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Record Group Number: 900000
Series/Collection Number: M94- 5
Creator: Mackay Estates Limited.
Title, Dates: Mackay family papers, 1916-1982.
Amount: 25.00 cubic ft.
84.00 v.
Medium Included:
Organization/Arrangement: Organized into five subseries: 1. Alexander and R.F.B. Mackay Business Records, 1916-1938, 1.75 cu.ft., 26 volumes;  2. Mackay Estates Limited Correspondence and Attachments, 1937-1982, 7 cu.ft.;  3. Mackay Estates Limited Business Records, 1937-1973, 8.25 cu.ft., 7 volumes;  4. Mackay Estates Limited Financial Records, 1937-1980, 4.25 cu.ft., 51 volumes;  5. Individual Family Members' Papers, 1933-1970, 3.75 cu.ft. Arranged by type of record or chronologically within each subseries.
Terms Governing Use:
Biographical/Historical:     Mackay Estates Limited was incorporated in the Bahamas on July 8, 1937.  The company acquired land in Lake Alfred, Florida, on November 17, 1937, and was incorporated as a foreign corporation in the state of Florida on December 27, 1937.  The company was founded by Robert Ferrier Burns Mackay (known as R.F.B. or Ferrier), and its principle place of business was in Lake Alfred, Polk County, Florida.
    The Mackay family was originally from Dundee, Scotland. Alexander Mackay (ca. 1855-1935) was a leading Scottish financier and businessman.  He had business interests in Britain, the United States, Canada, South America, and Poland.  He was Director of Shell Union Oil Company and Chairman of the Board of the Scottish-owned Matador Land and Cattle Company in Texas.  The bulk of his fortune lay in the St. Lawrence Petroleum Company, and because of indebtedness to that company, his and his son Ferrier's interests in St. Lawrence were surrendered in 1935.  In 1915, Alexander Mackay purchased property in Polk County, Florida, near Lake Alfred for farming purposes.  He hired John N. Morley (ca. 1870-1944), a botanist, to manage the property.  Morley moved his family from York, England, to Lake Alfred in 1916.  His son, John N. Morley, Jr. (called Jack or Deac), later became the manager of Mackay Estates Limited.
    Ferrier Mackay was the son of Alexander Mackay.  He was born in 1891 or 1892, was a graduate of Cambridge, and served with the British army during World War I.  He married Grace Croft (also called Zen, born 1889), an English actress, in 1914, and they had two daughters, Elizabeth (also called Tad, born 1915) and Rosemary (also called Ba, later Mrs. Peter Mackay-James, born 1916).  Between the world wars, the Mackays lived in both Britain and Lake Alfred, attending to citrus and cattle interests in central Florida.  From land ceded to him by his father, Ferrier Mackay established Mackay Estates Limited in 1937.  During World War II the Mackays resided in Britain.  Ferrier Mackay died on February 22, 1940, and Grace Mackay returned to Florida following World War II and applied for permanent U.S. residency in 1947.
    Beginning in 1947, Grace Mackay served as President and Director of Mackay Estates Limited, dividing her time between La Rochelle, the Mackay home in Lake Alfred, and Britain (Gloucester, England, and Oban, Scotland).  Alexander L. (Sandy) Campbell (1907-1987), a lawyer and son of a friend and business associate of Alexander Mackay, served as Vice President of Mackay Estates Limited and managed the Mackay family's legal and financial matters.  His brother James (Jimmy, 1909-1981) served as Secretary of Mackay Estates.  The Campbells handled the business end of Mackay Estates at their offices in New York City.  The on-site manager of the company was Jack (Deac) Morley (1895-1973), a native of England. The Campbells and Jack Morley retired around 1970.  After their retirement, Rosemary Mackay-James and her daughter Susanah Mackay-James Pringle became vice presidents of Mackay Estates Limited, Elizabeth J. Mackay became Assistant Secretary, and Chancellor I. Hannon became Secretary-Treasurer.  Beginning at this time, the business matters of the company  were handled in Florida by Chancellor Hannon and other representatives.  Grace Mackay died in 1972, and Rosemary Mackay-James became President of Mackay Estates Limited.  At the beginning of 1974, the company was incorporated as a U.S. company and renamed Mackay Estates Incorporated.
Summary:     This collection consists of the business papers of Mackay Estates Limited and the Mackay family of Lake Alfred, Florida, and Great Britain.  The papers date from 1916 to 1980 and are divided into several subseries.  The collection not only provides information on Mackay Estates Limited and the Mackay family, but also is a good source of information on the Florida citrus industry as a whole. The papers record the effects of hurricanes, pests, freezes, and government laws and regulations on the citrus crop; contain documents on and produced by several Florida citrus growers associations; and document the processes involved in the citrus business, including planting, irrigation, fertilizing, pest control, picking, and sales.
    Subseries 1 is comprised of 1.75 cubic feet and 26 volumes of the business records of Alexander and R.F.B. Mackay (1916-1938).  The subseries consists of correspondence, reports, etc. relating to the various business ventures (other than Mackay Estates) of Alexander and R.F.B. Mackay.  The companies represented include St. Lawrence Petroleum (1927-1936) and Dixie Land and Cattle Company (1932-1933).  Other files include papers regarding the Mackay property in Scotland and Lake Alfred (1931-1938) and R.F.B. Mackay's sugar industry interests (1932-1933), as well as correspondence with Sandy Campbell (1936-1937).

