Wickwar's iconic Despatch Box is a symbol of distinction and a testament to tits legacy. With its vibrant hue and understated elegance, the Red Box embodies the essence of prestige and tradition that has made it an enduring icon.
Today, Wickwar's Despatch Box continues to be a symbol of esteem and reverence. It represents a commitment to timeless values and a celebration of craftsmanship that transcends time.
Ministerial Despatch boxes since 1852
Since crafting the red box for William Ewart Gladstone's first budget in 1853, Wickwar has continued to create boxes for subsequent chancellor. Gladstone, who served as Chancellor of the Exchequer on four occasions, holds the record for the longest tenure in the UK's history.
Wickwar's red box remained in use by every chancellor until 2011, with just two exceptions: James Callaghan (1964–1967) and Gordon Brown (1997–2007), who commissioned new ones in 1965 and 1997 respectively. Over the span of 150 years, this historic box served an impressive 51 chancellors.
The legacy of Gladstone's budget box persisted with Alistair Darling (2007–2010) and saw its last use with George Osborne in June 2010. Wickwar & Co's red box stands as a remarkable symbol of tradition, craftsmanship, and its pivotal role in the UK's financial governance.
Royal WickWar Boxes
The British sovereign as a constitutional monarch, has an integral role in the governance of the UK. Walter Bagehot defined the monarchs’ role as, the right to be consulted, the right to encourage & the right to warn.
The King continues to sign all legislation, & the Prime Minister & other ministers act in The King’s name. Consequently, The King receives a constant stream of Despatch Boxes containing documents from the Government, Parliament & his Private Secretary.
Wickwar played a part in the historic change of monarch that took place on September 8th, 2022, by creating new Despatch Boxes adorned with King Charles III's royal cypher. These bespoke Despatch Boxes now proudly represent His Majesty's Government, showcasing the distinguished emblem of King Charles III
Despatched from our London Workshops
For over a century, Wickwars esteemed workshops have been a shining example of authentic craftsmanship. Since 1850, we have remained dedicated to upholding the legacy of traditional woodworking techniques and artisan skill in the heart of London.
Our dedicated artisans, carrying the legacy of generations, meticulously craft each box with unwavering passion and attention to detail.