Catalogue description John Lobb Ltd

This record is held by City of Westminster Archives Centre

Details of Lobb
Reference: Lobb
Title: John Lobb Ltd

Financial records


Sales records




Business correspondence



Date: 1899 - 1986
Held by: City of Westminster Archives Centre, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

John Lobb Ltd, 1866-, Westminster, bootmakers

Physical description: 5 series
Immediate source of acquisition:

Records deposited on permanent loan by Mr Eric Lobb, Director, John Lobb Ltd, bootmakers, 9 St James's Street, London SW1A 1EF: accession 1544 on 1 March 1988, accession 327 on 29 June 1966, accession 1555 on 9 June 1988, accession 1568 on 14 March 1989 and accession 1592 on 4 April 1990


Accession 1544


Accession 327


Accession 1555


Accession 1568


Accession 1592

Administrative / biographical background:

John Lobb, bootmaker, probably opened his first shop in London at 296 Regent Street in 1866. In 1880 he expanded and opened a second shop at 29 St James's Street and at the beginning of the century two more premises were added, 292 Regent Street and 1 Rue Vingt Neuf Juillet in Paris. The second shop also moved from 29 to 55 St James's Street. In 1895 John Lobb died and was succeeded by William Hunter Lobb his second son. (The eldest son, John, had been expelled from the family, having been caught wth his hand in the till). William Hunter died in 1916 and his wife Betsy Lobb ran the business until their eldest son, Mr Will, was old enough to enter the firm.


By the beginning of the second world war, Lobbs was declining rapidly and Mr Will's youngest brother, Mr Eric, entered the firm on a voluntary basis in February 1939. Later that year, after the outbreak of war, William left the firm for the Ministry of Information.


During the war the Lobb premises were bombed six times and in 1944 55 St James's Street was destroyed. Luckily Lobbs found new premises at 26 St James's Street.


In the years after the war, Mr Eric slowly rebuilt the firm and expanded into the American market to try and combat the decline in orders in this country due to rationing. William also rejoined the firm and together with their mother Betsy they became three equal partners. Betsy Lobb died in 1956 and William in 1963. Mr Eric still runs the business today.


In 1962 Lobbs were forced to move premises again, to 7-9 St James's Street, to make room for the Economist tower block.


Since the war Lobbs have taken over several boot and shoe makers, including Box, Buhl, Moykopf and Tuczek, the records of which are also held here. (Acc 327 and 1555). In the Lobbs records are two books of indexes to lasts from [Peter Yapp Ltd], presumably also taken over.


For the complete history of the company see: Brian Dobbs, The Last Shall be First, London 1972.

Link to NRA Record:

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