Reid & Sons - Newcastle's Great Survivors

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Reid & Sons - Newcastle's Great Survivors

Postby dognose » Fri Nov 05, 2010 2:58 pm

Reid & Sons of Newcastle

During a flying visit to Newcastle last week, I was delighted to see that Reid & Sons were still in business and fortunately the friend that accompanied me was in possession of a camera and was able to take a couple of photos of their shopfront which dates to the early years of the last century.

Reid & Sons are the only firm that used the services of the Newcastle Assay Office that are still in existence today.

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This business was formed by Christian Ker Reid in 1788. He was born in Canongate, Edinburgh on the 8th September 1756 the son of Andrew Reid, a brewer, and his wife Christian Bruce. At the age of twelve he was apprenticed to the Edinburgh silversmith William Davie, the indentures being signed on the 29th March 1769. He was to be William Davie's final apprentice. Having completed his term with Davie, Christian Ker Reid secured a position with Langlands & Robertson as a journeyman and arrived in Newcastle in June 1778.

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Christian Ker Reid by an unknown artist

CKR married Margaret Todd at the All Saints Church, Newcastle, on the 27th February 1781, but within two years he was a widower as Margaret died on the 21st January 1783. He married again on the 28th October 1784 to Mrs Margery Thomson nee Forsdyce and fathered at least thirteen children by her.

In late 1787 or early 1788, after nearly ten years with Langlands & Robertson, CKR opened in business on his own account, firstly on the south side of St Nicholas Churchyard, moving to the Groat Market in 1790 and then to Dean Street in 1801.

Christian Ker Reid's first submissions to the Newcastle Assay Office were on the 1st February 1791

The first of Christian's sons to join the business was David Reid, officially in February 1818, but the 'CR over DR' mark was entered at Newcastle and London (Grimwade 3387) in 1815. However, David was not the first of the sons to enter the trade, as Christian's eldest son, William Ker Reid (Grimwade 1236, 3217a, 3286) was already working in London by this time in partnership with Joseph Cradock and may well have been trained by his now father-in-law, Edward Barnard (Grimwade 575, 2309). William's marriage to Mary Barnard on the 11th February 1812 was not the only link between these two great families of silversmiths, for, on the 26th August 1815, David Reid married another daughter of Edward Barnard, Elizabeth.

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The second son to join the firm was Christian Bruce Reid, he was apprenticed to Andrew Morison, a Freeman of the Newcastle Company probably in the employ of Christian Ker Reid. The attempted enrolment of Christian Bruce Reid's indenture to Morison was a cause of a great dispute between the Newcastle Company and Reids as CKR had never become a Freeman of Newcastle and the Company felt an apprenticeship to a journeymen who was working for a non-Freeman was not permissible. The Company sought legal advice and despite being advised to accept the enrolment, still managed to hold up everything for nearly a year before finally accepting the situation. Upon the completion of his apprenticeship, Christian Bruce Reid became a partner in the business.

Christian Ker Reid died on the 18th September 1834, his wife, Margery had died on the 31st August 1832.

Reid & Sons were now in the hands of David Reid and Christian Bruce Reid, but in c.1845, CBR decided to leave the trade to devote his time to his brewery business. It would appear that he sold his share of the business to his brother, William Ker Reid. Around this time David's son, Christian John, who had served his apprenticeship under his uncle, Christian Bruce, became a junior partner .

In 1868 the firm was rocked by the deaths of David Reid and his brother William Ker Reid within the space of six days. William, who had already retired from the firm in 1858, died on the 1st February and David on the 7th February 1868.

William Ker Reid was born on the 14th August 1787, his marriage to Mary Barnard produced thirteen children, seven boys and six girls. His London business was passed to his eldest son, Edward Ker Reid, who had been apprenticed to his father. Edward married Anna Barnard, the eldest daughter of John Barnard, further linking the two families.

David Reid was born on the 20th March 1792, his marriage to Elizabeth Barnard produced twelve children.

