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Job family fonds, 1818-1964

1.5 metres of textual records

Administrative history

The Job Brothers business was one of Newfoundland's most successful and enduring mercantile empires. Spanning three centuries, the business originated on the south side of St. John's Harbour at "Prosser's Plantation" circa 1750 under the proprietorship of John Bulley of Teignmouth, Devon. Samuel Bulley, John's son, subsequently acquired the business. In 1789, John Job, a ward of Samuel Bulley, married Bulley's daughter, Sarah. Bulley rewarded Job with a partnership in the business under the masthead Bulley, Job and Company, bringing an end to Job's nine year apprenticeship with the firm.

Similar to the bulk of mercantile firms in Newfoundland from the seventeenth century to the early twentieth century, the Job operations focused primarily on the fish trade, purchasing and exporting codfish to foreign markets, and importing goods for sale in the local market. Their clients were either fishermen, or other traders who dealt with fishermen. Branches of the Job firm were also heavily involved in shipping and the outfitting of vessels for the annual spring seal hunt.

In 1809, the firm transferred its English base of operations to Liverpool, where the principals maintained the tradition of coming out to Newfoundland each spring for the fishing season, and returning home for the winter. By 1834, when the firm entered into an apprenticeship agreement with Stephen Rendell, John's sons, Robert Job and Thomas Bulley Job were partners along with Samuel Bulley's son, Thomas Bulley. The firm reorganized in 1839 with Robert Job and Thomas Bulley Job with Bulley, Job and Company at St. John's, and Samuel Job and John Job Jr. heading up Job Brothers at Liverpool. Along the way, there had been other partnerships - Parker of Parker and Knight joined the firm forming Parker, Bully and Job in 1808, which had included Samuel Bulley's other son Samuel Jr., and James Cross became a partner by 1820, forming Bulley, Job and Cross. When Thomas Bulley retired, circa 1839, the name of the firm changed to Job Brothers in a partnership of Robert Job and Thomas Bulley Job of St. John's and Samuel Job and John Job of Liverpool - all sons of the original John Job. A Mr. Hooper and Stephen Rendell joined the firm as partners in 1845 and 1854 respectively, under the banner of Job Brothers & Company.

During the next 100 years, Job Brothers and Company continued to evolve under a succession of partnerships. In the second half of the nineteenth century, it began to shift its focus to other industries. Between 1867 and 1872, the firm constructed three large sealing vessels,"wooden walls", Neptune, Nimrod, and Hector, providing 100,000 seal pelts annually for its south side oil manufacturing premises. Over the years the firm owned approximately 265 vessels. In this period, Job Brothers and Company also established plants for converting fish offal into fertilizer at Bay Bulls, Catalina and L'Anse au Loup. In the twentieth century, Job Brothers & Co. Ltd. was a pioneer in artificial fish drying at its Blanc Sablon, L'Anse au Loup, and Forteau premises, and was also among the first to experiment with methods of freezing fish. In one of the firm's most innovative and successful undertakings, the Blue Peter, a 5000 ton steamship, was equipped with a brine freezing system as well as a canning plant for the production of salmon. The firm also diversified into timber, mining, manufacturing and processing in the first half of the twentieth century.

In 1909, Thomas Raffles Job and Samuel Ernest Job of Liverpool, and St. John's residents, William Carson Job and Robert Brown Job, incorporated the company under the title of Job Brothers & Co. Limited. They all served as directors of the new company, and brought Thomas Bulley Job, also of Liverpool, on board as a director. Hudson's Bay Company purchased a majority the company's shares in 1927, which were re-acquired by Job Brothers & Co. Limited in 1943. In 1945, Northlantic Fisheries Ltd., under the direction of Hazen A. Russell, procured sixty percent of the shares of Job Brothers & Co. Limited, and assumed control of the company's fish plants at St. John's, Englee, St. Anthony and Bonavista - the latter operated by the Job affiliate, Bonavista Cold Storage Company. Russell left Job Brothers & Co. Limited to take over the Bonavista Cold Storage Company Ltd. in 1952, and acquired another plant at Grand Bank the following year. Eventually the remaining Job plants were sold with the exception of the St. John's operation which closed in 1967. Job Brothers & Co. Limited was affiliated with many other renowned Newfoundland companies, including the Standard Manufacturing Co., Ltd., Newfoundland Marine Insurance Co. Ltd., Colonial Cordage Co., Blue Peter Steamships Ltd., and Blue Buoy Foods.

