TIMELINE ~ Peregrine Clothing UK ~ British made since 1796
Explore the history of Peregrine Clothing, a uniquely British knitwear company, since 1796. From Thomas Glover; to J. G. Glover Ltd in 1901; to today
Little was known about Thomas Glover (1772-1834) as he lived before the introduction of the census. According to the Parish records, Thomas came from a working class family, working on the land in Melton Mowbray. Tom married his wife Mary Heard in 1794.
In 1796, with the birth of his first son, also named Thomas, Thomas made the move to Wigston Magma where he went into business as a hand frame knitter, commonly known back then as a “bag man”. In total, Thomas had two children, Thomas (1796) and William (1797), who later went on to run the business.
In 1824 Thomas Glover took over the business and continued to work as a hand frame knitter in Wigston, just outside Leicester.
Every Friday Thomas would travel into Leicester on a horse and cart to collect the spun wool from Montfort knitting mill before taking it back to Wigston to knit it up into jumpers. He would do this every week selling the knitted jumpers and replenishing the wool supplies. Thomas married Sarah Langham on the 20th of Feburary 1820 and went on to have 5 children; Samuel, Thomas, Sarah, William and Edward.
In 1821 Samuel Glover was born (1821-1913). Samuel worked in the family business from an early age. He married Hanna Brewin on the 24th of May 1841. By the 1860’s Samuel was employing over 26 people in the Moat street factory in Wigston Magma, Leicester. Samuel and Hanna had 6 children; Harriet, Joseph, Sarah, Elisabeth, Levi & Sarah
Joseph Glover (born 1846) started working for his father Samuel at the age of 14. He went on to work with his father for many years. During this period - the late 19th Century - the business grew rapidly. Joseph went on to Marry Sarah and had 3 children; Elizabeth, Hannah and John George. Towards the end of the 19th Century the business was employing around 26 people. Samuel and Joseph continued to work side by side.
When John George joined the business at the end of 19th Century the knitting industry was booming in Leicestershire.
After a period of substantial investment, John George Glover established J. G. Glover & Co Ltd in 1901.
J G Glover secured substantial contracts in the early 20th Century to supply the military NAAFI with socks. The factory continued to manufacture garments throughout WWI.
By the 1920s J G Glover employed over 300 people and started to export its products around the world.
Following John George's two week boat journey across the Atlantic to secure business, the 1920’s saw J G Glover’s first trading with the USA.
In 1927 Donald Glover (1909-1994) joined the business and worked with his father until John George died in WWII. Donald Glover returned from Five years of active service to take over and run the family business.
Donald Glover drove the business forward and in 1956 established a new brand Peregrine Clothing.
By the 1960’s the wholesale market was booming. In 1962 the business moved to a larger, purpose-built factory on Gloucester Crescent, Wigston.
n 1971, after graduating from the Leicester school of knitting, John Glover (born 1947) took the reigns becoming the managing director of the family business.
At this point chain stores dominated production with the introduction of "private label". During this period J G Glover manufactured for BHS and many other large department stores.
In the late 70’s technology improved dramatically and the subsequent introduction of computerised machines saw an increase in production and refined garments.
By the late 80’s the UK manufacturing industry was under serious threat as departments stores searched for cheaper products overseas. In 1987 J G Glover moved to a smaller manufacturing plant and concentrated on quality English made products that were exported overseas.
After graduating in Design in 2003 Tom Glover (born 1980) joined the business.
In 2006, Tom re-branded Peregrine Clothing looking to reestablish the brand with contemporary designs and a cleaner look. The brand still retains its core values and everything is and always will be 100% Made in England
With the success of the new ranges Peregrine continued to be more creative with its styles and expanded into the Japanese market. The brand Peregrine was registered in Japan in 2006.
With the direction of Peregrine being more fashion lead than in earlier years the brand became recognised on the circuit and began to appear on catwalks around the world.<
Peregrine is now stocked in over 80 different retailers across the UK as well as shops in Germany, Iceland, Canada and the USA. We have settled into a lovely new headquarters in Montpelier, Bristol and are hoping to grow with time.