BIRCH, Samuel John Lamorna

1869 - 1955

Lamorna Birch

As Samuel John Birch, he was born at Egremont, Birkenhead, Cheshire on 7 June 1869 and baptised at St Hillary Wallasey on 11 July 1869, second son of John Birch, an engine fitter, and his wife Elizabeth née Griffiths, who married at Tranmere, Liverpool in 1861. In 1881 Samuel was an 11-year-old scholar, living at 118 Morpeth Buildings, Birkenhead with his parents, 41-year-old William and 40-year-old Elizabeth, with four siblings, William 15, George 5, Jonathan 3 and Sarah 1. At the age of twelve, Samuel began work as an office-boy before working on some industrial designing for Lancashire cotton-mills and save for a period at the Atelier Colarossi, Paris in 1895, a self-taught artist painting and selling his work at the same time as working, but afterwards made art his full-time profession. He frequently visited the Penzance district from 1889 and in 1892, as a 23-year-old art student, went to live at Lamorna, Redruth, Cornwall, settling at St Buryan. He married at Camborne Parish Church on 28 August 1902, Emily Haughton Vivian (22 August 1868-13 June 1944), second daughter of Joseph Vivian of Camborne when Birch took the additional name of Lamorna, to distinguish himself from another painter called Lionel Birch working at Newlyn. In 1902 he purchased a house overlooking Lamorna cove and in 1911, a 41-year-old landscape painter artist, living at Flagstaff Cottage, Lamorna, Penzance with his 42-year-old wife and two daughters, Elizabeth Lamorna 6 and Joan Haughton 1, both born at Lamorna who all became artists. A landscape painter in oils and watercolour, mainly of Cornish scenes and first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1893 and exhibited some 236 works exhibiting until his death, being elected an Associate on 22 April 1926 and a full member on 23 January 1934 and a senior from 1 January 1945, also a member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours from 1914. He had solo exhibitions at the Fine Art Society from 1906 also exhibited at the Greatorex Gallery and at the Ipswich Fine Art Club from Penzance in 1923, an oil 'The Silent River'. He painted in New Zealand in 1937 and in 1939 an artist still living at Flagstaff Cottage, West Penrith, Cornwall with his wife Emily Haughton (22 August 1868-1952) and their now married daughter Elizabeth Lamorna Kerr née Birch (27 August 1904-1990). Samuel John Lamorna Birch died at Flagstaff Cottage, Lamorna, Cornwall on 7 January 1955. He signed his works 'S. J. Lamorna Birch'.

Royal Academy Exhibits
from c/o E. W. Robinson, 39 Bridge Street, Manchester
1893 'A Grey Day: November
1894 547 'And all the earth solemn stillness holds'
from Boleigh Street, St Buryan, Cornwall
1897 166 Evensong: the Brook at Halton Green
         970 The Fowling Pool
1899 278 'The gradual dusty veil'
1901 278 The Long last streaks of Snow
         335 A Song of Spring

the late
1955 82 The Meeting of the Rivers Isla and Deveron at Rothsay
         138 June Day from Ha'penny Bridge on the Exe
         214 After the Rainstorm, Peebleshire
         218 Riverside at Even
         243 Lamorna Valley, Cornwall
         273 Old Willow: June in Scotland

Works by This Artist