Records of Champdany Jute Company Ltd

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Includes:  

  • Administrative records;
  • Shareholders' records;
  • Accounting records;
  • Correspondence;
  • Production records;
  • Plant and machinery;
  • Staff records;
  • Tax records;
  • Property records.

Administrative / Biographical History

Champdany Jute Co Ltd, textile merchants and manufacturers,  Glasgow, Scotland, was formed in  1873  by  Sir John Muir, senior partner of  James Finlay & Co Ltd, textile manufacturers, tea planters and merchants,  Glasgow. The company had two spinning and weaving mills, Champdany Mill,  Bengal, India, and the Wellington Mill,  Bengal, India, that was acquired in  1881 , which together employed up to 5000 workers manufacturing jute, flax, hemp, and other fibrous materials. Its initial directors were:  Sir John Muir, senior partner of  James Finlay & Co Ltd;  James Luke, jute manufacturer;  George Burnett, merchant;  Thomas Frame, merchant;  Anthony Hannay, merchant;  Andrew Brown Murray, merchant;  Thomas Watson, Turkey-red dyer.  Finlay, Muir & Co Ltd, agents, and merchants,  Glasgow, acted as the company's agents in  India. Champdany Jute Mill was a joint stock company with limited liability. The minority shareholders became disgruntled over the lack of a regular dividend, which  James Finlay & Co Ltd stated was due to the risk involved when investing in  India. Finlay's concern was with the long-term survival of its interests, not short-term profitability at any cost. Accusations were made that  James Finlay & Co Ltd were unduly subordinating the interests of minority shareholders. This led in  1886  to court action and the establishment in  1897  of the Champdany Share Trust to protect the interests of minority shareholders. There was a program of modernisation carried out in the  late 1930s  on the two mills. The electrification of Champdany Mill was completed in  1940  at a cost of £50,000, just in time to avoid an acute shortage of coal in  India. During the First World War both mills manufactured large quantities of sandbags. Both mills were also engaged extensively on war work during the Second World War for the British and Indian governments. They produced large quantities of standard cloth, and special fabrics for the subsequent manufacture of tents, camouflage materials, and parachute containers. At Champdeny Mill a special plant was erected in order to produce a bituminous covered sacking fabric used extensively for aircraft landing fields in forward areas, such as  Burma.  Champdany Jute Mill was a joint stock company with limited liability. The minority shareholders became disgruntled over the lack of a regular dividend which  James Finlay & Co stated was due to the risk involved when investing in  India. Finlays' concern was with the long-term survival of its interests, not short-term profitability at any cost. Accusations were made that  James Finlay & Co were unduly subordinating the interests of minority shareholders, and this led to court action and the establishment of the Champdany Share Trust.

Arrangement

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:  library-asc@glasgow.ac.uk

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:  library-asc@glasgow.ac.uk

Appraisal Information

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

Accruals

None expected

Related Material

Much of the business regarding Champdany and Wellington Mills was carried out by Finlay Muir, Calcutta (Gb 248 UGD 091/11) and references will be found to Champdany throughout their records. See GB 248 UGD 091/1/4/2/4/1, UGD 091/7/1/3/2/1-9, UGD 091/1/4/2/4/3 and UGD 091/1/4/7/2/1 (for largely financial information); and GB 248 UGD 091/7/1/3/2/4(b), UGD 091/7/1/3/2/5, UGD 091/7/1/3/2/6 and UGD 091/7/2/1. For further information, see also R E Stewart, Scottish Company Accounting 1860-1920, University of Glasgow PhD Thesis, GUL 7436.

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

Bibliography

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.