Graphical version

London Metropolitan Archives



Reference code(s): CLC/B/002/HH

Held at: London Metropolitan Archives


Date(s): 1864-1985

Level of description: File.

Extent: 228 production units.

Name of creator(s): Hobbs Hart and Co Ltd | locksmiths


Administrative/Biographical history:

Founded by Alfred C Hobbs, an American lock dealer in 1852 to manufacture locks based on his patents. By 1855 factory at 33 Lawrence Lane, City of London with showrooms at 97 Cheapside. In 1860 John Matthias Hart took over management of the firm upon Hobbs' death. Hart opened new works at Arlington Street, Islington (Wharncliffe Works) to manufacture safe and strong-room doors. The company held royal warrant from 1861 and supplied safes to Bank of England. The firm was incorporated 8 July 1887, the year Hart died. The range of products increased together with development of overseas exports. Charles Lee was General Manager in the 1890s and 1900s. In 1936 new works and offices were opened in Staffa Road, Leyton.

The company was acquired by Chubb and Son Lock and Safe Company Limited in 1956. The Hobbs Hart Departments later moved to 231-237 Cambridge Heath Road and operations continued until 1983 as one of the two safe manufacturing centres of Chubb Group.

Name changes:
Hobbs and Company, in 1852;
Hobbs, Ashley and Company, in 1855;
Hobbs Ashley and Fortescue, to 1860;
Hobbs Hart and Company, 1860-1887;
Hobbs Hart and Company Limited, 1887-1974.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of Hobbs Hart and Company Limited, locksmiths, including memorandum and articles of association, minutes, and annual directors reports and accounts; share registers and other shareholding records; annual statements of accounts, ledgers, journals, cash books and abstracts; lock and safe order books, work books, cost price records, stores books, registered chains, key and rings books, machine maintenance books; patent specifications and related papers; wage and salaries books including Directors' salaries.

Administrative, sales, marketing and advertising records are being catalogued as of June 2011. Please contact a member of staff regarding access to these types of records.


Language/scripts of material: English.

System of arrangement:

The Hobbs Hart and Company papers are part of the Chubb and Son Limited collection (CLC/B/002) and form sub-fonds within that catalogue as follows:
CLC/B/002/HH01: Hobbs Hart and Company Limited: Corporate
CLC/B/002/HH02: Hobbs Hart and Company Limited: Shares
CLC/B/002/HH03: Hobbs Hart and Company Limited: Administration [cataloguing in progress June 2011]
CLC/B/002/HH04: Hobbs Hart and Company Limited: Finance
CLC/B/002/HH05: Hobbs Hart and Company Limited: Production
CLC/B/002/HH06: Hobbs Hart and Company Limited: Legal
CLC/B/002/HH07: Hobbs Hart and Company Limited: Sales, marketing and advertising [cataloguing in progress June 2011]
CLC/B/002/HH08: Hobbs Hart and Company Limited: Staff and employment
CLC/B/002/HH09: Hobbs Hart and Company Limited: Histories [cataloguing in progress June 2011]

Conditions governing access:

48 hours notice required for access.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright rests with the City of London.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Deposited as part of the Chubb and Son Ltd collection.


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: June 2011.

Business records | Documents | Information sources
Locksmiths | Craft workers | Skilled workers | Workers | Personnel | People by occupation | People
Manufacturing industry | Industry
Personal security | Security | Social welfare
Security measures | Safety measures | Safety
Security of property | Security | Social welfare

Personal names

Corporate names
Chubb and Son Ltd | locksmiths and safe manufacturers
Chubb | locksmiths
Hobbs Hart and Co Ltd | locksmiths

City of London | London | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe
Islington (district) | Islington | London | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe