Alfred Romary - Biscuit Maker
Alfred Romary 1844 - 1929
Alfred Romary was born 16th April 1844 in Southborough, the son of John and Sophia Romary and had 6 siblings.
In 1865 he married Martha Harvey (1843-1930) and they had 9 children. (William, Annie, Frederick, Laura, Edith, Mabel, Lily, Martha, and Maud). 2 of their children Martha and Maud died within one year of each other.
He opened a bakery in 1862 at 26 Church Road, Tunbridge Wells and he was classed as a Wafer Cake Maker. His son William, at 24 years old, was his assistant in the bakery.
His biscuits were very popular, and were sold in Macy’s New York, food stores in Belgium and Paris as well as London in Harrods and Fortum and Masons. Romary biscuits were sold in tins, and on Fridays, you were able to purchase broken biscuits sold in a bag.
Queen Victoria visited the bakery on 23 December 1876 and liked the biscuits. In 1884 she gave his company a Royal Warrant to be a supplier of biscuits. Romary had letters proudly displayed in his bakery from royalty around Europe, who all loved his biscuits.
His warrant was renewed by King Edward VII on 9th August 1901 and in successive reigns. Queen Elizabeth II renewed the warrant on 1st August 1963. In 1926 A Romary & Co became a limited company when W.A.P Lane purchased it, and later it became part of Rowntree & Co (now part of Nestle). Rowntree built a new factory in Tunbridge Wells, and baked biscuits at the factory until 1957 when it closed.
Queen Elizabeth II liked Romary’s biscuits, so Rowntree decided to begin producing them, this time in Glasgow in 1963. The last batch was made for the wedding of the then Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer in 1981.
Alfred died on 26th March 1929.