Documents from the Archives of

William Brown & Co

Auctioneer & Land Surveyor, High Street, Tring


Papers in the
County Records Offices


Material from the Bedfordshire Archives & Record Service

Outline history of the firm of Brown & Merry
1832 William Brown established business in Tring
1834 Firm established (ex.inf. advertisements of 1949 and 1962)
1893 A.W. Merry (1868-1948) articled to Joseph and Joseph John Gale, Estate Agents etc., Wallingford (BML 5/1/3)
1896 A.W. Merry takes over the business of Messrs. Hart & Son, and becomes established at 17 High Street, Leighton Buzzard. First valuation notebook begins in April 1896
1915 Consideration of amalgamation with William Brown & Co. (BML 4/3/2 i)
1915 Amalgamation of A.W. Merry, 17 High Street, Leighton Buzzard, with Messrs. Stafford and Rogers of Bedford. Trading as Stafford, Rogers and A.W. Merry from 1 July 1915 (BMB 1/1/18 and BML 4/3/2 ii-iv)
1948 Death of Arthur W. Merry
1964 Stafford, Rogers and Merry join with William Brown & Co. to form Brown and Merry
1982 Firm celebrates 150th anniversary (report in Bedfordshire. and Buckinghamshire. Observer 22 June 1982)

In 1964 a major deposit of documents was made to the Bedfordshire Records Office.

The business archives deposited by the Leighton Buzzard office of Messrs. Brown and Merry complement the material from the Bedford office (ref: BMB). Together these deposits constitute an important archive which both illustrates the workings of a local office and provides a wealth of information on the locality. The loose documents and bundles of papers for the Bedfordshire parishes are especially important (ref: BML 10). The papers for parishes in other counties has been transferred to the appropriate County Record Office, but the core business records such as the valuation books (BML 2), ledgers (BML 3) and office records (BML 4) contain some out-County material and give a view of the operation of the business as a whole.

Material at The Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies (The Buckinghamshire Records Office)

Reference D/BML: This covers material relating to Buckinghamshire relating to the Leighton Buzzard Office. Most items are early 20th century.

Reference D/BMT: This collection comes from Brown & Merry, Tring. There are some 200 catalogue entries mostly 19th century and quite a few are plans before 1850. They are mainly Bucks. Three catalogue items (D/BMT/F/8-10) are bundles of correspondence (totalling about 100 items)  relating to sales in the period 1850-1854. It is clear that there are tie-ups between some of the items and the Clients' Account General Ledger that we have.

Material at HALS, Hertford (The Hertfordshire Records Office)

Their catalogue contains details of the Leighton Buzzard papers transferred from the Bedfordshire Records Office. There are a small number relating to Tring and district but none would appear to come from the Tring Office. Most items are early 20th century.

There is nothing in their catalogue which appears to have come directly from Brown & Merry, Tring

Material in the Dacorum Heritage Trust Store

I have just discovered an email from Matt Wheeler written in 2002 about the Gower family of Tring which quotes from Brown & Merry material in the DHT store. The nature of the quote suggests that it is "archive" material. How and when it got there I don't know, but it might well be the Hertfordshire "half" of the material in the Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies ref D/BMT - which is not at HALS. (I have asked Nina for details).