Ref NoMS 1717
TitleRecords of Messrs. Scholefield and Goodman Ltd.
Date1780 - c. 1960
DescriptionClick on the 'Document' field to see a PDF of the catalogue for this collection.
FormatCubic metres
AdminHistoryThis merchant house was founded before 1777 by Clement Cotterill in Bull Street. He traded there and from 1780 in Old Square with various partners in succession as Fox, Cotterill, and Francis; Cotteril and Francis; Ketland, Cotterill and Son; and Clement Cotterill and Sons until the early 1800s. His sons, William and Thomas Cotterill succeeded to the firm around 1808. His daughters were also important to the story as by 1815 their husbands had taken over the firm as Scholefield, Redfern & Co. Joshua Scholefield later traded with Taylor and then with his sons, Clement Cotterill Scholefield and Willam Scholefield, the name of the firm being changed appropriately.

Joshua Scholefield was Birmingham's first MP from 1833 until his death in 1844. His son William followed him in the seat from 1847-67 and was Birmingham's first Mayor after the city charter was granted in 1838.

John Dent Goodman, whose father had also married a Cotterill and come to Birmingham to live, entered the Scholefield firm in 1831 as an apprentice. His progress upwards was rapid and in 1842 he was made a partner, the name of the firm being altered to Joshua Scholefield, Sons and Goodman in 1861 and to Scholefield, Goodman & Son in 1872 when Frederick B. Goodman was made a partner. The '& Sons' followed in 1875 when E. M. Goodman can in; another son joined in 1880.

John Dent Goodman had many other interests, notably a separate partnership in a gunmaking firm with J. B. Cooper from 1838-88. As a result of this, he became the chairman of the Gun Trade Association when it co-operated in 1855 to form Birmingham Small Arms (B.S.A.). He also started the Birmingham Gazette and was a director, later chairman, of the Midland Bank, 1879-98.

Following the involvement of the Goodmans, the original Scholefield merchanting business was steadily expanded. New, purpose-built, premises were built at 135 Edmund St. in 1877-78, and a London office opened in 1880. Sales to the American Continent, particularly the West Indies, were especially important in the early years of the business, but the trade with Australia, New Zealand and South Africa grew steadily in the 20th century.

In 1913 the business was registered as a private limited company, the Goodman interest gradually giving way to the new major shareholders, Alexander John Christie, John Pearman Smith and Frank Leslie Wright as joint managing directors. More recently, the Beharrell family controlled the business, which was eventually acquired by a French parent company. The Edmund Street premises were closed in 1992, and the company's remaining staff transferred to an office in Newhall Street.
ArrangementThis is a collection level description. A paper catalogue is available in our research room, and as a PDF on this catalogue entry.
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