Since 1859
Feel… the difference

Our Story

Our Purpose:

To produce the most distinctive, unique printed stationery & envelopes.

Core Principles:

Our approach is rigorous – we use the following principles in all that we do:

  • Multi-sensory: to see, taste (envelope gum) and touch our fine products is to feel the depth of their appeal
  • Meticulous: understanding materials means we deliver and demand the best
  • Cost: our aim is to achieve value for money
  • Ingenious: apply creative skills to find new ways to produce stationery
  • Provenance: refining and imparting our techniques through generations is part of our heritage

Since 1859

“It is always instructive, and sometimes particularly interesting, to hear or to read of the rise and progress of extensive business establishments, more especially of those that have attained position of importance and prominence after the drudgery and trials of small beginning…whose owners, by sheer force of practical skill, judgement and foresight, have gained eminence in the special spheres they have made their own.”
Extract from an article in the London Provincial & Colonial Press News on Baddeley Brothers in 1894.

Baddeley Brothers can trace their ancestry as craftsmen back to the mid 17th century, when they were clockmakers and diemakers for the pottery and jewellery industries in Staffordshire.

In the early 19th century there were Baddeleys working in the Hackney area of East London as engravers of plates for the printing industry and seal dies for the embossing presses, for the jewellery and pottery industries.

Though it was not until 1859 that John Baddeley opened the first bank account for the engraving business in Hackney.  Having worked for his father, the eldest son John James, started working out of a premises in Little Bell Alley in the City of London in 1865; John James was joined by John’s fourth son, William Henry.

In 1885, a factory was built for the company at Moor Lane, near John Keats’ birthplace, in the City of London, where it manufactured envelopes, engraved and embossed stationery and produced a wide range of stationery items. This remained the home of the company until it was completely destroyed in the Blitz of 1940, at which point the business continued in loaned premises, run by W B Baddeley, the founder’s grandson, until 1946, when he was re-joined by his son David Baddeley. They opened new premises at 92 Paul Street in London’s EC2 and welcomed back many employees from the pre-war years. The company is still family owned and by the Pertwees, who are direct relations to the original Baddeleys.

In 1961, David Pertwee joined his uncle David Baddeley in the business and was quickly followed by his brother Roger Pertwee in 1966. Now in the hands of the fifth generation, the business moved into larger premises in the neighbouring Boundary Street in 1989 before relocating again in 1993, this time returning the business to Hackney. Roger’s sons Christopher and Charles Pertwee joined Baddeley Brothers in 2001 and 2005 respectively, returning the company back to full family ownership.

And now the journey continues, moving to South Woodford in 2017.  Our 22nd home, the building has Art Deco design features that our forebears would recognise, along with a few technological improvements that they may not.  However, now in our 160th year, we continue to manufacture high quality engraved stationery and envelopes using print techniques such die-stamping, blind embossing, letterpress, gilding and foiling.

“Tradition is tending the flame, not worshiping the ashes.” Gustav Mahler

Read the story in full in our awarding winning book:

An account by The Gentle Author, with designs by David Pearson:

For anyone with a serious interest in print, design, publishing and typography, BADDELEY BROTHERS tells the dramatic story spanning four centuries of how the Baddeley family created one of today’s foremost specialist printers.  This book is embellished with fine tipped-in samples illustrating the range of BADDELEY BROTHERS’ bravura print techniques, an anatomy of envelope design, a glossary of printing terminology, drawings by Lucinda Rogers and a foldout map by Adam Dant or available from all good bookshops.

Book: find out more…

our story