John William Burdon was born in London in 1782 began in the Sherry trade working as a clerk for Duff Gordon in El Puerto de Santa Maria. He eventually left to start his own business in 1821. Before long he was doing well enough to take over the old Harmony family bodegas. In 1854 he shipped more Sherry than any other shipper, and prospered. His firm was awarded the Royal warrant by King Alfonso XIII and allowed to use the colours of the Spanish flag on the decoration of his bottles.
He married one Carmen Borges, but there was no issue and towards the end of his life he returned to England, selling the business to Luis de la Cuesta proprietor of bodegas Jose de la Cuesta (established in 1849 and producers of Troubadour Sherries). Eventually the combined business was sold to Luis Caballero in 1932. Caballero marketed some basic styles of Cuesta and Burdon Sherry into the late 1980s, the latter still with little tassles round the bottlnecks in the colours of the Spanish flag, but not any longer. They are preoccupied with Lustau, who now operate the Burdon soleras.
Burdon's house with his monogram and his magnificent Medinaceli bodegas in C/San Bartolome still stand, but the bodegas are now stables for the Terry horses. Caballero still possess Burdon's accounts and many letters, as well as his clock and an equestrian portrait.
Some of the brands were: Burdon Fino, Dry Oloroso, Moscatel, Manzanilla Don John, Medium Amontillado and Rich Cream, Don Luis Fine Old Amontillado, but the star was Heavenly Cream.