    This subseries also includes files relating to the management of Alexander Mackay's property in Lake Alfred (before it was incorporated by R.F.B. Mackay as Mackay Estates Limited).  These papers consist of tax records (1916-1918, 1926); cash statements (1916-1918); correspondence (1916-1932); and subject files on the avocado crop (1917-1928).  The correspondence files appear to have been maintained by John Morley, the property manager, and primarily contain correspondence from Alexander Mackay or his representatives regarding Morley's hiring and duties, crop and financial conditions, and the development of the land and buildings on the property.  Also included are three letterbooks (1917-1918) containing copies of letters sent by John Morley and a book of notes (ca. 1916-1920) maintained by Morley concerning the day-to-day activities involved in the management of the property.  Several bill books (1918-1931), financial journals (1928-1933), and books of invoices paid (1931-1941) also record the finances of the Mackay property in Lake Alfred prior to the organization of Mackay Estates Limited.

    Subseries 2 is comprised of 7 cubic feet of correspondence of Mackay Estates Limited dated 1937 to 1982.  The correspondence dated 1937 to 1970 was maintained by Sandy and James Campbell and consists of originals and copies of the company's incoming and outgoing correspondence and attachments.  The correspondence is primarily to and from the Campbells, Jack Morley, Grace Mackay, and David Scott-Moncrieff.  Subject matter includes the day-to-day running of the estate, weekly reports on production and grove activities and conditions, Florida citrus grower cooperatives, business expenses, and tax information.  The subseries also includes similar correspondence and business files of Mackay Estates Limited dating after the retirement of the Campbells and Jack Morley in 1970 (1970-1982), which were maintained by the new company officers, including Secretary-Treasurer Chancellor I. Hannon.

    Subseries 3 consists of 8.25 cubic feet and 7 volumes of business records (1937-1973) documenting the management and production of Mackay Estates Limited.  These records include: day books (1951-1970) maintained by Jack Morley which document the day-to-day managerial activities at the estates (such as irrigation, picking, etc.); hiring reports (ca. 1950-1960); weekly reports (1956-1965) submitted to Grace Mackay by Jack Morley;  "working papers" (1937-1970) used to compile end-of-the-year company statistics and reports; annual corporation reports (1938-1970) submitted to the Secretary of State of Florida and similar annual reports (1938-1969) submitted to the Register General of the Bahamas Islands (where Mackay Estates Limited was based); files documenting fruit production (1925-1973) including reports from and correspondence with the various fruit cooperatives responsible for picking, hauling, and selling the products of Mackay Estates, picking reports (1961-1968), grove charts (1936, 1954, 1955, 1958, 1961, and 1964), and a register of invoices received for grove-care (1960-1973) which documents expenses for activities such as fertilizing, hoeing, and pruning of individual groves; federal crop insurance files (1963-1970); and other miscellaneous records.

