Deposit N110 - Australian Mercantile Land and Finance Brisbane and Townsville Offices deposit

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Australian Mercantile Land and Finance Brisbane and Townsville Offices deposit


  • 1908 - 1955 (Creation)

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Extent and medium

5.5 m

Context area

Name of creator

(1863 - 1981)

Administrative history

This company was registered in England on 5 November 1863 as the Australian Mortgage Land and Finance Company Limited. The company's first Australian Office was opened in Brisbane in the same year. The company carried on business as wool brokers, pastoral finance, stock and property agents and as a pastoral company in NSW, Victoria, the Riverina and Queensland. In 1865 the business moved to Victoria with the purchase of the firm of Gibbs Ronald and Company of Melbourne and Geelong, the Australian branch of the London firm of Richard Gibbs and Company. The partners of the two firms continued their work in the new company with the Australian branch managed by R B Ronald in Geelong and by Sir James MacBain in Melbourne. Richard Gibbs and Byron L Ronald joined the London Board. In November 1910 the company changed its name to the Australian Mercantile Land and Finance Company Limited (AML&F Co Ltd). In 1971 AML&F Co Ltd was taken over by the UK firm Wood Hall Trust Limited. The company operated under the name AML&F Co Ltd until Elders IXL took over Wood Hall Trust Limited in 1981. Elders Pastoral Division was established incorporating all the pastoral interests of the AML&F Co Ltd.

Name of creator

(1894 - 1975)

Administrative history

The Australian Estates Company Limited, formerly the Australian Estates & Mortgage Co Ltd, carried on business as wool and produce selling brokers, stock and station agents, pastoralists, raw sugar millers and cane growers. The Australian Estates & Mortgage Co Ltd was formed in 1894 as a subsidiary of The Union Mortgage & Agency Company of Australia Ltd and was registered in London on 5 December 1894. The Australian Estates & Mortgage Co Ltd acquired mortgages, properties and stock from The Union Mortgage & Agency Company of Australia Ltd in 1894 and 1896. In 1899, the company was amalgamated with the parent company, but took until 1902 to complete. In 1924 The Australian Estates & Mortgage Co Ltd's sugar business was expanded when the company amalgamated its mill "The Palms" at Mackay witht the nearby "Pleystowe" mill, and formed the Amalgamated Sugar Mills Ltd. In 1927, the same year that G S Colman became joint General Manager in Australia, the New South Wales Pastoral Co Ltd was formed in London in order to acquire properties in NSW, which included "Burra Burra", "Jemalong" and "Raby".

On 21 July 1936 the name of the company changed to The Australian Estates Company Limited. After the Second World War, the company underwent extensive growth and expansion, acquiring Kamilaroi Pastoral Co (1946), a half share in F A Hill & Co, Edward Trenchard & Co (1947), John McNamara & Co (1950) and other McNamara companies. In 1954 the Australian Estates Co (Agencies) Pty Ltd was set up to acquire new branches in Victoria, and in 1956 the Australian Estates Co (Queensland) Pty Ltd was set up to do the same in Queensland. In the following years a series of subsidiaries were established and the company acquired more businesses and properties. In 1973 the company further diversified purchasing an interest in the Denny Group in the United Kingdom - E M Denny (Holdings) Ltd were meat processors and traders in the UK and Ireland. Much of the post-war growth and expansion of the company had been carried out under D C F (Sir Denys) Lowson as Chairman and Managing Director, who resigned in 1974 after investigations into his involvement in share dealings. After attracting the interest of Rupert Murdoch and B H South, the company was taken over by CSR Limited in March 1975.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

This deposit consists of records from the Brisbane and Townsville Offices of the Australian Mercantile Land and Finance (AML&F) Company Limited and records from The Australian Estates Co Ltd Brisbane Office relating to Warrong Station. The AML&F Brisbane Office records include general office ledgers 1908-1940, a cheque register 1952-1955, and from the Wool and Produce Department, general ledgers 1925-1940, Individual Ledgers 1920-1940 and cash books 1931-1941. The Townsville Office collection comprises general ledgers 1924-1938 and a securities register 1920-1941. Records relating to Warrong Station consist of Journals 1917-1929, ledgers 1917-1929 and statements of cheques drawn, correspondence and invoices 1925-1929.


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Conditions governing access

Researchers must sign an access agreement.

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Related units of description

NBAC 6; NBAC 99; NBAC 133; NBAC 137; NBAC 162; NBAC M3; NBAC Z177; NBAC 75; NBAC 97; NBAC 132

Notes area


The Townsville Office was opened in 1924 to serve the sheep farmers in the North Queensland district. The office experienced a high level of indebtedness of its clients, a severe drought and the financial pressures of the depression. The poor performance of the office resulted in liquidation in 1938. Warrong Station, situated in the Mitchell district of Queensland, was indebted to Australian Estates Co Ltd from 1917 to 1929 and the records were created at the Brisbane Office of the company during the period of the debt.

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Dates of creation revision deletion

Entered from deposit description on 19 August 2011




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