The Chenevix family, from Picardy, arrived in England around 1682. Philip Chenevix became a Major with the 2nd Carabineers where he fought in the famous battle of Blenheim (1704). Philip died in the battle but his son Paul Daniel Chenevix continued the family name.

The first records we have of Paul is of his shop in Suffolk Street, London 1731. From this shop, at the Sign of the Golden Door, we know he sold a pair of silver buckles.

In 1729 his premises moved to Pall Mall where Paul continued to sell high end goods – selling Earl Fitzwalter ‘a long gold head for a cane’ at the cost of £6, 11s.

After Paul’s death (1740s) his wife continued to run the shop and remarried Peter Russel, a ‘toyman’. Together they ran the shop selling expensive trinkets and it became known as the ‘toyshop’, Mrs Chenevix earning herself the reputation of ‘toy-woman à la mode’.