Sources: Matthews, Keith, Profiles of Water Street Merchants, unpublished manuscript, 1980; Godden, Randall, The Job Family and Its Business Concerns in Newfoundland', Student Research Paper, Maritime History Archive, 103-D-5-5; Encyclopedia of Newfoundland and Labrador, Vol. III. St. John's: Newfoundland Book Publishers Limited, pp. 111-114; The Book of Newfoundland, Vol. II. St. John's: Newfoundland Book Publishers Ltd., p. 393.

Scope and content

These papers cover four generations of the Job business, and reflect its diverse interests and holdings. The business records consist mainly of balance sheets and directors' reports, and reveal the many subsidiary concerns in which the family and its parent companies had invested. The papers also contain many legal documents, including examples of nineteenth century indentures, mining leases, property conveyances, share certificates, agreements and leases. Series 11-13 deal largely with the Liverpool side of the family, Samuel Job and Robert Hugh Job in particular, and in their capacity as executors of wills. Three photographs were found with the collection, one of Indian Harbour, c.1892, and two of 'Corner Bank House, Bell Tower and Fish Store, Winter House where S.D.G. was born June 8, 1890', one of which was taken in 1928 and the other at an earlier date.

The papers are arranged in fourteen series: Property in St. John's and Newfoundland, 1818-1916; Ledger, 1856-1882 (this is a separate accession which was added to the Job family fonds); Stores, 1892-1952; Mines and mineral resources interests, 1889-1930; Timber interests, 1906-1912; Shipping and fisheries, miscellaneous, 1854-1942; Steamship and fisheries companies, 1913-1964; Business interests, miscellaneous, 1920-1952; Manufacturing and processing, 1914-1941; Job companies, 1907-1963; Miscellaneous family papers, 1847-1946; Cooke estate papers, 1839-1852; Howell papers, 1874-1887; Thomas R. Job estate, 1918-1925.


The supplied title is based on the content of the fonds.

Previously entitled Job Brothers papers.

Acquired before 1981

Copyright is held by the creator or his/her heirs.

Maritime History Archive finding aid 21

Related material can be found in Job Brothers and Company Ledger, 1855-1882, Maritime History Archive, finding aid 21, Mic.2-5-4-11; Job, Robert Brown, 1873-1961, Documents, ca. 1600s-1900s; 1831; 1848. Centre for Newfoundland Studies Archives, OMF-44; Job, Robert Brown (1873-1961), Papers, 1893-1961. Centre for Newfoundland Studies Archives, Coll-098; Job & Co. Ltd., Provincial Archives of Newfoundland and Labrador, MG 870; Job Papers, Provincial Archives of Newfoundland and Labrador, MG 310.

Location Bank 12, shelf 3 and 4

Job family papers - series headings

1.00 Property in St. John's and Newfoundland (1818 - 1916)

2.00 Ledger (1856 - 1882)

3.00 Stores (1892 - 1952)

4.00 Mines and Mineral Resources Interests (1889 - 1930)

5.00 Timber Interests (1901 - 1912)

6.00 Shipping and Fisheries - Miscellaneous (1854 - 1942)

7.00 Steamship and Fisheries Companies (1913 - 1964)

8.00 Business Interests - Miscellaneous (1920 - 1952)

9.00 Manufacturing and Processing (1914 - 1941)

10.00 Job Companies (1907 - 1963)

11.00 Miscellaneous Family Papers (1847 - 1946)

12.00 Cooke Estates Papers (1839 - 1852)

13.00 Howell Papers (1874 - 1887)

14.00 Thomas R. Job Estate (1918 - 1925)

Summary index to series

1.00 Property in St. John's and Newfoundland

1.01-1.07 1818-1916 Original legal documents and indentures relating to property in

1.09-1.22 St. John's of Job Brothers' companies.

1.08 1883 Lease of premises at Catalina.

1.23 1916 Covering letters re properties.

1.24 pre 1903 History of Robert Job's property in St. John's.

2.00 Ledger [on microfilm M2-5-4-11]

2.00 1856-1882 Miscellaneous data concerning various Job business interests mainly in St. John's, including seal manufacturing, cod fish exports, store cash returns, shareholders lists, labour accounts, tomb stone inscriptions and dinner invitation of Stephen Rendell to Government House.

3.00 Stores

3.01 1892 Lance au Loup concern

3.02 1892 Salmon River, Bonne Esperance, Blanc Sablon concerns.

3.02-3.03 1892-1893 Indian Harbour concern.

