Durham, Cornelius Bevis - portrait of a young man

This miniature portrait is signed by Cornelius Bevis Durham (7 Jun 1809-1884) and active (1825-1865). He was born in St Clements Dane, Middlesex and died in Christchurch, Hampshire in June 1884.

Durham can be tracked quite readily through the census records but a decline in his income due to competition from photography seems to become apparent. In 1841 he lives in Marylebone with his wife, Mary, three son, one also named Cornelius aged 4, the others being Edmund, 3 and Francis, 1 and there are also two female servants.

In 1851 he is an artist living in Marylebone with his first wife Mary, but only one son George aged 3 and one servant. However, he also seems to have various relatives or lodgers living with him, including a bazaar keeper and a newspaper seller.

In the 1861 and 1871 census records Durham describes himself as an artist and is now living near Brighton Pavilion in a large household, headed by his cousin Martha Phillips, who is a wealthy tea merchant. Mary his wife is there in 1861, but in 1871 he is a widower.

Durham can also be found in the 1881 census, but is now living in New Barnet with his son George and he gives his occupation as miniature painter. This is the only time he has used the occupation of miniature painter in the census records, all other times stating it as artist. He is then aged 71. His place of birth was St Clement Danes, Middlesex. He has remarried, this time to Mary Ann Upfill in 1872. He died in 1884.

The sitter is unknown. 87

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