The earliest records of the Wolsey Business relate to a Henry Wood who was trading as a hosier in 1744.
In 1748 Henry went into partnership with a man called Job Middleton and in 1750 with a man called John Wrightman.
However Henry dissolved the partnership around 1755 as he wished to carry on with a business of his own.
He died in 1768 and the business was taken over by his widow, and then later his sons and grandsons. The company was renamed Ann Wood & Sons.
In 1842 Robert Walker became a partner in the business, and after the retirement of the last Wood family member (Richard Wood), Walker changed the name of the company to R. Walker & Sons.
The company took on the trading name of Wolsey in 1897, when its headquarters were situated near to Leicester Abby; the burial place of Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, and to honour the connection the trading name of the company was changed.
It wasn’t until 1920 when the company changed its name completely to Wolsey, when R. Walker & Sons merged with W. Tyler & Sons. It was through this change that the company then started to deal directly with retailers.
The company started to quickly expand and they began to employ traveling salesmen to advertise their products around the world.
As a result of their success, Wolsey and its sister trading name of Cardinal became household names and in 1935 the company was awarded its first Royal Warrant.
Little Known Facts
• In the Mid-nineteenth century Wolsey embraced the developments of the industrial revolution and put its knitting machines in a steam-powered factory.
• New technologies led to the manufacture of ‘unshrinkable woollens’.
• The range soon extended to outer garments too. Producing the knitwear range.
• Also, when Captain Scott and his team embarked on a journey to the South Pole. Wolsey dressed them!
• Wolsey has also decided to rebrand themselves. Whilst still selling the same stock, at the same quality, with the same materials, the branding name has changed to Morley.
(For our Wolsey products visit, www.suitsmen.co.uk, in the accessories page.)