Scope and Content

Business records of Hitchman & Co. Ltd., brewers of Chipping Norton, consisting mainly of of 19th and 20th cent. accounting records but also including some management records and production and sales material.

Administrative / Biographical History

W S Hitchman & Co. was established in West Street, Chipping Norton in 1796 by James Hitchman and his brother William Spence Hitchman. James' son William Simkins Hitchman subsequently took over its management. He introduced malting and expanded into new premises in Albion Street. His son Alfred William Spence Hitchman continued to run the business but sold it to a limited liability company in March 1890 for a purchase price of £77,000.

It now traded as Hitchman & Co. Ltd. The company acquired Henry Lardner & Sons, a brewery in Warwickshire, in 1892 and Lowesmoor brewery and bottling plant, Worcester in 1917. The latter was operated under a subsidiary company called Harper's Hitchman Ltd.

Hitchman & Co. Ltd. was amalgamated with Hunt Edmunds & Co. Ltd in 1925 under the company H.E.H. Co. Ltd., which united and managed both companies. Immediately, Hitchman's bottling stores and Wine & Spirit business at Evesham took over Hunt Edmunds interests there. Brewing in Worcester was transferred to Chipping Norton in 1929 and all brewing moved to Hunt Edmunds & Co. Ltd. Banbury in 1932. Hunt Edmunds & Co. Ltd. acquired Hitchman & Co. Ltd. outright in 1951. The Chipping Norton site continued to operate as an Aerated Water Factory until 1968, it was demolished in 1970.

Source: Richmond, Lesley and Alison Turton, The Brewing industry: a guide to historical records Manchester University Press, 1990. Available in the Davenport Library at Oxfordshire Record Office.

Access Information

Records less than 50 years old may not be consulted by researchers without written permission from the depositor.

Custodial History

Rescued from the former brewery site in Chipping Norton and deposited in November 1971 (Accession 986). This deposit contained a small number of records from Hunt Edmunds & Co. Ltd., which have now been catalogued with the other records of that company under B20. A deposit of Hunt Edmunds & Co. Ltd. records in 1975 (Accession 1382) also included some of the records now in this Hitchman & Co. Ltd catalogue. A further small deposit was made in 1978 from a local museum (Accession 1466), this has been catalogued as B19/3/A4.


Geographical Names