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Home > Beyond Scotland > Wales and vicinity > British Oil and Cannel Co. Ltd

British Oil and Cannel Co. Ltd

Constitution Limited company
Company number 2081C
Share capital £50,000
Date of Incorporation 1865
Date of Dissolution 1867 ?
Registered Office Manchester
Property Saltney (British Oil) Refinery
Meadow Vale Oil Works

The British Oil and Cannel Co. Ltd was established to acquire the interests of an oil refinery at Saltney and a small crude oil works at Leeswood. In this respect if followed the model of the much larger Flintshire Oil & Cannel Co. Ltd, launched the previous year, which similarly owned a refinery at Saltney and a crude oil works at Leeswood.

A few months before the launch of British Oil and Cannel Co. Ltd in March 1865, another limited company, The Meadow Vale and Saltney Oil Refining Co. Ltd had been established with identical objectives to the British Oil & Cannel Co. Ltd and was presumably abandoned on formation of the new company. Edward Southam and John Hitchin were directors of both companies. It is interesting to note from the Surrey advertiser (see references, below) that much of the capital of the company was raised in the Dorking area,, presumably from associates of oil merchant G.L.Neighbour, a director of the company.

The short-lived company appears to have made little progress


Prospectus of the British Oil and Cannel Company Limited

THE BRITISH OIL & CANNEL COMPANY LIMITED. CapitaI, £50,000, in 5,000 shares of £10 each. Deposit on application, £1 per share, £1 allotment, and £2 in three months. Is not intended call up more than £5 per share, should any further call found necessary three months' notice will given each shareholder, and no call to exceed £1 per share.







This company formed for the following important objects, viz : to lease and work a valuable tract about twenty-five acres land, already provisionally secured, containing within it a bed of the best curley and smooth cannel, coal, and shale, with another tract adjoining, which can be worked from the same shafts; and has been offered the company under most favourable circumstances. Those advantages, it is expected, will yield, apart from anything else, very considerable profit on their working. Offers have been made to the company to raise the curley cannel, including every expense, for less than one-half the selling price now current the neighbourhood. To purchase the Meadow Vale Crude Oil Works, Leeswood, near Mold, Flintshire, recently erected for distilling crude oil, and full operation. The site contains sufficient land whereon to erect more than one hundred additional retorts, thus enabling the company to increase its productions at a comparatively small increase of working expenses. Also the oil refinery, situated at Saltney, on the banks of the river Dee, near Chester, fitted with valuable machinery and plant for refining the crude oil, now working order, and capable as it stands, of refining thirty tons crude oil per week.

Messrs. Young and Co.'s patent, which has recently expired, having hitherto impeded the development of the trade, presents a most favourable opportunity for carrying out on more extensive scale, as designed this company, the manufacture and sale of burning or paraffin oil, lubricating oil, mineral spirits, or substitute, colliery and other oils, greases several kinds, etc, and paraffin for making candles equal in durability and brilliancy to wax candles, while the continually increasing demand renders the business a most eligible and lucrative one, and, after making every allowance for contingencies, the profits accruing to the shareholders must certainly be very large. There are sidings into the works from the Great Western and London and North-Western Railways, which, together with water carriage by the river Dec, also passing the work, affording great facilities for forwarding goods to all the world. Curley cannel yields an equal if not larger percentage of crude oil than any other yet discovered; is found only Leeswood, near Mold, over a limited area; and from no other substance known can oil be economically produced.

The crude oil can less than one-half the cost of the Pennsylvanian oil, on which an export duty of six cents per ton has just been imposed by the American government thus adding considerably to the advantages possessed by English manufacturers of these products. The pits of the district are now paying very huge dividends ; and the shares of an adjacent oil company using this cannel, with greater advantages, are now at a considerable premium. The vendors guarantee a dividend of 10 per cent per annum on the capital called up. for a period of three years, and have also agreed to take one-half the purchase money in shaves, the company, thus evincing their confidence the success the undertaking. The subjoined note has been received from Colin Mather, Esq., of the well-known firm of Messrs. Mather and Platt, engineers, who Inspected the works at Meadow Vale aud Saltney :—

"Salford Iron Works. Salford, March 4th 1865. To the directors the British Oil and Company Limited. "Gentlemen,- I visited the works at Meadow Vale and Saltney as requested. Although not very conversant with the chemical process of oil refining, yet, as a practical engineer, consider the works are in an efficient condition for carrying on that business, on the present scale, with very little outlay. I think the locality a very favourable one for such a business, and had I not now been so fully engaged with other projects I should have gone heartily into the matter with you.—Yours, &c, "Colin Mather."

