Archive Record

Collection Inverclyde Archives: Business and Organisational Records
Catalogue Number BG1
Object Name Fonds
Level of description Fonds
Title Greenock Chamber of Commerce, papers
Date 1814-2000
Creator Greenock Chamber of Commerce
Dates of Creation 1814-2000
Scope & Content Contains of Director's meetings minutes books, 1814-1881, 1881-1900, 1900-1928, 1928-1958; General meetings minute book, 1814-1880, 1881-1897, 1897-1972; Letter book, 1814-1864; Annual reports, 1970, 1971, 1990, 1992 and 2000; Visitors book, 1885-1932.

Extent of Description 0.27m
Admin/Biographical History Greenock Chamber was originally incorporated in 1813 by Royal Charter on behalf of King George the Third, as The Chamber of Commerce and Manufactures of Greenock - to tend to the encouragement and promotion of trade and manufactures already extensively established and carried on there.

There have been 126 presidents since then including many prominent business people working in shipbuilding, engineering, sugar and other merchant activities, as well as council officials, legal officers and practitioners. These activities reflect the principal businesses of the Inverclyde region in the 19th and 20th centuries, predominantly sugar refining and shipbuilding. More recently, the presidency and board have been made up of a more diverse group of business people. The first Greenock Chamber Board of Directors was an all-male affair, consisting of bankers, merchants, legal officers and council officials.
The inaugural President was Alexander Dunlop who worked as a merchant and a banker - he was founder and partner of William Napier & Co, known as the Renfrewshire Banking Company. He was also Justice of the Peace, Advocate and Magistrate of Greenock in 1805. The first Board also included James Watt Jnr, son of the famous inventor and mechanical engineer whose improvements to the steam engine were fundamental to the changes brought by the Industrial Revolution. James Jnr went on to serve as the 10th President of the Chamber's Board.