Records of Glasgow, Paisley & Ardrosson Canal Co, canal company, Scotland

Scope and Content

Correspondence concerning the Glasgow, Paisley and Ardrosson Canal Co received on their behalf by Wylie & Wylie, Writers to the Signet, Paisley, 1808-1846

Correspondence concerns compensation payments, shares in the company and general business matters.

Administrative / Biographical History

By 1775, the first stage of deepening the river Clyde in Scotland was complete, but most shipping trade was still dependant on seaports further down stream, such as Greenock and Inverclyde, rather than the city of Glasgow further in land. At the same time, the Forth & Clyde Canal was completed and by the end of the 18th Century was a considerable success. The cutting of a canal between Glasgow and the Ayrshire coast to the south-west of the city had been considered for some years and in 1805 an Act of parliament approved the canal.

The canal was laid out by the civil engineer Thomas Telford (1757-1834) and was to run thirty one and a quarter miles (50 Km) from Tradeston, Glasgow, to Ardrossan on the north Ayrshire coast through the counties of Renfrewshire and Ayrshire via Paisley, Johnstone, Dalry and Kilwinning. Thirty feet wide and four and a half feet deep, it would not only bring cargoes from the seaport at Ardrossan to Port Eglinton in Glasgow, but also attract trade from the coalfields along its length.

Although the money ran out at Johnstone, the completed part of the canal, which was opened in 1810, operated successfully for many years. The express passenger boats in 1836 carried 420,000 people between Paisley and Glasgow. It was finally made obsolete by the expansion of the railway system and in 1885 the channel was infilled. A railway now follows its path.


The arrangement of this material reflects the original order in which it was received

Access Information

Access is open, however an appointment may be required. Please email Archives and Special Collections for advice:

Acquisition Information

Purchase : Edward Hall, bookseller, Gravesend : 1965 : ACCN 4144

Other Finding Aids

Conditions Governing Use

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents. Applications for permission to quote should be sent to Archives and Special Collections, please email:

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 247 procedures

Custodial History

Not known


None expected

Related Material

GB 234 BR/GPA Minute book 1805-1817 (National Archives of Scotland); GB 1050 Proprietors meeting minutes 1819 (Paisley Central Library, Local Studies Library)