John Horsburgh


Trustees' Academy

John Horsburgh, engraver was born in Prestonpans on 16 Nov 1791

He attended the Trustees' Academy, but then confined his attention to engraving, rather than painting, working from 5 Archibald Place then 18 Buccleuch Place where he died on 23 Sep 1869.  [John C Guy: BOEC, Vol 9


John Horsburgh was a pupil of Robert Scott, the well known engraver, and father of two distinguished artists.

His portraits included two of Sir Walter Scott and one of Robert Burns.  He also engraved some of the vignettes for the illustrated edition of Sir Walter Scott's poetical works.

He died at 18 Buccleuch Place Edinburgh on 26 September 1869. 

At the time of his death, The Scotsman newspaper described him as an eminent engraver who executed figures or landscapes with equal judgement and taste.

The Scotsman reported at the time of his death that:

-   for upwards of 37 years, and until within a few days of his death he gratuitously discharged the duties of the pastoral office in the Original Scottish Baptist Church in Scotland.

-  for the last 15 or 20 years, he may be said to have retired from professional labour.

[Scotsman:  2 October 1869]

Royal Patronage

John Horsburgh enjoyed the patronage of Queen Victoria.

His portrait of John Hutton Balfour is in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.

[Dictionary of Portrait Painters in Britain up to 1920:  Brian Stewart and Melvyn Cutten, 1997]

Father and Son

The trade directories John Horsburgh as:

      - 1819-56:   Engraver

      - 1857-69:   Historical Engraver

The second of these entries may in fact refer to John Horsburgh's son, also named John Horsburgh, who was born in 1819 and became a historical engraver.



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