Historical Manuscripts Commission

Summary report on the records


Saunders, Shepherd & Co Ltd, manufacturing jewellers and goldsmiths, London
(including records of WH Wilmot Ltd, gold chain and watch bracelet mfrs, Birmingham)

in private possession

(reference: GB-800819-Saunders)

NW James and DA Leitch, May 1991
Historical Manuscripts Commission

Table of Contents



Summary report

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All enquiries about access to records described in the following report should be addressed to the Historical Manuscripts Commission.


Saunders, Shepherd & Co Ltd is one of the oldest jewellery manufacturing firms in the Hatton Garden area of London. The business was established by the grandfather of the present chairman, Francis Shepherd, who went into partnership with Cornelius Desormeaux Saunders in 1869. Soon after its foundation the firm established itself in Bartlett’s Passage, near Holborn Circus. In 1906 a new building fronting on Fetter Lane was erected, adjoining the older premises in Bartlett’s Passage until the Second World War when the buildings were bombed. The firm continued to be based in the vicinity of Hatton Garden however, and now has premises in a converted tea warehouse in Bleeding Heart Yard. Saunders, Shepherd & Co Ltd was incorporated in its present form in 1916, and remains in family ownership. A Birmingham subsidiary, WH Wilmot Ltd, dating from 1860, was acquired in 1959. Another subsidiary company, Saunders & Shepherd Ltd was floated as part of the group c1973. The records of Saunders, Shepherd & Co go back to 1875 although many of the design records were destroyed during the Second World War, while those of WH Wilmot date back to c1900. They were inspected on 8 May 1991 by kind permission of the chairman. Mr SA Shepherd.

Summary report

All records are kept in the cellar storeroom except where otherwise specified.

Saunders, Shepherd & Co Ltd

Corporate records

Minute books (3) 1916-43, 1916 -50, 1950-71

Register of members and share ledger 1950s-1966

Register of transfers 1906-11

Balance sheets (1 volume) 1914-40

Balance sheets. profit and loss accounts (1 volume)1919-42

Trust deeds for securing debentures, and debenture stock between Saunders, Shepherd & Co Ltd and JFH Shepherd (2 items) 27 June 1916, 8 Nov 1926

Correspondence relating to financing of acquisition of WH Wilmot Ltd (1 file) 1959

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Accounting records

Account books (2) (Saunders, Shepherd & Vander Ltd)1940-45, 1953-60

Ledger 1935-40


Sales records

Order book 1960-62

Trade fair visitors’ book 1963

Memorandum book relating to calls on commercial customers 1965-70

Papers relating to Irish customers (1 file) 1956-61

Correspondence with Messrs Gay Frères, Annemasse, relating to their agency agreement for gold

bracelets (1 file) 1961-69

Correspondence with Miris Caoduiro, Vicenza, relating to ‘Tessuflex’ watch bracelets (1 file) 1966-69

Correspondence with trade customers from and related papers (loose) 1954

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Production and technical records

Cost and sales book relating to jewellery mounting and wholesale rings 1945-59

Pattern and order book ‘Gold Dept. D. No 2’ 1913-60

Pattern book relating to bracelets nd

Registers of designs (2) 1875-1905, 1905-21

Plate licences (including purchase tax certificate of registration 1940) (1 bundle) 1905-47

Sketch book of human figures nd


Property records

Copy extracts of papers relating to insurance arranged by TH March & Co (1 wallet) 1908-11

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Printed catalogues etc

Illustrated jewellery catalogues [Chairman’s office] 1897-98, [Chairman’s office] 1903-04, 1914

Gold Department nd

Special order Department nd

JC Vander Ltd c1953, nd

‘Tessuflex’ catalogues (1 file) 1960s

Advertisements for ‘Tessuflexl’ watch straps (2 items, on boards) late 20th century

Printed material including design patterns for bracelets and jewellery

Asprey & Co Ltd catalogue nd

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1 Bleeding Heart Yard (negatives, 1 bundle) 1979

Workshops (5 items, on boards) late 20th century

Premises (1 item) 20th century

Duke of Gloucester’s visit to firm (1 wallet) [Chairman’s Office] 1986

Miscellaneous photographs (loose) 20th century



Certificate of incorporation of Saunders, Shepherd and Vander Ltd (framed) 1952

Advertising material relating to Little Dorritt and Bleeding Heart Yard (1 bundle) 1981

Miscellaneous loose correspondence and papers 1960s-1980s

Memorabilia [Chairman’s office] 20th century

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WH Wilmot Ltd

Corporate records

Directors’ minute book 1903-70

Register of members and share ledger including register of transfers 1903-59

Share certificates 1916-51, share transfer certificates 1960s, annual returns 1963-68 (1 bundle)

Papers relating to company reorganisation (1 file) 1969


Accounting records

Private ledger 1944-58

Annual budget and targets (1 file) 1968-69

Budget and running analysis (2 files) 1971, 1973


Sales records

Price calculations and related papers (7 files) c1960-69

Customer analysis (1 file) 1963-70

Sales analysis (1 file) 1970

Correspondence and papers of London office relating to samples for Learoyd & Calverley (1 bundle) 1967-68

Papers relating to possible Irish customers (1 file) 1968-69

Stock book 1964-70

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Production and employment records

Costing information (1 file) 1968

Production rates (1 file) 1969

Employment contracts (1 file) 1969

Records of new wages structure (1 file) 1971


Printed catalogues, photographs and miscellaneous records

Catalogues of gold chains, jewellery and bracelets (loose) 1920s-1950s

Illustrated jewellery, catalogues(2) [Chairman’s Office] nd

Catalogues of other watch bracelet making firms (loose) mainly 1960s

Copy print of Birmingham premises [Chairman’s office] 19th century

Photographs of staff (3 items, on boards) c1900

Photographs of staff on outings (2 items, framed) c1930s-1940s

Photographs of jewellery produced by WH Wilmot Ltd (3 items) 20th century

Miscellaneous correspondence and papers (1 file, etc) 1958-74


Personal papers of SA Shepherd [not inspected]

Papers of SA Shepherd marked ‘London’ (1 bag) 1977-84

Personal, family and financial papers, and papers relating to WH Wilmot Ltd (1 bag) 1960s-1980s, nd

Papers relating to building and works at 1, Bleeding Heart Yard (1 bag)

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