Andrew Young

Early Photographer - Artist - Historian


Andrew Young answered an advertisement placed in The Scotsman newspaper by John Patrick: "Boy Wanted with a Bias for Drawing".

He got the job and started to work for John Patrick in his studio in Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland in 1868, at the age of thirteen.

The comments here about the life and work of Andrew Young and the photographs below are taken from a leading article in 'The Practical Photographer' journal for December 1895 [pp. 353-360].


Andrew Young - 1871

Andrew Young  -  Professional Photograher who worked initially for John Patrick in Kirkcaldy

  Reproduced from The Practical Photographer, December 1895,
by courtesy of Edinburgh Photographic Society


 Andrew Young - 1887

Andrew Young  -  1887  -  Professional Photographer, Burntisland, Fife

  Reproduced from The Practical Photographer, December 1895,
by courtesy of Edinburgh Photographic Society



Andrew Young - 1895

Andrew Young  -  1895  -  Professional Photographer who worked for John Patrick

  Reproduced from The Practical Photographer, December 1895,
by courtesy of Edinburgh Photographic Society

Kirkcaldy,  Burntisland, Edinburgh

After working for some time for John Patrick, Andrew Young worked briefly for Thompson, another Kirkcaldy photographer, then at the age of sixteen he bought Thompson's Burntisland branch.

Burntisland is a few miles to the west of Kirkcaldy on the north shore of the Firth of Forth, opposite Edinburgh.

While living in Burntisland, Andrew studied art in the evenings at the Edinburgh School of Art, crossing the Firth of Forth on the Burntisland-Granton ferry and returning on the late evening luggage boats to Burntisland.

Burntisland-Granton ferry

'William Muir'

  Granton-Burntisland Ferry - The "William Muir"  -  Photographed by Andrew Young

Whilst studying at the Edinburgh School of Art, he gained medals, certificates and a legacy prize for his work.  He exhibited works in oil and watercolour at galleries in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Birmingham.


In 1885, Andrew Young moved to Paris to study there under the painters Bouguereau and Fleury, but after nine months his money had run out so he returned to Burntisland and re-opened his photographic studio. 

Return to Burntisland

He converted his studio in Burntisland into a mounting and finishing room, and opened a new studio on the opposite side of the street, fitted with backgrounds and accessories and a dark-room.

The New Studio

Andrew Young's new studio in Burntisland, Fife

'The Practical Photographer' praised his work, both portraiture and landscape:


"Young's Portrait show cases will not find fault with his every-day work, of which two examples selected, almost at random, are illustrated here.  The lighting is good and the posing the best that prosaic Scotch men and women are equal to."

Portraits by the Burntisland photographer, Andrew Young.  These featured in an article in 'The Practical Photographer', December 1895.


"But let the visitor take up one of the landscape albums, of which there are many on the side tables, and he will realise at once that the photographs therein are the work of no ordinary 'view man' but  the world-famed scenery of which Sir Walter Scott has so justly sung the praises, and brought home to us by his powerful word painting, has also a photographer capable of appreciating its beauties and impressing them on sensitive plates, with the success that only a genuine artist is capable of."


'The Practical Photographer' went on to comment on the prices for which Andrew Young's photos were sold, and the effort involved in creating them.


"... for it is the tourist who buys the prints ultimately produced, though Mr Young's photographs are generally too good to sell at the low prices which the market demands.

To supply a cabinet print mounted in optical contact behind a gilt bevelled glass, and fixed to a bevelled plush pad, all for the modest shilling (5 pence) leaves the view man precious little profit, when such conscientious work is put into the negative.


"Mr Young's preliminary labours in connection with making some of the negatives are enormous.  He usually carries two cameras, a 12 x 14 and a 1/1 plate, the latter having adaptors for 1/2 plates and stereoscopes; the whole, with twenty plates in slides, weighing over 50 lbs.

'O'er many a winding dale and painful steep
The abodes of cover'd grouse and timid sheep.

Then, sometimes after waiting several hours for suitable conditions of light, the attempt is abandoned as fruitless, and the whole programme must be repeated again.

Only those who are well acquainted with the country surrounding the Trossachs, for instance, understand what is involved in a partial ascent of Ben A'an, or the wild pass of Beal-nam-bo"



Andrew Young

featured on the Burntisland Online web Site

Burntisland Web Site

Iain Sommerville has created a Burntisland Online web site for Burntisland, Fife. The site includes details of Andrew Young's work as a photogrpaher, artist and historian.

Andrew Young

Year of Birth  -  1854

Thank you to Iain Somerville for telling me that he has been researching  the year of birth of Andrew Young, often quoted as 1855.

Iain writes:

"The 1855 date on my site came from Young's memorial plaque in Burntisland Burgh Chambers, but it turns out that it is wrong.

 I've had a look at the IGI (International Genealogical Index) and it gives Young's date of birth as 25 April 1854 and the date of his christening as 21 May 1854."

With acknowledgement to Iain Sommerville, Burntisland, Fife, Scotland:  February 15, 2007


Andrew Young


Thank you to Sue Hughes for telling me about one of Andrew Young's paintings that was sold in  November 2007.

The information below is taken from an article that appeared in the Dundee Courier newspaper on November 16, 2007

Paintings Exhibited

Photographer and Artist, Andrew Young, exhibited his work in the Royal Scottish Academy and in the Royal Glasgow Institute.

Summer Fair at Burntisland

One of his oil paintings, titled 'Summer Fair at Burntisland', painted in 1912, was sold in auction in London on November 15, 2007.  It was thought ot have been lost until it turned up at Christies where it sold for  for 61,700.

It is believed that Andrew Young gave this picture as a wedding present to the young couple in the foreground of the picture.

Dundee Courier , November 16, 2007


 Andrew Young


Thumbnail photos