The Sports Shops



1844 – Frederick William Lillywhite (the nonpareil bowler) moves to London to play for the MCC and a position as grounds staff at Lord’s.  We believe he and the family moved to Buckingham St. just north of the canal in Pentonville, London.  It was here that he began to sell cricketing items out of his home.

1850 – FWL moves his family to 10 Princes Terrace, Caledonian Road, Islington where Lillywhite and Sons is now established to manufacture and sell cricketing equipment, clothes, tents, subscriptions and even cigars and tobacco.

1854 James Lillywhite, Sr. joins Cheltenham College as the Cricket coach and establishes a sports shop at 3, Queen’s Circus, Cheltenham.

1854 -1856 The business is converted to Lillywhite Brothers and is still located at 10 Princes Terrace, Caledonian Road, Islington.

1856-1858 The Lillywhite Bros. business is dissolved and John Lillywhite continues at 10 Princes Terrace under his own name.

1856 - 1858 Frederick Lillywhite, one of FWL’s sons, sets up a sports shop and cigar store with John Wisden at 2,New Coventry Street, Leicester Square, London.  It is dissolved in 1859.

1858 – John Lillywhite moves his sports business to 10 Seymour Street, Euston Square, London.

1860 – Frederick Lillywhite returns with his brother John from the first All England XI Cricket Tour of Canada and America.  Frederick sets up a sports shop at 15 Kennington Oval.

1863 – Frederick Lillywhite establishes sport shops at 201 High Street, Borough, London, S.E. and at 41 Ship Street, Brighton.

1863 – James, Sr. establishes James Lillywhite, Frowd & Co., Newington Causeway, Borough, London with George Frowd, a cricket bat maker with a patented cane handle, to manufacture cricket and other British sports items.  He also has a sports shop at 3, Queens Circus in Cheltenham where he is the cricket coach at the college.

1866 – Frederick Lillywhite passes away.  Shops dissolved and closed in Borough and Brighton.

1873 – The partnership of James Lillywhite, Sr. and George Frowd is dissolved and James Lillywhite, Frowd and Company, London, is now under the sole management of Frowd.

1874 – John Lillywhite passes away and two of his sons presumably John Samuel and William Frederick with their sister Harriet took over ownership and maintained A. W. Fenner as manager.

1879 – James Lillywhite, Jr. who was the cousin of James, Sr., Frederick and John and had led the first Ashes match to Australia joins the firm and it becomes known as John and James Lillywhite & Co.’s.  It is still at Seymour Street.

1880 – Jas. Lillywhite, Frowd & Co. open a West End retail shop at 18 Cockspur Street, Charing Cross, London.

1882 – James Lillywhite, Sr. passes away.  The Cheltenham shop is closed but Jas. Lillywhite, Frowd & Co. continues under the direction of George Frowd.

1886 – James Lillywhite, Jr. merges his Cricket Warehouse on Seymour Street with James Lillywhite, Frowd and Company, Newington Causeway, Borough, London.  They also move the Cockspur Street branch to No. 24 Haymarket Street, London.

1895 – The youngest son of William Frederick Lillywhite, [Frank] Harry opens a sports shop at 68 Job’s Lane in Southampton, New York with his son William.  It is called Harry Lillywhite & Son.

1920’s – Lillywhite, Frowd establish a sales office in America at Elizabeth, New Jersey.  There is no record of when it was dissolved.

1926 – James Lillywhite, Frowd and Company sell their retail operation on Haymarket Street to Isaac H. Benedictus who then moves the operation to the Criterion Building, Piccadilly Circus, and renames it Lillywhites Ltd.

1930 – Jas. Lillywhite, Frowd & Co. has factories at 69-74, Borough Road, London, S.E., 21-25 Newington Causeway, S.E. and Bradford Street, Tonbridge.

1937 - Lillywhites, Ltd. add a shop at 90-94 Brompton Road, Knightsbridge, S.W.3

1937 – Jas. Lillywhite, Frowd & Co. has offices and showrooms at No. 2 Newington Causeway, S.E.1 with Midland depots at Birmingham, Manchester and Sheffield.

1938-1939 JLF& C0. Have added a City depot at 63 Gracechurch Street, London, E.C.

1950’s – Lillywhite adds an adjunct shop at J. J. Allen Ltd., Bournemouth.

  1.    1960’s – Lillywhites, Ltd.  adds a shop at 129 Princes St.

       Edingburgh and at 196 Sloane Street, Knightsbridge, S.W.1 (for     Winter sports)

  1.    1961 to 1964 Lillywhite, Frowd has a wholesale showroom and racket stringing workshop in Bristol.

1962 – Lillywhites, Ltd. now has shops in Edingburgh, Exeter, and Torquay

1956 – Lillywhite, Frowd Ltd. move Head Office, Showrooms and Wholesale Stores to 18-29 Mora Street, City Road, London, E.C.1 with factories at Mora Street, Belvedere Place, S.E.1 and Tonbridge, Kent as well as a northern showroom in Sheffield and one in Glasgow, Scotland.

1957 - Lillywhite, Frowd add a showroom at 90 Borough High Street, S.E.1

1963 - Lillywhite, Frowd have wholesale showrooms in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow and Sheffield.

1965 – Lillywhite, Frowd move head office and showrooms to Medway Wharf Road, Tonbridge, Kent with a factory there named Riverside Works.  Showrooms London, Derbyshire and Glasgow.

1984 - Lillywhite, Frowd continue its factory in Tonbridge, Kent and form an exclusive alliance with major high street retail sports shops throughout the UK.

1990 – Lillywhite, Frowd is dissolved.

1991 – Trusthouse Holdings (Rocco Forte) buy Lillywhites, Ltd.

1995 – Trusthouse Holdings sells Lillywhites to Portugal’s Jerónimo Martins.

1998 – Lillywhite’s, Ltd. establishes a shop in Terminal 3 of  Heathrow Airport and later Bluewater. 

2001 – After 106 years of 4 generation’s of family operation Harry Lillywhite & Son, of Southampton, New York is sold.

2002 – Jerónimo Martins sells Lillywhites, Ltd. to Mike Ashley’s Sports World.


A History of Lillywhite’s

John Lillywhite’s Cricket Warehouse on Euston Square, London (1863)

24 Haymarket Street Shop

The Stringing Bench, Southampton Shop

Lillywhites, Piccadilly Circus

3, Queens Circus, Cheltenham

Harry Lillywhite & Son

Inside the Lillywhite, Frowd Factory