IT WAS IN THE YEAR 1784 THAT WILLIAM GALLYON
STARTED BUSINESS AS A GUN MAKER IN CAMBRIDGE
In the year of 1784, William Gallyon started a gunmaking business in the University City of Cambridge. William served his apprenticeship with John Henshaw a Master Craftsman and was bound to the Worshipful Company of Gunmakers in the City of London.
Gallyon & Sons Ltd. are the longest established gunmakers still in the ownership of the original family. Richard Gallyon, the present owner, managing director, and the sixth generation of the family, has carried on the family tradition and has been Master of the Worshipful Company of Gunmakers twice and is still a Court Member of the Livery.
Listed below are the various members who ran or were partners in the business right up to the present time. Its trading style has varied slightly from time to time over the years often in accordance with the initials of the then head of the business. Family archives reveal a number of early variations in the spelling of the surname although that used by the gunmaking business appears to be consistent.
As with many craft businesses, the Gallyons business has been handed down from father to son. It was not until the late 1930’s, in the time of Richard’s father, that expansion took place. The business of Thomas Clough & Sons of King’s Lynn, and then in the 1950’s that of Charles Francis & Son, Peterborough were incorporated into the Gallyon company. The headquarters, however, were kept with the retail shop and workshop in Cambridge where high quality sporting guns had always been produced.
In 1960 Richard Gallyon joined the family business. He trained at the bench in Cambridge finishing his apprenticeship both in Birmingham and London.
In 1965 the well known gun and cartridge business of C.S Rosson & Company was acquired. Richard, who was newly married, was sent to Norwich to take over the running of this old established company and to introduce Gallyons to Norwich.
During the 1980’s and the early 1990’s the Hungerford and Dunblane shootings brough stiff government legislation on gun, rifle and pistol control. This resulted in the closure of the Cambridge, King’s Lynn and Peterborough businesses. Then in 1991 Richard decided to move the business out of Norwich and to specialise solely in the gun side of the business, giving up all ancillary interests. The business has now come home to Hingham in Norfolk where the gunroom and office are run from an adjoining house and where Richard holds the records of Webley & Scott, gun manufacturers, from 1912 – 1986.
Richard runs Gallyon & Sons from home but also has business interests in London. He can arrange to meet clients, by appointment, both in Hingham and in the capital. With his comprehensive knowledge, gained over the last 50 years, he is now specialising in vintage and modern English sporting guns, exporting all over the world. He is an expert valuer and undertakes all manner of renovations and repairs of the best sporting guns.