Northampton, situated in the heart of England, is a town renowned for its shoe industry – the history of which goes back hundreds of years.
Cordwainers (a medieval term for shoemakers) were first attracted to the county of Northamptonshire because of the area’s thriving tanning industry. Every village and town within the county had its own cordwainers, the number of whom would continue to grow throughout the middle ages.
By 1642, the reputation of Northampton town had grown so much that 13 shoemakers were commissioned to produce 600 pairs of boots and 4000 pairs of shoes for England’s army. The order was fulfilled and it was now known that the town possessed the ability to produce footwear on a large scale.
The industry continued to flourish, propelled by previous successes, arguably in line with necessities of war. The town was called upon to produce army boots for multiple wars from the English Civil War to the Boer War centuries later.
Demand for Northampton shoes became so strong that by the year 1841 there were 1,821 shoe makers in the town.
The year was 1829 when Joseph Tricker founded the company. To set the scene from an historical perspective, that same year saw Robert Peel establish London's first uniformed police force, whilst in America, Abraham Lincoln gave his first political speech. Louis Braille invented his system of finger-reading for the blind and Queen Victoria's ascent to the throne was still eight years away. Tricker saw the birth of the modern world, a time for great enlightenment, learning and social reforms. This was the world in which the first retail orders for Tricker's shoes were secured.
One of the longest established shoemakers in England, five generations later, Tricker’s is still a family owned business. All its footwear is made entirely from start to finish at its Northampton shoe factory and His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales, now King Charles III awarded Tricker’s a Royal Warrant in 1989.
From the outset Tricker’s had a reputation for outstanding manufacturing quality and durability quickly becoming the maker of choice for heavy country boots and shoes to farm, estate owners and the landed gentry who all swore by the comfort, strength, durability and practicality of Tricker’s waterproof country footwear.
Tricker’s country shoes and boots are today built to the same exacting standards that first established its reputation. Joseph Tricker’s son-in-law, Walter James Barltrop, designed and created the world’s first country boot in 1840 which heralded a brand new age for country footwear. Today there are still 260 individual processes in the making of a pair of Tricker’s country boots and they take eight weeks to manufacture.
The Bourton brogue and Stow boot remain the cornerstone of the Tricker’s business and the brands uncompromising standards of craftsmanship and use of honest materials, are values that have been preserved and developed through five generations and are observed as resolutely today as they were in 1829.