Archiver > PATERSON > 2002-09 > 1032781989

From: "Maureen McKillican" <>
Subject: Paterson, of Carter-Paterson
Date: Mon, 23 Sep 2002 05:53:09 -0600
References: <001601c261d2$f5f696c0$c90599cf@maureen>

Paterson, of Carter-Paterson

The Family History of a Famous Haulage Company

By Anthony R.J.S.Adolph

There was a time not so long ago when, if you wanted parcels or luggage
moved about the country, it went without saying that Carter-Paterson would
do it for you. Founded in Alnwick, Northumberland, by James Paterson, with
his brother Robert and their friend Walter Carter, the firm grew rapidly to
dominate the haulage industry, and indeed to become synonymous with it. But
who was the enterprising James Paterson?

Like many great innovators, he was a native of the Border Country. The
Patersons date back to John Paterson, schoolmaster of Selkirk in Lowland
Scotland, who, being "insufficient both for reading, and teaching" was
sacked by the town council in 1613. Three years earlier, the Tailzers
(tailors) of the town were incorporated into a company, which functioned
calmly, levying dues for ale and electing its deans (presidents) while,
outside the city gates, Montrose was defeated and, a century later, some of
its members joined the doomed rising of Bonnie Prince Charlie. The company's
records show a succession of Patersons from John Paterson (1690-1750), a
master tailzer of Kirk Wynd in the town, whose son John (1722-1783) became
Dean of Guild in 1771 and married Rebecca Thompson.

Their son John (1758-1817), Dean of Guild in 1804, 1806 and 1817, was
friends with Sir Walter Scott, who was Sheriff of Selkirk, and knew many of
the people fictionalised in his novels. He married Isabella Lithhead. Of
their children, Bessy married the Kirk Precentor Mr Shaw; John became a
Writer to the Signet at Galashiels at Selkirk; Walter - named after the
novelist - was Dean of Guild (remembered chiefly for his habit of striking
children who misbehaved in the Old Kirk so forcefully with his Bible that
"it made the whole church ring"); and William, who once walked to London and
back, and died falling from a cart near Broxburn. Their fifth child was
Robert Paterson, born in 1803.

Robert started his career life as a tailor, and became a Freemason and an
Excise Inspector, whose three ten year postings took him to Rochdale,
Lancashire and Whitby, Yorkshire, dying in 1849 at Fraserburgh. In 1827, he
married Elspeth Arnott (1806-1846) of Pitversie in Abdie, Fife, near to
where the English defeated William Wallace in 1300, and whose ancestor
Robert Arnott of Woodmilne was killed at Flodden in 1513. Their children
were John, James, Jessie, Robert, and Janet Paterson. Janet kept house for
James, dying in 1911, whilst John's son, Rowland, was Secretary to
Carter-Paterson from 1909 to 1912.

James Paterson was born on 8 April 1830. As the railways proliferated, so
too did railway stations, and James became station master at Alnwick,
Northumberland. James saw the potential in organising freight transport
based on the railway network, and began to build up a network of agents,
warehouses, wharves, stables and vets. Leaving Alnwick for 128 Goswell Road,
London, he established Carter-Paterson in 1867 in conjunction with his
brother Robert, who had worked previously for the Great Western Railway, and
Walter Carter. The firm grew steadily over two decades before it was
incorporated as a joint stock company, with a capital of £250,000 on 5
August 1887. James become Chairman, with a salary of £3,000, but he died on
19 November 1887, leaving a personal estate of £67. His brother, Robert, was
Deputy Chairman from 1887: he lived at Norfolk Lodge, Warwick Road, Ealing,
married Catherine Jane Chalk and had a large family.

All three founders were allowed to bequeath two directorships to members of
their families. James nominated his sons John James Paterson and Harry
Lorraine Paterson, and Robert chose his sons Herbert and Arthur. Thus, the
Patersons' involvement with the firm continued long after the founders'

James Paterson had three wives and 12 children, many of whom were
distinguished by their inventiveness and eccentricity. Further oddities were
genetic - a frequently-occurring ski-jump nose, and thumbs which could bend
backwards at the top joint by almost ninety degrees.

