100-year-old British companies that left legacies spanning over a century.

What Being In Business For 100 Years Really Means.It means you’ve had to reinvent yourself sometimes.,and it could also mean that you’ve had several long-term employees throughout the years,and it could also mean that Most business owners would say, “YES” if asked would they want their companies to survive for a hundred years or more. And whereas longevity in the business world takes some luck, those companies who survive year after year are around because some of them might’ve used intentional and strategic planning.

Here are some very old british companies that carry on to 100 and more.

The Royal Mint
(Year Founded: AD 886)
In 886 AD, Alfred the Great, King of Wessex, recaptured London from the Danelaw. He began issuing silver pennies with his portrait later that year.
This triumph marked the beginning of the Royal Mint.

Trinity House
(Year Founded: 1514)
Trinity House is a Royal Charter private corporation that performs three functions.
It provides maritime aids like lighthouses and communication systems, offers deep-sea pilotage, and is responsible for cadet training, promotion of sea safety, and the welfare of retired seamen.
It is not common knowledge that the full name of Trinity House is:
‘The Master, Wardens, and Assistants of the Guild Fraternity or Brotherhood of the most glorious and undivided Trinity and St. Clement in the Parish of Deptford Strond’.

The Royal Mail
(Year Founded: 1516)
The Royal Mail provides mail collection and delivery services across the UK.
In 1516, King Henry VII established the Master of the Posts position. This simple act was what marked the beginning of the rich history of the Royal Mail.
In 1603, King James VI established the royal postal service. This historical company was later made available to the public in 1635 by King Charles I as the Royal Mail.

Cambridge University Press
(Year Founded: 1534)
Many people do not know that Cambridge University Press is the world’s oldest publishing company. It is also the second-largest university press in the world, only second to Oxford University Press.
Another interesting fact is that Cambridge University Press is also the official printer of Queen Elizabeth II. It is responsible for producing all official documents issued by the Queen in Council and ministers of the crown.

Oxford University Press
(Year Founded: 1586)
Since its formation in 1586, the Oxford University Press (OUP) has always been part of the University of Oxford, governed by 15 specially appointed academics called the delegates of the press.
The soft-power and endeavours of the OUP are among the main reasons that most of the world uses the English language today.
The OUP is also the UK government’s most-trusted source for printing secret documents.

The London Gazette
(Year Founded: 1665)
Having been first published in 1665, the London Gazette is the oldest continuously published English newspaper in the world.
It is one of the official newspapers of the UK government, along with the Edinburgh Gazette and the Belfast Gazette.
It is, however, the most essential such paper, and most of the UK’s statutory notices must get published in it.

Hoare’s Bank
(Year Founded: 1672)
Hoare’s Bank is the oldest bank in the UK and the fourth oldest in the world, founded by Sir Richard Hoare in 1672.
Many people do not know that 11 generations later, it is still fully family-owned and managed by Hoare’s direct descendants.

(Year Founded: 1690)
Barclays got founded by John Freame and Thomas Gould in 1690 on Lombard Street, London.
In 1728, they relocated to Lombard Street and adopted the spread eagle logo.
In 1736, James Barclay, John Freame’s son in law became a partner and later lent his name to the company.
At the time of writing, Barclays is a significant multinational investment and financial services corporation.

(Year Founded: 1692)
Coutts was founded in 1692 by John Campbell.
It started life as a goldsmith’s shop in Strand, London. By the time of Campbell’s death in 1712, it was an operational bank. After his death, his son-in-law took over the business.
However, after the death of Campbell’s son in law in 1747, Campbell’s son, George, took over control of the business once more.
At the time of writing, Coutts is a wealth manager for the very rich, famous and influential.

(Year Founded: 1706)
Thomas Twining opened Britain’s first tea room at 206 Strand in London in 1706, and Twinings was born.
Interestingly, the company still operates from the same premises to this day. In addition to being a legacy company, Twinings is also the longest-standing ratepayer in London as a consequence.
Another interesting fact about Twinings is that its logo, which got created in 1787, is the world’s oldest continuously used company logo.

Fortnum & Mason
(Year Founded: 1707)
In 1707, tea was Britain’s favourite drink. It is at this time that Fortnum & Mason came into the scene offering Black Bohea tea.
This discovery cemented their hold on the market, almost instantly making them one of the nations leading tea retailers.
In the years that followed, they continually built their reputation, becoming famous for being quality food suppliers.
At the time of writing, Fortnum and Mason has kept most of its business strategy and remains an upmarket department store with its headquarters in Piccadilly, London.

