Gas, Light And Coke Company

Scope and Content

Manuscript copy of the Charter of incorporation granted to the Gas, Light and Coke Company by King George III, dated 30 April, [1812].

Administrative / Biographical History

The company was incorporated by Royal Charter in 1812 and the first meeting of what was known as the Court of Directors was held at 27 Norfolk Street, Strand on 24 June 1812. Offices were set up at 96 Pall Mall and a wharf and house rented at Cannon Row, Westminster, became the site for the works. In 1818 the company leased premises at Orchard Street, Poplar to establish a tar works and the Brick Lane and Westminster works began their own ammonia products works so the company could make the most of coal burning by-products. This also led to a large Products Works being built at Beckton in 1868. Another by-product coke was sold on to a wide domestic market. The rapid expansion of the Gas Light & Coke Co. led to the need for a large transport fleet. Every type of transport was used and usually owned by the company. Shipping, barges and railway engines were often used for the import and export of coal and by-products at the works. Road transport ranging from horse drawn carts to wagons catered for other supplies and maintenance needs. The expansion of the company and competition from electricity in the late nineteenth century led to development of the domestic market. Lady Demonstrators were employed to promote gas cooking and the Home Service eventually developed into a full advisory service on domestic gas use. As a large employer the company took its social obligations seriously and provided various pension, sickness and benefit funds. Links were established with the Territorial Army and by the time of the Boer War in 1899, company employees were eligible for duty as reservists and volunteers were given leave of absence. The company was so large that after nationalisation of the gas industry in 1949 the area it covered, which stretched from Pinner in North West London to Southend-on-Sea in Essex, became a single regional Gas Board called North Thames.


Single item

Access Information

Access to this collection is unrestricted for the purpose of private study and personal research within the supervised environment and restrictions of the Library's Palaeography Room. Uncatalogued material may not be seen. Please contact the University Archivist for details.

Other Finding Aids

Collection level description.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

Manuscript folio.

Archivist's Note

Compiled by Sarah Aitchison as part of the RSLP AIM25 Project.

Separated Material

Records of the Gas, Light and Coke Company are held at the London Metropolitan Archives (Ref: B/NTG; B/CGC) and the Essex Record Office (Ref: D/F/5/16).

Conditions Governing Use

Copies may be made, subject to the condition of the original. Copying must be undertaken by the Palaeography Room staff, who will need a minimum of 24 hours to process requests.

Custodial History

Bound with printed Acts relating to the Company.