East Scotland Origins
It was a hard walk, that first journey down from east Scotland that John Purdey took in 1690. We can’t be certain, but it seems likely he was travelling in search of work, joining the Purdies of Wandsworth and Stepney who had already settled, and prospered, in the city.
John’s second son, James, was born in 1739. James worked as a blacksmith in the Minories, close to the Tower of London. As the gunmaking quarter, it’s doubtless that James carried out barrel work on behalf of the local gunsmiths.
But it was not until James’s own son, also christened James, and born in August 1784, started an apprenticeship with his brother-in-law the gunsmith Thomas Keck Hutchinson, that the Purdey gunmaking tradition truly began.