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Croftons can trace its history back to 1846 through letters and words left from its people from days gone by.
Frederic (Blethyn) Copley Hulton commenced business as a Solicitor in Princess Street, Manchester, in about 1846 and on being appointed Registrar of the Salford County Court, moved his office to 47 Bailey Street, Salford.
In April 1852 he took into partnership Mr George Brett, who came from Lincoln, and who was appointed Town Clerk of Salford. Mr Brett retired from the firm in about 1860. In 1865 Mr Hulton took into partnership (Samuel) Campbell Hulton Sadler and Charles Lister (of Lincoln). Mr Sadler retired from the firm in about 1867. In 1872 Messrs Hulton and Lister moved their offices to 36 Brazennose Street, Manchester (where the firm remained for the next 100 years).
The Croftons’ name first appeared in September 1881 when the business was transferred to Mr Henry Thomas Crofton, who had previously acquired the business of Mr John Farrington, Solicitor, of 88 Mosley Street, Manchester.
In April 1884 Mr Crofton was joined by Mr Jonas Craven and the firm of Crofton and Craven continued until the death of Mr Craven on the 21st November 1894 when Mr Crofton took into partnership Mr Frank Worthington. The partnership of Crofton Craven and Worthington continued until the end of 1900 when Mr Alan Francis Maclure, Mr Benjamin Broadbent, Mr William Proctor and Mr John Ffolliott Crofton were admitted partners.
On the 31st December 1908 Mr Worthington and Mr Broadbent retired from the partnership, and then on the 31st October 1915 Mr Henry Thomas Crofton retired from the partnership. The partners thenceforth being Mr Maclure, Mr Proctor and Mr J. Ff. Crofton.
On the 30th November 1921 Mr William Proctor died, and the partnership was then carried on by Mr Maclure and Mr J. Ff. Crofton until Mr Crofton died on the 3rd July 1927.
Mr Maclure then took into partnership Mr William Proctor (son of Mr. William Proctor above mentioned) and Mr Henry Ryan. This partnership continued until the death of Mr Maclure on the 23rd May 1929, when the partnership was carried on by Mr William Proctor and Mr Henry Ryan.
On the 1st April 1947 Mr Proctor and Mr Ryan took into partnership Mr William Norman Cookson. Mr Ryan died on the 17th February 1951 and the partnership was continued by Mr Proctor and Mr Cookson.
On the 1st April 1956, Mr Proctor and Mr Cookson took into partnership Mr Valentine Grieve who had served as an articled clerk to Mr Cookson.
On the 1st April 1958, the firm of Messrs Aston Harwood San Garde and Green was amalgamated with the firm of Messrs Crofton Craven & Co and Mr Proctor, Mr Cookson and Mr Val Grieve took into partnership Mr Arthur John Green formerly of Messrs Aston,Harwood San Garde and Green.
On the 1st April, 1961 Mr William Proctor retired from the partnership and became a Consultant to the firm and the partnership was continued by Mr Cookson, Mr Grieve and Mr Green.
For a brief period in the early 1970’s, Mr Ian Knox was a partner following the retirement from the partnership of Mr Cookson. In 1974, after Mr Knox left the firm, Mr Stewart Bradley joined the partnership, having served his articles with the firm from 1966. By 1974, both Mr Green and Mr Cookson had retired completely, having withdrawn from the partnership and having been Consultants to the firm.
The partnership of Mr Grieve, Mr Maddox and Mr Bradley continued with the admission to the partnership of Mr Richard John Clarke in April 1978 (joined the firm July 1976).
In 1977/78, Croftons had been approached by Mr Chorley of A. Cleasby Chorley and Co., based in Cateaton Street, Manchester, with a request for a merger as Mr Chorley wished to retire. Sadly, during negotiations, Mr Chorley passed away, leaving his widow, Mrs Elva Chorley to complete the transfer.
The partnership further expanded in 1981 with admission of Mr Jeffrey Palmer (joined the firm in February 1978) and again in April 1984, with Mr Arthur Chapman (joined the firm in February 1979). This partnership of six continued until early 1990s.
The partnership then again increased in April 1996 with the admission of Mr John Hampson (who had previously trained with the firm in the mid-70s and returned in June 1993). Mr Bradley retired from the partnership c.1999 and became a Consultant to the firm.
Mr Bob Agnew then joined the partnership in April 2000 (having joined the firm in 1999) and in March 2002, Mr Simon Leighton joined as partner. Mr Leighton then became Managing Partner in April 2009, having been part of the Senior Management Team for 3 years prior to this.
The partnership has also expanded with additional partners, namely Lucy Worrall in July 2008 (joined February 2006) and Lee Jones in April 2010 (joined January 2005).
In April 2009 Croftons became Croftons Solicitors LLP (a limited liability partnership), with the current partners being members of the firm.
View our Heritage Timeline here.
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