Henry, Corrie & Co.
Henry, Corrie & Co were flax merchants based in Dundee from at least 1863 until 1873 at the latest. From then on, a new partner, David Mackie, appeared and the firm became Corrie, Mackie & Co.
Subscription value in 1863:
Relative to inflation up to 2023:
Relative to income compared to 2023:
Details and history
Name of company:
Henry, Corrie & Co.
Number of employees:
Nature of business:
Date ceased trading:
Subscriber 35 – W E Baxter – was the husband of Janet Home Scott, sister of William Grant Pringle Henry’s first wife, Alice Scott.
Subscriber 153 – Robert Mackenzie – was husband of Elizabeth Scott, sister of William Grant Pringle Henry’s first wife, Alice Scott.
Subscriber 154 – Robert McGavin – owned the warehouse in Tannage Court, occupied by ‘Henry, Corrie & Co.’
The firm of ‘Henry, Corrie & Co.’ would appear to have been established just prior to the pledging of their subscription towards the building of the Albert Institute in 1863. There was no listing for such a firm in the 1861-62 Directory although the business was obviously established by December of 1863. The confirmation of its existence as a going concern appeared in the Directory for 1864-65 (printed 1864).
The named partners in this company were William Grant Pringle Henry, of 11 Grosvenor Crescent, Edinburgh (1870s) and William Corrie, of Yewbank, Broughty Ferry (1870s). At present, it is not believed that either party made any further contributions to the Albert Institute, either in terms of monetary donations or contributions to the collection.
As of 1874, a company – also flax merchants – was listed at 1 Royal Exchange Place, with the name ‘Corrie, Mackie & Co.’ It is believed that William Henry withdrew from the company at some point in 1873. ‘Mackie’ referred to David Mackie, who joined ‘Henry, Corrie and Co.’ as a clerk about 1868 and represented the firm in Lille for a number of years, before becoming a partner, circa 1873. He went on to become President of the Chamber of Commerce in 1905 but was not a subscriber to the Albert Institute.
William Grant Pringle Henry was born in London, in 1821, to Thomas Henry, ‘Sack Merchant,’ and his second wife, Mary Grant. His father, Thomas Henry, hailing from Montrose, had moved to London after the death of his first wife, Jean Milne. Thomas married his second wife, Mary Grant, in London in 1818.
Thereafter, Thomas Henry established himself as a flax merchant in London. He was referred to by Warden as follows – ‘In 1823, or early in 1824, the late (1864) Thomas Henry of London, (he died in 1859) sent a bale or two of Jute to the late George Leighton, Dundee, but any experiments which may have been made with it produced no practical result.’ Thomas went on to form the firm of ‘Messrs T & D Henry & Co.’ The business became a family concern, assuming into the partnership Thomas himself, his oldest surviving son David (by his first wife) and his second son, William Grant Pringle Henry. The firm operated from Mark Lane, London. It would appear that William had every opportunity to have become very well acquainted with all aspects of the flax trade through his father and older brother (by 12 years), David.
However, by 1852, by which time William G P Henry was in his 30s, the family partnership, as had existed, ended – ‘PARTNERSHIP DISSOLVED – Thomas Henry, David Henry, and William Grant Pringle Henry, Mark Lane, London and Dundee, Scotland, sail cloth manufacturers (so far as regards William Grant Pringle Henry).’
William Grant Pringle Henry had, by that point, been doing business between London, Dundee and Leith. Indeed, a few years before, he had married Alice Scott in 1847, in Dundee. Between 1847-1853 the couple resided at Fortwilliam House, West Ferry and at 170 Nethergate, while William traded as a merchant for ‘T & D Henry,’ from 2 Panmure Street, Dundee. Theirs was to prove a short-lived marriage, as Alice died in childbirth a few years later, in 1853. Alice Scott had been a daughter of John Home Scott, writer and notary in Dundee, and her sister, Janet married William Edward Baxter.
1858 was a landmark year for William Henry – the year he remarried at Kinnordy House, Kirriemuir to Caroline Maxton, daughter of John Maxton, surgeon HEICS. By that time, William had left Dundee and gave his address as being in Edinburgh.
