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Macfarlane Lang & Co.’s – Biscuit Making 1928

by Christine Coe on December 8th, 2014

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  • Andrew Macfarlane

    Trying to tie this family into on of my existing trees. Plenty of info on the company but very little on the family. Prbably the best family history strangely comes from a website selling James Ewing MacFarlane’s (son of John of MacFarlane & Lang biscuts) Rolls Royce car.

    “The Biscuit Family: John Ewing MacFarlane (1883/1973), his grandfather had inherited the biscut business from his uncle James Lang. John Macfarlane Snr died in 1908, literally the day before he was due to retire & the firm was left to his 3 sons James (Kt 1932), John & George. In 1912 John & his daughter were aboard the P&O liner “Oceana” enroute to India when it was rammed & sunk by the German iron barque “Pisagua”; the Oceana lowered one of her lifeboats but it capsized killing 9 of the occupants including John MacFarlane, his daughter was thrown clear and survived. The MacFarlane family business interests were varied & included Shipping: Thomas Dunlop & Co with a vessel named “Clan MacFarlane”; Power: Gas Light & Coke Co Ltd and Property. John E. MacFarlane’s brother Robert French MacFarlane (French being his mother’s maiden name) was a notable inventor who between 1922 & 1951 had some 51 worldwide patents registered in his name for use with the production of Biscuits. The MacFarlane family felt a great deal of responsibility towards their local communities & employees both in Scotland & England to the extent that in 1926 Sir James & his brother George donated 22 acres on which was built the Canniesburn Infirmary, in 1960 John Ewing funded a lifeboat which was duly christened the “John & Frances Macfarlane”.


    • Glenda Dickson

      Thanks for sharing that information Andrew. Sorry I didn’t see your post earlier. Hopefully more details on the family will come to light in the future.

    • Kelly Macfarlane

      I too am doing research on this line to see how I tie in. I am from John Menzies Macfarlane born in Stirling, Stirlingshire, Scotland, United Kingdom October 11,1833

  • Glenn McFarlane

    Would love to have some of the biscuit tins now!!
    What happened to the company?

    • Glenda Dickson

      Hi Glenn,

      I asked Malcolm what he knew about MacFarlane Lang & Co and he said information on the company is easily obtained by searching the internet. He kindly provided the following excerpt from the Glasgow University website:

      “The business began as Langs bakery in 1817, before becoming MacFarlane Lang in 1841. The first biscuit factory opened in 1886, and changed its name to MacFarlane Lang & Co in the same year. The business then opened a factory in Fulham, London in 1903, and in 1904 became MacFarlane Lang & Co Ltd. In 1948 it formed United Biscuits Ltd along with McVitie and Price.”

      • Glenn McFarlane