Records of Aberdeen Trust Ltd.

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Business records for Aberdeen Trust Ltd., 1962 - 1982, and its predecessors, Aberdeen Trust Co. Ltd., 1911 - 1962, Aberdeen and Canadian Investment Trust Ltd., 1948 - 1962, North of Scotland Canadian Mortgage and General Investment Trust Ltd, 1938 - 1948, North of Scotland Canadian Mortgage Co. Ltd., 1876 - 1938, and East of Scotland Trust Ltd, 1913 - 1972. A full set of minutes and annual accounts exists for each company, with the exception of the North of Scotland Canadian Mortgage Co. Ltd., for which annual accounts begin only in 1882 (6 years after the company began trading). There is, additionally, a representative sample of cash books, journals and stock registers for each company.

Administrative / Biographical History

The North of Scotland Canadian Mortgage Company was incorporated in 1876, with the sole purpose, as its name implied, of raising capital in Scotland to finance, by way of mortgage, the emigrant farming community in Canada. The concept was a popular one at the time, and a number of other companies, notably in Dundee, had recently undertaken similar operations extending as far as Texas and other emerging agricultural states in the USA. By the late nineteenth century the company's annual reports describe extensive emigration to Canada and ever-increasing demand for mortgages. The building of the railways to the west opened up vast tracts of farming lands, and from fairly modest beginnings, it was able to extend its business to Manitoba, Saskatchewan and the other prairie provinces. As its scope and size increased, the administrative headquarters were transferred from Toronto to Winnipeg.

By the First World War the Company was in a prosperous condition. This continued until the Great Depression of the 1930s, when it was thrust deeply into debt. By 1933 it had suffered such severe financial losses that it was unable to meet the demands of its creditors. A scheme of arrangement was drawn up at this time, placing a substantial financial burden upon the Company's creditors, but eventually freeing the Company from threat of liquidation. A moderate recovery by 1938 was followed by a new memorandum and articles of association, which enlarged its powers of investment, a step which many saw as preparation for its future conversion to an investment trust. A new name, the North of Scotland Canadian Mortgage and General Investment Trust Limited, emphasised this point.

In 1940, the Company became profitable once more, reaping the benefits of the very good Canadian harvest of 1939. A new scheme of reorganisation of capital was adopted in July 1942, and by the end of the Second World War the nature of the company had entirely changed from a lending company to an investment trust. In 1948 a Canadian subsidiary company was set up, called North of Scotland Canadian Investment Corporation Limited to which, in exchange for debentures and shares of common stock, the remaining Canadian assets were transferred. The name of the parent company was changed once more to reflect its new activities more accurately, becoming the Aberdeen and Canadian Investment Trust Limited. In 1952 the North of Scotland Canadian Investment Corporation Limited was sold to the Berkley Property and Investment Company Limited. With this sale, all interests in the original business of the Company were relinquished, and its expansion thereafter took place under the auspices of an orthodox Scottish Investment Trust.

In 1962, the Aberdeen and Canadian Investment Trust Limited amalgamated with the Aberdeen-based Aberdeen Trust Company Limited, forming a new company, called Aberdeen Trust Limited. In 1972, a further merger took place with the East of Scotland Trust Limited of Edinburgh. Both the Aberdeen Trust Company and the East of Scotland Trust Limited had had close ties with the Company for many years, being under the same management, having similar portfolios and with some duplication between the various boards of directors.

Aberdeen Trust Company was incorporated on 17 July 1911. Its early fortunes were mixed, suffering severe losses during the First World War, which were recovered during the Twenties, only to be hit again by the great depression of the Thirties. A considerable recovery was achieved by 1939, and though expansion was halted during the war years of the early 1940s, the Company was able to consolidate its position and had achieved considerable prosperity by 1945. The 1950s saw a period of rapid growth and expansion for the Company, and in 1961 it entered into negotiations for amalgamation with the Aberdeen and Canadian Investment Trust Limited.

The East of Scotland Trust Limited was registered in Edinburgh on 8 May 1913. Its history closely parallels that of the Aberdeen Trust Limited, rising and falling between the War years and the great depression of the Thirties, before reaching prosperity in the 1950s and 60s.

This information was extracted from a short history of the Trust, contained in the Aberdeen Trust Limited Annual Report and Accounts for 1976 (ref. GB 231 MS 3211/79). Further details, particularly regarding financial affairs, can be found there.

Arrangement

The records of each company have been sorted by record type, and chronologically therein.

Conditions Governing Access

Open, subject to signature accepting conditions of use at reader registration sheet

Acquisition Information

Deposited in the University Library in 1987, by G. A. Robb, Director of Aberdeen Fund Mangers Limited

Other Finding Aids

Descriptive list available in the Reading Room, Special Libraries and Archives, University of Aberdeen.

Very brief collection level description available on Aberdeen University Library Catalogue, accessible online http://www.abdn.ac.uk/diss/library/

Alternative Form Available

No copies known

Conditions Governing Use

Subject to the condition of the original, copies may be supplied for private research use only on receipt of a signed undertaking to comply with current copyright legislation.

Permission to make any published use of material from the collection must be sought in advance from the Head of Special Libraries and Archives (e-mail: speclib@abdn.ac.uk) and, where appropriate, from the copyright owner. Where possible, assistance will be given in identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with normal procedures

Accruals

No accruals expected

Related Material

No related material identified in this repository

Bibliography

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Additional Information

This material is original