By far the largest and most ambitious of the Welsh coal oil companies, the Flintshire Oil and Cannel Co. Ltd was formed a few months before the expiry of Young's patent to bring together the Leeswood and Saltney works of the Mineral Oil Company and the mineral property of the Tryddyn Oil and Coke Company. Shares in the company were widely advertised for sale in newspapers throughout Britain.
Shareholders were soon concerned that the Tryddyn estate yielded little cannel but continued to invest heavily in the extension of Saltney and Leeswood works. As competition from imported oils began to depress oil prices a bold proposal was made to supply waste gas from Saltney work to light the City of Chester. Despite an appeal to the House of Lords, the Flintshire company failed to secure the necessary parliamentary powers to provide this service.
The company appears to have sold the Leeswood Vale oil works in about 1867 and the St David's Works, Saltney in 1885.
Prospectus of the Flintshire Oil and Cannel Co. Ltd
Incorporated with Limited Liability, under the Companies' Act, 1862. Capital £500,000, 10,000 shares of £50 each; first issue, 6,000 shares. Deposit on application, £1 per share; further payment on allotment, per share. No call will exceed £5, and three months least will intervene between each call.
- James Burrows, Esq., engineer, Douglas Bank, Wigan.
- William Carter, Esq. (director of the Millwall Iron Company), The Shrubbery, Shooters Kent.
- Benjamin Darbyshire, Esq. (Messrs. Darbyshire, M'Kinnell and Co.), Liverpool.
- E. W. Fernie, Esq., Glessen Manganese Works, Hesse Darmstadt, and managing partner of the Mineral Oil Company, Saltney, near Chester, and Leeswood, Flintshire.
- George Haworth, Esq. (managing director of the Tryddyn Oil and Coke Company), Chester.
- William Hind Esq. (Messrs. J. H. Hind Co.), Liverpool, chairman of the commissioners of Birkenhead.
- George Rae, Esq., banker, Liverpool (chairman of the Tryddyn Oil and Coke Company.)
- Joseph Robinson, Esq., 7, Laurence Pountney Hill, London, EC., and Berkhampstead.
- Robert Rumney, Esq., F.C.S., manufacturing chemist, Manchester.
- Peter Spence, Esq., F.C.S., alum manufacturer, Manchester, and Goole.
- The North and South Wales Bank, Liverpool, and its several branches.
- London- The London and Westminster Bank.
- Manchester- The Alliance Bank.
- Manchester- Messrs. Sale, Worthington, Shipman, and Seddon.
- Liverpool—Messrs. Littledale, Ridley, and Bardswell
- London—Messrs. Sole, Turners, and Hardwick.
- Manchester—Messrs. Walker and Heap. 1, Ducie-street, Exchange.
- Liverpool—George E.Schultz, Esq., Manchester-buildings, Tithebarn-st
- London- J. O. Fielding, Esq., 4, Copthall-court, E.C.
- Glasgow—Messrs. Miller and Ferguson, 71, Queen-street.
- Messrs. Chadwick, Adamson, and Co., 27, Great George-street, Westminster. S.W., and 64, Cross-street, Manchester.
- S. L. Price, Esq., 5, Greshain-street, London, EC.
4 and 5, Browns-buildings, Liverpool
The "curly" cannel of small district Flintshire yields a larger percentage of crude mineral oil, containing paraffin, than any cannel yet discovered. This oil, although only slightly inferior quality to the celebrated petroleum of Pennsylvania, can be produced, with profit, at less than one-third of the cost of the latter delivered this country, whilst the refined oil distilled from the "curly" cannel commands nearly the same price as the refined American article. From this mineral oil are produced— Spirits of turpentine substitute, Burning oil. Lubricating oil, of three varieties, Solid paraffin, and Grease, of several kinds. All these articles, when of good quality, find a ready market.
The three processes, namely, raising the cannel, distilling the oil, and refining it, have hitherto been made three distinct and separate businesses, involving three different managements, with their attendant expenses.
This company formed to distill and refine oil from cannel procured from its own mine; it will thus unite three businesses, from each of which large profits are now made. By this combination, and by having the command of ample capital and perfect processes, the company will be enabled to conduct large trade to the greatest advantage, and thus insure profits considerably in excess even of those now being realised, either from the manufacture or refining of oil in this country, or from its importation from any known source.
In furtherance of these objects the purchase has been concluded of the well-known works of the Mineral Oil Company, at Saltney (near Chester), and Leeswood, Flintshire, and also of the freehold cannel and coal mines, works, and other property, the Tryddyn Oil and Coke Company, contiguous to the Leeswood works of the Mineral Oil Company. The company will thus once enter into well-established, lucrative, and rapidly increasing business, with complete works in full operation and with organised agencies, and will at the same time acquire a freehold mine of well-known value, on terms which will enable the company to supply themselves with cannel of superior quality, at about one-fourth of the present price.
