Records of D Johnston & Co (Laphroig) Ltd, distillers, Port Ellen, Scotland

Scope and Content

  • Correspondence, 1836–2001;
  • Family papers, 1836;
  • Historical notes, 1826–2001;
  • Minutes of Directors' Meetings and AGMs, 1896–1978;
  • Patents and Trademarks records, 1935;
  • Photographs, 1880s–2001;
  • Promotional material, 1910s–1990s.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Laphroaig Distillery was founded c1826  by Donald Johnston and Alexander Johnston and was operated by Donald alone after Alexander withdrew from the business in 1836  . After Donald's death in 1847  the distillery was leased to Alexander Graham , and from 1856  operated by members of the Johnston family under the company name Dugald Johnston & Co. In 1950  the proprietor Ian Hunter formed a limited company, D Johnston & Co (Laphroaig) Ltd , to acquire the firm. Four years later he bequeathed his controlling stake in the business to his company secretary Elizabeth Leitch Williamson (commonly known as Bessie). Bessie, took the name Campbell after her marriage in 1961  , sold the business to the drinks company Seager Evans during the 1960s  , and it was operated by the firm's whisky division, Long John Distillers Ltd (subsequently Long John International Ltd ). In Long John International 1975  , and with it D Johnston & Co , was acquired by Whitbread & Co Ltd . Whitbread sold the distillery to Allied–Lyons plc in 1990  , and it was acquired by Fortune Brands in 2005  .


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

Conditions Governing Access


Acquisition Information

Gifted by Whitbread & Co Ltd.

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 by Whitbread & Co plc at their headquarters in London. It was gifted to the Scottish Brewing Archive in September 2001. It was removed 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 LJI: Records of Long John International Ltd; GB 0248 UGD 306/1/34: Records of D Johnston & Co (Laphroaig) Ltd

Location of Originals

This material is original


Craig, Charles, The Scotch Whisky Industry Record , (Index Publishing Ltd, Dumbarton, 1994).

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 Iain Russell, Scottish Brewing Archive Archivist, 10 May 2007. Catalogue converted to Encoded Archival Description by Michelle Kaye, Archives Assistant, 29 March 2012. Catalogue edited by Iain Russell, Scottish Brewing Archive Archivist, 10 May 2007.

Geographical Names