Record

CodeNA9956
Dates1844-1980
JurisdictionGalashiels
Person NameGalashiels; Sanderson & Murray; 1844-1980; fellmongers and wool merchants
Epithetfellmongers and wool merchants
ActivitySanderson & Murray Ltd was established, in 1844, in warehouse premises in Roxburgh Street, Galashiels, by John Murray (1819-1892) and William Sanderson (d 1880). John Murray was born in Jedburgh and from 1830 to 1839 he worked in the family carrier's business between Edinburgh and the Border towns. In 1839 he was employed at Galashiels as the local agent for Machell & Co, carriers between Edinburgh, Liverpool and Manchester, and at the same time he set up in business on his own, buying waste from Borders wool manufacturers and selling it to the cloth makers in Yorkshire. Murray married the sister of William Sanderson of Sanderson & Paterson, builders in Low Buckholmside, and he and his brother-in-law went into partnership. William Sanderson provided the capital, and Murray had the expertise in wool trading.In 1856 the company bought land and established premises in Low Buckholmside, and began fellmongering (selling of sheep-skins). That same year John Murray made a buying trip to Hamburg with his nephew, John Sanderson, and, in 1857, when Sanderson was only 20, Murray sent him on a buying trip to Australia and New Zealand. When he came back, on his 21st birthday, he was made a partner in the firm. On his return to Australia in 1858 it was decided that he should settle there. In Australia he traded as John Sanderson & Co and eventually went on to become independent of the parent company and to expand and to establish branches in other countries.In 1860 Sanderson and Murray rented premises in Alloa for tanning, and later transferred this part of the business back to Galashiels, where their premises at Buckholmside was expanded, the buildings there rising to a height of 7 storeys. In 1862 John Sanderson returned for another visit with his wife Agnes and plans were laid to invest the profits from the parent company into sheep-farming. A new venture was undertaken in 1863 when land was bought in New Zealand and placed under the management of a J W Turnbull. There were disastrous fires in 1873 and again in 1882 which destroyed most of the Galashiels buildings, but the company rebuilt and continued to expand their interests to the continent, Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania and to the South Americas. In 1870 they started the London firm of Sanderson, Murray & Co, Wool-merchants. William Sanderson died in 1880 and John Murray continued the business until his death in 1892. In 1902 the Galashiels company became a separate limited company, concentrating on fellmongering and leather dressing, and the London branch became Sanderson, Murray & Elder, wool-brokers. By the early 20th century the Sanderson family had transferred their interests to the London firm and the Galashiels company was left under control of the Murray family, until they sold their interest to Lord Barnby in 1918. From 1895 onwards William Addison (d 1954) developed an interest in the company, eventually becoming Managing Director and gaining the controlling interest, until his death. His son, William Addison (d 1977) then took over as managing director. During the First World War the company had produced sheepskin jackets for the forces. They went on to produce Beaver Lamb, which was popular post-war for coats, and then made slippers etc until sheepskin and suede coats became fashionable. Sanderson and Murray Ltd closed down in 1980.
Corporate NameSanderson & Murray
Add to My Items