Name: William BELL
Given Name: William
Christening: 13 JAN 1762 Dundee,Angus,Scotland
Occupation: Businessman (tannery, sugar refinery, etc) and Banker
William Bell was described as 'Merchant' of Albany Row,Edinburgh, on 6/11/1807 when he presented a petition for sequestration, being then heavily indebted to Messrs Rankines and Walton of Newcastle, Sugar Refiners.p13 : summary of WB's property and main business interests: The Dundee sugar house premises and utensils were bought in 1801 for £2640. William Bell and Company paid the purchase money, and has since it was bought advanced £800 which was laid out on additional buildings, and £600 in additional utensils. The premises are freehold. A dwelling houser and garden possess by Dr. John Willison and the Dundee N, the Murraygate, Dundee New Bank; a dwelling house in Peter Street, Dundee, possessed by Mr Wm Walker - freehold; a dwelling house and garden in the Chaple Shade (?), Dundee - freehold; a house a Forebank, Dundee,formerly employed as a Cotton works (?).William Bell is a partner in the following concerns:William Bell & Co.,, Dundee, Sugar Refiners William ??? & Co., London, Wharfingers Archibald Warden & Co., Glasgow, Merchants Dundee New Bank [under litigation before the Court of Session] Edinburgh & Leith Shipping Co .Montrose Shipping Co. New Aberdeen Shipping Co. Banff Shipping Co. [shares under arrangement, but not settled].p14 : William Bell had three leasehold houses in Postern Row,Tower Hill, London. Among his property is listed 'a pneumatic apparatus which James Bell took possession of and has in his custody but which was invented by William Bell and made for him.'p16 : Observation by William Bell on the present situation of William Bell & company's business: Two remaining partners in Dundee Sugar House named as Dr James Willison and James Bell Senior p21ff 12 January 1808 Sherif Clerk's Office, Edinburgh:evidence submitted by Roger Aytoun WS as agent for William Bell's creditors and for Bell himself: 'In the year 1786 William Bell entered into partnership with his uncle John Bell, in the tanning business in Dundee [eldest sonof the Rev James Bell of Arbroath]. In 1787 John Bell died, and left the business to William Bell. After his uncle's decease William Bell was urged by his friends in London to join the tanning business he had in Dundee to the tanning business in London carried on by his father [i.e. Robert Bell] with the assistance of William Alison; this he was averse to do on account of the irregular way that the London business had been carried on; however through the urgent entreaties of his brother James he at last consented. The tanning business in Dundee was to be carried on by William Bell and the firm of Robert and William Bell & Co, and the business in London by Robert Bell and William Alison under the firm of Robert Bell & Co. By particular desire of Robert Bell, William Alison was admitted a partner in both concerns. The business went on very well until the year 1792, when the tanning business became a very indifferent one. In the year 1796 Robert Bell retired from business and relinquished his share in both concerns to William Bell and William Alison . . .'Both firms were to be continued and James Bell junior agreed to oversee the business and accounts of Robert Bell and Co. From 1797 this firm ran into debt. In 1796 James Bell had asked William Bell to consider relinquishing his business in Dundee and to move to London to assist in running the sugar refining business in Distaff Lane. In 1799 William Bell moved with his family to London. It was eventually decided that the Dundee tanning business be continued on a small scale by the firm of Robert and William Bell and Co under the oversight of Archibald Warden. In 1800 William Bell discovered that his business partner had misappropriated leather from the tanyard and had been selling it for his own personal gain . . . About 1800 William Bell also established a banking concern in Dundee, i.e.Dundee New Bank. The financial strain imposed by the debts of Robert Bell & Co obliged William Bell and James Bell to take Messrs Lucena and Crawford into partnership in the London sugar refining business . . . William Bell became increasingly concerned about his brother James' integrity and good intentions towards his own family as he continually evaded requests for a settlement of their relative responsibilities in the affairs of Robert Bell and Co. These doubts were aggravated by James Bell's conduct as executor for their father's will. In March 1806, by mutual agreement, William Bell returned to live in Scotland. The following year James Bell again sought financial assistance from William Bell, while still refusing to formalise the agreed settlement of the affairs of Robert Belland Co. in a legal deed. James Bell's request to curtail the Dundee business (i.e. William Bell and Co) and to remit the proceeds to him was refused 'which has bred the utmost rancour and malevolence in James Bell's mind.' He attributed the stopping of James Bell Junior and Company to William Bell's refusal, and all the consequences that have ensued.
