David Sime Cargill

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David Sime Cargill (9 April 1826 – 25 May 1904) was a Scottish businessman. He was the founder of Burmah Oil which expanded to become one of the United Kingdom's largest oil companies.


Born at Maryton, by Montrose, in Angus, Scotland, Cargill briefly worked in Glasgow before moving to Ceylon where he established a department store in Colombo.[1]

In 1876 he acquired the Glasgow-based Rangoon Oil Company which was engaged in unprofitable downstream oil activities in Burma.[1] Learning from this experience he established Burmah Oil to acquire oil prospecting licences in Upper Burma, passing on ownership to Sir Campbell Kirkman Finlay in the late 1890s, who expanded the business into one of the largest oil companies trading from the United Kingdom.[1]

He died in Carruth, Bridge of Weir, in 1904.[1]


He married Margaret Traill in 1861 and together they went on to have three sons and two daughters.[1] He married again in 1878 to Connel Elizabeth Auld and together they had one son and one daughter.[1] His second son, John, succeeded him briefly as chairman of Burmah Oil.