Records of Beaufoy Grimble & Co Ltd, vinegar brewers, Leith, Scotland

Scope and Content

  • Production Records c20th century;
  • Promotional material 1950s;
  • Public relations c1920-1970;
  • Photographs 1950s;
  • Historical notes 1986.

Administrative / Biographical History

Vinegar Brewers Cumberland Market, Regent's Park and Jane Street, Leith, Scotland

In 1840 William Grimble of Albany Street, London, a gin distiller  by trade, decided to embark on producing vinegar from spirit left over from his distillery. He went into partnership with another distiller, Sir Felix Booth, and they set up premises in Cumberland Market. The venture was unsuccessful, and so they turned to the more orthodox method of vinegar brewing. The brewery burnt down in 1864 and was rebuilt and extended soon after.

In 1861 control of the business passed to Rothwell Pouncett, a nephew of William Grimble, and he was joined in the business three years later by Captain John G Malcolmson, William Grimble's son-in-law. In 1878 Captain James G Malcolmson followed in his father's footsteps, as did James' younger brother, Ivor Forbes Malcolmson, in 1898. Ivor would become head of the business a few years later. From 1869 the company supplied the armed forces, and they continued to supply them throughout the First World War. Furthermore, Grimble & Co was said to have supplied Captain Scott on his ill-fated expedition to the North Pole. The company was doing sufficiently well to open a Scottish branch at Leith in 1903.

Grimble & Co originally bought over the Edinburgh Malt Vinegar Co Ltd, with the premises in Ballantyre Road, Edinburgh, but they moved to larger premises in Jane Street in 1917. Grimble & Co merged with fellow vinegar brewers, Beaufoy & Co, London, England, in 1928 to form Beaufoy Grimble & Co Ltd. The company became part of British Vinegar Ltd in 1931. In 1981 the company closed the Edinburgh bottling plant, and then in April 1983 all sides of the Scottish business in Leith were closed, in order that production be concentrated upon in England.

Source: McMaster, Charles. "Edinburgh's Forgotten Brewery" in "Scottish Brewing Archive Newsletter" No 8 (Winter 1986/7)


The material is arranged according to the Scottish Brewing Archive classification scheme used within all SBA collections.

Access Information

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Acquisition Information

Deposited in 1984 by Scottish & Newcastle plc. Beaufoy Grimble & Co donated publicity material

Other Finding Aids

See also University of Glasgow Collections

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Alternative Form Available

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Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the ArchivistReproduction 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 UGC 216: Papers of Cyril David Baxter Creasey
  • GB 74 B/BFY: Records of Beaufoy & Co, vinegar manufacturers, London (London Metropolitan Archives)

Location of Originals

This material is original