Messrs Myles and Hogg
Messrs Myles & Hogg was a firm founded by two young men who had begun their working lives as grocers. At a very young age, John Myles commenced business as a merchant in Dundee, being joined in partnership by Alexander Hogg.
Subscription value in 1863:
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Details and history
Name of company:
Messrs Myles and Hogg
Number of employees:
Unknown - Messrs Myles & Hogg employed 'clerks and travellers'
Nature of business:
Merchants / Commission Agents (Dundee) / Sugar Brokers (Glasgow)
The firm of ‘Myles & Hogg’ was a short-lived affair, established in Dundee in 1858 and interrupted by the untimely death of its founder, John Myles, in 1867, it nevertheless proved most successful.
John Myles was born to William Myles, farmer at Craigton in the parish of Airlie and May Colville in 1834. The 1841 census indicated that the family had moved to Carlingwell, also in the parish of Airlie. However, by the age of 17 years, in 1851, John Myles had moved to No.1 Tay Street Lane in Dundee and had become a grocer’s assistant. By 1856/57, John Myles, around the age of 22 years, was then listed as a commission agent. In 1858, John Myles formed a business relationship with Alexander Hogg as commission and produce brokers.
The appearance of ‘Myles & Hogg’ as a business occurred late 1850s/early 1860s. It would appear that around that time, John Myles moved from Dundee to Glasgow, where he and Alexander Hogg furthered their business as sugar brokers. There remained an office in operation in Dundee.
John Myles died at Dunclutha, Bothwell on 12 February 1867, leaving a wife, the former Jane Jack and only two surviving children. His funeral cortege made its way from Bothwell to the Western Cemetery in Dundee, attended too by Messrs Robert, George and Alexander Gilroy. (Jane Jack’s mother was named Jane Gilroy)
On his death, it was said of him that ‘Mr Myles, who was only 33 years of age, has left one of the most extensive businesses of the kind in the country.’
Alexander Wallace Hogg was born to Alexander Hogg, a smith in Kirkton, parish of Largo and Margaret Wallace in 1834. The 1851 census indicated that he, just as his future co-partner John Myles, was apprenticed as a grocer’s assistant in Newburgh. Having served an apprenticeship with a grocer’s firm in Perth, he was then engaged as a traveller by the firm of ‘Messrs John Beattie & Co,’ sugar brokers of Glasgow.
In 1858, the co-partnery with John Myles was formed in order to trade as commission and produce brokers. Having removed to Glasgow by 1861, their trading increased.
John Myles’ death in 1867 heralded changes for the firm. It had been written that John Myles’ trustees were to afford Alexander Hogg time (‘perhaps 6 or 12 months’) to wind up the business carried on by them. To that end, Alexander continued, under the same title, for a short time. A further partner, Frederick Wheeler, was taken into the company.
Thereafter, Alexander Hogg’s career as a sugar broker was to continue under the firm name of ‘Alexander Hogg & Co,’ at 60 Virginia Street, Glasgow – ‘which designation it has since retained and under which it has long been recognised as one of the most extensive in the United Kingdom in its dealing in British and Foreign refined sugars, the annual turnover being estimated at from 3-4 millions sterling.’
In 1872, Alexander Hogg acquired the ‘Dellingburn Sugar Refinery’ in Greenock and the business was conducted under the firm of ‘Hogg, Wallace & Co.’
Alexander Hogg died at ‘Largo Villa’ (a nod to his roots) in Shawlands and again, like his former partner, at a relatively young age, and having forged a lucrative career from lowly beginnings.
And what of Frederick Wheeler? Shortly after the departure from the company of Alexander Hogg, notice of Frederick Wheeler’s sequestration appeared in Dundee’s local press. Reports indicated ‘that the creditors of ‘Myles & Hogg,’ commission agents, as a company and of Frederick Wheeler, agent, the only partner of said company, met on 8 September 1869‘ to consider the offer of composition.
His fate was further sealed when he was held in Dundee jail, prior to the examination of his business, on charges of fraud. He had entered business, on his own account, within ‘Myles & Hogg,’ on 1 July 1867, after the death of John Myles, with NO CAPITAL. His then partner, Alexander Hogg had extricated himself (and his monies) from the company shortly thereafter. Recognising his shortcomings and the shortfall in his trading, Frederick Wheeler had favoured his father’s firm, ‘Thomas Wheeler &. Sons,’ merchants, Manchester by ensuring that it received payments before the examination of his business was due.
Wheeler was alleged to have committed ‘fraud at common law, with extravagance in his personal and domestic expenditure and with recklessness in the management of his business’ – a sorry end for the good name of ‘Myles & Hogg’ in Dundee.
- Dundee Postal Directory, 1861-62. p.186. Dundee Central Library, Local Studies.
- Dundee Postal Directory, 1864-65. p.164. Dundee Central Library, Local Studies.
- Dundee Postal Directory, 1867-68. p.174. Dundee Central Library, Local Studies.
- Dundee Courier. 30 August 1867. p.1. Findmypast website.
- Dissolution of the Firm of Myles and Hogg. Edinburgh Gazette, 30 August 1867. Findmypast website.
- Legal Records. Wills and Testaments. Glasgow Sheriff Court. Inventory. (1867). SC36/48/58. Will. (1867). SC36/51/52. Scotlandspeople website.
- Greenock Advertiser, 7 March 1883. p.2. Findmypast website.
- Statutory Registers. Bothwell. Deaths. 625/ 1 27. Scotlandspeople website.
- Old Parish Registers. Airlie. Births. (1834). 270/ 50 39. Scotlandspeople website.
- Census Records. Airlie. (1841). 270/ 2/ 9. Scotlandspeople website.
- Census Records. Dundee. (1851). 282/ 74/ 2. Scotlandspeople website.
- Dundee Postal Directory, 1856-57. p.125. Dundee Central Library, Local Studies.
- Dundee Courier, 18 February 1867. p.3. Findmypast website.
- Old Parish Registers. Largo. Births. (1834). 443/ 50 100. Scotlandspeople website.
- Census Records. Newburgh. (1851). 450/ 4 12. Scotlandspeople website.
- Birmingham Daily Gazette, 14 July 1869. p.1. Findmypast website.
- Dundee Courier, 9 September 1869. p.3. Findmypast website.
- Dundee Courier, 2 August 1869. p.4. Findmypast website.
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