Happy Birthday John Bull Jewellers!

Published on 25 April 2017

Celebrating 200 YEARS!

John Bull - Gunsmith, Silversmith and Jeweller started his jewellery business in Bedford in 1817, 2 years after the Battle of Waterloo.  At the time he was only one of 11,900,000 people living in the UK, a somewhat different scenario to that of today.  Two of John’s sons took over the business at 49 High Street in 1870 when their father died and ten years later Thomas Bull became the sole proprietor on the death of his brother. 


Thomas was a noted Justice of the Peace and a people’s warden at St Paul’s church. In 1899 he was succeeded by his son in law W.E.Ison who took over and enlarged the premises by taking over adjacent shops on the High Street.  In 1919 on the death of Ison, the business became a limited company – John Bull and Co (Bedford) Ltd.  The business remained at 49 High Street until 1964 when it moved to St Peters Street.  You can still see the Golden Bull proudly standing above the original premises.


Now, John Bull Jewellers is in its 200th anniversary year with current owner/MD Keith Pryer who took over the business in 2012 (MD from 1999).  As a watch and diamond specialist and with April’s birthstone as Diamond, in commemoration of the anniversary birthday, the team are donating a percentage of all diamond sales to three Bedford hospices; Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice; Bedford Day Care Hospice and Keech hospice.  There are more plans to do charity fundraising though out their 200th year in business.

Congratulations to the John Bull team for reaching such a milestone and here’s to many more in the future.


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