(Year Founded: 1759)
The Wedgwood company was founded in 1759 by Josiah Wedgwood.
He was the youngest son of Thomas Wedgwood, a potter in Burslem, Staffordshire, England.
Josiah learned the trade in the family pottery works under his eldest brother, Thomas, before moving on to become an independent potter in 1759.
The Wedgewood brand caught on when King George III and his consort, Queen Charlotte, began supporting regional companies to boost Britain’s economy.

Lloyds Bank
(Year Founded: 1765)
John Taylor, a button maker, and Sampson Lloyd II, a Quaker iron producer, were the founders of Lloyds Bank in 1765.
They set up a private banking business in Dale End, Birmingham. It has expanded over the years, becoming one of the four biggest UK banks.
In the late 20th century, Lloyds Bank experienced the most elaborate bank heist in British history, dubbed the Baker Street robbery of 1971.
In 2008, a movie featuring Jason Statham called ‘The Bank Job‘ got released as a real-life depiction of the crime. 

The Times
(Year Founded: 1785)
The Times first published in 1785 under the name “The Daily Universal Register”.
It got founded by John Walter, who was a publisher. The name changed to “The Times” at the beginning of 1788.
A little-known fact about it is that The Times was the first newspaper to use that name.

The Observer
(Year Founded: 1791)
The first edition of the Observer got published on the 4th of December 1791 by WS Bourne. He started the newspaper, hoping to profit quickly from it and become a wealthy man.
Sadly, by 1794, he was broke and in debt, trying to sell off the Observer to whoever was willing to buy it. There were no takers at the time.

(Year Founded: 1804)
Johann Heinrich Schroder founded Schroders in 1804 in London.
It first offered its shares on the London Stock exchange in 1959. However, the Schroder family retains a large number of shares, controlling about 48% of the Company’s ordinary shares.
At the time of writing, Schroders is responsible for the day-to-day management of assets worth over £450 billion.

Rothschild Bank
(Year Founded: 1811)
The history of the Rothschild Bank is an interesting one.
Mayer Amschel Rothschild was one of the most powerful bankers in the world by the end of the 18th Century.
He wanted to expand his business even further, so he appointed his sons to start banking operations across Europe.
One of these sons was Nathan Meyer Rothschild, his third son, who got sent to England.
He set up a banking business in London in 1811 called the N M Rothschild & Sons Limited. It is now known as the Rothschild Bank.

British Gas
(Year Founded: 1812)
British Gas, the largest energy supplier in the United Kingdom, was founded in 1812 by Frederick Albert Winsor.
Over the last 200 years plus, it has continued to expand and offer energy services to both households and companies in the UK.
Most people are familiar with the name British Gas but have no clue that Centrica owns the company.

The Guardian
(Year Founded: 1821)
John Edward Taylor founded The Guardian in 1821.
The timing was two years after the Peterloo Massacre and John Edward Taylor’s main reason for starting the paper was to promote political reform.
The first issue of the Guardian appeared on May 5th, 1821.
It started as a weekly, but as it increased in popularity, it started being published twice weekly and finally became a daily in 1855.

(Year Founded: 1824)
Cadbury was founded in 1824 when John Cadbury opened his grocer’s shop in Birmingham. Being a Quaker, he sold only tea, coffee, cocoa, and drinking chocolate.
Cadbury’s little shop grew in popularity so much that only seven years later in 1831, he was able to rent a warehouse in Crooked Lane, in the centre of Birmingham. He began producing cocoa and chocolate there.
When the company’s former factory got too small in the 1870s, George Cadbury had a new vision of the future:
“Why should an industrial area be squalid and depressing?” he asked. “Why should not the industrial worker enjoy country air and occupations without being separated from his work? If the country is a good place to line-in, why not to work in?”.
The Cadbury business prospered at its new site at Bournville, and the company became famous for the advances in working conditions and social benefits for its workforce. 

(Year Founded: 1825)
Clarks had very humble beginnings.
James Clark made the first pair of Clarks in 1825 in the village of Street in Somerset, England. He used offcuts from his brother Cyrus’ tannery to create a sheepskin slipper.
Within a year, the brothers were selling 1,000 pairs a month.
At the time of writing, C & J Clark International Limited has over 1,000 stores around the world.
They also sell their products through third-party distributors. The Clark family owns 84% of Clarks.
Employees and other institutions hold the additional 16%.

(Year Founded: 1834)
In 1834, Charles Henry Harrod established a wholesale grocery shop in Stepney.
He moved the business to Hyde Park in 1851.
After Harrod’s son took over, the business thrived and expanded, selling medicines, perfumes, fruits, vegetables, and stationery.
By 1880, Harrods had acquired all the adjoining buildings and employed more than 100 people.

