Hatchards is the oldest bookshop in London and the United Kingdom. It was founded by John Hatchard in 1797 on Piccadilly in London, from where it still trades today. Mr Hatchard's portrait can be seen on the staircase of the shop today. Its origins were founded through a bought collection of merchandise from Simon Vandenbergh, a controversial bookseller of the 18th century. Simon Vandenbergh's grandson, John Vandenbergh Quick was the inventor of the first pop up book and his grandson created the images of Sherlock Holmes and Mother Goose as we know them today in wood carvings.
It has a reputation for attracting high-profile authors and holds three Royal Warrants. Today Hatchards is owned by Waterstones. Over the years many famous authors have signed at Hatchards including J.K Rowling, Alexander McCall-Smith, Peter Ackroyd, Margaret Thatcher, Lauren Bacall, Stephen Fry, Jeremy Paxman, Joanne Harris, the late Alec Guinness, David Attenborough, Michael Palin, Deborah, Duchess of Devonshire, Peter Mandelson, Hilary Mantel, Sebastian Faulks, and Howard Jacobson.