Scope and Content

Contains: ledgers 1843-1967; cash books 1837-1962; daily sales books 1844-1970; journals 1881-1965; quantity books showing the amount of goods sold in the year 1865-1874; financial papers 1871-1894; expenses books 1855-1950; other accounts 1832-1892; annual stock summaries 1886-1963; salaries and wages books 1854-1949; Sales analysis 1840-1965; expenses analysis 1856-1912; various analysis books 1890-1967; order summaries 1880-1917; financial papers 1865-1899; accounts 1870-1967; summaries of financial statistics 1832-1913; 1936-1969; books of annual balances outstanding in sales ledger accounts 1834-1883; summary sales registers 1845-1968; summary of refunds of sales ledger accounts 1920-1926; annual financial statements 1847-1948; annual statements of M H Suttons's account in the partnership ledger 1858-1881; financial statement books 1881-1932; bank books 1894-1897, 1930; trial balance books 1895-1912; abstract books of daily accounts 1900-1968; departmental profit and loss acounts 1884-1927; accounts, financial statements and statements of accounts of Calcutta branch 1917-1966; weekly figures for cheques paid in and paid out 1913-1919; minutes 1898-1964; agenda books 1924-1953; administrative files 1861-1966; records relating to employees 1842-1965; records relating to premises 1865-1961; letter books 1843-1907; correspondence 1848-1965; deeds of partnership 1843-1871; articles of partnership 1900-1926; papers relating to shares 1890-1908; file relating to bankruptcy of Oakshott and Millard 1890-1895; papers relating to tax 1901-1915; partners diary 1921-1929; records concerning the formation of a limited company and raising capital 1895-1956; seed contracts 1896-1897; property records 1714-1962; letters patent 1892; papers relating to court actions 1852-1951; trial books 1885-1958; publicity material 1833-1976; house journals 1908-c1940; printing proofs and artwork 1920's- 1950's; books relating to Suttons products 1880-1948; glass plate negatives 1920's-1940; album of photographs of the visit of George V to the Royal Seed Establishment, Reading 1918; photographs c1880-1950's; records relating to shows and exhibitions 1882-1952; papers relating to christmas presents given to employees 1899-1915; records of Reading Soldiers Home 1902-1911; records of Suttons' Recreation Club 1906-1913, 1920-1955; papers relating to the Horticultural Trades Assocition 1906-1908; papers relating to annual dinners 1908-1961; papers and photographs relating to the sending of wreaths to the funerals of Edward VII and George V 1909, 1936; account books of British and Foreign Bible Society Reading Auxiliary 1909-1939; records concerning Holme Park, shooting 1911-1912; partners diary 1919-1920; papers relating to Prince of Wales visit 1926; records of Royal Seed Establishment Clerks Canteen Fund 1929-1970, Royal Seed Establishment Burial Fund 1931-1970, Ex-Servicemen's Association Benevolent Fund 1935-1971; papers relating to opening of London Road premises 1962; notebooks of James Henry Millard 1866-1886; diaries of works events kept by R Basket 1895-1928; private account books, letter books, business diaries, cheque book and correspondence of MHF Sutton 1897-1930; correspondence and diaries of unknown members of Sutton families 1887-1928; family trees of Sutton families [1711-1973] 1970's.

Administrative / Biographical History

Suttons Seeds Ltd was founded in Reading as Suttons and Son by John Sutton (1777-1863) in 1806. The business started as a corn factor and miller with a small trade in farm seeds. The business expanded under John Sutton's second son Martin Hope Sutton (1815-1901). The first office was at 16 King Street, Reading but the firm moved to the Market Place in 1839. Taking advantage of the burgeoning rail network and postal system the firm established a system of sale and delivery from Reading, Suttons supplied seeds to places all round the world such as New Zealand, Australia, USA, South Africa and Japan. A branch house was set up in Calcutta, India to deal with the large market there and to produce seeds, which could be sold back in the UK. Well illustrated catalogues were produced showing Suttons wide range of products. There were several trial grounds including Gulval in Cornwall, Southcote Manor, London Road, Portland Place (up until the First World War) and Slough (until the early 1960's). These were for testing new varieties of flowers and vegetables. Suttons became a limited company in 1930. The Market Place site was vacated in the early 1960's and the company moved to Torquay in 1976. At present it is part of a large multi-national conglomerate.

James Henry Millard was a member of the Suttons management in the later part of the 19th century. He was involved in advertising, agricultural and vegetable trials and agricultural shows. He left Suttons and set up on his own but ran into financial difficulties.


AC Accounts

AC1 Ledgers

AC2 Cash Books

AC3 Day Books

AC4 Journals

AC5 Cost Accounts

AC6 Anneal Valuation of Goods in Stock

AC7 Financial Statements

AC8 Departmental and Branch Accounts

AC9 Invoices and Accounting Papers

AD Administrative and Commercial Records

AD1 Minutes and Agenda Books

AD2 General Administrative and Commercial Records

AD3 Labour Records

AD4 Premises Records

AD8 General Correspondence

CO Legal Records of companies and businesses

CO1 Partnerships and unlimited concerns

CO2 Companies and Limited concerns

CO3 Contracts

CO4 Property

CO5 Letters Patent

CO7 Records of Court Actions

CO8 Legal Opinion

ET Technical Records Experimental and General Reference

ET1 Experiments and Trials

P Publications, promotions and Advertising Records

P2 Individual Advertising and Servicing Publications

P3 Posters, Notices and Display Matters

P4 House Journals and Technical Bulletins

P8 Printing Proofs and Artworks

P9 Other Publications

PH Internal Photographic Records

PH1 Negatives

PH2 Compilations of Prints

PH3 Individual Prints

SH Records of Shows and Exhibitions

SH3 General records of exhibitions, shows, meetings and matches

SP Social and Personal Records

SP2 Records of Events, Societies and Organisations

SP3 Records of Products

SP4 Personal Records

SP5 Other Social and Personal Records

Access Information

Available for consultation

Acquisition Information

Material deposited in 1976. Accession number T76/28


Compiled by Caroline Gould, October 2002

Other Finding Aids

A detailed catalogue is available at the Museum of English Rural Life

Conditions Governing Use

Please consult the archivist