Photographer, Engraver, Painter

John Horsburgh

1835 - 1924

John Horsburgh

    A Painting of John Horsburgh, probably a self-portrait

Family

On 6 February 1835, John Horsburgh was born at Eddleston, Peeblesshire.  He had three older sisters, three younger sisters and one younger brother who was born in 1841 and died the following year.  [Family Records written in the Horsburgh family Bible]

Travel

On February 1 1855, at the age of 20, he sailed with 240 other passengers, mostly Irish emigrants, from Liverpool to New York.  The journey took twenty-two days.  I don't know how long he spent in New York.    [The Scots Magazine, November 1946,  pp.89-94]

Family

On August 8 1856, John married Agnes Mackintosh, in a Baptist service.  Agnes was daughter of Daniel, boot and shoe maker.  At the time of the marriage, John's father was a cobbler and John was a Draper's Assistant living at 5 Drummond Street.  [Family Records]

Photography

In 1861, he opened his first photographic studio in Edinburgh, working first as a calotypist and later with the albumen and carbon processes.

At the time of the 1861 census he was employing one man.  He was then living at 12 Rankeillor Street and had recently opened his first studio at 39 South Bridge.  [1861 census]

He exhibited his work in PSS Exhibitions In 1861 and 1864 and  joined Edinburgh Photographic Society in 1861, the year the society was established.

He illustrated a book by Couper with 50 albumen prints.

At the time of the  1871 census he was a described as "photographer and portrait painter, employing 3 artists, 3 photographers, 2 female assistants and 2 messengers."  [1871 census]

Paintings

From his premises at 131 Princes Street he produced life size portraits in oil.  His painting of Horsburgh Senior is now held by the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. [McEwan's Dictionary of Art]

Retiral

After running the photographic business himself for almost 30 years, he entered into partnership with his son, John Alfred Horsburgh in October 1889.  The two ran the business together until John retired in October 1898, leaving John Alfred in charge of the business.
[Family Records written in the Horsburgh family Bible]

However he appears to have continued as an Artist for at least a further 20 years   [letterhead, 1920s]. 

Death

 Age 89

John Horsburgh died in 1924.  His obituary appeared in The Scotsman

 

Addresses

John Horsburgh and his family appear to have lived at many different addresses in Edinburgh.  Here are the birthplaces of his children.

Jessie

1858

7 Drummond Street

Alice

1860

19 Rankeillor Street

John

1862

39 South Bridge Street

Thomas

1864

3 Hope Park Terrace

Victor

1866

3 Hope Park Terrace

Agnes

1868

Merchiston Cottage

Annie

1870

9 Abbotsford Park

James

1872

Abbotsford Park House

Edith

1874

Abbotsford Park House

Mackintosh

1875

34 Dick Place

Source:  Handwritten notes in the Horsburgh family Bible

 

Horsburgh
 

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