Cossart, Gordon & Co. was established by Francis Newton, a young Scot, in 1745 and is the oldest company in the Madeira wine trade. By 1850, the firm was said to be shipping "half the growth of the island" leading to the company acquiring an unequaled reputation as suppliers of fine Madeiras. In 1808, the Scottish dominance over the firm was broken with the arrival of William Cossart, an Irishman descended from a distinguished Huguenot family of France. The title of the firm eventually became known as the now world-famous Cossart, Gordon & Co. The Cossart family has remained among the most influential on the island for nearly two centuries.