Scottish shale Scottish shale

Airdrie Mineral Oil Co. Ltd.

Company number:
Scottish Company No. 231
Share capital:
13th March 1866
25th November 1881
Registered office:

108 Chapel Street, Airdrie, Rochsolloch, by Airdrie (from 25th June 1866);
2 Thistle Court, Edinburgh (from 29th May 1868);
14 Frederick Street, Edinburgh (from 11th July 1871)


  • David Russell - Fife
  • David Stewart - Glasgow
  • William Drysdale - Kilrie, Fife
  • George Russell - Hatton, Fife
  • Robert Tullis - Fife
  • Arthur Russell - Cupar, Fife
  • William Tullis - Fife

The Airdrie Mineral Oil Company Ltd were established in March 1866 with the objects of "buying, leasing and acquiring of coal, shale and minerals where oil, grease, paraffin and hydorcarbonaceous product could be obtained. Also the manufacture of oil, tar, grease and paraffin, refining and purification".

The Company issued fifteen £500 shares to nine individuals, of whom seven were subscribers holding thirteen of the shares. Eight of the nine shareholders lived in Fife, and many were associated with the Tullis and Russell families, papermakers of Leslie in Fife. Much of the capital later invested in formation of the Linlithgow Oil Company was also supplied by the central Fife business community, and one individual, William Drysdale, served on the board of both the Airdrie and Linlithgow companies.

The Company erected Rochsolloch Oil Works, near Airdrie, North Lanarkshire during the early part of 1866. In April 1866 they entered into an agreement with George Cowie, a coalmaster in Airdrie, for the supply of the fine gas-coal and shale from the Musselband seam. However, in a breach of contract, the coalmaster knowingly supplied the Airdrie Mineral Oil Company with inferior shale or "blaize" which they refused to pay for. Court proceedings record that Cowie then halted the supply of any further coal or shale and the works were forced to cease operation in September 1866. With an increase in demand for oil, and presumably a new supply of raw material, operations restarted in February 1870 but within 7 months the little-used oil works were put up for sale. A further advertisement in 1872 lists the 60 retorts at the oil works for sale, stating that half of these were never used and the remainder hardly used at all. After a decade of inactivity the company was dissolved in 1881.


  • (None)
  • Associated references
    • Registration Records transcribed from dissolved company records held by the National Archives of Scotland.