His father having met his death in 1859, with his probate having been wound up in 1861, William was perhaps in a better position to enter into wider business ventures, resulting in the emergence of the firm of ‘Henry, Corrie & Co.’ by 1863. By the time of its dissolution in 1873, William would appear to have been associated with three company locations, namely – ‘Henry, Corrie & Co.’, Dundee; ‘W Henry, Corrie & Co.’, London and ‘Wm. Henry & Co.’, Leith,
William Henry continued to trade as a merchant, as did his older brother, David and also his younger brother, James Grant Henry.
Eventually, William Grant Pringle Henry, once a partner in the firm of Henry, Corrie & Co. and a well known figure in the Dundee flax trade, spent his later years in Berlin, where he died on 25 May 1892, aged 71.
William Hill Corrie was born in 1839 in Liverpool, the eldest son of William Byron Corrie, a broker, and Emilia Hill. Before his birth, his father, William Byrom Corrie was to be found in Mincing Lane, London (the same locale as Thomas Henry). Mincing Lane was ‘very strong in commercial activity with merchants and brokers trading in a wide diversity of products, including tea, sugar, spices, wine, rubber, hemp, jute, rice and shellac. It is not unreasonable to assume that the families Henry and Corrie held an acquaintance before their respective arrivals in Dundee.
As with his partner, William Henry’s father, the death of William Hill Corrie’s father occurred in 1862, just prior to entering into partnership in the firm of ‘Henry, Corrie & Co.’
The year 1865 saw the marriage of ‘William Corrie Esq. Edinburgh, eldest son of the late William Byron Corrie Esq. to Emily Augusta, youngest daughter of Col. Bowland Moffat, commanding troops in the Bahamas.’
Ten years (approximately) of trading in Dundee saw a flurry of arrivals in flax and jute for the firm of ‘Henry, Corrie & Co.’ and also the incumbency of David Mackie as Dundee agent, manager and eventual partner on the departure of William Henry.
William Hill Corrie, by 1895 was the chief partner of ‘Messrs. Corrie, Mackie & Co.’ On a fateful night in November of that year, he boarded the ‘Scotch Express,’ only to become dreadfully injured when it had an accident at St Neot’s, resulting in 3 broken ribs, both legs fractured at the knees and a badly wounded face. His partner, David Mackie, visited him the following day but some days later, William Hill Corrie succumbed to his injuries, dying on 18 November 1895.
His obituary reported that William Hill Corrie had been a leading flax merchant, his firm widely connected in Scotland, England, Ireland and Russia. His firm not only sold flax but ‘engaged very careful inspectors in Russia to brack and assort the flax and the firm has long enjoyed the confidence of the best houses in the trade.’
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- Valuation Roll. Dundee. 1865. Scotlandspeople website.
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- Dundee Directory, 1871-1872. Dundee Central Library, Local Studies.
- Valuation Roll. South Leith. 1865. Scotlandspeople website.
- Valuation Roll. Dundee. 1865. Scotlandspeople website.
- Dundee Advertiser. 19 November 1895. p.5. British Newspaper Archive website.
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- Albert Institute Subscribers' List. December 1863.
- Dundee Directory, 1874-1875. Dundee Central Library, Local Studies.
- Arbroath, Montrose & Brechin Review. 15 January 1915. British Newspaper Archive website.
- Biographical Notes Dundee. Notes on Past Presidents of the Chamber of Commerce of Dundee. Nine Trades.
- London Metropolitan Archives: Reference Number: P69/ALH1/A/02/002. Ancestry website.
- England, Select Marriages, 1538-1973. FHL Film Number: 1041641. Ref ID: item 1p.115. Ancestry website.
- Warden, Alexander J. The Linen Trade, Ancient and Modern. (1864). London. Longman. p.67.
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- Dundee Directory, 1853-54. p.168. Dundee Central Library, Local Studies.
- Old Parish Registers. Dundee. Deaths. (1853). 282/ 290 69. Scotlandspeople website.
- Old Parish Registers. Kirriemuir. Marriages. 299/ 40. Scotlandspeople website.
- Dundee People's Journal. 4 June 1892. p.8. Findmypast website.
- Bishop's Transcripts. Liverpool. (1830-1839). Reference Number: Drl/ 2/ 128. Ancestry website.
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- Naval and Military Gazette and Weekly Chronicle of the United Services. 4 November 1865. p.17. Findmypast website.
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