Surviving office books of the fishing, fish curing, and shipping enterprise of the Richardson family of Pitfour; with two ledgers of Pitfour estate and some Richardson family papers. Edit




  • 1760-1820. (Creation)


  • 187 Volumes (Whole)



  • Conditions Governing Access

    Normal access conditions apply.

  • Conditions Governing Use

    Normal reproduction conditions apply, subject to any copyright restrictions.

  • Scope and Contents

    The firm of John Richardson and Company, of Perth, was already well established by 1760 with a wide business, chiefly in salmon, both locally and throughout Europe. The books consist of letter books and various account books, and show the whole process from the acquisition of the fish to its sale either raw at home or pickled as far afield as Italy and Spain. The salmon business was precarious, and to offset losses Richardson frequently entered into partnership with local merchants, notably William Stewart. When trade was poor he also dealt in dried fish from Shetland, Scandinavia, and later Nova Scotia. In addition, the family had an important shipping concern, a linseed oil crushing plant, their own flour mills, and an involvement in the Huntingtower bleachfield near Perth. In 1781 John Richardson was able to purchase the Pitfour estate. With the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars overseas markets were lost and business gradually declined until in 1806 the shipping concern was sold. In that year John Richardson retired in favour of his son, James who continued to run the fishing business until 1813. Spanning over half a century, these volumes provide an important source for business history at a time of rapid development of the Scottish economy.

  • Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Bought, 1962 and 1973.

  • Arrangement

    The papers are arranged as follows: MSS.20801-20848. Letter books. MSS.20849-20879. Ledgers. MSS.20880-20911. Journals. MSS.20912-20938. Waste books. MSS.20939-20966. Fishing receipt and disposal books. MSS.20967-20974. Freight account books. MSS.20975-20981. Miscellaneous financial papers. MSS.20982-20983. Pitfour estate. MSS.20984-20987. Family papers.