This record is held by London Metropolitan Archives: City of London

Details of ACC/1214
Reference: ACC/1214

The main bulk of this accession relates to two amalgamated breweries, the Isleworth Brewery Ltd. of Isleworth, and Messrs. Sich and Co. of Chiswick, with a few items relating to Watney Combe Reid and Co. the firm that eventually took over the resulting amalgamation in 1924.

Date: 1796-1949



Isleworth Brewery Ltd:


ACC/1214/1-3332 Records of the Brewery management


ACC/1214/1-21 Minutes and account books, 1796-1949


ACC/1214/22-75 Reports and annual balance sheets and related papers, 1886-1894


ACC/1214/76-1309 Agreements etc. with directors and employees, 1909-1922


ACC/1214/1310-1311 War-time pooling arrangement, 1917


ACC/1214/1312-1324 Papers relating to debentures and shares, 1895-1921


ACC/1214/1325-1328 Miscellaneous agreements, etc., 1873-1922


ACC/1214/1329-1332 Amalgamation of Isleworth Brewery Ltd. and Sich and Co. Ltd., 1919-1920


Isleworth Brewery Ltd:


ACC/1214/1333-1435 Records of the Brewery estates


ACC/1214/1333-1420 Title deeds, 1780-1911


Isleworth Brewery Ltd:


ACC/1214/1421-1435 Farnell family wills, etc.


ACC/1214/1421 William Farnell, 1817-1822


ACC/1214/1422-1426 Charles Farnell, 1832-1865


ACC/1214/1427-1429 John Farnell, 1863-1866


ACC/1214/1430-1432 William Thomas Farnell, 1869-1870


ACC/1214/1433-1435 Henry Farnell, 1885-1886


Messrs. Sich and Co. Ltd:


ACC/1214/1436-1440 Records of the Brewery management


ACC/1214/1436-1438 Partnership deeds, 1819-1869


ACC/1214/1439-1440 Shares and debenture papers, 1889-1923


Messrs Sich and Co Ltd:


ACC/1214/1441-1675 Records of the Brewery estates


ACC/1214/1441-1574 Title deeds


ACC/1214/1575-1588 Mortgages: Hoare mortgage, Henry Sich's mortgage, 1782-1880


ACC/1214/1589-1602 Land tax papers, 1819, 1898-1899


ACC/1214/1603-1649 Solicitors' drafts of title deeds, etc. 1802-1882


ACC/1214/1650-1669 Abstracts of title, 1820's-1882


ACC/1214/1670-1675 Solicitors' correspondence, 1832-1886


Messrs. Sich and Co. Ltd:


ACC/1214/1676 Family papers


ACC/1214/1676 Records relating to separation of Dora Espin and John Espin, 1850-1851


Watney Combe Reid and Co.


ACC/1214/1677-1683 Sundry agreements and title deeds, 1913-1956

Related material:

For a more detailed account of the companies and the records see an article entitled The Isleworth Brewery Co. Ltd. in the Greater London Record Office and Library annual report for 1973 or pp. iii-iv of this list.

Held by: London Metropolitan Archives: City of London, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

Isleworth Brewery Company Limited, 1866 - 1920

Farnell Brewery, 1800 - 1866

Farnell and Watson's, 1865 - 1866, brewers

Sich and Company, 1819 - 1920, Chiswick

Physical description: 1683 files
Unpublished finding aids:





Acton Brewery Tap see Cottage Brewery


Blue Anchor, The Steyne, 1899, 1589


Bull's Head, East Acton, 1899, 1590


Cottage Brewery, High Street, later Acton Brewery Tap and Wellington, 1870-1911, 1333-1338


Horse and Groom, East Acton, 1889, 1441


Wellington, see Cottage Brewery.




Lamb, High Street, 1875, 1442


Red Lion, 1838, 1443


Seven Stars, 1856, 1404




Three Crowns, 1832-1860, 1555, 1584




Barley Mow, 1899, 1593


Bull's Head, Strand-on-the-Green, 1899, 1596


Burlington, Church Street, 1899, 1594


Feathers, Hogarth Lane and premises adjoining, 1819-1898, 1487-1489.


