Our History

Our legacy began in 1814 when James Purdey opened the doors of his eponymous business. With over 200 years behind us, we’re proud to build on the foundation of tradition and excellence that he created.

The early years

The story of James Purdey & Sons began when a 14-year-old James Purdey approached his brother-in-law, Thomas Keck Hutchinson, for an apprenticeship. After seven years of learning and refining his craft, James went on to work under other masters in the industry, namely Joseph Monton and then Alexander John Forsyth. 

 James Purdey, founder


Purdey (& Sons)

In 1814, Purdey opened his first shop on Princes Street (now Gerrard Street) to the public. The training and skills Purdey had learnt during his previous positions served him well. The business quickly gained a reputation in the industry and become well known for its quality products.

James’s only son, James the Younger, was the next generation to take over the helm. James prepared his successor for the role by training him in the business’s craft and ingraining the Purdey passion for tradition. James the Younger ensured these lessons were passed onto his own sons, James (III) and Athol, when they joined the business in 1877 — creating James Purdey & Sons.

Almost every subsequent generation of Purdey has been involved in the continued success of the business. Today, a seventh-generation Purdey still sits on the board of directors.

Richard Purdey, former Chairman and 6th generation Purdey

Purdey clothing and accessories

The Purdey brand has always looked for innovative ways to bring the best to our customers. In 1974 we were the first London brand in the industry to open an accessory shop. This was to complement our main catalogue of stock. It has since evolved into the luxury collection we produce today.

Nearly forty years later, every garment and accessory we produce embodies the same values set out by James Purdey when he started his company in 1814. The spirit of innovation has always guided us towards new possibilities. More than just clothing and accessories, we now stock unique homeware items, a selection of personalised gifts and jewellery.