Change Date: 30 MAY 2005 at 15:05:20
Evidence submitted by William Bell 1 February 1808,Edinburgh:`In the month of June 1784 the following persons entered into partnership in the business of sugar refining an a sugar housein Joiner's Hall Alley, Upper Thames Street, London, viz:James Bell of Distaff Lane, London, Sugar Refiner Robert Bell of Longlane, Southwark or Blackheath in the County of Kent, Tanner John Bell of Dundee, Tanner William Alison of Dundee, Merchant Alexander Strachan of Dundee, Merchant.. . . In the month of March 1778 John Bell died, and it was agreed to take his nephew William Bell as a partner to hold his share of the concern. They carried on business in Joiner's Hall Alley until the year1788 when James Bell agreed to join his Sugar Refining business in Distaff Lane to that which was carried on by the above company in Joiners' Hall buildings, so as to make one joint concern of the whole . . .' [From 1797 the business was carried on in Distaff Lane only. It was finally dissolved in September 1807, p44.]
p71 5 August 1808, Edinburgh, in the presence of Sheriff Substitute: Evidence submitted by William Bell to the SherifCourt, Edinburgh, in a letter 4 August 1808 to Robert Wilson,trustee of his sequestrated estate, describing his circumstances in London:`. . . I laid severe restrictions on my wife with respect to the expenses of the family when we were by ourselves, and on her own clothing and that of the children. They felt much the change of their situation; it was brought on their minds and mine the recollection with hate and disgust of a place, where the comforts we were accustomed to in Scotland before our residence in London were sacrificed to the desires and wishes of my brother. The unhappy uncomfortable situation I found myself in produced frequent expostulations with my brother and earnest entreaties to come to a settlement that I might know whether the bread I was eating was my own or his. This brought on sever reflections from him on want of confidence in his promises,which at last terminated in such bitter contentions that I was glad to leave a place where my life was a burden to me . . .[i.e. in 1806] 'His main business interests are more clearly detailed p97ff
.p99ff State of Affairs of William Bell, Merchant, sometime residing in Alban Row, Edinburgh, drawn up by Robert W. Ison,Accountant in Edinburgh, Trustee on his Sequestrated Estate . .. 6 October 1808.p98 : List of WB's principal business concerns:
1. Two copartneries in the tanning business in Dundee under firm of Robert and William Bell and Co. (managed by WB) and in London under the firm of Robert Bell and Co. "Of these latterly he and William Alison Senior had become the sole partners,William Allison managing the business at London while Mr Bell conducted that at Dundee. To William Alison's misconduct in the management of the business at London during the years 1799 and1800 Mr Bell ascribes the ruin of these concerns and his final insolvency in which the Company of James Bell and Coy, inconsequence of the long advances to the before mentioned two companies, and of course Mr James Bell the Principal Partner of that company have been ultimately involved. These companies in so far as regarded the tannery manufactory were virtually if not formally dissolved in 1800 after which William Bell took on himself the entire management in winding up the affairs.
