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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 CLC/B/006
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1769-1824;1945
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 25 production units comprising 14 envelopes, 6 bundles, 3 folders and 1 volume.
Name of creator(s): Agassiz, Son & Co | merchants
Lewis Agassiz & Co | merchants
Agassiz, Grellet & Co | merchants
Agassiz, Rougemont & Co | merchants
Agassiz & Wilson | merchants
Wilson, Agassiz & Co | merchants


Administrative/Biographical history:

In 1766 Lewis Agassiz was granted naturalization by a private act of Parliament (7 George III c.4). In 1769 he went into partnership with Joseph Lieutand and their business first appears in the trade directories in 1771 under the name of Lewis Agassiz and Company. Agassiz was a Swiss merchant, dealing in cotton, silk, sugar, cocoa, coffee, tobacco, cochineal and other tropical goods. He had trading connections not only throughout Europe (France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland), but also in Russia, North and South America and the East and West Indies. There is a large component of private and family papers kept with the business records.

Samuel Grellet joined the company sometime before 1772 and the name was changed to Agassiz, Grellet and Company. On Grellet's death in 1776, Francis Anthony Rougemont joined the partnership under the name of Agassiz, Rougemont and Company. Lewis Agassiz left the company in 1784 to retire to Margate in Kent. He had two sons, Arthur David Lewis Agassiz (who took over the family business) and James John Charles Agassiz. In 1792 the name was changed to Agassiz and Wilson when Thomas Wilson joined the business. From 1802, the company was listed as Wilson, Agassiz and Company. Around 1818 the company split. Thomas Wilson and Richard Blanshard traded from 4 Jefferies Square, St Mary Axe under the name Wilson and Blanshard, while Agassiz, Son and Company moved to 15 New Broad Street. After 1825 the Agassiz firm no longer appears in the trade directories.

The company was based at 92 Little St Helen's (1771-92), 36 Fenchurch Street (1793-1812), 4 Jefferies Square, St Mary Axe (1813-19), 15 New Broad Street (1820-4) and 6 Finsbury Square (1825).


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of Agassiz, Son and Company, merchants, including partnership agreements; personal papers of Lewis Agassiz; yearly accounts and account books; bills and receipts; business letters from diverse suppliers including from Switzerland, France, Argentina, Uruguay, India, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and Italy; and inventory of the offices.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:
English, French and Spanish.

System of arrangement:

Records arranged by MS number, assigned during cataloguing at the Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section.

Conditions governing access:

Available for general access.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright to this collection rests with the City of London.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

The company's archives were donated to the Manuscripts Section of Guildhall Library in 1996. The Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section merged with the London Metropolitan Archives in 2009.

Allied Materials

Related material:

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:
November 2010 to January 2011.

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