The purchase from the Mineral Oil Company also includes existing contract which will entitle this company to a supply of 100 tons per day of "curly" cannel from the well-known Leeswood Green Colliery, for twenty-two years from 1860, at price considerably below its present market value. The price to be paid for the whole of the properties so purchased will not exceed £160,000, payable by instalments. The proprietors of the Mineral Oil Company and of the Tryddyn Oil and Coke Company subscribe large proportion the capital. The patent rights claimed by Messrs. Young and Co. for the manufacture of paraffin oil from coal will expire October next; in the meantime the operations of the company will be confined to substances which will not involve any infringement of the rights alluded to, the event of any further issue of shares (except for the purpose of paying for additional property), such shares will first be offered pro rata to the shareholders for the time being.
Messrs. Fernie, Robinson, and Carter, representing the Mineral Oil Company, and Mr. George Rae, chairman, and Mr. George Haworth, managing director of the Tryddyn Company, have, at the request of the promoters, consented to join the board of this company. The preliminary expenses are guaranteed not to exceed one per cent of the capital. The articles of association maybe seen at the offices of the solicitors. Applications for shares must accompanied with the payment of the deposit of £1 per share; in case the amount paid exceed £5 per share on the number of shares allotted, the surplus will be returned: but should it fall short, the balance must be paid within the time to stated the letter of allotment, otherwise the allotment will be cancelled, and the deposit forfeited. Forms of application for shares may be obtained from the brokers and solicitors, and the temporary offices of the company. In cases where no allotment is made, the deposit will be returned in full.
from The Manchester Courier 15th July 1864
Outline of Public Meetings
- 1865 - May General Meeting - Oil had started to be produced only four months previously, following expiry of Young's patent. The meeting had been called to reassure shareholders that it was a bone fide company and declared a 10% dividend
- 1865 November General Meeting - Concern was expressed over the valuation of some of the companies assets, certain conflicts of interest, and consideration given to the supply of gas to the city of Chester.
- 1866 August General Meeting - A 10% divident was declared. Shareholders commended the Chairman and directors for their sound management of the company's affairs. A parliamentry bill was being considered enpowering the company to supply gas to Chester.
- 1867 February General Meeting - No dividend declared due to the crash in prices following increase importation of American oils. Some oil dealers who were major customers had failed. The directors were fellow-suffers and maintained the confidence of the shareholders.
May 1865 - General Meeting
The first ordinary general meeting of the Flintshire Oil and Cannel Company (Limited) was held on Saturday afternoon, at the Queen's Railway Hotel, Chester. Mr. B Darbyshire, chairman of the board of directors, presided, there was a numerous attendance of shareholders, most of whom before the meeting had inspected the oil works at Saltney, near Chester. The Chairman, in opening the proceedings, said, in consequence of numerous inquiries which had been made as to the state of the undertaking, the directors had considered it their duty to call the shareholders together in order that they might make a statement as to what they were doing and the present position of the company. The works were at present going on as efficiently as could possibly be expected, considering the short time they had been in working. The directors, after the proof they had had of what could be done with the present works, intended, if possible, to extend them considerably, and they felt that in Mr. Humphreys they had a most efficient manager, and one who was quite capable of carrying the undertaking to a good issue. He would now call upon the secretary to read the report from Mr. Humphreys.
The Secretary read a lengthy and elaborate report from the manager, detailing the quantity of oils and cannel that bad been obtained from Saltney and Trydden.
The Chairman observed that the directors considered the report very satisfactory in itself, and very explanatory of the working. There was every reason to hope the work would go on in a prosperous manner, and that they would be extended as much as possible and as far as the means of the company would allow. The staff would be the same, and they would be enabled to produce double or treble the quantity of oil which they did at present. The demand for their oils was increasing. Prices had been exceedingly low of late. but they could now get an advance, showing that there was every reason to hope that the next statement of the directon would be even much more satisfactory. They had been able to dispose of all the oil they could produce, a considerable portion of it at a great profit for the mere cost of once refining, and they had a contract for all they could now produce. The directors had endeavoured to make out as nearly as possible the profit resulting in the six months ending the 1st of March. He said six months, but in reality they bad not been at work more than four months, for they did not commence until after the expiration of Mr. Young's patent. According to the most rigid examination, the result showed a nett profit of £6,451 upon the working. So that the Saltney Company answered their fullest expectations, and he thought they had reason to believe it would be considerably better, especially when they got up their new retorts. He thought they could, with the greatest certainty of doubling their product, spend about £10,000 in the extension of their works. The directors had had it in consideration as to whether they should declare a dividend ; and, thinking that probably it would be more satisfactory to many who had gone into the affair purely as an investment, that they should make some dividend, they had, after due consideration, come to the conclusion that they could safely recommend a dividend of 10s per share on the paid-up capital (hear, hear) so as to leave £4.000, in round figures, for the general balance sheet. The directors hoped at the next meeting to be able to bring up a strict and full balance-sheet ; but this was merely a preliminary meeting, although, as it was the first general meeting held, the directors would, according to the articles of association, have to be elected at it. He must explain, as regarded the profit, that the directors had not taken the stock of oil on hand at the full market value. They had made a poor allowance, even at the low prices, on the remaining stock, for they wanted to be on the safe side, and did not wish it to be said that they were trying to make the company look better than it really was (hear, hear). It had no doubt that, when they went through the works and took the stock in a regular and proper manner, they would be in a position to declare a very good dividend ; but, in the meantime, they considered that 10s per share, coming ss near 10 per cent as possible, would be satisfactory, and he trusted it would be to the shareholders present.
