Thomas Clark founded the practice in 1779 and was later joined by Lewis Gilson. Clark and Gilson acted as notaries and as ship and insurance brokers at their City of London offices. Gilson later practised on his own at 62 Lower Thames Street where he was joined by his son, Lewis Gilson junior.

The firm owes its name to Henry Cornfoot Cheeswright, Lewis Gilson junior’s nephew. Henry Cheeswright was granted his notarial faculty in 1838 and went into partnership first with his uncle and later with his son, Frederick Cheeswright, with whom he ran the firm from offices in St. Dunstan’s Buildings, Eastcheap. The practice remained here until the buildings were destroyed by a direct hit during air raids in 1940.

St. Dunstan’s Buildings were opposite the Custom House by Billingsgate Market where shipmasters reported on their vessels’ arrival at London. The Cheeswright partnership was the nearest and most convenient firm of notaries public for masters intending to enter protests in respect of their voyages, and thus the firm’s connection with the London marine market grew.

In 1931 Cheeswright and Casey, as the firm was then known, amalgamated with another notarial firm, Duff Watts and Co., which had been founded in 1771 by a Scot named William Dunbar. In 1780 William Dunbar became a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Scriveners, the livery company founded in 1373 to which many London notaries belong. By 1958 the firm was known as Cheeswright, Murly & Co. and had a sole partner, W. F. Murly.

In 2019 the general partnership of Cheeswrights converted to a limited liability partnership Cheeswrights LLP. We look forward to building on the foundations of our long connections with the City of London established in the 18th century and our sights are now firmly focused on future global notarial developments, looking to meet the technological challenges of an ever increasingly connected world.

In 2023 Cheeswrights located to its current premises at 16 Eastcheap, London, EC3.