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Dow was formed in 1798 when Bruno de Silva, a native Portuguese merchant, set up a port shipping company in London. His son, John, brought Frederick William Cosens into the partnership, resulting in Silva & Cosens, which in 1877 merged with Dow’s & Co. Even though Dow was a much smaller company, their reputation for quality port meant that the Dow’s brand was used rather than Silva & Cosens. The Symington Family took control of the company, after working with them for half a century, in 1961.