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.
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 F. Beesley Fenice and Eleganza and guns were available to order from summer 2018.
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
At the age of 15, Frederick began a seven-year apprenticeship with London gunmaker William Moore & Grey
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
Despite working on prestigious projects such as a 10-bore shotgun for famed shooter the Marquess of Rippon, Beesley was forced to leave
Undeterred, Frederick sets up his own business, aged 33, at Queens Street, just off Edgware Road in London
Beesley lodges patent No.31 inventing a spring-cocked hammerless gun which changes the way shotguns are built forever
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
With the business now better established, the company moved to larger premises at 85 Edgware Road
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
Beesley makes improvements to the original Patent 31 although it wasn’t widely adopted including by Beesley himself
A specifically redesigned light 16 bore gun is launched by Beesley who by this time has registered more than 25 patents
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
Royal Warrant granted by His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales
Frederick Beesley passes away at the age of 82 and his son Herbert Philip takes over the business
The Frederick Beesley business is purchased by Grant and Lang after Herbert passed away just 11 years after his father
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
Hellis Beesley & Watson Gunmakers is formed following purchase by Fred Buller of Chubb’s of Edgware
Business re-named as Frederick Beesley Gunmakers and moved to White Lion Road, Amersham, Bucks
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
Tom and Gary Ward acquire the Frederick Beesley business and relocate back to London
Manufacturers are appointed in Italy and two new Frederick Beesley shotguns are designed
The F. Beesley Fenice and Eleganza are launched reinstating the famous Beesley name