The founder of the firm, William Johnstone arrived in VDL on the Arab in November 1841 and by August 1842 he had secured a lease on a building in St John Street, Launceston and started the new business William Johnstone, Merchant. In the 1850s William Johnstone was appointed Agent for the Northern Assurance Co. and at the time of the 90th anniversary of Johnstone and Wilmot it is noted that Johnstone and Willmot were the oldest agents of the Insurance Company in the World (1932). Following the death of William Johnstone in 1874 his son William John Johnstone was joined by Stuart Eardley - Wilmot who had married Johnstone's daughter Rosa and from this date the firm was known as Johnstone and Wilmot. Following the death of William John Johnstone in 1891 Stuart Eardley Wilmot carried on the busines on his own until 1910 when the business was converted into a proprietary company. The managing directors being Eardley - Wilmot, W Stewart Johnstone and W P Dobson. In 1920 Commander Trevor Eardley Wilmot was taken into the Company. Frank Shaw was appointed the first Company Secretary, a positon he still held in 1932. Other employees include Robert Bain, William Stroud, Henry Bourke was the Accountant for many years, Arthur Davis, James Wallace and George Fletcher. On the 17 March 1921 a Branch House was opened in Devonport under the Management of George Saul.