James Purdey and Sons

Purdey History of English Excellence

John Purdey, originally from Scotland, travelled to London in 1690, and his son, James, born in 1739, found work as a Blacksmith on The Minories near the Tower of London. In 1784, James’s son, also christened James, started an apprenticeship with a gunsmith named Thomas Keck Hutchinson. James was passionate about gun making and wanted to learn everything he could. In 1805 James completed his apprenticeship and earned a place at Joseph Manton’s of Oxford Street – the best gun makers in England. In 1808 James joined another gun maker, Forsyth’s, at Piccadilly, and by 1814 James had mastered the art of gun making and set up his own business – thus James Purdey was born.

His business was a success right from the beginning due to his reputation from his previous employers and in 1826, James Purdey had the most famous shop in London, supplying Queen Victoria and Charles Darwin among many others, and ordering guns and supplies for his voyage with the HMS Beagle.

In 1828, James and his wife Mary gave birth to James the younger; who, like his father, began an apprentice at 14 and would continue to take over the family business. In 1868, Purdey was granted a Royal warrant from King Edward VII – ten years later Queen Victoria also granted the warrant, and so has every monarch since. In 1882 Purdey moved to Audley House, Mayfair where to this day it is still the James Purdey home.

The business was handed down the family generations, and after the war prospects for gun makers looked disappointing so the majority shares were sold. When Tom Purdey (grandson to James the younger) retired in 1955, Richard Beaumont took over the company. In 1977, his nephew Nigel started an apprenticeship and is now is one of the only men in the world who knows the full process of making a Purdey gun. He became chairman in 2007.

To this day traditional and high quality goods are still being sold around the world ranging from guns to clothing – and when you buy into Purdey, rest assured in the knowledge that you have 200 years of excellence behind you.

The Sporting Lodge and Purdey

The Sporting Lodge is the UK’s only authorised dealer for James Purdey. We carry a wide range of clothing and accessories in our Lake District showroom, and have picked a few of our favourites (all available to buy online) below.

Purdy Calf Leather Boots, Recoil, Vest Chequer Leather Cartridge Magazine

1. Purdey Calf Leather Boot (was £395 now £315)

Lace up Purdey country boots made from fine calf leather. Leather lining with Dainite® rubber sole. Goodyear welted construction for added water resistance. The laces thread through eyelets and ski hooks. Hand crafted for Purdey in Northampton, England.

2. James Purdey Recoil Vest (was £345 now £175)

James Purdey Loden shooting vest with leather shoulder patches and internal recoil pad adjustable for left or right handed shots. Buttoned back straps for best fit. Internal and external bellowed pockets. Horn button closure.

3. James Purdey Chequer Leather Cartridge Magazine (£795)

Made by hand in England using the finest full grain bridle leather tanned in the West Country, with solid brass buckles and fittings, this James Purdey cartridge magazine will last a lifetime. The decorative chequered pattern echoes the chequering on Purdey gun stocks.

Browse through all our Purdey blog posts:

James Purdey & Sons – Understated Luxury
James Purdey and Sons: Loyalty From Royalty
James Purdey – The Best in the World
James Purdey and Sons Celebrate 200 Years of Finest Gun Making