1555, 1591-1592, 1606


Lamb, Church Street, 1795-1899, 1479-1486, 1595


Prince of Wales, Turnham Green, 1852, 1649


Ship, Strand-on-the-Green, 1837-1899, 1597, 1605




Crab Tree, 1825-1857, 1580, 1660


George, 1832, 1609


King's Head, High Street, 1831-1832, 1615


King's Head, Walham Green, 1870's, 1674/C1-42


Royal Oak, Fulham Fields, 1859-1876, 1611, 1674/B1-30




Load of Hay, 1899, 1598


Red Lion, 1833-1899, 1599, 1612




British Queen, 1826-1869, 1493-1504


Black Lion, 1887, 1626


Chaise and Horses, King Street, 1842, 1505


Coach and Horses, Shepherd's Bush, 1832, 1616


Duke of Sussex, Clifton Street, 1841-1851, 1622, 1653, 1672/B1-3


George, Broadway, 1749-1838, 1578, 1618, 1657, 1666


Grotto, Creek Wharf, 1889, 1510


Hampshire Hog, King Street, 1842, 1505


Maltman and Shovel, Broadway, 1735-1857, 1580, 1615, 1659


Queens Head, Brook Green, 1832-1838, 1578, 1610, 1618


Rising Sun, Cardross Street, 1890, 1511


Ship, 1738-1857, 1580, 1654


Ship (or Cannon), 1857, 1580


Six Bells, Queen Street, 1802-1857, 1492, 1580


Swan, 1831-1832, 1615


Three Jolly Gardeners, 1757-1857, 1491, 1578, 1618, 1658


White Bear, King Street, 1819-1889, 1509, 1619


White Horse (or George), Broadway, 1832-1857, 1505, 1580, 1617




White Horse, 1836, 1404




Duke of York and adjoining premises, 1835-1882, 1627, 1667




Coach and Horses (formerly Angel), Harlington Corner, 1778-1857, 1514-1534 1628-1633, 1661, 1668




Canteen, Southall, 1914, 1327B




Dawley Arms, 1884-1898, 1340-1343




Crown and Cushion, 1780-1843, 1344-1350


Queen Victoria, 1820-1887, 1351-1357




Bell, 1899, 1601


George, Gurnley Row, 1780-1843, 1344-1350


Half Moon, Brentford End, 1815-1887, 1358-1367


Rose and Crown, 1738-1899, 1602, 1654




Wheat Sheaf, High Street, 1737-1857, 1535-1546, 1578, 1618, 1634-1638, 1662




Sun, Curzon Street, 1716-1844, 1547-1554, 1639, 1669




Labouring Boy, 1886-1892, 1381-1382


Phoenix, Orleans Road, 1780-1915, 1327b, 1368-1382


Rose and Crown, Bell Lane, 1886-1892, 1381-1382


White Hart, Whitton, 1850's, 1672a.




Royal Adelaide, 1887-1893, 1383-1387




Bull, 1832, 1555


Sun, 1832, 1555


White Hart, 1839, 1642, 1656




Castle Hotel, 1901-1916, 1388-1393




Nag's Head, 1815-1914, 1394-1402




King's Arms, 1831-1891, 1560-1574, 1671/C1-6




New Inn, Ham, 1856, 1404, 1407




Artichoke (or Forester's Arms), 1857-1901, 1403-1417

Administrative / biographical background:

The records of this company in fact incorporate the surviving records of two amalgamated family brewing businesses both having their origins in the eighteenth century: The Farnell Brewery, later to become the Isleworth Brewery company, taking over the business of Sich and company of the Lamb Brewery, Chiswick, in 1920.


