Cox & Yeman


  A brief history of one of the other great London Billiard Companies, which for a time was one of the three major Billiard firms.(read Thurston history and Burroughes & Watts history)

 The business was founded by Mr. Henry Cox in 1848 and he was joined in partnership by Mr, Edward Yeman in 1851. So the trading name from that point was the Cox & Yeman name. Interestingly Mr. Yeman had served his time with Burroughes & Watts as there is a record of him 'stuffing ' cushions (although rubber was being used the firms still referred to 'stuffing' when fitting cushion rubber into the cushions). The record also show that a Miss Yeman ( assumed to be his daughter) was making 'holland covers' for the billiard tables for Burroughes & Watts.

A further record in 1868 shows that the business was situated at 209a Brompton Road, London, SW and was exporting Billiard tables to India 'and warmer climates' These tables had 'metallic adjustment for levelling' Also made lamps, Gas fittings and seating for Billiard rooms.

When in 1870 the first billiard championship match between Roberts & Cook took place the position of the Cox & Yeman business as one of the big three was confirmed. As they along with Burroughes & Watts and Thurston donated the magnificent silver cup for presentation to the winner.

Billiard Champion Cup

The cup was recently (2008-2012) on display in Thurston showrooms in Liverpool

  The table for the match was made by Cox & Yeman with the Cushions supplied by Burroughes & Watts.

It was also in that year that the business moved into larger premises in at 184 Brompton Road. A notice in the TIMES relating to the sale by auction of 'the valuable lease of the premises in good repair, containing nine rooms, two shops fitted with plate glass fronts, sun blinds and Clark's steel shutters, large garden in the rear, with entrance from Chapel Place (Times 28/02/1870 page 16).

Another report from the TIMES , Saturday July 1st. 1876 on page 14 - - Partnership dissolved between Mr. H. Cox and Mr. E. Yeman, Brompton Road billiard table makers. However the business continued in the name Cox & Yeman.

The 'World of Billiards' which was 'The official Organ of the Billiard Association of Great Britain & Ireland, India & The Colonies' reported in their 8th October 1902 issue that - His majesty the Shah of Persia, through his Excellency the Minister in London, ordered two billiard tables from Messrs. Cox & Yeman, billiard makers of 184 Brompton Road …. The report goes on to tell that the tables were packed in cases and sent to Paris where they joined the personal baggage overland to Persia.

Cox Yeaman billiard Scorer

Some time a go a picture of very nice hand held Billiard Scorer circa 1890 made by Cox & Yeman was sent into the Collection. This shows the quality of the Company's workmanship.

Cox & Yeman Rules for Pyramid

1896 Cox & Yeman Pyramid Rules (In the heritage Collection)

Again from an article in 'World of Billiards' in 1904 Cox & Yeman are amongst the firms represented at the 'International Gas Exhibition. They exhibited a 'Simplex' Combined Billiard and Dining Tables. Which was light by a prettily designed wrought iron and copper gaselier, containing four inverted incandescent lights fixed by the 'Gas Light and Coke Co.'.

Coc & Yeman Dining Table

Page from a 1907 catalogue showing the 'Simplex' Dining Table

Following the supply of two Billiard table to the Shah of Persia the Company was, in October 1906, granted the Warrant of appointment issued by the Shah of Persia for the supply of Billiard Tables.

We have in the collection a Cox & Yeman catalogue from 1907 which has illustrations of factory scenes as well great range of table designs. Some scans of which follow :-

Cox & Yeman catalogue front cover

Cox & Yeman Catalogue

Cox & Yeman Billiards


Cox & Yeman London


Cox & Yeman Billiard Catalogue

 Cox & Yeman Billiard Hall

Cox & Yeman Billiard palyer Stevenson

The last picture on the right show H. W. Stevenson (See Past Master No. 7) , who it is believed worked for Cox & Yeman or was at least a sponsored player..

Billiard tables by Cox & Yeman

Some Billiard Table designs from the catalogue

Billiard Room by Cox & Yeman

A Billiard Room with tables supplied by Cox & Yeman in Rangoon

Cox & Yeman Life Pool Marking Board

A Life Pool / Billiard Cabinet

About this period all the leading Billiard firms tried to introduce new shaped tables and Cox & Yeman were no exception. Theirs was the 'Ovalex Table' introduce in 1908- 'a dainty arrangement in curving an rectangular cushions, shaped to form a convenient and attractive playing table'.

Also in may of that year it was reported that Cox & Yeman were opening a new Hall in Liverpool, named Tivoli, with exhibitions between Vasquez, the Spanish champion and his travelling colleague Johnson.

Toward the end of 1908 it was reported that the business had passed into the hands of the receiver. It went on to say that it would not affect their customers and that the business would carry on as usual from the same address and competent staff.

However at the end of that year (1908) a petition for winding up Cox & Yeman was presented to the High Court of Justice by the Endolithic Manufacturing Company. Due to be heard in January 1909. This application was dismissed.

The London Gazette of January 29th 1909 had the following entry -

In the matter of Cox & Yeman Ltd. - At an Extraordinary General Meeting of the above names Company, duly convened and held at 184 Brompton Road, London, SW on 21st day of January the following Extraordinary Resolution was passed, viz.:-That having been proved to the satisfaction of the Company that the Company cannot by reason of its liabilities continue in business and that it is advisable to wind up the same.

It went on to give notice of a meeting of the creditors in February 1909.

The business must have carried on for the next couple of years as late in 1911 the business was taken over by Burroughes & Watts. The Billiard Monthly noted in January 1912 that the business of Cox & Yeman purchases by Burroughes & watts Ltd. Has now been removed to Soho Square.

In 2010 Peter Clare met with the a Great Grandson of Edward Yeman who was researching his family. He had hope that in the Collection there might have been a picture of Edward Yeman. Sadly there was only the one catalogue circa 1907 well after the partnership was dissolved. So if anyone reading this comes across any pictures of Mr. Edward Yeman or Mr. Henry Cox that they can let the Collection have a copy of it would be appreciated and we could pass them on to his Grandson.

Acknowledgements - Mr. P. Ainsworth for providing much of the information used.

Of the three companies that presented the Billiard Championship Cup in 1870 only THURSTON remains in business. Contact them for all your Snooker, Pool or Billiard requirements.

phone +44 (0)870 607 1336

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© E.A. Clare & Son Ltd. 2018. © Peter N. Clare 2018
Reproduction of this article allowed only with the permission from E.A. Clare & Son Ltd.

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