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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 B/LK
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1781-1998
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 40.12 linear metres
Name of creator(s): James Lock and Company | hatters


Administrative/Biographical history:

Robert Davis, hatter and hosier, established a business in St James Street, Piccadilly, in 1676 and was succeeded by his son Charles. In 1759 Charles' son-in-law James Lock inherited the business and it has continued under his name ever since. In 1764 the firm moved into new premises at 6 St James Street.

Partners in the business have included a Mr Lincoln during the late 18th and early 19th centuries, and Mr Whitbourn, formerly of Whitbourn and Benning, during the early 20th century.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of James Lock and Company including series of day books (1781-1969, with gaps) and order books (1805-1998, with gaps). There were always two order books in use at any one time, one in the shop and one in the office, and as a result the dates overlap in many volumes. There is also a series of rough order books, called waste books (1798-1819), and special order books series for ladies' hats, for hunting wear and foreign and export orders. There are product statistics for 20th century. Very few product drawings, or fabric samples are included (for samples for special orders 1995-1998 see B/LK/422).

All these series contain similar elements of information, namely the customer's name and address, description of hat ordered and the total cost.

The collection also contains financial records, including ledgers, cash books, customer accounts and bad debts which summarise outstanding payments due from customers; staff salaries (1927-1954) (B/LK/619) and R Lincoln's executors account (B/LK/254).

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Arranged in the following sections: Production, Finance, Staff and Related Material

Conditions governing access:

These records are available for public inspection, although records containing personal information are subject to access restrictions under the UK Data Protection Act, 1998.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright rests with the depositor.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Deposited in 1967 with several additional deposits to 2015.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
July to October 2009, updated Jun 2015

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