Robert Sterry Burrough, 1773–1844




Providence, Rhode Island

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Robert S. Burrough was born around 1772. He lived in Providence by 1799 when he married Esther Armington (1782-1865). Among their children were Seabury Soule Burrough (1801-1824) and Ann Frances (Burrough) Leonard (married 1826).(1) Family history attributes a set of urn-back chairs to him around the time he was married.(2)

In 1817, he purchased land from Mary Allen on Benevolent Street in Providence. Sometime between 1817 and 1826, he had a house built on that plot of land.(3) When the house was sold at auction in August of 1826, he advertised that, "the house is built by a first rate workman and finished in the best style possible [...] in point of situation and prospect is not surpassed by any in this town."(4) Augmented by later owners, the house is today maintained by the Rhode Island Historical Society as the Nelson Aldrich House.

Robert Burrough died in 1844 in Providence. He is buried in the Swan Point Cemetery.

Benjamin W. Colman

1. Vital Record of Rhode, Island, 1636-1850,

2. Joseph K. Ott, The John Brown House Loan Exhibition of Rhode Island Furniture (Providence, Rhode Island: Rhode Island Historical Society, 1965): 16

3. Osmund R. Overby, "Robert S. Burroughs House," manuscript prepared for the Historic American Building Survey, Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, National Park Service. 1962. Digitally reproduced at

4. Providence Patriot & Columbian Phenix, "Auctions." August 16, 1826,