William Taylor 1798-1863
Founder of the Business
William Taylor moved to Newport Pagnell in 1825. He set up in business as an Apothecary in 1825 in the High Street, and then expanded in 1830 to premises across the road. The new premises contained a well, giving him access to the Spring water which was ideal for making Soft drinks, as it had passed through layers of Oolitic Limestone, making the water very hard. William’s business expanded into producing Soft Drinks, Lithium water, and Seltzers. He also started using the spring water to experiment with creating a recipe for mustard.
Mustard powder had been a condiment for some time at that stage, (Colmans were selling mustard powder in 1814) but in 1830 William Taylor created the first ‘ready prepared English Mustard’ to be produced and sold. Mustard was ideal to spice up salted meat when on long journeys at sea, and Taylors Mustard became popular in the Royal Navy. Even today, some of our customers tell us that their knowledge of Taylors Mustard is through Navy links. At that time, Taylors Mustard became known to King William IV, who came to the throne in 1830. He was 3rd in line to the throne after two older brothers, and had a career as a Sea Admiral before becoming monarch, so he was possibly attracted to Taylors Mustard from his sea faring history, and it became his favourite.
One of King William IV and Queen Adelaide’s first engagements was to open "The New London Bridge" in 1831, celebrated with a banquet of Roast Beef and Lobster – possibly accompanied by Taylor’s Mustard!
In 1862, William passed his business on to two of his sons, Thomas, and Frederick, and the business traded as T & FJ Taylor.
William passed away the following year in 1863.
Thomas Taylor 1832-1900
Frederick J Taylor 1834-1917
2nd Generation owners
Thomas was married to Emily and had two sons. Frederick remained unmarried, and became a driving force for good in the Newport Pagnell Community, through his status as a key business man and through the wealth created by the company.
During the time that the two brothers managed the company, the country celebrated Queen Victoria’s 50th Jubilee in 1887. Frederick felt it was important that the community celebrated this important occasion through playing the national anthem on the clock bell; but the chiming apparatus in St Peter and Paul’s church Newport Pagnell had fallen into disrepair and had been silent for some years.
Frederick paid to have two new barrels installed, that could play fourteen different tunes, and an extra semi-tone bell installed in the Newport Pagnell church for this occasion. These are still in use to the current day.
The brothers continued to manage the business until Thomas died in 1900, when the business passed to his son Francis.
Frederick lived to the age of 83, and when he died in 1917, as a mark of respect for this extraordinary man who had done so much good for the town, all local businesses closed during his funeral.
Francis W Taylor 1863-1953
Third generation owner
Francis was married to Annie; and had a brother Charles Henry who passed away in the same year as their father, so the business came to Francis to manage as the third generation.
The mustard continued to be produced in the same premises in Newport Pagnell, and in 1930, the company celebrated their centennial year. In this photograph taken to record the centennial, Francis is seated middle of second row.
The mustard was originally distributed in stoneware jars printed with the words Taylor’s Prepared Mustard, Newport Pagnell. In 1940 the design changed as the stoneware jars were becoming more difficult to source.
The new design was an amber glass jar with the distinctive yellow lids, as it was felt this reflected the look of the original mustard pot. The portrait of King William IV used to adorn the lid, but this was removed soon after the turn of this century.
Frederick T Taylor 1889-1956
Fourth generation owner
Frederick, married to Florence, inherited the business as the fourth generation, and managed it till 1956.
By then the business was prospering as a Pharmacist, property business, as well as the Soft Drinks and Mustard production.
When Frederick died in 1956, the business was then split in two, with his son Stephen Taylor taking on the drinks and mustard side of the business, and his sister Ann taking on the property and pharmacy side of the business.
Stephen J Taylor 1929-2012
Fifth generation owner
Stephen, married to Susan, inherited the drinks and mustard production business in 1956.
In 1960 the soft drinks part of the business was merged with Aylesbury’s ‘North and Randle’ which later became Dayla’s Drinks in 1970. They already had a depot in Newport Pagnell behind the Cannon pub.
By 1981 following several issues, including water supply from their well, liquid production (soft drinks) ceased in Newport Pagnell, and in 1986 Stephen left the drinks industry and started a van sales business.
1990 The mustard production business was bought by Mr Ross Southwell who moved production of the mustard to Cheshire, and the company name changed to Taylors Speciality Foods Ltd.
2002 Mr Southwell subsequently sold on the business to Walter Black in Glasgow which is where it is produced today.
Also in 2002, there was a fire which destroyed the original Factory premises where the mustard was produced. The site laid derelict for a while, but has since been redeveloped into housing, retaining links to it’s history, as it has been named ‘Old Mustard Mews’.
Main distributor of Taylors Mustard
Our history starts in 2002. Mr Stephen Taylor was looking to retire and sell his van sales business which was selling condiments to shops across the country.
Stephen offered it to his daughters, who were both married, but they declined and Mr Taylor looked for someone else to sell the van sales business to.
Mark bought the company, having known the Taylors family, and enjoyed the famous Taylors Mustard throughout his life.
Mark loves driving, and is a trained chef, so this business was a perfect blend for him. Over the years, he has steadily increased the number of trade customers, and introduced new suppliers to widen the offer.
The Taylors Mustard is still the star of the show, and the best-selling product, sitting alongside a wide range of products from Darlington and Daughters, Franks Luxury Biscuits, Shropshire Spice and The Farmhouse Food Co.
Grateful thanks to Sammy Jones from MK museum for her help with the research, and Taylors Centennial photo.