Open main menu

The Burgon Society was founded in 2000 for the study and promotion of academic dress, to preserve its history and to advise film and television companies and interested others in its correct usage. The president of the society is Graham Zellick, CBE, QC, former Vice-Chancellor of the University of London. His predecessors were James P.S. Thomson, former Master of London Charterhouse (2011-16) and the organist John Birch, who served two terms (2001-11).

Burgon Society
Burgon Society.jpg
Badge of the Burgon Society
Purposestudy and research
Graham Zellick
The Burgon Society, concerned with academic dress, should not be confused with the Dean Burgon Society, concerned with the advocacy of the King James Bible. They are separate organizations.

One of the society's founding fellows, Nicholas Groves, created the Groves classification system for academic dress, in which the most common shapes of British gowns, hoods and caps are coded for easy reference.[1] He also designed the gowns of the University of Malta.[2] His design, selected from entries submitted in an international competition, debuted in November 2011 at a degree ceremony in Valletta, Malta.

The society is named after John William Burgon (1813–1888) from whom the Burgon shape academic hood takes its name. The Burgon hood is depicted in profile in the society's emblem, surrounded by Bishop Andrewes caps.

In 2010, the society received charity status from the Charity Commission.



The society publishes "Transactions of the Burgon Society"., an annual journal of peer-reviewed research into academic dress.[3] It holds a spring conference each year and organises visits to robemakers, universities and other institutions, as well as a congregation, at which successful candidates are admitted to fellowship of the society. There are also occasional garden parties usually hosted in the country somewhere.


The patrons of the society are:


In addition to the patrons and the president, the society includes fellows, individual members and corporate members. Membership is open to all who support the aims of the society. Fellowship (FBS) is awarded to members on the successful submission of a piece of original work on a topic approved by the executive committee. Fellowship may also be awarded to any member who has demonstrated in some other way a significant contribution to the study of academic dress. Occasionally, the fellowship may be awarded honoris causa.


  1. ^ Groves, Nicholas (2001). "Towards a Standard Terminology for Describing Academic Dress" (PDF). The Burgon Society Annual. 1: 9–12. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
  2. ^ "New PhD and Master's gowns". University of Malta. 18 October 2011. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
  3. ^ Burgon Society. "Transactions of the Burgon Society". Retrieved 5 January 2014.


External linksEdit