200 years of purdey

An unbroken historical lineage, descending from London's 'king of gunmakers'

1814

James Purdey established his gun and rifle making business at premises in Prince's street.
Within ten years he was being spoken of as the finest gunmaker in London.

1825

Purdey moved to 314 and 1/2 Oxford Street, this remained home for the business for 57 years.

1828

James Purdey the Younger was born.

1842

James Purdey the Younger apprenticed to the firm at the age of 14.

1857

First Purdey Breech-Loader

1858

At the age of 30 James Purdey the Younger took over the running of the company from his father. James the Younger was always at the forefront of change and advances in the design and building of his guns and rifles, and took out several patents for technical innovations over the years, many of which were adopted by other gunmakers.

1863

Purdey bolt patented and James Purdey the Founder dies aged 79.

1865

First centre fire gun.

1868

On 12 February Purdey received its first Royal Warrant. By appointment to the Prince of Wales, who later became King Edward VII.

1878

Queen Victoria had purchased many guns and rifles from Purdey and on 29 March granted the Royal Warrant to the business.

1880

First Purdey Hammerless gun. The Beesley Self-Opening Action patented.

1882

Purdey moved to new prem­ises at 57 South Audley Street, where the company is still situated today. At this time the premises also included gunmaking workshops and cartridge loading facilities.

1900

Athol Purdey (pictured here) took over from his father, James Purdey the Younger.

1914

-1918 Purdey manufactures gun parts and other items of ordnance for the War Department.

1920

Athol’s sons, James and Thomas, both of whom had survived serious injuries whilst fighting in France, joined the firm.

1920

First Over-and-Under.

1929

Athol retires, passing the business to Jim and Tom.

1939

Post War prospects looked bleak. Jim and Tom Purdey sold the majority of their shares in the company to Hugh (pictured here)and Victor Seely. Jim and Tom continued to work tirelessly for the business.

1940

Harry Lawrence (pictured here), Factory Manager and a brilliant gunmaker, together with Tom and Jim Purdey, embarked on an energetic sales campaign in the United States of America, establishing Purdey as a leading player in this largest and most important of export markets.

1949

Purdey acquired James Woodward & Sons, a London gunmaker noted for their outstanding over-and-unders.

1955

Richard Beaumont takes over the running of the business, assisted by Harry Lawrence (pictured here), who was appointed Managing Director.

1973

The Hon Mrs Richard Beaumont set up the accessories shop in adjoining premises in Mount Street, selling a range of exclusive high quality shooting clothing, the first London gunmaker to do so.

1977

Nigel Beaumont (pictured here), cousin of Richard Beaumont, joined Purdey’s from university to start a gunmaking apprenticeship.

1993

Nigel Beaumont appointed Managing Director.

1994

James Purdey & Sons Ltd acquired by the Richemont Group. Richard Beaumont retired and appointed Athol Purdey’s great-grandson, Richard Purdey as Chairman.

2007

Nigel Beaumont becomes Chairman following the retirement of Richard Purdey (pictured here).

2008

First Purdey Sporter gun.

2010

First Purdey Damascus gun.

2014

Purdey celebrate 200 years in business and an unbroken lineage, descending from London’s ‘King of Gunmakers’. In order to mark the bicentenary Purdey issue a Bicentenary Trio, a special commemorative production of two shotguns and a double rifle.