London Metropolitan Archives - Item Details


Date of Creation:


Reference Code:


Scope and Content:
  • Records of various constituent, predecessor and associated companies of Courage, Barclay and Simonds, brewers; with records relating to licensed and other premises (distinguished by the reference PH). The amount and type of papers vary from company to company, and include corporate records, accounting records, sales and production records, papers relating to premises including breweries and public houses, papers relating to staffing, personal papers of individuals and public relations department records.

    The constituent, predecessor and associated companies for which there are records in this collection include (for further information please consult the separate sub-fonds entry for each company):
    Anchor Taverns Ltd
    Arndale - Horselydown Ltd
    Arthur Cooper (Wine Merchant) Ltd
    Ashby's Staines Brewery Ltd
    Ashford Valley Cyders Ltd
    Ashton Gate Brewery Company Ltd
    Barclay Perkins (Sudan) Ltd (Blue Nile Brewery)
    Barclay Perkins and Co. Ltd
    Basingstoke Town Properties Ltd
    Bournemouth Wine Company Ltd
    Bristol Brewery Georges and Co. Ltd
    Bristol United Breweries Ltd
    C.N. Kidd and Son Ltd
    Camden Brewery Company Ltd
    Camwal Ltd
    Cantrell and Cochrane Ltd
    Carlos and Thrale Ltd
    Catering Services (Newark) Ltd
    Chandlers Ltd
    Charles Beasley Ltd
    Charles Kinloch and Co. Ltd
    Charlton Brewery Company Ltd
    Clinch and Co. Ltd
    Courage and Barclay Ltd
    Courage and Co. Ltd (including Courage (Central) Ltd; Courage (Eastern) Ltd; Courage (Export) Ltd and Courage (Western) Ltd)
    Courage Group and Courage Ltd
    Courage, Barclay and Simonds Ltd
    Couratown Property Developments Ltd
    Crocker Brothers Ltd
    Dartford Brewery Company Ltd
    Farnham United Breweries Ltd
    G. Hall and Co. Ltd
    George Raggett and Sons Ltd
    H. and G. Simonds Ltd
    H. and G. Watts (1935) Ltd
    Harmans Uxbridge Brewery Ltd
    Herbert Stebbings and Sons Ltd
    Hodgson's Kingston Brewery Company Ltd
    Horselydown Property Investment Company (Developments) Ltd
    Horselydown Property Investment Company Ltd
    HPIC: associated companies
    James Hole and Co. Ltd
    John May and Co. Ltd
    Kingston Brewery Property Company Ltd
    Lawn and Alder Ltd
    London and Provincial Shop Centres (Horselydown) Ltd
    London and Provincial Shop Centres Horselydown (Slough) Ltd
    McGeorge and Heppenstalls Ltd
    McManus - Horsleydown Ltd
    Medway Mineral Waters Ltd
    Mumford Hotels Ltd
    Nevile Reid and Co. Ltd
    Nicholson and Sons Ltd
    Noakes and Co. Ltd
    Oakhill Brewery Company Ltd
    Octagon Brewery Ltd
    Old Brewery Property Development Company Ltd
    Phillips and Sons Ltd
    Plymouth Breweries Ltd
    R. Halley Ltd
    Reffells Bexley Brewery Ltd
    Royal Brewery Brentford Ltd
    Saccone and Speed Ltd
    Santovin Ltd
    Sheffield and District Public House Trust Company Ltd
    Shepton Mallet Town Street Investments Ltd
    Slough Retail Centre Ltd
    South Berkshire Brewery Company Ltd
    South Coast Bottling Company Ltd
    Star Brewery Company Ltd
    Stratford Catering Company Ltd
    Style and Winch Ltd
    Torquay Brewing and Trading Company Ltd
    Town and City Properties Ltd
    Union Breweries Ltd
    Wheeler's Wycombe Breweries Ltd
    Whepstead Properties Ltd
    Wolton and Attwood Ltd
    Yardley's London and Provincial Stores Ltd
    York Mineral Water Company Ltd

  • A comparison of the surveys and bibliographies, and a list of items shown in the Courage and Barclay museum at Anchor Terrace in October 1966, reveals that the whereabouts of a number of records, most notably of Barclay Perkins and Courage and many before 1850, is no longer known. Among the items used for the Survey of London, a typescript, "John Perkins 1730-1812" has not since been noted.

