James Lock & Co.

From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core
Jump to: navigation, search
Lock & Co. Hatters
Private limited company
Industry Clothing
Founded London, England (1676)
Founder Robert Davis
Headquarters 6 St James's Street, London, United Kingdom
Products Hats
Website www.lockhatters.co.uk

Lock & Co. Hatters is the world's oldest hat shop and world's 34th oldest family-owned business. Its shop is located on 6 St James's Street, London.


The company was founded in 1676 by Robert Davis. His son Charles continued the business and took James Lock (1731-1806) on as an apprentice in 1747. James later married Charles Davis's only child, Mary. When Davis died in 1759, James Lock inherited the company from his former master, and the Lock family, James's descendants, still own and run the company today. The shop has been in its current location since 1765.

The company is responsible for the origination of the bowler hat. In 1849, Edward Coke, nephew of Thomas Coke, 1st Earl of Leicester and the younger brother of Thomas Coke, 2nd Earl of Leicester, requested a hat to solve the problem of gamekeepers' headgear. Traditional top hats were too fragile and too tall (often getting knocked off by low branches) for the job. The company commissioned London hat-makers William and Thomas Bowler to solve the problem. Anecdotally, when Coke returned for his new hat, he dropped it on the floor and stamped on it twice to test its strength before paying 12 shillings and leaving satisfied.[1]

Lock & Co. is a royal warrant holder as hatter to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and Charles, Prince of Wales.[2]


  1. Bloxham, Andy (5 Oct 2010). "Bowler hat makes a comeback". The Telegraph. Retrieved 15 Jan 2014. 
  2. By Royal Appointment. ITV3. 2012. Event occurs at 8:00pm. Retrieved 2012-06-24. 

External links