Sunday, September 12, 2010

Smiths, Gore and Co.

In 1847 John Pickering and Edmund Smith opened an estate agents at 14 Whitehall Place in London. In 1851 the company was appointed as Agent and Receiver to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners (who managed the revenues of the Church of England).

The business prospered and in 1863 they were able to open a second office in Darlington. Around this time Robert Watkins became a partner.

Robert Watkins died in 1874, enabling Edmund Smith to admit his son Charles into the partnership, along with Spencer William Gore, his son-in-law.

Spencer William Gore

Spencer William Gore was a keen sportsman. In 1877 he entered and won the first ever Mens' Singles Tennis Championship at Wimbledon. He won the Final in 50 minutes and commented afterwards, "Lawn tennis is rather dull—it will never catch on." The firm also changed its name in this year to Smiths, Gore and Co.

Smiths, Gore and Co. continued to expand rapidly, especially after the First World War when the value of agricultural land increased dramatically. The company currently operates from 25 offices and 18 estate offices across the U.K. and is considered a leading specialist in the rural sector of land management.

By Mark Matlach

There are several varieties of overprint:
    known on SG 172
  • SMITHS / & GORE.
    known on SG 172 and used on Dec. 31, 1891 and May 23, 1889
  • SMITHS, / GORE & Co.
    (with square punctuation)
    known on SG 172 and used on Dec. 23, 1892
  • SMITHS, / GORE & Co.
    (with round punctuation)
    known on SG 172 and used on June 26, 1894; Dec. 22, 1900; and Jan. 2, 1902
  • SMITHS, / GORE & Co.
    (with a square "." and a round ",")
    known on SG 219 and used on Oct. 15, 1904; Dec. 31, 1908; and Dec. 30, 1911
    also known on SG 341 and used on Jan. 1, 1913.

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