The firm was founded by a Joseph Gibbs in 1734 and were originally cutlers and by around 1800 were known as Morley & Thornhill. By 1820's they had changed to John James Thornhill & Co and had become cutlers to the Queen by the late 1830's. In the 50's there was another change and Walter Thornhill was running the firm and from 1870's was known as Walter Thornhill & Co. In the mid 1890's they became a limited company and were listed as 'cutlers, gold and silversmiths, jewellers and manufacturers and dealers in dressing cases, travelling bags etc.'. The company ended in 1905 but trading continued under the name W Thornhill & Co until 1912. The company traded from New Bond Street, London and High Street, Kensington, London.