The Beginning 1765

Mr Day

Carr & Day & Martin have been manufacturing in the UK since 1765. We are proud to hold the Royal Warrant for the supply of quality saddlery products to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II; our first Royal Warrant was granted in the reign of George IV, when it all began.

During the reign of George IV, the solid, carefully fashioned and costly footwear reflected the spirit of that particular era, yet despite their originality of design and beautiful workmanship, none of the shoes were ever polished! Soles were oiled and the uppers varnished, but polished, never! It fell to two of his humble subjects to bring about a revolution by making a ‘Blacking’ to polish leather. The preparation, they invented, led to the creation of a world famous business originally known as Day & Martin.

It all started in 1765 when Mr Day, a Doncaster hairdresser, met an old soldier who gave Day a recipe for making boot blacking which he had developed to polish the boots of his superior officers. “Make it like this” said Martin the solider “and you’ll make a fortune!”

Very quickly Mr Day realised how good the product was and together they opened a little shop at 97, High Holburn, London in 1770.

The blacking was mixed at the back of the shop and sometimes in Mr Day’s kitchen. Demand increased so rapidly that eventually the little shop gave way to a palatial building covering the same site and much of the surrounding area.