Scottish shale Scottish shale

Oakbank Oil Co.

c. 1863?
Registered office:

Not known

Oil works:

A business enterprise involving Sir James Simpson (presumably Professor James Young Simpson, Professor of of medicine and midwifery at Edinburgh University, now famed as a pioneer of anaesthesia), the Hare family, owners of the Calderhall estate, and William McKinley.

Redwood noted:

"In 1860 Sir James Simpson started a works at Oakbank, Mid Calder, Midlothian, and after receiving fairly good returns on his investment for three years, he formed a private company which was very successful, and led to the oil work and mineral fields finally becoming the property of a limited liability company which was floated in 1869".

This may not be wholly accurate. First mention of the works appear in valuation rolls for 1863 when minerals are noted as being owned by Stewart Bayley Hare, and the works operated by "Hare Simpson & McKinlay". In 1865 the proprietors were listed as operated by the Oakbank Oil Co., presumably a title for the partnership of Hare, Simpson & McKinley.

The partners formed a limited company, the Mid-Calder Mineral Oil Co. Ltd. in 1866 to take forward the business, but sold the works and mineral rights early in 1868.

The Oakbank Oil Co. Ltd, a new company, with a new board of directors, was constituted in 1869 to resume oil production and mining at Oakbank.


  • Alexander Maconachie Hare ?- Writer to the Signet, 5 Rutland Place, Edinburgh
  • Stewart Bayley Hare ?- Commissioner for the Earl of Hopetoun, Calderhall, Edinburgh
  • William McKinley - The Company Manager, The Camps, East Calder
  • James Young Simpson -Physician, Queen Street, Edinburgh