Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 140,320 pages of information and 227,382 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
William Fortnum was a footman in the household of Queen Anne. The royal family’s insistence on having new candles every night resulted in large amounts of half-used wax, which Fortnum promptly resold for a tidy profit. The enterprising Fortnum also had a sideline business as a grocer. He convinced his landlord, Hugh Mason, to be his associate, and they founded the first Fortnum & Mason store in Mason's small shop in St James's Market in 1707.