Succession and inheritance in Scottish business families, c.1875-1935

Mackie, Robin (2022). Succession and inheritance in Scottish business families, c.1875-1935. Business History, 64(1) pp. 55–74.



This paper explores the dynamics of succession and inheritance in Scottish business families during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Making use of the unusual quality of Scottish testamentary records, it explores the management of succession within family firms, focusing on the relationship between the choices made by business owners, their family circumstances, and the future of their firms. Taking the ‘family-centred’ approach to business development used by historians such as Morris, Owens and Barker for the period of the industrial revolution in England as a starting point, it argues that a broader understanding of inheritance can explain business succession, and that the control and ownership of family firms was changed by the uses made of limited liability.

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