Records of Tennent Caledonian Breweries Ltd, brewers, Glasgow, Scotland

Reference code(s): GB 1127 T
Title: Records of Tennent Caledonian Breweries Ltd, brewers, Glasgow, Scotland
Date(s): 1550-1990s
Extent and medium of the unit of description: 13.80 metres
Repository: Scottish Brewing Archive
Name of creator(s): Tennent Caledonian Breweries Ltd (brewers : 1966 - : Glasgow, Scotland),
Level of Description: fonds
Published by: Scottish Brewing Archive 20 March 2002
Language of Material: English

Administrative/Biographical History

Hugh and Robert Tennent founded H & R Tennent in 1740 at Drygate Bridge, Drygate, Glasgow, Strathclyde, Scotland, although the Tennent family had been associated with brewing in Glasgow since the mid-sixteenth century. Hugh Tennent's sons, John and Robert, continued the family business, trading as J & R Tennent from at least 1769. The business expanded in the 1790s, absorbing the adjacent brewhouse of William McLehose, until the Drygate Brewery, renamed Wellpark Brewery, covered 5 acres. Robert Tennent died in 1826 and John Tennent in 1827, Hugh Tennent , the eldest son of Robert, assuming control of the business. Hugh Tennent retired in 1855 and his fifth son, Charles Stewart Parker Tennent, took control but died in 1864, some months before his father. The brewery was subsequently operated by trustees on behalf of Charles Tennent's sons, Archibald and Hugh. In 1884 Hugh Tennent acquired his brother's share in the business and assumed sole control. He started lager brewing for export in 1885, a new lager brewery being built at Wellpark between 1889 and 1891. After Hugh Tennent's death in 1890 another trust ran the brewery until 1901. J & R Tennent was registered in 1901 as a limited liability company to acquire the business. The company was one of the first businesses in the United Kingdom to can beer. It became a public company in 1953 and formed a subsidiary company, West of Scotland Taverns Ltd, to acquire and operate its licensed premises in 1953. In 1960 it acquired Maclachlans Ltd, Castle Brewery, Craigmillar, Edinburgh, Scotland, and over 100 tied houses; Turner's (Ayr) Ltd, bottlers and distributors; and Westcon Ltd, caterers of Ayr, Scotland. The company, along with 240 licensed houses, was taken over by Charrington United Breweries Ltd, London, England, in 1963, and in 1966 formally merged with United Caledonian Breweries Ltd, Charrington United Breweries Ltd's other Scottish holding, to form Tennent Caledonian Breweries Ltd. The new company's brewing was concentrated at Wellpark Brewery, Glasgow, and Heriot Brewery, Edinburgh. Wellpark Brewery was redeveloped between 1965 and 1968 while Heriot Brewery was demolished in the 1990s. The company continues to brew at Wellpark Brewery and claims to have the largest sales of all beers sold in Scotland.

Richmond, Lesley and Turton, Alison (eds). The Brewing Industry. A Guide to Historical Records (Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 1990)

Scope and Content

  • Memorandum and articles of association 1901-1965
  • Certificates of incorporation 1901
  • Partnership agreements 1861-1972
  • Amalgamation/liquidation papers 1960-1967
  • Directors' minutes 1867-1959
  • Board papers 1916-1958
  • Minutes of AGMs 1901-1959
  • Records relating to members' meetings 1954-1963
  • Directors' annual reports and accounts to shareholders 1902-1978
  • Committee meetings 1978-1982
  • Miscellaneous corporate records 1904-1977
  • Shareholding records 1877-1920
  • Letterbooks 1785-1876
  • Financial records 1776-1983
  • Patents and trademarks 1881-1960s
  • Production records 1830-1920s
  • Sales records 1812-1910
  • Licensed premises 1895-1960s
  • Property records 1806-1904
  • Promotional records 1870s-1996
  • Public relations 1864-1996
  • Family papers/historical notes 1550-1983
  • Photographs c1900-1990s

System of Arrangement

The material is arranged according to the Scottish Brewing Archive classification scheme used within all SBA collections.

Custodial History

The collection was previously stored at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh. It moved to the University of Glasgow in 1991. Further deposits have been received since 1991.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Tennent Caledonian Breweries

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 1127 procedures



Access Conditions

Material under 30 years old is closed to access. It is advised that you should contact the archivist before visiting.

Copyright / Conditions governing reproduction

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the Scottish Brewing Archivist

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use & condition of documents

Finding Aids

File level list available in searchroom. The collection is currently being re-catalogued

Related Units of Description

Most of the collections mentioned below are of companies that were acquired by Tennent Caledonian Breweries.

GB 1127 ARTEFACTS: Scottish Brewing Archive Artefacts Collection

GB 1127 WST: Records of West of Scotland Taverns Ltd

GB 1127 GJM: Records of G & J Maclachlan Ltd

GB 1127 CUB: Records of Charrington United Breweries Ltd, breweries & licensed premises group

GB 802302: Records of Charrington United Breweries Ltd (private collection, enquiries to Business Archives Council, London, England)

GB 802302 BAC: Records of Charrington & Co Ltd, brewers (private collection, enquiries to Business Archives Council, London, England)

GB 1127 UCB: Records of United Caledonian Breweries Ltd

GB 802302 no 619: Records of United Breweries Ltd (private collection, enquiries to Business Archives Council, London, England)

GB 1127 GY: Records of George Younger & Son Ltd

GB 1127 JJ: Records of John Jeffrey & Co Ltd

GB 1127 JA: Records of John Aitchison & Co Ltd

GB 1127 AIT: Records of James Aitken & Co (Falkirk) Ltd

GB 1127 AJ: Records of Aitchison Jeffrey Ltd

GB 1127 JF: Records of John Fowler & Co Ltd

GB 1127 TR: Records of Turner, Ayr & Newton Breweries Ltd

GB 1127 WC: Records of Westcon Ltd

Publication note

"Tennent's Malts". Scottish Brewing Archive Newsletter No 25 (Summer 1985)

McMaster, Charles . "Men of Brewing - Hugh T Tennent". Scottish Brewing Archive Newsletter No 7 (Summer 1986)

Anderson, Archibald F . Letter Received by J & R Tennent, Wellpark Brewery, Glasgow, 5 December 1938. Scottish Brewing Archive Newsletter No 17 (Summer 1990)

Manz, Stefan . "J & R Tennent's Lager. The German Connection". The Annual Journal of the Scottish Brewing Archive 1 (1998), pp1-12

Manz, Stefan . „Technologietransfer und Spezialistenwanderung. Eine Augsburger Lagerbrauerei in Glasgow, 1881-1959“. Zeitschrift für Unternehmensgeschichte 45 (2000), pp225-247

Frocessing information

Fonds level description compiled by Natalie Milne, Archive Assistant (Hub), Tuesday 20 November 2001

Revised by Wiebke Redlich, Archive Assistant (Hub), 20 March 2002