Thomas Burberry

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Thomas Burberry
Thomas Burberry.jpg
Born(1835-08-27)27 August 1835
Brockham Green, Surrey, England, UK
Died4 April 1926(1926-04-04) (aged 90)
Hook, Hampshire, England, UK
Known forBurberry
Inventor of gabardine

Thomas Burberry (27 August 1835 – 4 April 1926) was an English gentlemen's outfitter, and the founder of international chain Burberry, one of Britain's largest branded clothing businesses. He is also known as the inventor of gabardine.


Born at Brockham Green near Dorking in Surrey, and educated at Brockham Green Village School, Thomas Burberry was apprenticed to a local draper's shop before he opened his outfitting business in Basingstoke in 1856.[1]

Burberry recognised the need for promotion and publicity and ensured that Lord Kitchener and Lord Baden-Powell both wore his weatherproofs.[1] By these means he expanded his business into one of the United Kingdom's largest branded clothing businesses.[1]

He retired to Abbot's Court near Weymouth, Dorset in 1917.[1] He was a teetotaler and campaigned against tobacco smoking.[1] He was also a devout Baptist who liked to hold prayer meetings every morning.[2]

He died at his home at Hook near Basingstoke in 1926, aged 90, of unspecified causes.[1]


He married twice, first to Catherine Hannah Newman and second to Mary Marshall.[1] He had two sons and four daughters by his first marriage.[3]

Portrayal in film[edit]

On 1 November 2016, Burberry released The Tale of Thomas Burberry, a short film inspired by Thomas Burberry’s life and achievements, reimagining key events from the brand’s history. Filmed in the style of a cinematic trailer by Academy Award-winning director Asif Kapadia and written by Academy Award-nominee Matt Charman, it starred actor Domhnall Gleeson as Thomas Burberry.[4]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Thomas Burberry at Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
  2. ^ Thomas Burberry inventor of gabardine
  3. ^ 1871 English census
  4. ^ "Festive Film". Retrieved 2016-11-01.