At the end of the eighteenth century, William Cook from the town of Orpington in the county of Kent (England) created the Orpington variety. He was publisher of The Poultry Journal and did this together with his daughter. He bred this breed that can adapt easily, is good against cold, tame, sweet and compliant in nature. To get this new breed he crossed Minorca's, Langshans and Plymouth Rocks.

The first Orpington's resembled black Langshan chickens. In 1886, a black Orpington won them the Chrystal Palace Poultry Show.
At the beginning of 1900 William Cook also bred blue-colored, white and yellow (buff) Orpingtons and the breed was mainly bred on the basis of appearance.