Burrows was born in Ipswich. He was the eldest son of a silversmith and was initially apprenticed to the family business at 40 Silent Street.
In 1832 Burrows became a member of the newly formed Ipswich Society of Professional & Amateur Artists.
On 21 May 1835 he marries Harriet Batterbee Bowman, daughter of an Ipswich brewer, at St Nicholas Church, Ipswich.
In 1847 elected, unopposed, a liberal Town Councillor and again in 1850 and 1853 but three years later was defeated.
In 1869 after the death of his wife he became a full time artist.
Burrows exhibited his work at the Royal Academy and British Institute and from 1875 until his death in 1883 he sent local picturesque views regularly to the Ipswich Art Club exhibitions.
His early works are mellow and finished with luminous skies and soft distances. His paintings have a quiet, elusive quality and are characterized by their fine glazes and harmony of composition.
Both signed and unsigned works by the artist are recorded.
Burrows lived and worked in Ipswich all his life. He was a significant member of the Suffolk Street School of painting.
Around 1857, he developed a keen interest in photography and a volume of his photographs is preserved in the Ipswich Collection - one of the earliest photographic records of Ipswich scenes and people.
Burrows died at his home Park Place, 9 Norwich Road, Ipswich on
10 November 1883.
Works Represented: Darlington Art Gallery; Christchurch Mansion Museum & Art Gallery, Ipswich; Sheffield City Art Galleries; Sunderland Museum & Art Gallery