"2. Partner in James Bell Junior & Co., Sugar Refiners, Distaff Lane, London in which his brother JB held the chief concern. The other partners latterly wereor had been WB and William Allison Senior of Dundee. "It was from the funds of this Company or of Mr James Bell that the great (?) advances had been made to the tanning concerns in 1799 and 1800. "In 1803 new copartnery formed with Messrs Lucena and Crawford and WB under firm of Bell & Co., of which James Bell afterwards became a partner. The old concern of James Bell Junior & Co.having been kept up chiefly from the necessity of supporting a circulation of Bills, and other cash transactions to supply the place of their capital, which had been dilapidated in 1799 &1800, as already mentioned. Both companies were dissolved inOctober 1807, and the Bills of the former company then in the Circles (?), and balance on their credits with Bankers compose the principal claims of debt against the said WB's estate, the other company of Bells & Coy having retired their own proper engangements
.3. WB also a large partner and acting manager of the copartnery William Bell and Coy, Sugar Refiners in Dundee, "who were carrying on the business to a large extent at the time o fhis sequestration . . but are now in the course of winding up their concerns and are solvent .
"4. He was a partner in the house of William Downe and Co., Wharfingers at Downes' Wharf, London, which company continues to carry on business.
5. He had been a partner in banking concern at Dundee known as Dundee New Bank until 1805, but which having been dissolved (??) him and his brother Mr James Bell, by the remaining partners in the year 1805, a process at the instance of the Messrs Bell had been instituted before the Court of Session against said other partners in which they concluded to be re)?)ed against the said pretended dissolution and for payment of their shares of profit and is still independent.
6. William Bell had for some time carried on a shoe manufactory on his own account at Dundee and London, but this business had been given up many years before his bankruptcy and there only remained certain outstanding debts on the books of these firms, most of which were (??)
.7. Copartner with his former Clerk Archibald Warden in the firm of Archibald Warden & Coy, Merchant, in Glasgow, "but this company did little business on its own account being founded chiefly for the purpose of acting as Agents for William Bell and Coy, for aiding the circulation of James Bell Junior andCompany's Bills
."8. Had shares as partner in Edinburgh & Leith, Dundee & Perth, Montrose and Aberdeen Shipping Companies, "all or most of which he had been instrumental in forming." His other mercantile and manufacturing interests in now dissolved companies:1. Robert and John Bell & Coy, Dundee, Tanners.2. Crichton Strachan Bell & Coy, Dundee, Sugar Refiners. 3. James Alison, Dundee, Cotton Manufactory
p150ff : Details of Bell's Dundee Sugar House. It was sold by public roup on 19 April 1809 for ?4500 to David Jobson, Junior,Merchant, of Dundee.[William Bell died in 1834 (April?) before the sequestration proceedings could be concluded]
The rolls of the Glasite congregation record :April 1793 - added at Dundee; 23/9/1798 to London; 1808 to Edinburgh.
Father: Robert BELL b: ABT 1725 in Logie-Pert,Angus,Scotland c: 13 APR 1725 in Logie-Pert,Angus,Scotland
Mother: Janet ALISON b: ABT 1730 in Dundee,Angus,Scotland c: 16 SEP 1730 in Dundee,Angus,Scotland
Anna YOUNG b: in Stromness,Orkney
30/8/ & 4/9/1788
in Edinburgh,Midlothian & Dundee,Angus,Scotland
- Jessie BELL b: ABT 1789
- Robert Fitzroy BELL b: 15 OCT 1790 in Dundee,Angus,Scotland
- Anna Emelia BELL b: 22 FEB 1792 in Dundee,Angus,Scotland
- Elizabeth Helena BELL b: 18 MAY 1793 in Dundee,Angus,Scotland
- John Zephaniah BELL b: 16 SEP 1794 in Dundee,Angus,Scotland
- James Stanislaus BELL b: 5 JAN 1796 in Dundee,Angus,Scotland
- William Henry BELL b: 6 FEB 1797 in Dundee,Angus,Scotland
- Edward Russell BELL b: 24 MAR 1798 in Dundee,Angus,Scotland
- Frederick Augustus BELL b: 26 APR 1799 in Dundee,Angus,Scotland c: APR 1799 in Dundee,Angus,Scotland
- Charles Septimus BELL b: 1800
- Silena BELL b: 1802
- George BELL b: 4 FEB 1804
- Sydney Smith BELL b: 12 APR 1805
- Henry Alexander BELL b: 1809
- Catherine Emilia BELL
- Arthur BELL