Edinburgh Stapleary of Yarn

Scope and Content

Collection includes:

Journals, 1750-1766

Day Books, 1757-1766

Accounts Ledgers, 1750-1759

General Ledgers, 1752-1766

Administrative / Biographical History

The Edinburgh Stapleary of Yarn was established as a subsidiary of the British Linen Company in 1750, with the Company providing £5,000 in capital stock. Under the management of David Doig, it had responsibility for supervising the day-to-day business at Edinburgh which involved receiving, checking and sorting the yarn which was brought in from spinners working in a cottage industry spread throughout the north of Scotland. By 1753, the company claimed that over 10,000 hand-spinners were thus employed in, among other places, Tain, Cromarty, Wick, Inverness and Kirkwall.

The co-partnership established between Doig and the British Linen Company ended acrimoniously in the early 1760s, but the Stapleary's books were not finally wound up until 1766, after the last of the yarn had been disposed of.


The collection is arranged into the following series:

  • ESY/1: Journals
  • ESY/2: Day Books
  • ESY/3: Accounts Ledgers
  • ESY/4: General Ledgers

Access Information

Access is by appointment only, and at the discretion of the Archivist. Closure periods apply to some records less than 100 years old. Please e-mail archives@lloydsbanking.com for further information.

Other Finding Aids

An item level catalogue is available - please e-mail archives@lloydsbanking.com for further details.

Please note that this catalogue replaces the NRAS survey of the Edinburgh Stapleary of Yarn records undertaken in the 1970s (NRAS945).

Conditions Governing Use

Copying of material is permitted at the discretion of Lloyds Banking Group Archives.

Related Material

GB1830 BLB1 - records of the British Linen Company (later the British Linen Bank)


  • Alastair J. Durie, 'The Scottish Linen Industry 1707-1775 with Particular Reference to the Early History of the British Linen Company' (PhD Thesis, University of Edinburgh, 1972)
  • Alastair J. Durie (ed.), The British Linen Company 1745-1775 (Scottish History Society, Fifth Series, Volume 9, Edinburgh, 1996)
  • Alastair J. Durie, 'Imitation in Scottish Eighteenth-Century Textiles. The Drive to Establish the Manufacture of Osnaburg Linen', Journal of Design History, 6/2 (1993): 71-76
  • Charles A. Malcolm, The History of the British Linen Bank, 1746-1946 (Edinburgh, 1950)