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A.Scott & Co - Rangoon - 1902 | by DBHKer
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A.Scott & Co - Rangoon - 1902

Merchant St, Rangoon

Founded by Scotsman Alexander Scott in 1855 as a general merchant, Messrs A Scott & Co diversified into banking, and were Civil Service agents, shipping and forwarding agents, were agents for insurance companies, importers of wines & spirits, general merchandise as well as being an exporter of Burmese cheroots. Cheroots are the Burmese version of cigars and this Scots-owned company exported principally to Scotland.

 

Like many of the British trading houses in Rangoon, the mercantile world dominated by Scotsmen. In his 1923 book "Into the East: notes on Burma & Malaya", author Richard Curle notes that "Rangoon society is essentially Scottish, and the clan-element in its blood assures to any fellow-countryman a comprehensive welcome." Allistair MacMillan's incomparable guidebook and directory "Seaports of the Far East" (1923) refers to "Rangoon being a 'suburb' of Glasgow commercially".

 

Of the 8 members of the Rangoon Chamber of Commerce in 1910, 5 were Scotsmen (FD Stewart, AR Finlay of Messrs JA Begbie & Co, JA Polson of the Irrawaddy Flotilla Co, J Wood of Messrs Bulloch Bros Ltd & JY Munro).

 

Furthermore, the 1910 Rangoon Trades Association which represented the interests of the colonial businessmen included representatives from Messrs Whiteaway Laidlaw & Co, Messrs Misquith & Co, Messrs Macfie & Co and Messrs Scott & Co - all fine Scottish trading companies. Required reading is Alister McCrae's 'Scots in Burma' wich also gives an account of the author's work for the 'Flotilla' in the 1930s.

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Taken on February 18, 2006