Huntley & Palmers timeline

This timeline provides key dates in the history of Huntley & Palmers. 

It starts in 1822 with the founding of the company by Joseph Huntley and runs to the creation of these webpages in 2023.

1822 J. Huntley & Son biscuit bakery opens in London Street

1832 Joseph Huntley junior opens tin making and ironmongery shop (later Huntley, Boorne & Stevens) opposite the bakery

1841 George Palmer becomes Thomas Huntley's partner. He was a distant cousin and a fellow Quaker. The business is renamed Huntley & Palmer

1842 Eight agents are appointed across the country to sell Huntley & Palmer biscuits. George was ambitious and wanted to rapidly expand the business

1846 A new factory opens in a former silk works on Kings Road employing 41 men and boys

1847 London office opens

1857 Thomas Huntley dies

1857 William Isaac and Samuel Palmer join George as partners. Business renamed Huntley & Palmers

1861 The original London Street shop closes

1865 Joseph Leete becomes continental representative

1867 H&P receives Royal Warrants from Leopold II of Belgium and Napoleon III of France

1878 H&P awarded a first prize at Paris Exhibition

1898 Becomes a private limited company and renamed Huntley & Palmers Ltd

1900 Awarded two first prizes at Paris Exhibition

1911 Huntley & Palmers provided ordinary and specially made emergency biscuits to the ill-fated British Antarctic Expedition to the South Pole, led by Captain Scott

1914-18 H&P makes army biscuits and artillery shell cases during World War I

1918 H&P buys Huntley, Boorne & Stevens, tin box makers

1918 King George V visits factory

1921 H&P forms Associated Biscuit Manufacturers Ltd with Peek Frean of London

1923 Huntley & Palmers opens a new factory at La Courneuve, near Paris

1924-5 The company exhibits at the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley, in London

1926 Edward, Prince of Wales, visits the H&P factory in Reading

1937 A new office building opens in Kings Road, Reading

1939-45 H&P makes army biscuits during the Second World War

1948  The Empire Windrush arrived at Tilbury with 500 passengers from the Caribbean who came to work and settle in the UK. From the 1950s, thousands of workers came to Reading including H&P, especially from the Caribbean, Indian, Ireland and Pakistan. These people have had a lasting contribution to Reading’s social, economic, and cultural life.

1955 A new branch factory opens at Huyton, Liverpool

1960 W. R. Jacob of Liverpool joins Associated Biscuit Manufacturers Ltd

1969 Biscuit production of Huntley & Palmers, Peek Frean and Jacobs reorganised as Associated Biscuits Ltd

1975 The Reading factory used as a location for the film Bugsy Malone

1976 Biscuit production ends at Reading

1982 Nabisco, North American based multinational, acquires Associated Biscuits Ltd

1983 Huyton factory in Liverpool closes

1989 Nabisco sells its UK biscuit companies including Huntley & Palmers, Peak Frean and Jacobs to BSN/Danone, a French food group

1991 The head office of the Jacob's Bakery move from King's Road to premises in Suttons Business Park. Jacob's stops producing biscuits under the Huntley & Palmers brand.

1996 Jacob's head office moves from Reading to Liverpool. But while H&P is no longer a Reading company

2000 Huntley & Palmers Gallery opens at Reading Museum

2003 Huntley & Palmers Collection website created after a lottery funded project to digitise the collection at Reading Museum

2004 The H&P brand is relaunched after being sold by Danone to a new company

2022 Reading celebrates the 200th anniversary of the opening of Joseph Huntley's first shop

2023 The content of the standalone Huntley & Palmers Collection website is integrated onto this website

Return to the History of Huntley & Palmers homepage