Brief History of Sampson Mordan
Sampson Mordan was born in 1790 however nothing is known about his parents or siblings. In his youth Mordan was an apprentice to Joseph Bramah, the inventor of patent locks. Other than that there is no other information available about Mordan's life between 1790 - 1822, though it has been reported that he actually started his business in 1815.
In 1822 Mordan and an associate John Isaac Hawkins filed a patent for the first ever mechanical pencil (ever-pointed or propelling).
In June 1823 Mordan registered his first silver mark alone.
Mordan bought out Hawkins and in October 1823 formed a partnership with Gabriel Riddle a wealthy stationer. Under the name of S. Mordan and Co they carried on business as Mechanists and Manufacturers of Patent and other articles, at 22 Castle street, Finsbury, London.
Following the new partnership Mordan entered a joint silver mark with Riddle in April 1824. SMGR
It has been recorded that by 1833 Mordan employed about 50 men.
On the 20th of December 1836 the partnership with Riddle was dissolved and Mordan continued trading as S. Mordan and Co.
Sampson Mordan died in 1843 and the business continued under the partnership of two of his son's, Sampson Jnr and Augustus.
So as can be seen from the dates above the work of Sampson Mordan spanned only 21 years, but those 21 years were enough for his name to be become associated with inventiveness, quality and beauty. Mordan's work is highly sort after and takes pride of place in many collections. His legacy continued with the company he had founded for a further 98 years after his death, when S. Mordan and Co Ltd ceased trading in 1941.
The Mordan family
Sampson mordan was married to Elizabeth (maiden name unknown). They had six children, daughter Elizabeth 1810, son Sampson junior 1814, son Francis 1817, son Augustus 1820, son Charles 1822 and finally daughter Emma in 1824.
Two of Mordan's sons, Sampson jnr and Augustus followed him in to the family business and took over the reigns of the company after their fathers death in 1843.
The third son, Francis, formed his own company. At first a partnership with Thomas Spencer Hyde under the name of Mordan and Hyde, later becoming F. Mordan and Co after Hyde retired, both companies specialising in making silver and gold pens and pen holders.
Sampson Mordan in court
Sampson Mordan appeared at the old bailey as a witness in a couple of theft cases and also a forgery case. Click here for details