Records of W Grant & Co (Agents) Ltd, timber and esparto merchants, Edinburgh, Scotland

Scope and Content

  • Ledgers 1880-1884
  • Accounts 1880-1965
  • Journal 1955-1956
  • Cash book 1954-1956
  • Memoranda and articles of association 1955
  • Correspondence 1887-1971
  • Esparto reports 1928-1965
  • Press cuttings 1880-1907
  • Arbitration records 1913-1965
  • Records relating to Grant's involvement with the British Wood Pulp Association 1955

Administrative / Biographical History

W Grant & Co was founded by William Grant in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1880  as a timber and esparto merchants and agents. The company's main office was at 5 St Andrews Square, Edinburgh.

William Grant began his career with Hutchinson Brothers, timber merchants in Leith, Edinburgh. He left in 1872 for Sweden where he entered the sawmill of Nils Wilkstrom at Sundswall, where he acquired practical knowledge of the wood shipping business. W Grant & Co later became agents for many of the business connections he made in Sweden. Upon his return to Leith, William continued to work for Hutchinson Brothers, but in 1880, established himself as W Grant & Co as an agent for Baltic wood goods. The business also traded in wood pulp, becoming associated with many of the leading chemical and mechanical wood pulp factories. Grant also acted as arbitrator between shippers and importers.

In December 1955  , W Grant & Co (Agents) Ltd was incorporated as a limited liability company to acquire the business of W Grant & Co. The company's first directors were Leslie Renwick Grant, Amy Balmer Grant his wife, Ronald Dingwall Hodge, timber merchant, and Robert Alexander Henderson Morton, office manager. Leslie Renwick Grant had previously been a director of L R Grant Ltd , timber and esparto merchants, Edinburgh, which had gone into liquidation in 1940. He was also a director of William Sommerville & Son Ltd, producers of high quality printing and paper, Milton Bridge, Edinburgh, from 1934 until at least 1969.

W Grant & Co Ltd traded in wood and esparto, a tough wiry grass from northern Africa whose fibre is used to make paper and cordage. The company traded with Tunisia and Algeria

In 1999, W Grant & Co (Agents) Ltd was dissolved.


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

Deposit : via BAC(S) surveying officer: March 1987 : ACCN 0090

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)) and London (NRA)

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



None expected

Related Material

GB 248 UGD 237/2 Records of L R Grant Ltd

GB 248 UGD 237/3 Records of Berner Nicol & Co Ltd

Material in other repositories: no material associated by provenance


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Additional Information

This material is original

No alterations made to date