Alec Hodson

Manufacturer of specialist musical instruments

Alec Hodson Ltd was a manufacturer of musical instruments, with a speciality in making harpsichords. In 1937, the business was acquired by the John Lewis Partnership. Subsequently, Hodson’s made harpsichords and selected other instruments for Peter Jones, until it was sold on by the Partnership.

Appeal for information!

Very little is known about Alec Hodson Ltd and company’s relationship with the Partnership. If you have any information or pictures you would like to add, then please comment below or, better still, contribute a page!

Comments about this page

  • Hi I have a 1959 Alec Hodsdon spinet I acquired in 2020 from Peter Barnes Harpsichords. I was thinking of doing some research on his output, though it looks as if much of his work was actually done for the John Lewis partnership, so it would be interesting to know if any workshop records were kept. I like the fact that he was based in Lavenham as some of my family come from that part of the country. But I understand that Fred Sykes actually carried on most of the business after Hodsdon took more of a back seat later on – I don’t know if others have information. I would be interested in getting in touch with Camilla who has posted below.

    By Liz Coleman (29/03/2023)
  • Hi Camilla, it was interesting to note that you are the great granddaughter of Alec Hodsdon. I found that interesting that you posted your comment on 24/11/22. On 26/22/22 I picked up a big two manual Hodsdon harpsichord 1952 down near Wellington; I am in New Zealand, BTW.
    This was the first harpsichord owned by the University of Auckland, bought in 1952. It was disposed of in the ’60s and re-surfaced recently, when I was able to acquire it.
    I am a full-time harpsichord and fortepiano maker
    and as this was the first harpsichord I ever saw, as a schoolboy, I felt strongly about restoring ot to former grandeur. The action is in a terrible state and I will have to make a full set of new jacks as most of the originals have been lost and the remainder are not usable. They are however useful as patterns for the new set.
    I too have been interested in finding out more about Alec and have not succeeded in tracking down much information about him. His big harpsichord is a very complicated instrument with many small components. But it is highly imposing and I look forward to completeing this project as there is proposed a performance of the Poulenc and Elliot Carter concertos here next year for which this instrument is ideally suited. Paul Downie Auckland

    By paul Downie (27/12/2022)
  • My Great Grandfather is Alec Hodsdon and we have lots of history and information!

    By Camilla Jordan (24/11/2022)
  • His dates are 1900-1986, if that helps

    By Kate Hawnt (13/08/2019)
  • Hi,
    I know that Raymond Russell (collector of the Russell Collection now in Edinburgh) performed on an Alec Hodson virginal in December 1940 in Cambridge, but am uncertain whether he owned it or not. Would be very interested to learn more about Hodson and his work.

    By Kate Hawnt (13/08/2019)
  • I would be interested to see photographs of your spinet. You may need to send them the so I can publish them online. Many Thanks Hannah. Assistant Archivist for the John Lewis Partnership

    By Hannah Raeburn (28/02/2017)
  • I have a spinet by Alec Hodson marked “Alec Hodson, Lavenham, Suffolk fecit anno MCMLVIII”. I could send some photos if anyone is interested.

    By Lesley Miles (18/02/2017)
  • About 20 years ago I visited Ballywater Castle in Northern Ireland, home of the late Lord (Henry) Dunleath. In his music room was a harpsichord, or maybe a virginals, by Alec Hodson. I seem to recall it had a rural scene painted on the underside of the lid. Not much help, I’m afraid, but maybe the present owners of the Castle may have more information.

    By John Sayer (13/05/2015)

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