H Henderson & Sons
Family leather business and substantial employer owned by three of the sons and the daughter of the late Henry Henderson, leather merchant.
Subscription value in 1863:
Relative to inflation up to 2023:
Relative to income compared to 2023:
Details and history
Subscriber 4 – George Armitstead Esq., merchant, Panmure Street – fellow MP of Frank Henderson
The company was founded by Henry Henderson, leather merchant, in October 1827 who was married to Anne Lindsay. They had at least five children, namely James (born about 1831), Christian (born about 1832), Henry junior (born about 1834), Francis (born about 1837) and Ann (born about 1842).
By the time of the 1851 census they were living in 29 Baltic Street, Dundee.
According to a recollection of his son, Frank, at the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the firm, Henry senior started the business with his small savings and £30 lent to him by his mother.
Following Henry Henderson’s death in 1860, the company was continued by his sons James Henderson, Henry Henderson junior and Francis (Frank) Henderson; daughter Anne held one quarter share in the company following a marriage contract to George Halley on 7 June 1863.
Some of their goods and prices can be found in a pricelist (see image attached) which is part of the Lamb Collection in Dundee Central Library, Local History Section.
Of Henry senior’s five children, the eldest, James Henderson, seems to have been the one most involved. He was a senior partner in the company and in the 1881 census he was described as a tanner, currier and boot merchant, employing 350 males and 63 females. James Henderson and his wife Anne Stephen had at least 7 children (Ann, James Lindsay, Henrietta, Robert Stephen, George, Isabella and Frederick W). By 1901 James was still alive, living with his wife, three adult children and two servants at The Gows, Invergowrie.
The second son Henry junior was in 1861 living with his brother Francis and sister Anne and two servants at Dudhope Place, Dundee. He died on 20 November 1871, aged 37 years at the family home The Gows, Invergowrie.
Frank Henderson, the third son, was admitted burgess in right of his father. In 1868 he entered the Town Council and served as a councillor for eleven years. Frank was a Scottish Liberal politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1880 to 1885, at the same time as George Armitstead, a fellow subscriber. Frank did not stand for re-election and died on 21 July 1889, only 53 years of age.
There are a number of newspaper articles describing the company entertaining their employees at various occasions, but there is one article in the Dundee Courier on 6 April 1901 which mentions that 60 operatives went on strike which was though quickly settled.
- Beginning of Victoria Road, Dundee. Photopolis WC0666 http://photopolis.dundeecity.gov.uk
- 1881 Census Scotland. Dundee. 282/3 16/2. ScotlandsPeople website
- Old Parish Record. Dundee. Marriage. 30 June 1829. 282/210 286. ScotlandsPeople website.
- 1851 Census Scotland. Dundee. 282/67/9 page 9 of 24. ScotlandsPeople website.
- The Edinburgh Gazette. 24 August 1860; p.1061 or https://www.thegazette.co.uk/Edinburgh/issue/7043/page/1061/data.pdf.
- 1860 Statutory Register. Dundee, 1st District. Death. 15 February 1860. 282/1 167. ScotlandsPeople website
- Marriage Contract between George Halley and Anne Henderson, 7 June 1863. MS 105/XX/34. University of Dundee Archives.
- Location map of Ladybank Leather Works, Mid Street, Dundee. Canmore ID186953. Canmore - National Record of the Historic Environment website. https://canmore.org.uk/site/186953/dundee-mid-street-ladybank-leather-works-site-of.
- Pricelist. Lamb Collection. Box 31 (20). Local History Section, Dundee Central Library.
- 1891 Census Scotland. Liff and Benvie. 301/2 ED2 p.9. CSSCT1891_102. Ancestry website
- Statutory Registers. Liff, Benvie and Invergowrie. Death. 20 November 1871. 301/23. ScotlandsPeople website
- Book of Eminent Burgesses of Dundee. Friends of Dundee City Archives website.
- Scottish Post Office Directory, Dundee, 1888-1889.
- Members of Parliament, Dundee. leighrayment.com. Members of Parliament
- 1889 Statutory Register. Dundee, St. Peter. Death. 21 July 1889. 282/1 321 page 107 of 189. ScotlandsPeople website.
The information above about has been collated from a range of digital and hard copy sources. To the best of our knowledge it is correct but if you are relying on any information from our website for the purpose of your own research we would advise you to follow up the sources to your own satisfaction. If you are aware of an inaccuracy in our text please do not hesitate to notify us through our Contact page.