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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 ACC/3025
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1939-1989
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 1 linear metre
Name of creator(s): Truman, Hanbury Buxton and Co Ltd | brewers x Trumans Ltd


Administrative/Biographical history:

The precise origin of the Truman family's involvement in brewing is unclear. Although 1666 is often cited as the start date, it is more likely to have been in 1679 when Joseph Truman Senior (died 1721) acquired the Black Eagle Street brewhouse from William Bucknall. Joseph retired in 1730 and his son Benjamin (died 1780) developed the business so that in 1760 Truman's brewery was the third biggest in London, brewing 60,000 barrels of beer per annum. After 1780, James Grant (died 1788), Sir Benjamin's assistant and executor, ran the business whilst the property passed to Sir Benjamin's grandsons, General Henry Read and William Truman Read.

In 1789 Sampson Hanbury acquired James Grant's share of the business and manged the brewery until 1835. He was joined in 1811 by his nephew Thomas Fowell Buxton. Additional partners joined in 1816: Thomas Marlborough Pryor and Robert Pryor, who had previously run Proctors brewhouse, Shoreditch. Production rose from 100,000 barrels per annum in 1800 to 400,000 barrels per annum in 1850, so becoming the largest brewery in London.

Truman Hanbury Buxton and Co. Ltd was registered in 1889 as a limited liability company. The company was acquired by Grand Metropolitan Hotels Ltd in 1971 and changed its name to Trumans Ltd. In 1974 it merged with Watney Mann Ltd. Brewing at Burton ceased in 1971 but the Black Eagle Brewery at Brick Lane continued to operate until 1988. In 1991, Grand Metropolitan Hotels Ltd was taken over by Courage Ltd.


Scope and content/abstract:

Personal papers of James Barr, employee of Trumans Ltd, including Transport and General Workers Union cards and papers, Truman's Sports Club rules and fixture lists, and papers relating to the company including redundancy scheme, annual excursions, regulations and agreements, 1939-1989; handbooks, programmes, rules, fixture lists and posters for the London Breweries Amateur Sports Association and the Highgate Harriers Athletic Club, 1951-1979; issues of company publications including 'The Black Eagle', the 'Truman Times', '1666', 'Truman News', 'Truman Topics', 'Watney Truman News' and 'Stag and Eagle' (Watney Combe Reid publication), 1948-1989; annual reports and pension scheme information, 1977-1989; and issues of 'The Master Brewer' and 'The National Brewery Museum Chronicle', 1968-1986.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

In sections: ACC/3025/001-003: Union; ACC/3025/004-005: Sports; ACC/3025/006-042: Company Publications; ACC/3025/043-046: Annual reports; ACC/3025/047-048: General Publications.

Conditions governing access:

Available for general access.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright rests with the City of London.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Received in 1992 (Acc/3025).

Allied Materials

Related material:

Further records of Truman, Hanbury Buxton can be found at references B/THB, ACC/0107, ACC/0146, ACC/0669 and ACC/3025.

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

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:
July to October 2009

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