In the course of a conversation Mr. W. Hind stated that the dividend proposed would absorb one-third of the profit made, and leave £4,000 for a contingent fund towards preliminary expenses and director's fees.
The Chairman, in answer to questions, stated that there were 5,000 shares; that the paid-up capital was £65,000. and that there were a few shareholders who were behind in their payments.
Mr Duke suggested that it would be better to have an account of the general expenses before any dividend was was declared.
Mr. Salisbury, as one of the youngest directors, said when he was asked to join the board in the place of Mr. George Rae, who had to go abroad in consequence of ill health, the first thing he did was to go to the works and see the adopted for the manufacture of crude oil. He found adopted the best possible mode, and he considered that if affairs were properly managed the shareholders ought to receive a large dividend on the capital invested. The next thing he had to satisfy himself upon was the state of the accounts, and he could tell the meeting frankly that he at first thought it better they should not have a dividend, because, as they had only been working four months, he considered it would be better before declaring a dividend that they should go into the accounts properly, and see accurately the cost of the production, the quantity produced, the amount received for it, and the balance applicable for dividend. But when the chairman told them he was quite satisfied that, after paying a dividend of 10s. per share, they would absorb only one-third of the amount received by way of profit for the four months working, he (Mr. Salisbury) was of opinion that it would be good policy to pay the dividend, and he for one, as a shareholder, would concur in any resolution proposing that dividend (hear, hear). He would suggest that seven or ten days before the next meeting a report and statement of accounts should be forwarded to the shareholders so that they might come to the meeting and ask any questions they pleased upon any particular item. He asked them to take on trust what the chairman had said that day, and reserve all questions of detail to the next meeting, when every person could have ran opportunity of discussing the merits of the undertaking. He was quite certain from what he had seen himself, and the little knowledge he had upon such matters, that they would be quite safe in concurring in the proposition to declare a dividend of 10s per share.
Mr. Rumney said the directors had been anxious to prepare a statement of the affairs of the company, but they could not bring up a balance-sheet except for a limited period. The directors had not intended to suggest a dividend at that meeting, but they were so satisfied with the condition of the company that they considered themselves perfectly justified in paying 10s per share in anticipation of dividend. He went into the business with considerable hesitation, but the experience he had had strengthened his confidence in its stability, and if by the expenditure of £10,000 they could double their productive power he was sure they would be in i better position than at present. He thought the share solders might rest assured that the works were profitable, and that they might anticipate a very fair dividend on the capital they had invested.
Mr. W. Hind said from what he had seen of the works and the way in which they were carried on he had formed a favourable opinion of them, but he found that unfortunately in the public mind there was an adverse opinion, and many people doubted the very existence of the company or that it was a bona fide one. The principal motive which the directors had in calling the shareholders together was rather to have a friendly interview with them than to attempt to lay before them any formal report. It was impossible, with four months working, to put before them figures which a twelve months working would show. He was satisfied from the way in which the accountants had drawn out the balance-sheet that there was a bona fide profit of £6,451. He thought is only fair that one-third of that, in round figures, should be appropriated to a dividend in order to show the public that it was a bona fide company. These were his motives in seconding the recommendation for a dividend. Some discussion ensued as to whether the meeting was an ordinary general meeting or the first annual meeting, and what business could, according to the articles of association, be transacted at it.
The Chairman explained that the meeting had been called in consequence of the inquiries made as to what the company was doing, and for the purpose of explaining its position. He, for one, had never puffed up the company. He did not intend to sell his shares, but intended to keep them as investments, so that it was immaterial to him whether a dividend was or was not declared. He would not hide a single thing from the shareholders, for he was most anxious they should have every information possible. He expressed, his fullest confidence in the soundness of the undertaking.! md said if he thought there was a single error in the profit and loss account, which he held in his hand, he would at race state what it was.
A Shareholder asked the reason why those in arrears had been threatened to be charged 10 per cent interest when money was to be had at 4 per cent, (general cry of pay up, pay up.") The speaker went on to observe that the concern must be either a very good or a very bad one ; and while he was on his legs he might thank the directors for calling that nesting, and letting the shareholders know how the company was going on. He had asked several persons who ought to have been able to answer him as to how the concern was going on. but he could get no information, except that in the Liverpool Share List, which stated that the shares were at a dis— a most disagreeable fact to know (laughter). He expressed his satisfaction with what had been stated, and trusted that the shares would not long remain at the figure noted in the list.
A gentleman present remarked that the answer to the last speaker's question was, that parties could not be allowed to speculate on a dividend of 10 percent, and not pay their calls. The retiring directors were then re-elected, with the exception of Mr. Fernie and Mr. Spence, who retired. Mr. Atkinson having asked what amount was to be called up on each share, Mr. Duke observed that the company was empowered to borrow money, and if they could get it at 4 per cent, on the security of the works, there would be no necessity to force the capital from the shareholders.
