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Coachmakers of Lincoln Inn Fields

The earliest known date for Shanks coach-making in Lincoln Inn Fields is around 1808.  Robert How (b. 1798) either inherited or expanded the family coachmaking business to Gt. Queen Street, Lincoln’s Inn Fields.

This How and Shanks travelling carriage is owned by the nation trust and dates to 1815.

Some time before 1815,  Robert Shanks (b. 1788 Calcutta) returned from India and went into partnership with Robert How to run the coach making business and the firm of How and Shanks was established.   In 1820 Robert How's sister Anne How (b. 1796) married Robert Shanks. Some time later (after the death of Robert How in 1850) the coachmaking business became an all-Shanks affair.  At the Great Exhibition of 1851 Robert How Shanks (b. 1822), son of Robert Shanks, exhibited a 'Step-piece landau on elliptic springs'.  Around 1860 the business is renamed 'F & R Shanks' and becomes a partnership between Robert How Shanks  and his younger brother Frederik Shanks (b. 1829).  

Frederick Shanks right (b. 1829) and his older brother Robert H Shanks left (b. 1822) managed the coach making business with great success from around 1860.

Read more about Shanks coaches

Cick here to read about the How and Shanks travelling chariot, ca 1815

Click here to read about the F&R Shanks Phaeton

"F & R Shanks was one of the two most successful builders of park drags (private coaches) and road coaches in Britain after the “Coaching Revival” of the 1860s. The other firm was Holland & Holland of North Row, Grosvenor Square, and the choice between coaches made by either of these two was said to be merely a matter of personal preference." 

The Shanks Tantivy coach.


In about 1895, the firm opened a new factory in Parker Street near Long Acre in London, and they started making bodies for automobiles there. The firm moved out of the Great Queen Street premises about 1905 and continued in business until about 1917 when they closed down.

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