Catalogue description Records of E G Jepson & Co Chemical Manufacturers Crown Point Road, Leeds.

This record is held by West Yorkshire Archive Service, Leeds

Details of Jepson
Reference: Jepson
Title: Records of E G Jepson & Co Chemical Manufacturers Crown Point Road, Leeds.
Date: 1886-1971
Held by: West Yorkshire Archive Service, Leeds, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

E G Jepson and Co, chemical manufacturers of Leeds

Physical description: 23 Files
  • Chemical industry
Administrative / biographical background:

E G Jepson & Co, Drysalters and oil merchants, importers of dyewoods, 26 Bassinghall Street, Leeds was established in 1806 by Edward Grace. The first premises were in Park Cross Street. In 1819 Thomas Jepson entered the partnership. In 1847 Mr Grace retired and Thomas Jepson introduced his son, Edward George Jepson into the business. The firm continued as Thomas and Edward George Jepson until 1866. At this time the senior partner retired and Joseph Hudson entered into partnership with E G Jepson and in 1874 the firm became known as 'E G Jepson & Co'. Mr. Jepson retired from the firm at the end of 1875 and Arthur Gilliat joined the partnership with Mr Hudson.


Around 1847 the business moved to Dickinson's Court, Boar Lane and in 1867 purchased the firm of Messrs William Baxter & Co (originally Hutchinson, Gibbon and Baxter) of London and Leeds. In 1885 they acquired the business of Messrs Turley & Co., of Halifax and made the firm the biggest concern of its class in Yorkshire.


By 1893 the firm was located at 24 and 26 Basinghall Street in a former wool warehouse. The office staff consisted of Wm Holliday, invoice clerk, John Smith part time traveller and stockbook clerk [from Turley & Co] and ? as posting and shorthand clerk. Mr Hudson as well as being a partner, kept the cash books and acted as cashier; Mr Gilliat was chiefly occupied with travelling in Yorkshire, Lancashire, Midlands etc. Fortunately he was endowed with just those qualities that made for a successful career in business, an attractive personality, an engaging manner full of spirit and good humour; a combination that made him a welcome visitor to customers. Trade increased rapidly. He was also a member of the Bramham Moor Hunt.


The chief lines of business were White's Agency, the British Alizarine Co's agency for their Alizarine Red Paste and Powder, Brunner Mond's Alkali, Castner-Kellner's Bleaching Powder, Pritchard's Oxalic Acid. It imported P.T. & T. and Orets brands of Shumac from Palermo, Green Olive Oil Soap from Bari. It purchased large quantities of Madras, J.I. and J.2. Myrabs through London brokers and Malaga Olive Oil, ex ship Hull, Goole and Liverpool. It held fairly large stocks of Myrabs, Shumac, Quebracho, Gambier, Tartar, Tartaric Acid, Chrome Alum, Roll Sulphur, Flowers of Sulphur, Bleaching Powder, Sulphate of Copper, Prussiate of Potash, Oxalic Acid, Soad Bark etc. There were full cargos of Honduras Logwood and Logwood Roots shipped direct to Goole from Belize. Most of it would be sold before arrival and then loaded overside into barges for Leeds, Dewsbury, Huddersfield etc to avoid landing charges. There also smaller stocks of Sanderswood and Limawood. Malaga and Seville Olive Oils were bought ex ship Hull, Goole and Liverpool. On arrival at Leeds the Oil, if not sold, would be pumped into large steel tanks of 5-10 tons capacity and repacked into casks by syphoning when required.


The business premises consisted of part of a three storied brick building fronting into Basinghall Street and Basinghall Square and was divided into a large general office and a smaller private office with an extra door to the warehouse for the convenience of the partners. There was also a stage doorway at the lower side of no. 24 for loading and unloading goods to and from the warehouse. In the enclosed yard behind there was a separate building containing large elevated tanks for the storage of Olive Oil. A small amount of Colza Oil was kept for helping to brighten the colour of the Olive Oil when necessary. The building was not designed for the heavy floor loadings and in 1894 the two floors above the office collapsed and the contents crashed through into the basement. The ledgers and journals were protected in the safe. The firm moved to Albion Walk Chambers eventually taking over the first floor. Warehouse accommodation was at 25, 27 and 29 Upper Mill Hill.


Mr C E Hudson, son of Joseph Hudson, became a partner in about 1898 and took a share in the travelling. He married a Miss Gard and had one daughter but died a few years after his father, who died in 1901. He was buried at Lawnswood Cemetery. A Mr Frankland joined the firm some months before Mr Hudson's death and was responsible for assembling a chemical laboratory. The firm no longer had to rely on the services of the City's analyst. John Smith retired about this time and Mr Holliday left on health grounds. Mr H H Hudson was taken on as invoice clerk but was found to be embezzling sums from the petty cash account. He was reinstated after promising to behave and repay the amount stolen by weekly amounts of £5. His behaviour did not improve, however, and he was prosecuted at Leeds Assizes in 1931, admitting to having stolen Tartaric Acid and Cream of Tartar from the firm to the value of £2,454 over three years. Harold Gilliat joined the firm in 1912 from Leeds University where he had studied Chemistry and Dyeing. He joined the Leeds Pals on the outbreak of war as a private but was soon raised to the rank of Major and entered the Medical Corps. Mr A Gilliat bought two properties about this time one in Albion Street from Mr Beck of Beck and Inchbold, being the Safe Deposit Company premises, and the firm occupied the first floor as offices. He also bought nos 1-5a Crown Point Road, demolished the old malt kiln and had the place rebuilt as a solid warehouse adjoining the old warehouse. Fred B English joined the firm in 1915 and Julian Marshall came about five years later. Both came from school before the firm moved from Upper Mill Hill in March 1921 and Albion Street in 1922 to the Crown Point property. Miss Kathleen Bond came in 1926, Miss Hilda Fox in 1938. Mr A Gilliatt took Mr H Gilliat as manager and Partner and Mr A R Gilliat as Partner before his death in January 1935 at the age of 79. He was buried at Moortown.

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