Our History Through The Ages

John Bell & Croyden can trace its history to 1798 when John Bell opened the original pharmacy on Oxford Street, London.

We are proud that John Bell and his son Jacob were pioneering pharmacists and played key roles in the founding of Pharmacy as a profession in the United Kingdom. Jacob founded the Pharmaceutical Society in 1841 (later to become The Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain) and was the originator and first editor of The Pharmaceutical Journal.

He was a Member of Parliament for St.Albans, an art collector and a considerable patron of the arts with friends such as artists William Frith, Edwin Landseer, and William Etty and authors Charles Dickens and William Makerpeace Thackeray.

Until the advent of the 20th Century, the store was open seven days a week from 8am to 11pm. All staff were given time for recreation, religious observance and study and were actively encouraged towards self-improvement by attending lectures at the Pharmaceutical Society’s School of Pharmacy.

Every preparation sold was made on the premises, offering bespoke products with a substantial manufacturing facility on-site.

John Bell Croyden was acquired by Savory Moore in 1928, later becoming part of the Lloyds Chemist (now LloydsPharmacy) chain. Throughout its long history, many esteemed company names have been involved in creating the brand as we know today, including Savory & Moore, Allens Chemist, Cross & Herbert, R Gordon Drummond, Kingswood GK, Hills Pharmacy and of course, Lloyds Chemist.

Celesio AG, purchased AAH PLC (the UK’s leading pharmaceutical wholesaler) in 1995, and acquired Lloyds Chemists PLC two years later.  The companies now fall under the McKesson umbrella. John Bell & Croyden and LloydsPharmacy are part of McKesson UK with its head office in Coventry.

John Bell & Croyden, Lloyds Pharmacy and wholesaler AAH collaborate as McKesson UK.

Key Facts Timeline 1798 - 2015
1798: John Bell opens his pharmacy on Oxford Street.

1841: His son, Jacob, launches “The Pharmaceutical Journal”.

1842: Jacob Bell founds the Major store refit. Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain.

1849: Ownership passes to Jacob Bell on the death of his father.

1849: Upon the death of Jacob Bell, ownership passes to his partner, Thomas Hyde Hills, then to his son William Hills. The business develops both as retailer and wholesaler.

1903: John Bell & Croyden is formed with the amalgamation of the business with Charles Croyden & Co.

1909: John Bell & Croyden is first granted a Royal Warrant.

1912: John Bell & Croyden moves to its current location on Wigmore Street.

1928: The business is acquired by Savory & Moore (now Lloyds Pharmacy).

1958: John Bell & Croyden are appointed as pharmacists to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

1997: John Bell & Croyden becomes part of Celesio.

2012: Centenary at current location 50-54 Wigmore Street, W1U 2AU.

2013: Attendance at the Diamond Jubilee Coronation Festival.

2014: John Bell & Croyden becomes part of Mckesson.

2015: John Bell & Croyden undergoes a major store refit.

2017: Winner of Realys New Store of The Year - Retail Week Awards 2017