1826 About Him

Antonio Fattorini

After Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo, Britain encouraged the immigration of young Swiss, Italians, and other Europeans, with specialist skills

Antonio Fattorini, came to the rapidly industrialising North of England shortly after 1815 from Bellagio which was then part of Switzerland

By 1826 Antonio was in business by selling watches and jewellery in Leeds market. In 1831, he moved to Bradford to open his first ‘fixed shop’ in the narrow and busy thoroughfare at the intersection of Cheapside and Kirkgate eventually employing all his sons. During those early years he probably travelled with his wares to other markets and local fairs, such that two of his sons, Anthony and Innocent (aged 18) opened up shops and settled in Harrogate and Skipton respectively. His other two sons Edward and John remained in the business in Bradford known as Fattorini & Sons

One of the earlier steps of Antonio as recorded in the Leeds Commercial Directory ..




1826-Antonio Fattorini

Incidental History

Innocent Fattorini’s developed a new method of selling goods in Skipton (20 week purchasing clubs).  The rule of these clubs made it possible for individuals to buy unaffordable goods, and latterly services, by regular instalments over a period of time. Together with Fattorini & Sons (his cousins) they developed their “catalogue” businesses which grew rapidly in the 1920s. Two Fattorini companies Empire Stores plc and Grattan plc (previously known as Grattan Warehouses Ltd, who employed over 3500 people in their day) were listed on the London stock exchange.