The founder of "Hennell dynasty" was David Hennell I (1712 - 1785), apprenticed to Edward Wood (salt -cellar maker) in 1728.
David Hennell obtained his freedom (1735) and opened his own business in Gutter Lane in 1736. In 1763, he was joined in the business in the Foster Lane workshop by his son Robert I (1741 - 1811), entering a joint mark in 1763 and 1768. David Hennell retired in in c. 1773 and the family business was continued by Robert Hennell I.
In 1795, David Hennell II (1767 - 1829) entered in partnership with his father registering a new conjoined mark (Robert Hennell I and David Hennell II. In 1802, his brother Samuel Hennell (1778 - 1837) joined the partnership. Soon after, David Hennell II retired from the firm and the business was continued by Samuel Hennell and his father Robert Hennell I. After the death of his father (1811) Samuel Hennell took over the business forming a brief partnership (1814 - 1816) with John Terry who had married one of his nieces. In 1816, Samuel Hennell returned to working on his own.
Robert Hennell II (born 1763) was the nephew of Robert Hennell I. He was apprenticed in 1778 to his uncle and to John Houle (engraver). He obtained his freedom in 1785, probably working only at engraving until 1808 when he entered in partnership with Henry Nutting. The partnership lasted until 1809 when Robert Hennell II entered a mark by his own (35 Noble Street, Foster Lane).
In 1817, the firm moved to 3 Lancaster Court, Strand and to 14 Northumberland Street, Strand in 1828. In c. 1817, his son Robert Hennell III (1794 - 1868) joined the firm Robert Hennell & Son and after the retirement of his father (1833) took over the family business. Two of the sons of Robert Hennell III were apprenticed to their father: Robert Hennell IV (1826 - 1891), apprenticed in 1842, free 1849, and James Barclay Hennell (1828 - 1899), apprenticed in 1843, free 1850.
In 1868, at the death of Robert Hennell III, the firm was taken on by his two sons Robert Hennell (IV) and James Barclay Hennell. Robert Hennell III retired in 1877 and James Barclay Hennell continued to manage the business on his own until 1887, when the firm was sold to Holland, Aldwinckle & Slater.
In present days, the heritage of the Hennell name is carried on by Frazer & Haws and Hennell of Bond Street. Very famous silversmiths particularly well known for salt cellars, tea related items and wine coasters - often with superb engraving.