John Charles BURROW

John Charles BURROW

Born in Truro and married to Jane, the 1891 Census lists him as a Photographic Artist living in Trelowarren Street, Camborne. He is considered to be the pioneer of underground photography in mining. At the Royal Cornwall Museum, Truro, a distinguished collection is that of Herbert HUGHES (died 1937) of Dudley, Worcestershire, who in 1892 befriended Burrow, and they together toured Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly annually .

Burrow's photographs were originally shown at the annual exhibition of the Photographic Society of Great Britain, where he received a medal for his work and much acclaim in the press. His book Mongst Mines and Miners; or, Underground Scenes by Flashlight: A Series of Photographs, (1893) with Explanatory Letterpress, illustrated methods of working in Cornish mines, and included in Part One 'An Account of the Photographic Experiences' by J C Burrow.  He was photographer to HRH, the Prince of Wales.

The Public Catalogue Foundation (PCF) review of oil paintings in Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly, reveals two portraits (oil on canvas) by J C Burrow, indicating that he may also have been a painter, though this may be another (no dates in PCF for artist, though both are painted within the period that the photographer JCB is known to be alive). The portraits are of James Holman (1825-1892) and John Holman (1819-1890) of Cornish engineering fame.


Photographic artist; author


works and access

Works include: Mongst Mines and Miners or, Underground Scenes by Flashlight: A Series of Photographs, with Explanatory Letterpress, Illustrating Methods of Working in Cornish Mines, with a mounted photo frontis, and 26 photographic prints mounted two to a page, one folding plan and a full page diagram in the text. (London and Camborne, 1893)

Part One: An Account of the Photographic Experiences by JC Burrow (Photographer to HRH, the Prince of Wales)

Part Two: A Description of the Subjects, photographed by William Thomas, Secretary to the Mining Association and Institute of Cornwall.

Access to works: Royal Cornwall Museum, Truro


Photographic Society of Great Britain Annual Exhibitions



Hardie (2009) Artists in Newlyn and West Cornwall (p317)

Public Catalogue Foundation (2007) Cornwall & Isles of Scilly: Oil Paintings in Public Collections

Thomas Views and Likenesses, Photographers and Their Work in Cornwall and Scilly 1839-1870

Ambra books