What’s in a name? Plenty, if that name is Charles Lancaster. When the second Charles Lancaster died, in 1878, his protégé, Henry Alfred Alexander Thorn, simply adopted the name and in effect became “Mr. Lancaster.” In the decades that followed Lancaster built scads of shotguns, pistols and rifles—many with signature features that are collectible today. Throughout the 1900s and early 2000s the company changed hands several times until purchased by the late Rigby riflemaker Ron Wharton. Now new owners George Juer (above, left) and Tom Cosby (above, right) together with Wharton’s widow, Margarita Booker, and her business partner, Francis Beardsworth, have relaunched the brand as Charles Lancaster Gunmakers. The business will be based in Buckinghamshire, England.
Juer, formerly with James Purdey & Sons, and Cosby, who was with both Purdey and Atkin Grant & Lang, plan to reintroduce “some of the more historic models synonymous with the company,” such as the Twelve-Twenty, the Vertical Barrel Gun and the back-action Wrist-Breaker.
In addition to shotguns, Lancaster will offer rifles as well as new and pre-owned guns from other British and European makers. Also launching is Lancaster Outfitters, an international hunting agency, and Lancaster Wholesale, offering products to the British Gun Trade, including ammunition, clothing, accessories and leather goods sourced from continental Europe and South Africa.
In a joint statement Juer and Cosby said, “We are excited and privileged to be in a position to reinvigorate this historic brand . . . . It will be our absolute pleasure to dedicate our careers to returning the phenomenal brand to its heyday heights and its rightful place amongst the best of British gunmakers.”
For more information, contact Charles Lancaster Gunmakers, [email protected].