The Oil Works were erected within the last eighteen months having been gradually extended during that time as the commercial value of the undertaking was proved. They contain 33 upright and 44 horizontal retorts, with relative machinery and plant. The works use 53[?] tons of shale per day, producing 32½ gallons per ton in vertical retorts, and 27 ½ gallons per ton in horizontal retorts. A relatively small proportion of additional expense will increase the Oil Works so as to use the output available from the mining plant. The seams of shale are of much greater thickness than usual in the other shale fields in Scotland, and the oil is noted in the market for its excellent quality.

        The report by Mr John R. Williamson, M. E., Edinburgh (?? to the prospectus), contains a description of the field and works.

        The lease of the mineral field is for thirty-one years from Martinmas 1871, with breaks in favour of the tenants every third year. The rent is £1000 of fixed rent, or, in the Landlord's option, a royalty of 1s per 22 ½ cwt. of shale, and moderate lordships[?] on other minerals if these be worked. The conditions of the lease may be seen in the hands of the Solicitors.

        The capital proposed is £27,000. Of this, there is required for the purchase of the works £16,000, part of which is to be paid by Shares of the Company. The plant to be conveyed to the Company includes the whole plant on the ground, including what formerly belonged to the Landlord as well as to the recent tenants, the present owners having taken over the whole of the Landlord's plant as well as the interest of their former copartners in the undertaking. There is also a number of excellent workmen's houses, and a manager's house, belonging to the works. Of the remaining capital , part is intended for an immediate extension of the Oil Work, and for future extension and floating capital.

        An expenditure of £7000 to £8000 on retorts would increase the manufacture to 200 tons of shale per day, making an annual production of over 1,650,000 gallons of oil. A profit of 1d per gallon on this would give £6875 a year. The profits from the sulphate of ammonia manugactured from this quantity of shale may be estimated at £1500. This would give a very remunerative return to the Shareholder, ever after providing an ample reserve fund for commercial contingencies.

        The estimated cost of production of the oil is 3 ½d. per gallon for horizontal or light oil, and 3 ½d. per gallon for vertical or heavy oil, including repairs, but not depreciation on plant. The actual cost in the fourteen weeks ending 6th September 1871 (during which the present works were in full operational) averaged 3.257 pence per gallon for both classes of oil, conform to a report by Messrs Lindsay, Jamieson, and Haldane, C. A., Edinburgh. The actual cost of working the shale during that time was 3s 4.037d. per ton.

        From inquiries made of large dealers in crude oils, it appears that the price of light oil (860” gravity) averaged over the last three years fully 5d. per gallon (5 ½d. to 5 ¾d.), delivered at the place of manufacture. Even though this average be not maintained to future and making full allowance for general expenses and contingencies, it is believed that the present undertaking must prove a success.

        It is intended to provide that not dividend in excess of 15 percent, per annum be declared till a Reserve Fund be accumulated. This fund may be applied as the Company resolve.

        The incorporation of the Company will admit of their extending their operations to other fields if the Company so resolve. A copy of the Memorandum of Association is annexed to the Prospectus.

        The only agreement entered into on behalf of the Company is an agreement dated 27th September 1871, between Alexander Archibald Glendinning and George Peter Glendinning, Leuchold, Dalmeny Park, Edinburgh, of the first part, and George Gray, Coal and Lime Master, Leavenseat, as on behalf of the intended Company, on the other part. This deed in in the hands of the Solicitors.

        Applications for Shares may be addressed to Messrs Hill, Reid, & Drummond, W. S., Edinburgh: Messrs Mitchell, Watson & Wine, C. A., Glasgow: or to Mr George P. Glendinning, Dalmeny Oil Works, Dalmeny.

        Except from the Report on the Dalmeny Shale Field by John R. Williamson, Esq., M. E. (Annexed to the Prospectus)

        In conclusion, I am of opinion that the field is a very valuable one, and I see no reason why, with a fair [??] state of the oil trade, the concern should not turn out a very remunerative one.

        John R. Williamson, M. E.

        The Scotsman, 4th October 1871

      • A01065: 23/11/1871

        Prospectus of the Mid-Lothian Mineral Oil Co. Ltd.

        Incorporated under the Companies' Acts 1852 and 1867. Capital £75,000. First issue £50,000, in 10,000 Shares of £6 each, payable as under:— 10s. per Share on Application. 20s. ditto on Allotment 20s. ditto on lst January 1872; 20s. ditto on 1st June, 1872; and 30s. ditto on 1st October, 1872. The additional capital when issued will be offered pro rata to existing share holders.


        • Henry Inglis, Esq., of Torsonce, county of Edinburgh (Director, City of Glasgow Bank).
        • W. P. Andrew, Esq.. Bryanston square, W. (Chairman Scinde, Punjab, and Delhi Railway Company, and Director General Credit and Discount Company).
        • Robert Salmond Esq. F.R.G.S of Rankinston, Ayrshire, and Reform Club, London, S.W. (Director British India Steam Navigation Company).
        • John Peter Raeburn, Esq., of Charlesfield. Mid Calder.


        • The London Joint Stock Bank (London and branches).
        • The City of Glasgow Bank, (Glasgow, Edinburgh, and branches).


        • London— Messrs Scott & Francis, 5 Warnfordcourt, Throgmorton-street, E.C.;
        • Liverpool- Messrs. G. and T. lrvine, India-buildings;
        • Edinburgh— William Bell, Esq., 8. North St. David street;
        • Glasgow— Messrs. Kerr, Anderson, and Co., 132, St. Vincent- St.


        • Messrs. H. & E. Inglis, Writers to the Signet, 16, Queen St. Edinburgh.


        • (pro-temp) David Lockhart, Esq., Office, 190, West George Street, Glasgow.


        This Company is formed for the purpose of working on an extensive scale a valuable Mineral Oil Property at Charlesfield, near West Calder, in the county of Edinburgh. This property comprises 150 acres of first class shale, with an upper and lower seam, capable of producing 14,000 tons of shale per acre, which will yield 25 gallons or upwards of crude oil of the finest quality to each ton of shale.

        The rate and progress of the manufacture of Mineral Oil in Scotland is unparalleled by that of any other branch of trade, and there is at present an enormous and increasing demand for what has become one of the leading industries of the country. At the present time, the average weekly production of crude oil in Scotland exceeds 400,000 gallons being regularly at work, producing 21,800,000 gallons annually. About 10,000,000 gallons are annually refined for burning, besides which an enormous quantity of paraffin wax and other valuable products ate obtained from treatment of the shale.

        As to the quality of the Oil, its superiority to all other oils is apparent from a report issued by the Lighthouse authorities in France, in which they state that the Scottish oil presented a marked superiority over all others experimented upon for quality and luminous intensity, and has been adopted in all the lighthouses in France adapted for Mineral Oils. Captain H. H. Doty, in a paper read before the Royal Scottish Society Of Arts In March last, unhesitatingly pronounced Scotch oils superior to all others, and predicted their adoption at no distant date in all the lighthouses of the world. He stated that these oil possess nearly double the illuminating power of an equal quantity of vegetable or animal oils, at the same time the price being less than half. It will immediately be seen that a marked economy is effected in their use, and this circumstance has tended much to their rapid adoption

        This Company will be favourably circumstanced for producing oil, having acquired the right to work property of high repute in the West Calder district, which is particularly rich in bituminous shale of superior quality. The Caledonian Railway passes in close proximity to the property, and will be connected with the works by means of a siding, by which the cheap and easy transit of material and produce will lie greatly facilitated.

        It is estimated that the shale which exists on the property is capable of yielding 50,000,000 gallons of oil. The estimate of income and expenditure annexed to prospectus will show the highly remunerative character of this undertaking. The capital will be expended in erecting retorts and refineries, sinking pits, laying down tramways, building workmen's houses &c. the whole of the plant and machinery will, be of the most approved description. In estimating the dividends which will accrue, It is difficult to avoid an appearance of exaggeration; but after allowing fully for all expenses of manufacture, and in view of the very moderate selling prices which have been taken, and which are confirmed by competent and experienced authorities, dividends of at least 30 per cent may be reasonably expected. The business in one that is carried on without risk of bad debts, its transactions being almost entirely in cash payments.

        The Company propose to work at first about 120 tons daily, but by the issue of the remaining capital of £25,000 they would he enabled to work 240 tons a day, by which it is at once apparent the dividend would be largely increased. It is expected that the works will be in active operation in about six months from their commencement.

        The Board includes the names of gentlemen having a good knowledge of the business of the Company, and the directors have secured the services of a manager who has had great practical experience in the manufacture of mineral oils, and is thoroughly acquainted with every detail of the business. The only contract entered into is a Minute of Agreement dated 14th November 1871 between John Peter Raeburn of the one part, and William Bell, on behalf of the company, of the other part, under which a lease of shale, subject to a stipulated fixed rent or royalty, is to be granted to the Company. The price to be paid for this lease is £8,000, of which the proprietor has agreed to accept £7,000 in shares. The contract may be inspected at the office of the solicitors, and a copy may be seen at the office of the company.