(Year Founded: 1835)
Winkworth was established in 1835 by Henry Winkworth.
The Winkworth family ran the business exclusively until the early 1960s when it got purchased by Mann & Co. Simon Agace acquired the company in 1974. By 1981, Winkworth was officially a franchise with ten offices.
In 2004, Simon Agace stepped aside and let his son Dominic take over. By then, Winkworth had over 25 franchised offices.
A little-known fact about Winkworth is that it was the first estate agency to get franchised in the UK.

(Year Founded: 1837)
Tetley was founded in 1837 by two brothers, Joseph and Edward Tetley.
The two brothers were successful tea sellers who set up the Joseph Tetley and Co. tea merchants in 1837, before relocating to London in 1856.
Fun fact: Tetley was the first company in the UK to sell tea in tea bags in 1953.

Thomas Cook
(Year Founded: 1841) – (Collapsed: September 2019)
The company was founded in 1841 by Thomas Cook, who named it after himself.
He took his first excursion trip by rail from Leicester to Loughborough on Monday the 5th of July of that year.
By 1845, rail trips had become profitable. Thomas Cook conducted trips to Liverpool from Leicester, Nottingham, and Derby, charging a flat fee of 15/- for first-class and 10/- for second class seats.

(Year Founded: 1842)
Bassett’s was founded in Sheffield by George Bassett in 1842.
It was run exclusively by Basset’s descendants until 1929 when it got listed on the London Stock Exchange.
In 1989, the company got acquired by Cadbury-Schweppes for £91 million.

(Year Founded: 1844)
Pearson has had a history of drastic changes.
It was founded in 1844 by Samuel Pearson as a building and construction company in Yorkshire.
His grandson, Weetman Dickinson Pearson, took over control of the company in 1880. In 1890, Weetman moved the business to London and turned the company into the world’s largest construction company.
In 1920, Pearson switched to publishing, ending their construction business.

The Co-op
(Year Founded: 1844)
The Co-op got founded in 1844 as the Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers. It was the first company to introduce the business concept of dividend sharing.
By 1872, it became known as the Cooperative Wholesale Society, or CWS for short. It was owned entirely by the cooperatives it traded within Great Britain.
The Co-op actively takes part in Corporate Social Responsibility programmes and employs 1,000 apprentices at any one time.

(Year Founded: 1849)
Boots was founded in 1849 by John Boot as a small family herbal medicine shop in Nottingham.
John Boot died in 1860 and his son, Jesse Boot, then only aged 10, took over helping his mother run the family business. By 1883, the company got incorporated as Boot and Co. Ltd.
For ibuprofen, Boots Research Department was awarded the Queens Award for Technological Achievement in 1985.

Fox’s Biscuits
(Year Founded: 1853)
Fox’s Biscuits was founded in 1853 by Michael Spedding.
He started the company as a small bakery selling what he called “eatables” at feasts and fairs in northern England. It had humble beginnings in 17 Whitaker Street in West Yorkshire, which is a small terraced house.
When Michael Spedding’s daughter married Fred Ellis Fox in the late 1800s, the name of the company got chosen. Interestingly, not named after its founder Spedding.

(Year Founded: 1856)
Burberry was founded in 1856 by Thomas Burberry.
He was a former drapers apprentice in Basingstoke, England.
However, he was not satisfied with what outwear the market had to provide, so he started experimenting with fabrics.
These experiments led to the mastermind creation of many materials, most of which he trademarked and patented.
The Burberry knight logo got trademarked in 1909.

(Year Founded: 1862)
Rowntree’s got founded in 1862 in York.
It converted to a public company in 1897 under the chairmanship of Joseph Rowntree.
Right from the start, it was one of the major players in the country’s cocoa, chocolate and confectionery manufacturing industry.

(Year Founded: 1864)
In 1864, J Hepworth and Son got established in Leeds, England as a gentleman’s tailor.
Hepworth acquired Kendalls, a group of rainwear shops in 1981.
They then developed Next as a womenswear group of stores, opening the first store in 1982.
In August 1984, Next for Men got launched.
At the time of writing, Next is a British multinational retailer specialising in clothing, footwear, and home products.
Next has over 700 stores across Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

(Year Founded: 1869)
Sainsbury’s was founded in 1869 by James and Mary Ann Sainsbury.
It began as a small shop that sold milk, eggs, and butter-based in Drury Lane in London.
Sainsbury’s is confidently innovative.
They often get credited with being among the earliest adopters and developers of self-service in the 21st Century.

