Proud of Our History

Our history strengthens your future

1888 was where it all started for us. A young Jinks Howkins from Lilbourne auctioned his first beast, sheep, calves, and pigs at Rugby Cattle Market on Monday 3rd September 1888.

He then joined forces with Arthur Mason to auction farm stock under the business name Howkins & Sons.

The Harrison side of the business, separate to Jinks Howkins and Howkins & Sons, first began in 1861 when Nixon Toone started out as an auctioneer selling farm stock. Six years later, Joshua Harrison joined the firm and it changed its name to Nixon Toone & Harrison.

Joshua Harrison’s son James, (remembered by many as Jim Harrison) then joined the business in 1926.

For many years Howkins & Sons, and Nixon Toone & Harrison were competitors. Both frequently advertising their services and lots on the front of the Rugby Advertiser.

On the 1st June 1970, after breaking away from Nixon Toone, James Harrison & Sons merged with Howkins & Sons, to form what we know today as Howkins & Harrison LLP.


With our reputation amongst the rural community in the Rugby area, we were able to organically grow our business to meet the needs of our clients. And this is how we have grown ever since.

We now have 7 regional offices in the Midlands and an office in London and Henley in Arden. We are still auctioning farm stock, property, and land, and we’ve been able to successfully build a great estate agency arm, as well as a commercial property team and a team of planning and development specialists. The business is still thriving and growing after all those years.

We still have one employee working with us from that merger of 1970, Penny Bell. She started as secretary to the senior partner of Howkins & Sons in 1963. Since then, Penny has worked in every department of the business and now helps with our residential estate agency offices, when she is not helping with her family business, Berrystock Feeds. 

A former partner, Anthony Harrison, who retired in 2006, was the great-grandson of Joshua Harrison. He was the fourth generation of Harrisons to work for the firm.

We are immensely proud of our roots, heritage and the business we are today.


It’s our heritage, grounding, knowledge, local appreciation, and experience, that means we can help and advise so many residential, commercial and rural clients every year.

We’re not just auctioneers and we’re not just estate agents, find out for yourself how we can help you, get in touch.

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