Harriet Samuel signature

Meet Harriet Samuel: The Woman Behind the H.

It may come as a big surprise that the person responsible for starting the largest jewellery and watch business for its time was actually a woman.

Who is H. Samuel? For years this remained a mystery or was thought by many to be a man. It was in fact a woman called Harriet Samuel who founded H. Samuel and pushed on for it to become what it is today. Defying the conventions of her time and pushing forward to pursue her own dream more than 150 years ago, this is how the story of Harriet Samuel begins.

Harriet Samuel signature
1862

Harriet's Story Begins

Harriet Samuel takes it upon herself to move her father-in-law's watch making business from Liverpool to Manchester Market Street, leading an ambitious plan for a mail order business, in a time where women are unable to vote or get fully educated.

Leading an ambitious plan
1890

;First Retail Stores

Harriet Samuel maintains a hugely successful mail order business over the next 28 years, resulting in the first retail stores opening in Preston and Rochdale, Lancashire.

Hugely successful
1897

Dear Mr. H. Samuel

Both the mail-order and retail business enjoy huge success, with thousands of happy customer testimonials written by hand and sent personally to Harriet, with many people unaware that a woman was leading the business.

Happy customer testimonials
1912

The Jewel of the Jewellery Quarter

A larger property in Birmingham is bought for keeping up with the large demand, which still exists to this day in the Jewellery Quarter.

Birmingham jewellery quarter
1948

Resilience in Difficult Times

Despite some of the stores being destroyed in the war, H. Samuel continues to provide people with watches and jewellery, as the number of stores keep growing.

A growing bussiness
A growing bussiness
1970

The Nation's Favourite

Harriet's grandsons take over the business, with the number of stores increasing to 200 nationwide, becoming the favourite watch and jewellery retailer.

200 stores nationwide
1993

Stores Across The Country

The number of stores increases further to 300, increasing further from its balance of craftsmanship and value.

Craftmanship & value
2012

More Than a Century of Expertise

H. Samuel reaches its 150th anniversary, from its humble beginnings as a watch manufacturer, to being one of the largest jewellery and watch retailers in the UK.

Celebrating 150 years
Celebrating 150 years
Present

Millions Share Joy

More than 5 million pieces of jewellery and watches are gifted and enjoyed each year, firmly establishing H.Samuel's expertise in helping people find beautiful and special gifts.

Thousands of engagements
Ring