Marshall & Edgar, Lilybank Foundry, Dundee

Scope and Content

Order book 1836 - 1847; worker's time book 1845 - 1847.

Administrative / Biographical History

It appears that the Lilybank Foundry was originally owned by Marshall and Edgar who were bankrupted between 1835 and 1837. The foundry was subsequently taken over by Keay and Rattray, the major creditors. John Bower Rattray died in a railway accident at Wolverhampton in 1847, after which his partner retired and put up the Foundry for sale.

The foundry then passed to James Steel. Steel was the son of a crofter/farmer from the Carse of Gowrie, had learned his engineering skills in Dundee and had risen to become a major partner in the Wallace Foundry and a director of the Watt Institute. With his two sons, James and John, he established James Steel and Sons. The foundry concentrated on light engineering, producing machinery and goods for the textile industry, Dundee Water Company and the Dundee Perth Railway among others. They also specialised in the building of water-power engines.

Never in good health, James Steel died in 1852 and was quickly followed by his elder son, leaving John in sole charge of Lilybank Foundry. Reputedly more adept at the practical rather than the management side of the business, John Steel failed to meet a large order which saw the sequestration of the firm's assets in 1857. Lilybank Foundry subsequently passed through several hands, before finally being demolished in the 1970s.


Records are arranged chronologically.

Access Information

Open for consultation subject to preservation requirements. Access must also conform to the restrictions of the Data Protection Act and any other appropriate legislation.

Acquisition Information



Fonds level description compiled by Sarah Chubb, Archives Hub Project Archivist, October 2001.

Other Finding Aids

Descriptive list. Subject source lists and databases are also available.

Alternative Form Available

No known copies.

Conditions Governing Use

Reproduction is available subject to preservation requirements. Charges are made for this service, and copyright and other restrictions may apply.

Custodial History



None expected.

Geographical Names