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Home > Beyond Scotland > Shale Oil in England > Wanostrocht & Co

Wanostrocht & Co. / South Boghead Co.

Constitution A joint stock company registered in France
Company number n/a
Share capital 1500000 french francs
Date of Incorporation December 1857
Date of Dissolution 1860?
Registered Office 4, Rue Rougemont, Paris

Property Wareham Oil Works, mines at Kimmeridge, quayside property in Poole?

The Compagnie du South Boghead (The South Boghead company) was a joint stock company established in France in 1857. The sponsors and co-managers of the company were

The company traded in Britain as Wanostrocht & Co. and took over the Kimmeridge mines and Wareham oil works. Substantial investments were made at Kimmeridge and a well-publicised trade developed in the supply of Blackstone for gas production, much of it shipped from Poole. This mineral was rather mischievously marketed as "South Boghead Coal"

Facilities at Wareham oil works were also developed, although many of the refined oils were surreptitiously produced from Scottish Boghead Coal in the hope of evading payment of patent royalties


South Boghead


(Rough translation from French via Google Translate)

By deed of Mr. Baudier, who has the minute, and Mr. Guyon; notaries in Paris, the twenty-eight and thirty November, one thousand eight hundred and fifty to seven, registered, it was formed between Mr. Vincent WANOSTROCHT, merchant, residing London, St. Swithin's Lane, No.31, Lombard Street, and David-Clovis KNAB, civil engineer, residing in Paris, rue de Seine, No. 72, general partners, joint managers responsible and solidarity, sponsors referred to that Act and that would become persons owners of one or more shares, all simple Sponsors

A company concerning:

  1. The exploitation of mines Boghead and oil shale located near the Bay of Kimmeridge, Dorset, England
  2. The creation or acquisition of the necessary plants to undertake distillation of Boghead and oil shale
  3. The trade and the sale of the exploitation of those products mines;
  4. And generally all operational rations for cetle sociélé.

The company is headquartered in Paris, rue Rougemont, 4. Mr. Wanostrocht and Mr. Knab are only managers of the company. The company name is "WANOSTROCHT and Co".

The name of the company is the SOUTH BOGHEAD COMPANY. The duration of the company is forty years from the date of its final constitution. It will be finally constituted where:

  1. All shares are subscribed (this condition was conducted);
  2. The payment by each shareholder at least a quarter of the shares purchased by him was made.
  3. The General Meeting of Shareholders made to monitor and assess the value of contributions made by Mr. Wanostrocht and a sponsor and approved it. The fulfilment of these three conditions is found by a declaration of managers, compiled by authentic act. Sponsors referred audit act has brought the company:
  4. A sum of five hundred seventy-five thousand francs; and the help given by a sponsor company training the society and Wanostrocht & Co by his credit and relationships; the result of penalties, treatments and procedures its manager and studies

The social fund is fifteen percent thousand, divided into a thousand shares of five hundred francs each. On these three miles actions, eighteen hundred shares fully paid were granted to Mr. Wanostrocht, representation of its ??? fifty Mr. Knab, too in representation of his contribution.

The eleven hundred and fifty of actions surplus were allocated to sponsors audit referred to as representation of their contributions. The monlant of actions is payable as follows: percent twenty-five francs after subscription loules of equities percent twenty-five francs four months, percent twenty-five francs eight months and one hundred twenty-five francs twelve months after the final formation of the company. Payments are made at the Comptoir discount in Paris. The shares are registered shares up fully paid; after that, they are registered or bearer, the choice of the shareholders.

The company is managed by managers. They jointly signed social, which they cannot ? use that ??? and only for the needs and business the company and the extent of operations for which it is constituted. The managers are empowered attached to their quality management and the administration Social affaires. However, purchase or construction of factories whose spending exceeds ten thousand francs, mortgages, acquisitions, sales or exchanges of buildings, of importance more than ten thousand francs, can not occur only after prior advertised gathered general meeting of shareholders, and if there is no opposition to his bet. The managers can still devolve to each other all or part their powers, by proxy or determined. They may also, but collectively, delegate to third parties all or part their powers, but still under personal responsibility (continues)

Gazette de Tribunaux, 13th December 1857


On Thursday the town of Wareham was honoured with passing visit from the Duc de Malakhoff, who was accompanied by his aide de camp, Baron Gudin, and Mr. Kennard. The Marshal left London with the object of visiting the mines of bituminous shale lately put in operation on the coast of Kimmeridge, Dorsetshire. The distinguished party arrived at their destination about 4 p.m. and after inspecting the subterranean workings, which were illuminated for the occasion, and admiring the elegant and newly erected construction - the wrought-iron pier - they proceeded to Kimmeridge Bay, where a stone pier is in course of erection.

