Scottish shale Scottish shale

Caledonian Mineral Oil Co. Ltd. (1898)

Company number:
Registered in Scotland, No. 29069
Share capital:
22nd December 1898
28th October 1905
Registered office:

63 Castle Street, Edinburgh - 20th January 1899; 21 St. Vincent Place, Glasgow - 29th May 1899

Oil works:

A short-lived company, registered in Scotland, formed to take forward the property and interests of a failed company of the same name - Caledonian Mineral Oil Co. Ltd - which had been registered in England. Its aims were to acquire shale, coal, fireclay and other minerals, and manufacturing same into oil, paraffin and other products.  The selling of products. To carry on the trades of ironmasters, steel makers, steel convertors, colliery proprietors, coke manufacturers, miners, smelters, engineers, tin plate makers and iron founders.

Shortly after its incorporation, the Company raised money by way of a Debenture for the sum of £7,700. This was between the Company and the Law Guarantee and Trust Society Limited of 46 Chancery Lane, London, as trustees for the Debenture-holders and dated the 11th-12th May 1899.  The security for this Debenture was the Companies rights in the following.
1. Two registered leases containing the site of the Lanark Oil Refinery in the Burgh of Lanark.
2. A registered lease containing ironstone, coal, shale, limestone and fireclay in the Lands of Lawhead, Tarbrax, in the Parish of Carnwath and County of Lanark. Also the site of the Crude Oil Works at Tarbrax, and of the dwellinghouses and other buildings there belonging to the Company.
3. A registered lease of the shale in the Estate of Cobbinshaw, County of Lanark.
4. A registered lease of the shale in the Estate of Greenfield, County of Lanark.
Together with the buildings, erection, and works on the lands containined in said leases, and all tramways railways, machinery and plant of a heritable nature thereon.

The aim was to enter into an agreement with the Old Company and Thomas Bennet CA Edinburgh and Alexander James McDonald of London liquidatiors of the Old Company, and the Home and Colonial Assests and Debenture Corporaton Limited as Trustees for the Debenture.  Alexander James MacDonald, and James Jackson Eastbourne as creditors.

Alexander James MacDonald was Chair of both companies.

The Caledonian Company (of Tarbrax) which had been forced into liquidation by the pressure of bad times, though wisely kept on a going footing by the creditors, has also been reconstructed and rehabilitated, and now looks forward to producing a good balance. West Lothian Courier, 6th January 1900.


  • John William Anderson
  • Peter Ferguson
  • Alfred Hope Laidley
  • Alexander James MacDonald - Milland, Sussex (Chairman , Kimberley Water Works Company Ltd)
  • John Mann (Junior)
  • John Robbie Whammond

  • Newspaper references
    • CALEDONIAN MINERAL OIL COMPANY. AN UNFORTUNATE CONCERN. The directors of the Caledonian Mineral Oil Company posted notice intimating a reduction of 1s per day on the wages of their shale miners at Cobbinshaw. The men at a mass meeting discussed the proposed reduction and decided that their present wage being less than most of the other shale fields did not justify the step. They decided to resist any reduction.

      Edinburgh Evening News, 21st February 1902


      THE SCOTTISH OIL TRADE. EXPECTED CRISIS AT CALEDONIAN WORKS. The Caledonian Mineral Oil Company, Ltd, Glasgow, whose shale and coal fields are at Tarbrax, Cobbinshaw, and refineries in Lanark, have gone into liquidation with a view to reconstruction if possible. The share capital amounts to £100,000. The company was reorganised in 1898 and started afresh with a working capital of about £8000. This sum, however, was nearly all absorbed by the charges associated with the previous liquidation. Unfortunately for the company a period of severe trade depression set in, and though this has now passed away, and the prospects are of a most favourable kind, the company is unable to take advantage of the improved conditions owing to the retorting plant having become obsolete, and having no capital wherewith to renew it.

      Edinburgh Evening News, 3rd February 1903

  • Associated references
    • Registration Records transcribed from dissolved company records held by the National Archives of Scotland.