Caird (Dundee) Ltd, Jute Manufacturers

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 254 MS 60
  • Dates of Creation
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      0.37 linear metres. The records are on paper and include photographs and outsize plans.

Scope and Content

Private letter books 1910-1920; engineer's notebook c. 1917; balance sheets 1915-1934; miscellaneous papers 1916-1997; photographs c.1930-1950; maps and plans of India and Dundee 1834-1997.

Administrative / Biographical History

Edward Caird, founder of the Caird business was born in Montrose in 1806 and began the manufacture of cloth in a 12-loom shed at Ashton Works, Dundee, in 1832. He was one of the first to weave cloth composed of jute warp and weft and, as the use of the new textile became popular, his business expanded. In 1870, his son, James Key Caird, took over the running of Ashton Works and he was to direct the fortunes of the firm of Cairds for the next forty years.

Under James Caird's management the Ashton Works was re-built and equipped with the most modern plant. In 1905, he took over the Craigie Works, which had until then supplied much of his yarn and was now to supplement his production of cloth. Two years later Caird acquired property adjoining the Ashton Works to permit further expansion, and in 1908 perhaps the most modern jute spinning-mill of the time was started. Ashton and Craigie Works were among the largest and best-equipped jute works in Dundee, employing 2,000 hands.

By the press and middle-classes, Caird was considered a good employer who 'aimed at making his establishment not only efficient from a working point of view, but also a model of comfort for the workers' (Dundee Advertiser, March 1916). He was also a noted benefactor and between 1895 and 1914 gave 240,940 in donations to institutions and organisations within and outside Dundee. James Key Caird was awarded a baronetcy in 1913.


Records are arranged within series.

Access Information

Open for consultation subject to preservation requirements. Access must also conform to the restrictions of the Data Protection Act and any other appropriate legislation.

Acquisition Information

The records were deposited by Caird (Dundee) Ltd in 1978 (AccM/64).


Fonds level description compiled by Sarah Chubb, Archives Hub Project Archivist, November 2001.

Other Finding Aids

Descriptive list. Subject source lists and databases are also available.

Alternative Form Available

No known copies.

Conditions Governing Use

Reproduction is available subject to preservation requirements. Charges are made for this service, and copyright and other restrictions may apply.


None expected.

Related Material

MS 108 Edward Caird's Trust

Location of Originals

The material is original.

Geographical Names