The interest taken in those works cannot be wondered at when the extraordinary properties of the bituminous coal are taken into consideration; so manifold are its applications that, beside producing the finest candles yet known and yielding a gas of great illuminating power, experiments and analyses show that it is most valuable as manure. On distillation it yields a variety of oils, and by a certain simple process the residue can be manufactured into an hydraulic cement

The property is leased to Messrs. Wanostrocht and to. Col. Mansel, C.B.. being the lord of the manor. In the evening the Marshal and party dined at the seat of Col. Mansell, and afterwards proceeded Swanage, and the following morning left for London by early train.

The Hampshire Chronicle, 25th September 1858


The Duke of Malakhoff and suite visted the mineral oil works at Northport, near this town, on Thursday afternoon last, and after inspecting the establishment, with the working details of which he appeared much pleased, he proceeded Wareham.

The corporation and principal inhabitants, soon as they were cognisant of the arrival of so distinguished a personage, assembled the town-hall, and drew up a congratulatory address for presentation to His Excellency. Shortly afterwards the Mayor (M. Hatherley, Esq.), accompanied by Aldermen S. Bennett, C. Filliter, W. H. Hall, F. Filliter, and several Councilmen, and Mr. Bartlett, the town clerk, in their official robes, and preceded by the office bearers in full costume, waited upon the Duke by appointment the Red Lion Hotel, and were received with great respect. The address was translated by one of the Duke's suite, the Baron Gudin, and the Marshal (who does not speak English) replied through the same medium, and after stating the gratification felt at the attention thus paid him, a sincere hope that the union of the two great nations of England and France would be productive of mutual benefit; he was sure he spoke the feelings of the Emperor in hoping that they should long be united in peace and amity. After the address enquired, among other things, if there were any Crimean soldiers in the town; and finding there was one the railway named Hardy, and another the town named Cribb, both wounded the first at the Alma and the other before Sebastopol He sent for them, drank their healths, and presented sovereign to each.

The Duke made minute enquiries as the trade and principal manufactures of the neighbourhood, and having noticed the ancient earthworks that surround the town, enquired when and whom they were erected, and upon being made acquainted with their antiquity, expressed wish he supplied with plan of the same. The Duke was introduced to several ladies, to whom was especially polite, and on leaving was greeted with hearty cheers.

On their way the works at Kimmeridge, they called at the residence of the Rev. N. Bond, at the Grange, and congratulated Mr. and Mrs. Bond upon the marriage of Miss Bond, which had taken place that morning.

On reaching Kimmeridge the Duke and party made a very minute inspection of the mines, the new pier, &c., after which they proceeded to Smedmore, the residence of Col. Mansel C.B., where they dined. It appears that the visit of the Duke to these parts had especial reference to the mineral products of the Kimmeridge formation, a peculiar shale, from which the gas for lighting Paris is to be manufactured, and which is being worked by a company, including many of the highest class scientific persons in France hence the interest taken the Duke and his friends. On the following morning the Duke, his aide-de-camp. Colonel Appert, Baron Gudin, and R. Kennard, Esq., breakfasted at the Villa, Swanage, with V. Wanostrocht, Esq., the principal director of the operations Wareham and Kimmeridge works, and returned through Wareham on Friday afternoon for the metropolis.

The Dorset County Chronicle, 23rd September 1858


POOLE Town Council.—

On Monday last, at an adjourned meeting of the Town Council, the committee appointed to consider the application of Messrs. Wanostrocht to rent the premises lately occupied by Messrs. Meaden and Saunders, reported that they did not deem it advisable to let the premises named, as from the quay being near that part of the harbour used for careening vessels it was feared great inconvenience would be occasioned but in order to accommodate Messrs. Wanostrocht as far as possible, they recommended that the council offer them a piece of land at the extreme south of the ballast quay, with a front of 160 feet, and a depth of 50 feet, a rental of 301, per annum, inclusive of taxes.

It is contemplated to keep in hand a stock of 1000 tons of the mineral, which will be re-shipped in our harbour if occasion may require. We understand that a screw steamer will be employed in bringing the "South Boghead" from Kimmeridge to the quay.

