The Burgon Society
Named afterJohn William Burgon
TypeLearned society
Registration no.1137522
Legal statusRegistered charity
PurposeDress history, Research & publications, Lectures & events
HeadquartersUnited Kingdom
Region served
Graham Zellick
Andrew Hogg
Main organ
Transactions of the Burgon Society
Not be confused with the Dean Burgon Society, concerned with the advocacy of the King James Bible

The Burgon Society is a learned society and educational charity for the study and research of academic dress. The society was founded in 2000 and is named after John William Burgon (1813–1888) from whom the Burgon shape academic hood takes its name. Its current president 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.

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

Emblem of the Burgon Society depicting a Burgon shaped academic hood surrounded by Bishop Andrewes caps


The society publishes Transactions of the Burgon Society, an annual journal of peer-reviewed research into academic dress.[1] It holds a spring conference each year and organises visits to robemakers, universities and other institutions.

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.[2] He also designed the gowns of the University of Malta.[3] His design, selected from entries submitted in an international competition, debuted in November 2011 at a degree ceremony in Valletta, Malta.


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.


The patrons of the society are:


  1. ^ Burgon Society. "Transactions of the Burgon Society". Archived from the original on 5 January 2014. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
  2. ^ Groves, Nicholas (2001). "Towards a Standard Terminology for Describing Academic Dress" (PDF). The Burgon Society Annual. 1: 9–12. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
  3. ^ "New PhD and Master's gowns". University of Malta. 18 October 2011. Archived from the original on 6 January 2014. Retrieved 5 January 2014.