In 1876 Herbert Ashman and his brother established a leather manufacturing company in Bristol. The business made leather driving belts for all kinds of machinery.
Herbert Ashman was also created the first Lord Mayor of Bristol in June 1899. On 15th November of the same year he bacame Sir Herbert, when he was knighted by Queen Victoria during her visit to the city. Sir Herbert died in September 1914 following an operation for appendicitis.