Following David Reid's death in 1868, Christian John Reid appointed his sons, Thomas Arthur Reid and Walter Cecil Reid and his brother David Reid (2) (aka David Reid junior) as partners.

David Reid (2) retired on the 31st July 1882. He was born on the 13th July 1832 and died on the 18th January 1914.

1884 saw the closure of the Newcastle Assay Office, Reids entered new marks at London on the 15th September 1885 and within the next twenty years had also entered marks at the Birmingham and Chester assay offices.

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Reid & Sons - Newcastle - 1884

Christian John Reid died on the 19th April 1891. He was born on the 12th November 1816 and was with Reid & Sons for his entire working life. His death left the business in the hands of Thomas Arthur Reid and Walter Cecil Reid, they were joined shortly after by a new partner, Francis James Langford.

William Cecil Reid retired on the 1st April 1895. He was born on the 21st August 1846. Following his retirement, Thomas Arthur Reid's son, Christian Leopold Reid became the new partner. By 1909 Francis James Langford had been replaced by William Septimus Leete.

Thomas Arthur Reid was born on the 13th February 1845 and died on the 8th June 1910.

Christian Leopold Reid was born on the 19th December 1872 and died on the 16th August 1924.

Reid & Sons became a limited liability firm on the 6th March 1930. In 1967 they became a subsidiary of Northern Goldsmiths Co. Ltd who were founded in Newcastle in 1892. Curiously enough the retail outlets of Reids and Northern Goldsmiths are just a few doors apart in Blackett Street, Newcastle.

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Northern Goldsmiths shop beneath their famous clock, a Newcastle landmark. Reid & Sons shop can be seen to the right of the photo, beneath their clock.

Amongst the more important commissions carried out by Reid & Sons are the FA Cup, the Rugby League Trophy and Ernest Shackleton's chronometer.

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In 2003, Reid & Sons celebrated their 225th anniversary (they include the ten years that Christian Ker Reid spent as a journeyman with Langlands & Robertson). They have been at their beautiful Blackett Street premises for over a hundred years. Should you visit Newcastle, then a visit to see Reid & Sons is one I would certainly recommend.

Sources:
A Directory of Newcastle Goldsmiths - Margaret A.V. Gill
Marks of London Goldsmiths and Silversmiths 1837-1914 - John P. Fallon
Marks of London Goldsmiths and Silversmiths 1697-1837 - John P. Fallon
Nineteenth Century Silver - John Culme
The Directory of Gold & Silversmiths, Jewellers & Allied Traders 1838-1914 - John Culme
London Goldsmiths 1697 - 1837 Their Marks & Lives - Arthur G. Grimwade
The Compendium of Chester Gold & Silver Marks 1570-1962 - Ridgway and Priestley
Various internet sources, and a very nice lady at Reid & Sons, whose name I forgot to ask, who found the image of Christian Ker Reid.

Trev.
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Re: Reid & Sons - Newcastle's Great Survivors

Postby dognose » Sat Nov 06, 2010 1:41 pm

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Reid & Sons - Newcastle - 1834

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Reid & Sons - Newcastle - 1836

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Reid & Sons - Newcastle - 1836

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Reid & Sons - Newcastle - 1837

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Reid & Sons - Newcastle - 1838

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Re: Reid & Sons - Newcastle's Great Survivors

Postby dognose » Tue Nov 09, 2010 5:56 am

Reid & Sons billead dated 1883.

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Re: Reid & Sons - Newcastle's Great Survivors

Postby Granmaa » Thu Nov 11, 2010 5:50 pm

It's nice to see a survivor.

Here's their mark from the post-Newcastle Assay Office days. Hallmarked in London 1924. It came off a child's spoon in a Reid & Sons box.

