Macneil & Co

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Macneil & Co

'Macneil & Co' was established in 1872 in Calcutta as a Managing Agent with a multitude of interests in Coal, Tea, Shipping, Jute and Cotton as detailed below.

By the 1920's Macneil had amalgamated with Barry & Co, another Calcutta based Managing Agent to form 'Macneil & Barry Ltd' - see this page for further information


Duncan Macneil was a nephew of William MacKinnon, the owner of the Calcutta Managing Agent MacKinnon Mackenzie Co. In 1858 he want to Calcutta to work for the Agency Begg, Dunlop & Co gaining experience in tea, coffee and indigo industries. He left in 1866, returned to London and set up a tea warehouse. Out of this venture 'Duncan Macneil & Co', London was founded in 1870 as a partnership between Duncan Macneil and his cousin John Mackinnon. Macneil returned to Calcutta in 1870 and took over the Managing Agent contracts for tea gardens that he and William MacKinnon had interests in, also asuming the Agency for a river shipping concern on the Brahmaputra River. In 1872 'Macneil & Co' opened in Calcutta to run these operations on behalf of 'Duncan Macneil & Co', London [1].


  • 'Equitable Coal Co'. 'Macneil & Co' became the Managing Agent from the previous Agent Begg, Dunlop & Co. The coal depot on the west bank of the Hoogly River supplied river and sea going steamships as well as mills in the city [1].

Tea Gardens

Macneil established new tea plantations in Cachar and Assam - 'Khatta Tea Co' and 'Cossipore Tea Co' were both financed in India but by 1873 registerd in London; followed by 'Scottipore Tea Bo, 1878: 'Salonih Tea Co',1881 Also the 'Western Cachar Tea Co', registered in Glasgow and the 'Ramgargh Tea Co', registered in Calcutta[1].

The following Tea Gardens are listed on FIBIS page Assam Tea Industry Tramways as having 'Macneil & Co' as Agent which after 1923 merged with 'Barry & Co' to become 'Macneil & Barry Ltd'

The listing below is not complete and refers only where a tramway is known to have existed :-

  • 'Bhubandhar Tea Co Ltd'; Cachar District
  • 'Cossipore Tea Co Ltd'; Cachar District; Pollarbund, Felixstowe and Bhadri
  • 'Dilkhoosh Tea Estate'; Cachar District
  • 'Dinjan Tea Co Ltd'; Tinsukia District
  • 'Doyapore Tea Co Ltd'; Cachar District
  • 'Dudpatli Tea Co Ltd'; Cachar District; Dudpatli, Haticherra, Kanaikuri, Chhota, Singa, Alipur and Narainpur
  • 'Kalline Tea Co Ltd'; Cachar District; Sundoura, Magenta and Boalcherra
  • 'Koyah Tea Co Ltd'; Cachar District; Clavellpore
  • 'Majagram Tea Co Ltd'; Cachar District; Majagram, Subong
  • 'Scotpore Tea Co Ltd'; Cachar District; Pollarbund, Scotpore
  • 'Tarrapore Tea Co Ltd'; Cachar District; Dewan, Labac, Balladhun, Narainpore, Burtoll
  • 'Upper Assam Tea Co Ltd', Tinsukia District, Maijan
  • 'Western Cachar Co Ltd', Halaikandi District, Jellapore, Rajpore, Batulmara


  • 'Rivers Steam Navigation Ltd' was closely connected to the tea operations, a shipping concern on the Brahmatpura River. It was originally financed in India but re-incorporated in London in 1873 with William MacKinnon as chairman. Its vessels operated from Calcutta to Cachar and Assam where Macneil and MacKinnon had their tea operations. It carried planters stores, coal and general goods up river and carried tea and jute down river. It also conveyed laybour in both directions [1].

Jute Mills

The following Jute Mills are listed on FIBIS page 'A List of Jute Mills in India' as having 'Macneil & Co' as Agent:-

  • 'Ganges Jute Mill', owned by 'Ganges Manufacturing Co' with a mill on the Ganges River at Seebpore [1].
  • 'India Jute Mill', registered as 'India Jute Co', owned by 'MacKinnon Mackenzie Co


Macneil was also connected with the 'Garden Reach Cotton Mill Association' in Calcutta [1].


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 “Industrial Railways and Locomotives of India and South Asia” compiled by Simon Darvill. Published by ‘The Industrial Railway Society’ 2013. ISBN 978 1 901556 82-7. Available at Reference: Entry WB102 page ....