The Chairman said he was not prepared to answer Mr. Atkinson's question. So far as he was concerned he was quite ready to pay up the whole of the money, but the directors did not think the calls would amount to more than £20 per share.
Mr. Ravenscroft thought if the company was in such a prosperous condition, the directors should not allow any more shares to be taken up. It was then agreed, on the proposition of Mr. Salisbury, that the directors should be authorised to pay out of the estimated profit of £6,451 4s Id on the six months working a sum of 10s per share on account of the dividend to be here-after declared. Mr. Bryans re-echoed the sentiment of Mr. Ravenscroft that no more shares should be sold, except at a handsome' premium.
Mr. Howarth, in answer to a question from a shareholder as to the works at Trydden, said he was satisfied that his estimate of the yield of curley and plain cannel would be fully realised.
On the proposition of Mr. Hughes, a vote of thanks was passed to the chairman and directors ; and the meeting then terminated.
The Cheshire Observer 6th May 1865
November 1865 - General Meeting
An ordinary general meeting of the shareholders in the Oil and Cannel Company (Limited), was held at the Queen Hotel, this city, on Saturday afternoon, Mr. E. Salisbury in the chair, "to receive the report of the directors, to elect an auditor or auditors for the ensuing year, and to transact the general business of the company." There were about 60 shareholders present.
The Secretary having read the notice convening the meeting, the common seal was applied to the register of shareholders. It was then agreed to take the report as read. The Chairman said he had very few words to say upon that report. As he knew that many questions would be put to him. He begged to say at the outset that after his remarks upon the report and balance sheet an opportunity would be to the shareholders to put any questions, and he should happen to answer them. The directors were anxious at the outset of the undertaking that the shareholders should be fairly informed of everything pertaining to their property, and that they should look upon the directors as their trustees accountable to them to give the best information their power. Let him first of all take the paragraphs seriatim.
In the first paragraph the directors said that they had confidence the successful and profitable working of the undertaking, and he took it for granted that was one of the questions about which they as shareholders wished to say something. He had not been chairman of that company for any long time, but he had fairly investigated the affairs the undertaking and was satisfied from the examination had made, not only of the accounts but also of the mode of working at the works, and of the demand for the article they supplied, and the cost at which it could be supplied, that they managed it properly it would be most profitable undertaking. (Applause.)
It was not right that should endeavour to prophecy what the profits would be, but he might state as one of themselves that the investment of money put into the undertaking was a sure investment, and that they would get good and fair return for their money. The next thing that struck him in the report was the paragraph with reference to a depreciation account and good will. He knew nothing about the undertaking when it was first established, but he was told by the shareholders who were cognizant of the affairs that when they purchased this undertaking they gave £75,000 for the concern at Saltney, and £75,000 for the concern Tryddyn, which was of course a speculation as they had to go into the bowels of the earth to find whether they had got the property there or not.
The auditors in preparing the accounts had divided the sum paid to the Saltney Company into two portions. He believed that they would all admit that the sum set down as to be paid to Saltney was £75,000. They would find by reference to the balance sheet that the present cost of Saltney and Leeswood was £51,763 17s. 9d. They might naturally ask how was that they paid £75,000, while the accounts submitted that the property stands at £54,763. The answer was upon the face of the accounts—that the company purchased from the mineral oil company, not only their undertaking, their works at Saltney, but also purchased from them a contract which they had with the Leeswood Cannel Company for the " curly" cannel raised at those works.
The auditors had submitted the value of contract at £36,000, and they said, he must say with some truth, it was a matter they ought to wipe off. Suppose the contract would wipe off £3,000 per annum depreciation of its value. After working it for months take £3,000 from it, and it would reduce it to £30,000, and that was really how the accounts were made out. Of course it was a matter for the shareholders. The were a shareholder simply, and thought he was to receive a large dividend upon the property, he should say, " Why not put that to capital account ? " As a director, however, he was bound to say he took another view of it. He concurred with the auditors that it was always right an undertaking of that kind to depreciate the value of the property they were dealing with that their successors might get the property at its then fair marketable value. That was all the story of the depreciation account.
The next paragraph was one in which the directors said " the result of the year's working would have been materially better, had not the company been compelled to purchase from the Mineral Oil Company, very heavy stock of manufactured articles at the market price of the day." He took it for granted that they were all good men of business, and that if they had property they would not sell it for less than its value. It took four months to sell the stock, and they did not sell any portion of the stock they were themselves manufacturing for four months. In some cases they were manufacturing at a low price and selling at two shillings, although Mr. Carter did not know, they (the directors) knew that there were renewable contracts at the time at 1s. 9d. and 1s. 10d., or something like that. The result was that after four months the company were left no profit all upon the transaction, but if anything small loss. Their work for eight months would produce £13,931.
