Howse Mead & Sons traces its history back to 1796, when William Barber established the firm at High Street, Borough, making it one of the oldest established woollen merchants in London.
In 1824 the company was known as Barber & Davis, and in 1829 as Barber, Davis & Howse. In 1847 the firm was styled Barber, Howse & Mead before finally becoming Howse Mead & Sons in 1861.
In 1902 the company was being run by Frederick Mead from 18 St. Paul’s Chuchyard, London. The company were manufacturers and wholesalers of woollen cloths and fabrics and at this time even had branches in New York, Paris, Berlin, Vienna and Bucharest.