        Share warrants to bearer, or share certificates, as may be desired, will he issued, when shares are fully paid. In exchange for bankers' receipts. Shares may be paid up in full on allotment if desired. Prospectuses and forms of application for shares may be obtained at the office of the Company, or of the Company's bankers or brokers where also copies of the Memorandum and Articles of Association may be had.

        London Standard, 23rd November 1871

    • 1872
      • A01070: 19/07/1872


        Incorporated under the Companies’ Acts, 1862 and 1867. CAPITAL, £160,000, IN 16,000 SHARES OF £10 EACH, PAYABLE AS UNDER:-

        • £1 per Share on Application.
        • £2 per Share on Allotment.
        • £2 per Share Three Months after Allotment.
        • £2 per Share Six Months after Allotment. The remaining £3 As may be required.


        • CHARLES BANNATYNE FINDLAY, Esq., of Messrs Richardson, Findlay, & Co., Merchants, London and Glasgow.
        • THOMAS REID, Esq., Ibroxhill, Provost of Govan.
        • GEORGE WILSON CLARK, Esq., of Dumbreck, Merchant, Glasgow.
        • THOMAS DUNLOP FINDLAY, Esq., Easterhill, of Messrs T. D. Findlay & Co., Merchants, Glasgow.
        • LEWIS THORPE MERROW, Esq., of Kennebec House, Merchant, Glasgow.
        • STEWART SOUTER ROBERTSON, Esq. Yr., of Lawhead.
        • RICHARD S. CUNLIFFE, Esq., of the late Firm of Randolph, Elder, & Co., Engineers and Shipbuilders, Glasgow.


        • CITY OF GLASGOW BANK and Branches.
        • COMMERCIAL BANK OF SCOTLAND and Branches,


        • Messrs M’CLURE, NAISMITH, & BRODIE, 87 St Vincent Street, Glasgow.

        Interim Secretary

        • WM. MACKINNON, Esq., of Messrs M’Clelland, Mackinnon, & Blyth, Chartered Accountants, 140 St Vincent Street, Glasgow.

        From the applications already made, the Directors have now at their disposal only from 3000 to 4000 Shares.


        This Company has been formed for the purpose of acquiring from the present proprietors the valuable leases of Shale and other Minerals of Gavieside and the north-east division of South Cobbinshaw; together with

        1. the extensive Oil Works erected at Gavieside for the manufacture of Paraffin and Lubricating Oils and other products from Shale;
        2. the whole Working Plant and the entire Interest and Goodwill of thebusiness hitherto carried on in connection therewith, and all rights incident thereto ;
        3. the Profits accruing to the proprietors from a sub-lease of an adjoining Mineral Field ; and
        4. the Right, as after-mentioned, to Coal and other Minerals in the Lands of Woolfords.

        The Oil Works are situated in the centre of the famous West-Calder Shale District, and by means of a Branch of the Caledonian Railway carried into the Works the produce can be conveyed to all parts of the kingdom; moreover, they command an ample supply of Shale of the finest and most productive quality, which is wrought and laid down at the Retorts at a very modest cost.

        These Works embrace 150 Retorts for the manufacture of Crude Oil, with Buildings and Machinery of the most modern and approved construction for the manufacture and refining of Burning and Lubricating Oils, and the requisite Plant for the freezing and pressing of solid Paraffin, the manufacture of Sulphate of Ammonia, and other products; with Workshops, Workmen’s Houses and all other necessary apparatus and appliances. The Works, as at present constructed, are capable of making and refining 1,596,000 gallons of Crude Oil per annum. being the produce of 42,000 tons of Shale; but to carry out and finish the original plan of the work, and to overtake the increased production of Crude Oils from Retorts proposed to be erected at Cobbinshaw, it will be necessary to extend the Refinery : and according to a report made by Mr George Bennie, Mineral Oil Engineer, this can be done at a cost of £7500, and when completed, the Work would be capable of refining 3,304,000 gallons of Crude Oil per annum. It is proposed to erect 104 large Vertical Retorts on Cobbinshaw, capable of treating annually 1,710,000 gallons of Crude Oil per annum. Mr Bennie, in his report, states that the sum of £20,000 will amply provide for the erection of these Retorts, the sinking of the new Pits after-mentioned, and the erection of the necessary Workmen’s Houses; and he strongly recommends these operations, as they will be attended with an increase in the production much greater in proportion than the corresponding outlay ; and his opinion is that when the whole alterations and additions are made, a business can be done at the combined Works of a more lucrative character than at any other Work of the kind in Scotland.

        The Mineral leaseholds and rights to be acquired by the Company are:-


        This field is situated in the Parish of West-Calder. It extends to about 150 acres, and contains all the Shale measures from “Raeburn’s” downwards, as also the “Two Feet” and Houston’s” seams of Coal, all of which are the subjects of lease. Two of the seams of shale – viz., “Raeburns” and “Fell’s”, have been worked, and have proved of the finest quality, the yield of Crude Oil per ton of Shale during the past three years being as high as 38 gallons. The lease extends for a period of 20 years, and is held on very favourable terms, the fixed rent being only £200 per annum, and the royalties in lieu of it being exceedingly moderate. The field is fitted by two Pits, commanding an output of 160 tons per day ; and a third has just been put down, which will be handed over to the Company complete and free of expense, and when opened up will give additional output of 160 tons per day. The quantity of Shale of the “Raeburn’s” and “Fell” seams, workable by these fittings, is estimated at 675,000 tons; and in addition to these there are other two seams, each of 120 acres in extent, which are being wrought in the adjoining properties, and which, in Gavieside, can be worked crosscutting from one of the present Pits. One of these seams is estimated to contain 600,000 tons of Shale.


        The entire Property of South Cobbinshaw extends to about 1000 acres. It contains all the seams of Shale in the Gavieside Mineral Field, and of equal quality. The Works will be connected by a branch from the Caledonian Railway, which passes through the property. The south-west division of the field, which extends to about 500 acres, has been sub-let, and has proved by pits and bores to contain 3,450,000 tons of “Raeburn’s” and “Fell’s” Shale The sub-leases are working vigorously, and the profit accruing to the proposed Company upon the sub-lease is threepence per ton on all Shale raised, which would amount to £43,125 on the above-named quantity. The north-east division, containing about 500 acres, which this Company proposes to work, is also rich in the finest Shale, a number of bores having been put down, proving the “Fell” seam, which is found to extend to at least 300 acres, and to be of a thickness of 26 inches.

        This seam alone contains 1,200,000 tons, a large quantity of which can be got at comparatively little cost. Of the other seams, “Raeburn’s” has been partially proved, showing it to be of a considerable extent and of fine quality. It is proposed to put down at once two Pits to the “Fell” seam, which, from the proximity of the Shale to the surface, and the moderate angle at which the strata lie, will not involve any outlay of more than £2000, including all fittings and connections with the Railway. The two divisions of the field are held under a lease, of which 17 years have yet to run, at a moderate fixed rent, or, in the landlord’s option, certain royalties, which are also very moderate. The combined resources of the Mineral Fields, so far as proved, exclusive of the portion sub-let, are equal to 2,475,000 Tons of Shale of the very finest quality, giving an annual supply of 90,000 Tons for the next 27 years, and this quantity may be largely increased by the development of those Seams which have yet been untouched.


        A thorough and complete examination of the Books of the Company has been made by Mr William Mackinnon of the Firm of Messrs M’Clelland, Mackinnon, & Blyth, Chartered Accountants in Glasgow, extending over a period of three years, and brought down to the end of October last. His report made thereon shows the cost of raising Shale, and of the various manufactures therefrom; and on the data therein given an account of Income and Expenditure has been made, upon the assumption of the Works being extended, so as to produce and refine 3,306,000 Gallons of Crude Oil annually. From the examination of this account, it will be found that, taking the actual cost of the whole period, there is, after making the most ample and liberal allowances, a profit of £33,776 per annum; but adopting the costs of the last six months, during which time the working has been carried on more economically, and the Plant has been considerably improved, a profit of £44,440 per annum is shown, being a return on the proposed Capital of 21 and 27 per cent. respectively.

        Since Mr Mackinnon’s report was prepared, an acquisition has been made, on favourable terms, of the Coal, besides other valuable Minerals, in a portion, extending to about 150 acres, of the Estate of Woolfords, adjoining the lands of South Cobbinshaw. This field has been bored in several places, and has been found to contain throughout the “Hurlet” seam of coal, of a thickness of 4 feet 2 inches, which can be worked from a Pit of 28 fathoms in depth. This acquisition, which also possesses peculiar Railway advantages, will tend materially to add to the profits of the Company.

