- 1399-1974 (Creation)
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0.57 cubic metres
24 boxes, 11 rolls and 1 oversize folder
Name of creator
Raymond Montague Burton was born in Leeds on 3 November 1917, the son of Montague Burton, founder of the Burton clothing business, and his wife Sophia Amelia Marks. Educated at Clifton College in Bristol and then at Trinity College, Cambridge, he took subsequently studied for an MBA at Harvard University in the US.
He served in the army during the Second World War, achieving the rank of Major, before joining the family business as a director with responsibility for the Burton property portfolio. As director he managed Peter Robinson, the ladies fashion store that had been acquired by the family, and oversaw its expansion from London to the regions. In 1946 he married Pamela Flatau.
In 1964 he created Top Shop, now Topshop, as an extension of Peter Robinson’s, selling fashions by young British designers such as Mary Quant. By the late 1970s there were 55 separate Topshop branches throughout the UK, accounting for a third of Burton’s profits. Burton also launched Topman in 1970 and oversaw the acquisition of Evans in 1971 and Dorothy Perkins in 1979, expanding the family’s retail business still further.
In 1981 Burton retired from his then position as president of the Burton Group and devoted himself increasingly to philanthropy, particularly in his native Yorkshire. He had long been an active supporter of the University of York, sponsoring the music department’s concert series for many years and funding the building of the Raymond Burton Library for Humanities Research in 2003. He also donated his large collection of books, manuscripts and other ephemera on the history of Yorkshire to the university, where it forms the Raymond Burton Archive.
Burton was active in York civic life, as a member and sponsor of York Civic Trust and the Merchants of the Staple (which he helped to re-establish), and sponsored a performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in York Minster to mark the 2002 Queen’s Golden Jubilee.
In 1995 he was awarded a CBE for his charitable work. In 2000 the University of York awarded him an honorary doctorate.
He died on 5 February 2011.
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Scope and content
Deeds, probate documents, accounts, letters, diaries and other papers concerning individuals and families in Yorkshire, 1587- 1880, including Rycharde Jackson, 1587-1588; Lord Scrope of Bolton, 1602; John van den Bempde of Hackness Hall, 1631-c.1716; Linsley family, 1683-1739; Soulby family, 1786-1822; Emma Sueyd, 1795; Sykes family of Sledmere Hall, 1801-1825; William Wilberforce, c.1806-1807; William and Joseph Whitaker, 1817-1844; Thomas Powlett, 1826-1839; Boulton family of Wortley, 1839-1849; Cayley Shadwell, 1851; W. B. Richardson, 1879; Coverdale Bilton, 1880; and Henry Holland, 1865.
Deeds, probate documents, correspondence, surveys, maps, plans, engravings and other records concerning places in the East Riding of Yorkshire, including Antholme, 1830; Beverley, 1785-1875; Buckton, 1818; Calwick, 1857; Drax, 1772; Flixton, 1716-1790; Foxholes, 1863-1865; Fulford and Gate Fulford, 1755-1841; Howden, 1830; Hull, c.1801-1843; Kirkham, 1784; Seaton Ross, 1811; Spaldington, 1810; Tickton, 1776; and Wintringham, 1879-1885; places in the North Riding of Yorkshire, including Aiskew, 1710; Aldbrough, 1812-1893; Bainbridge, 1679; Brandsby, 1804; Coverhead, 1820; Farndale, 1716; Hovingham, 1849; Hutton, 1654; Huttons Ambo, 1794-1869; Kirkby Moorside, 1635-1708; Malton, 1679-1901; Salton, 1879; Scarborough, 1863-1867; Swinton, 1744-1789; Thirsk, 1788; Thoralby, 1810; Wensley, 1826; and Whitby, 1792-1819; places in the West Riding of Yorkshire, including Allerton, 1676; Batley, 1836-1843; Bishopthorpe, n.d; Bradford, 1854-1862; Bramhope, 1712-1801; Crofton, 1813; Doncaster, 1774-1870; Halifax, 1856; Horsforth, 1831; Huddersfield, 1856-1894; Knaresborough, 1616; Leeds, 1804-1897; Lightcliffe, 1596; Pontefract, 1648-1797; Saddleworth, 1772-1849; Sheffield, 1607-1875; Shepley Lane Head and Greenfield, 1804; Upper Haugh, 1707; Wakefield, 1601-1795; Wath upon Dearn, 1852; and Campsall, 1771-1831; the City of York, 1399-c.1855; Darlington, 1820; Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, 1821-1825; and Manchester, [1722-1807].
Records concerning businesses, clubs and societies in Yorkshire, 19th century-1974, including boardgame manufactured by Rowntrees of York, n.d; letters and documents relating to the Yorkshire Union of Agricultural Clubs and the Central Chamber of Agriculture, 1906; and papers concerning the Society for the Prevention and Discouragement of Vice and Profaneness, 1810.
Manuscripts and printed books, including MS of ‘Yorkshire Arms and Antiquities’ purportedly by John Burton, n.d; volume of poems by W.S., c.1906; and a printed edition of ‘The Yorkshire Garland,’ n.d.
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