Whilst still a station master in Alnwick, James married his first wife
Isabella Collingwood, on 3 January 1852. Her descendants later claimed that
she was descended from Admiral Lord Collingwood. In fact, her father Matthew
was a shoemaker in the town, although there was probably a distant
cousinship. Their children included John James Paterson, Robert Paterson, a
familiar face in the bankruptcy courts, who had the unusual habit of walking
about London barefoot, wearing only a sailor-suit, and Mary Ann 'Polly'
Collingwood Paterson (1854-1890), who married Rev.Patrick Henry Kilduff, a
Presbyterian minister from Co.Offaly, whose two sons and daughter Isabella
(who married Julius Rietchel) were share-holders in the firm.

James' eldest son, John James Paterson (d. 1932), lived at 'Parkwood',
Knebworth, Hertfordshire, and married Ellen Wrightson. His children included
James Paterson M.C. (d. 1965), of Heron's Farm, Gustardwood, Hertfordshire,
a director of Carter-Paterson from 1908 to 1948 and Chairman of the Southern
part of the Company from 1944 to 1948: he married Jessie Tillie, daughter of
the Marshal of Londonderry and had a daughter Jean (1914-1979), the family's
genealogist, who returned to her Scottish roots by moving to Calaburn Farm,
Roxburghshire. John James' son, Kenneth Paterson (d. 1955), was the father
of Robert Paterson (1940-1991), a successful impresario and a close friend
of Marlene Deitrich, who was equally happy staging Stravinski or Neil
Diamond, Richard Burton or Donovan, Nina Maskouroi or Duke Ellington. A
run-in with Shirley Bassey and an unfortunate business deal with David Frost
saw the start of a slow decline to a council flat in Hammersmith, drink and

James Paterson's second wife was Isabella Lorraine Wilkinson. Their children
included Harry Lorraine Paterson of Ealing, Company Secretary to the firm,
who died in 1906 of pneumonia contracted by riding at night on Hallowe’en
wearing only his nightshirt. His wife, Muriel Checkland, died in 1951 in a
fire at a hotel in Guildford High Street. One of Harry's grandsons, Tinka
Paterson was a familiar face in the 1970's as a dashingly besuited male
model and became a portrait painter in Southwold, Suffolk. Another child of
James Paterson by his second wife was Thomas Paterson (1897-1961) of St
Chads in Teignmouth. He never worked for the firm because he was
tremendously well off. His particular eccentricity (besides golf) was an
obsession with ventilation, which led him to cut holes in everything, even
vests, and he once caused a minor house fire by leaving a mattress to air
next to a gas heater during dinner. His daughter Lydia (1914-1995) married
Andre Regnault, a prominent French artist from Tours, and spent an eventful
war hiding from the Germans in the Massife-Centrale.

James Paterson married thirdly his housekeeper, Mary Sutton. Their daughter,
Molly, was mother of Judy Coventry who married Peter Stedall, a
lepidopterist so enthused with his hobby to the extent that he spent the
first night of their honeymoon out catching moths. Their son Jonathan
Stedall became a television producer, best known now for his films about
John Betjamen.

James' eldest son, John James Paterson, was Managing Director from 1901 to
1931. In 1909 its nominal capital was increased to £775,000 and, despite the
purchase of its great rival Pickfords by Hays Wharf Ltd in 1912 and a
painful eight year transition from horses to vans, the firm prospered, and
survived the Great Depression. In 1933, the four main railway companies
bought substantial shares in Hays Wharf and Carter Paterson and joined their
boards, ousting, in the case of Carter Paterson, all the family directors
except for James Paterson and Frederick William Carter. The capital of the
company, whose subsidiaries by now included Bean's Express and England &
Perrott, was increased to £925,000 in 1934. The firm played a key role in
evacuating goods out of London during the Blitz, was then merged with
Pickfords to form the Joint Parcel Service in 1946, and was nationalised as
Carter Paterson (B.T.C.) Ltd under the Road Transport Executive on 16th
February 1948. Some 40 years later, the parcels section of the National
Freight Company re-emerged in its own right, becoming Lynx Express, the
reincarnation of the firm founded in Alnwick by James Paterson.

Anthony R.J.S.Adolph, 39 Nunnery Fields, Canterbury, Kent, CT1 3JT.

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