Ward Lock & Co. - key events summary chart

(source: “Adventure In Publishing, The House Of Ward Lock, 1854-1954” By Edward Liveing)


date events
1819 Ebenezer Ward born.
1832 George Lock born in Dorset.
1854 George Lock moved to London and met Ebenezer Ward.  Ward lived in Camden Town, and Lock lived in Notting Hill.
1854 (23 Jun) Firm of Ward and Lock established at 158 Fleet Street (launched with £1,000 advanced by George Lock’s father).
1858 George Lock married Susan Oakley.

Firm moved to Amen Corner, Paternoster Row (in shadow of St Paul’s).

John Henry Lock, George’s younger brother, employed as assistant.

Atlases and series of maps published.


New articles of partnership drawn up between Ward and Lock – firm now worth £13,279 (£9,792 allotted to Lock, £3,487 to Ward).


Charles T Tyler joined firm as a partner, and name changed to Ward, Lock & Tyler.

1873 Tyler left, and name reverted to Ward & Lock.

Firm moved to Warwick House in Salisbury Square, close to Fleet Street. Own binding works installed on top floor.

1878-80 Two new partners – James Bowden and John Lock (younger brother).

Firm renamed as Ward Lock & Bowden.

1882 Branch of firm opened in New York.
1883 Ebenezer Ward virtually retired.
1884 Branch of firm opened in Melbourne, Australia.
1885 Botolph Printing Works purchased.

George Lock died, aged 60.  4 of his 5 sons carried on traditions of the firm.

Firm carried on by James Bowden and John Lock, and renamed as Ward Lock, Bowden & Company.


Firm converted into a limited company and re-titled Ward Lock & Bowden Ltd.  Chairman was George Lock junior (known as Ernest).

Board comprised John Lock (Company Secretary), Robert Douglas Lock, Wilfred Lock and James Bowden.


Extension to Warwick House constructed and a new warehouse added,  120,00 book blocks stored and over 2,000 publications.


Binding works moved out to Stole Newington - The Dunsmore Binding Works.


James Bowden retired.  All directors now members of the Lock family.

Company retitled Ward Lock & Co Limited.

Late 1890s 4th son joins company – Leslie Lock.
1902 Ebenezer Ward died, aged 83
1904 ohn Lock died.  Leslie Lock became Company Secretary.

George Lock junior died.  Robert Douglas Lock becomes Chairman (two younger brothers, Wilfred and Leslie, continue as directors.)

1911 (30 Aug)

Fire partially destroyed Warwick House.   Firm moved temporarily into St Bride’s House.

1912 Warwick House rebuilt and reoccupied.
1926 (Nov)

Robert Douglas Ward died.  Wilfrid Lock becomes Chairman of company, with brother Leslie in support.

1940 (29 Dec) Second Warwick House almost completely gutted by Luftwaffe.
1941 Temporary accommodation occupied.

Wilfrid Lock retires through ill health.   Brother Leslie becomes Chairman.


Wilfrid Lock died.


Three members of younger generation (all grandsons of George Lock) appointed as directors –

Eric ipton – son of George Lock’s daughter Ashley

Maurice Lock – son of George Lock’s son Robert Douglas

Oakley Lock – also son of George Lock’s son Robert Douglas

Company moves to new premises at 6 Chancery Lane, with other offices at Norfolk Street (editorial), New Court (guide books production), Salisbury Square (accounting), and Edmonton (binding works)


Leslie Lock died.  All three directors are grandsons of George Lock, the firm’s co-founder.


Company moves to 143 Piccadilly.

Family tradition continues – all 3 directors have one son each in the firm.

Click on the illustrations at left to see a larger version.

Acknowledgement: Photographs published in 1954 “Adventure In Publishing, The House Of Ward Lock, 1854-1954” By Edward Liveing