Scope and Content

Private ledgers 1935-1962; financial statements 1944-1962; minutes 1930-1962; chairmans reports 1947-1962; annual returns 1950; attendance books 1953-1961; circulars 1959; correspondence and valuations relating to premises 1938-1962; memorandum and articles of association 1904; files and correspondence relating to shares 1904-1961; advertising relating to agricultural machinery and lawnmowers 1904-1961

Administrative / Biographical History

The firm of William Cottis and Sons, Ironfounders and Agricultural Engineers was founded in Epping in 1858. It became a limited company in 1858. Lawnmowers and agricultural machinery were made at the Archimedean Iron Works behind Epping High Street. There was also a shop which sold bicycles and household goods, and a brickfield.

By the 1930's lawnmowers were no longer made and the range of agricultural machinery had decreased, but hay sweeps and horse hoes were still in production. The company also sold and serviced machinery made by other firms such as Ransomes.

After World War II technological change led to a decline in sales and by the early 1960's the manufacture of agricultural machinery had ceased. There was also strong competition from chain stores and in 1962 the company was wound up and a new, smaller one was founded.


  • TR COT/AC1/1-4 Ledgers
  • TR COT/AC7/1 Financial statements
  • TR COT/AD1/1-5 Minutes and notices of meetings
  • TR COT/AD2/1-3 General administrative records
  • TR COT/AD3/1 Labour records
  • TR COT/AD4/1-3 Administrative records: premises
  • TR COT/CO2/1-5 Company records
  • TR COT/P2/A1 Advertising publication (catalogue)

Conditions Governing Access

Available for consultation

Acquisition Information

T79/6 The records were deposited in 1979


Compiled by Zoe Watson, March 2004

Other Finding Aids

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

Conditions Governing Use

Please contact the Archivist

Geographical Names