James & William Deakin were manufacturers of silver and plate in Sheffield and were founded in 1866 by James Deakin. They started as James Deakin & Co and then became James Deakin & Sons in 1871. They entered their first mark with the Sheffield Assay Office in 1878. This was a "JD" over "WD" which may have represented both James Deakin and his son William Deakin’s partnership at that time. Two additional sons joined the firm, John and Albert in 1886. By 1888, they had opened offices and showrooms in London, Chester and Birmingham. They went on to open another one in London and further offices and showrooms in Glasgow and Belfast. James Deakin retired in 1893 and continued under his three sons, William, John and Albert. They became a limited company, James Deakin & Sons Ltd in 1897. They also owned subsidiaries. These were Shaw & Fisher who were electro-plate manufacturers and Walter Latham & Son, who manufactured sterling silver and electro-plate (who were established in 1874).