The next paragraph referred to the Tryddyn property, but he would rather say nothing more upon the paragraph, leaving it to the shareholders to ask any questions they pleased. The directors told them in the report that at present they were spending money in sinking pits, and that they had every reason to believe, from what they were told, that the property would turn out profitable thing for them, but it was a matter upon which they could only form an opinion from what they were told. Some remarks had been made about the paragraphs which related to the " accruing obligations of the company." His friend Mr. Darbyshire was reported to have said that £20 per share would have to be called. (A Voice: "He said £5 on the 30th April") They had only to exercise their own opinions upon a matter of that kind to arrive at the conclusion that Mr. Darbyshire really meant £20 in addition to what they had paid. ("No, no.") They had purchased property and paid £150,000. They had to purchase the stock and articles from the Mineral Oil Company; estimate that at £19,000, or call it £20,000,—that was £170,000. They were to spend upon the extension of the works £10,000: that made £180,000. They had £10,000 to pay for their land, making £190,000, and there were 5,000 shares issued.
He wished, of course, to meet the shareholders in this matter frankly. He could not tell them how much money they would have to spend upon the completion of the works. He had his own estimate upon it, and he thought they must make up their minds to have least £12 per share more paid up, in addition to £5 just called, that making £40 per share. They might make it capital no matter how raised— whether raised by ordinary or preference stock it would be capital—but before they could be in full working condition they must have £200,000.
He had now another thing to say which would be satisfactory to the shareholders. On reference to the capital and labilities they would see that on the 31st August there was £12,315 calls not paid. That day there was only £350 on calls not paid. There were four of the shareholders who had not paid this sum ; one of them was well known, and was a member of parliament for one of the largest constituencies in the kingdom, and could buy that concern without missing the money. Therefore they were a healthy condition so far as their share list was concerned. They had 123 shareholders, and those present that meeting formed a very fair portion of the share list, they could see the number present, and would observe that it was very respectable. He thought that the character of the shareholders would justify the company in arriving at the conclusion that whatever money was really required to make the undertaking a good and profitable one could be found without any difficulty at all, and that they would be awe with the present shareholders to compare favourably with the position afforded by other companies.
He would now give every shareholder an opportunity putting questions, and he would then reply. The resolution which he asked them to pass was as follows:—" That the report of the directors together with the statement of accounts annexed thereto be received, approved, and adopted.
Mr FILDES, M.P. objected to the appointment of Mr. G. Haworth as director, as he was chairman the Leeswood Coal, Cannel, and Oil Company, with which they were in competition. He thought £3,000 a year large sum to be deducted from dividend, and that the Tryddyn estate was become a millstone round their necks.
Mr. WATSON said there was a charge of £5,000 for preliminary expenses. He hoped the auditors had not passed the sum without the proper vouchers. He wished to know who got it, and how it was paid.
Mr. PORTER would like to know how much cannel had been received under the contract for which the good will had been put down He should like the particulars respecting estate as had been asked for another shareholder. They must allow him to say with regard to £5,000 lor preliminary expenses, that he could not possibly conceive how that amount could be got up by such a limited concern as this, and he for one would never have taken a single share had he thought that such a sum would have been put down.
Mr. TINDAL objected to the item of £36,000 for good will. It was a contract which the Chairman had properly explained as one which could only last for a certain number of years with the Leeswood Cannel Company. The cannel coal under the estate was limited, and could only last ten, fifteen or twenty years according to circumstances. He said with the Chairman that they ought to put something by to recoup capital
The CHAIRMAN said his opinion was, with regard to Mr. Haworth, that no man could serve two masters. It was a fact however that they had got at their board, a director who was a director of another company. He did say that there was any impropriety in it, but he could not do it himself; he would not say whether there was any or not, but must leave it to other people to say how far the thing was proper or not. Discussion had arisen upon the statement he had read about the £36,000, whether it ought not to be charged to capital. If he sat upon the other side of the table he should agree with Mr. Fildes in saying capitalize it, because he should then receive £3,000 more dividend. But let them recollect what he said before, they (the directors) were there as trustees to do the best they could for the company not for individual shareholders. He adopted a principle which he believed was a sound one - that it was manifest as trustees for a company they ought to set aside annually a sum against that contract and so get rid of it. He was asked about Tryddyn, and in answer to that they had paid £75.000 for the estate. It comprised 90 acres of freehold land. He took this on hearsay, for was purchased he was not a director and never saw the prospectus that Mr. Williamson had referred to. The owners of the estate thought it was a valuable estate, for under it lay curly" cannel, a valuable commodity, which if this company had been without they would have had to pay for manufacturing produce necessary to turn it into oil. The Saltney Mineral Oil Company had a contract with Mr. Tindal's company, and it was thought it would render the undertaking more profitable. It was thought likely to be the interest of the Tryddyn Company and the Mineral Oil Company to amalgamate the two named companies. A question arose as to price, and £75,000 was named by the Tryddyn Company. Some doubt arose on the value of the property before the agreement had been entered into.
Mr Roe, the moment he found there was any doubt upon the question, although the parties were bound to the agreement entered into, wrote to the board of the company. The company assured that it was a safe speculation they were entering into. He knew from the examination of the books of the company that a letter was written, and after that the letter was written the company thought it to their interest to take the estate, passed a resolution to carry out the agreement and it was carried out accordingly. Another question was what steps they had taken to ascertain that the cannel was there. He did not know that any steps were taken, and could not say what particular engineer was employed to bore and find out for himself and this company whether a bed of cannel lay under Tryddn or not. He was told that the configuration of the county was in favour of it being there. On the other side they had Leeswood Green Colliery, on the other side Coed Talon. If at Leeswood Green they had taken out seams of coal which were workable - for they had found curly and shale cannel and this company had taken 12,000 tons of curly and 4,000 tons of shale—it was the best proof they could get that it was there. Then on the other side of the estate was Coed Talon, and t was proved that the cannel was there, and pits were being sunk and cannel had been got, so that there was no doubt about curly cannel being there. This was all he could tell them about it.