        The Purchase Money for the transfer of the entire Business, Works, Plant, Leases, and Goodwill, is £80,000, of which £50,000 is to be paid in Cash, and the remaining £30,000 in fully paid up Shares of the Company, to be called B Shares; but by Agreement the holders of these Shares shall not be entitled to any Dividend out of any year’s profits till after the holders of the other Shares, to be called A Shares, shall have received a Dividend of Ten per Cent. – the surplus, after providing for this Dividend, being applied as follows:- First, in making payment of a like Dividend on an amount of each B Share equal to that called up and paid on the A Shares, and of Interest at the rate of Five per Cent. per annum on the amount of each B Share equivalent to that not called up and paid on the A Shares, but that only in so far as there shall be profits available for these purposes; and Second, in making such a division of the profits that remain that all Shares of both classes shall participate equally, without reference to the amount of calls paid on the A Shares; and this mode of disposing of the profits for each year shall be continued till the Shareholders, other than the holders of B Shares, shall have received 100 per Cent. of the Dividends, after which all Shareholders, without distinction, shall participate ratably. It is further agreed that the Vendors and their Nominees, and their respective heirs and successors, shall not be entitled or have power to sell or otherwise dispose of all or any part of the B Shares during the space of five years from and after the formation of the Company, and that during that period the Company shall not be bound to register any Transfer of any such Shares.

        The only contract is a Provisional Agreement, dated 18th April 1872, entered into between Thomas Dunlop Findlay, Merchant, in Glasgow, as Factor and Commissioner for John Findlay, of Boturich Castle Dumbartonshire, conform to Factory and Commission therein mentioned and Louis Thorpe Merrow, Merchant in Glasgow, of the first part, and William Mackinnon, Accountant in Glasgow, of the second part; and this, together with Report by Mr John R. Williamson, Mining Engineer, Edinburgh, and the Reports by Mr Mackinnon and Mr Bennie, and the Memorandum and Articles of Association can be seen at the Offices of the Solicitors and the Interim Secretary of the Company. Prospectuses and Forms of Application for Shares can be obtained from the BANKERS, SOLICITORS, and SECRETARY of the COMPANY.

        The Scotsman, Friday 19th April 1872

      • A01071: 07/09/1872

        The Scottish Mineral Oil & Coal Company (Limited)

        NORTH COBINSHAW and BAADS ESTATES, Edinburghshire and Lanarkshire

        Incorporated under the Companies Acts, 1862 and 1867.

        CAPITAL £150,000 in 15,000 shares of £10 each. First issue £100,000 in 10,000 shares of £10 each, £1payable on application, and £2 on allotment,; £2 on 1st October; £2 on 1st November; £3 on 1st December.

        With the Option of paying up the whole on Allotment, in which case Discount at the rate of 5 per Cent, per Annum will be deducted.


        In Scotland

        • James Watt, Esq., Provost of Leith
        • John Munro MacNab Esq. J.P., Trinity, Leith
        • John James Muirhead Esq., Messrs MacKay, Cunningham & Co., Edinburgh
        • Thomas Thornton, Esq. Coal Master, Crofthead, Lanarkshire
        • (with power to add Two to their number)

        In England

        • Major-General C.A. Bartwell, Sommerville, Harrow
        • Thomas Forsyth Gray Esq. Oriental Club and 25 Devonshire Street, Portland Place, London


        • In Scotland - The Commercial Bank of Scotland and its Branches.
        • In London - The London and South-Western Bank (Limited), 7 Fenchurch St..


        • Messrs. J & A Peddie, W.S., 5 Queen St. Edinburgh


        • Messrs. Barnard, Clarke, M'Lean & Co. 3, Lothbury, London


        • In Edinburgh - James White Esq. 51 Prince's St
        • In Glasgow - Messrs Mackenzie, Aitken & Barclay, 56 St. Vincent St. Glasgow


        • Mr. William Cleere


        • In Edinburgh - Head Office, 60 Prince's St
        • In Glasgow - 180 Buchanan St.
        • In London - 33 Palmerson Buildings, Old Broad Street


        This Company will commence business with a source of supply of minerals as abundant and cheap as any in the Kingdom, and this is an advantage which the Directors feel themselves to have been fortunate in securing, lnamuch as Shale fields are limited, and have been In much demand by those who are engaged in the manufacture of Mineral Oils. The calculations submitted show a gross profit of £30,000. per annum, nearly 30 per cent, on the Capital of this Company.

        The Engineer's Report show in Cobinshaw and in Baads a quantity of above 5,000,000 Tons of Shale which may be got at a moderate depth In the seams known as "Raeburn's" and "Fells", without including the Shales which lie deeper. This quantity is sufficient to produce upwards of 150,000,000 Gallons of Oil, to manufacture which It would require a period of sixty yearn at the rate of 50,000 gallons a week.

        An arrangement has been made for the purchase of the leases of these Lands, containing 200 Acres of Minerals with a going Work already thereon, including Retorts Mining Appliances, and Workmen's Houses, &c., and the privilege of a a Railway Siding completed from the Caledonian Railway Into .the Works. and also benefit of the above-mentioned Invention, for the sum of £25,000, the whole of which the Vendor agrees to take in shares, with the exception of the sum to cover the risk of the preliminary expenditure.


        The Glasgow Herald, 17th September 1872

    • 1880
      • A01086: 01/01/1880

        The Bathgate Oil Company Limited.

        To be incorporated under “The Companies Acts 1862 to 1880,” whereby the Liability of Shareholders is limited to the amount of their shares.

        Capital £50,000, in 5000 shares of £10 each.

        Subscriptions are invited for 3500 shares of this company, the number proposed to be at present issued. Deposit £1 payable on application, £2 on Allotment, and the balance as required, by calls not exceeding £2 per share, at intervals of not less than two months.


        • Alexander Wood, Esq., M. D., F.R.O.P., F.R.S.E., Strathearn Place, Edinburgh,
        • James Pender, Esq., Rushmere, Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire,
        • James H. Warden, Esq. (of Messrs W. Warden & Co.), Oil Merchant, Leith,
        • W. Hamilton Beattie, Esq., Architect, 63 George Street, Edinburgh,
        • E. Borne Craigie, Esq., Metal Merchant, Edinburgh.

        Secretaries – Cotton & Valentine, C. A., Edinburgh.

        Auditors – F. J. Moncreiff & Horseburgh, C. A., Edinburgh.

        Bankers – The Union Bank of Scotland, Limited.

        Temporary Offices of the Company – 9 North St. David Street, Edinburgh.


        This Company is being formed for the purpose of purchasing the valuable Mineral Estate of Redhouse, and Leases of Shale and Coal in the lands of Blackburn and Seafield, near Bathgate, with the Mines and Pits, Mining Plant, Machinery, Buildings, and the Railways and Sidings thereon, and to develop the Shale-fields and to carry on the business of the Manufacture of Mineral Oils and the products thereof.

        The Lands of Redhouse extend to about 234 acres, and according to the Reports obtained contain valuable seams of Shale, Coal, Limestone, &c. The Lands of Seafield and Blackburn together extend to about 483[?] acre, and exhibit sections of the principal shale seams already known and worked on by Oil Companies in Scotland.

        The Shale and Coal on the three estates have been opened up by mines and pits, and the whole fields have been most thoroughly tested by borings, and the Journals of these may be seen at the office of the company.

        It is believed that the purchase of the Estate of Redhouse has been arranged on exceedingly moderate terms. £7000 of the price remaining for five years at the usual rate of interest. The Leases of the other fields have also been acquired on favourable terms, the royalties payable being at the rate of 7d. per ton of shale till the Company pays 10 per cent, and afterwards rising by 1d. per ton for every additional 2 ½ per cent, and the price to be paid for these and for the Mines, Plant, Railway, Buildings, &c., is not large.

        The mineral fields have been examined by Mr G. H. Geddes, Mining Engineer, Edinburgh, and his report is appended. His estimate of the quality of shale shows sufficient for a production, after making ample allowance for waste in working, &c., of over 500 tons per day for 30 years.

        A large sample of shale from the Feel Seam was recently taken by Mr Thomas Wilson, Borer, who states, in a letter dated 11th October 1883 - “I superintended the greater part of the boring operation on the lands of Blackburn and Seafield. I was also present when the shale was taken recently from the small pit near the east boundary of the Seafield estate for testing purposes. The shale is found there at a depth of six fathoms, and I have not, in my opinion, come across the Fell Shale in better order. The seam lies in a most favourable position for easy and economical working.”

        This sample has been practically tested by Dr Stevenson Macadam, Ph.D., &c., and by Mr Ivison Macadam, F. C. S., F. I. C., and their report, which is also appended, shows that this seam is one of the best seams of Fell Shale that has yet been found, containing 29.8[?] gallons of oil and 35lb. of sulphate of ammonia to the ton. The crude oil also shows exceptionally high results in paraffin scale and heavy oils.

        In view of the diminishing production of the American Works, there is every prospect of a large increase in the value of the prolific upper shales. The quality of the lower shales – Broxburn, Dunnet, &c. - referred to in Mr Geddes' estimate, is well known, and the high prices now being got for the products of these, notably paraffin scale, has set most of the established companies to search for these seams.

        It is proposed to confine the operations of the Company at first to the production of Crude Oil and Ammonia and meanwhile to develop the Works only to the extent of distilling 200 tons of shale per day, leaving thus to the first shareholders the benefit of the future extensions which the fields are capable of.

