Records of John Jeffrey & Co Ltd, brewers, Edinburgh, Scotland

Scope and Content

  • Ledgers, 1850–1948;
  • Minutes and correspondence, 1860–1872, 1947–1961;
  • Financial records, 1906–1962;
  • Brewing records, 1952-1961;
  • Public house records, 1953–1961;
  • Plant and machinery, 1875;
  • Internal publications, 1935;
  • Labour records, 1941–1962;
  • Photographs, undated.

Administrative / Biographical History

A brewery was reputedly operating on Heriot Bridge, Grassmarket,  Edinburgh, Scotland , from the early sixteenth century. By  1800  the brewery was owned by  Baillie Gordon , trading as  Gordon & Hume , and in about  1820  it was acquired by  Buchan & Co .  Thomas Stewart took over the brewery in about  1830  , followed by  John Jeffrey and his younger brother David in  1837  , trading under the name of  John Jeffrey & Co . The Grassmarket site soon became cramped and land was purchased in  1865  at Roseburn, on the western outskirts of  Edinburgh , where new maltings, an ale store and a cooperage were built. A new brewhouse was added to the Roseburn site in  1880  but brewing continued at the Heriot Brewery until  1900  when the site was sold to Heriot–Watt College for GBP 2,500. The firm was one of the pioneers of lager brewing in Scotland and had a large export trade and tied trade in Scotland and northern England, with deposits in  Glasgow, Scotland ,  Newcastle–upon–Tyne, England and  Manchester, England .  John Jeffrey & Co Ltd was registered in  July 1934  as a private limited liability company to acquire the business. The company acquired  Edinburgh United Breweries Ltd in  1935  and was converted into a public company in  1938  . It supplied ale to  James Calder Co Ltd ,  Alloa, Scotland , from  1951  and a new bottling plant was built at  Sighthill, Edinburgh , in  1955  . In  February 1960  the company merged with  Hammonds United Breweries Ltd ,  Bradford, West Yorkshire, England , and  Hope and Anchor Breweries Ltd ,  Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England , through  Northern Breweries of Great Britain Ltd ,  York and  London, England .  United Breweries Ltd , as  Northern Breweries of Great Britain Ltd was renamed, merged with  Charrington United Breweries Ltd , London. Brewing continued at Heriot Brewery until its closure in the  1990s  .


The material is arranged according to the Scottish Brewing Archive's pre–1991 classification scheme used within all SBA collections. It is scheduled for re–cataloguing according to the post–1991 classification scheme.

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Tennent Caledonian Breweries Ltd.

Other Finding Aids

File level list available in searchroom.

Alternative Form Available

No known copies

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

None which affect the use of this material

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the University Archivist.

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents.

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 248 procedures.

Custodial History

The collection was previously stored with the rest of the Scottish Brewing Archive at Heriot–Watt University. It moved to the University of Glasgow in 1991. Custody of the Scottish Brewing Archive was transferred to Glasgow University Archive Services in 2008.


None expected.

Related Material

GB 248 JC: Records of James Calder & Co (Brewers) Ltd; GB 248 EUB: Records of Edinburgh United Breweries Ltd; GB 248 UCB: Records of United Caledonian Breweries Ltd; GB 248 ARTEFACTS: Scottish Brewing Archive Artefacts Collection.

Location of Originals

This material is original


Richmond, Lesley and Turton, Alison (eds), The Brewing Industry. A Guide to Historical Records , (Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 1990).

McMaster, Charles and Rutherford, Tom, The Tennent Caledonian Breweries , (1985); McMaster, Charles, 'John Jeffrey & Company Ltd, The Heriot Brewers', Edinburgh Scottish Brewing Archive Newsletter , No 15, (Autumn 1989).

Additional Information

Description compiled in line with the following international standards: International Council on Archives,ISAD(G) Second Edition, September 1999 and National Council on Archives,Rules for the construction of personal, place and corporate names

Scotland is the location of all place names in the administrative/biographical history element, unless otherwise stated.

Collection catalogued by Natalie Milne, Archives Assistant (Hub), 07 November 2001. Catalogue converted to Encoded Archival Description by Michelle Kaye, Archives Assistant, 21 March 2012. Catalogue edited by Wiebke Redlich, Archives Assistant (Hub), 5 February 2002.

Geographical Names