Originally from Leicestershire, William Boss apprenticed with Thomas Ketland in 1773 at the age of 15. After concluding his apprenticeship, William moved to London where most of the gun trade was operating. Working under Joseph Manton, William had three sons. All of whom followed in his gun making footsteps.
His youngest son was even an apprentice to his father William. Unfortunately William died before Thomas was able to complete his training. Luckily Joseph Manton kept Thomas on and later employed him as a journeyman.
Thomas later moved to his own premised on 3 Bridge St, Lambeth. He expanded the business by also completing work as truss maker, a medical harness which helped relieve hernias. He also became an outworker for James Purdey & Sons for several years.
Upon the death of Thomas Boss at age 67, his widow took over the running of the business. However with no gunmaking experience, Amy, found it very difficult. This led her to bringing in Stephen Grant to run the business on her behalf. When Grant left to start his own gunmaking business, Thomas Boss’ nephews took over the business, Edward & James Paddison, until John Robertson was made a partner.
Before Robertson was made a partner and took over the running of the business, the guns and rifles made by Boss often looked out dated. One of the greatest changes Robertson made was to change the aesthetics of the guns it produced to ensure that they looked modern and desirable. When Robertson fell ill and subsequently passed, he left the company in the capable hands of his three sons. Also known as the Young Governers, led the company through the 1920’s – 1930’s, which was an exceptionally difficult time for gunmakers due to the two world wars. But the three sons ensured the survival of the company. In 1951 the last of the three sons died, however many Robertson descendants stilled worked within the company for many years, up until the last Robertson descendant left the company in 1999, that is 109 years a Robertson name worked in the business.
With many gunmakers investing and using new CNN technology to mass produce guns, Boss & Boss & Co stayed true to their heritiage and resisted this change, continuing to even this day to use manual labour to make and finish their guns. This means months of work but ensures that the customer’s needs and requirements are met with exact precision.
Please view images of stocks for Boss shotguns restocked by ourselves