H.A. Hamshaw of Leicester in the UK (sometimes written Hamshaws) had its origins in the mid-19th Century when the firm of Parr & Hamshaw was first established. Hamshaw's Motor Garage is first mentioned in the Leicester Directory of 1904, but the origins of this firm are much older and provide a direct link between coach and carriage building and motor engineering. Thomas Hamshaw was a coach proprietor in Leicester in 1846 and a William Hamshaw, coach painter is mentioned in the Leicester Directory of 1854. During the same period a John Parr, coachbuilder, had premises in Humberstone Gate, and by 1861 the firm of Parr and Hamshaw was established at 37, Humberstone Gate.
Sometime between 1878 and 1888 the firm became H.A. Hamshaw Ltd. coach and carriage builders, when Harry Hamshaw bought out his partner and went on to create a business of building prestigious carriages. During the early 1900s, the firm began both selling and bodying cars, exhibiting their work at the Olympia shows from 1919 to 1928. Hamshaw primarily exhibited cars for which it held agencies ? Wolseley, Vauxhall, Humber and Sunbeam.
Most interesting are the five or so Rolls-Royces that the firm is known to have bodied. This small amount of bodies might be a result of the fact that the company didn't decide to start building motor car bodies until 1907. It might be result of another fact, too: residing in Leicester the company couldn't expect to find many prospective clients because they were quite some distance from the centre of the British Empire.
Around 1926 Hamshaw had ceased coachbuilding, but the company continued as BMC wholesaler.
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