Catalogue description Records of J.W.Arrowsmith Ltd.

This record is held by Bristol Archives

Details of 40145
Reference: 40145
Title: Records of J.W.Arrowsmith Ltd.

40145/C Corporate/Management


40145/F Financial


40145/E Employees


40145/P Production and sales


40145/PP Plant and property


40145/L Legal


40145/A Arrowsmith and Evans


40145/Per Personal papers:


Isaac Arrowsmith


James Williams Arrowsmith






40145/Dr. Drawings and prints


40145/Ph Photographs, plans, posters


40145/H Historical material


40145/X Miscellaneous

Date: 1855 - 1989
Held by: Bristol Archives, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

J W Arrowsmith Ltd, Bristol, printers

Physical description: 12 SUB FONDS
Immediate source of acquisition:

Received on deposit from Miss V.Arrowsmith-Brown, Managing Director. J.W.Arrowsmith Ltd., Winterstoke Road, Bristol, BS3 2NT

Administrative / biographical background:

Arrowsmiths of Bristol


The founder of the firm was Isaac Arrowsmith of Worcester, a leading figure in Worcester Political Union in the mid 19th century, also a founder member of Worcester Typographical Society, and a proprietor of the Worcester Chronicle. In 1854 Isaac Arrowsmith moved to Bristol, where he entered into partnership with Hugh Evans, stationer and bookseller, of Clare Street. Their first joint venture was a penny Time Table of Steam Packets and Railways, which appeared in July 1854.


The partnership ended in 1857, when Isaac Arrowsmith moved to 11 Quay Street. The business expanded, including a great deal of printing work for the Great Western Railway. When Isaac died in 1871 the business passed to his son James Williams Arrowsmith, who developed the publishing side of the business, with great success. Titles published during these years included Three Men in a Boat (Jerome K. Jerome), Prisoner of Zenda (Anthony Hope) and The Diary of a Nobody (George Crossmith). J.W. Arrowsmith was also a leading figure in Bristol public life. On his death in 1913 his nephew, J.A. Arrowsmith-Brown succeeded to the business.


Arrowsmiths were printers to Bristol University from 1877 and also carried out printing work for a large number of other Bristol establishments, including Clifton College, the Children's Hospital and Bristol Record Society. The publishing side of the business did however decline during the early years of this century, while the printing work has continued to flourish.


In 1937 on the death of the chairman, the business passed to his nephew, R.H. Brown. Under his guidance the business, which had expanded beyond the capacity of the Quay Street premises, moved in 1954 to a modern factory in Winterstoke Road, giving ample room for further expansion and the adoption of the most advanced techniques.

Link to NRA Record:

Have you found an error with this catalogue description?

Help with your research