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London Metropolitan Archives



Reference code(s): LMA/4221

Held at: London Metropolitan Archives


Date(s): 1877-1916

Level of description: File.

Extent: 0.08 linear metres

Name of creator(s): Watney Combe Reid and Co Ltd | brewers


Administrative/Biographical history:

Watney, Combe, Reid and Co Ltd was formed in 1898 when a merger was negotiated between Watney and Co Ltd of the Stag Brewery, Pimlico; Combe and Co Ltd of the Wood Yard Brewery, Long Acre and Reid's Brewery Co Ltd, of the Griffin Brewery, Clerkenwell. Following the merger the company was the largest brewing concern in the United Kingdom, and was based at Watney's Stag Brewery in Pimlico.

The Stag Brewhouse and Brewery, Pimlico, was founded in 1636 by John Greene and his son Sir William Greene. In 1837 James Watney, a miller, bought a quarter share in the Stag Brewery, alongside John Elliot. From 1849 the firm was known as Elliot, Watney and Co. John Elliot withdrew from the business in 1850, remaining a partner in name only until 1858 when he retired. The firm became known as James Watney and Co. In 1885 Watney and Co Ltd was registered as a limited liability company.

Combe and Co Ltd was founded in 1722 by John Shackley in a former timber yard off Long Acre, London. In 1739 the business was acquired by William Gyfford who enlarged the premises, trading as Gyfford and Co. In 1787 the brewery was purchased by Harvey Christian Combe, a malt factor, but it was not until 1839 that the firm began to trade as Combe and Co. The Wood Yard Brewery closed in 1905 but the Combe family continued to take a major role in the management of Watney, Combe, Reid and Co Ltd.

In 1757 Richard Meux and Mungo Murray acquired the Jackson's Brewery in Mercer Street. When this was damaged in a major fire they constructed new premises at Liquorpond Street (now Clerkenwell Road). In 1793 Andrew Reid joined the business which became known as Meux, Reid and Co. In 1816 the Meux family left the business which changed its name to Reid and Co. The company was registered in 1888 as Reid's Brewery Co Ltd. On the merger with Watney and Combe it ceased to brew.

In 1956 Watney, Combe, Reid and Co Ltd decided that the Stag Brewery offered no further scope for expansion. Mann, Crossman and Paulin Ltd of Whitechapel was acquired to provide a new London brewery, and the company name was changed to Watney Mann Ltd.


Scope and content/abstract:

Leases for the Kings Arms Hotel, Hill Street, Woolwich.


Language/scripts of material: English.

System of arrangement:

One bundle.

Conditions governing access:

Available for general access.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright held by the City of London.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Records donated to the Archive in February 2010.


Related material:

For further records of Watney Combe Reid at LMA see ACC/0735, ACC/1399 and ACC/2979. For records of Watney Mann held at LMA, see ACC/1311, ACC/1320, ACC/1348 and ACC/1290.

DESCRIPTION NOTES Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: October 2010

Breweries | Commercial buildings | Buildings | Architecture
Brewers | Food industry personnel | Personnel | People by occupation | People
Leases (documents) | Title deeds | Deeds | Documents | Information sources
Non-residential property | Property
Property ownership | Civil law | Legal systems | Law
Right to property | Civil and political rights | Human rights
Property law x Right to property
Brewery industry

Personal names

Corporate names
Watney and Co Ltd | brewers
Watney Combe Reid and Co Ltd | brewers
Watney Mann Ltd
Watney Mann Ltd | brewers

Woolwich | London | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe