Fonds BLE - Bleasdale's Chemist

Identity area

Reference code



Bleasdale's Chemist


  • 1821-1960 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

55 Volumes

Context area

Name of creator


Administrative history

John Dales, an alderman of the City of York, founded the firm in 1780. The business passed to James Moore Butterfield and became Butterfield & Clarke in 1838 when he took on Joseph Clarke as his partner. J M Butterfield died in the early 1850s and his share of the business was acquired by William Bleasdale in 1856. The business was established at 23 Colliergate, York. As a result of two fires, in 1863 and 1864 the premises had to be completely rebuilt in 1866. By this time they were operating a drug grinding mill and manufacturing laboratory in addition to a distribution warehouse. Bleasdale became sole proprietor following the deaths of Clarke and Tollinton and the retirement of Bell, and traded under the name of W. Bleasdale & Company until his death in 1888. In 1894 it was converted into a limited liability company Bleasdale Ltd., the employees and customers acquiring the business with Grierson as managing director. The company continued to do well until the National Health Service came into being in 1948. After this, it gradually ran down the manufacturing side of the business and concentrated on the wholesaling operation. In 1982 the company made the decision not to re-register as a public company, and it moved from Colliergate to a warehouse at 2 Birch Park, Huntington Road, York.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Collection consists of recipe books for pills and perfumes in addition to documents relating to finances such as ledgers, cash books and cost books. It also includes a staff register, a pharmaceutical journal and a book entitled "Phillips' Pharmacopoeia". Also includes staff photographs and one scrap books.


System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access


Material is available subject to the usual terms and conditions of access to Archives and Local History collections.

Conditions governing reproduction

Images are supplied for private research only at the Archivist's discretion. Please note that material may be unsuitable for copying on conservation grounds. Researchers who wish to publish material must seek copyright permission from the copyright owner.

Language of material

  • English

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    Finding aids

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    Alternative identifier(s)


    ACC 83, ACC 302

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