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Wm Willey & Co Ltd, cutlers and silversmiths

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Wm Willey & Co Ltd, cutlers and silversmiths

Posted: 12 Jul 2013 7:02AM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Willey, Turner
I'm looking for any information at all about this company. As far as I know there is no link at all with the American Willey Knives company.

It has a Birmingham maker's mark, and certainly sold cutlery and silverware in the 1920s and 1930s, with a registered office at 54/58 Vittoria Street, Birmingham. During the 20th century it was managed by Frank Turner, grandson of William Willey (1789-1853), and it was selling fine silverware in the 1920s and 1930s - there are currently some W.W & Co teaspoons for sale on eBay. The company may have been founded in Sheffield or London by William Willey sometime after 1844 (when a previous partnership Wm Willey & Sons was dissolved), or it may have been founded in London by his son, also William (1820-1896) whose cutlery shop was at 113 St George Street, Ratcliff (Stepney). Also no idea when it ceased trading or was dissolved: probably sometime between the late 1930s and Frank Turner's death in 1951.

19th century newspaper searches have turned up nothing - well, almost nothing. There's a bankrupt sale by one of his grandsons Frederick Willey in Liverpool, but this is from a different company, F. Willey & Co. The London Gazette also records the bankruptcy of another grandson George Willey, in Leicester. But nothing about Wm. Willey & Co.

Any information at all would be welcome.

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