3.04 1893 (St. John's ?)

3.05-3.09 1929-1932 Angle Brook Job's Stores (Glovertown)

3.10-3.26 1926-1942 Baggs and Company Limited (Cornerbrook)

3.27-3.31 1929-1933 Job's Stores Limited

3.32-3.67 1906-1952 Royal Stores Limited

see also 6.42 1898,1919

14.13, 14.15

3.54 1933 Exploits Valley Royal Stores Limited. Martin Royal Stores Hardware Company Limited.

3.68 1924 W.H. House and Company Limited

4.00 Mines and Mineral Resources Interests

4.01-4.02 1889-1890 Stag Island, Notre Dame Bay

4.03 1897 Foxtrap, Conception Bay

4.04-4.17 1897-1899 Bay de Verde region, Conception Bay (iron)


4.18-4.29, 4.39 1900-1930 Mount Cormack region, Bay d'Espoir (chrome)

4.58 4.69-4.74

4.20, 4.31-4.34 1901-1905 Manuels and Conception Bay South region

4.49, 4.52-4.54 (manganese)

4.20, 4.50, 1901 Trinity Bay, Random Island (slate)

4.71, 4.82

4.30 1901 Oderin Island, Placentia Bay (copper)

4.35 1901 Gander River (chrome)

4.36-4.38 1901 Chrome Point and Fox Island River, Port au Port (chrome)

4.40-4.49, 1901-1902 Chrome properties in Newfoundland. (Not always clear whether

4.75-4.77 Bay d'Espoir, Port au Port, or both)

4.55 1906 Platinum

4.56-4.57 1906 Ming's Bight, Baie Verte

4.58-4.63 1910 St. Barbe district

4.64-4.65 1911 Green Bay region, Notre Dame Bay

4.66-4.67 1912 Deer Lake

4.68 1925 Bell Island, Conception Bay

4.83 no date Soapstone

4.84 no date Mining regulations

4.85 1924-1925 Silver Cliff Mining Company Limited

See also 5.01-5.02 1906-1907 Memos re mining and timber areas and operations.

6.42, 6.45 1898, 1902 Letters of Robert B. Job to his father.

11.23 1904 Release of claims against Robert B. Job by John J. Oxley.

5.00 Timber Interests

5.01-5.02 1906-1907 Summary reports of all mining and timber operations in which Job Brothers and Company were interested in Newfoundland and Labrador.

5.03-5.09 1908-1911 Sandwich Bay area, Labrador.


5.05-5.07 1909 Hamilton Inlet, Labrador

5.10 1912 Great Cat Arm, White Bay (water power)

5.19 Humber Arm area

See also 4.20 1901 Humber Arm area

6.00 Shipping and Fisheries - Miscellaneous

6.01 1854-1882 Table of fish collection

6.02-6.29, 1861-1900 Agreements between Job Brothers and masters of their vessels

6.39-6.40, 6.44

6.31-6.37, 6.50 1888-1907 Avalon Steamship Company Limited (NEPTUNE, HECTOR (DIANA), NIMROD)

6.47-6.48 1903-1904 Whaling

6.43, 6.46 1900-1902 Bills of Sale of vessels. (BLANCHE, FANNY, CHARLOTTE YOUNG)

6.37, 6.49 1891-1908 Vessel plans (HECTOR, POLLUX, proposed sealing steamer)


6.51-6.58 1908 Schooner CHECKERS. (Disputed cargo of fish, Job Brothers and Company to Malaga, Spain.)

6.60-6.61 1912 Certificates, builders and registry (NASCOPIE, EARLSHALL)

6.30, 6.38, Miscellaneous letters, memos, statements etc.


6.45, 6.62

6.63-6.67 1927-1932 Job's Sealfishery Company Limited. (BEOTHIC, NEPTUNE, THETIS, PALATICA, UNGAVA)

6.68-6.69 1933-1934 Mutual Exporters Association Limited

6.70-6.72 1937-1942 Brazil Exporters Limited

6.73 1940 North Sydney Agencies Limited

6.74 1887 W.H. Mare Son and Company (Sealing)

7.00 Steamship and Fisheries Companies

7.0A 1913-1952 Seal Specification Book

7.01-7.11 1917-1944 Neptune Steamship Company Limited

7.12-7.18 1917-1923 Thetis Steamship Company Limited

7.19 1919 Job Shipping Corporation Limited (Montreal)

7.20 1919 Job Shipping Corporation (Delaware)

