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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 CLC/B/158
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1804-2005
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 72 production units.
Name of creator(s): Matthew Clark and Sons | wine and spirit brokers


Administrative/Biographical history:

In 1802 Matthew Clark began work for a firm of British merchants in Rotterdam. In 1809 another firm, Christopher Idle and Company, sent him to the Dutch island of Walcheren to investigate general trading prospects. Matthew Clark set up his own wine and spirit broking business in 1810. He took E.H. Keeling into partnership with him in 1825, and the business became known as Matthew Clark and Keeling. The firm was an important client of Johannes de Kuyper and Zoon bv of Rotterdam. In 1833 the company was appointed sole London agents of Martell and Company.

E.H. Keeling retired in 1844 and the company was known as Matthew Clark and Son, becoming Matthew Clark and Sons in around 1847. Matthew Clark retired in 1849 and his sons, Gordon Wyatt Clark and Matthew Edward Clark took over the business as sworn brokers and auctioneers. In 1873 the brokering and auctioneering side of the business was given up. They traded many brands of port, sherry, madeira, tarragona, bordeaux and Rhone wines, as well as cognac and gin, and exported to Australia and New Zealand.

In 1920 the business became a limited company. In 1963 the name was changed to Matthew Clark and Sons (Holdings) Limited. It was taken over in 1998.

The company was based at 68 Great Tower Street (1812-21), 72 Great Tower Street (1822-82), 6-7 Great Tower Street (1882-1925), 14 Trinity Square (1925-56) and Walbrook House, 23-29 Walbrook (1956-1972), Moreland Street, Islington (1972-1998).


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of Matthew Clark and Sons, wine and spirit brokers, comprising partnership agreements, 1887-1923; annual reports and accounts, 1948-98; correspondence and other administrative papers, 1804-1992; memoranda books, 1861-c 1930; accounts, 1810-1945; sale catalogues and price lists, 1821-1995; papers concerning operations, 1849-1995; accounts of the directors of the firm, 1888-1970; photographs; staff list; leases and histories of the company, 1847-2005.

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 depositor.

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 2005 and 2008 by members of the Clark family. They were catalogued by an assistant archivist in 2006 and 2008. The Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section merged with the London Metropolitan Archives in 2009.

Allied Materials

Related material:

A survey for the National Register of Archives in 1967 of records of Matthew Clark and Sons included prices current books 1813-14 and wages books 1873-1917. The whereabouts of these records is not known.

Publication note:

See also Wine and Spirit Trade Record, Milestones in the history of Matthew Clark and Sons (1962), held in the Printed Books Section of Guildhall Library.

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:
January to May 2011.

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