Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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James Keiller and Son

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Marmalade jar.
Roughcut Lemon Marmalade.
Marmalade jar seen at Melinsey Mill, Near Truro.
Creme de Menthe.

of Dundee, Confectioners and Preserve Manufacturers

of 20 Soho Square, London, W1. (1929)

Ditto Address. Telephone: Gerrard 9261. Cables: "Keiller, London"

Makers of Keiller's Marmalade.

1797 Janet Keiller made the first batch, after her grocer husband brought a distressed cargo of Seville oranges in the harbour at Dundee. [1] James Keiller set up his company to produce marmalade containing the bitter peel.

James Keiller, who was unmarried at the time, and his mother, Janet, opened a factory to produce Dundee Marmalade - containing thick chunks of orange rind. The recipe (probably invented by his mother) was a new twist on the already well-known fruit preserve of orange marmalade.

1828 Company became James Keiller and Son when he was joined by his son, James Junior.

1839 James Senior died and the business was then run by his second wife Margaret, her son Alexander (1822-1877) having not yet attained his maturity.

1850 Margaret died; her son Alexander took over the business. He became a master confectioner[2]

1864 Wedderspoon Keiller obtained a patent for the process of preparing marmalade using machinery.

1876 By this time, marmalades popularity had increased.

1877 Alexander's son, John Mitchell Keiller, took over the business after his father's death in Gibraltar.

1893 Incorporated as a Limited Company

1899 John Mitchell Keiller (1851-1899) died at sea.

1899 The Board of the company is James Boyd (Chairman), William Boyd (Joint MD), Robert Just Boyd (Joint MD), Alexander Monfries and Edward W. Meredith [3]

1914 Also had a branch in Germany. Directors: James Boyd (Chairman), William Boyd (Managing Director, Dundee), R. Just Boyd (Managing Director, London), Ed. W. Meredith, John Keiller Greig. Secretary: H. Agnew.

1929 Listed Exhibitor - British Industries Fair. Manufacturers of Chocolates, Confectionery, Jams, Marmalade, Jellies, Peels, Cakes. (Stand Nos. K.20 and K.33) [4]

1947 Listed Exhibitor - British Industries Fair. Manufacturers of Dundee Marmalade, Preserves, Christmas Puddings, Mincemeat, Lemon Curd, Creme de Menthe, Nougat, Toffee Caramels, Butter Scotch, Boiled sugar Goods, Jelly Fruit Jubes, Lozenges, Toffees, Mint Pan Drops, Superior Mixed Gums. (Earls Court, 1st Floor, Stand No. 737) [5]

2008 The company brand and tradermarks are currently owned by Centura Foods, part of Premier Foods. Centura also owns the trademarks for Robertsons Marmalade.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. [1] Scottish Inventors
  2. 1851 census
  3. The Times, Monday, May 15, 1899
  4. 1929 British Industries Fair p95
  5. 1947 British Industries Fair p154
  • [2] [3] Wikipedia
  • Trademarked. A History of Well-Known Brands - from Aertex to Wright's Coal Tar by David Newton. Pub: Sutton Publishing 2008 ISBN 978-0-7509-4590-5