Finding Number (Click this to view full catalogue structure)Cadbury
TitleThe Cadbury Papers
Extent76 boxes
Thumbnail (Click this image to open a larger image)


DescriptionThis collection of Cadbury Papers relates to the Cadbury firm, and mainly concern the Cocoa trade in West Africa c 1900-1960.

The collection comprises documents which relate to the Standard Trial, 1908-1909: Cadbury Brothers Ltd. v The Standard Newspapers Limited. In 1908, the Standard newspaper published an article reporting on Cadbury's imminent investigation into 'conditions of slavery' on plantations in San Thomé. The article accused Cadbury of complacency, questioning why 'Cadbury's voyage of discovery has been deferred so long'. Cadbury submitted a libel claim against the Standard newspaper. The libel trial lasted seven days, resulting in Cadbury winning the case and being cleared of all charges. Documents relating to the Standard Trial referenced Cadbury/1-180 include correspondence and legal documents; miscellaneous documents relating to the case; and other correspondence mainly relating to Portuguese West Africa and the Trial.

Other papers within the collection (items referenced Cadbury/181-390) comprise various documents by or relating to [William Adlington] Cadbury; photographs; printed works; pamphlets and minor works; statements made by Cadbury Brothers Ltd. on labour in Angola, S. Thome [Sao Tome] & Principe; official papers; official publications; accounts of Cadbury in British West Africa; correspondence with Cadbury's relating to War measures on cocoa, 1917-1918; correspondence and papers relating to the Profiteering Act, 1920; various legal papers relating to West Africa; West African Cocoa hold-up, 1937-1938; Cocoa Commission Committees; miscellaneous papers relating to cocoa in West Africa; press cuttings, letters to and from newspapers relating mainly to the Cocoa hold-up; items about Jeronimo Paiva de Carvalho and Alfredo da Silva; accounts relating to West Africa Cocoa; Kumasi cash sheets, and Kumasi Cocoa purchase sheets.
NotesThe photograph attached to the Fonds level entry was taken from reference: Cadbury/308
Access ConditionsAccess to all registered researchers
Finding AidsThe Cadbury Papers were catalogued in 1973 by D. Wyn Evans. Evans' handlist is available as a pdf file. Click on the link in the document field below. A paper copy is also available in the Cadbury Research Library: Special Collections Department.

Evans' catalogue of this collection is also available on the online archive catalogue. Click on the Finding Number to display the summary contents list of the catalogue and to view the full catalogue.
Access StatusOpen
Administrative HistoryCadbury, William Adlington, 1867-1957, businessman and philanthropist
Admin history about the Cadbury business:

John Cadbury opened his shop in 1824 at 93 Bull Street in the then fashionable part of Birmingham. The shop was next door to his father's drapery and silk business and apart from selling tea and coffee, John Cadbury sold hops, mustard and a new sideline - cocoa and drinking chocolate. Customers at John Cadbury's shop were amongst the most prosperous Birmingham families who were the only ones who could afford to buy cocoa and chocolate. In those days cocoa beans were imported from South and Central America and the West Indies.

By 1831 the business had changed from a grocery shop and John Cadbury had become a manufacturer of drinking chocolate and cocoa. In 1847 a larger factory in Bridge Street off Broad Street in the centre of Birmingham was rented. John Cadbury took his brother Benjamin into partnership and the family business became Cadbury Brothers of Birmingham. During the mid 1850s business began to decline. The partnership between the first Cadbury brothers was dissolved in 1860. John Cadbury's sons Richard and George, who had joined the company in 1850 and 1856, became the second Cadbury brothers to run the business. 1866 saw a turning point for the company with the introduction of a process for pressing the cocoa butter from the cocoa beans. This not only enabled Cadbury Brothers to produce pure cocoa essence, but the plentiful supply of cocoa butter remaining was also used to make new kinds of eating chocolate.

By the late 1870s the flourishing Cadbury business had outgrown the Bridge Street factory. The factory moved in 1879 to a "greenfield" site some miles from the centre of Birmingham which came to be called Bournville. The business became a private limited company - Cadbury Brothers Limited - in 1899 following Richard Cadbury's sudden death at the age of 63. George Cadbury became Chairman of the new Board and his fellow directors were Barrow and William Adlington Cadbury, sons of Richard and two of his own sons Edward and George Cadbury Junior. In 1919 Cadbury Brothers Limited merged with J. S. Fry & Sons of Bristol whose product range complemented that of Cadbury. During the second world war years cocoa and chocolate products were regarded as essential foods for the forces and civilian population, with production being under Government control. Rationing continued until 1949 but chocolate and sweets were still less plentiful than in 1939 due to shortage of raw materials.

For over 100 years Cadbury was essentially a family business although non-family directors were appointed for the first time in 1943. However in 1962, the whole structure was reorganised with the formation of a public quoted company - Cadbury Limited. The merger of the Cadbury Group in 1969 with Schweppes and the subsequent development of the business have led to Cadbury Schweppes taking the lead in both confectionery and soft drinks markets in the UK and becoming a major force on the international market.

Reference: Tallyrand Tallyrand's Culinary Fare ( ). Accessed May 2002.
AcquisitionThe collection was presented by Cadbury-Schweppes Ltd. to the University of Birmingham Library in September 1972.
Related MaterialCadbury Research Library: Special Collections also holds a set of copy letters from Joseph Burtt (1862-1939) to William Cadbury written during Burtt's visit to Africa (Angola, Sao Tome & Principe) on behalf of Cadbury Brothers to investigate the use of slave labour. Finding number: MS857.
Associated MaterialsOther records of Cadbury Ltd, confectionery manufacturers and of the Cadbury family are held by Birmingham City Archives (GB 0143 MS446).
Cadbury Ltd also retains some 19th and 20th century business archives (GB 2068); company is now part of Mondelez International, see: