Catalogue description J.S. FRY AND SONS LTD

This record is held by Bristol Archives

Details of 38538
Reference: 38538

Records of J.S. Fry and Sons Ltd, chocolate manufacturers, of Somerdale, Keynsham, including:


Records relating to the status of the firm


Records relating to directors and shareholders


Records relating to property


Letter books and correspondence


Financial records


Records relating to stock and manufacture


Records relating to factory departments


Personnel records


Fry clubs and societies


Printed material


Scrapbook and presscuttings


Fry family records


Photographic material

Date: 1693 - 1966
Related material:

Records for the post-1918 period are held by Cadbury-Schweppes at Bournville, (a catalogue of which is available) but a complete, integrated list of all the Fry records originally held at Somerdale is available in the Bristol Record Office.

Held by: Bristol Archives, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

J S Fry and Sons Ltd, Bristol, chocolate manufacturers

Physical description: 220 files
Access conditions:

The Record Office has agreed to inform Cadbury-Schweppes of any proposed major study based exclusively or substantially on Fry archive material and intended as a source for a published text. An intending author should approach Cadbury's direct to seek consent for publication. Cadbury's will not unreasonably withhold consent, but reserves the right to examine proposed texts and, if considered necessary, to require amendments or to apply a total veto.

Immediate source of acquisition:

Deposited by Peter Goodchild for Cadbury-Schweppes plc of Bournville, Birmingham

Administrative / biographical background:

A patent for the manufacture of chocolate was first granted to Walter Churchman in 1729. In 1756 Joseph Fry, an apothecary in Small Street, began to sell chocolate and in 1761 on the death of Churchman's son, Charles, he took over their business. Joseph Fry, born in 1728, settled in Bristol in about 1748 and was admitted a freeman in 1753. His first business was in Small Street, but in 1763 soon after buying the Churchman business, he was in Wine Street. In 1777 however, when Union Street was developed, he moved his business there, where it remained until the twentieth century. In the eighteenth century eating chocolate was virtually unknown, and production in Union Street was of tablets of drinking chocolate. Joseph was a Quaker, and a man of many other business interests. On his death, his widow, Anna, carried on the chocolate business with their son, Joseph Storrs Fry (1767-1835). After the death of his mother in 1803, Joseph Storrs Fry took a partner, a Mr. Hunt, but in 1822 his three sons came into partnership with their father and the firm became known as J.S. Fry and Sons, the name it has borne ever since.


In the second half of the nineteenth century, business expanded rapidly. Between 1860 and 1907, Fry's opened seven new factories in Bristol. At the time Fry's became a registered private company in 1896, there were nearly 4,500 employees. Competition became keener in the twentieth century and in 1918, Fry's merged their financial interests with Cadbury Brothers Ltd. and the British Cocoa and Chocolate Company was formed. The records forming this collection cover the period to 1918. In the 1920s Fry's moved their production from Bristol, where room to expand in the city centre was limited, to Keynsham at a new site named Somerdale. In 1935 Fry's became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cadburys.

Link to NRA Record:

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