Salisbury and Winchester Journal 16th October 1858


The opening dinner of Mr. J. Shepherd at the Antelope Hotel, which took place on the 27th ult., was attended by a numerous and highly respectable company, and the enterprising host must have felt great gratification on surveying such a mark of esteem as was thus bestowed him. The banquet was unanimously acknowledged to be of first-rate character. W. Pearce, Esq., the Mayor, occupied the chair, and H. W. Dickinson, Esq., the vice chair.

The usual loyal and appropriate toasts were drunk and responded to, and several very excellent songs sung, and the evening was spent in a social and harmonious manner. During the proceedings Mr. C. Yearsley gave the health of Mr. Wanostrocht, as gentleman of great enterprise who had come to reside amongst them. —The Chairman observed that Mr. Wanostrocht contemplated taking steps which would greatly benefit the town and trade of Poole.

Mr. Wanostrocht thanked the meeting for the honour they had done him. When he came into the room came almost a stranger, but now found himself surrounded friends, if he might lodge from the way in which toast had been received. People had been called speculators when they speculated without success; when they succeeded they had been called enterprising and wonderful men. He did not say that he came to Dorset as a speculator, but before he ventured in the neighbourhood he estimated the wealth that surrounded them, and many of them would be astounded at the enormous amount of wealth in this district.

He was certain that they had untold wealth, and he had spent between 4000l. and 5000l. in ascertaining the real character of that wealth. He had consulted the most eminent in science which England could produce, and had also consulted the neatest chemists of Europe, and felt confirmed in his belief that they had millions of pounds sterling buried under the rocks and hills of Purbeck.

Unfortunately there went before him a company under the name of the Bituminous Shale Company; they tried their utmost to extract oil or naptha from the shale, but in a few years they had been compelled to abandon their works after expending 70,000l. He, however, did not intend to expend anything like that sum before he reaped some benefit. He would tell the people of Poole that they had in their neighbourhood untold wealth; that in one seam of coal there was no less than 5,000,000 tons, which was of far greater value than the Newcastle coal of England.

He had that very day received orders for 700 tons for Barcelona, New York, and other places. He came among them as a stranger, and they would not find him wanting in enterprise. He concluded by proposing " Prosperity to Poole," coupling with it the name of the Mayor.—The Mayor replied. The pleasures the evening were very much enlivened by the vocal efforts of Messrs. Burt, Clench, Boyt, Belben, Adey, and others, and the party separated at a seasonable hour highly delighted with the social gathering, and wishing the worthy host every success.

The Salisbury and Winchester Journal, 6th November 1858


…...He thought he bad had unusual round duties, several of which he named. But there was one event which the Mayor happily returned in time to assist in—he meant the visit of the Duke of Malakoftf, which event they were all so well acquainted with that he need not enter into particulars; but the mention of this naturally reminded him toast, begged propose "Success to the Shale Works," which was sure would eventually prove highly advantageous to the town and neighbourhood; and with the toast he would add the name of Mr. Wanostrocht, the energetic proprietor the works.

The Chairman begged, in the absence Mr. Wanostrocht, to say that had invited him to attend that evening, but urgent business had compelled him to leave earlier than usual. He (the Chairman) was happy to have heard the toast proposed, and more especially coming as did from one of the Aldermen of the borough.

The Shale Company and their works were just the sort of stimulus that was wanted to increase the trade the place, to give full work to great many persons who would else utterly without employment, and to develop incalculable source of wealth, which, but for their spirited undertakings would, as it has hitherto, remain undreamt of.

The Company had, at that moment, in and Kimmeridge, upwards two hundred persons employed. He (the Chairman) scarcely knew why he presumed to return thanks for Mr. Wanostrocht in his absence but he believed that, with one exception, he had known that gentleman longer than any one in the present company, and he begged therefore, in his name, to thank them. Many other toasts were proposed, some excellent songs sung, and the party enjoyed a late hour very pleasant evening.

Dorset County Chronicle, 18th November 1858.


WAREHAM. County Court, Oct. 11.—Before Edward Everett, Esq., Judge.-

Prince v. Wanostrocht.—This was the only case tried of any interest at this Court (by consent), being an action brought for recovery of 28l. 16s., balance of account for excavating earth at the Kimmeridge Shale Works. Mr. W. Phippard for plaintiff, Mr. Dickinson for defendant. After long and careful bearing, as well as summing up of the whole case, judgment was given for defendant.

Salisbury and Winchester Journal, 20th October 1860


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