Records of James Finlay & Co, administrative records

Scope and Content


  • Memoranda and articles of association;
  • Partnership contracts and company agreements;
  • Partners' minutes;
  • James Finlay Board minutes and supporting papers;
  • Reports and accounts to shareholders (printed);
  • Investment records;
  • Register of seals;
  • Board papers including site visits, reports on tea estates, factories and business interests;
  • Directors' and Executives' notes;
  • James Finlay Company assets;
  • Company photographs;
  • Corporate records;
  • Mutual discharges;
  • Yeild statements.

This description is part of the main  James Finlay & Co collection which has been divided into the following sections, each with its own separate description:  

Administrative / Biographical History

In  1750 James Finlay (1727-c1792) established the firm of  James Finlay & Co in  Glasgow, Scotland. He operated in a number of overseas and UK markets, entering into a number of trade agreements. After his death, his son  Kirkman Finlay (d1842), one of the most influential merchants of his generation, became senior managing partner of the firm.

In  1798  the company purchased mills at  Ballindalloch,  Balfron,  Stirling, Scotland, and soon became major textile manufacturers, later purchasing additional mills at  Catrine, East Ayrshire, Scotland in  1801  and  Deanston, Perth & Kinross, Scotland, in  1808 . The firm also established many trading connections overseas, initially in  Europe, but later further afield. These trading operations were facilitated by a staff of travelling agents and by the formation of branch establishments in major trading centres.

Gradually the company's trading activities outstripped their textile manufacturing business and in  1844  the works at  Ballindalloch, Stirling, were sold. In  1858  the company merged with  Wilson, James & Kay. Their Indian business connections were strengthened in  1862  when  Finlay Clerk & Co was established in  Bombay, known as  Finlay Muir & Co from  1870  when and a branch was opened in  Calcutta. In around  1882  the firm began to diversify into tea estate management and by  Finlay, Muir & Co 1901  was managing extensive tea estates in  India and  Sri Lanka. In  1909  the company became incorporated as a limited liability company,  James Finlay & Co Ltd, with head offices at  Nile Street, Glasgow. For a more detailed administrative history see the  full James Finlay & Co collection description.


Files arranged as received.

Access Information

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.