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18 June 2014
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Work
Keiller's: Sticky Success

Boiling House, Keiller Factory
Boiling House, Keiller Factory
© Scran
Janet Keiller eventually handed over the shop to her son, James Keiller, and he took on the title of the business – but still relied heavily on his mother’s expertise. Indeed, the Keiller family would always lean on their women for their input into the practical side of the business.

James, now a businessman in his own right, albeit at this stage still the owner of a small provincial sweet shop, had married a local girl called Barbara Robertson – unfortunately she died in 1817, but he married again within a year, this time to a Margaret Spence, who would eventually have a major impact on the family business.

Margaret Keiller would take control, along with her eldest son Alex, in the event of her husband’s death in 1839 until her own eventual demise in 1850 – by which time the Keiller brand had finally started growing. In 1845, under the leadership of Alex Keiller, the firm moved from the Seagate, their premises for over 40 years, to Castle Street, where they occupied two buildings – a shop and a works. This is the first major sign that the enterprise was growing at a decent rate.


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