        Crude paraffin works have hitherto proved eminently successful, as is shown by the present position of the Dalmeny Oil Company, whose shares are now at over 350 per cent premium. Crude oil of the quality shown in the appended report should command the highest prices in the market.

        It is intended to erect the newest Patent Retorts, similar to those in use at the Pentland Works, which are giving such high results both as to quantity and quality of Oil and yield of ammonia combined with economy of working. By the use of these, also, a considerable quantity of ammonia is recovered from the coal used in firing the retorts, and if the Company's own coal is used, which, according to Mr Geddes, can be got at little expense, it is expected that the cost of retorting will be reduced by at least 1s per ton. This saving alone on the estimated output of 200 tons per day, represents a considerable dividend.

        A branch railway from the North British system runs to the estate, and a short line on the Company's own property connects with the works.

        The prospectus of this company seem altogether very favourable: the capital is small compared to the capacity of the works; the retorts and plant will be of the most approved pattern, and will be completed at the minimum of cost; the shale tested is of exceptional quality, and can be cheaply worked; and the shale-fields accrued are of such extent as will enable the Company in due time to largely increase its production.

        The Capital will be utilised as follows:

        • Purchase of the Works, Leases, Buildings, &c., including Balance of Price of Redhouse Estate and Minerals (£3500).... £12,000 0 0
        • Oil and Coal Retorts to distil 200 tons per day, Condensers and Ammonia Plant...£10,000 0 0
        • Mines and Houses...£4,000 0 0
        • Sundries and Working Capital.... £4,000 0 0
        • Reserve Fund..... £5,000 0 0

        The only contract entered into on behalf of the Company is an Agreement, dated 18th day of October 1883, between Mr David Nicolson Colton, C. A., Edinburgh, on behalf of the Company, on the one part, and Mr William A. Davis, Accountant, Edinburgh, on the other part, which deed can be inspected at the Company's office, where every information can be obtained.

        In all cases where no allotment is made, the deposit money will be returned in full.

        Prospectuses and Forms of Application can be obtained at the Company's Offices, 9 North St. David Street, Edinburgh; The Union Bank of Scotland, Limited – Head Offices; and Branches; or from any of the brokers in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee, and Aberdeen.

        Report by G. H. Geddes, Mining Engineer, Edinburgh

        Having examined the grounds accompanied by Mr Wilson, borer, who pointed out the sites of the bores put down by him, and having considered the plans of the workings in Houston Coal Beam, and also the result of some additional boring, journals of which have been furnished me, I have to report that in the northern portion of Seafield the seams of shale will be most readily opened up and that the collowing is an estimate of the quantities likely to be found there, viz; Fell Shale, 836,000 tons; Mungall shale, 120,000 tons, Raeburn Shale, 107,000 tons – in all 1,063,000 tons.

        From the lie of the mineral field an area of shale of these seams in the neighbouring lands of Redhouse will be won by the same means, and could be best worked along with Seafield shale. Of these three seams there will apparently be in Redhouse – Fell shale 760,000 tons; Mungall shale, 276,000; Raeburn shale, 387,000 tons – in all, 1,423,000 tons.

        The position of the series of Shales which are known to lie below Fell Shale will be found over a large proportion of the area of Seafield, and I estimate that 3 ¼ million tons of Shale of these seams may be found in the northern position of the estate. The trials for minerals on the southern portions of Seafield, and also in Blackburn Estate, show that district to be cut off from the seams in the northern portion by a large dyke or series of dislocations of the strata. Those minerals will be therefore be best worked by separate winnings from the northern portion, but here too, again, the winning of Blackburn minerals will to a great extent render available portions of Redhouse, which apparently will be at least as extensive as those of Blackburn.

        As to the quantity of shale it is likely will be found in this portion of the mineral field, I cannot from the information resulting from the bores and other trials estimate it at more than 1 ¼ million tons. The seam of coal known as the “Houston Coal” extends through the north-western portion of Seafield lands, and was worked to the extent shown on the plan some years ago to supply coal for the manufacture of [?] fuel. This coal would now be available for the purposes of an Oil Work, and an output of it could readily be got at comparatively little expense.

        Another seam of coal, the “Limb or Hurlet Coal”, crops out, and a pit sunk to on Redhouse lands. This also could be readily worked if required.

        17th October 1883, G.H. Geddes

        The Scotsman, 24th October 1883

      • A01090: 04/10/1880


        Incorporated under the Companies Acts 1862, 1867, and 1877. Share Capital £120,00. In 12,000 Shares of £10 each, of which 1764 Shares are to be taken by the Vendors.


        • John Wilson, Esq., Gorbals Tube-Works, Glasgow, Chairman.
        • James Becket, Esq., Calico Printer, Glasgow.
        • James Hamilton, Esq., Iron Merchant, Glasgow.
        • Archibald Russell, Esq., Coalmaster, Glasgow.
        • James Scott Esq., Distiller, Wishaw.

        "The Walkinshaw Oil Company, Limited, " is intended to be formed for the purpose of acquiring-

        1. The existing Oil and Brick Works and Workmen's Houses, situated at Inkermann, near Paisley, and belonging to the Abercorn Oil Company, and also the Leases of the large and valuable Mineral-Fields on the Estates of the Duke of Abercorn, Lord Douglas, and on the Walkinshaw Estate, belonging to John Charles Cunninghame, Esq. of Craigends, situated near Paisley, in the County of Renfrew, held by that Company.
        2. The East Fulton Oilworks, situated in the Parish of Kibarchan, near Johnstone, belonging to Messrs James Liddell & Company, with the Leases for working Shale Coal and Fire Clay held from the Trustees of the late Thomas Speir, Esq. of Blackstone.

        The present Oil and Brick Works have been valued by Mr James Clinkshill, Consulting Engineer and Machinery Valuator in Glasgow as follows:- Abercorn OIl Company, £22,698 6 6; Fulton Oil Works, £9,787 0 0: £32,485 6 6.

        To which falls to be added the Stocks of Shale, Bricks, Farm stock and Crop of East Candren, estimated at £3,000: £25,485 6 6.

        The price fixed for the Vendor's Interest in the whole Subjects, including Goodwill and Leases, Stocks of Shale and Bricks, and Farm Stock and Crop of East Candren is £30,000, payable as follows:- 1. In Cash £15,006. 2. In 1764 Ordinary Shares, £8 10s paid up, £14994.

        The capital has been fixed at £120,000, of which it is proposed to call up £8 10s per share within the next Eighteen Months, equal to £102,000 to meet- Purchase Price, in Cash and Shares £30,000; Refinery, Retorts, Pits and Plant, Brickwork, &c. £53,000: £83,000. Working Capital £19,000: £102,000.

        Glasgow Herald, Monday 4th October 1880.

    • 1884
      • A01105: 12/03/1884

        Prospectus of the Holmes Oil Co. Ltd.

        THE HOLMES OIL COMPANY (LIMITED). CAPITAL, £100,000, in 10,000 shares of £10 each SUBSCRIPTIONS are invited for 6750 SHARES of the Company. Deposit, £1 per Share on application, £1 On allotment and the remainder in future calls not exceeding £2 per Share at intervals not less than Two Months. It is expected that not more than £3 per Share will require to be called up.


        • JOHN CLARK FORREST, Esq. of Auchinraith, Carnbroe House, Bellshill, Chairman.
        • RICHARD MACKIE, Esq., Shipowner, Leith. WILLIAM ANDERSON, Esq., Provost of Wishaw Coalmaster.
        • JAMES SMITH, Esq. LLD., Fellow of Peter's House. Cambridge, H.M. Inspector of Schools for South Lanarkshire. St Peter's Lodge, Uddingston.
        • JOHN MILLEN. Esq.. Coalmaster, 55 Great Clyde Street, Glasgow.
        • JAMES MORTON, Esq., Manager, Langloan Iron-Works, Coatbridge, formerly Mining Manager to Young's Paraffin Oil Company.

        Bankers-The BRITISH LINEN COMPANY. Edinburgh Glasgow. and Branches.

        Solicitors: Messrs A. FERGUSON & J. T. T. BROWN, Glasgow, and JOHN LOGAN, Wishaw.

        Interim Secretary - A. H. SMITH, C.A., Glasgow.

        Temporary Office - At Messrs RATTRAY BROTHERS & SMITH. C.A.. Gresham House, 45 West Nile Street. Glasgow.


        This Company is being formed to acquire and work the Shales in (1) The Estate of Holmes and Goshen, the property of Robert Bell. Esq., of Broxburn, as presently held under a 31 years' Lease by William Anderson Coalmaster, Wishaw, and (2) a portion of the Estate of Dalmahoy. the property of the Right Honourable the Earl of Morton as presently held under a 31 year Missive of Lease by the said William Anderson, and to carry on the business of Manufacturers of Mineral Oils and the products thereof. The Shalefields of the company extend for 1129 acres and have excellent railway facilities. On the estate of Holmes and Goshen , where there is an abundant supply of water, it is intended to erect Retorts, Refining. Plant, and all necessary Works of the most approved description, capable of distilling and refining at least 250 tons of Shale per day.