    Subseries 4 is comprised of 4.25 cubic feet and 51 volumes of financial records of Mackay Estates Limited dated 1937 to 1980.  The financial files (1953-1980) consist of receipts, checks, correspondence, and other papers documenting company travel, treasury bonds, stock dividends, account balances, grove care, and various other expenses and revenue.  Related to these files are several bound volumes, including ledgers (1937-1976), journals (1937-1976), cash books (1943-1973), account books (1938-1973), insurance registers (1955-1971), employee pay records (1947-1980), and weekly pay roll books (1947-1965), all documenting the financial activities and status of Mackay Estates.  Other financial records include files of monthly cash statements (1916-1963) prepared by the Morleys documenting expenses and summarizing the financial activities of the estates for the month.  The collection includes the tax records of Mackay Estates Limited (1937-1979).  These files include records relating to U.S. corporate taxes, Florida and New York state corporate taxes, and individual income taxes.  The documents include correspondence, tax returns, company financial statements prepared by Blount and Richardson, and board meeting minutes.  Annual financial statements (1937-1966) are also contained in the subseries.

    Subseries 5 includes 3.75 cubic feet of files of individual family members dated 1933 to 1970.  The correspondence of R.F.B. (Ferrier) Mackay, dated 1933 to 1937, consists of original and copies of incoming and outgoing correspondence of R.F.B. Mackay.  The correspondence is with various business associates and financial and legal advisors.  Subject matter includes the Dixie Land and Cattle Company, Matador Land and Cattle, the Florida citrus industry, and personal and family news.  The papers of Grace Mackay (Zen) include correspondence (1938-1970), documents related to her United States residency (1947), her last will and testament (1953), stock records (1952), and income tax records (1945-1960, 1966-1970).  The correspondence consists of originals and copies of Grace Mackay's incoming and outgoing correspondence and attachments.  The majority of the correspondence is with Sandy or Jimmy Campbell.  The subseries also contains correspondence for which Grace Mackay is neither sender nor recipient but which is related to her business, financial, or legal affairs.  Most of these papers are from or to either Sandy or Jimmy Campbell as well.  The majority of the subseries is business in nature, dealing with investments, finances, immigration status, travel, Mackay Estates Ltd., the R.F.B. Mackay trust, etc.  However, Alexander Campbell worked with Grace Mackay for over thirty years, and much personal information is contained in their correspondence, including discussion of family events and current world affairs.

    Subseries 5 also contains correspondence files of other family members including Rosemary Mackay-James (Ba) and her husband, Peter Mackay-James, Elizabeth Jane Mackay (Tad), and Elizabeth Holden Mackay (Peter) of Oban, Scotland and London, the sister of R.F.B. Mackay.  The majority of the correspondence is with Sandy Campbell and concerns investments, taxes, travel, financial matters, and the administration of Mackay Estates Ltd.  The subseries also contains papers relating to the estates of Alexander Mackay (ca. 1939-1946), R.F.B. Mackay (1942-1963), and Grace Mackay (1970-1973), including correspondence, estate inventory and appraisal, tax returns and other tax-related documents, wills, and estate audits.

Finding Aids: A box list and a volume list are available; folders within each box are listed only for those boxes which contain more than one type of record.
Additional Physical Form:
Reproduction Note:
Location of Originals/Duplicates:
Associated Materials:
Language Notes:
Ownership/Custodial History: Upon the death of Grace Mackay, the collection was temporarily housed at the Polk County Historical and Genealogical Library prior to its relocation to the Florida State Archives.  It was the express wish of Mrs. Mackay that the collection be donated to the Archives.
Publication Note:
General Note:
Electronic Records Access:
Subject Access Fields: Matador Land and Cattle Company
Dixie Land and Cattle Company
Saint Lawrence Petroleum Company
Citrus fruit industry Florida
Agricultural industries Florida
Burrowing nematode Florida
Citrus fruits Diseases and pests Florida
Crop losses Florida
Letters. aat
Business records. aat
Tax records. aat
Lake Alfred (Fla.)
Polk County (Fla.)
Oban (Scotland)
Added Entries Mackay family.
Mackay, Alexander, 1855 or 6-1936
Mackay, Ferrier, 1891 or 2-1940
Mackay, Grace, 1889-1972
Mackay-James, Rosemary Anne, 1916-
Morley, Jack N., 1895-1973
Morley, John N., ca. 1870-1944
Campbell, James Jackson, 1909-1981
Campbell, Alexander Laird, 1907-1987
Florence Citrus Growers Association
Florence Foods, Inc. (Winter Haven, Fla.)

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