Records of McMeekin & Co, tea planters, Liverpool, England

Scope and Content


  • Accounting records;
  • Corporate records.

Administrative / Biographical History

McMeekin & Co Ltd, tea planters,  Liverpool, England, had close associations with  James Finlay & Co Ltd, textile manufacturers, tea planters, and merchants,  Glasgow, Scotland. The company was formed  c1870s  by  Thomas McMeekin, a practical agriculturalist with connections to  Patrick Buchanan, founder of  P R Buchanan & Co Ltd, tea planters,  London, England. It was through  Patrick Buchanan that  Thomas McMeekin made contact with  James Finlay & Co Ltd. McMeekin & Co Ltd's estates had been managed by a firm of managing agents. Around  1880 , there was a disagreement and  James Finlay & Co Ltd took over the management of the estates as well as a financial stake in the company.  Thomas McMeekin's agricultural expertise was very useful to  James Finlay & Co Ltd and he was given charge of the tea department of  Finlay, Muir & Co Ltd, agents, and merchants,  Calcutta, India. During the  early 1880s ,  Thomas McMeekin attempted to expand his private estate against the perceived interests of  John Muir, senior partner of  James Finlay & Co Ltd. This dispute led, in  1885 , to the termination of their agreement and the loss of  James Finlay & Co Ltd's management of the McMeekin estates. Despite this, the two companies continued their long and fruitful association. In the  mid-1880s , McMeekin was a small company, with the partners being simply  Thomas McMeekin and  John McEwan. However with the dispute over estates in the past,  John Muir agreed to provide additional finance to  Thomas McMeekin. A new agreement was reached by which  Finaly, Muir & Co Ltd shipped teas to  London on account of  McMeekin & Co Ltd there, and  McMeekin & Co Ltd provided in  Calcutta expert assistance in tasting and valuing teas and in buying on the  Calcutta market. The two companies continued to work closely together through most of the  20th century , and in  1986 ,  McMeekin & Co (Tea) Ltd became  James Finlay Commodities (UK) Ltd. This company was dissolved in  1998 .


Files arranged as received.

Access Information

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Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

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Conditions Governing Use

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents

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Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 248 procedures. Duplicates have been removed.


None expected

Related Material

See also GB 248 UGD 091/1/7/5.

Material in other repositories: GB 059 Finlay Campbell & Co and Finlay Muir & Co (British Library: Oriental and India Office Collections)


No known publications using this material

Additional Information

Description compiled in line with the following international standards: International Council on Archives, ISAD(G) Second Edition, September 1999and National Council on Archives, Rules for the construction of personal, place and corporate names

Scotland is the location of all place names in the administrative/biographical history element, unless otherwise stated.

Collection catalogued by members of Glasgow University Archive Services staff. Catalogue converted to Encoded Archival Description by Michelle Kaye, Archives Assistant (Cataloguing), May 2012. Additional material catalogued and converted into Encoded Archival Description by Peter Morphew, Cataloguing Archivist, January 2016.