        The Fields of the Company are situated in a district well known for its valuable shales, bring in the immediate vicinity of the Fields of the Broxburn, Pumpherston. and Oakbank Oil Companies. In the Dalmahoy Field the Houston Coal. which overlies all the West Calder, Broxburn, and Dunnet Shales, is seen cropping out at the burn which passes through the property. In the Holmes and Goshen field, John R. Williamson Esq. M.P. Edinburgh has carefully examined the shales and the results are highly satisfactory. His estimate as regards the Holmes and Goshen alone is 2.25 millions of tons of shale, equivalent to fully 250 tons a day for 31 years. The Holmes and Goshen Sha1es have born tested in a practical way at the Oakbank Oil Works with excellent results both as regards the quality and quality of the Oil, the large yield of Paraffin Scale and Sulphate of Ammonia being especially noticeable. It is expected that the Works will be so advanced as to admit of the manufacture of the various products in time for next winter's trade.

        The Oil Industry is at present in a most healthy condition, as is sees from the price of the Shares of the different Oil Companies. This Company, it is believed, will be in a a good position f or doing a good position for doing a large and ruminative business having the following advantaged and elements of success:

        • 1st - the Shalefield is of extra rich quality and easily worked
        • 2nd - very moderate royalties payable under the leases viz – Holmes and Goshen 9d per ton of shale; Dalmahoy, 5d per ton of shale yielding not more than 24 gallons crude oil, and upon every ton yielding about 24 tons of oil, and additional lordship of one third of a penny per gallon
        • 3rd - new works with all the most recent improvements to cheapen cost
        • 4th - good railway facilities throughout the property
        • 5th - the capital is small compared with the quantity of shale to be wrought and manufactured.

        The price payable to the vendor is £10,000 which will be taken in 1250 shares of the Company at £3 paid. The capital requirements are estimated as follows:

        • Payable to Vendor in shares £10,000
        • Mines, Retorts and Workmen's Houses £45,000
        • Working and uncalled capital £25,00
        • Unissued shares £20,000

        The Articles of Association admit of the operations being extended if the Company so resolve: The only Contract entered into on behalf of the Company is a Provisional Agreement between William Anderson. Coalmaster. Wishaw, on the one part and Alexander Hutcheson Smith, CA., Glasgow., for and On behalf of the Company, on the other part, dated 11th March 1884.

        The Memorandum and Articles of Association of the Company, together with copies of the above-mentioned Lease and Missive of Lease, and the principle Provisional Agreement may he seen in the Office of the Company. If no allotment is made, the full amount of the Deposit will be returned.

        The Glasgow Herald, 12th March 1884

      • A01081: 23/04/1884

        To be INCORPORATED UNDER THE "COMPANIES ACTS, 1862 to 1880, WHEREBY THE LIABILITY TO SHAREHOLDERS is Limited the Amount their Shares.

        CAPITAL £150,000 in 15,000 Shares of £10 Each. Subscriptions are invited for13,000 Shares of this Company: Deposit, £1 payable on Application, £2 on Allotment; not sooner than three months thereafter; and the balance in future calls as required.


        • George R. Glendinning Esq., Hatton Mains, Director of the Dalmeny Oil Company (Limited).
        • William Holms, Esq., 40 Drumsheugh Gardens, Edin.
        • John Hill, Esq, Carlowrie, Crammond
        • James Jones, Esq., General Manager of the Dalmeny Oil Company (Limited).
        • Kenneth Mathieson Esq., Dunfermline, Director of the Dalmeny Oil Company (Limited.)

        (With power add their number.)

        Solicitor—George Andrew S.S.C., 3 Hope Street, Edin.

        Interim Secretary—Thomas C. Hanna, C.A., Frederick Street, Edinburgh.

        Bankers—The Royal Bank of Scotland, Edinburgh, London, and Branches

        Auditors—Messrs Lindsay, Jamieson, & Haldane C.A. Edinburgh.

        Temporary Office—45 Frederick Street, Edinburgh.


        This Company being formed to purchase and work the Shale-field of Boson, near Cannes, in the South of France, as held under perpetual Concessions granted by the Government of France, with the Paraffin Oil Works thereon, and also leases the Shale the Concessions at La Madeleine and Auriasque, adjoining the Boson Concession, with pits, mines, and buildings and to carry on the business of Manufacturing Mineral Oils and the products thereof, and trading therein. Under the the Company will acquire:

        • First.—The works at Boson, consisting of Retorts, Stills, Washers, Tanks, Engines, Boilers, other subsiduary equipment for manufacturing crude oil and refining it into burning and lubricating oils; also Shale and Coal Pits, Mines, Machinery, Workmen's and Managers' Houses, &c., together with about 100 acres of land, part which the works are situated.
        • Second. A perpetual Concession from the French Government to work Shale and Coal in Boson, known and described in the Government Survey Map "Boson Concession," extending all to 761 acres, or thereby; but subject to the charges payable to the Government, which consists of (1) rent or feu equal to about one Halfpenny per acre, and (2) a Royalty equal to one twentieth of the profits realised from mining the Coal and Shale (but not from the manufacture of Shale Oil). Royalty may be estimated at 3d per ton of Shale.
        • Third.—A lease for years of the Shale, and of such Coal lies in connection with the Shale, in the Concessions of La Madeleine and Auriasque—extending to 2500 acres thereby—subject to annual rent of £500, and the above-mentioned charges payable to Government.

        Shale was discovered in Boson a good many years ago, and the existing works were erected with the view of working on an extensive scale. Before these works were fully completed the principal proprietor died—about a year ago—after having expended a very large sum of money; and his representatives deemed necessary to sell.

        The Works—which are of very substantial description were originally intended; were originally intended for an output 33,000 tons pet annum. It is now intended to remodel and extend these to capacity of 3,500,000 gallons Crude Oil per annum—using the most improved description of retorts, refrigerating and other apparatus for extracting Solid Paraffin, and plant for the of Sulphate of Ammonia—for all which ample provision has been made in estimating the capital required.

        There is no other known Shale-field in the south, and only one other the whole of France (near Lyons), while the consumption of mineral oil in the country is large and the trade in it thoroughly established. The quantity annually imported about 600,000 barrels—more than double the whole production of burning oil in Scotland. The greater part this imported oil is crude petroleum, which is refined the country. The prices of manufactured products are much higher in France than in this country. Burning oil sells at 1s 4d per gallon, against 6d in Scotland, while lubricating oil and Sulphate of Ammonia bring £3per ton more.

        The Shale-field has been examined by Mr John R. Williamson, Mining Engineer, Edinburgh. In his Report, a copy of which is annexed to the Prospectus, he estimates the cost producing the Shale at 7s per ton, and the quantity in the Boson field at 2,000,000 tons, and states that much of the Shale more nearly resembles the Boghead Coal in streak and quality than any other Mineral has met. Mr Williamson deals exclusively with the Boson Concession, at the date of his inspection no more had been acquired. But as it was ascertained that the Boson seam of Shale extends into the Madeleine and Auriasque Concessions, the lease of the Shale these Concessions was afterwards secured.

        In the Boson Concession there are several Seams of Coal which will be available for the purposes of the Oil Works, and a pit has already been sunk and fitted to a depth of 47 fathoms. The Boson shale has been distilled on a large scale under the personal supervision of Mr Ivison Macadam, F. C. S,, FIG., Analytical Chemist in Edinburgh. Mr Macadam spent some tune at the Mines, and personally selected the Shale from the workings for his trials.

        A copy the Report, made by him and Dr Stevenson Macadam, is also annexed to the Prospectus. They found that the Boson Shale yields on average fully 88 gallons per ton of a superior quality Crude Oil. and that the products obtained were equal to any they had hitherto refined. This yield of oil is much more than double the average yield of Scotch Shales, and shows the Boson Shale to be superior to any Oilmaking material worked in Scotland since the exhaustion the Boghead Coal. The Company's undertaking presents special advantages —(1) exceptionally rich quality of Shale; and (2) The high prices of the French Market for manufactured products—the price of bunting oil being more than double its price Scotland.

        These advantages place this Company in a much more favourable position for earning dividends than the most successful of the Scotch Oil Companies, some of which pay high 25 per cent, in dividends. ~ The price payable to the vendor is £52,000, which is only equivalent to very moderate royalty on the Shale, irrespective of the value of buildings, plant, and freehold land of this sum the Directors have the option of £30,000, either cash or in 3750 Shares of the Company, or any smaller proportion thereof, credited with £8 per share, thus leaving £2 per share a liability. The Capital will, in the first instance, be utilised as follows : Payable to Vendor In Shares or cash- £52,000 Supplying new Retorts, Refrigerators, and otherwise fully equipping Oilworks 40,000 Mines and Houses 13,000 Working Capital, &c. 25,000 Total £130,000 The various Agreements entered into, copies thereof, can seen at the office of the Company's Solicitor. If no Allotment is made, the deposits will be returned in full.

