A History Lesson from Henry Poole

Tailors to Emperors

The history of Savile Row tailors Henry Poole & Co begins in 1806 when James Poole operated as a military tailor in Brunswick Square, London. Henry Poole moved the business to Savile Row in 1846 and the Row's association with tailoring began.

Since that time, Henry Poole has garnered over forty royal warrants, with ten Kings, a Maharajah, a couple of Shahs and one or two Emperors, including the final Napoleon. From the Henry Poole Accessories Collection, a selection of striped ties in various colours with the Napoleonic crest are available, history lovers.

Poole are possibly most famous for inventing the dinner jacket or Tuxedo, firstly as a request for an informal jacket for dining by the Prince of Wales (later King Edward the 7th, Emperor of India) — The Prince asked Henry Poole to cut a 'celestial blue evening coat to be worn at informal dinners'. Note that the dinner jacket was originally intended for casual wear. The style was copied some twenty years later by Poole for an American guest of the Prince, James Potter, who belonged to the Tuxedo Park Club in New York. Potter helped to introduce the style to America.

Henry Poole remains in family hands six generations later, with father and son descendants Angus Cundey (top), recently awarded an M.B.E, and Simon Cundey (below). Both wear the history of the family business in their countenance.

One of the most admirable episodes of the Henry Poole story was the successful return of Henry Poole to Savile Row by Angus in 1982, rather heroically, following a twenty-year exile after the building they originally occupied was demolished. Savile Row without Henry Poole? Never. At least, that is our hope.

Do we need to get the National Trust and English Heritage involved in our living history, and make sure that Savile Row gets the protection it deserves?


  1. I hope they have changed their courier as at £24 for delivery for a pair of braces to me in Northern Ireland is a joke!

    1. No joke at all, L.J.B. This should be looked into. Best wishes, Tweedy


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