Cox the Saddler

About Cox the Saddler


Cox The Saddler
23 High Street

Open Mon-Sat 9.30am to 4.30pm

Use this address for correspondence and returns - or just to shop!


UK: 01494 775577

International: +44 1494 775577

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History of Cox the Saddler

Herbert Harry Cox, the first Cox the Saddler, was born in 1862, the son of William and Betsy Cox of Hemel Hempstead.

Herbert came to Chesham in the 1890s highly recommended as an apprentice to William Lacey, saddler and harness maker, the third of that name and craft, who had no children but wished to ensure that his family's business should continue at Lacey's Yard. It takes five to seven years for a saddler to learn his craft, but in a sense he is learning all his life.

The earliest deed of the building housing Cox the Saddler was drawn up in 1649, the year that Charles I was executed, and it is believed that the premises has always been a saddler's. Some of the shop's old beams have been uncovered, salvaged centuries ago from broken-up ship's timbers.

The Lacey family, who stitched saddle and harness under this roof from the late eighteenth century, could not have chosen a better successor than Herbert Cox, who worked for the farms all around Chesham, especially on the Hertfordshire side and remembered them all. He eventually took over the business in 1911.

In later years he transferred the enterprise to his younger son Wilfred, but continued to work diligently at his stool at the back of the shop until the age of 85, always wearing his bowler hat.

In the early years, saddles were the main work as they were in great demand for farmers, riding enthusiasts and the local breweries. Also advertised were whips, brushes, chamois leathers and every stable requisite... dog collars, leads and chains... portmanteaux bags and all kinds of fancy leather goods... manes and tails pulled, also heels clipped out... rates according to amount of work and the behaviour of the animal.

During the Second World War, Wilfred gave priority to the repair of footballs, new ones being almost unobtainable. He too showed a remarkable tenacity for hard work, continuing with a few saddlery odd-jobs until the age of 89 and attributing his good health in old age to a trade which was always a challenge and a way of life. He entrusted his business to his son Desmond who became a founder member of Chesham Round Table, chairman of the Youth Centre and a trustee of our educational charities.

In the 1950s, Desmond took on his cousin Richard Hearn as an apprentice. Over a period of forty years Richard developed the gunroom, saddlery, workshop and clothing facets of the business, remaining at Cox's until March 1996.

In 1980 Desmond Cox sold the business to handbag manufacturer David Heistercamp, who in turn transferred the business to Keith and Sandra Jeffrey in 1989. Their son Paul took over as manager in 1995. After the death of Keith Jeffrey in 1999 their daughter Sara Clark joined the business as Marketing Manager, using her IT skills to create the Cox the Saddler Ltd. web site

Although Cox the Saddler has been a limited company since 12th August 1981, it retains the atmosphere of a friendly family business, committed to service and customer satisfaction as always.


Compiled by PETER HAWKES

Registered Address


Cox the Saddler Limited
Milweye Court
73 Southern Road

Company No. 01579441

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Dear Paul & Sara, Key received and it works! Many thanks for a prompt, hassle free and above all pleasant transaction.

Kind regards,

Abdel K., France
Thanks a lot for the answer. I just received the goods today and everything is perfect. It was a pleasure buying from your shop. Best, Jules

Jules C., Amsterdam
Thanks, once again, great service.

I would like to tell you an amazing tale.

I bought a Barbour Border jacket from you about 4 years ago. Great advice on the telephone, great customer service and great value.

I decided I needed to replace my 15 year old Beaufort jacket, but for the life of me, I couldn’t remember where I’d bought the Border jacket from. I searched on the internet, but was searching under Barbour not saddler. Suffice to say, I’d given up hope of remembering or finding your name.

I travelled to Chester yesterday to both the Barbour outlet and Outdoor & Country. Both told me nobody wants a navy Beaufort, they only stock the olive colour. So I’d resolved to ordering one online from O & C, but they were very expensive.

Late yesterday evening, my wife was watching BBC iPlayer. The item finished and she exited iPlayer. The tv defaulted back to a live broadcast. It was midway through an episode of, 'Cuckoo', the comedian Greg Davies was talking to a group of people. I think he was a canvassing politician.

I was reading a book, so looked up very briefly, but took little notice.

Then a child started shouting, I think he said “fat man”, "fat man”, “fat man”. This annoyingly drew my attention.
I looked up again, the screen cut to a wide shot, with Greg Davies walking away.

And you know what I’m going to write now.

There in the background was your shop with Cox the Saddler as clear as anything.

I couldn’t believe it, I said to my wife, “That’s the name of the shop I’ve been trying to find for ages”.

It is probably one of the most serendipitous moments in my life. There were so many coincidences.

For her iPlayer programme to finish at that time, and for the tv to default back to the channel we were watching earlier (it could have been one of several), and at almost the exact moment that your shop came into view. Even more amazing is that I looked at the tv at that particular moment. As I said, I was deep in a book, normally I wouldn’t bother, but the shouting child disturbed my concentration.

My very best regards, John

John M., Merseyside
Thank you for the follow up, Paul - and the fair price & reasonable shipping on quality merchandise. I promise to look your way first should the need for future purchases arise, as well as mention your establishment to friends on this side of the pond.
Best of luck to you,

Eric W., Amityville
Hi Sara & Paul,
Thanks. First exposure to your company and seems remarkably quick & efficient, as well as having great prices… will look at your website from time to time again to see what else you have in stock. Many thanks & best wishes,

Martin H., France
Hello again Sara, Just to let you know that the gilet has arrived safely. Thank you for such exemplary service. Thank you to you and all the team for your help. I have been impressed with every aspect of the service, and the communication is absolutely first-class; the "big guys" could learn a lot from you.
Kind regards

Peter D., Aylesbury
© Cox the Saddler 2019