Robert MacLehose & Co.

Robert MacLehose & Co.


James MacLehose (1811-1885) was appointed as Glasgow University’s bookseller in 1864, and then as publisher to the University in 1871. He encouraged his brother, Robert (fl. 1872-1910), a bookseller in Ayr, to begin printing, supplying him with the capital and work to start a small printing shop. He became printer to the University in 1872.

In 1894, the senior Robert MacLehose’s business was purchased by his nephews, Robert and James J. MacLehose. These were the sons of his brother, James: they had already been taken into partnership by James Snr. in his bookselling and publishing business, which had become known as James MacLehose and Sons in 1881. James Snr. died in 1885, but this side of the firm carried on under the same name. They continued the printing part of the firm under the name of Robert MacLehose and Company.

In 1904, the firm was converted into a private limited company known as Robert MacLehose and Company, Limited: this was controlled and largely owned by the MacLehose family. When this company was formed, Robert and James J. MacLehose (junior) were its Managing Directors.

In 1919, James decided to devote himself entirely to the printing side of the firm and retired from being a partner in the publishing and bookselling side; James MacLehose and Sons subsequently became, successively, MacLehose, Jackson & Co. and Jackson, Wylie & Co.: thus the MacLehose family were no longer connected with publishing and bookselling in Glasgow. But the printing side of the firm continued to expand successfully, merging with several other companies over the years.

Ownership passed to the MacLehose group in 1970. As a result of over expansion, the firm was liquidated in 1982.