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Archives in London and the M25 area


Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 CLC/B/023
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1846-1906
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 13 production units.
Name of creator(s): BCT Gray and Sons | merchants


Administrative/Biographical history:

Benjamin Charles Thomas Gray appears to have started in business in London as a West Indies merchant in about 1832. By 1846 he was already also acting as a North America merchant, and had taken his son Charles William Gray into partnership. The firm was known at this time as B.C.T. Gray and Son. By 1856 another son, Benjamin Gerrish Gray, was also a partner, and the firm was styled B.C.T. Gray and Sons. BCT Gray died in 1853, and in 1858 Benjamin Gerrish Gray resigned his partnership in favour of his brother Ambrose Gosling Wentworth Gray. The firm was then known as Charles William and Wentworth Gray until it disappeared c 1910. On Charles William Gray's death in 1880, he was succeeded in partnership by his son Lewis Gray. The firm traded successively from Upper Stamford Street; Great Surrey Street, Cornhill; Lime Street and Great St Helen's.


Scope and content/abstract:

The archives consist almost entirely of business and partnership correspondence of A.G. Wentworth Gray between 1856 and 1906. They therefore include some private and family material. The firm dealt in a wide variety of goods and cargoes. The records contain references to, inter alia: beef, pork, cocoa, flour, sugar, limes, molasses, rice and timber.

Access to Mss 21409, 21411, 21412 and 21413 is subject to special conditions: for further information please ask a member of staff.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

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 archives were deposited in the Manuscripts Section of Guildhall Library by a member of the family in August 1984, and converted to an outright gift on 31 July 2006. The Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section merged with the London Metropolitan Archives in 2009.

Allied Materials

Related material:

It is believed that some earlier papers were given by the family some years ago to libraries in North America and Nova Scotia.

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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