Seagrove (1795 - 1904)An advert of 1878 notes Seagrove were established in 1795.
The earliest record we have, shows William Seagrove as a draper in Portsea, however it is very possible that he had a relative who started the business before him. It was not uncommon for drapers to expand from supplying uniforms to become complete outfitters selling everything from swords to furniture.
Given their location of 22 & 23 The Hard, Portsea being opposite HM Dockyard, their biggest customers were naturally naval officers. Whether they manufactured all of their supplies we do not currently know. Certainly in their early days it is unlikely they also made the furniture they sold. It is probable they commissioned it from a local cabinet maker.
William Jnr joined his father (noted above) in the business in 1844 and the name changed from William Seagrove to Seagrove & Son. Two of his sons, his namesake and Edwin, changed the name to W & E Seagrove on their father's death in 1849. The business then passed to Edwin and his nephew William in 1853 to become E & W Seagrove.
On the nephew's death, at the age of 34, the company name changed to E. A. Seagrove in 1866. The name remained the same, even after Edwin's death in 1880, until 1892 when it changed to Seagrove & Co. before becoming Gieve, Matthews & Seagrove Ltd in 1904.