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 1975 Long John International, 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.

Access Information

Access to records within this collection is open, however an appointment may be required. Please email Archives and Special Collections for advice:

Acquisition Information

Gifted by Whitbread & Co Ltd.

Other Finding Aids

See also University of Glasgow Collections

File level list available in searchroom.

Alternative Form Available

No known copies 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 248 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 248 LJI: Records of Long John International Ltd;
  • GB 248 UGD 306/1/34: Records of D Johnston & Co (Laphroaig) Ltd.

Location of Originals

This material is original

Geographical Names