Timeline

1835

Harris Holland
(1806–1896)

Harris Holland | Holland & Holland

Harris Holland, the first Holland in the story and the founder of the company. His journey into the world of gun making did not follow the conventional path of those other big names such as Thomas Boss and James Purdey. Born into a family of organ makers, this is where Harris Holland first developed an understanding of real craftsmanship. At around the age of 25, Harris left the family business and started a new venture in the tobacco trade. He was a very keen shot and this is believed to be the principle reason for starting the gunmaking business H Holland in 1835.

1858

98 Bond Street

98 New Bond Street Holland & Holland

As the company expanded, Harris Holland found it integral to attract an upmarket clientele and so he moved the business to 98 New Bond Street. Holland & Holland would stay at this address for over one-hundred years and it would forever become associated with company.

1860

Henry Holland
1845 - 1930

1860 Henry Holland

With the gun making business well and truly established, the company took on an important apprentice by the name of Henry Holland. Henry, the nephew of Harris Holland would become an important figure in the company’s history. Henry Holland had incredible talents combining business acumen with inventive genius.  As an inventor he must rank as one of the most prolific gun inventors of all time.

1861

Patents

gun making patents

Holland & Holland register their first Patent No. 1904 for Bolt Action Rifle and slide and drop Action. In total, Holland & Holland has registered fifty-one patents, more so than any other British gunmaker.

 

1876

Holland & Holland

First Holland & Holland Advert

In 1876 Henry Holland was made a partner in the business and the company name changed to Holland & Holland. This was the first advertisement to be published in The Field dated 8 January 1876 showing the name Holland & Holland

Despite being made a partner, Henry Holland was not allowed to sign any cheques regarding the business. Only upon Harris Holland’s death in 1896 he could take full control of the company.

1880

Shooting Grounds

Holland & Holland First Shooting Grounds

The Willsden Shooting & Testing Ground, was acquired by Harris Holland in the 1850s to shoot and test rifles. In 1880 its name was changed to the Kensal Rise Shooting Grounds. At the turn of the century the demand for building land increased, as the metropolis expanded, and with only three months notice Holland & Holland was asked to vacate the Kensal Rise Grounds in 1913. New Grounds were found at North Forty Farm (pictured), near Wembley Park Station. The freehold of this ground was purchased in 1923 but again due to pressure for building land the grounds were sold in 1931.

1883

A Clean Sweep

1883 The Field Trials

The Field Magazine launch a rifle trial in London in which Holland & Holland entered every class. Ten tests were undertaken with varying calibres and rifles. Messrs Holland wins every class, an achievement the company were more than happy to promote.  The Field commented…..’Mr H Holland, who personally designed the whole of the magnificent series of rifles which were tested by us, also richly deserves the credit that attaches to their performance. We understand that all were rifled under his superintendence and afterwards regulated and shot at his Kensal Green ground by Mr Froome’.

1885

Royal Trade Mark

1885 The 'Royal' Trademark

The ‘Royal’ trade mark is awarded and applied to the “Royal” Ejector. The design would change throughout the years but the “Royal” trademark would still appear on all guns of this model.

1893

Harrow Road Factory

1893 Holland & Holland's First Factory

Holland & Holland’s first factory was built at 527 Harrow Road. This image taken in 1894 shows the workers posing outside the front of the building.

1898

New Factory

1898 The New Factory Holland & holland

Shortly after the first factory, it became very apparent that there was a need to move to a bigger premises. Henry Holland decided to build a new factory only half a mile from the original factory along the Harrow Road and it is still the site of our factory today. The building was deliberately built to be tall and slim with large windows for maximum light. In 1898 Holland & Holland also became a limited company, Holland & Holland Ltd.

1908

The Detachable Lock

1908 The Detachable Lock

Henry Holland & Thomas Woodward (Factory Manager) introduced a simple innovation that will forever be associated with Holland & Holland – the detachable lock.

