Records of Messrs. Tealby & Co. Ltd., Timber Merchants of Hull (1800 - )

Scope and Content

The records of Tealby and Co. Ltd. date back to the foundation of the firm and comprise a copy of the original partnership agreement of 1800, account books for most of the period and miscellaneous items such as some early nineteenth century lists of imports and exports through Hull, some articles about the timber trade and photographs and some statutory information about grading wood from the early 1950s. In addition there is an 1812 copy of the Holy Trinity Church register entry annulling the marriage of Robert Tealby and Mary Cross (1785) and some biographical notes about one of the early partners, John Newmarch (1889).

Administrative / Biographical History

The partnership agreement that signalled the foundation of this firm was signed on 16 May 1800 between John Newbald, John Newmarch and Robert Tealby. At the end of three years John Newbald withdrew from the firm leaving Newmarch and Tealby in partnership. Tealby and Co. was one of the first timber companies in Hull and unlike other businesses that started in the early nineteenth century it was unusual in surviving into the twentieth century. Through the first decades of the nineteenth century the business grew, with financial help from Raikes Bank, and by the late nineteenth century it commanded about 5% of the trade - about the same as Horsley Smith and Co. Ltd. for whom the Library also holds records (Bellamy, 'Some aspects of the economy of Hull', I, p.188; ii, Appendix ix).

Tealby and Co. was located in Docks street with a counting house in Thornton Street. It imported wood from Russia and Scandinavia and supplied businesses largely in Hull, though some in Lancashire, Lincolnshire and the Midlands. John Newmarch had also left the firm by 1817 and Robert Tealby formed a number of other partnerships, the firm's name consequently passing through several mutations. When Robert Tealby died, his second wife, Elizabeth, and son by his first marriage, also Robert Tealby, carried on the business and by 1857 Elizabeth Tealby was running the accounts with the help of a clerk. This was probably John Fisher with whom she went into business in 1866 and his involvement in the Hull Banking Company from 1882 appears to have helped the firm through some financial difficulty at times. When Elizabeth Tealby died in 1870, John Fisher continued as head of the firm, bringing his sons into the firm, who in turn brought their sons into the firm. In 1906 Tealby and Co. moved from its original site in Dock Street to High Street, with timber storage at the Victoria and Alexandra Docks. In 1951 it became a private limited company. In 1964 G H Fisher retired, but he formed links with G W Sissons Ltd. to ensure the continuance of Tealby's as Hull's oldest timber trading firm.


DTE/1-21 Account books, 1804 - 1960

DTE/22-34 Miscellaneous, 1800 - 1959

Access Information

Access will be granted to any accredited reader

Other Finding Aids

Entry in Business records subject guide

Custodial History

Donated by Messrs. Tealby & Co. Ltd., Hull, in August - October 1967


Bellamy, Joyce, 'Some aspects of the economy of Hull in the nineteenth century with special reference to business history', (PhD, University of Hull, 1965)