        FORMS of APPLICATION for SHARES can had from the bankers, solicitors, and interim secretary of the COMPANY, and from all the PRINCIPLE STOCKBROKERS. In allocating shares, priority of application will receive due consideration. Temporary office of the Company-45 FREDERICK STREET, Edinburgh, 19th April 1884

        The follow agreements have been entered into, and these can be seen at the office of the company's solicitor:

        • (a) An Agreement between George Simpson, on the one part, and Robert Livingstone and on behalf of the intended company on the other part, dated 10th April 1884.
        • b) An agreement between Jean Roussellier, Charles de Possel, and Numa Robert, and George Simpson, dated 10th March, 1884;
        • (c). An agreement of lease between Arnold Henriot, for Le Compagnie des Charbonnages du, Reyran and George Simpson dated 1st April, 1884.

        Copies of the Decrees or Concessions granted by the.Emperor Napoleon on 16th March 1859 and 8th March 1865 and by the President of the French Republic on the 27th September 1876 can be seen on application.


        I have visited and examined the Mineral-field of Boson, situated in the Department of the Var, France, five Miles north-east of the Frejus station on Marseilles to Nice Railway. A branch line which has been in the course of construction for sometime past will, it is expected; very shortly connect the works with the public railway.

        The Concession of Boson covers 50 hectares (761 acres), and occupies the lower end of a coal basin belonging to the true coal formation, of about 15 square miles in extent The lower strata contains Shale Measures, while the upper contain part of the coal measures. The dip and rise over the field is on average, fully one foot in two. The seam of shale has been opened up on it by pits and inclines upon the outcrop, for a distance of 1200 yards along nearly the whole south boundary, and it extends into the adjoining concession of the Madeleine.

        The streak avid quality of the shale more nearly resembles the Boghead gas-coal than any other mineral I remember to have met with. In specific gravity it is somewhat lighter than any of the well-known shale seams in this country.

        From the result of my examinations, and of careful inquiries at a number of workmen formerly employed in the mines, I found the seam of Shale to vary a good deal in thickness, and have satisfied myself that an average thickness of four feet may be safely relied upon. The roof is somewhat soft. And requires a great deal of timbering, but supplies of timber for underground purposes is readily obtainable, at prices, I believe, very similar to what rule in this country. No expensive fittings are required, and a very short time and moderate outlay should enable an output to be got, There is little or no water requiring to be drawn from the mines, consequently thecost of pumping will, comparatively speaking, nil. Labour is abundant in the neighbourhood.

        The yearly fixed rent is at the rate of 10 centimes per hectare, or about one halfpenny per acre, and the royalties at a rate of one-twentieth of the profit of the shale. The profit, I understand, depends on the value of the raw material, and net on time profits of manufacture, Including these charges, which I put at 3d per ton, and all working costs, pitwood, unkeep, &c., I estimate that shale call he produced for 7s. per ton.

        I further estimate that the Concession of Boson will be found to contain 2,000,000 tons of shale, at a workable depth from the seam already opened out There are two seams of coal in the Boson concession, to which a pit has been sunk and fitted at a depth of 47 fathoms. The same and other seams of coal belonging to the same group, have been extensively worked close to the march in the adjoining concession of Auriasque. The quality of these coals seems good, and I am of the opinion they can be utilised for Boson for the distillation of the shale existing there.-



        Lecturers in Chemistry,


        We beg to report that we have made a careful series of experiments with samples of Shale obtained from levels and pits its the Concession of Boson, near Frejus, Department of Var, France. The various samples were taken from points selected by Mr. Ivison Macadam, who saw the quantities cut from the seams and under whose charge they afterwards remained.

        The results were obtained in a Retort of the Coupee & Rae principle, constructed at the Boson Works, and which was under the control and practical working of Ivison Macadam, who made the weighing of the Shale, measurements of the crude products and subsequent analysis of such. The samples included in this report were obtained from the levels in the "Aqueduct" pit - this being the pit in which actual work was proceeding in which the shale could be obtained in an unweathered state. No.1 sample was obtained from a downset off No.3 level. The face of the shale was at this point about three metres, about ten feet, and appeared uniform in quality. The colour of the Shale was dark brown, with at light brown non lustrous streak No 2 sample was taken from the intermediate gallery between No.3 and No.2 levels in the same pit was more dark in colour than in No.2 level. No, 3 sample was cut from three points in No.2 level of Aqueduct Pit, and was also darker in colour than No.1 Sample.

        The following Crude Products were obtained from the distillation of the Shale-field

        (table of chemical analysis)

        This Crude Shale Oil, and the products obtained are equal to any we have hitherto refined. -

        STEVENSON MACADAM, F.R.S.E., F.C.S., F. I. C, &c.. W. IVISON MACADAM, F.R.S.E. &c . Analytical Laboratory, Surgeons Hall, Edinburgh, 11th April, 1884

        The Edinburgh Evening News, 23rd April 1884

      • A01079: 16/12/1884

        Public meetings of the Mid-Lothian Oil Co. Ltd

        First Annual General Meeting 1883

        The Mid-Lothian Oil Company.—The first annual meeting of this company was held Powell's Rooms, George Street, Edinburgh, today, Thomas Barr, chairman of the company, presided. In proposing the adoption the report, which stated that the profits for the year had been £602, he said that the works bad been nine months longer of being in operation than was anticipated, new condensers were required and this had put them to additional expense.

        Since the New Year 144 retorts had been partially at work. As good shale had not been obtained, the work had not proceeded as satisfactorily had been expected. Money had been expended on the laying of new railways, in providing siding accommodation, and building houses. The value of the property of the company, exclusive of the land value was £46,500 —Mr Alexander Gibson seconded the motion and report was adopted.— Two practical man having been added to the directorate, and other directors re-elected with the auditors, the meeting terminated.

        The Edinburgh Evening News, 26th June 1883

        Interim Meeting 1884

        The directors of the MID-LOTHIAN OIL COMPANY (LIMITED) have issued the following interim report:- The directors having now determined the lines, upon which the company's operations can, in their opinion, be conducted to a profitable issue, think it proper to communicate to the shareholders such information as may enable them to form a correct opinion of the position and prospects of the company.

        Since the reconstruction of the Board in July last, the side of the directors has been mainly occupied in inquiring into the company's resources, and ascertaining in what they could best be utilised. The first subjects of considerations were the vital one of shale, both as regards quantity and quality, and the condition and fitness of the works plant. On all these points the directors are glad to be able to report favourably, and they have no hesitation in expressing the opinion that a satisfactory return should not be difficult to obtain with ordinarily good management at the works. This is receiving keen attention.

        Shale Works – Mr James M'Creath. M. E., who has been appointed, consulting engineer, reports the mine workings satisfactory. They are now turning out the full daily supply required and the quantity can easily be increased if desired. The average cost for past half-year, after adding a royalty of 6d per ton, is 3s 11-92d per ton of 20 cwts.

        Quality – A section of the seam was tested at Broxburn and a larger quantity at Annick Lodge. Other subsequent and independent tests fully confirm this result, showing a moderate yield of oil, but with a very high proportion of solid paraffin, the most valuable of all the products.

        Retorting - Attention has been specially directed to this department which has a bad reputation. The Beilby retorts, of which the greater number consists, had been practically condemned as being unworkable at a profit, and their replacement by others at a considerable expenditure was supposed to be inevitable. Before, however, proposing such a drastic remedy, the directors appointed a committee of their number to fully investigate the whole subject, and it having been ascertained that the Beilby retorts were giving entire satisfaction at the works of the Annick Lodge Oil Company, the committee as once put themselves in communication with Mr Baird, to whom they are under great obligations for his courtesy and ready assistance. By arrangement, a quantity of Mid-Lothian shale (about 160 tons) was put through 32 retorts at Annick Lodge (being a week's work) and gave such satisfactory results, that if similar results were obtainable at Straiton, any replacing of retorts, or even any considerable expenditure on alterations, would be unnecessary. A set of retorts at Straiton was therefore adapted to work on the same plan. It is now abundantly clear that upon this system a minimum yield of 27 gallons crude oil against 25 gallons, and of 16 to 20 lbs per ton of sulphate of ammonia as against 8 to 10 lbs, with the full proportion of other lucrative products, may by depended upon, and at a less cost in fuel than in the system followed hitherto. This implies a profit even at the abnormally low market prices now current. A change of retorts is therefore unnecessary, all that is required being to adapt the Beilby retorts at Straiton to work on the system pursued at Annick Lodge. This is now in course of being done. The expenditure involved will not exceed £2000 the sum actually estimated as required being £1200.

        Refinery – In this department the completion of new and more perfect cooling apparatus has insured the securing of all the paraffin scale, while the cost of refining has been considerably reduced. The total refined products for the past half year, as shown by the works books, is 64 to 66 per cent, the same as for the previous year, but owing to an irregularity in the returns, not yet trusted to its source, there is a doubt as to the correctness of these figures, which ought for obvious reasons to be higher. A double check on the stock returns has now been instituted with the view of avoiding the repetition of similar errors. About 70 per cent of refined products, including 14 to 15 per cent of paraffin scale, is evidently obtainable from the crude oil, and the works are perfectly efficient for all purposes.