Mr TYNDAL - It is well known that wherever main-coal has been got without breaks, cannel coal is found under. At Tryddyn main-coal had been got without breaks therefore we presume that cannel is there.
The CHAIRMAN was much obliged to Mr.Tyndal, he ought to have made that statement. Mr Williamson said would it not be wise under these circumstances to get an engineer to test these things. But a good engineer cost a good deal of money, for they got their price the present day. And then they were told by their manager that he would be down at the cannel by the end of November. He was content to let him off until the end of December. If Mr Hollis sank pits to the depth necessary to see whether the cannel was there, and any doubt remained, then they would take steps to call engineer, or they would be spending money uselessly. He hoped and believed that they might find that the work would turn out very good concern. Steps had been taken to ascertain the value of the property, and upon a statement made to him, which he hoped would be well founded, they had property in Tryddyn on which they would raise the smooth cannel which was certain to be found there. That would produce the company £100,000. It was asked could they not add to the profits of the company utilising gas.
On this question he had found this delicacy. He was at one time chairman of the Gas Company in Chester, and Mr White knew he had some difficulty to contend with. He had amalgamated the two gas companies in Chester; the shares of which, once at £40, were now at £180, the price at the present day. He had no interest in the gas company now nor had he had for years. He could have no interest, therefore, in the company that would hold his hand from utilising that which was property to him. But he should not like to go and push himself headlong into it; it would look like pulling the ladder down which he had taken so much trouble to build up. After close investigation of this matter he was satisfied that this company might receive £3,000 or £5,000 a year. But he could not do this himself. The directors had arrived at this conclusion, with the approval of some of the shareholders, that they would give notice of Bill in the next session of Parliament enabling them to deal with that property. He knew what parliamentary warfare was, and that those who derived the greatest benefit from it were, as a rule, the lawyers. Having given their notice they would address the Chester Gas Company to see if they would take gas from them. saw there was no chance of doing that, all he said was that they would be in a position to supply Chester with gas of better quality for three shillings per thousand than it was now paying four shillings and sixpence for, and they would derive £6,000 or £7,000 per year from it, and that the saving to Chester would be immense. He and his colleagues did not want to go any further this matter than giving notice until they tried the Gas Company, and saw whether some arrangement could not be made. Mr. Fildes had asked a question about expenses, which he (the chairman) could not take upon himself to answer. Mr. Atkinson had referred to what Mr. Darbyshire said, and asserted that it was thought at the time that they were to raise a loan. They could not get a loan anything like a fair rate, and it was then, and then only, that this question arose about raising additional capital. He advised that the better plan would be, instead of paying six or seven per cent, for money, to issue preference stock, giving share for share, and attaching to it seven per cent, dividend, and they would then have the benefit of any premium that might arise on the stock. After some discussion on the preliminary expenses,
Mr. RUMNEY begged to add one or two words to what had been stated by the chairman upon the gas question. The chairman never had a doubt as to the propriety of utilising the waste gas, and that it must be profitable to them as a company and most advantageous to the consumers of Chester that this should be done. His holding back had been from a sense of delicacy only—(hear, hear)—but having made up his mind to deal with the matter he had taken 'it earnestly, had been to London, arranged for the notices and retaining of council, and had so far laid the foundation for action that it was now an easy matter to follow up. But he had said " let me see what we can do with the Chester Gas Company before proceeding further," and the board agreed to this. He (the speaker) knew something of gas works. He was connected with the Manchester Corporation, and they had some of the finest works the kingdom ; he brought over their well-known chemist, Mr. Leigh, to Chester, to examine their gas at Saltney, who reported most favourably upon it, and he might say that the Flintshire Company could supply Chester with from one to two millions cubic feet gas every week—of excellent quality—at three shillings per thousand feet, with considerable profit to the company, and he was quite sure with great advantage to the public, both as regarded illuminating power, quantity, and price. (Applause.) The resolution as proposed by the chairman was then passed unanimously.
On the motion of the Chairman, seconded Mr. Rumney, the following resolution was passed: " That this meeting sanctions the declaration by the directors out of the profits of the company for the year ending 31st August hist of twenty six shillings per share, such sum to include the payment of ten shillings per share already made on account of dividend, and the dividend be payable on and after the 10th of November instant." The next resolution, That the remuneration of the Directors, commencing Ist September, 1865, be fixed at the sum of £1,500 per annum," was proposed by Mr. J. Fildes, and seconded by Mr. T. Keightley, and carried. The next business was the appointment of auditors. It was proposed that Mr. John Breeze, of Liverpool, should be elected, which was seconded, on the ground that he was not a shareholder. An amendment was proposed that Messrs. Chadwick, Adamson, and Co., the then auditors, should be re-elected. The original motion was carried, and the remuneration of the auditor fixed at £50. The ordinary meeting was then declared at an end, and an extraordinary meeting commenced.
