Above: sign outside the King William IV pub, Leyton, shows the hand painted gold, and the date 1866.
Roger Protz posted on January 3rd 2016:
“The famous red hand logo, which became the signature of the combined Ind Coope & Allsopp breweries long into the 20thcentury, was registered as a trademark by Allsopp’s in 1876. The red hand was an ancient symbol used by inns to indicate that ale was available and in good condition. Good condition was not a term that could be applied to the company itself. Ian Webster shows that Allsopp’s was quite astonishingly badly run. Following in Guinness’s footsteps, Allsopp’s was floated on the stock exchange in 1866. Far from leading to greater prosperity, sales and profits declined, to such an extent that the directors were booed and jeered at an emergency meeting of shareholders.
The directors blamed the situation on the unfair competition of big London brewers and their development of the tied house system. Yet within a few years, Allsopp’s turned turtle and went on the rampage, buying not only pubs but also hotels. In 1899 it built a new brewery in Burton to produce lager at a time when the demand for German-style beer was minimal in England. This attempt to refashion British drinking habits was an ignominious failure. In total Allsopp’s squandered £1 million.The company had to be bailed out and reorganised and by the early 20th century all members of the ruling family had left the company.”
From: Ind Coope & Samuel Allsopp Breweries: The History of the Hand, by lan Webster:
In comparison to the wealth of archive material that has survived for SA&S Ltd including Executive Minute books dating back to 1887, very little has survived for Ind Coope & Co. (IC & Co.) prior to 1912. The company must have kept records, however, only one document appears to have endured to the present day, dating from 1859 to 1860. References to the company in the press are also sparse, so it seems that the early history was nowhere near as dramatic as SA&S Ltd!
Romford Days, 1799-1856
The roots of the business that would become IC&Co. in 1845
can be traced back to Romford in Essex and The Star Inn,
which stood at the foot of the bridge that crossed the River
Rom. Romford stood on the only road linking London with
Colchester, Harwich and the East Coast and was therefore an
important place for travellers.
The Star Inn, run by Mr Cardon, had a small brewhouse attached. By 1750, Mr Cardon had built up a fine reputation for Nut Brown Ale and as his popularity grew he began to deliver to the local area by dray. When Mr Cardon retired in 1799 he sold his business to Mr Edward Ind (Snr) and his partner Mr J. Grosvenor on 23 June and the trade began to flourish. By 1816, Mr Grosvenor had been replaced by Mr John Smith and the company began to trade as Ind & Smith.
Mr Smith sold his share in the business in 1845 to brothers Octavius Edward Coope and George Coope and the name IC&Co. was adopted. Octavius would serve as a Conservative MP for Great Yarmouth, Middlesex, and finally Brentford that he held until his death in 1885. Ind died in 1848 and his place was taken by his two sons Edward Ind (Jnr) and Edmund Vipan Ind.
A local rhyme paid tribute to the popularity of Edward Ind (Snr), ‘Where in the town of Romford can we find, a man more genuine than Edward Ind?’ The name Ind is pronounced in a number of different ways, rhyming with ‘find’, sounding like ‘Eye-yind’, or harsh as in ‘India’. The correct pronunciation is unfortunately lost to history.
The company grew, taking Charles Peter Matthews into the partnership, then in the mid-1850s they ‘cast an eye in the direction of the Brewing Metropolis, Burton-on-Trent.’
Aside from few notable newsworthy events, a maltster’s
strike in 1889, in which hundreds of men forced their way
into the brewery ‘handling the manager, his son and the
watchman rather severely’ in an attempt to persuade others
to join the strike and a storekeeper killing himself after a
quarrel with his wife, the brewery concentrated on brewing
‘splendid pale, strong, mild ales and stout’ in cask and
In comparison to the spectacle that surrounded the birth and early years of SA&S Ltd, the formation of IC&Co. Ltd on 13 November 1886 was much less dramatic. The capital was £1,500,000 made up of 15,000 shares of £100, with no issue to general public. The first board consisted of Octavius Edward Coope, Mr Thomas Mashier and Mr E. Murray Ind, who had owned the company prior to the flotation, and Edward Ind, C. P. Matthews, E. Jesser Coope, F.J. N. Ind, C. W. Matthews, E. T. Hulme and E. J. Bird. O. E. Coope was nominated as the permanent chairman, a position he only held for less than a month as he passed away in early December.
Two more Directors passed away, Matthews in December 1891 and Edward Ind in March 1894. These were rich and powerful men, Ind had been MP for Ipswich and Matthews left a sum of €163,000 in his will.
The company shipped thousands of hogsheads of ale to South Africa during the Boer War. They also held the contract for the Egyptian army, which accounted for 40 per cent of the beer exported by the country.”