William Crawford & Sons was a biscuit manufacturer in Leith and Liverpool from 1813 to 1962.
The company was established by William Crawford as a family bakery in Leith in 1813. The bakery eventually expanded into restaurants, meat processing and jam making under the leadership of successive generations of Crawfords.
In 1860 William Crawford opened his first factory in Leith which initially employed just six men and a boy. In 1897 another factory was opened in Liverpool under the management of William Crawford’s sons, James and Archibald. The factory became best known for its production of shortbread biscuits.
William Crawford & Sons became a limited company in 1924. Five years later, Douglas Crawford, the eldest son of Archibald Crawford, joined the family firm. He was made a director in 1934 and became chairman in 1946. Douglas expanded the business further and was instrumental in buying back the company of D. S. Crawford in 1947, a bakery and restaurant business started by his uncle David and sold on his death in 1930.
In 1962 William Crawford & Sons Ltd. was acquired by United Biscuits Ltd., which is currently the leading biscuit manufacturer in the UK.