Account book of Rankin, Gilmour and Co., merchants and shipowners of Liverpool.



Account book containing details of the firm's stock, profit and loss accounts, interest accounts and commission due on cargoes. Also individual ships value accounts and cargo accounts for each company, c1867-1873. The merchant house of Rankin, Gilmour & Co was founded by members of the Rankin and Gilmour families from Mearns, near Glasgow. The parent firm was Pollock, Gilmour, founded in Glasgow in 1904, importing timber and other products from the Baltic and later from Canada. Robter Rankin I, a partner in the parent firm, set up the Liveprool house in 1838, developing it from an existing agency. The Liverpool house developed a large business in cotton as well as timber, and engaged in agency, banking for colonial clients, and shipowning. Robert Rankin II was, like his senior namesake, a member of the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board, and Chairman of PSNC at a time of financial crisis in 1890-1898. Sister houses in the USA at New Orleans and Mobile, Alabama, were opened in c1843 and 1854 respectively, developing out of the Liverpool firm. However, both houses had to close because of the American Civil are in 1862. In 1861 John Rankin, a member of the Canadian branch of the family, joined the Liverpool house, becoming chairman in 1906. He was also involved with the MDHB, PSNC and was chairman of the Bank of Liverpool, Lloyd's Registry of Shipping (Liverpool) and a member of the Council of the University of Liverpool. A number of his letters survive in the Danson archives (refence D/D). He died in 1928. The shipping operation of the firm appears to have ceased in about 1930. Reference Rankin, J 'A History of Our Firm - Being Some Account of the firm of Pollock, Gilmour & Co. and its offshoots and connections, 1804-1920', Liveprool 1921.