William Petty Fitzmaurice, 1st Marquess of Lansdowne; known as the Earl of Shelburne between 1761 and 1784, by which title he is generally known in history, was an Irish-born British Whig statesman who served as the first home secretary in 1782 and then prime minister from 1782 to 1783 during the American War of Independence. He was successful in securing peace with America, which remains his most notable legacy.
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 .