Bread Street is one of the 25 wards of the City of London. The name derives from its principal street which was anciently the City’s bread market. Records from 1302 state “the bakers of London were ordered to sell no bread at their shops or houses, but only in the open market at Bread Street.”
In the mid-19th century much of the Bread Street area was occupied by companies in the textiles trade. One such company was W. Williams & Son, a haberdashery business which had been established in 1819 in the East End.
In 1868 the company moved to Bread Street where the firm’s warehouse remained until the Second World War when it was destroyed by a fire.
The company subsequently relocated to Chesham, Buckinghamshire, only to have its premises requisitioned by the Ministry of Aircraft Production.
After the War, W. Williams & Son moved back to London at Aldersgate Street and remained active until 1975.