1912

.375 H&H

.375 H&H Magnum | Holland & Holland

The famous .375 Holland & Holland Magnum was introduced.   No other cartridge stands above the .375 H&H in the minds of amateur and professional hunters, ensuring that the .375 will continue to justify the highest reputation for generations to come. However, the.375 Magnum did not appear overnight, it had a lengthy development history beginning around 1899 when Holland & Holland introduced the .375 Cordite Express.

1930

Col. J Holland
1879 - 1957

Col. J Holland | Holland & Holland

On the death of his father, Henry Holland, Colonel Jack Holland was appointed Chairman of Holland & Holland.

Although his chosen career was the army and not gunmaking, Colonel Jack Holland successfully led Holland & Holland through the most difficult decades in the history of the company – The depression of the 1930s, World War Two and the uncertain post-war period. Throughout his life he was dedicated to his family, he was fair and was very affectionate about the company, so much so that his ashes were scattered at the Shooting Grounds in Northwood.

1932

New Shooting Grounds

Northwood Shooting Grounds | Holland & Holland

The new Badminton Shooting Grounds at Ducks Hill, Northwood Middlesex, opened in January 1932. The Holland & Holland Shooting Grounds are still there today. In 1982 a new pavilion was built with the original pavilion being used as dining facilities for the increase demand in corporate events. Situated in over 100 acres of rolling countryside and only 17 miles from the centre of London it is the ideal place to host an event, in the knowledge that guests are in very capable hands with some of the world’s best top instructors.

1939 - 1945

The War Years

The War Years | Bolt Action Rifle | Holland & Holland

During this time the government issued a number of contracts to Holland & Holland but the one most associated with the company was to convert and produce over 23,000 No.4 (T) Sniper Rifles. The variety and quantity of work produced during  the war years was quite staggering with much of the work being carried out by women. Many of whom stayed on at the factory until the 1960s.

1960

New Premises

1960 New Bruton Street Premises

Holland & Holland and Westley Richards (Agency) amalgamate. Malcom Lyell becomes Managing Director of Holland & Holland and the company moves to new premises, 13 Bruton Street.

1963

Royal Warrant

Royal Warrant Rifle Making

Holland & Holland awarded The Royal Warrant from HRH The Duke of Edinburgh for Rifle Making.

1968

Products of Excellence

1968 Five Shotguns, Malcolm Lyell

During the 1960s Malcolm Lyell was responsible for creating the idea behind “The Products of Excellence”. These guns would either have spectacular engraving or be created in special sets.

The first such gun was produced for the Game Fair at Chatsworth in 1966 and was deeply engraved in gold and silver by Luis Vranken of Liege on the theme of Diana the Goddess of Hunting.

The first set was the Set of Five in different bore calibres  – 12, 16, 20, 28 and .410 and produced in 1968.

1982

Bruton Street, London

1982 Bruton Street Move

In 1982, the freeholder of the 13 Bruton Street site, the B.P Pension Fund, wished to redevelop the property and upon expiry of the lease Holland & Holland moved across the road to 33 Bruton Street, the same location as it remains today.

1985

Acquisitions

Holland & Holland made two significant acquisitions in 1985.   Firstly, the famous taxidermist company, Roland Ward and secondly W & C Scott. The rationale behind the purchase of W & C Scott was to produce a new boxlock, the Cavalier, using the very latest CNC technology and the factory in Birmingham was ideal for this. Holland & Holland was the first London gunmaker to invest in the new CNC technology which was to become such an important part of gunmaking today.

1987

African Hunter Series

1987 African Hunter Series Samuel Baker

As part of the Products of Excellence in 1987, Holland & Holland produced the first rifle of The African Hunter Series dedicated to the Victorian hunter, Sir Samuel Baker. The rifle was a .500/465 Nitro Express Holland & Holland ‘Royal’ double barrelled ejector rifle.

