J.S. Fry & Sons Ltd merged their financial interests with Cadbury in 1919. The earliest records of J.S. Fry & Sons go back to 1728, when a Bristol apothecary called Walter Churchman started his business. Walter Churchman must have been one of the authorities on chocolate making in his day because in 1729 he was granted Letters Patent by George II. The following notice appeared in Farley's Bristol Newspaper at that time:
"His Majesty having been pleased to grant to Walter Churchman of Bristol, Letters Patent for the sole use of an Engine by him invented for the expeditious, fine and clean making of chocolate to greater perfection than by any other method in use, the patentee purposes to sell his Chocolate at the common prices... N.B. Buyers of shells may be furnished with any quantity of them at a low price at his house in Broadmead."
After the death of Walter Churchman, his son Charles carried on the business, until he died in 1761. The Churchman's business was then taken over by a young Quaker, Doctor Joseph Fry, who purchased the patent and recipes. There used to be a version with five different flavours of fondant, known as five boys and later five centre, but sadly this is no longer available.