        The works' costs compare as follows, viz :-

        Crude oil – last year to 31st March 1884, per gallon, 4.4d: to July, August, September, 1884, per gallon, 3.7d.

        Refining - Last year to 31st March 1884, per gallon, 1.82d; to July, August, September, 1884, per gallon 1.39d.

        Quantity of shale distilled – Last year, 36.971 tons; first six months this year, 32.54 tons. The retorts regret to state that some parcels of scale and other products have been recently sent out of inferior quality, due entirely to the carelessness of employees. Steps have been taken to prevent the recurrence of such mistakes, and there is no reason why this company's products should not continue to take a high rank in the market if only the usual attention is bestowed upon the manufacture. The manufacturing has been hampered from time to time by failure of the water supply, which has prejudicially affected the half-year's returns. This defect, however, is now being remedied and the company's operations are not likely to suffer from it in future.

        Financial – The result of the half-year's work to 30th September last is a small profit after paying all charges conecrted with the half year including royalty written off and interest on all loans. As the necessity for a large expenditure of capital upon new retorts, at one time imminent, now no longer exists the present financial arrangements should suffice for current obligations until it is decided in what manner the temporary loans from the bank of £25,000, obtained on the security of the uncalled capital, and the personal obligations of the directors, can best be arranged to the interest of the company.

        The Glasgow Herald, 16th December, 1884

    • 1885
      • A01106: 23/01/1885



        CAPITAL £12,000 IN 2400 SHARES OF £5 EACH.

        Payable 20s on Application. 20S on Allotment, and the Balance as required in Calls not exceeding £1 per Share, at intervals of not less than Two Months. It is not intended to call up more that £4 per Share.


        • ARCHIBALD C BROWN, Esq, Merchant, Gledstanes, Bishopton
        • JOHN BAIRD Esq. , Coalmasster Lesmahagow
        • JOHN BAIRD Esq. Jun.,Annick Lodge Oil Company Irvine
        • JAMES EAGLESHAM, Esq., Coalmaster, Kilmarnock
        • PETER WISHART HALL, Esq Caledonia Oil-Works, Glasgow.
        • GRAHAM STEVENSON, Esq, Engineer, Airdrie will join the Board after Allotment of Shares.


        • ANDERSON & PATTISON 137 St Vincent Street Glasgow

        Interim Secretary

        • JOHN WILSON, CA 59 St Vincent Street Glasgow


        • ALEXANDER FRAME, 175 St Vincent Street Glasgow


        • The BRITISH LINEN COMPANY BANK, Glasgow and Kilmarnock


        This Company has been formed for the purpose of acquiring the existing Oil-Works, Pits, Workmen's Houses and Other Buildings belonging to the Annick Lodge Oil Company, with the Goodwill of the Business, Mineral Leases, Stocks of Shale etc, in hand, and of carrying on the Manufacture of Crude Oil and Sulphate of Ammonia.

        The yield per Ton of Shale in daily working is

        • 37 Gallons Crude Oil
        • 21lb Sulphate of Ammonia

        Reports and Valuation of the Works by Mr James Jones. Dalmeny Oil Company. Mr James Liddell, Walkinshaw Oil Company and Mr John Reid MP, along with Memorandum and Articles of Association, can be seen at the Offices of the Solicitors.

        Applications for Shares should be forwarded to the Company's Bankers , or the The Solicitors or Interim Secretary, from whom all further information may be obtained.

        Glasgow Herald, 23rd January 1885

      • A01108: 28/07/1885


        To be Incorporated under the "The Companies Acts 1862 – 1883" whereby the Liability of Shareholders is Limited to the Amount of their Shares.

        CAPITAL £140,000 IN 14,000 SHARES OF £10 EACH

        SUBSCRIPTIONS ARE INVITED for the 14,000 Shares of this Company; Deposit, £1, payable on Application; £1, on Allotment; £1 not sooner than Three Months thereafter, and the Balance in future Calls as required. It is not intended to call up more than £8 per Share.


        • ROBERT SLIMON of Whitburgh, Merchant and Shipowner, Leith.
        • JOHN ARMOUR, Niddrymains, Winchburgh, formerly Coalmaster, Kilwinning, Ayrshire.
        • ALEXANDER DOUGAL, Brick and Tile Manufacturer, Linlithgow.
        • ROBERT THOMAS MOORE, C.E. and M.E., 134 St Vincent Street, Glasgow.
        • ALEXANDER C. THOMSON, Manufacturing Chemist, 7 Ardmillan Terrace, Edinburgh.
        • JAMES THORNTON of Hermand, Coalmaster.


        • Messrs DRUMMONS & REID, W.S., 21 Charlotte Square, Edinburgh.


        • The COMMERCIAL BANK OF SCOTLAND, LIMITED, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Branches and 123 Bishopsgate Street, London, E.C.


        • Messrs SCOTT MONCRIEFF & THOMSON, C.A., Edinburgh.

        Temporary Offices-


        Interim Secretary-

        • JOHN MUIR, 11 West Regent Street, Glasgow.


        This Company is being formed to carry on the business of Manufacturers of Mineral Oils and the products thereof, and with that view to lease the Shale, &c., in the property of Hermand, including the lands of Birniehill, and to purchase certain leases of Shale, &c., in the properties of Wester Breich, Mid and Easter Breich, with the Pits, Plant, and Houses thereon, all situated in the Parishes of West Calder and Livingstone.

        The Shale-fields of Hermand and Birniehill adjoin each other, and form a compact area belonging to one proprietor. They are connected with the Caledonian Railway near West Calder by a private branch line. The Breich properties are intersected by the Breich Branch of the Caledonian Railway, and the Shalefields of Mid and Easter Breich have been opened up and developed by three pits, two of them to the "Fell" Seam, and the other to the "Broxburn" Seam. All these pits have railway connections formed to them.

        The Shale-fields and the Pits have been examined by Mr John R. Williamson, Mining Engineer, Edinburgh, and Mr John Reid, Mining Engineer, Glasgow, who state in their Report, a copy of which is annexed, that the fields contain the several Seams worked by the different Oil Companies in the East of Scotland, including those known as the "Broxburn" and "Dunnet" Seams; and that the Pits on the Mid and Easter Breich Fields already opened up are well fitted with pumping and winding machinery, and capable alone of furnishing an output of 200 to 250 tons of Shale per day.

        They estimate the available quantity of Shale in the various fields at over 8,500,000, equal to a production of 1000 tons per day for thirty years.

        In a Report made by Mr William Jack, Managing Partner of George Shand & Co. Oil Refiners, Stirling, in October 1883, he stated:-"I have examined the Shales presently being worked at Mid and Easter Breich. They are what are known as the the 'Broxburn' and 'Fells' Seams, and are of excellent quality. I also know the quality of the 'Broxburn' and 'Dunnet' Seams on Hermand Estate. The Broxburn Seam is similar in quality to that worked at Breich, and the Dunnet Seam, although giving a less quantity of Crude Oil, gives a large yield of Ammonia. The Oil made from these Shales is of superior quality."

        It is intended to develop the Shale fields to an output for the present of 400 tons of Shale per day, and to erect Retorts sufficient to distil that quantity. It is also intended to erect Refining Works of the most improved description to refine the Crude Oil into its various products. These works it is proposed to place either at Hermand or Birniehill or at Levenseat, near Fauldhouse, where the Company have the option of acquiring a suitable site on lands belonging to Mr James Thornton.

        This Company, it is believed, will hold an exceptionally favourable position, on account of its being in possession of the Shales of various Seams, which will enable the Company to increase at any time the working of those Shales, the products of which will yield the most profitable return. The experience derived from new Oil Works erected during the past few years will be a useful guide for selecting the most suitable plans and designs of Oil Manufacturing Works, while the present moderate rate for labour, coupled with iron and building materials at a cheap rate, enable the works to be erected on most favourable terms.

        The price to be paid for the Leases of Wester Breich, Mid Breich and East Breich, and the Pits on Mid and East Breich, with the Plant and Houses pertaining thereto, together with the Railway formed at Hermand, is £11,000. The Leases of Mid and East Breich, and the Pits, Plant, and Houses thereon, belonged to Mr James Thornton and the representatives of his deceased brother and partner, Mr Thomas Thornton, and the half-share of the latter was acquired by Mr James Thornton at £1500, being equivalent to a price of £9000 for the whole. For the Railway, which is above one mile in length, constructed into Hermand and Birniehill, the Company are to pay £2000, which is within the amount of expenditure made in constructing the same. Besides this sum of £11,000, there is no further payment made to Vendor, and no promotion money beyond the actual outlay in forming the Company.

        A sketch of the Properties of Hermand and the Breichs, prepared by Mr Robert Thomas Moore, C.E. and M.E., one of the Directors of the Company, and which also shows a general section of the Shale measures, accompanies the Prospectus.

        The only contract entered into on behalf of the Company is an Agreement between JAMES THORNTON of Hermand, West Calder, on the one part, and JOHN ARMOUR, for and on behalf of the Company, on the other part, dated 23d July 1885, which, together with Copies of the Memorandum and Articles of Association, can be seen at the Office of the Solicitors.