Other rifles in the series include:-

1988 – The Captain Frederick Courtney Selous

1990 – The W.D. M Bell

1993 – The John Taylor rifle

1994 – The James Sutherland

 

1988

.700 H&H

1988 The .700 NE

Having made their last .600 rifle in the 1980s, a customer, not wanting to be disappointed, asked Holland & Holland to produce a new and bigger cartridge. The .700 Nitro Express was developed in 1988 and the first .700 Nitro Express Royal Double Rifle was completed in November 1989.

1993

'Sporting' Over-and-Under

For the enthusiast who enjoys both clay and game shooting, the ‘Sporting’ model over and under shotgun was introduced in 1993. Ease of maintenance, absolute reliability and the instinctive handling were the key objectives. As a result, Holland & Holland produced the detachable trigger lock.

1995

Royal Warrant

Royal Warrant Prince of Wales

Awarded the Royal Warrant from HRH The Prince of Wales for bespoke guns, shooting accessories and country clothing.

2002

Round Bodied Shotgun & Rifle

2002 Round Bodied Shotgun and Rifle

In 2002 the Round Action Sidelock Shotgun and Double Rifle were introduced. A new side-by-side sidelock design that incorporated the same materials and craftsmanship used in the making of all guns and rifles but the styling of the sidelock was strikingly different to the ‘Royal’.

The elegantly rounded appearance belies a robust construction that is able to meet the rugged demands of game and big game shooting. This is achieved by combining modern technology and timeless craftsmanship with the experience and wisdom accumulated over the years.

2005

Paradox Re-Introduced

holland and holland paradox

After a break of 75 years Holland & Holland reintroduced The Paradox.

The Paradox was the invention of Lieutenant-Colonel George Vincent Fosbery VC. It was during the Umbeyla Campaign on the Northwest Frontier Fosbery discovered that a few inches of sharp rifling in a shotgun choke was sufficient to stabilise a slug but not enough to blow a shotgun pattern. He patented his idea in 1885 and realising the potential Harris and Henry Holland brought the rights and named it The Paradox.

2009

Roosevelt Commemorative Rifle

2009 Roosevelt Rifle

To add to The African Hunter Series of Rifles in 2009, Holland & Holland chose to mark the 100th anniversary of the presentation of the 1909 rifle to Theodore Roosevelt by building a rifle of the same 500/450 calibre with similar specification.

Naturally, in 1909 Holland & Holland were proud to be chosen to equip President Roosevelt with a big-game rifle for his grand safari. Eighty years later we were pleased to have the same rifle back in our hands again to examine and prepare it for the film “In the Blood” in which one of the young members of the Roosevelt family is introduced to hunting and puts the rifle through its paces again.

2012

.375 Centenary Rifles

2012 .375 H&H Centenary

To mark the one-hundred year anniversary of the famous cartridge, Holland & Holland built a series of twenty-five .375 Centenary rifles.

The twenty-five inscribed and numbered rifles were made to a classic configuration with three levels of features and traditional embellishment.

2014

The Royal Gunmaker

Since the original edition was published in 2003, Donald Dallas continued to research on Holland & Holland and in 2014 we celebrated the publication of the newly revised edition of The ‘Royal’ Gunmaker. Lavishly illustrated, the book reveals the incredible history of the remarkable achievements of a company whose history is so very different from that of many other gunmakers.

2014

Range Rover

The Holland & Holland Range Rover is launched, building upon the strengths of two iconic British brands to provide the perfect vehicle for Holland & Holland’s sporting clients.

The new car is able to combine the unrivalled off-road capability of the Range Rover with an extensive range of bespoke features. Based on the Range Rover Autobiography Black, the summit of the Land Rover model portfolio, the new model has been designed by Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations (SVO),

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Christmas Opening

Please be advised that our online store offices in both the UK and US will be closed from 22nd December 2014 through to 5th January 2015. We will be unable to process any orders, returns or exchanges during this time.

We will endeavour to deal with any requests as soon as possible.

Merry Christmas from all at Holland & Holland