    Peter Mathias listed the following Barclay Perkins documents which have not since been noted: cash book 1692-1704, Mrs Thrale's letter book 1773, a letter from Robert Barclay to John Perkins 1782, brewing books 1798-1801, a manuscript list of Parliamentary representation in Southwark to 1728, brewery statistics 1776-1830 and a manuscript history of the Perkins family by S. Barber.

    None of the items listed as being in the museum in October 1966 has been noted since: a brewing book 1798, a letter of recommendation from Dr Johnson, a power of attorney witnessed by Mrs Thrale and Dr Johnson, the first volume of the first edition of Dr Johnson's Dictionary, seven visitors' books 1826-1844, 1857-1897, 1936-1957, newscuttings 1817-1831, and Tryton's "New Art of Brewing" 1691.

    Records listed in 1966 but not since noted fall into two groups. The first group consisted of mainly 19th century papers both business and personal, including Anne Courage's accounts 1785-1789, letters from Australia, account books for a Continental tour and, most readily identifiable, an inventory of the Abercorn Arms, Stanmore of 1847. These were auctioned in Crewkerne in 1974 and, it is believed, were acquired by the Courage family.

    The other group has not since been seen and is much more varied. It includes the Gwilt plans of the Barclay Perkins Brewery 1792-1800, public house transfer books 1841-1906, change books 1910-1930, an inspection book 1876-1878, a licensees' report book 1916-1930, a tank book 1932-1939, fermentation books 1936-1938 and 1946-1947, and a microscopic examination book, all Courage and Company; a private ledger of 1935 for the IK Brewery; a brewing book 1922-1024 from the Cannon Street Brewery; and a bundle of accounts, letters etc from 1859, including an annount book of the Westerham Brewery, part of Noakes' records.

    No detailed comparison has been made with the 1975-1976 survey but it is known that a Courage main ledger 1863-1873, two Courage air-raid log books 1940-1944 and two Hodgson's change books 1884-1910 were seen then but did not appear in the BAC survey.

    Records seen by the BAC whose whereabouts are now not known also fall into several groups. The first is John Courage's ledger 1785-1787 and his journal 1790-1796 and a ledger of Alleyn's School, Dulwich 1874-1883. The second is a box of annual reports and accounts of various companies which was in Anchor Terrace. The third group is of further annual reports and accounts of various companies. Courage photographs, papers relating to the formation of Style and Winch and other documents of a similar date and some records of Reffells Bexley Brewery, all of which had been in Horsleydown. Finally there are documents which may have been deposited at GLRO but identified differently; a register of sealing 1900-1920, a public house stock book 1964-1965 and so forth.
Extent: 163.97 linear metres
Classification: BUSINESSES
Site Location: London Metropolitan Archives
Level of Description:

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Administrative History:
  • The Anchor Brewery in Southwark was established in 1616 by James Monger and taken over later by James Monger junior. It was bought by James (or Josiah) Child by 1670; who was joined by his son-in-law Edmund Halsey in 1693. Halsey became sole proprietor on Child's death. The brewery was bought in 1729 by Ralph Thrale, Halsey's nephew, and passed to his son Henry in 1758. It was sold on Henry Thrale's death in 1781 to David Barclay, Robert Barclay, Sylvanus Bevan and John Perkins. The name was later changed from "Thrale and Company" (later "H. Thrale and Company") to "Barclay Perkins and Company" on 1 Jan 1798. The company was incorporated as "Barclay Perkins and Company Limited" in 1896. Barclay Perkins took over Style and Winch with the Dartford Brewery Company and the Royal Brewery Brentford in 1929. In 1951 the company began to establish the Blue Nile Brewery in Khartoum.

    John Courage of Aberdeen bought a brewhouse in Southwark in 1787. After his death it was managed by his wife Harriet and then the senior clerk John Donaldson. It was known as Courage and Donaldson from about 1800 until 1851, when John Courage junior and his sons removed the Donaldsons from management. The company was incorporated as Courage and Company Limited in 1888.