The Chairman, in speech which dwelt upon the advantages which would accrue to the company adopting the proposition, moved: -" That the directors be, and they are hereby authorised and empowered to issue 5,000 new shares of £10 each, to which shall be attached a preferential dividend at the rate of 7 per cent, per annum, thereby increasing the nominal capital of the company by the amount of £50,000 ; and that the sum of £3 be paid on each share allotment, and the residue in such sums and at such time 3 as the directors might fix, and that the shares created be offered pro rata to the registered shareholders in the company, share for share of their present holding, and that all such shares not taken on or before a day to be fixed by the board be placed at the disposal of the directors, who are authorised to issue the same such times and upon such conditions as they think fit, provided always that such shares be not issued at any less sum per share than £10." The resolution was seconded by Mr. Rumney, and carried with one dissentient. A vote of thanks to the Chairman concluded the meeting.
The Chester Chronicle - 11th November 1865
August 1866 - General Meeting
THE FLINTSHIRE OIL AND CANNEL COMPANY. LIMITED. The ordinary general meeting of shareholders in this company was held on Saturday last, at the Queen Hotel, Chester, Mr. R. G. Salisbury, in the chair. There was a large attendance of shareholders.
After attaching the common seal to the register of shareholders. The Chairman proceeded to address the meeting. He observed that it gave him pleasure meet the shareholders once more, and to congratulate them upon the very promising condition of the company. The report explained its position and he needed only call attention to a few points arising upon the statements contained in that document. It would be seen that £190,328 of their capital had been called up. The directors intended fixing the capital at £200,000, and the call per share just made would enable them to do this. If any further money was required it must for a mere temporary purpose, and must be raised on debenture which would again be paid off shortly out of the undivided profits, which the directors proposed to carry for the present the reserve fund. The profits for ten months working came to a little over £20,000, and this enabled them to pay a dividend of more than ten per cent. upon the paid-up capital, and the reserve fund £4,675 3s 9d (cheers.) He believed that this was but a promise of something better, they would now have the advantage of Tryddyn,—which had they knew; produced nothing so far by way of profit,—and they hoped in the course of this month to work up ready for sale the whole of their old heavy oil, so that by the lst of September their entire works at Saltney and Leeswood would get into full working operation. He should be glad to answer any questions which shareholders might put to him the accounts, and to place matters properly before the meeting, formally proposed That the reports and accounts be received and adopted.
Mr. Byrans (Birkenhead) had pleasure in seconding the resolution which the chairman had proposed, and in expressing his cordial' approval of the accounts and the manner in which the affairs of the company had been managed (hear, hear. The report was than unanimously adopted. The Chairman then proposed That a dividend of thirty shillings per share (making with the interim dividend of twenty shillings per paid share on the 25th day of April, 1866, (a dividend of £2 10s per share) be now declared upon the shares of the proprietors now entitled to the same out of the profits of the company down to the 30th day of June, 1866, and that such dividend be payable forthwith. Mr. Tyndall (Birmingham) seconded this motion, which was carried. Mr. Keightley (Birkenhead) ventured ask how many shares the chairman had in this company. It had been said that he had been increasing his holding, and this might give confidence to the shareholders, hoped that might be pardoned for asking the question (hear, hear). Chairman replied that, although it was not usual state the holdings of any shareholder, he did not object to say that he had increased his holding in the company ; now held 160shares, upon which £38 per share had been paid up, and might add that he had not done this until he saw that could safely do so; for he was no speculator, but had made it a rule in his relation to companies not to buy shares until he felt that the investment was safe, and having satisfied himself upon that acted accordingly, (cheers.)
Mr. Meugens (Liverpool) begged propose vote thanks to the chairman for his conduct in the chair, and for his general attention to interests of the company.
Mr. Rae (one of the directors), in seconding this vote, could not help adding how pleased he was that had suceeded in inducing the chairman to join the board. The accounts just passed proved how well had fulfilled his duties, and had that now the chairman had become large a shareholder in the undertaking, the future would justify his prediction, and the concern must prove to be safe and profitable investment.
Mr. Harden, Mr. Bryans, and other shareholder supported this vote, which upon being put was carried by acclamation.
