Brand Heritage

London Gun Company manufactures its F. Beesley shotguns – the Fenice and the Eleganza, at its partner facility in the famous Brescia region of Italy.

Gunmaker Frederick Beesley established his business in London in 1879. Whilst only around 1,800 guns were made, Beesley was known as an innovator filing some 25 patents in his day.

One of his most famous patents incorporated an assisted-opening action for a side-by-side sidelock [read more here] and in 1880 he sold it to Purdey to help finance his fledgling business. Purdey have used it for every firearm they have built since that year.

After World War II very few Beesley guns were produced until 2018.

The New,
Line of Beesley's

F. Beesley was synonymous with precision engineering, innovative design and elegant finishing. These qualities are at the core of our two new shotguns.

With cues from some of Beesley’s original designs, both the Fenice and Eleganza are handmade using exacting standards and sophisticated technology.

The shotguns are designed for the modern shooter using some of the most technically advanced processes available. Functionality, versatility and ease of use meet elegance, sophistication and breath-taking aesthetics.

You can see the guns in our Kings Road gun room. They will be available for demonstrations from 1st August 2018 , please contact us if you would like to have a test shoot.

The Fredrick Beesley Story

The F. Beesley Fenice and Eleganza and guns were available to order from summer 2018.

1846 1861 1869 1878 1879 1880 1880-1885 1885 1891 1894 1908 1912-1921 1921 1928 1939 1980 1984 1986 1986-2014 2014 2015 2018

The Beginning

1846

Frederick Beesley is born

Frederick Beesley, the youngest of Oxfordshire farmer Samuel Beesley’s three sons, was born to his second wife Elizabeth, the couple also had two daughters

1861

Frederick Beesley becomes an apprentice to William Moore

At the age of 15, Frederick began a seven-year apprenticeship with London gunmaker William Moore & Grey

1869

Frederick Beesley joins James Purdey & Sons

Aged 22, Frederick marries Clarissa Cheese, the daughter of a mushroom farmer, and now qualified, begins work as a stocker for the most prestigious gunmakers of the time James Purdey reflecting the quality of his craftsmanship and his engineering talents

1878

Frederick Beesley forced to leave

Despite working on prestigious projects such as a 10-bore shotgun for famed shooter the Marquess of Rippon, Beesley  was forced to leave

1879

The Frederick Beesley brand is born

Undeterred, Frederick sets up his own business, aged 33, at Queens Street, just off Edgware Road in London

1880

Patent '31' changes the way shotguns are built forever

Beesley lodges patent No.31 inventing a spring-cocked hammerless gun which changes the way shotguns are built forever

1880-1885

Frederick Beesley sells Patent No 31 to James Purdey & Sons

Beesley sells Patent No 31 to James Purdey & Sons and over the following three to four years he sold a variety of his inventions to companies such as James Woodward and Cogswell & Harrison

1885

Frederick Beesley moves to 85 Edgware Road

With the business now better established, the company moved to larger premises at 85 Edgware Road

1891

Frederick Beesley becomes unofficial title of ‘Inventor to the London Gun Trade'

In recognition of his talents, Beesley becomes known as ‘Inventor to the London Gun Trade’ among his peers and he moves his business to the company’s most prominent and well-known address – 2 St James Street

1894

Frederick Beesley makes improvements to the original Patent 31

Beesley makes improvements to the original Patent 31 although it wasn’t widely adopted including by Beesley himself

1908

The lightweight 16 bore gun introduced

A specifically redesigned light 16 bore gun is launched by Beesley who by this time has registered more than 25 patents

1912-1921

Hon. Auditor to the Gunmaker’s Association

As Hon. Auditor to the Gunmaker’s Association, Beesley also continued the production of limited numbers of sought after English guns which, at the time, were more expensive than his rivals at Purdey or Holland and Holland

1921

Royal Warrant by His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales.

Royal Warrant granted by His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales

1928

Frederick Beesley passes away at 82. Leaving an unrivalled legacy in the gun trade.

Frederick Beesley passes away at the age of 82 and his son Herbert Philip takes over the business

1939

The Frederick Beesley business is purchased by Grant and Lang

The Frederick Beesley business is purchased by Grant and Lang after Herbert passed away just 11 years after his father

1980

The Frederick Beesley name is put up for sale

The Frederick Beesley name is put up for sale by owners the Harris & Sheldon Group, which closed stores and workshops and sold its several businesses as separate entities

1984

Hellis Beesley & Watson gunmakers is formed

Hellis Beesley & Watson Gunmakers is formed following purchase by Fred Buller of Chubb’s of Edgware

1986

Business re-named as Frederick Beesley Gunmakers

Business re-named as Frederick Beesley Gunmakers and moved to White Lion Road, Amersham, Bucks

1986-2014

The Beesley name is continued and produces a small number of hand made guns

A small number of handmade guns are produced to the same exacting standards set by Beesley including the ‘Jurassic’ model, the most recent gun made, with unusual prehistoric themed engraving

2014

Tom and Gary Ward aquire the Frederick Beesley business

Tom and Gary Ward acquire the Frederick Beesley business and relocate back to London

2015

Manufacturers are appointed in Italy

Manufacturers are appointed in Italy and two new Frederick Beesley shotguns are designed

2018

F. Beesley launch Fenice and Eleganza

The F. Beesley Fenice and Eleganza are launched reinstating the famous Beesley name

Eleganza

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Fenice

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