A Potted History
Paxton & Whitfield was first recorded as a partnership in 1797, but its origins began in 1742 when Stephen Cullum set up a cheese stall in Aldwych market. As London became increasingly affluent Sam Cullum (Stephen's son) moved his cheese business closer to his wealthy customer base, near to Jermyn Street where there is still a shop today. He also took on two new partners - Harry Paxton and Charles Whitfield. Ironically it is their names, not his, which grace the shop fronts now. The Company's reputation grew steadily, culminating in 1850 with the honour of being appointed cheesemonger to HM Queen Victoria. It was the first of many Royal Warrants that the Company has held.
While the earlier years were good for Paxton & Whitfield, times were tougher from the 1860s. Smart society's appetite for traditional English farmhouse cheese was fading in favour of Continental cheese and, in England, factory style production was becoming the established practice. Many artisan cheeses totally disappeared as small farmers sent their milk to industrial creameries. This trend continued throughout the two World Wars and, in the 1940s, with eggs, butter and cheese in short supply 93 Jermyn Street became an ordinary grocery shop.
After World War II and a series of different owners, business improved as Paxtons rekindled their contacts with the traditional cheesemakers of rural Britain and started bringing in the best that Europe could offer. Two new Paxtons opened, in Stratford upon Avon and Bath not to mention their virtual shop on the web. Customers who value quality know they will always be able to find it at Paxtons. As Winston Churchill once observed "a gentleman only buys his cheese at Paxton & Whitfield". In Paxton's third century of trading we hope you will allow us to help you enjoy the fascinating and diverse world of cheese too.
Significant dates in the history of Paxton & Whitfield
Stephen Cullum sets up a cheese stall in Clare Market off the Aldwych1742
Demand for cheese is fuelled by an influx of workers from the country and Society's taste for entertaining1750s
Stephen's son Sam opens a shop in Southampton Street1772
Stephen sells the market stall, takes on a partner called Paxton and opens a shop in Surrey Street1770s
Sam opens a new shop at 37 Shallow Street of Piccadilly1782
Sam has two new partners - Harry Paxton and Charles Whitfield1790
First record of Paxton & Whitfield as a named partnership1797
Shallow Street shop closes to allow the building of Regent Street. Business moves to 18 Jermyn Street1835
Sam Cullum dies1836
Royal Warrant of Appointment to HM Queen Victoria1850
The fluid partnerships of the last 50 years give way to the definitive name of Paxton & Whitfield, the name the firm bears with pride to this day.1853
Mr Mann acquires the business1890s
The business moves to 93 Jermyn Street1896
Royal Warrant of Appointment to HM King Edward VII1901
Royal Warrant of Appointment to HM King Edward V1910
Mr Fred Moore acquires the business1929
Royal Warrant of Appointment to HRH The Prince of Wales1932
Royal Warrant of Appointment to HM King George VI1936
Mr Archie Moore takes over the business on his father's death1951
Royal Warrant of Appointment to HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother1972
Mr Dermot Adamson acquires the business1974
Mr Ewan Adamson takes over the business on his father's death1984
Mr Arthur Cunynghame acquires the business1992
The firm celebrates its bicentenary1997
Royal Warrant of Appointment to HRH The Prince of Wales1998
Royal Warrant of Appointment to HM The Queen Mr Andrew Brownsword acquires the business2002
Paxton and Whitfield forms an alliance with parisian cheese mongers, Androuet.2009
The concept of the Royal Warrant of Appointment dates back to the advent of the monarchy. The King and his Court had to be provided for and, not surprisingly, had first call on the services of the best in the land. In return, being a Royal Tradesman conferred certain trading benefits over those not recognised. By the 15th century, Royal Tradesmen were formally appointed in writing by means of a Royal Warrant issued by the Lord Chamberlain, a practice which continues to this day.
Paxton & Whitfield gained their first Royal Warrant to Queen Victoria in 1850 and today we hold Royal Warrants of Appointment to Her Majesty The Queen, and HRH The Prince of Wales.
Over the years we have also held Warrants to HM King Edward VII, HM King George V, HM King George VI and HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother.
Please see the Royal Warrant Holders Association web-site for more information on the Royal Warrants.
Registered Office 93 Jermyn Street, London, SW1Y 6JE
Paxton & Whitfield Ltd is a Company registered in England and Wales
Company Number 04179878
Vat Reg No 800 4859 45