Holland & Barrett
(Year Founded: 1870)
Holland & Barrett was formed in 1870 by Alfred Slapps Barrett and Major William Holland.
It began as a grocery store selling groceries and clothing. Later, the business developed into two shops: a grocery store and a clothing store.
At the time of writing, Holland & Barrett is a large chain of health food shops with more than 1300 stores in 16 countries.

Marks & Spencer
(Year Founded: 1884)
Marks and Spencer (M&S) started as a market stall in Leeds by a polish refugee called Michael Marks.
He later met Thomas Spencer, a former cashier, and went into partnership with him.
When asked for a comment on this article, an M&S spokesperson said:

(Year Founded: 1886)
Hovis was founded in 1886 by Richard Stoney Smith when he discovered a way to mill flour to maintain the wheatgerm.
The name Hovis came about as part of a national competition in 1890 to name the bread brand.
A student at the time, Herbert Grimes, came up with the name by combining the Latin phrase ‘Hominis Vis’ which means ‘Strength of Man’.
In 1941 during the second world war, Hovis donated a spitfire to the RAF, naming it Hominis Vis.

Yorkshire Tea
(Year Founded: 1886)
The company was founded in 1886 by Charles Taylor and his two sons as C.E Taylors & Sons.
They built a reputation by buying only the finest quality tea and blending them with local water.
Their products were so good that they won numerous awards for them, such as the London Grocery Exhibition 1896 gold medal.

Alliance Trust
(Year Founded: 1888)
The Alliance Trust was formed in 1888 when three Dundee companies, the Dundee Mortgage and Trust, the Dundee Investment Company and the Oregon and Washington Trust, which operated from Dundee, teamed up.
Initially, as individual companies, their main focus was lending money to immigrant farmers in Oregon.
However, after the merger, the Alliance Trust expanded and started investing in US railway bonds, mining rights, and interest securities. In 1969, the Alliance Trust introduced the first Dividend Reinvestment Plan (DRIP).

The Financial Times
(Year Founded: 1888)
The Financial Times is an English language newspaper founded by Horatio Bottomley and James Sheridan in 1888. It later merged with the Financial News, one of its closest rivals. 
According to an audit conducted by PwC in 2011, the paper has an estimated worldwide daily readership of about 2.2 million people.
A little-known fact about the co-founder, Horatio Bottomley, is that he spent eleven years in prison and died in poverty six years after his release.

(Year Founded: 1893)
In 1893 there was the panic on the New York stock exchange, Beatrix Potter created Peter Rabbit, and Henry Ford designed the first gasoline fuelled engine.
It was also the year that Henry J Ryman opened on London’s Great Portland Street in October. An iconic road it still resides on today, even after several relocations throughout the years.

Daily Mail
(Year Founded: 1896)
It is a British tabloid newspaper that was founded by two brothers, Harold and Alfred Harmsworth in 1896.
It is the second-largest daily newspaper in the UK, coming second after The Sun.

(Year Founded: 1896)
Maynards was founded in 1896 by Charles Riley Maynard and Tom, his brother.
Before this, since 1880, the brothers were manufacturing sweets in their kitchen while Sarah Ann, Charle’s wife, was selling the sweets at her shop next door.
In 1906, the company moved to Harringay and after some time expanded to other areas.
Later in 1998, the company was acquired by Cadbury.

(Year Founded: 1899)
Castrol was founded in 1899 by Charles “Cheers” Wakefield. Initially, it was called CC Wakefield & Company.
Charles Wakefield started it as a way of selling lubricants for trains and heavy machinery.
With the increased popularity of the automobile and the aeroplane, Castrol decided to shift its focus to these innovations.
The founders of Castrol had special requirements when it came to engine lubricants: the oil had to be runny enough when cold and thick enough to keep working when hot.

Typhoo Tea
(Year Founded: 1903)
Typhoo Tea was founded in 1903 by John Sumner.
He was the first person to sell ready-packaged tea in Britain. Initially sold as a cure for indigestion through his small apothecary.
He focused on the finest quality ingredients and health benefits, which made his product famous.
In 1968, Typhoo merged with Schweppes, and later Cadbury joined them, forming Cadbury Schweppes Typhoo.
The company, however, later sold Typhoo in 1986.

(Year Founded: 1904)
Rolls Royce was founded in 1904 when Henry Royce, an aero-engine designer, teamed up with Charles Rolls, a maker and seller of high-quality cars in London. 

By 1953 the company they started had become the cornerstone of global acceptance of the gas turbine in the aviation industry.
The 1950s marked the beginning of the excellent relationship between Rolls-Royce and the British royal family after the first Phantom IV was commissioned by then Princess Elizabeth II.

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