In 1797, a Dundee grocer called James Keiller, bought a load of Seville oranges from a ship driven into harbour by a storm. Due to the storm the oranges were already less fresh than they ought to have been. Confounded by these bitter oranges, Keiller’s wife Janet tried cooking them with sugar, and orange marmalade was born.
The marmalade sold so well from Keiller’s shop that he went on to establish the world’s first marmalade plant which produced the first commercial brand of marmalade.
In 1880 James Keiller & Son opened a factory at Tay Wharf, Silverton in London. By the late 19th century the marmalade was shipping as far afield as Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India and China.
The company was acquired by Crosse & Blackwell in 1920. It was subsequently sold on multiple times before ending up with Robertson’s. Robertson’s was taken over by Premier Foods in March 2007.
There is a lot of variety in the Keiller overprints, including an initials only version on SG 219.