Records of Robert Younger Ltd, brewers, Edinburgh, Scotland

Scope and Content

  • Corporate records, 1937–1960;
  • Shareholding records, 1896–1960;
  • Financial records, 1930–1961;
  • Patents and trademarks, 1877–1932;
  • Production records, 1945–1961;
  • Sales records, 1953–1961;
  • Staff records, 1937–1961;
  • Licensed premises records, 1902–1958;
  • Photographs, undated.

Administrative / Biographical History

Robert Younger was born on 1820  in Alloa, Scotland . He trained as a brewer with his family's firm in Alloa before settling in Duddingston, Scotland . He began brewing in c1844  . In 1850  he moved to Edinburgh, Scotland , where he was employed as brewer at Andrew Drybrough & Co , Canongate. In 1854 Robert Younger purchased the St Ann's Brewery on Croft-an-Righ Lane, Abbeyhill, Edinburgh , from James Bernard , who had been using St Ann's as a distillery. St Ann's Brewery had been established by Archibald Campbell Younger in 1786  . On 18 November 1896 Robert Younger 's company was registered as a limited liability company under the name Robert Younger Ltd . In the same year a new malting opened on St Clair Street, Edinburgh , which supplemented and replaced older maltings. The maltings became a large part of the firm's business with malting carried out for other brewers including William Younger & Co Ltd , Edinburgh , and Hugh Baird & Sons Ltd , Glasgow, Scotland . Robert Younger died in 1901  and was succeeded by his son John H Younger . By the turn of the century Robert Younger Ltd was producing an extensive range of heavy and light draught beers and stouts. The company supplied its products to a wide area of Scotland and to the North East of England and also engaged in a modest export trade. The trade mark adopted by the company for its labels was the Stag and Cross of King David which had been registered as far back as 1877  . In Robert Younger Ltd 1913  purchased the Craigmillar New Brewery of W & J Raeburn , Edinburgh , which had been built in the same year. This site had the advantage of a rail siding laid directly into the brewery. At the outbreak of the Second World War ( 1939–1945  ) the Craigmillar New Brewery was requisitioned and used as a store by Royal Engineers and all production concentrated on the St Ann's Brewery. The Craigmillar New Brewery was de–requisitioned in 1949  and in 1950  sold to the Brewer's Food Supply Co Ltd , Edinburgh , for GBP 50,000. In Robert Younger Ltd 1953  opened a substantial new bottling hall at St Clair Street, Edinburgh , adjoining the maltings. At the 1954  Brewers Exhibition in Robert Younger LtdLondon, England won three medals. First Prize Silver Medal for its Brown Ale, Second Prize Bronze Medal for its Old Edinburgh Ale and its Sweet Stout. This is reputed to have been the first time a Scottish brewery had won three medals at a single exhibition. By Robert Younger Ltd 1955  had acquired 32 managed houses, 5 in the North East of England , 12 in West Scotland and the remainder in Edinburgh and the Lothians. By 1960  the total number of licensed houses had increased to 37. In Robert Younger Ltd August 1960  was taken over by Scottish Brewers Ltd for GBP 895,000. At that time Robert Younger Ltd was the largest surviving brewing firm in Scotland employing some 57 persons and with an output of up to 2,000 barrels per week. Brewing ceased at St Ann's in March 1961  and the brewery closed at the end of that month.


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

Access Information

Academic and personal research only, subject to the Data Protection Act 1998.

Acquisition Information

Scottish & Newcastle plc.

Other Finding Aids

File level list available in searchroom.

Alternative Form Available

No known copies

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

No physical characteristics that affect the use of this material.

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.

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 0248 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 0248 HB: Hugh Baird & Sons Ltd; GB 0248 WR: Records of W & J Raeburn; GB 0248 SNB: Records of Scottish & Newcastle plc; GB 0248 SB: Records of Scottish Brewers Ltd; GB 0248 SI: Records of Stag Inns (Edinburgh) Ltd; GB 0248 WY: Records of William Younger & Co Ltd; GB 0248 ARTEFACTS: Scottish Brewing Archive Artefacts Collection.

Location of Originals

This material is original


McMaster, Charles, "Robert Younger Ltd. The St Ann's Brewery, Abbeyhill, Edinburgh", (unpublished article).

No known publications using this material.

Additional Information

Description compiled in line with the following international standards: International Council on Archives,ISAD(G) Second Edition, September 1999 and National Council on Archives,Rules for the construction of personal, place and corporate names

Scotland is the location of all place names in the administrative/biographical history element, unless otherwise stated.

Collection catalogued by Natalie Milne, Archives Assistant (Hub), 22 November 2001. Catalogue converted to Encoded Archival Description by Michelle Kaye, Archives Assistant, 29 March 2012. Catalogue edited by Wiebke Redlich, Archives Assistant (Hub), 22 April 2002.

Geographical Names