Records of Clark & Co Ltd, thread manufacturers, Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland

Scope and Content

  • Minute books, 1896-1963;
  • Registers of members and directors, 1896-1964;
  • Ledgers, 1883-1913;
  • Private ledgers, 1880-1978;
  • Journals, 1880-1978;
  • Private journals, 1897-1928;
  • Salary books, 1896-1899;
  • Legal papers, 1819-1872;
  • Notebooks, 1864-1870;
  • Legal papers, 1819-1872;
  • Personnel records, 1903;
  • Memorandum and articles of association, c1880;
  • Publications, c1854-1890;
  • Family records, 1882-c1960s.

Administrative / Biographical History

Clark & Co Ltd, thread manufacturers Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland, were the main rivals of  J & P Coats Ltd, thread manufacturers, Paisley. The company was formed when J & J Clark & Co, thread manufacturers, Paisley, and Kerr & Clark, thread manufacturers, Paisley, amalgamated in  1865  as Clark & Co. Two years later, the firm purchased J & R Clark, thread manufacturers, Paisley, for £24,000. In the 1870s, the Clark mills were renamed Anchor Mills. In  1880 , Clark & Co was incorporated as Clark & Co Ltd, with a capital of £1,000,000, and with John, James, Stewart, and William Clark as directors. James was also vice-president of  The Clark Thread Co, thread manufacturers, Newark, New Jersey, USA, which his brother William managed. New stock, to the value of £50,000, was issued in 1885 to enable Clark & Co Ltd to takeover the firm John Clark Jnr, thread manufacturers, Mile End, Glasgow, Scotland. This was an important acquisition as the company acquired mills in Glasgow and Newark, New Jersey (near to those of Clark Thread Co) and substantial markets overseas, particularly in Russia, an area into which the managing director, John Clark, was trying to expand.

John Clark (1827-1894) was the brother of George, founder of the Clark Thread Co, and was the driving force in the firm's management in the mid- and late nineteenth century. Two years after his death, in  1896 , Clark & Co Ltd was amalgamated with J & P Coats Ltd. Jonas Brook & Bros, thread manufacturers, Meltham Mills, Huddersfield, Kirklees, England, and James Chadwick & Bros, cotton manufacturers, Bolton, England, followed in the same year, making the new amalgamated firm the biggest in the world.

Each company maintained its identity with the preservation of the names and trade marks which were used for the particular market in which they were associated. In March  1931 , an agreement was signed between Clark & Co Ltd and  United Thread Mills Ltd, thread manufacturers, Glasgow, whereby United Thread Mills Ltd bought all property within the UK, tools, machinery and unmanufactured goods - but not trade marks, trade names or patents, investments or goodwill. In December  1951 , Clark & Co Ltd agreed to sell to J & P Coats Ltd, as a going concern, the company's business in the UK and all other parts of the world, except Brazil, Cuba and Mexico. In April 1954, the trade marks in Brazil, Cuba and Mexico were transferred to J & P Coats Ltd. In 2002, Clark & Co Ltd was still an active company based in Glasgow.


This material is arranged into series, which consist of numbers of items related by format and/or function. Within series the items are generally arranged chronologically

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Indefinite loan : J & P Coats : Glasgow : c1984

Indefinite loan : Coats Viyella plc : London: 1991 : ACCN 0146 (Additional Deposit)

Indefinite loan : via Business Archives Council in Scotland : 1993 : ACCN 0198 (Additional Deposit)

Indefinite loan : 1995 : ACCN 0240 (Additional Deposit)

Indefinite loan : 1996 : ACCN 0255 (Additional Deposit)

Indefinite loan : Coats Viyella plc : Swinton, Manchester: 2000 : ACCNs 1887, 1925, 1926, 1996

Indefinite loan : ACCN 0054

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)2576) and London (NRA20914)

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 standard GB 248 procedures

Custodial History

Held by J & P Coats Ltd


None expected

Related Material

GB 248 UGD 199/1 Records of J & P Coats Ltd and Coats Patons Ltd

GB 248 UGD 199/1/35 contains all photographs of Coats PLC companies, including negatives and photographic images of the Clark family.

GB 248 UGD 199/5 Records of George A Clark & Bros - Clark Thread Co

GB 248 UGD 199/18 Records of Jonas Brook & Bros Ltd

GB 248 UGD 199/26 Records of James Chadwick & Bros Ltd

See GB 0248 UGD 199/1/39/3 - Commemorative medal celebraing the 25th anniversary of the staff sports and cultural centre of Coats and Clark in Portugal

See source list on Textiles available via Glagsow University Archive Services homepage at


No known publications using this material

Additional Information

This material is original

No alterations made to date