Minor British Institutions: Ede & Ravenscroft

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The Independent Online

There are posh tailors, very posh tailors and then there is the wonderful, living-fossil world of Ede & Ravenscroft, one of the oldest tailoring firms in the world, still family-owned and still enrobing the nation's bigwigs, literally.

After the Glorious Revolution of 1689, William and Martha Shudall were commissioned to make coronation robes for William and Mary, and what we now know as Ede & Ravenscroft has been knocking up ceremonial, royal, academic, legal and civic regalia ever since, including gear for 12 coronations.

The modern name derives from Joseph Ede, robemaker to Queen Victoria, and a merger of Ede & Son with the old-established Ravenscroft wigmakers in 1902. In 1822, by the way, it was Humphrey Ravenscroft who patented the "forensic wig", made of white horsehair, whose pattern is used today. But you don't need to be a judge or monarch to enjoy their craftsmanship. They will be happy to provide suits and shirts to whatever specification you desire.