DISCOVER OUR RICH HISTORY
DATING BACK TO THE 19TH CENTURY
We’re proud of our heritage at Henry Poole & Co because we’ve been family owned and run for well over a century. Our story begins at the beginning of the 19th century when Shropshire lad James Poole first came to London as a linen draper.
The history of Henry Poole lies at the heart of the Savile Row suit
Savile Row is a deceptively quiet and discreet London street, running parallel to Bond Street. The street is globally renowned not only as the heart of English bespoke tailoring but also as the number one destination for a hand-made suit anywhere in the world. We’re proud to say that Savile Row’s reputation can be traced back to the current owners’ ancestor, James Poole.
Henry founded the most famous tailoring street in the world – Savile Row
In 1806 Shropshire lad James Poole began his professional life in London as a linen draper. As it was the time of the Napoleonic wars, it wasn’t long before he was stitching military tunics with the help of his wife, Mary. By the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, James Poole had become London’s pre-eminent tailor.
In 1846 James’s charismatic son, Henry, inherited the business. He quickly became what today would be called a ‘celebrity’ tailor by gaining access to aristocratic circles by capitalising on his passion for equestrian and field sports. Indeed, such was his flair for social mobility that he went on to serve Emperor Napoleon III and later Queen Victoria, receiving his first royal warrant from Napoleon III in 1858 and his next from Queen Victoria in 1869.
However it was to Victoria’s son King Edward VII that Henry Poole owed his reputation as a leader of fashion. His Mayfair premises became a social hub for the swells surrounding ‘Bertie’, as the then Prince of Wales was known to his friends, and this was how Savile Row became known as the home of London’s best tailoring.
The firm next passed to Henry’s cousin, Samuel Cundey, who has since been succeeded by a further five generations. Today, Angus Cundey and his son Simon are proud to maintain Poole’s tradition of bespoke tailoring and to ensure that the exclusivity and excellence of the first tailor of Savile Row, Henry Poole & Co., endures.
For more history of Henry Poole & Co. view our company timeline.
THE DINNER SUIT
The Dinner Suit or ‘Tuxedo’
Did you know that Henry Poole & Co created the world’s first ever tuxedo for the Prince of Wales in 1865?
As the first tailor on Savile Row
Poole’s archive is a set of customer order ledgers dating from 1846 to the 1950s recorded in over 120 monolithic books each containing over 1000 pages.