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William Henry Warburton

Epithet: Photographer (1869-1937)

Record type: Biographies

Biography: An obituary by W. Ralph Hall Caine appears in Mona's Herald, 9 November 1937, p.6.
Death of Mr W. H. Warburton
With sincere regret I record the passing of Mr. W. H. Warburton. who for a long series of years was a feature of the social and business life of Douglas by reason of his photographic studio on the Harris Promenade. When the extension and re-organisation of the Villa Marina gardens was determined upon, the Corporation exercised their prerogative of taking over the site of the photographic studio, and thus Mr. Warburton was compelled to seek fresh fields of activity in which to earn a living. He developed a connection as a commercial photographer; thus, he. whose life had been spent hitherto behind the camera photographing people from infancy to old age. had new to make record of machinery and every form of insurable asset. His wife had acquired from Mrs Fergusson (the widow of the late Dr. Fergusson, of Douglas) the goodwill and contents of the hostel known as Osborne House. 26. Coram Street. Russell Square. W.C.I.. and it was here that Mr Warburton passed away on Thursday, in the 68th year of his age. a victim to an old standing complaint, an enfeebled heart.

My memories of Mr Warburton cover a period of no more than. say. 25 years. There are many people in Douglas whose intimate knowledge ' extends over more than twice that stretch of years. But a quarter of a century is a goodish long period in which to know a man. and I can truthfully say that it was always a pleasure to come into business relations with him (if it was only a passport snap) or to meet him in a j casual way. taking a constitutional I walk, as was his wont, on the Victoria Pier. Despite long residence in a predominantly Celtic community , he had a ceaseless fund of good humour and a face that easily and naturally relaxed into a smile. He had anecdotes of everybody and all of them were of innocent mirth and good nature. Governors and Bishops might come and go, but all appeared to find their way to Mr Warburton's studio, with one exception, viz.. T. E. Brown, the Manx poet, on whom he regretfully admitted he had never put eyes, though the Hugh Stowell Brown family were all familiar to his wife from the days in which she was : a little girl in Liverpool, and in intimate touch with the pupils of the far-famed Blackburn House, the Mecca of every girl's ambition.

At one time" Mr. Warburton thought it hard lines that he should suffer the necessity of pulling up old anchors and moving to London. But he soon began to love London for its matchless scenes of wonder. He occasionally tried his luck at bargainhunting at the Caledonian Market; but his more familiar stride was from Southampton Row to the Marble Arch. "Where in the whole of the wide world can you see such a play of drama, now tragic, now all smiles, than in this couple of miles stroll along life's high way?" he would say. Yes: but only for those closely penetrating eyes to see che play as it flits past one's hurried glance.

In London, therefore. Mr Warburton found many compensations. Now and then he would come out to spend an hour with me. and I shall miss the genial presence of a man who seemed to make it his business to remember everybody only at his best and bear his testimony with sincerity and goodwill.


The late Mr. Warburton, while resident in the Island, was identified with Freemasonry; he was a past Master of the Spencer Walpole Temperance Lodge, and a past officer of the Provincial Grand Lodge of the Isle of Man.

Occupation / profession: photographer

Gender: Male

Date of birth: 1869

Date of death: 1937

Name Variant: Warburton, W.H.


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