Catalogue description Records of Messrs. Grace of Tring, corn and seed merchants, maltsters, millers, etc.

This record is held by Buckinghamshire Archives

Details of D/109
Reference: D/109
Title: Records of Messrs. Grace of Tring, corn and seed merchants, maltsters, millers, etc.

This collection illustrates from the late eighteenth century the activities of a family business which successfully adapted to the major changes in the agricultural economy for over one and a half centuries. The accounts appear to have been well kept from the early nineteenth century, perhaps surprisingly well for a fairly small family business.


The bulk of the records of the corn merchants and milling business date from the first half of the twentieth century, with earlier account books surviving sporadically. The main exception to this is the series of purchase journals and ledgers which runs almost continuously from 1810 to 1965.


The records of the maltsters' business are fewer in number, but the sales journals and ledgers run without a break from 1780 to 1894, so covering both the rise and decline of this section of the concern.

Date: 1766 - 1977



Records of the corn and seed merchant's and milling businesses


D/109/1 - 35 Sales ledgers and journals 1806-1961


D/109/36 - 49 Purchase ledgers and journals 1810-1965


D/109/50 - 60 Cash books 1820 - 1954


D/109/61 - 67 Wages books 1921 - 1966


D/109/68 - 71 Registers of stock and outstanding debts 1910-1944


D/109/72 - 74 Bank books 1923 - 1939


D/109/75 - 77 Grist day books 1916 - 1968


D/109/78 - 82 Miscellaneous registers 1934-1968


D/109/83 - 89 Papers relating to the rationing of grain and livestock foodstuffs 1939 - 1953


D/109/90 - 101 Invoices, correspondence and miscellaneous papers 1805 - 1953


Records of maltster's business


D/109/102 - 108 Account books 1766 - 1894


D/109/109 - 111 Receipt books of Locke and Smith 1890-1893


Records of canvas weaving business


D/109/112 - 114 Account books 1791 - 1836


General family and financial records


D/109/115 - 122 General papers 1833 - 1977


D/109/123 - 128 Tring parish rate books 1829 - 1830


General and Miscellaneous


D/109/129 - 147 Newspapers 1836 - 1865


D/109/148 - 156 Sale catalogues 1887 - 1972


D/109/157 - 158 Miscellaneous

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

Grace, 1773-1974, Tring, corn and seed merchants, maltsters and millers

Physical description: 158 files
Immediate source of acquisition:

AR 59/76

Administrative / biographical background:

The Grace Family and their business


(The following information is taken from notes written by Mr. R. Grace - see item D/109/122 - which contain additional detail. See following page for a family tree compiled from the notes).


In 1773 Francis Carter, 'mealman', purchased a malting business at 15 Akeman St., Tring, from the Harding family. As well as being a maltster, Carter carried on a sizeable milling trade and was involved with the sale of beans in London.


Upon his retirement the business was carried on by his daughter Anne and son-in-law Thomas Grace. Although the opening of the Grand Junction Canal in 1800 had put an end to the milling trade a number of other enterprises were pursued. Carter and Grace were maltsters, cornmerchants, bakers, coalmerchants, and canvas weavers. This last business was perhaps inherited from Thomas Grace's father, who was described as a weaver, and was sold in the mid nineteenth century to a Mr. Cato.


Thomas Grace was succeeded by Carter Grace in 1829. Carter Grace concentrated to a large extent on the maltsters business, exploiting the opportunities opened up by the development of canal and railway links.


In the latter part of the century the maltster's business declined due to the agricultural depression and the rise of foreign imports. Consequently under Carter's son Thomas Grace the business came to rely more on the sale of corn and seeds.


In the early part of this century Thomas's son, Frank Grace built a small steam mill, and revived the milling side of the business, as well as farming land at Tring and in Bucks.


The milling business dwindled after the second world war, and although it was to some extent replaced by the sale of animal feedstuffs, the business closed in 1974 when the premises were sold.


Throughout it's existence the business appears to have been particularly active in the Buckinghamshire villages to the north and west, of Tring.


In the nineteenth century the Grace family were prominent local Baptists, and were buried at New Mill Baptist Chapel.

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