Our Heritage & History
Discover the rich history of Christys' London, a journey that begins with the birth of Miller Christy in 1748 in Scotland. This storied timeline traces the evolution of an iconic brand from Miller's apprenticeship in felt making in 1763 to the establishment of a renowned hat manufacturing business in London in 1773.
Christys' narrative is woven through centuries of tradition and innovation, from pioneering the art of hat making to creating timeless styles that have adorned heads of state, celebrities, and fashion icons. Join us in exploring the milestones that have shaped Christys' into a symbol of excellence and craftsmanship in the world of hat making.
Miller Christy's birth at Ormiston Lodge, Haddington, Scotland, marks the beginning of a legacy in hatmaking.
A young Miller Christy embarks on his apprenticeship in Edinburgh, learning the 'Art and Mystery of Felt Making.
Miller Christy travels south to employ his hat making skills and on March 1st 1773, in partnership with fellow Quaker Joseph Storrs, they set up a hat manufacturers in Whitehart Court, London.
Following the retirement of Joseph Storrs, Miller Christy's two sons - Thomas and William - join the firm.
John Heatherington, a London haberdasher, is apprehended for causing a disturbance of the peace. He was one of the first men to wear a top hat.
William Christy and three partners buy Underbank Hall and open The Stockport and East Cheshire Bank - now part of the National Westminster Bank.
The Stockport felt and hat making works are taken over by the Christy family
The Bowler hat is invented by Lock & Co and The Bowler Brothers. Christys, from its factory in Bermondsey, London, becomes one of the largest manufacturers of this iconic British styles.
Prince Albert wears a Christys' Top Hat - and popularises the style as an every-day essential for the British gentleman.
The Christy establish a hat store at #1 Old Bond Street, at the corner of Piccadilly.
The Trilby Hat acquired mass appeal following its use as a prop in the London dramatization of George du Maurier's novel - Trilby (the heroine of the play was called Trilby O'Farrell). It helped signal the gradual shift towards the more relaxed styles of dress of the Edwardian era after the strict dress codes of Victorian times. Christys’ makes its trilbies in the same way, to this day.
The snap brim felt hat is introduced and popularised by the Prince of Wales. The style can be worn not only with lounge suits but also with sports clothes, replacing the cap on the golf course.
Future sister company Compton Webb (J Compton Sons and Webb) establishes a military hat making factory in Witney Oxfordshire.
Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother visits the Stockport factory, having commissioned Christys to make miniature hats for Queen Elizabeth II’s dolls house many years earlier.
With the popularisation of the scooter, the Compton Corker - a leather covered protective helmet - is the headgear of choice for both style and safety.
Christys closes its Stockport works and consolidates all operations in Witney Oxfordshire with sister company Compton Webb.
The new millennium blows fresh life into hat wearing as those at the forefront of fashion and music rediscover and reintegrate hats to the style world.
Famous Department store Liberty acquire Christy & Co and Compton Webb - and help to introduce the brand to a new wave of style conscious hat wearers, including collaborations with great British brands such as Paul Smith and Margaret Howell.
Christys celebrates 240 years since foundation - with a special edition fedora hat to be sold at Harrods department store.
Ascot License begins to produce exclusive pieces to this iconic racecourse.
250th Year, here's to many many more.