7.21-7.35 1923-1936 Tamara Shipping Company Limited (ALEMBIC)

7.36-7.47 1934-1944 Ungava Steamship Company Limited (UNGAVA, NEPTUNE, THETIS)

7.48-7.49 1949-1950 Blue Peter Steamships Limited (Newfoundland company)

7.50-7.65 1947-1964 Blue Peter Steamships Limited (Canadian company) (S.S. BLUE PETER II, BLUE CLOUD, M.V. BLUE PETER II, BLUE PRINCE, BLUE TRADER, BLUE LAKER)

7.66-7.67 1950-1951 Provincial Steamships Limited (PROVINCIAL TRADER)

7.68-7.69 1952 Northlantic Fisheries Limited

7.70 1959 Northlantic Trawling Company Limited

8.00 Business Interests - Miscellaneous

8.01-8.14 1920-1933 M. Morey and Company Limited (coal, salt and general merchants)

8.15 1952 Newfoundland Coal Company Limited

8.16-8.32 1924-1941 Job's Estates Limited (property)

8.33-8.53 1927-1946 George H. Halley Limited (insurance)

8.54-8.60 1924-1929 Church of England Orphanage (St.John's)

8.61-8.62 1948-1949 Charles Fox Bennet Estate Limited

8.63 1950 Newfoundland Marine Insurance Company Limited

9.00 Manufacturing and Processing

9.01 1914 Crosfield companies (Liverpool)

9.02 1924 G. Browning and Son Limited (crackers and bread)

9.03 1925 Harbour Grace Boot and Shoe Manufacturing Company Limited

9.04-9.08 1930-1932 Vinland Packing Company Limited (berries)

9.09 1941 Riverside Woollen Mills Limited

10.00 Job Brothers Companies

10.01-10.04 1907-1909 Job Brothers (Liverpool)

10.14-10.15 1917-1918


10.01-10.03 1907-1909, W. and S. Job and Company (New York)

10.17-10.18 1918

10.22-10.23 1919-1920

10.01, 10.03- 1907-1909 Job Brothers and Company (St. John's)


10.05-10.13 1910-1917, Job Brothers and Company Limited (St. John's)

10.16, 10.18- 1918

10.21, 10.24- 1918-1919,

10.39 1920- 1933

10.40-10.59 1933-1963 Job Brothers and Company Limited (new company 1933/10/03 incorporating Job Brothers and Company Limited (old), Job's Stores Limited and M. Morey and Company Limited.)

11.00 Miscellaneous Family Papers

These are notices, receipts, letters, accounts, insurance policies, certificates and legal documents concerning various financial affairs and interests of members of the Job family or their associates, particularly Samuel Job, Thomas B. Job, Thomas R. Job and his children, and Robert H. Job. Some items are probably related to other series:

11.02,11.04, see 12.00 Cooke Estates Papers



11.23 see 4.00 Mines and Mineral Resources Interests

11.29 is a personal note book recording many interesting observations.

12.00 Cooke Estates Papers

These are accounts, schedules, receipts, letters, promissory notes etc. relating to Samuel Job's responsibilities as an executor (with John Job, jun. and William Tristram Keightley) of the estates of William Cooke (d.1839 ?) and of Ann Cooke (d.1846)

12.01-12.11 1839-1852 Estates of William Cooke and Ann Cooke




12.12,12.18 1850-1852 Members of the Unsworth family in relation to the Estates




12.13-12.14 1850-1852 Creamore Farm (Shropshire),(part of the assets of William Cooke's

12.19-12.20 Estate), and John and William C. Unsworth who manage it.




13.00 Howell Papers

13.01,13.03 1874-1875 William Howell Estate

13.02, 13.04- 1874 West Ridge and property at Oxton, Cheshire leased from the Earl of Shrewsbury

13.08 13.12, 1882-1883

13.18 1885,1887

13.09-13.17 1885 Joanna Howell Estate

13.19-13.31 1884-1886 Dissolution of James Howell and Sons business (cotton brokers)

13.24 1885-1886 Ashworth family


see also 11.15

14.00 Thomas R. Job Estate

These are letters and conveyances relating to the settlement of the will of Thomas Raffles Job (d.1917) by the executors Samuel E. Job, Thomas B. Job and Robert K. Fernie, particularly his shares and accounts with Job Brothers and Company Limited, sale of property in St. John's to the Company and to the Royal Stores Limited, and of the Burnaby property (?), and difficulties with probate and income tax in Newfoundland.

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