    The Brewery was founded in Reading in 1768 by William Simonds. The brewery moved to Broad Street in 1782 and Bridge Street in 1790. By late nineteenth century the brewery had established overseas branches to supply army garrisons. The business was incorporated in November 1885 as H and G Simonds Limited.

    Courage and Barclay Limited was formed in 1955 upon the merger of Barclay Perkins and Company Limited and Courage and Company Limited. Took over Charles Kinloch and Reffells Bexley Brewery in 1957 and Yardley's London and Provincial Stores and Santovin in 1959. Nicholson and Sons Limited was a wholly owned subsidiary by 1959.

    Courage, Barclay and Simonds Limited was created by the merger of Courage and Barclay Limited and H and G Simonds Limited in 1960. Courage Barclay and Simonds Limited changed its name to Courage Limited in 1970. In 1972 the firm was acquired by Imperial Tobacco Group Limited for £320 million, changed name to Imperial Brewing and Leisure Limited. In 1986 Imperial Group acquired by Hanson Trust plc, which sold Courage Limited as a separate concern to Elders IXL, the Australian conglomerate.
Creator: Courage Ltd | brewers
Custodial History: When these records were first surveyed, in 1966, they were in the strongroom and paper store at Horsleydown and in the strongroom and vaults in Anchor Terrace. Subsequently the Company Secretary deposited some Barclay Perkins records in the GLRO, including deeds of title to the brewery site, board minutes and rest books, but increasing pressure of work made it impossible for him to continue to organise further deposits. In 1975-1976 another survey was carried out by GLRO of the records then held at Anchor Terrace. Various factors made further deposits at that time impossible and in 1982-1983 the Business Archives Council carried out their own survey of the records at Anchor Terrace and Horsleydown. They also surveyed all the records of the Courage Group held elsewhere and produced a valuable and comprehensive report. In 1986, when a series of changes were occurring in the company, the records at Anchor Terrace were finally deposited at GLRO. To these were added in 1987 records which had been at Horsleydown and Anchor Terrace but which had since been transferred to Reading. The list also includes three deposits of deeds and other records relating to brewery and licensed premises made by other departments of the company after the major deposit of 1986.
Copyright: Depositor
Source of Acquisition:
  • ACC/2305, ACC/2310, ACC/2521, ACC/2615, AC/70/98
  • AC/69/049
  • AC/69/071
  • AC/69/101
  • AC/70/41
  • B08/177
  • B14/144
  • ACC/2412
  • B19/126
Access Restrictions: Board and committee papers, solicitors papers, staff records and all records dating from 1951 may not be consulted without written permission from the Company Secretary. Other corporate and accounting records may not be consulted until 30 years from the final date in the records.
Physical Condition: Fit The physical movement of records over the years, and until their deposit, for administrative purposes, may have contributed to some losses but generally the condition of the records is good. Unfortunately the environment in the vaults at Anchor Terrace deteriorated (for record keeping purposes) in the 1980s and over a third of the records held there had to be fumigated upon deposit because of mould. Little permanent damage was done.
Arrangement: The present list is arranged generally in the order of the survey prepared by the Business Archives Council 1982-1983. Each major company was listed followed by lists of the companies it acquired so that Barclay Perkins was followed by companies it took over, then Courage and its acquisitions, Courage and Barclay and its acquisitions, and so on to a series of "miscellaneous companies"; then H and G Simonds and its acquisitions; finally Bristol-based Brewery Georges and its acquisitions. Within each company records have been listed according to the BAC divisions of corporate, accounting, sales, production, staff and premises, and generally in the BAC order within each division. Where appropriate further divisions, such as personal and public relations, have been created.
Related Material: See also ACC/3255 for records of Courage. Held at Guildhall Art Gallery: William Clarkson Stanfield, R.A. (1793-1869): 'The burning of the Anchor Brewery' 1832. Oil on canvas.
Publication Notes:

See "The Courage Group" (Courage and Barclay, 1968); G N Hardinge, "The Development and Growth of Courage's Brewery (Courage and CO, 1932) and J Pudney, "A Draught of Contentment: The Story of the Courage Group (1971).

Also L Richmond and A Turton, "The Brewing Industry: A Guide to Historical Records", (1990), LMA Library reference 60.43 RIC.