Spencer Compton, 1st Earl of Wilmington was an English statesman who served continuously in government from 1715 until his death. He sat on both sides of the house--the House Of Commons and peerage--between 1698-1728 inclusive; then again when raised to become prime minister at age 47! In this capacity he worked closely with Lord Carteret (secretary) ensuring support for all factions making up what is now called "The Administration."
Founded in 1773 , by Joseph & William Wickwar , Wickwar started as a luxury paper mill outside Newbury . In 1786 HMSO was founded and Joseph Wickwar won the contract to supply paper to Parliament .
In 1788 Joseph partnered with Joseph Bramah to produce luxury Despatch boxes for Royalty & Government and went on to produce in excess of 5,000 boxes and became the premier supplier of the Iconic red box .
The simple design of the famous Gladstone Box continues today & Wickwar manufacturers around 100 boxes per year using traditional skills & tools from its workshop in London .