Burton, Alfred (Henry)
- William Main
(b England, 1834; d Dunedin, 1914).
New Zealand photographer. At the age of 34 he travelled to join his younger brother, Walter Burton, who had established a photographic business in Dunedin, New Zealand. Under the name of Burton Bros. they practised photography together until their partnership was dissolved by mutual consent in 1876. Alfred continued to trade under the firm’s name until 1898, at which point he sold his remaining interests to two former associates, Muir and Moodie. A great deal of anecdotal information about his life can be found in the self-promoting articles that he supplied to various Dunedin newspapers and publications. He is remembered above all for his trip up the Wanganui River in April and May in 1885. This North Island river gave access to the hinterland known as the King Country, a place where Maori tribes had retreated after the New Zealand Wars of the 1860s. Photographing as he went, Burton documented the villages and people of the area in 250 plates. These images are among the most important social documents on Maori life to have survived from this period. Burton marketed his views in albums, which he called ...