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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 LMA/4577
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1869-1949
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 0.8 linear metres.
Name of creator(s): Pritchard and Burton | tobacco manufacturers


Administrative/Biographical history:

Pritchard and Burton, tobacco manufacturers, was founded by Edward Pritchard, tobacconist of Snow Hill, King Street, London. Originally from Wales, Pritchard was previously a partner of Pritchard and Lloyd, 'Snuff Manufacturers and 'Segar' Merchants', founded in 1825, before his partner died and he began trading alone. In 1846, he took Alfred Burton (c.1842-1917) on as his clerk. In 1853 Burton married Pritchard's niece and was then made a partner in the new firm of Pritchard and Burton in 1857. On Pritchard's death in 1869, Burton was left sole proprietor.

The company was most famous for its celebrated Boar's Head Shag blend, made from East Indian raw leaf tobacco which proved very popular with London's working classes. In 1878, Burton's eldest son Edward came into the business, followed, in 1881 by his second son Frank. Alfred Burton's decision not to join the new Imperial Tobacco Company and refusal to invest in the cigarette, believing it to be just a passing fad, possibly hampered the success of the company. However the firm remained prosperous into the early 20th century, providing pipe tobacco within the London area. The company began to advertise extensively from the 1930s mostly on the London Underground network. By the 1940s, the firm was performing poorly, and was taken over by George Dobie and Son Limited of Paisley, Scotland. Within one year, the firm was wound up, and Pritchard and Burton was sold to Godfrey Phillips Limited of London. In 1968 the Acton factory was closed and within a few months, the Phillips group was taken over by the American firm of Phillip Morris Inc. who in 1971 moved Pritchard and Burton to Silvertown in London's Docklands. Family member Lovick Burton continued as the managing director of the Pritchard and Burton division of Phillip Morris Inc. until the early 1980s.

Head Offices: Snow Hill, City of London (until 1870); due to the construction of the Metropolitan Railway, the firm was forced to move to a purpose built warehouse at 1 Farringdon Road (1870-1930s); moved to a new factory in Victoria Road, Acton, Middlesex (1930s-1968); upon closure the production of the Boars Head brand continued in Commercial Street, East London; Silvertown (1971-1980s).


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of Pritchard and Burton, tobacco manufacturers. The collection contains detailed financial records belonging to the company including balance sheets, private ledgers, departmental account books, journals, cash book, accounts of Alfred Burton's investments and accounts of Edward Pritchard Burton's Estate. There are also photograph albums containing staff portraits (LMA/4577/02/01) and a draft history of the company. The accounts of Alfred Burton's investments are of particular interest as they contain records of payments made to various companies around the world, such as the Grand Trunk Railway, Canada and De Beers consolidated mines (LMA/4577/01/06). The private ledgers also contain detailed capital accounts showing the growth in proprietor assets through the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries (LMA/4577/01/02).

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

The records are arranged as follows: LMA/4577/01 Finance; LMA/4577/02 Staff; LMA/4577/03 History.

Conditions governing access:

These records are available for public inspection, although records containing personal information are subject to access restrictions under the UK Data Protection Act, 1998.

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:

This collection was purchased with grateful assistance of the Museum, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA)/Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) Purchase Grant Fund in February 2011.

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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