Abraham Laverton did not have any children to inherit his business, so when he retired in 1880, he passed his entire estate to his nephew, William Henry Laverton. By this time, the business was worth £648,000 (around £75 million in today’s money).
WH Laverton was not as technically qualified as his uncle, so another employee, JS Hoare, son of a London wool merchant, was promoted to partner the firm. The pair changed what the mills produced, moving away the fine cloth Abraham preferred to equally high quality ‘worsteds’, a heavier cloth that did not require carding or fulling. Arthur H Hoare, JS Hoare’s son, joined A Laverton & Co Ltd. in 1901, and took over the business when WH Laverton and JS Hoare retired in 1913.
However, the since the turn of the century, the business had been struggling. There was a brief upturn during 1914-1918 as the mills produced cloth for military uniforms during World War One, but in 1921 the business failed. To help save the business, WH Laverton moved from his home, Leighton House, which was sold as an asset to the business.
A fabric sample from an A Lave