Born on 11 October 1818, on the edge of Bodmin Moor, this talented Cornish sculpture was prolific in his output. Among many other works, he is responsible for the bust of Dr George Smith in Camborne's Wesley Chapel, a carving of the Prince of Wales (later Edward VII) at the Poly (Falmouth), and the Lander Memorial Monument in Truro.
Neville married Mary, from London, in Marylebone in late 1844, and lived for much of his working life in London. The census of 1851 shows that he is living with his wife and three young children in Hugh Street, central London, alongside his younger brother, George who is working with Neville as a sculptor.
The 1871 census shows Neville is living alone in Hugh Street, and does not indicate his profession on the census; shortly after this, he moved back towards Redruth, where he died in Redruth workhouse - now a part of the Barncoose Community hospital - in 1878. It seems a period of poor mental health had led him to leave his wife and family, and become dependant on alcohol, so he was no longer able to work.
Neville was buried in a pauper's grave in Camborne, and local lore remembers that when his coffin was brought in to the churchyard for burial, the local stonemasons who were at work nearby, downed their tools to carry his coffin to the grave in honour of his craftmanship. In 1954 the Old Cornwall Society of Camborne added a slate tombstone to his previously-unmarked grave.
An image of one of Neville Northey Burnard's early carvings - that won him a medal at The Poly in Falmouth - can be seen (under the 'Charles Lemon' heading) at: