Our History

Here at Deakin & Francis we are immensely proud to be celebrating an impressive 230 years of creative craftsmanship and as a long established firm of manufacturing jewellers and silversmiths, we are delighted to be able to continue to build on the heritage, brand and family values that have been created over the past two centuries.

A Family Affair

Founded in 1786 by Benjamin Woolfield, he was later joined by Charles Washington Shirley Deakin, who together with C.W.B Moore traded as Deakin and Moore from 1848 – 1879. Upon Moores retirement, Stephen Deakin joined his uncle Charles and the firm became Deakin and Nephew from 1879 – 1881.

When Charles Deakin retired in 1881, Stephen was joined by brother-in-law John H Francis and the name changed to the name as it stands today, Deakin and Francis.

Sadly the Francis line ceased with the death of Captain J H Francis in the First World War.

Despite these changes, our business has remained in the same building that once had as its resident the legendary James Watt – father of the Industrial Revolution and name sake of the unit of power and revolutioniser of the steam engine.

Seven Generations Later

Seven generations after our ancestors developed the product range and taking over from their father, the business is today managed by brothers Henry and James Deakin.

During school holidays, James and Henry would join their father at work, watching and learning from the craftsmen and attending trade shows in London and Switzerland.

Both fully qualified, James studied at the Gemmological Institute of America and is a Graduate Jeweller Gemmologist and Designer and Henry studied Gemmology at the International Gemmological Institute in Vicenza and is a Graduate Gemmologist.

James’ passion is designing new cufflinks –

“it all begins with a sketch"
and is constantly striving to think of new, inspiring and innovative designs. His inspiration comes from travelling the world to attending trade shows or simply something that catches his eye.

Henry loves meeting customers and is passionate about the future and building the brand –

“it’s wonderful when customers see the uniqueness and individuality of the collections”

Today Deakin & Francis is a great example of craftsmen at their best with roles including metalworkers who stamp blanks ready for the workshop, enamellers who are involved in the delicate, highly skilled work of vitreous enamelling and polishers who prepare the product ready to sell.