Miles

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Re: Reid & Sons - Newcastle's Great Survivors

Postby dognose » Fri Nov 12, 2010 5:34 am

Link to an image of the trade card of Reid & Sons:

http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/s ... _id=360670

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Re: Reid & Sons - Newcastle's Great Survivors

Postby dognose » Sun Nov 14, 2010 9:03 am

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Reid & Sons - Newcastle - 1838

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Reid & Sons - Newcastle - 1839

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Reid & Sons - Newcastle - 1841

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Reid & Sons - Newcastle - 1841

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Reid & Sons - Newcastle - 1842

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Re: Reid & Sons - Newcastle's Great Survivors

Postby dognose » Wed Nov 17, 2010 5:12 pm

Reid & Sons were now in the hands of David Reid and Christian Bruce Reid, but in c.1845, CBR decided to leave the trade to devote his time to his brewery business. It would appear that he sold his share of the business to his brother, William Ker Reid.


A notice that corrects the above and shows that William Ker Reid was already a partner in Reid & Sons prior to the departure of Christian Bruce Reid.

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Reid & Sons - Newcastle - 1845

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Re: Reid & Sons - Newcastle's Great Survivors

Postby dognose » Wed Nov 24, 2010 2:37 pm

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Reid & Sons - Newcastle - 1842

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Reid & Sons - Newcastle - 1842

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Reid & Sons - Newcastle - 1842

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Reid & Sons - Newcastle - 1843

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Reid & Sons - Newcastle - 1843*

* The move to the new address at 14, Grey Street, Newcastle, occurs on Tuesday 20th June 1843.

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Re: Reid & Sons - Newcastle's Great Survivors

Postby dognose » Sat Nov 27, 2010 9:46 am

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C K Reid & Son - Newcastle - 1828

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Reid & Sons - Newcastle - 1836

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Reid & Sons - Newcastle - 1882

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Re: Reid & Sons - Newcastle's Great Survivors

Postby dognose » Mon Dec 06, 2010 12:23 pm

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Reid & Sons - Newcastle - 1846

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Reid & Sons - Newcastle - 1846

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Reid & Sons - Newcastle - 1868*

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Reid & Sons - Newcastle - 1868

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Reid & Sons - Newcastle - 1869

*Note the change of address. The move from 14 to 41 Grey Street occured between 1852 and 1855.

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Re: Reid & Sons - Newcastle's Great Survivors

Postby MCB » Tue Dec 07, 2010 8:41 am

Historic UK inflation rates taken from a website for the products advertised by Reid & Sons makes interesting reading. Admittedly discoveries of new silver resources affected bullion prices but for example the dozen dinner forks advertised in 1842 for £10.17.6d (£10.875) would now cost the equivalent of £910; the gent's silver watch advertised in 1869 for £3.3.0d (£3.15) would now be £270; the silver price per ounce advertised in 1846 at say 7/6d (£0.375) is now equivalent to £33.

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Re: Reid & Sons - Newcastle's Great Survivors

Postby j3224 » Sun Dec 12, 2010 1:09 pm

Much appreciation to all in this thread who've given me lots of information for understanding the hallmarks on some cutlery that's in the family (not literally, of course). The maker's mark (CJR) I tracked down thanks to the main 925-1000 site, likewise the date letters for Newcastle
The thing that had confused me was the presence of the London assay office mark on all the pieces, alongside the Newcastle mark. From the information in dognose's original post I infer that the explanation might be that all the items (dated 1869-1880) were re-stamped after the local assay office closed and Reid registered new marks in London instead. Is that likely? I'm not completely comfortable with the explanation because the London stamp sits between the Newcastle stamp and the date letter on all the pieces, and it seems unlikely that a suitable space would have been left there accidentally, so perhaps there is another explanation. I wonder if all of the stamps except the date stamp were only added at the time of a sale? Or perhaps the London stamp was always added as well as the Newcastle one, even before the Newcastle assay office closed?
Whatever, it's not important, and I'm happy to know a lot more about Christain John Reid and Reid Brothers thanks to the historians of this forum.
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Re: Reid & Sons - Newcastle's Great Survivors

Postby dognose » Sun Dec 12, 2010 2:10 pm

Hi,

Welcome to the Forum.

