top of page





For many years I have been collecting historical securities that have to do with the subject of tea. One of my most interesting papers is a share CERTIFICATE in the HOOLUNGOOREE TEA COMPANY issued on 23rd March 1872.

The HOOLUNGOOREE garden was one of the first in the Assam district and was acquired by Andrew Yule. Later came the gardens of Khowang, Tingkong, Basmatia, Rajgarh, and Desam and Murphulani in Assam, Banarhat, Karballa, New Dooars, Choonabhutti in Dooars and Mim in Darjeeling too. These gardens have remained unchanged in one company for over 150 years. A rare event in the Indian tea industry and its history marked by change. The company, Ludwig H. O. Schroeder & Rudolph Hamann, has always represented Andrew Yule & Co. and I have regularly visited the parent company on Clive Row in Calcutta back in my active days. This and certain details on the share certificate prompted me to delve into the history of this company.

Andrew Yule was born to a Scottish draper in 1834. He had two older brothers, George and David. The latter was a writer and cashier in a government office in Edinburgh. Andrew went to Manchester in 1855 and founded a warehouse with his brother George in 1858. In the same year, Andrew Yule went to India, driven by the profits that could be made there from trading in colonial goods.

One of his first ventures was the Hoolungooree Tea Company. He founded Andrew Yule & Co. in 1863 and settled in Calcutta. The Williamson Magor company, which had been founded in 1869, acted as an agent for Andrew Yule. Richard Blamey Magor, Philip Magor's great-grandfather, signed the share from 1872 as Director. R.B. Magor was previously an employee of the Great Eastern Hotel in Calcutta and his partner, Captain James Hay Williamson, a former river boatman on the Brahmaputra, was director of the same hotel. George Williamson was the brother of Captain Williamson and did not become a partner until the mid-1870s.



The Andrew Yule company was active in jute, cotton, and charcoal in addition to tea until 1875. In the same year, his brother George and his nephew David, (son of the third brother of the same name) joined the company in Calcutta. Andrew Yule visited England regularly and settled there, outside London, in 1888.

George Yule died childless in 1892 and after the death of Andrew Yule in 1902, the entire Yule conglomerate came under David Yule's control. It was the time of illustrious British names in Indian trade, but David Yule was considered to be the greatest businessman in India. He was also a Director at Midland Bank, Mercantile Bank of India, Vickers Ltd., the Royal Exchange Assurance Company and purchased the newspaper “Daily Chronicle”. The daily newspaper "The Statesman", which still appears in Calcutta today, also belonged to the Yule Group for a while.

In total, the group controlled 30 different business areas and actively supported forestry and agriculture, fishing, road construction, schools, hospitals, and pharmacies. David Yule received his knighthood from King George V in Delhi in 1911.He went on to expand the business fields. These included mechanical engineering, a railroad company, and a transport company. In 1919; Sir David Yule founded Yule Catto & Co. together with Baron Catto, which is still listed on the London Stock Exchange under the name Synthomer plc.



In 1922, Sir David Yule was made Knight of the Hugli River in Calcutta. Unfortunately, this hereditary knight title expired with him due to the lack of a male successor. The family seat in England was Hanstead House in Brecket Wood, Hertfordshire. Arab racehorses known as Hanstead Stud were bred here with great success. Sir David Yule died at the age of 70 on 3rd July 1928.

After the death of Sir David Yule, the company continued to operate successfully. At the time of independence in 1947, the company was at the pinnacle of profits and influence. The group controlled 57 companies, employed 86,000 people directly and significantly more indirectly. The group's taxes paid to the treasury accounted for one-sixtieth of the state's revenue at the time. Due to various influences, the Andrew Yule group floundered in the early 1970s.

The government took over the private shares and the company became state-owned in 1979 and still is today. The group is now profitable again, with an annual turnover of U$ 190 million in the engineering, electrical, tea, and printing sectors, employing 19,000 people. While still alive, Sir David Yule was a co-owner of the Hoolungooree Tea Company stock that is in my collection. This is clearly shown in the transfer register on the back of the share. Sir David Yule had acquired this security on 21st July 1914, along with a certain Mrs. Lucia Harriet King. After his death in 1928, the share with a nominal value of 1,000 rupees passed in full to this lady.



The luxury yacht “Nahlin” was in dry dock at Blohm & Voss in Hamburg in November 2014. As one of the three largest steam yachts ever built in Great Britain, the “Nahlin” still occupies nineteenth place in the ranking of the largest powered yachts. The yacht was commissioned by Lady Annie Henrietta Yule, the daughter of Andrew Yule and wife of Sir David Yule in 1929. He had married his cousin, sixteen years his junior, in 1900. They had a daughter, Gladys, who was born in 1903.

Sir David Yule left his wife 9 million pounds sterling, an enormous sum for that time and which made Lady Yule the richest woman in England temporarily. In addition to the “Nahlin”, she commissioned two other ships. Lady Yule was an eccentric, slightly annoying lady with a sharp tongue who continued to take care of the horse breeding and occasionally hunted big game. She saw film as an opportunity to promote the British way of life. She founded the British National Films Company with J. Arthur Rank and was instrumental in building up Pinewood Studios financially.


(Last films shot there: 2012: James Bond 007 - Skyfall, 2013: Gravity, 2015: Star Wars – The Force Awakens)

Together with her daughter, Lady Yule went on cruises on the "Nahlin" through the Baltic Sea, the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, the Galapagos Islands, New Zealand, and Australia. Within four years, the logbook recorded 200,000 nautical miles. King Edward VIII chartered the "Nahlin" in 1936 and used her for a pleasure trip with Mrs. Wallis Simpson. The consequences of this affair are well known and led to the king's abdication. In 1938, King Carol II of Romania bought the "Nahlin" from Lady Yule for £ 120,000.

After the end of the war, the Romanian state took over the yacht, which in the years that followed lived a rather bleak existence as a museum or restaurant ship on the Danube. In 1988, the yacht was rediscovered by the Scottish construction office and transported back to Great Britain in a dock ship in 1999. After repair work in Liverpool, the “Nahlin” came again on a dock ship to Rendsburg in 2005, where the restoration, which lasted until the end of 2009 and cost around 60 million Euros, was continued at the Nobiskrug and Blohm & Voss shipyards. The steam turbine ship drive was replaced by a continuously variable diesel-electric transmission, among other things. The old steam pipe was also brought back to life. The yacht's crew consists of 58 people. Today the yacht belongs to Sir Dyson, the inventor of the bagless hoover.

February 2016



Names / Dates

Andrew Yule 1834 - 1902
George Yule 1829 – 1892
Sir David Yule 1858 – 1928
Lady Annie Henrietta Yule 1874 – 1950
Gladys Yule 1903 - 1957

bottom of page