Barbour was founded in 1894 in the busy port of South Shields to meet the demands for clothing that would keep the local sailors, fishermen, river, dock and shipyard workers dry in the worst weather. After a few years, it became the main supplier of waxed clothing for the entire north-east coast, addressing not only those who worked at sea, but also the surrounding communities of farmers, workers and shepherds. By the turn of the century, Barbour's tough Beacon waxed jackets were well-known throughout England, and over years the company has received three Royal Warrants: in 1971 by the Duke of Edinburgh, in 1982 by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and in 1987 by the Prince of Wales.