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William's London: Lock & Co

  • Posted on 12th June 2015 by Nick

  • Originally a hatter for the gentry, James Lock took over the premises at No. 6 St James's Street in 1765 - today, it is the oldest hat shop in the world - and soon became hatter to the Lords and Leaders of the country. Lock & Co. are also responsible for creating the most iconic British hat style of all time - the "Coke" (more commonly known as the Bowler).

    Customers have ranged from Winston Churchill and Charlie Chaplin, to Lord Nelson and the Duke of Wellington.


    The Conformateur - a device invented in Paris for measuring heads.

    In William's time, Charles Whitbourn, nephew of John Lock III who had retired in 1871 at the age of 70, was running the business of Lock & Co., it is undoubtable that William would have purchased his hats from his illustrious neighbour.

    Lock & Co. are still producing their iconic and historic hats, as well as the more contemporary Lock & Roll collection.

    Penhaligon's and Lock & Co., aside from originally being neighbours, share our royal seals of approval - as fellow Royal Warrant Holders for HRH the Duke of Edinburgh, also granted in 1956, and HRH the Prince of Wales, granted in 1993 - showing their commitment to the best designs, the best fabrics, and the best service. The 7th generation of the family still run the business from the No. 6 St. James's Street store, upholding the principles of high quality held by their founder James Lock.

    Be sure to visit Lock & Co to experience this historic hatters, who are the unrivalled global expert hat brand.

    • Comments
    • Down Memory Lane
    • by Eileen
    • Dear Penhaligons, you're sure taking me down memory lane tonight! having just read the article on leather in perfumes, and now Lock's the hatters. The husband of a friend of my Mother used to work for Lock's and he did the writing in gold on the inside bands of the gentlemens' hats. If by chance the full sheets of gold leaf were not fully used, he used to cut off wee snippets of it and bring home for me to draw with on dark coloured paper! The sizes of the gold leaf left-overs were mostly the size of a postage stamp! Again, more than 60 years ago. Thank you for the memories your emails have evoked for me this evening.
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