Allied Maples Group, furniture retailers and manufacturers: records

Scope and Content

Estate papers of John Blundell Maple (1635 - 1946); deeds (1770-1976); consolidated historical records (1800 - 1970s); Rayner Trusts share records (1871 - 1891); Rayner Trusts account books and papers (1871 - 1968); other accounting records (1878 - 1962); share records of companies taken over by Maple and Company Ltd (1879 - 1972); miscellaneous records (1883 - 1986); other property and premises records (1887 - 1979); pictures of members of staff (1890 - 1960); rent books (1890 - 1974); consolidated management records (1891 - ca.1970); memoranda and articles of association (1891 - 1972); Maple and Company Ltd share records (1891 - 1972); contract and service records (1894 - 1945); accounting records of companies taken over by Maple and Company Ltd (1897 - 1984); minute books of companies taken over by Maple and Company Ltd (1898 - 1974); staff social records (1898 - 1981); letter books and correspondence (1901 - 1989); delivery and transport records (1902 - 1986); pension and wage records (1903 - 1980); newspaper cuttings and advertisements (1907 - 1986); inventories (1910 - 1961); Maple and Company Ltd minute books (1913 - 1971); cash books (1923 - 1974); warrant of appointment (1933); agenda books (1938 - 1968); photographs (ca.1940s -1985); promotional material (ca.1940s - ca.1990); photographs of stores (ca.1942 - ca.1975); Utility furniture scheme records (1945); property management files (1954 - 1969); president's files (1957 - 1972); other legal records (1958 - 1972); [Finance?] director's files (1958 - 1973); consolidated accounting records (1961 - 1966); other internal administration records (ca.1970s - ca.1982); Wood Green shop, manager's files (1973 - 1979).

Administrative / Biographical History

In 1841 John Maple and James Cook formed a partnership operating as wholesale and retail drapers. Initially their business name alternated between Maple & Cook and Cook & Maple . In 1851 the partnership was dissolved and the business continued under the name J. Maple . John Maple began to sell all household furnishings and went into partnership with his half brother Henry Adams : the partnership was formalised in 1857 and the company renamed Maple and Company . In 1870 John Maple made his two sons John Blundell Maple and Harry Maple partners in the firm. In 1891 John Maple retired and Blundell Maple became the sole partner in the company. On 8 April 1891 Maple and Company was incorporated as a limited company. On Blundell Maple's death in 1903 his brother Henry Regnart took over as president of the company. Hunter Regnart took over from his father as president of the company in 1926.

The company's key period of impact was from the 1880s to 1939. The family members who ran the company set up networks to secure key contracts in prominent households and businesses. The company also employed innovative designers. After the Second World War the family involvement ended and the strategy changed to one of establishing stores in many high streets, to ensure a mass market appeal. By the 1970s the group had become so large that it was vulnerable to takeover bids and share fluctuations: subsequently branches were shut and other companies in the Group began to dominate. In 1990 the company was taken over by Saxon Hawk , but it was making losses and in 1997 Allied Maples Group went into receivership.


This archive is arranged into the following sub-fonds: Corporate Records; Share Records; Internal Administration Records; Accounting and Financial Records; Legal Records; Operations Records; Marketing and Public Relations Records; Staff and Employment Records; Property and Premises Records; Other Records.

Access Information

This archive collection is available for consultation in the V&A Blythe House Archive and Library Study Room by appointment only. Full details of access arrangements may be found here:

Access to some of the material may be restricted. These are noted in the catalogue where relevant.

Acquisition Information

Given by Lancashire Record Office, 1999, AAD/2000/3.

Given by Lancashire Record Office, 2003, AAD/2003/16.

Separated Material

Records relating to Waring and Gillow Ltd prior to their merger with Maple & Co. in 1980 were transferred to Westminster City Archives, as accession 2233, in Mar 2000.

Conditions Governing Use

Information on copying and commercial reproduction may be found here:

Custodial History

Lancaster Museum held the records on behalf of Allied Maples Group from ca.1980. They were subsequently transferred, on a temporary basis, to Lancaster Record Office. In Septembner 1997 Allied Maples Group went into receivership. It was agreed that Saxon Hawk Group plc would continue to hold the rights to the Maples archive but that ownership could be given to an archival repository.

Related Material

Maples catalogues and trade literature are held in the National Art Library.


Barty-King, Hugh. Maples Fine Furnishers : a household word for 150 years : established 1841 London : Quiller Press, 1992. x, 178 p., [16] p. of plates : ill. (some col.), maps, plans, ports. ISBN 187094867X.

Corporate Names