- Memorandum and articles of association, 1901-1965;
- Certificates of incorporation, 1901;
- Partnership agreements, 1861-1972;
- Amalgamation/liquidation papers, 1960-1967;
- Directors' minutes, 1867-1959;
- Board papers, 1916-1958;
- Minutes of AGMs, 1901-1959;
- Records relating to members' meetings, 1954-1963;
- Directors' annual reports and accounts to shareholders, 1902-1978;
- Committee meetings, 1978-1982;
- Miscellaneous corporate records, 1904-1977;
- Shareholding records, 1898-1966;
- Letterbooks, 1785-1895;
- Financial records, 1776-1984;
- Patents and trademarks, 1878-1995;
- Production records, 1830-1992;
- Sales records, 1812-1964;
- Staff, 1846-2001;
- Licensed premises, 1852-1971;
- Property records, 1806-1989;
- Promotional material, c1850s-2005;
- Public relations, 1885-2006;
- Family papers, 1821-c2000;
- Illustrations and photographs, 1869-2000s;
- Historical notes, 1886-c2000;
- Equipment, c20th century.
Records of Tennent Caledonian Breweries Ltd, brewers, Glasgow, Scotland
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
Hugh Tennent and Robert Tennent continued the Tennent family Private brewing business, founding the Public brewing partnership, in the same place, trading as H & R Tennent in 1740, at Drygate Bridge (also known as The Drygate, Drygate Foot, and Drygate Wellpark) , Drygate, Glasgow, Scotland. The Tennent family had been brewing in Glasgow since 1556 as recorded in the Chronicles of the Maltmen Craft in Glasgow, 1605-1879. Hugh Tennent's sons, John Tennent and Robert Tennent, continued the family business, trading as the partners of J & R Tennent from at least 1769. The business expanded in the 1790s , absorbing the adjacent brewhouse of William McLehose , until the Drygate Brewery, renamed Wellpark Brewery, covered 5 acres. Wellpark was named after the "Ladywell" well found in the area, and is commemorated today by a monument outside the brewery.
On the deaths of Robert Tennent in 1826 and John Tennent in 1827 , Hugh Tennent , the eldest son of Robert, assumed control of the business. Hugh Tennent acquired a reputation as a philanthropist, holding titles such as Town Councillor, Justice of Peace and Poor Law Commissioner. He retired in 1855 and his fifth son, Charles Stewart Parker Tennent, took control. Under his leadership the company became the biggest beer exporters in the world, selling to markets as far apart as Melbourne, San Francisco, Mauritius and Calcutta. Charles died in 1864 , some months before his father, and the business was operated by trustees on behalf of his sons, Archibald Tennent and Hugh Tennent.
In 1884 Hugh Tennent acquired his brother's share in the business and assumed sole control. He started brewing Tennent's lager for export in 1885 after a tour of Bavaria in 1881/2 , commencing a new purpose-built German Lager Brewery at Wellpark between 1889 and 1891 . On Hugh Tennent 's death in 1890 , the capital was left in shares to his five half brothers and sisters, the Campbells of Craigie in Ayr, to his sister Annie, to his uncle James Archibald Hay and to his physician Dr Wyllie Clark . Dr Clark was one of two trustees who were in control of the company until, in 1901 , J & R Tennent Ltd was registered as a limited liability company to acquire the business. The company was one of the first businesses in the United Kingdom to can beer. It became a public company in 1953 and formed a subsidiary company, West of Scotland Taverns Ltd, to acquire and operate its licensed premises. In 1960 it acquired Maclachlans Ltd, Castle Brewery, Craigmillar, Edinburgh, Scotland, and over 100 tied houses; Turner's (Ayr) Ltd, bottlers and distributors; and Westcon Ltd, caterers of Ayr, Scotland. J & R Tennent , along with 240 licensed houses, was taken over by Charrington United Breweries Ltd, London, England, in 1963 . In 1966 , it formally merged with United Caledonian Breweries Ltd, Charrington United Breweries Ltd's other Scottish holding, to form Tennent Caledonian Breweries Ltd. The new company's brewing was concentrated at Wellpark Brewery, Glasgow, and Heriot Brewery, Edinburgh.
