280 years of history

Nicholson has been a brand of great distinction from the very beginning of gin distilling. The world has changed dramatically since 1736, but the superb flavour and quality of our gin remains as consistent as ever.

1736

At the time of the Gin Act (introduced to curb gin consumption), the Nicholson and Bowman families set up as distillers and spirits merchants in Clerkenwell, London. The first generation of Nicholson Gin was born.

1808

J&W Nicholson & Co purchased a site on Woodbridge Street, Clerkenwell to refine their famous gin distillation.

1828

Due to popular demand, Nicholson moves to larger premises on St John’s Street, Clerkenwell, the frontage of which still stands today.

1840

J&W Nicholson & Co begin developing their own London Dry style and become one of the largest and most successful distillers.

1852

Legend has it that the Duke of Wellington was fond of a glass or two of Nicholson Gin. At his state funeral, Nicholson provides their strong dray horses to pull the 18-ton funeral car.

1866

Accomplished cricketer William Nicholson loans the funds to the MCC to purchase the freehold of Lord’s Cricket Ground. The grateful MCC went on to adopt Nicholson’s ‘egg and bacon’ colours for their own.

1873

J&W Nicholson & Co purchase Three Mills Distillery and establishes a stand-alone pub group, still known today as Nicholson’s Pubs.

1879

William Nicholson elected President of the MCC.

1890

The MCC’s new Pavilion opened thanks to the generosity of William Nicholson who funded its construction – and was affectionately known at the time as the ‘Gin Palace.’

1900's onwards

Nicholson Gin is advertised widely and becomes a household name.

1900's onwards

Nicholson Gin is exported to all corners of the globe.

1930's

Nicholson Gin is recommended in the three great cocktail books of the age – Harry Craddock’s ‘The Savoy Cocktail Book’, Harry McElhone’s ‘Harry’s ABC of Mixing Cocktails’ and Albert Stevens Crockett’s ‘The Waldorf Astoria Bar Book’.

1980's

J&W Nicholson & Co is sold to Allied Breweries who are principally interested in the pub estate. Nicholson Gin ceases production for a while.....

2016

The MCC recognise William Nicholson as ‘The man who saved Lords’ in an exhibition to mark the 150th anniversary of securing the Lord’s Ground.

2017

Nicholson Gin is revived by direct descendants of the original Nicholson family and fittingly first goes on sale at Lord’s.

Back to Our Story

Follow us on Instagram

@nicholsongin