Records of Wilson, Kay & Co, textile merchants, Glasgow, Scotland

Scope and Content


  • Accounting records;
  • Correspondence.

Administrative / Biographical History

This company was initially a partnership called  Wilson, James & Kay, and began life as a yarn and goods merchant. It had an office in Glassford Street,  Glasgow, Scotland, and was at the heart of the cotton trade in the first part of the  19th century . The firm became agents for  Gladstone, Wylie & Co of  Calcutta, India and of  Frith, Sands & Co, merchants, of  Bombay, India. After  1852 ,  Wilson, Kay & Co acted as the agents for the sale of the goods of  James Finlay & Co Ltd, textile manufacturers, tea planters, and merchants,  Glasgow, Scotland.  James Finlay & Co Ltd and  Wilson, Kay & Co became intermingled, sharing premises at 22 West Nile Street,  Glasgow, Scotland, and in  1858 , they amalgamated under the name  James Finlay & Co Ltd.  Alexander Kay's daughter,  Margaret Morrison Kay, married  John Muir (later  Sir John Muir).

For more information, see The Staple Industries, The Dictionary of Scottish Business Biography, Vol.1., A Slaven (ed), (AUP 1990), and in particular, the entry for James Clark of Crossbasket and John Muir of Deanston, Perthshire.


Files arranged as received.

Conditions Governing Access

Some files in this collection are subject to Data Protection legislation as they contain sensitive information and material under 30 years old is closed to access. It is advised that you should contact the Duty Archivist before visiting:

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

None which affect the use of this material

Conditions Governing Use

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents

Any work intended for publication that is based on research from this collection must be approved in advance. Apply in the first instance to Archives and Special Collections, email:

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 248 procedures. Duplicates have been removed.


None expected

Related Material

Material in other repositories: GB 059 Finlay Campbell & Co and Finlay Muir & Co (British Library: Oriental and India Office Collections)


No known publications using this material

Additional Information

Description compiled in line with the following international standards: International Council on Archives, ISAD(G) Second Edition, September 1999and National Council on Archives, Rules for the construction of personal, place and corporate names

Scotland is the location of all place names in the administrative/biographical history element, unless otherwise stated.

Collection catalogued by members of Glasgow University Archive Services staff. Catalogue converted to Encoded Archival Description by Michelle Kaye, Archives Assistant (Cataloguing), May 2012. Additional material catalogued and converted into Encoded Archival Description by Peter Morphew, Cataloguing Archivist, January 2016.