A brewery is known to have existed in Isleworth in the early years of the 18th century but it was not until 1800 that the Farnells, a prominent local family, purchased it at a cost of £1,145. From this date, William Farnell developed and enlarged the existing business considerably and on his death in 1820 bequeathed it to two of his sons , John and Charles. These two entered into a formal partnership in 1824. Over the following thirty years they acquired, by lease or purchase, control of a large number of licensed houses while at the same time enlarging the Brewery, building malthouses and erecting cottages for their workmen. As wealthy and respected members of the local community they contributed large sums of money to charity, and helped in the building of St. John's Church, Isleworth. In 1854, William Farnell Watson, a relation by marriage, entered into partnership with the two Farnell brothers, and in 1865, the business became known as "Farnell and Watson's" In 1866, William, the son of W. Farnell Watson, to whom the business had been bequeathed in his father's will, converted it into the Isleworth Brewery Company limited.


The surviving records of the company consist mainly of an interesting series of account books and ledgers, covering the period 1796-1949, reports and annual balance sheets, 1886-1914, and a number of bundles of title deeds relating to the licensed houses acquired by the firm. One splendid item, worthy of greater comment, is the general ledger, 1796-1810. This volume, still impressive in its worn vellum laced binding, records the sale of ale, porter, hock, and other liquors to innkeepers in Isleworth, Hounslow, Ealing, Heston, Brentford and other places in south west Middlesex and Northern Surrey. In addition to this are recorded direct sales to such eminent persons as the Duke of Northumberland, the Duke of Marlborough, and the Earl of Jersey and to many members of regency society living at Twickenham. At the other end of the scale the dairy maids at Osterley regularly purchased large quantities of ale as did anonymous haymakers working in the fields of aristocratic landowners just mentioned! As well as these more formal business transactions the ledger includes accounts of family and household expenses. Of the 20th century accounting records, a wages book, 1914-1949 is of considerable interest. Detailed lists are given of the workers employed by the Brewery at Isleworth, including coopers, engineers, maltsters, draymen, stablemen, and office cleaners, together with the wages paid to each individual over a long run of years. The light thrown on changing wage rates - a cooper receiving 31.16s. weekly in 1914, and the same man £4.10s. in 1920 - is obviously of value.


Sich and Co., taken over by the Isleworth Brewery Company in 1920, was likewise a small family concern. The earliest mention of a Sich connected with brewing was in a conveyance of 1790 when John Sich purchased the lamb Brewery at Chiswick from a group of persons including members of the well-known Thrale family. In 1809 John Sich the Elder, John Sich the Younger and Henry Sich entered into a formal partnership as common brewers, a partnership which was dissolved and renewed between John Sich the younger and Henry Sich in 1819. As a slight diversification of their business interests they agreed to act together as coal merchants, side by side with brewing. Throughout the remainder of the Nineteenth century the business was carried on by a varying combination of members of the Sich family. They pursued a similar policy to the Isleworth Brewery Company and acquired a large number of licensed houses in the vicinity of the Brewery.


The bulk of records relating to this second company are deeds of title relating to licensed premises situated in Chiswick, Kew, Hammersmith, Chelsea and Brentford. Unfortunately, for this company, unlike the Isleworth Brewery, no accounting records have survived to indicate the extent of its business. On the other hand, a considerable quantity of correspondence between the company and its solicitors exists for the period 1830-1880. This deals with such matters as the purchasing, leasing and selling of property, and the solving of disputes arising between the company, as landlord, and its tenants. A more personal note is introduced by a small bundle of letters and legal papers concerning the separation of John Sich's daughter from her erring husband in 1850.


Four years after the amalgamation of these two family businesses in 1920, the enlarged company was taken over by Messrs. Watney, Combe Reid and Co. Apart from a few title deeds, the wages book described above is the only record to go beyond the take-over date.


As business records are particularly vulnerable to loss and destruction, this deposit is a welcome and valuable addition to the holdings of the office, particularly as the only other coherent group of brewing records held here are those of Fuller, Smith and Turner of Chiswick. The nature of the records of the two companies concerned is such that they in great measure complement one another, enabling a relatively comprehensive picture to be created of the small beginnings of part of what is today an enormous commercial structure.

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