Lock and Company – The Collections – City of London

Established in 1676, Lock & Co, hatters has the oldest surviving hat shop in the world. The firm’s rich history in hat innovation and design is reflected in the company’s archives. Lock & Co had previously deposited a portion of the archives in 1967 and 1970, but a major recent acquisition of additional volumes (in 2014 and 2015) now creates a more complete archive. The collection documents orders for many well-known customers and is an important contribution to the business archives held at London Metropolitan Archives (LMA). Liza Shapiro, conservator, James Lock & Co Ltd describes the history of the company, its archives, and the challenges of the conservation project with which she has been involved.


In 1676 Robert Davis established a hat shop in one of five houses he leased on St James’s Street.  Ten years later, George Lock, a successful importer of coffee, chocolate and tobacco, leased seven premises on the same street. The two families came together in 1747, when James Lock, the grandson of George Lock, became an apprentice at the hat shop and later married Robert Davis’s granddaughter, Mary.  In 1759, James Lock inherited the business, and on the 24 June 1765, he and his family opened their shop on 6 St James’s Street, thus establishing what would become…

Source: Lock and Company – The Collections – City of London.

One thought on “Lock and Company – The Collections – City of London

  1. Just a shame that I don’t suit hats. I just don’t have the head for a hat, of any design. I always wanted to wear them, but ended up looking stupid. I am always amazed at how well some men (and women) carry them off, with Boy George being a recent example of this. He looks good in even the most outlandish headgear.
    Best wishes, Pete.


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