Harris John Holland (1806 – 1896) was one of the few lucky people are able to turn their hobby into a career. Originally a tobacconist in 1835, with a shop on 5 King St, Holborn. Holland was only gun making as a pastime. It was not until 1848 that he started to describe himself as a tobacconist and gun maker, and not until 1857 that the tobacconist side of the business appears to have stopped completely.
Even though having had two marriages, Harris Holland only had daughters. Who at the time were not allowed to practice gun making. Keen to pass on his knowledge and ensure the future of the business, in 1860 Harris took on his 14 year old nephew, Henry William Holland (1845 – 1930), as his apprentice. Several years later this lead the business name to change and become the one we know today, Holland & Holland.
Throughout the 19th century the business continued to grow and thrive. Winning classes in the 1883 rifle trials held by ‘The Field’ magazine and gained Royal Warrants from the King of Italy and King George V. In 1885, Holland & Holland starting using ‘Royal’ for their most prestige guns.
After the death of Harris Holland in 1896, Henry Holland sought to expand and advance the business even further. Bringing in Willaim Froome was one of their best decisions. As managing director Froome was a key part in launching Holland & Holland to the top of the market.
Sadly in 1930 Henry Holland died, passing the business to his youngest son Jack Holland who had been a soldier and retired at the rank of Colonel.
Col. Jack Holland is most well known for opening the current Holland & Holland shooting grounds based in Northwood. He also protected the business through the difficult years of the great depression and world war two. Upon his death in 1958, the company was passed to his son-in-law, Derek Mangall.
In recent years Holland & Holland has introduced guns more suitable for modern times such as over and under shotguns in Royal and clay shooting grades. Ensuring that they are still one of the best gun makers. Currently operating out of 33 Bruton Street, London W1J 6HH. But also have a gun and accessories shop in Dallas.