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Burrows, Humphrey snr (1800–1845)

Burrows, Humphrey snr

Jordan House, London Rd, and The Parade, Tunbridge Wells, Kent; Tunbridge-ware manufacturer (fl.1800–d.1845)

A number of members of the Burrows family had been involved in the manufacture and sale of Tunbridge ware in the 18th century and it is reputed that a James Burrow took over Jordan House c.1740. Humphrey Burrows snr. is first recorded in 1803 when he paid a fine of 10s to avoid militia service. The manufactory in Jordan Place is shown on Barrow’s map (1808), Beale’s map (1828) and Jordan House is featured in period prints depicting the young Princess Victoria riding on the Common; these may well have been published by Burrows. The house prominently displayed a board inscribed ‘Original Manufactory of Tunbridge Ware’. Some items were labelled including a worktable illus. [Furniture History (1997), p.269] and a large workbox, both incorporating Vandyke and perspective cube borders with other parquetry decoration. 

In 1833 Humphrey Burrows snr. leased Jordan House to his son, Humphrey jnr., although he continued to live there and remained active in the business. A Tunbridge-ware block featuring Eridge Castle, Sussex (now in the Tunbridge Wells Museum) bears on the reverse a contemporary inscription stating, ‘This was the last work of Mr. Humphrey Burrows the Elder at Jordan Place, Tunbridge Wells in the year 1844’.

Burrows died in 1845.

See Humphrey Burrows.

Sources: DEFM; Austen, ‘Tables By Tunbridge Ware Makers’, Furniture History (1997); Austen, Tunbridge Ware (3rd ed., 2001).

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