Records of Kerr & Co Ltd, cotton manufacturers and selling agents, Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland

Scope and Content

  • Minute books, 1888-1962;
  • Registers, 1886-1962;
  • General and departmental ledgers, 1898-1901;
  • Private ledgers, 1890-1897;
  • Miscellaneous ledgers, 1888-1890;
  • General cash books ; annual returns, 1912-1947;
  • Miscellaneous - Handbook of Peter Kerr, 1860-1869;
  • Memorandum and articles of association, 1906-1962;
  • Share certificates, 1843-1949;
  • Certificates and awards, 1879-1883.

Administrative / Biographical History

Kerr & Co Ltd, cotton manufacturers and selling agents, Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland, was incorporated with limited liability on 10 April  1888 , with their registered office at Underwood Mills, Paisley. The capital of the company was £250,000. In July  1895 ,  J & P Coats Ltd, thread manufacturers, Paisley, agreed to buy the business as a going concern. In  1908 , the company converted to a private company. In 1950, Machine Cottons Ltd, thread distributors, Glasgow, Scotland, were given power of attorney to deal with all matters concerning trade marks in Brazil. In 1951 and 1954 the company sold to J & P Coats Ltd, as a going concern, their business in the UK and all other parts of the world. Kerr & Co Ltd also appear to be selling agents for other business, for example in Australia and New Zealand, though they used selling agents themselves, for example La Plata Reel Cotton Co Ltd, selling agents, Glasgow, in Paraguay. The records in 1892 mention a strained relationship with The Central Agency, (later The Central Agency Ltd) selling agents for J & P Coats Ltd, Glasgow, possibly due to competition. A manufacturing agreement was entered into in  1934  between the company and  United Thread Mills Ltd, thread manufacturers, Glasgow. In  1936 , a contract was entered into with  Romanofir SAR, thread manufacturers and spinners, Romania, whereby the company supplied complete working drawings for the election of buildings and purchased and supervised the erection of plant and machinery in Romania. In 1940, J & P Coats Ltd was appointed as the company's agent for trade mark purposes. The company dissolved in 2005.


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 CoatsPatons Ltd

GB 248 UGD 199/24 Records of Walter Evans & Co Ltd

GB 248 UGD 199/9 Records of The International Thread Co Ltd

GB 248 UGD 199/16 Records of Machine Cottons Ltd

GB 248 UGD 199/10 Records of La Plata Reel Cotton Co Ltd

GB 248 UGD 199/2 Records of The Central Agency Ltd

GB 248 UGD 199/31 Records of Romanofir SAR

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

GB/NNAF/B3334, Reference : NRA(S)3151; Journal of Kerr & Co Ltd (Paisley Museum, Art Gallery and Coats Observatory)


No known publications using this material

Additional Information

This material is original

No alterations made to date

Geographical Names