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John Elliott Burns

6 of 29 portraits of John Elliott Burns

John Elliott Burns, by Sir Francis Carruthers Gould ('F.C.G.'), 1908 - NPG 2826 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

John Elliott Burns

by Sir Francis Carruthers Gould ('F.C.G.')
pen and ink, 1908
6 3/8 in. x 5 1/4 in. (164 mm x 134 mm) uneven
Given by Mary and Jane Clerk, 1935
Primary Collection
NPG 2826


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  • John Elliott Burns (1858-1943), Trade unionist and politician; MP for Battersea. Sitter in 29 portraits.

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Inscribed, 'His activity is phenomenal', Gould's caricature shows Burns in 1908 when he was President of the Local Government Board, a post he held in successive Liberal administrations from 1905 to 1914. In this office, Burns succeeded in passing the Town Planning Act of 1909 but was bitterly unpopular with his former Socialist allies for resisting reforms in the Poor Law.