Our History

Davenport Printers was founded by John Henry Davenport in 1888, originally as a manufacturer of accounting ledger books. The original site was in the Meanwood area of Leeds, but relocated to the Columbian Printing Works around 1912.


In the 1960’s, Philip Davenport’s father, Bryan, had a chance meeting with Wilkinson’s Confectionery of Pontefract. This proved a hugely positive move. As a result, the Company started to move away from the production of ledgers, which were decreasing in use due to the advent of early computers and in to the production of labels.


With that, the Company grew. Davenport’s gained big customers, such as John Smiths and Samuel Smith’s Breweries, and Bryan invested in a large-format printing press which was dedicated to printing labels, non-stop, five days a week.




In 1993, Philip joined the business, and as printed gummed labels began to give way to self-adhesive labels, a decision was taken to install the companies first flexographic roll label press. This proved something of a watershed for Davenport’s.


JH Davenports by Royal Appointment

In those early days, Davenport’s had the distinction of supplying ledgers to the Royal Household and payment was received in the form of a cheque, personally signed by Queen Mary herself!