The marks are all Newcastle ones. The regional assay offices also stamped the 'Leopard's Head' mark due to a misunderstanding or badly worded, whichever way you look at it, Act of Parliament. Whilst Exeter and Chester eventually dropped the mark, Newcastle and York used it until the closure of their assay offices.

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Re: Reid & Sons - Newcastle's Great Survivors

Postby j3224 » Sun Dec 12, 2010 4:13 pm

Thanks Trev! Well that's that one cleared up then, so it's clearly a very widespread practice - shows how little I know of silver! I wonder if it might be worth our hosts adding that info to the explanations of city marks on http://www.925-1000.com/british_marks.html.
From a historical point of view, then, it makes it more likely that the cutlery set was put together over a period of years, then, rather than that it was all restamped after 1884 having sat in the shop for ages. That makes a lot more sense! It fits better with date I'd guess at for when the original owners set up house, too, so it all helps with the family history. Thanks for the tip.

So now I'm a little bit hooked I suspect I'll be checking out a few more hallmarks. I'll perhaps see you back here with more questions.

Cheers, Jeremy
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Re: Reid & Sons - Newcastle's Great Survivors

Postby dognose » Fri Mar 04, 2011 3:26 pm

Reid & Sons exhibited at the Paris International Exhibition in 1862. Below are illustrated two of their exhibits which, perhaps, are of the work not normally associated with this firm.

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Source: The Illustrated Catalogue of the Paris Exhibition 1862.

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Re: Reid & Sons - Newcastle's Great Survivors

Postby d_argent007 » Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:23 pm

Sorry if it is an annoyance to bump up such an old thread. I have only just registered because I found this thread while googling Reid Bros. Because it is a question about Reid Bros I thought it probably should stay on this thread. Hope I am right in this assumption, if not please let me know and I'll get it right next time.

I have a teaspoon Stamped CR over DR, Newcastle, Lion Passant, R/F Duty Mark with a Capital M date stamp. This would be 1802/3 or 1852/3 and neither of those appear to fit. If it were a small m for 1826/7 this would make sense.
The Hallmarks are quite rubbed and it is doubtful I could get a readable photo sorry.

Any info would be appreciated.
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Re: Reid & Sons - Newcastle's Great Survivors

Postby dognose » Tue Mar 27, 2012 1:44 pm

Hi,

Welcome to the Forum.

As this is a question regarding marks, you will have to make a post with images in the Newcastle Hallmarks forum.

viewforum.php?f=52

We look forward to reading your post.

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Re: Reid & Sons - Newcastle's Great Survivors

Postby d_argent007 » Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:52 pm

Thanks for the welcome Trev I will try and get a photo and post it in the right place.

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Re: Reid & Sons - Newcastle's Great Survivors

Postby ngaire » Wed Nov 13, 2013 8:17 pm

I was interested to come across the information re. Reid and Sons. My Mother worked there in the office as a typist from leaving school? until she left to go to N.Z in 1948.Mum died aged 91 in 2003.I have looked through her photograph album and see she had many photos of staff members, staff outings dated 1931 to 1933 and photos of the directors, all information written under where the photos had been. Unfortunately they have all been removed, I can only think one of my family would have handed them in to Reid and sons it being a special year for them. I have a serviette ring in a Reid's box given to me on my birth as have all my brothers and one or two items that belonged to my mother and gifts she received when she left also letters of good wishes. One photo that remains in the album is of William along side a Reid and sons van, wonder who William was, the address on the side of the van is Blackett St.
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Re: Reid & Sons - Newcastle's Great Survivors

Postby dognose » Thu Nov 14, 2013 3:27 am

Hi Ngaire,

Welcome to the Forum.

Thanks for sharing your memories with us.

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