The Chairman thanked the shareholders for this mark of their and was glad that Mr. Atkinson had suggested the addition of the directors to the vote. He could say from personal knowledge how much attention his colleagues had given to the affairs of the company, and how much personal help be had received their hands. They were of one mind, and did not at all doubt that the result of their management would make the concern very profitable one to all. He might, however, be permitted ask for the active support of shareholders. Some few of their number had unwillingly made practice to decry the property. The result of that day's meeting was the best answer to all objectors, and the shareholders might rely upon it that nothing should be kept back from them. In answer to question which had been put him by Mr. Paton, he might be allowed to say that he believed their expenses upon the gas bill would not exceed the sum he had originally named, and that the matter had not dropped. Negotiations were pending with parties in London who proposed to go to Parliament for a bill enabling them to put up works Saltney, and to supply Chester with light 3s 6d per 1,000 cubic feet, entering into contract with the Flintshire Oil Company for their waste light upon that must pay the promoter well, and leave to this company a handsome return per annum for the article sold. The negotiations were not concluded; but in September the gentlemen who had taken the matter up would come to to meet him, and he hoped to report hereafter that all matters had been arranged between them (cheers)
The Liverpool Daily Post, 24th August 1866
February 1867 - General Meeting
THE FLINTSHIRE OIL AND CANNEL COMPANY LIMITED. The ordinary general meeting of the shareholders the above company was held yesterday afternoon at the Law Association Rooms, Cook-street, Mr. F. G. Salisbury in the chair. There was large and very influential attendance shareholders. The report the directors for the last six months contained the following remarks The directors regret to have to report unsatisfactory an account for the past six months working as that shown the annexed balance sheet.The profits for half-year amount to....£1,500 2s. out of which must deducted dividends paid re-alloted shares - £65, interest paid to preference shareholders £112, bad debts written off from the establishment the Company to 31st Dec.1866 - £279, leaving balance to be dealt with of £1,103. It is right to state that this result arises entirely from the depreciation In the values of stocks held the company on the 20th of June last, and the exceedingly law prices which burning oil and other products have since been selling, and the necessitity the directors have been under, in of this state things, of curtailing, as much as possible, the operations of the company since the end of August last.
The reports from Messrs. Humfrrey and Ollis showed the present condition of the properties at Saltney, Leeswood, and Tryddyn. The directors are in a position to avail themselves at once of any favourable chance that may take In the market to enter upon extensive contracts tor burning and lubricating oils, paraffin, and other products manufactured at tbe company's works.
The shareholders will have to elect two directors at the ensuing meeting in place of Means. Rae and Carter, who retire by rotation, but who are eligible for re-election. Mr. Wm. Carter, however, wishes to retire, and does not, therefore, offer himself for re-election. The auditor, also, in accordance with the arrangements made at the last meeting of shareholders, retires from office, and offers himself for re-election.
The Chairman, moving the confirmation of the report, said he must express regret that the directors were not able to recommend dividend, but the reasons for that were obvious enough In the report had, however, always satisfaction In dealing with commercial men upon matter of commerce that they thoroughly understood, and in matter of this kind therefore there was no need for lengthened explanations. The directors, from investigations they had made in North Wales and Scotland, in August last, found there general impression among manufacturers that the ruling price would be from to 2s 6d to 2s 8d per gallon, and those gentlemen said they meant to hold for those prices. The directors, however, were not parties to any combination to keep up prices, and they made contracts, at what they thought were remunerative prices, for the sale of oil, and considerably beyond that which they took stock on the 30th June last. After that, however, petroleum came into the country in great abundance from America, the crash came upon dealers who began to fail up and down the country everywhere, and it was absolutely necessary in protection the interests the shareholders to be exceedingly careful how they delivered even the oil that had been sold to purchasers. If that oil had been delivered it would have added to the profits for the six months, but results had shown that some parties who had bought largely from the company had subsequently failed, and were compromising for 3s in the pound, and that the directors had sent the oil out to them that was ordered, the result would have been disastrous to the company. The directors held 740 out of 5,000 shares in the company, had a very considerable stake in It, and therefore did their very utmost to promote its success, and might honestly say that had entire faith in the successful working of the undertaking.
Mr. William Hind seconded the motion, which was agreed to
Some questions having been asked to the quantity of cannel coal obtained from the company's works, and to utilising the waste gas,
Mr. R. Bryans said wished to express his entire satisfaction with the speech of the chairman. The directors had large interest In the concern ; they were fellow-sufferers with the shareholders ; and believed they would do all they could to revise for the company dividend, and to make works pay (hear. hear). The motion then put, and carried unanimously. Mr. George Rae, whose period of office had expired, was re-elected director ; and Mr. Robert W. Kelley was elected director in the place of Mr. Carter. Mr. Blease was also re-elected the auditor for the ensuing year.
Mr. T. B. Ferwood said he had a very pleasant duly to perform, for he was quite sure that the motion had to propose would be carried by acclamation. It was that the thanks of the proprietors be given to the chairman and the board of directors for the care and attention they had given to the interests of the company (applause). Those gentlemen had done all they could to promote the interests of the company, and was sure they ware most anxious to give the shareholders dividend the first opportunity. Mr. Kelley seconded the motion, was carried by acclamation.
The Chairman, in acknowledging the vote, added that the directors would their utmost to deserve the confidence of the company, and believed that brighter times were in store for them. The meeting them separated.
Liverpool Daily Post, 21st February 1867
Flintshire Oil and Cannel Company. — Mr Justice North made an order on Saturday for the compulsory winding up of this company. It appeared that a resolution for the voluntary winding up of the company had been passed previously, and two liquidators had been appointed to carry out the winding up. It was subsequently found, however, that there was not sufficient quorum to pass the resolution, and therefore the voluntary winding up was improper, and application had to be made to the court to compulsorily wind up the company, with the result that the present order was made.
The Wrexham Advertiser, 21st May 1887