MRA Limited trial balance journal
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- Textual record
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CA PANB MC393
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- Manchester Robertson Allison Limited (Saint John, N.B.)
0.5 cm of textual records
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Name of creator
Manchester, Robertson, Allison Limited was a dry goods and general merchandise store founded in 1866 by James Manchester, James F. Robertson, and Joseph Allison in Saint John, New Brunswick. James Manchester came to Saint John from Yorkshire in 1855. He worked as a clerk in three different dry goods merchants' firms; the London House (T. W. Daniel & Co.), the Boston House, and finally Magee Brothers before leaving in 1866 to start his own business. James F. Robertson (1839-1921) was born in Saint John and also worked in the London House and Magee Brothers before joining the partnership with Robertson and Allison. Nova Scotia native, Joseph Allison came to Saint John in 1851. He clerked at the Golden Fleece with Gilchrist and Inches, dry goods merchants, until 1855, then joined the London House and later went to Magee Brothers until 1866.
The business opened 3 April 1866 in small premises on Prince William Street. The staff consisted of the three owners, a clerk and two boys. A year later, the firm had grown and they moved into larger premises at Market Square in uptown Saint John. By 1873 Manchester, Robertson, Allison, known locally as MRA's, had grown yet further and added premises in King Street. The company sold general dry goods at 27-29 King Street, carpet and house furnishings at 31-43 King Street; and furniture at 13-17 Market Square. MRA's also carried clothing and millinery.
In 1916, MRA's purchased buildings on upper Prince William Street for warehouse facilities. Alterations and improvements were completed in May 1928 and a new fashion department, the French Room, was added. In 1928 the firm ceased its wholesale department and also changed from a private company to a corporation. The Tea Room was added in 1929. In 1973 Manchester Robertson Allison Limited closed after 107 years in business.
The journal was acquired by dealer, Harry Bayley, at a sale in 2000 and the household journals (MC3069) were donated in the same accession.
Scope and content
This trial balance journal of Manchester, Robertson, Allison Limited (MRA's) of Saint John, New Brunswick, dates from 28 February 1913 to 30 November 1917. It contains a trial balance of the store's receipts and expenditures, using totals accumulated by department, and does not include detailed journal entries.
Immediate source of acquisition
The journal was donated to the Provincial Archives by Frank O'Brien of Saint John, New Brunswick in 1981 and the agreement by Harry Bayley in 2000.
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An inventory is available.
The New Brunswick Museum holds the Manchester, Robertson, Allison fonds (ID4818).