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British Industrial History

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Christy and Co

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Hat box.

of 35 Gracechurch Street, London, EC3. Telephone: Avenue 0948. Cables: "Christy's London". Factories in Stockport, Cheshire and Bermondsey Street, London, SE. (1929)

Ditto Address and Cables. Telephone: Mansion House 5319. (1947)

Over a seven year apprenticeship Miller Christy learnt the "art and mystery of feltmaking".

1773 Company established in London by Miller Christy.

1778 Company moved to Gracechurch Street, London.

1794 Dissolution of the Partnership of Miller Christy and Joseph Storrs of Gracechurch Street, London, Hatters. Miller Christy carried on the Business[1]

c.1797 Thomas Christy, the eldest son, became a partner in the company.

c.1799 William Miller Christy became a partner in the business (presumably when he reached his majority).

The company became Miller Christy and Sons

1803 The Partnership between Miller Christy and Sons, Hat-Manufacturers, of Gracechurch-Street was dissolved by mutual consent. The said business was carried on by Thomas Christy and William Miller Christy[2]

1804 John Christy, the third son, joined the company.

1816 The Partnership between Thomas Christy, William Miller Christy, John Christy, and James Wilson, Hat-Manufacturers, carried on in Gracechurch-street, and Bermondsey-Street under the firm of Thomas, William, and John Christy, and Company, and which would have expired, by effluxion of time, on the 1st of next month, has, for the convenience of making up the accounts, been this day dissolved by mutual consent. Thomas Christy, William Miller Christy, and John Christy will discharge all demands thereon[3]

1826 Took over a firm in Stockport, T. and J. Worsley, which owned the mill on Upper Hillgate, which had earlier been owned by William Radcliffe of Mellor, who had acquired it from Samuel Oldknow in 1794.[4]

1826 Established hat making works on Hillgate, Stockport.

1830 Thomas Christy the elder retired from the Partnership with William Miller Christy, John Christy and Thomas Christy, junior, in the trades of Hat Manufacturers, Furriers, and Skinners, carried on in Gracechurch-Street, in the City of London, in Bermondsey-street in the County of Surrey, at Stockport, in the County of Chester, and at Frampton Cotterell, in the County of Gloucester[5]

1841 Christy's Bermondsey works were reputedly the largest manufacturer of hats in the world and had 500 employees; silk coverings for hats were made in Stockport, and the factory there had more workers.

1845 William Miller Christy retired from the trade and left the Partnership with John Christy, Thomas Christy the younger, Samuel Christy, Henry Christy, and Alfred Christy, of Gracechurch-street, in the city of London, Hat Manufacturers[6].

1887 The company was registered on 1 July, to take over the business of the firm of the same name, hat manufacturers. [7]

The business dropped off later in the century, as the beaver hat went out of style.

1929 Advert as Makers of Hats of all descriptions. Felt Hats in Fashionable Styles and Stiff and Soft Colonial Styles. Fez, Hungarian, etc. Silk and Opera Hats. Cork and Felt Helmets. Tweed, Uniform and Cloth Caps. (Textiles and Clothing Section - Stand No. S.51) [8]

1947 Listed Exhibitor - British Industries Fair. Manufacturers of Hats, Soft Felt and Stiff Felt, all Types for Ladies and Gentlemen. Fez Caps, Silk Hats, Helmets and Tweed Caps and Hats. [9]

1966 Associated British Hat Manufacturers took over Christy's and four other felt-hat manufacturers. [10]

1980 Joseph Wilson and Sons's hat manufacturing moved to the works of Christy and Co on Higher Hillgate, Stockport.

Christy's are now situated in Witney, Oxfordshire, and are well known as manufacturers of riding hats of all descriptions.

Note: The company has its own website: [2]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. London Gazette 25 Oct 1794
  2. London Gazette 9 Oct 1804
  3. London Gazette 21 Dec 1816
  4. [1] Samuel Oldknow
  5. London Gazette 28 December 1830
  6. London Gazette 18 July 1845
  7. The Stock Exchange Year Book 1908
  8. 1929 British Industries Fair Advert 179 and p39
  9. 1947 British Industries Fair p61
  10. Denton and the Archaeology of the Felt Hatting Industry by Michael Nevell, Brian Grimsditch and Ivan Hradil ISBN 1 871324 36 X
  • Trademarked. A History of Well-Known Brands - from Aertex to Wright's Coal Tar by David Newton. Pub: Sutton Publishing 2008 ISBN 978-0-7509-4590-5
  • Wikipedia entry for William Miller Christy [3]