fonds M - John Mackintosh & Sons Ltd Archive

Identity area

Reference code



John Mackintosh & Sons Ltd Archive


  • 1731-1987 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

1.6 cubic metres

82 boxes, 48 volumes and oversize material

Context area

Name of creator


Administrative history

John Mackintosh was born in 1868 in Cheshire and moved to Halifax soon afterwards. After he married he set up a small pastry shop in Kings Cross Lane, Halifax. He soon decided on toffee as a speciality to sell and developed a blend of brittle English toffee with soft American caramel. The first product was Mackintosh's Celebrated Toffee. In 1894 he purchased a warehouse in Bond Street, Halifax, and in 1895 the business moved to Hope Street.

In 1899 the company of John Mackintosh Ltd was formed with a capital of £15,000 and by 1903 the company was exporting all over the world. During the same year a factory was built in Queens Road. It was destroyed in 1909 but rebuilt soon afterwards. Premises in Albion Road were lease whilst the new Queens Road factory was being built and were then retained on a permanent basis.

John Mackintosh died on 27 January 1920 and his son Harold became chairman. In the same year the company was put into voluntary liquidation and the firm of John Mackintosh and Sons formed. In 1929 Mackintosh began the manufacture of chewing gum sold from machines. In 1925 the business of North Kerry Manufacturing Co. was purchased and NKM toffee introduced.

In 1930 the Irish business of Mackintosh and Rowntree merged to form the Associated Chocolate and Confectionery Co. Ltd. Joint working arrangements with Rowntree and Co. for the manufacture of chewing gum led to the formation of Allied Confectionery Manufacturers Ltd. In 1932 the business of A. J. Cayley and Sons Ltd of Norwich was purchased and in 1939 the two firm merged and reorganised as one company. In 1964 Mackintosh acquired the firm of Joseph Bellamy and Sons of Castleford, liquorice manufacturers. Mackintosh's best known product, Quality Street, was launched in 1936.

In 1969 John Mackintosh & Sons merged with Rowntree & Co to form Rowntree Mackintosh PLC.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

The archive was deposited at the Borthwick Institute in 1992. A further addition was made to the archive in 1996.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Corporate records, comprising memoranda and articles of association, 1899-c.1920; registers of directors, 1901-1958; seal registers, 1930-1962; annual reports and accounts, 1921-1977; papers concerning annual and extraordinary general meetings, 1912-1977; annual returns to the Registrar of Companies and related papers, 1899-1961; share records, 1899-1969.

Records of the Board of Directors, comprising meeting papers, 1898-1979; records of company directors, 1905-1939; records of individual directors, including Harold Mackintosh, 1921, and Douglas Mackintosh, 1944; records of Board Committees, 1932-1985;
Legal records, comprising property records relating to Albion Mills, 1731-1938, and other property in Halifax, 1813-1907; records of the company secretary, 1909-1966; and general papers, 1915-1968.

Financial records, including balance sheets and trading accounts, 1899-1922; journals, 1905-1961; ledgers, 1899-1954; records of the Costing Department, 1927-1929; records of the Order Department, 1927-1932; records of the Purchase Department, 1930-1987.
Production records, comprising recipe and mixings notebooks, c.1910-1975; records of the Joint Planning Department, 1939-1966; and records relating to Halifax factories, including technical drawings of machinery and press cuttings, 1921-1987.

Personnel records, including records of Halifax Personnel and Welfare Officer, 1925-c.1950; records of Halifax Wage Office, c.1949-1955; handbook of factory rules for Caley Branch, Norwich, 1960; evaluation forms for the training and assessment of salesmen, [1967]; and Pension Fund records, 1945-1960.

Sales and advertising records, comprising records of Sales Manager, including records relating to trade marks, sales statistics, sales conferences, and circulars to salesmen and wholesalers, 1903-1981; records of E. L. Fletcher, Sales and Advertising Manager, including records relating to sales statistics, sales and marketing policy, pricing policy, foreign marketing and sales, travellers, advertising, and specific projects, 1920-1969.

Records of Export Manager, 1952-1953.

Advertising records, 1950-1969.

Distribution records, comprising records of Transport Department Halifax, 1921-1945.

Papers of K. M. Henderson, Director and Liaison Officer for Overseas Factories, 1930-1954.

Mackintosh-Caley News company magazines, 1949-1971.

Publications concerning John Mackintosh & Sons, c.1920-1970.


Further accruals are not expected.

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Records are open to the public, subject to the overriding provisions of relevant legislation, including data protection laws. 24 hours' notice is required to access photographic material.

Conditions governing reproduction

A reprographics service is available to researchers subject to the access restrictions outlined above. Copying will not be undertaken if there is any risk of damage to the document. Copies are supplied in accordance with the Borthwick Institute for Archives' terms and conditions for the supply of copies, and under provisions of any relevant copyright legislation. Permission to reproduce images of documents in the custody of the Borthwick Institute must be sought.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

A typescript finding aid, to file level, is available for consultation in the searchroom of the Borthwick Institute. The catalogue has also been published as 'A Guide to the Rowntree and Mackintosh Company Archives' by Judith Burg (University of York, 1997).

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

The archive of John Henderson, 1957-1960, and Colin Burton, 1923-1974, both employees of John Mackintosh & Sons Ltd, are also deposited at the Borthwick Institute, as are the records of Rowntree & Co, which includes some records of Rowntree-Mackintosh.

Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)

Access points

Place access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier


Rules and/or conventions used

ISAD (G): General International Standard Archival Description, International Council on Archives (2nd edition, 2000); Rules for the construction of personal, place and corporate names, National Council on Archives (1997).

Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

Collection-level description created by S. A. Shearn, 27.04.17. Retroconverted, edited and imported to Borthcat by K. Mannion, August 2017.


  • English



Accession area