Applications for shares, accompanied with per share deposit, and the form of application filled up with name, profession, and address of applicant- be made the bankers. Prospectuses may be obtained from the bankers, solicitors, and brokers' and any other information from Mr. John Renton, Nos. 1 and 3, Bond-street,

From: The Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser, 18th March 1865


The British Oil and Cannel Company have issued their prospectus. The capital is to be £50,000, in 5,000 shares of £10. The object of the undertaking is to lease and work track of land of 25 acres, which is provisionally secured, and which contains a bed of curley cannel, and to purchase the Meadow Vale Crude Oil Works, near Mold, and the Saltney Oil Refinery, near Chester. The expiration of Young's patent has opened a field hitherto almost wholly closed for the production and development of large trade in the manufacture of various oils. The vendors guarantee dividend of 10 per cent for three years, and take one-half of the purchase money in shares.

The Manchester Courier and Lancahire General Advertiser, 21st March 1865



Much dissatisfaction is felt here to end of the "British Oil and Cannel Company (Limited)," which was formed in April, for the purpose of distilling and vending mineral oils, the vendor (Mr. Hitchin) guaranteeing the shareholders a dividend of 10 per cent for three years, and for the winding up of which petition has recently been presented the Court of Chancery. The petition stated that the great majority of shares the company, besides those held by the directors and officers thereof, and by the vendor, are held by persons residing in Dorking and its neighbourhood. The company had carried on business very unsuccessfuly, not one penny had been paid to the shareholders. The shares were nominally £10 shares, which per share had been paid up, and which a call a further £1 per share had been made. The company had published report and balance sheet up to June, 1866, of a very unsatisfactory character.

The petition alleged that the company was unable to pay its debts, and that the works of the company, which were Meadow Vale, and Saltney in Flintshire, had for some months past been closed. Fourteen shareholders had signed a memorial support of a winding up, and 27 shareholders had signed a circular issued the directors for purpose of opposing the petition. Since presentation of the petition company had commenced it was said action against Mr. Hitchin, for the dividend of 10 per cent. guaranteed the shareholders. On these facts the Vice-Chancellor, made the order for winding up; such order not to be drawn until after the February, enable the company pass requisite resolutions of a voluntary winding up. His Honour was also of opinion that the directors ought ; long ago have taken such a step themselves, and unless by the 8th inst., the shareholders consented in a winding up, he should compel them to wind up. Thus will end another the ill-starred speculations of 1865, but its lesson will probably not be thrown away on people here. The report the final arrangement to made yesterday is impatiently looked for by many.

The Surrey Advertiser, 9th February 1867

Orders Made to Wind-up

The British Oil and Cannel Company (Limited.) Feb. 22, on Pet. by John Rose Cousins, gentleman, Dorking. Sol T. E. Harper, Philpot-la. 

Perry's Bankrupt Gazette - Saturday 09 March 1867.

Re British Oil and Cannel Company Limited

By order of the Liquidator. TO be SOLD by AUCTION, by MESSRS CHURTON and ELPHICK, at the Queen Hotel, Railway Station, Chester, on Saturday, the 28th of March, 1868, at twelve for one o'clock p.m. punctually, subject to conditions of sale to be then and there produced.

This lot his held for the residue of a term of 6 years, from the 29th September, 1863, subject to the yearly rent of £100 and to the Lessers covenants. The purchaser of Lot 2 will be entitled to purchase the Freehold for the sum of £2,200, at any time previous to the expiration of the Lease.

The above Lots are connected by sidings, with railways running past the premises, and Lot 2 is close to the river Dee, thereby affording cheap and speedy carriage to all parts of the kingdom. The fittings on the premises have been recently executed, on the best principle, for the manufacture and refinement of Oil, but the advantageous situation of the premises renders them available for any works or manufactures where large premises and cheap and expeditious carriage are requisite.

For further particulars apply to the Auctioneers, Chester, and Whitchurch (Shropshire); Mr. W. J. Popplewell (Liquidator), 63, Faulkner-street, Manchester; or to Mr John Lamb, solicitor, 32, Cooper- street, Manchester.

The Wrexham Advertiser 14th March 1867


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