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.

1826

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

The Beesley Self-Opening Action patented.

1882

Purdey moved to new prem­ises at 57-58 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 took over from his father, James Purdey the Younger.

1914

-1918 Purdey fits up sniper rifles and supplies other items to the War Department.

1920

Athol’s younger son, Tom, joined the firm.

1923

The first Over-and-Under action was developed by Ernest and Harry Lawrence.

1929

Athol retires, passing the business to Jim and Tom.

1949

Purdey acquired James Woodward & Sons, a London gunmaker noted for their outstanding Over-and-Under guns. The design remains the basis for Purdey "Best" Over-and-Under guns to this day.

1977

Nigel Beaumont, cousin of Richard Beaumont, joined Purdey’s from university to start a gunmaking apprenticeship. He went on to become Managing Director in 1994

1994

James Purdey & Sons Ltd acquired by the Richemont Group. Athol Purdey’s great-grandson, Richard, is appointed 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.