HISTORY OF JACKSON-STOPS

The history of Jackson-Stops began in 1910 when Herbert Jackson-Stops founded the company in Towcester. He began his career at Messrs Woods and Company - a firm of local auctioneers and valuers. By the age of 23 he had qualified as an Associate of the Surveyors Institute and the Auctioneers Institute.

In 1908 he opened an estate agent office in the Town Hall in Towcester and took a lease of Towcester Town Square, where he held weekly livestock auctions. He also demonstrated his understanding of civil engineering, becoming closely concerned with the installation of the main sewer in the town.

In 1918 he moved the business to Northampton and became friendly with the Master of Kinloss who occupied Stowe House. At this time the trustees of the Duke of Buckingham and Chandos had decided to sell the property. Aged 37, and with a relatively small staff, Herbert Jackson-Stops was entrusted with the 18 day sale of the house and contents. This has subsequently been regarded by Country Life as one of the two great sales of the 20th century, the other being the sale of Mentmore that took place some 60 years Later. The quality and detail of the Stowe catalogue goes some way to explaining the abilities of Herbert Jackson-Stops and his staff.

The sale of Stowe, later to become Stowe School, was the forerunner of the disposal of many historic houses, which has continued to the present day. Whilst the sale clearly established the business, it is worth noting Jackson-Stops's opening lines of the Stowe sale catalogue:

"It is with a feeling of profound regret that the Auctioneer pens the opening lines of a sale catalogue which may destroy forever the glories of historic Stowe, and disperse to the winds of Heaven its wonderful collection, leaving memories of the spacious past."

Herbert Jackson-Stops was ambitious. In 1924 he opened an office in London's Mayfair; he wanted to be more than a successful local auctioneer and to achieve this he needed a London headquarters.

Jackson-Stops also had a desire to develop an international business. With two of his London team, Mr. McCabe and Owen Sebag Montefiore, he established an associate firm in Dublin.

Such was the spirit of understanding that the two businesses never had a written agreement but have nonetheless continued to have a close co-operation to the present day.

The business continued to develop through the 1930s, with 14 Curzon Street, Mayfair becoming the London headquarters. It was bombed twice in the blitz, after which the business relocated to Hanover Square. The fragmented files and records were carefully collected and placed in boxes indignantly labelled "destroyed by enemy action".

Jackson-Stops expanded through a network of branch offices, changing to a democratic consortium in November 1992. Since the Consortium was formed, the original 12 offices have grown to 46 with new offices being opened over the period.