The name of Shakespear has been in the business world of Hinckley for more years than most people realise. At present, the name of Shakespear is prominently displayed at the offices of the estate agent at the bottom of Castle Street. Many years ago, though, there were very few people alive today in Hinckley that can remember that there was a cattle sale yard on the Coventry Road, on the site of the present Leisure Centre.
Just before the turn of the century this sale yard was operated by the firm of Hincks and Shakespear, the partners being Henry Thorp Hincks and John Shakespear, the son of a Warwickshire farmer. They conducted their business, practically all agricultural, at this sale yard,part of the time with another partner, Mr« Lawrence. During the period of the partnership of Messrs. Hincks and Shakespear, they purchased the Hinckley Market Tolls on llth September 1899 from Mrs. Elizabeth Lovett of Hockley for the sum of £2,500. Soon after this, Mr. Shakespear sold his share of the Toll Rights to his partner, Mr. Hincks.
Eventually, Messrs. Hincks and Shakespear left the sale yard and moved to Leicester with an office in Silver Street, operating in the Leicester Cattle Market until this partnership was dissolved and Mr® Shakespear carried on in his own name, moving to an office in Halford Street, Leicester. Soon after this he moved to an office in an old house in Granby Place, Granby Street. This house was demolished many years ago, During the time that the business was carried on from this office, Mr. Shakespear took into partnership a Mr. David McTurk and shortly after a Mr. Peter Graham was taken on as an articled pupil. Once more the firm moved office to 17 Wellington Street, Leicester, and Mr. Graham, being fully qualified, was taken into partnership. This firm merged its business in the Leicester Cattle Market and became part of Leicester Livestock Auctions. Eventually, age took its toll and Mr. Shakespear and Mr. McTurk passed away, leaving Mr. Graham as senior partner in this old established firm.
With the boom in house selling and estate management in general, this firm launched out and opened several branch offices, one of which is the office at the bottom of Castle Street, Hinckley.
The wheel has turned completely round and the name of Shakespear is once again to the forefront in the Hinckley business world.
Incidentally, Mr. Shakespear purchased a farm at Braunstone many years ago, the farm land being sold off for building development whilst the old farm house itself, under a planning order, has retained its appearance and is now known as the Shakespear Inn, but someone has added an ‘E’ to the name of the previous owner.
Author: Hugh Beavin
Written for: Hinckley Historian Magazine