THE STORY OF SCHWEPPES - PART 2 1799 to 1834
After developing his mineral water business for 6 years , Joseph prepared to retire at the age of 58. He sold three-quarters of his interest to three Jerseymen, retained a one-eighth share for himself, and one eighth in the name of Colette. In 1798 he made a clear profit of £1200, a considerable sum of money at the time. His artificial mineral waters had met even greater success in England than they had enjoyed in Switzerland. The three Channel Islanders were Henry William Lauzun, Francis Charles Lauzun and Robert Charles Brohier. The new partners decided to carry the business forward under the name of Schweppes & Company in the Margaret Street premises. Jacob and Colette would reveal "the whole art, mistery and process of making and composing artificial mineral waters". The consideration for the shares acquired by the new partners was £2250, giving the business a total valuation of £3000 in the values of the day. On 14th February 1799, Jacob and Colette relinquished another half of their quarter share in the business. As the 18th century ended, so the Schweppes parted company with the great business they had founded. Jacob traveled through Germany and returned eventually to Geneva where he enjoyed a comfortable retirement until he died in November 1821.Colette sold her remaining shares in the company in 1824.
Very early design ovate bottle used by Schewppes with their Margaret Street address on which predates 1839. Click on the thumbnail for a bigger picture..
As the new century dawned, three Jerseymen were ready to take the company forward. The decision to carry the Schweppes name was clearly a fortuitous one for the company continued to expand its trade and sales. Schweppes waters could be consigned carriage paid to even the furthest corners of England , Scotland and Wales - it was not confined to the capital like many of its rivals. A network of agentts was established throughout the land within the first decade of the new century. Each agent was supported by advertisements in the local press and so Schweppes were among the first ever manufacturers to advertise their goods on a national scale. In an age before the railways, goods were consigned around the country by a variety of means. These included horse transport or wagons, canal boats or coasting vessels. From a letter dated August 4 1802, it is known that Schweppes were using the "Birmingham and Coventry Flying Wagons" operated by Deykin & Co, from the Bell, Wood Street, Cheapside. Another company used went by the name of "Philips Wagon". A fascinating letter dated January 24th 1811 from J Schweppe & Co to the "Rt. .Hon Lord Elgin of Broom Hall, Fifeshire gives an insight into the transportation of the waters ;
"We beg to advise our having forwarded by the Old Shipping Company’s smack Queen Charlotte, William Nesbitt, Master, a hamper containing 5 dozen half pints Soda Water which we hope will arrive safe ….."
The company faced numerous competitors in the lucrative mineral water business. In Birmingham William Henry had set up his own plant and enjoyed a near monopoly but was fearful of encroachment by Schweppes. Nicolas Paul, a former partner of Schweppes in Geneva had decided to start up in London, in direct competition with Schweppes. All the competitors seemed unable to match the quality of Schweppes waters. The export trade also proved to be a lucrative area for the company. A nephew of one of the three Jersey partners, when writing a thesis for a medical degree wrote ;
The English have a large business in their artificial waters in the Cape of Good Hope, The East Indies, the Antilles etc.
A poster advertises the arrival of Schweppes in Bristol - click on the thumbnail for a bigger image....
In the early years of the century three new branch factories were established, and the first of these was in Bristol. In an advertisement dated February 1803 in the Bristol Journal, the company announced their arrival at No 18, corner of Philadelphia St, Bristol. .Further adverts in the Bristol Journal from 1814 and 1820 show that the company was manufacturing soda water at Upper Horwell Spring and Sion Spring respectively, and the firm had a new address in Clifton. The next factory was established in Newcastle upon Tyne. The exact starting date is not known but it has been established that it did operate between 1808 and 1824. The third factory was set up in Derby in 1812 at Friar Gate and continued in operation until 1893. The choice of Derby rather than Nottingham may well have been influenced by the proximity too the salt glazed stoneware potteries in Derbyshire. It seems almost certain hat the first bottles used at Derby would have been made of stoneware as J Schweppes & Cos advertisement announced that "the bottles being manufactured on the spot will admit a reduction of the present prices".. Burtons of Codnor Park , Edward M Mundy and Joseph Bourne are all recorded as supplying stoneware bottles to Schweppes.
The partnership of 1798 was dissolved by a deed dated May 1824, and the new partners were Robert Brohier, R J Brohier and Richard Annesley Sparkes of Oaking in Surrey. Robert Brohier was one of the three original Jerseymen and had held the largest share in the business since 1801. He had taken up residence at Margaret Street and assumed control of production and general company management. Some time before 1831 the company was granted royal patronage when they became suppliers of soda water to King William IV. This was a major achievement and would no doubt have helped to increase sale even further.. At the end of 1831 the company moved from the old premises in Margaret Street and moved into new premises at 51 Berners Street, off Oxford Street. It was not too difficult a job to transfer the relatively simple plant and machinery required to produce the waters. No 51 Berners Street would prove to be a home for Schweppes for the next 64 years until 1895.