Doyle & Son

John Doyle (with hat) and family around 1890 (picture collection A. Browne)
Figure 1: John Doyle (with hat) and family around 1890 (picture collection A. Browne)
The firm Doyle & Son (c.1832-c.1970) was founded by John Doyle (1797-1872), who has been active as an scalemaker since 1825.1 John Doyle worked at Steelyard, St. Thomas', Borough (1825/7) and later at 24/26 King Street, Southwark (1840-1865).1 Different sources give different dates as when the firm took over the business of Nicholl and Fowler, who had premises in the Borough High Street, and renamed it ‘Doyle & Son’.2,3 It is either given as around 1830-18322 or in 18861. Given the 1835 indenture number in combination with the Doyle & Son name plate makes the former more likely.
Doyle & Son was a true family firm. The 'Son' first referred to probably was either John Joseph Doyle (1825-1866) or George Alfred Doyle (1829-1864) who both died before their father’s death in 1872.2 Their younger brother Joseph Morten Doyle (1845-1898, see adjacent picture) also was a scalemaker and ran the business by the time their lease on Borough High Street ran out in 1887.2 In that year Joseph Morton Doyle leased some land from Guy’s Hospital for 90 years to build 17-19 Newcomen Street, just off the Borough High Street and adjoining Guy’s Hospital.2
The family lived in a large townhouse at 39 Trinity Square in Southwark within ten minutes' walk of the shop and factory on Newcomen Street.2 He and his sons, and later his grandsons, carried on the business until it was sold in December 1970 to W.T. Avery & Company.2
In an old catalogue, circa 1890, they described themselves as 'Manufacturers of Standard Scales, Weights, Measures, Balances, etc. to almost every County and Corporation in the United Kingdom.2 They were a business of some stature, and expanded by buying and operating other firms under their own various and different names, in and around London.2

Instrument(s) in the collection:


[1]: English Weights and Measures web site: Names on Weights - A to D
[2]: A. Browne, Doyle family 1825-1950 | Source data | Family tree, (2009).
[3]: As Nicholl and Fowler published the book Handy-Book of Weights, (London, 1860), it is more likely that the business was indeed taken over in 1886 as suggested by [1]. For reference to the work see Dictionary of National Biography volume 35, p.21.

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