History of Fleming & Howland

The origins of Fleming & Howland began in 1780 when the shoemaker and cordwainer Solomon Howland turned his hand to the craft of chair making. The Howlands remained self-employed craftsmen until 3rd generation George Howland started a small workshop ’employing 2 men’ (1881 census).

the fleming and howland census history

The family tradition continued throughout the 19th century specialising in the covering of chair frames for the various fashion houses of London. Modern 20th Century production methods soon took over and by the middle of the century many of the older techniques had become obsolete. The furniture making heritage of the Howland family would have all but vanished if it wasn’t for 5th generation John Howland taking on his nephew, John Fleming, as his young apprentice.

fleming and howland workshop


Fifty years on, under the Fleming & Howland brand, the original skills, cherished for so long, were revived. The Classic collection was launched utilising the best in modern upholstery methods and the Heirloom collection represented the older, more time-consuming techniques working with hand-coloured leather.

The heritage of the company was recognised in 2009 when Fleming & Howland was awarded the Chesterfields trademark. The company remains a family business to this day.