Scope and Content

The correspondence shows how quickly the firm gained the confidence of its correspondents and was applied to for advice in regard to machinery, for assistance in buying cotton and yarn, and for the finding of suitable carders and spinners. The correspondence is also of interest or value for for the information it gives as to the methods and practice of the time. Amongst the most important correspondents are the firm's agents. Robert McGavin for Glasgow; George Gill for Nottingham; Hill Hamilton, later Hamilton & McConnel for Belfast; Michael Weiniger for Switzerland; Alexander Barclay for Germany. The firm also used brokers; perhaps the most important of these were George Marsden, who sent weekly reports on the state of the Liverpool market, and Thomas Hindley, who sent vital information on the American cotton crop. The firm's most important clients included James Finlay of Glasgow; Watson, Myers & Russell of Preston; Taylor & Heywood of Duffield; Mellor of Waterhouses; the Towle Brothers of Draycott; Nightingale Grocer's Company of Manchester; and Samuel Cartledge of Nottingham.

Administrative / Biographical History

McConnel & Kennedy kept copies of all outgoing correspondence in bound letter books. Fortunately all the volumes covering the firm's formative years have survived. The corresponding series of letters received complements these volumes.