Burch, Edward (DNB00)

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BURCH, EDWARD (fl. 1771), sculptor and general engraver, was admitted as a student to the Academy schools in 1769, after having previously received some training in St. Martin's Lane. He obtained early notice on account of ‘the great delicacy, truth, and finish’ of his studies. He exhibited at the Academy exhibitions from 1771 till 1808, sending altogether eighty-six works. His contributions are described by Redgrave as consisting of models and portraits in wax, casts from gems, intaglios, and classical heads. He married a lady of great beauty, and from that time took to miniature-painting. He painted portraits of Mrs. Fitzherbert and of Mary, duchess of Gloucester. George III sat to him for a bust. He was elected A.R.A. in 1770, and R.A. in 1771. It was in 1794 that he was appointed librarian of the Royal Academy, and held the office till he died. The date of his death is generally fixed at 1814. Redgrave, with more caution, says ‘he lived to an advanced age, became nearly blind, and died in Brompton some time before 1840.’ In 1840, according to accounts which give 1730 as the year of his birth, he would have been 110, an age which (even when royal academicians are in question) it seems not unfair to describe as ‘advanced.’

[Redgrave's Dict. of Artists, 1878; Graves's Dict. of Artists who have exhibited in the London Exhibitions, &c., 1884; Bryan's Dict. of Painters, 1884; Rose's Biog. Dict. 1857.]

E. R.