Cogswell & Harrison was established in May 1770 and is London’s oldest surviving gun maker. The company has manufactured an exceptionally diverse range of sporting shotguns and rifles during its long and colourful history. In 2008 the company was purchased by the Brennan family, the proprietors of Ardee Sports Company.
Significant Dates (As extracted from Cogswell & Harrison Two Centuries of Gunmaking by Graham Cooley & John Newton, this book covers the history of Cogswell & Harrison from 1770 – 1993)
1770 Benjamin Cogswell goes into business at 4 Bengal Place, New Kent Road, London.
1794 Hector Essex (said to be a relation of Cogswell), hardware man at 224 Strand, London.
1805 Hector Essex, gunsmith and jeweller at 104 and 223/224 Strand.
1821 Robert Essex, brother of Hector, Silversmith and dealer in firearms. Succeeds to business at 224 Strand.
1835 Edward Benton, Sliversmith and firearms dealer, takes over 224 Strand.
1842 Between 1830 and 1842 Benjamin Cogswell was described as a pawnbroker at 4 Bengal Place. Benjamin Cogswell takes over at 224 Strand address. Advertises himself as “Gun and Pistol warehouse” (successor to Edward Benton).
1857 Advertises himself as Benjamin Cogswell gunmaker at 224 Strand.
1863 Benjamin Cogswell (Jnr) takes Edward Harrison into partnership.Cogswell becomes Cogswell & Harrison at 224 Strand.
1879 Strand premises run in conjunction with new business managed by Edgar Harrison at 142 New Bond Street, London.
1882 Firm becomes a Limited Company. Moves to 226 Strand.
1886 Edward Harrison leases factory at Ferndale Estate in Harrow, Middlesex. Edgar Harrison and Julia Adlas Chaplin owners of Cogswell & Harrison and E. Harrison & Co.
1887 Edgar Harrison takes new lease on Harrow factory. Edgar Harrison and Julia Chaplin enter new business partnership. Edgar Harrison resides at Hindes Road, Harrow
1891 Armourers Club founded (forerunner of the Gun Trade Association). E. Harrison founder member.
1893 Premises leased at 29a Gillingham Street, Victoria, London. Sidney Harrison said to have been based there.
1901 Edgar Harrison is Chairman of the Gunmakers’ Association (predecessor to the Gun Trade Association)
1908 Cogswell and Harrison acquire William Moore & Grey of Craven Street, Strand.
1912 Edgar Harrison is Chairman of the Gunmakers’ Association.
1915 Cogswell Harrison, the only son of Edgar Harrison, is killed in explosion at the company’s powder mills and shooting grounds in Colnbrook.
1917 New West End premises open at 168 Piccadilly, London.
1919 Claude Harrison joins H.H. Hussey to form Harrison and Hussey at 41 Albemarle Street, London.
1924 Edgar Harrison is Master of the worshipful Company of Gunmakers.
1930 Harrison & Hussey (independent company) closes.
1932 Voluntary Liquidation is followed by the formation of Cogswell & Harrison (1932) Ltd.
1938 Edgar Harrison dies. His son-in-law, Major Cordova, becomes Chairman with John Peskett as Managing Director.
1957 Sam Cummings, President of International Armamnets Corp. of the US and Canada, becomes majority shareholder.
1958 Sam Cummings acquires several well-known London Gunmakers including Churchill, Boswell and Cogswell & Harrison to form InterArm Co.
1963 Existing directors, including John Peskett and Ted Holden purchase back Cogswell & Harrison from InterArm Co.
1970 Bicentenary Celebrations.
1982 Extraordinary general meeting on 26 April resolves that the company goes into voluntary liquidation. Maurice Sidney Chaplan appointed liquidator.
1983 Farlows of Pall Mall acquire the name and goodwill of Cogswell & Harrison.
1984 Farlows issues gunmaking licence to J. Roberts & Son. Continues for five years.
1993 Cooley family purchases Cogswell & Harrison together with all rights.
2008 The Brennan family purchase the company together with all rights. The company is registered at Parkers Lane, Maidens Green, Bracknell, Berkshire RG42 6LE.
2012 Cogswell & Harrison completes their 3rd Millennium Bespoke Side by Side 12g shotgun. This is the first gun manufactured by Cogswell & Harrison in the 21st century and establishes Cogswell & Harrison as a gun manufacturer during 4 centuries.
2014 Cogswell & Harrison launches a range of modern field Over and Under shotguns – The Cogswell & Harrison Windsor. The company also launches a modern bolt action version of an old Cogswell & Harrison rifle – The Cogswell & Harrison Certus.
2015 The Cogswell & Harrison Windsor Sporting version is launched. Cogswell & Harrison (Gunmakers) Ltd also moves its UK Registered Office & Gunsmith Services to Stable Yard, Hatfield Park, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, AL9 5NQ
In addition to the family of Windsor and Certus guns, Cogswell &Harrison also have other guns in production comprising bespoke side by side and premium over and under shotguns.