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Lawes’ Chemical Manure Company

This colourful advertising leaflet was purchased on the auction website ebay in May 2015. It dates from about 1891 and is largely self-explanatory.

According to the Archive Hub Lawes Chemical Company was founded by Sir John Bennet Lawes (1814-1900) (knighted in 1882 for general services to agriculture). He set up a factory for manufacture of super-phosphates at Deptford Creek, London, in 1843, and  some 14 years later in 1857 bought 100 acres at Barking Creek, Essex, on which the main factory and workmen's cottages were built. This is illustrated in the pamphlet.  The business was purchased from Lawes by a group of businessmen in 1872 and incorporated  with limited liability as Lawes Chemical Manure Co. Ltd, to manufacture artificial fertilisers, sulphuric acid and other chemical fertilisers. Branches were established in Scotland, Wales and the Channel Islands, and the company traded overseas in North  and South America, India, New Zealand, Australia South Africa, Middle East, Holland, Germany, Sweden and Russia. Lawes also established several subsidiary companies as artificial fertiliser merchants. The company became Lawes Chemical Co. Ltd. in 1935  and went into liquidation in 1969, the business continuing to trade under the name of Seabright Chemicals Ltd.

Archives for the period 1872-1970 are held by LBBD Archives. This collection comprises the records of Lawes Chemical Company Ltd, including minute books of the board of directors, the shareholders, and annual general meetings (1872-1959), together with  legal papers, financial ledgers and plans.

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