Leofric, Earl of Mercia, gave the village of Burbage to Coventry Abbey in 1043. At that time it was valued at two shillings. By the time of the Domesday Book in 1086, its value had risen to £4. There were 1¼ hides of land (around ) with two ploughs. Twenty villagers held two smallholdings, with two slaves and eight ploughs. Burbage also had a meadow, measuring a furlong in length and width (about 40,500 square metres). The village also owned woodland half a league by four furlongs (2.2 square kilometres).
In 1564 the diocesan returns show a population of 57 families within Burbage and six at Sketchley. Burbage, for many centuries a small farming community, remained very thinly populated. In the census of 1801 there were 1098 inhabitants. It was not until the twentieth century that the population exceeded 2000.
During the English Civil War the village's proximity to Hinckley drew it to the attention of raiding parties from the local parliamentary garrisons in north Warwickshire. A list of claims submitted by the constables of Burbage and Sketchley to the Warwickshire county committee, in June, 1646, reveals that Captain Flower’s troop from the Coventry garrison took twenty strikes of provinder valued at £1, sent off to Stoney Stanton, and availed themselves of free quarter worth £18.10. Captain Willington's cornet from the Tamworth garrison took a mare, saddle and bridle from John Watkin, while Captain Willington's soldiers took a horse worth £5 from Thomas Bodington.(SP28/161)
Burbage was also the birthplace, in 1608, of John Cooke. Cooke went on to become Solicitor-General of the Commonwealth of England and lead the prosecution of King Charles I for High Treason, resulting in Charles' execution and, ultimately, his own.
By 1953, the population had risen to 3,983, and by 1958 there were more than 5,000 on the electoral roll; this rapid growth was largely due to the expansion of Sketchley Hill housing estates. In 2001 the population of Burbage was 14,324.