FOUNDERS OF DICKINS & JONES STORE
DICKINS - TAVERNER - BRIGGS - PIGOTT – BRAND. A large Victorian carte-de-visite album, comprising 193 family portraits, plus 3 views featuring boats at sea, and one of a large house. The album (about 9 x 12 inches) is bound in embossed red leather (worn) and has brass clasps. Some 96 of the portraits are named in pencil on the album pages (the cards have not been removed to look for further information). The first page features Henry Francis Dickins (1835-1912) and his wife Lucy Catherine Dickins (1836-1878), while subsequent pages feature many additional members of the Dickins and extended Taverner, Briggs, Piggot and Brand families, together with other named relations and friends. Several of the portraits have been hand coloured and there is a faux postage stamp photograph of Thomas Dickins. Carte-de-visite photographs in good condition, some of the album pages with a few marks and with the occasional small tear. The album comes with genealogical notes including copies taken from census returns etc.
Henry Francis Dickins (1835-1912), was a linen draper, a partner in Dickins & Jones; chef and manager of Rawling’s Hotel; and was foreman of the jury in the Tichborne Criminal Trial. He was one of at least 8 children of draper Thomas and Mary Dickins, whose photographs are present in the album. He married firstly in 1857 Lucy Catherine Taverner (1836-1878) and her photograph and those of her parents are also present. He married secondly in 1879 Agnes Haines Fase (1856-1919) who features in the album together with their son Wyndham. Thanks to half of all the portraits being named, the album offers up considerable scope to reconstruct the genealogical links of the subjects.
The history of Dickins & Jones store dates back to the linen drapery of Henry Francis Dickins’ father Thomas Dickins who with William Smith set up a successful business at 54 Oxford Street, London in 1803. Their success in selling quality goods at reasonable prices enabled them to move into grand premises in Regent Street in 1835. Upon the death of Thomas Dickins in 1856, Dickins & Jones was established under the partnership of Henry Francis Dickins, his brother Charles John Dickins, and John Prichard Jones.
By 1900, the company was enjoying considerable success, and supplied royalty and the aristocracy. Incorporated in 1900 the vendors, Henry Francis Dickins, Charles John Dickins, John Prichard Jones, and their sons, Charles Thomas Dickins, Frederick Albert Dickins and Vernon William Dickins, all remained directors and retained a high proportion of the issued shares. Dickins & Jones Ltd began to take over other successful London firms, but by the 1910s the Dickins family did not wish to carry on the business and Harrod's Stores Ltd, acquired a controlling interest in 1914, although the store continued to trade as a separate entity. The store was brought completely into the ownership of Harrods Ltd in June 1968. (House of Fraser Archive).