William Ewart Gladstone was a British statesman and Liberal politician who lived from 29 December 1809 to 19 May 1898. In a career spanning more than 60 years, he served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom for 12 years, split across four non-consecutive administrations beginning in 1868 and ending in 1894. He was also Chancellor of the Exchequer four times, for a total of 12 years.
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 .