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Archives in London and the M25 area


Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 CLC/B/214
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1808-1903
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 23 production units.
Name of creator(s): Thorne and Co Ltd | merchants


Administrative/Biographical history:

On 3 March 1857, notice was given in the London Gazette of the dissolved partnership of Augustus Thorne and George Watson Coutts, who traded as Watson and Company, general merchants of Shanghai.

From 1865 to 1935 Thorne and Company, merchants, is listed in the London trade directories. This company, run by Augustus Thorne, conducted an export business from London to China and Hong Kong in cotton thread, and goods made from cotton, linen, hemp and wool worsted. It became a limited company in around 1892. During the 1870s, Augustus's brother, Joseph, was in partnership with John Andrew Maitland as Thorne Brothers and Company, commission agents and general merchants of Shanghai. A considerable part of the business of Thorne Brothers and Company was as an agency for Thorne and Company.

In 1876 the name of Thorne Brothers and Company was changed to Maitland and Company, and in 1890 the business was transferred to Thorne and Company, which became Thorne and Company Limited. In 1904 Thorne and Company was wound up voluntarily for the purpose of reconstruction and was reincorporated as a private company. In 1923 it became a public company. It was acquired by Haighton Dewhurst Ltd in 1959.

Thorne and Company was based at 4 Cullum Street (1865-7), 16 Mark Lane (1868-[1880]), Dunster House, Mincing Lane ([1880]-1889), 66 Old Broad Street (1890-1919), 62 London Wall (1920-6), Royal London House, Finsbury Square (1927-35). The company then moved to Manchester, and was based in Solway House, Aytoun Street until ca. 1963.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of Thorne and Company Limited, merchants, including letter books; financial records; partnership deeds; share certificates; insurance policies and papers relating to land leased by the company in Shanghai.

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:

Access by appointment only. Please contact staff.

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 deposited in the Manuscripts Section of Guildhall Library, via the British Records Association, in 1997. They were catalogued by an assistant archivist in April 2005. 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:
January to May 2011.

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