Wellpark Brewery was redeveloped between 1965 and 1968 while Heriot Brewery was demolished in the 1990s. In 1967, Charringtons merged with Bass to form the Bass Charrington Group , which continued ownership of Tennent Caledonian Breweries Ltd . Bass Charrington was acquired by the Belgian brewer Interbrew in June 2000 . In 2004 , Interbrew and AmBev merged to create the company InBev. InBev acquired Anheuser-Bush in 2009 , becoming known as AB InBev. In the same year, Tennent's was acquired by C&C Plc of Ireland. Tennent's continues to brew at Wellpark Brewery, and still claims to have the largest sales of all beers sold in Scotland. In 2010 , the company celebrated the 125th anniversary of Tennent's Lager.
McMaster, Charles and Rutherford, TomThe Tennent Caledonian Breweries, official history (Scottish Brewing Archive, 1985) T12/5/4 Douie, RobertChronicles of the Maltmen Craft in Glasgow, 1605-1879 (The Incorporation of Maltmen, 1879) Richmond, Lesley and Turton, Alison (eds). The Brewing Industry. A Guide to Historical Records ( Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 1990 );The Brewer , Vol.71, September 1985, No.851; and information from Family at Wellpark Brewery To Celebrate 100 years of Tennent's Lager Sunday, 12th May 1985, Souvenir Programme.
A number of senior staff at Tennent's were responsible for collecting and depositing all the Tennent's archives. Also, Angus Meldrum and the late David Johnstone compiled and commissiong extensive research about Tennent's history:
- Angus Meldrum, ex Managing Director
- Douglas MacLeod, ex Finance Director
- Donald Smith, ex Distribution Director
- David Johnstone, ex Head Brewer
- Jimmy Simpson, ex Brewery Director
- Bill Nolan, ex Head of Public Relations and Sponsorship
- Simon MacQuarrie,ex Senior Brand Manager
The material is arranged according to the Scottish Brewing Archive classification scheme.
Conditions Governing Access
Some files in this collection are subject to Data Protection legislation as they contain sensitive information and material under 30 years old is closed to access. It is advised that you should contact the Duty Archivist before visiting: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tennent Caledonian Breweries
Alternative Form Available
No known copies
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.
This material has been appraised in line with standard Scottish Brewing Archive and GB 248 procedures
The collection was previously stored at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh. It moved to the University of Glasgow in 1991. Further deposits have been received since 1991.
Tennent's Malts. Scottish Brewing Archive Newsletter No 25 (Summer 1985)
McMaster, Charles. Men of Brewing - Hugh T Tennent. Scottish Brewing Archive Newsletter No 7 (Summer 1986)
Anderson, Archibald F. Letter Received by J & R Tennent, Wellpark Brewery, Glasgow, 5 December 1938. Scottish Brewing Archive Newsletter No 17 (Summer 1990)
Manz, Stefan. J & R Tennent's Lager. The German Connection. The Annual Journal of the Scottish Brewing Archive 1 (1998), pp1-12
Manz, Stefan. Technologietransfer und Spezialistenwanderung. Eine Augsburger Lagerbrauerei in Glasgow, 1881-1959. Zeitschrift für Unternehmensgeschichte 45 (2000), pp225-247
This material is original
Fonds level description compiled by Natalie Milne, Archive Assistant (Hub), Tuesday 20 November 2001; Catalogue converted to Encoded Archival Description, 8 June 2005. Revised by Wiebke Redlich, Archive Assistant (Hub), 20 March 2002; Amended by Emma Yan, Assistant Archivist, 19 December 2008; Revised by Michelle Kaye, Archives Assistant, 11 May 2012, and 30 May 2012; Administrative history amended by Cheryl Brown, Archives Assistant, 28 May 2012; Revisions and additions made by Rachel Egan, Assistant Archivist, Aug 2014-May 2015; Revisions and additions made by Clare Paterson, Senior Archivist, March 2017; Revisions and additions made by Kirsty Menzies, Catalogue Data Assistant, May 2017.