        In all cases where no allotment is made, the deposit money will be returned in full.


        We have examined the Mineral Fields of Hermand, including Birniehill, Wester Breich, Mid Breich, and Easter Breich, situated in the Parishes of West Calder and Livingstone, and beg to report as follows:- These fields, extending to upwards of 1150 acres, have been proved to contain the various Seams of Shale hitherto worked by the several Oil Companies in the East of Scotland, including those known as the "Broxburn" and the "Dunnet" Seams.

        On Mid and Easter Breich three Pits, connected with the Caledonian Railway, have been opened up to furnish an output from 200 to 250 tons of Shale per day. The Pits are lightly watered, and are well fitted with machinery for pumping and winding.

        After careful investigation, we estimate the total available quantity of Shale in the various fields at over 8,500,000 tons, equal to an output of 1000 tons per day for 30 years.

        We are of opinion that a supply of Shale should be obtained from these fields at a cost not exceeding that of the other Oil Companies in the district, and this is confirmed by the actual cost of working. The Lease of Easter Breich has 23 years to run from Whitsunday, and Mid Breich, extending to 180 acres, 4 years from Martinmas 1885, but negotiations are in progress for its renewal to 31 years. Wester Breich Lease has 30 years to run from Martinmas last, while Hermand Lease has been arranged for 31 years from Martinmas 1885.

        The lordships, taking the available quantity of Shale to which these apply, will average over the whole about 8d. per ton of Shale, which rates, looking to the position of the fields, we consider moderate.

        JOHN R. WILLIAMSON, Edinburgh. JOHN REID, Glasgow.

        EDINBURGH, 1st July 1885

        *A new Lease of Mid Breich Minerals has now been granted for 31 years from Whitsunday 1885, in terms of the negotiations referred to above.

        The Scotsman, Saturday 25th July 1885

  • Company meetings
  • Company litigation
  • Company insolvency
  • Locations

  • Descriptions of individual sites
  • Descriptions of regions
  • Trade

  • Trade reports
  • Trade litigation
  • Safety

  • Mining disasters
  • Fires and explosions
  • Fatal accident enquiries
  • Personal injury
  • Environment

  • Water pollution
  • Air pollution
  • Public health
    • test


  • Stoppages and strikes
  • Technology

  • Products
  • Community

  • Crime
  • Beyond Scotland

  • Transcribed references relating to the North Wales coal oil industry
      • A History of Petroleum - a short account of the emergence of the Flintshire oil industry, quoting from pamphets on the history of petroleum production. From The Cheshire Observer, 28th January 1865
      • Flintshire has Struck Oil, - an account from the early days of the oil boom, drawing parallels between Flintshire and the oil rush towns of the USA and Canada. from Rylands Iron Trades Journal, 11th November 1865
      • Petroleum in Flintshire - a brilliant account of the Padeswood area during the height of the oil mania. From The Wrexham Advertiser, 6th January 1866
      • On the Manufacture of Coal Oil as conducted in North Wales - a newpaper account of a lecture to the Chemist's Association providing some historical details of the industry. From The Liverpool Daily Post, 9th November 1866
      • Ure's Dictionary of Arts, Manufactures and Mines. The entry for "paraffine" describing the technology of oil production at that time, with particular reference to the Flintshire industry. Sixth Edition, Vol. III, 1867
      • The Flintshire "Oil-Dorado" - a superb first hand account of the Flintshire oil industry once the oil mania bubble had burst, and an account of the reasons for this collapse. From Oil Trades Review, reprinted inThe North Wales Chronicle, 16th January 1869
      • Oil Works and River Poisoning - a letter to the editor responding to accusations of water pollution and highlighting the human cost of collapse of the oil industry. From The Wrexham Advertiser, 30th January 1869
      • Travels in Search of New Trade Products, - extract from a book by Arthur Robottom, published in 1893, providing a detailed account of his business dealings in the North Wales oil industry
      • The Former Cannel Oil Industry in North Wales and Staffordshire (PDF file) by H.P.W. Giffard. From Oil Shale & Cannel Coal, Proceedings of a Conference held in Scotland, June 1938, Institute of Petroleum.
      • The Distillation of Oil from Cannel Coal and Shales, by Harold G. Gregory (web link to the National Library of Wales), Flintshire Historical Society publications, Vol 25, 1971-72

      Court Cases

      • Young v. Fernie (1) - Opening statement for the plaintiff, (from 29th February 1864). Reprinted in The Journal of Gas Lighting, 22nd March 1864
      • Young v. Fernie (2) - Testimonies describing the operation of Leeswood and Saltney oil works. Reprinted in The Journal of Gas Lighting, 22nd March 1864
      • Young v. Fernie (3) - Testimonies describing the manufacture of tram oil in South Wales. Reprinted in The Journal of Gas Lighting, 22nd March 1864
      • Young v. Fernie (4) - Statement for the defence, (from 22nd March 1864). Reprinted in The Journal of Gas Lighting, 22nd March 1864
      • Appeal to the House of Lords - by the Flintshire Cannel Oil & Cannel Co. Ltd. providing detailed descriptions of the company's operations. From The Journal of Gas Lighting, Water Supply and Sanitary Improvement, 3rd April 1866
      • Damages by Fire - Davis v. Bagillt Oil Co. Were the stills allowed to overflow?, or where they struck by lightning? From The Wrexham Advertiser, 8th December 1866
      • Leeswood - a Treat for Workmen, account of a dinner at Pont-y-Bodkin, featuring a song and speech from the proprietor on the rights of the working man, From The Wrexham Advertiser, 5th January 1867
      • The Padeswood Retort Case; a dispute over the cost of constructing retorts at the Mold Valley works; From The Wrexham Advertiser, 23rd December 1871
      • Affairs of the Dee Oil Company, account for court proceedings from The Cheshire Observer, 11th March 1893

      Newspaper Articles

      • Property at Coed Talon - an advertisment for the sale of freehold property in Coed Talon, which provides evidence of the location of some early oil works. From The Wrexham Advertiser 9th June 1866
      • P.C. Lawley and the River Alyn Report; accusations of pollution from Pont-y-Bodkin Works and police ineptitude, From The Wrexham Advertiser, 29th December 1866.
      • Stealing Pipes. Confusion and dubious deals over the sale of scrap material from Barlow & Jeffs' works. From The Wrexham Advertiser, 16th May 1868
      • Leeswood; Telegraphic Communication; a campaign for the introduction of electric telegraph, listing some of the most important firms in the area. Fron The Wrexham Advertiser, 6th October 1866
      • Poisoning of the River Alyn; - allegations of pollution against W.B. Marston's Oil Work , From The Wrexham Advertiser, 23rd July 1870
      • Pontblyddyn - A Farewell Supper; an account of a dinner in the honour of John Kenny held by fellow employees of Coppa and Plasymhowys oil works. From The Wrexham Advertiser, 5th November 1870
      • Alleged pollution of the River Alyn, Bush v. Plas y Mhowys Oil Co. ; a case brought against the PlasyMhowys company which was dismissed as the company had taken measures to avoid reoccurance, From The Cheshire Observer, 27th January 1871
  • Transcribed references relating to the Dorset shale oil industry
    • General Descriptions

      • The Burning Cliff at Holworth. A vivid account of a spectacular natural phenominum, expressing a hope that this might attract additional visitors to Weymouth. The Mechanics Magazine, 15th January 1831
      • De Buisson's Retort. Extract from the patent specification for a type of process and design of retort that may have been used at oil works in Dorsetshire
      • Memoirs of the Geological Survey. The Geology of the Isle of Purbeck and Weymouth. By A. Strachan.1898. A description of the Blackstone and its chemical composition. 1898
      • Miscellaneous References; newspaper references relating to prospecting for Kimmeridge shale and other oil operations in the County of Dorset

      Court Cases

      • Bituminous Shale Co. v. Cassell. Account of the winding up of the company and a dispute over the ownership of land at Wareham Oil Works. The Law Times 11th March 1854
      • Binney & Co. v Clydesdale Chemical Co. Extracts from report of the jury trial held in Edinburgh in November 1860 which relate to oil operations in Dorsetshire. Download full document; BP collection 195537
      • Young v. Fernie (5) - Testimonies describing the operation of the Wareham oil works, (from 29th February 1864). Reprinted in The Journal of Gas Lighting, 22nd March 1864

      Advertisments and Testimonials

      • Bituminous Schale or Schistus. Newspaper advertisment for the products of the Weymouth Schiste Works. London Daily News, 23rd February 1850, and The Railway Times, 6th April 1850.
      • Excellent Manure. Newspaper advertisment for the products of the Bituminous Shale Co. Ltd. The North Wales Chronicle, 30th November 1850,. The Dorset County Chronicle, 28th August 1851 and The Newcastle Journal, 20th September 1851.
      • Hydro Carbon Oil. Testimony of the merits of lamp oils manufactured by the Wareham Oil & Candle Co. Ltd. The Sanitary Reporter, 10th July 1863.