Sunday, August 30, 2009

Hi Cal,
Thanks for the breathtakingly prompt reply !
Good to hear from you.
Here is what I know, but I'm afraid it is not much.
1. There would have been no problem with just a "Lyon & Co." L&L may have sounded better but it may have been a distant relative--either active or a silent partner--who had some involvement in the business. Or, it may have been for legal (corporation) reasons (protection from lawsuits, another single business named "Lyon," etc..
2.I don't know the history of Lyon and Lyon. I do have an outstanding L&L ball and shot gun, however. As to the Purdey link, email Purdey and ask them. Nigel Beaumont is the chairman and he is at:
Rodda was also a retailer in India (as was Walter Locke, Manton, and P. Orr) and these five were the largest arms retailers there. India boasted more sportsmen that Africa and the Londaon and Birmingham gun trade followed them there. Lyon, like Manton, made a few firearms but perhaps received them in the "white" and added finish to them. They also retailed completed firearms from many makers in the UK and the USA. The volume they sold made it impossible to make everything they sold.
I hope this helps. Email if I can be of further service.
Hi Cal,
I am researching a WW1 Royal Engineer, who was born in Calcutta, the only son of James Lyon, who had a shop on Chowringhee Street, trading as "Lyon & Lyon".
James Lyon overcame a few problems to get to where he got - he was orphaned as an infant and had to be taken in by his great-aunt.
I wonder if you can help me with a couple of points, which have defeated his nephew, who is happily emailing me at the age of 80.
First, if he had no male siblings we cannot work out who the second Lyon was in "Lyon & Lyon". We both think that there was no second Lyon. His nephew wonders if it was simply that the name sounded better than the simple "Lyon & Co". I wonder if there would actually have been a problem with "Lyon & Co" because there was already a business trading under that name in Bombay.
Second, I have seen one web entry which asserts that James Lyon worked for Purdey before setting up on his own. And I have found him in the 1895 Directory of Calcutta, working for RW Rodda & Co. His nephew believes he made his own guns in Calcutta, and he certainly described himself as a gunmaker in various family documents, but I wonder if he imported them from England. Perhaps he did both.
I have seen a message on one of the forum websites to the effect that "James Lyon is in the database", and I suspect that both answers are in there, but of course as a non-member I cannot access that.
Could I trouble you for a few minutes of your time, to cast a bit of light on all this ?

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