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Burton, Walter John



  • Existence: 1836 - 1880


Walter John Burton was the son of John Burton and his wife, Martha Neal. He was born in Leicester, England 1836. John Burton had founded the photography firm of John Burton and Sons which was patronised by Queen Victoria and other members of the Royal Family. Walter John Burton trained as a printer and photographer and married Helen Jemima Draper on 24 October 1864 at Lincoln.

Walter and Helen immigrated to Dunedin in 1866 where he set up the Grand Photographic Saloon and Gallery in Princes Street The firm became known as Burton Bros and was very successful. In 1868 he was joined by his brother Alfred Henry Burton. The firm became known as Burton Bros and was very successful. Alfred travelled extensively taking photographs or 'views' to be sold and Walter looked after the portrait studio.

The brothers did not always get on and in 1877 their partnership came to an end. Alfred continued on with the business while Walter struck out on his own and set up the Royal Gallery of Photography on Georges St in 1878. It was unsuccessful and on 10 May 1880 he committed suicide. Helen, their two sons and daughter returned to England, and in July 1880 his studio passed to Robert Clifford and John Richard Morris.