Scottish shale Scottish shale

E.W. Fernie & Co.

Company number:
Not known
Share capital:
Pre 1840
Registered office:

145 Princes Street, Edinburgh

Ebenezer Waugh Fernie was an accomplished entrepreneur with diverse business interests, including control over much of the British trade in manganese. He challenged the validity of James Young's patent, and Young's dominance of the coal-oil industry, by developing substantial oil works in North Wales. While Young and his partners ultimately won the "Great Paraffin Case" against Fernie and his partners, Fernie had by then moved to Scotland and focussed his attention of the emerging shale oil industry.

The structure of Fernie's business affairs remains unclear. The Great Paraffin case had been brought against "The Mineral Oil Company"; a partnership between Fernie, Joseph Robinson and William Carter. Early references list the proprietors of Broxburn (Albyn) Works as Fernie, Robinson and Carter, however later records refer to E. Fernie. The firm of E.W. Fernie had been used a vehicle for Fernie's many business interests and he seems likely to have been employed this in his shale oil enterprises. Slater's royal commercial directory includes under "Mineral Oil Works" in Carnwath; "Fernie E.W. Tarbrax, Auchengray, by Carnwath; office, 145 Princes st., Edinburgh".

  • Newspaper references
    • 57, West Nile Street, Glasgow, May 4, 1864. - MESSRS E. W. Fernie & Company, Merchants, London and Glasgow, and Mr John Gilkison, Commission Agent, Glasgow, beg to intimate that Mr Gilkison ceased on the 30th ultimo (when their Agreement terminated,) to be the Agent and Attorney of MESSRS FERNIE & COMPANY in Glasgow, or elsewhere in Scotland or Ireland. Mr Gilkison also ceased at the same date to act as the Agent in Glasgow for St DAVID'S MINERAL OIL COMPANY, Saltney.
      E. W. FERNIE & CO.

      The Edinburgh Gazette, 10th May 1864