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Burroughs & Watt (1839-1886)

Burroughs (sometimes Burroughes) & Watt 

19 Soho Sq., London; billiard & bagatelle table makers (fl.1839-86)

Recorded in 1839 and listed in the 1845 & 1871 London Post Office Directories and The Furniture Gazette Directory (1877).  By 1883 the firm had opened new showrooms at 12 Soho Square.

Their first advertisement in The Furniture Gazette was published on 16 May 1874.  The Furniture Gazette recorded various exhibitions at which the firm participated: 

  • Sydney Exhibition (1879). Prize winner [19 June 1880]
  • Labour Saving Machinery Exhibition, Agricultural Hall (1883. Exhibited a combined billiard & dining table and other billiard room furniture [19 March 1881]
  • Calcutta Exhibition (1883). Gold prize for a billiard table in solid oak [3 November 1883 & 10 May 1884]
  • International Inventions Exhibition, South Kensington (1885). Silver medal for improvements to billiard tables and accessories [1 September 1885] 

The Furniture Gazette also reported various commissions:

  • Three billiard tables for the Junior Reform Club, Bolton [3 July 1880] 
  • Two full-sized billiard tables for the new cafe in Market Street, Bradford [9 February 1884]
  • Two billiard tables for the newly opened London Central Club, Bridewell Place, New Bridge Street, London [5 April 1884]. The billiard table, made by the firm at Mersham-le-Hatch, Kent, was recorded in the inventory of 1926. Burroughes & Watt were also featured in several articles on billiard table making which appeared in The Furniture Gazette, 9 May & 20 June 1874. 

In the Court of Appeal on 31 January 1884, Burroughes & Watt launched an appeal for damages in respect of the seizure of billiard tables at Alexandra Palace by the London Financial Association, under a distress for rent. The defendants had granted a lease of the Palace and park to Messrs. Jones & Barber, who had become in arrears of rent. The plaintiffs alleged that they had employed a man to look after the tables and he had slept in the Palace and therefore he and the tables were subject to the Lodgers Good Protection Act 1871. The judge dismissed the appeal [The Furniture Gazette, 9 February 1884].  The Furniture Gazette (23 February 1884) printed a subsequent letter from the firm stating that they had not rented the tables to the London Financial Association but the objects were there on exhibition and they hoped that the judgement would be borne in mind by similar firms when participating in such events.

W.H. Burroughes retired from the business in 1886, which was then situated at Soho Square, Richmond Mews, Dean Street and Hollen Street, Westminster.  J. S. Burroughes - the remaining partner - continued the firm [The Furniture Gazette, 1 May & 1 June 1886].

Source: DEFM.

The original entry from Dictionary of English Furniture Makers, 1660-1840 can be found at British History Online.