History - Boosey & Hawkes

What we have come to know as English Rogers were marketed through one of B&H’s companies called Besson and Co. Besson’s origins go back to 1837, when Gustave-Auguste Besson (1820-1874), created the Besson brand in Paris. His wind instruments became famous in Europe, and in 1858 Besson left Paris to build a factory in London. Boosey & Hawkes acquired the Besson brand in 1948 which was, and still is, a well known brand for euphoniums, cornets, tenor horns, baritones and tubas. Not so well known for drums however. The choice of Besson to market English Rogers may have been meant to create distance between UK produced Rogers and B&H’s existing brands marketed as Ajax, Edgware and Stratford.

Ajax drums had first appeared in 1927 made by Hawkes & Sons in London. In 1930 Hawkes merged with Boosey & Co to become Boosey & Hawkes. During the 50's and 60's in terms of endorsers and sales Ajax drums were second only to Premier in the UK. They were popular with jazz players and many of the new rock players. Most UK players by the early 60's were playing Premier.