Let’s go back in time. It all started in 1795 when a spritely Thomas Jaques established himself as “Thomas Jaques: Manufacturer of Ivory, Hardwoods, Bone, and Tunbridge Ware.”

Thomas took on his 15-year-old son, John Jaques, as an apprentice. Together, they expanded their product portfolio until John Jaques had a son himself.

John Jaques II. He helped his father and in 1838 they established a new headquarters at Number 102 Hatton Garden, London.

It was John Jaques II that introduced Croquet to the world in 1862, a game that went on to win us 2 medals at The Great International Exhibition.

John Jaques II was also good friends with Sir John Tenniel, the illustrator for the original Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland books.

Tenniel loved Croquet and it inspired him to include the game in Lewis Carroll’s famous tales.

In fact, in 1862, Tenniel helped design Jaques original games such as Happy Families and Snap.

Let’s fast-forward to the 1900s when, in 1924, Jaques proudly supplied Queen Mary of Teck, the wife of King-Emperor George V with a Staunton Chess Set

During World War II, Jaques helped MI9 aid over 36,000 British and American prisoners of war escape by hiding supplies in chess pieces!

The wooden chessmen were hollowed out and filled with maps, compasses, and secret messages along with other useful tools.

During The Blitz Jaques of London had to leave London. The family packed up and moved over to Surrey, which is where we stayed until 2000. After which, they moved to Kent - where our Head Office remains today!

As of today, Jaques of London is still owned and run by cousins Emmett and Joe Jaques - now 8th Generation Jaques.

They have a real passion for play. So, to date, they have launched over 100 of new toys and games to continue empowering the next generation.

In 2020, we launched our Let’s ranges with 60 new toys to give the very best in creativity, learning, play, exploration, and imagination.

They represent everything we stand for at Jaques and provide little ones with everything they need to develop into the leaders of tomorrow.

This year marked the first time toys were brought back to Jaques in generations!

Early 2021 saw the launch of our Mini Minds Hub to help home-schooling parents with the sudden lockdown shift. We're proud to provide free activities for parents and teachers to this day.

Our passion for real playtime shines through every timeless toy and game we make. Some 227 years from being founded, Jaques believes in The Power of Play.

If you have any more pieces to the Jaques of London puzzle, please contact us at

A special thanks to The Crystal Palace Foundation for providing data for The Great International Exhibition.