Records of Burntisland Pier & Ferry Co, ferry and pier operators, Edinburgh, Scotland

Scope and Content

Minute book 1839

Administrative / Biographical History

It appears that the Trustees of the Fife and Midlothian Ferries met with the promoters of the Burntisland Pier & Ferry Co in Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland, on 11 January 1839  to discuss making improvements to their ferry service. By 23 January 1839  they had come to some agreement and the Burntisland Pier & Ferry Co held a meeting in the Royal Hotel, Edinburgh, Scotland, on that day to present their prospectus and discuss the best means of building up a subscription list. There were 23 people present at this meeting, which was chaired by the Hon. James Bruce. John Learmouth of Dean was appointed as convenor of the committee. The company soon ran into difficulty however, being unable to recruit sufficient subscribers to cover all the various legal and capital expenses, necessary at the beginning of such a venture. By 11 February 1839  , members of the committee were floating the idea of increasing shareholders' deposits from £1 to £2. The idea was adopted by the committee but cost them the good will of John Gladstone (later Sir John Gladstone of Fasque, and father of William Ewart Gladstone), who opted out of the scheme. By 24 April  , matters looked discouraging and the committee, which had tentatively entered into negotiations to buy a property in Burntisland at the price of £600, was already considering whether the company was going to survive. In a last effort to keep going, the company approached the Treasury through Sir Henry Parnell, arguing that the success of their business was very much in the public interest. However, it quickly became apparent that it was "quite hopeless to expect any government aid". The committee held a final meeting on 24 June 1839  to decide how best to wind-up the undertaking. It was agreed that all existing subscribers should bear a proportion of the expenses incurred up to that point and that the remaining sum of money should be refunded. Custody of all papers and the minute book was given to Holland Thomson.


The arrangement of this material reflects the original order in which it was received

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Loan : prior to 1966

Other Finding Aids

Digital file level list available in searchroom.

Manual file level list available at the National Registers of Archives in Edinburgh (NRA(S)1746) and London (NRA21083)

Alternative Form Available

No known copies

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the University Archivist

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

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with normal procedures

Custodial History

Records deposited with Economic History Department, Glasgow University, prior to 1966. Management of the collection transferred to Glasgow University Archives in 1975.


None expected


No known publications using this material

Additional Information

This material is original

Updated by Lesley Richmond , Acting Director, 3 March 2000

Updated by David Powell, Hub Project Archivist, 19 February 2002

Geographical Names