Cartwright - Brighton

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Richard Cartwright, Mrs Margaret Cartwright and Richard W. Cartwright 

Photographers In North Street and on Brighton Seafront

 

Richard Cartwright senior (1836-1898) - Photographer active in Brighton between 1887 and 1898

Richard Cartwright senior was born in Goswell Road, Finsbury, North London, around 1836.

In 1856, in the East London district of Bethnal Green. Richard Cartwright married Margaret Fair (born 1836, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk), the daughter of Samuel and Anna Abigail Fair of Great Yarmouth. Richard and Margaret Cartwright's first child, Margaret Abigail Cartwright, was born on 17th October 1857 in the Whitechapel area of East London and baptised at St Dunstan's Church, Stepney on 8th November 1857. A year or so later, Richard and Margaret Cartwright and their baby daughter moved from the East End of London to North London. Richard and Margaret Cartwright's second daughter, Elizabeth Augusta Cartwright, was born in Camden Town during the 3rd Quarter of 1859. A third daughter, Alice Jane Cartwright, was born in the St Pancras district of North London before the end of 1860. At this stage, Richard Cartwright was already working as a photographer. The census carried out on 7th April 1861, records Richard Cartwright as a twenty-five year old "Photographer" living with his wife and three young daughters at 2 Ferdinand Street, St Pancras, London.

Around 1861, Richard and Margaret Cartwright and their three daughters moved to Hampstead, London, where Richard was hoping to establish his own photographic portrait studio. It was while living in Hampstead between 1862 and 1868 that Margaret gave birth to three more daughters - Rose Lavinia Charlotte Cartwright (born 1862), Anna Harriet Amelia Cartwright (born 1864) and Lily Bertha Cartwright (born 1867).

By 1865, Richard Cartwright had established a photographic portrait studio at 15a Rosslyn Street, Hampstead. Cartwright remained at Rosslyn Street for a couple of years before setting up a second studio at 14 Grove Terrace, New End, Hampstead.

From Hampstead, Richard Cartwright moved back to his home district of Finsbury. Richard Cartwright operated a photographic studio at 177 City Road, Finsbury between 1872 and 1873. The 1871 census records Richard and Margaret Cartwright and their six daughters at 27 Mildmay Street, Islington, North London.

In 1873, Richard Cartwright opened a photographic portrait studio at 349 Kingsland Road, Hackney, East London. It was while the Cartwright family were residing in Kingsland Road, that Margaret Cartwright gave birth to her seventh child, and only son, Richard William Cartwright. [The birth of Richard William Cartwright was registered in the East London district of Hackney during 4th Quarter of 1873].

[ABOVE] The trade plate of Richard Cartwright (c1836-), Photographer of 63 North Street, Brighton, 108 King's Road (Arches), Brighton and at London  (c1888)

 

[ABOVE] A photograph of Kingsland Road, East London (c1910). Richard Cartwright operated a photographic portrait studio at 349 Kingsland Road, London, between 1873 and 1888. Richard Cartwright's business premises were situated in the parade of shops glimpsed at the far left of this picture, just before the junction with Downham Road on the left. On the other side of  Downham Road is the large and imposing Kingsland Road Fire Station, which was constructed in 1895, seven years after Richard Cartwright left Kingsland Road for Brighton. [ABOVE] The trade plate of Richard Cartwright, Photographer, 349 Kingsland Road, East London and 34 Upper Street, Islington, North London  (c1887)
 

Richard Cartwright at 349 Kingsland Road, Hackney and 34 Upper Street, Islington

Richard Cartwright opened his photographic portrait studio at 349 Kingsland Road, Hackney, East London in 1873 and was to remain there until about 1887, when he relocated to Brighton on the Sussex coast. For short periods, Richard Cartwright operated branch studios in Lambeth and Islington. Michael Pritchard's Directory of London Photographers, records Richard Cartwright as the proprietor of a studio at 333 Kennington Road, Lambeth, between 1877 and 1878 and at 10 Upper Street, Islington between 1880 and 1881.

When the 1881 census was taken, Richard Cartwright and his family are shown residing in the living quarters attached to his main studio premises at 349 Kingsland Road, Hackney. Both Richard Cartwright and his wife Margaret Cartwright are described on the census return as photographers. Five of Richard and Margaret Cartwright's seven children are listed at the Kingsland Road address. At seven years of age, Richard William Cartwright, the youngest child, was still attending school, but of the remaining four children only seventeen year old Anna Cartwright (described as a "Photographer's Assistant") was employed in her father's photography business. No occupation is given for the other three daughters still living at home with their parents - Elizabeth (21), Rose (18) and thirteen year old Lily Cartwright. It appears that Margaret and Alice, the two daughters not recorded at Richard Cartwright's home in Kingsland Road, were both in domestic service when the 1881 census was carried out.

Between 1881 and 1887, Richard Cartwright was operating a second photographic portrait studio at 34 Upper Street in the Islington district of North London. David Webb, the London photo-historian, has identified two other London premises which took photographic portraits under the studio name of Richard Cartwright during the 1880s - 184 Fleet Street, City of London (1885-1887) and 11 Pentonville Road, Islington (1886-1887).

From around 1887, carte-de-visite photographs produced at Richard Cartwright's two London studios at 349 Kingsland Road, Hackney and 34 Upper Street, Islington, start to carry the words "and at BRIGHTON".

[ABOVE] A modern map of Hackney showing the location of Richard Cartwright's main London studio at 349 Kingsland Road (marked with a red dot) near the junction with Downham Road in East London.

[ABOVE] The trade plate of Richard Cartwright, Photographic Artist, 349 Kingsland Road (near Downham Road) London (c1880)

[ABOVE] An oval portrait of a young woman photographed by Richard Cartwright, photographic artist of 349 Kingsland Road, London (c1880)

 

[ABOVE] The trade plate of Richard Cartwright, Photographer, showing details of his two main studiod at 349 Kingsland Road, East London and 34 Upper Street, Islington, North London, plus his studio at Brighton  (c1887). Cartwright's studios at 63 North Street and in the King's Road Arches appear in Brighton directories from 1888. [ABOVE] The trade plate of Richard Cartwright, Photographer, 349 Kingsland Road, East London and 34 Upper Street, Islington, North London "and at Brighton" (c1888). This carte indicates Royal patronage with the words "By Appointment" and pictures of the Royal crown and the three feathers emblem of The Prince of Wales. [ABOVE] The trade plate of Richard Cartwright, Photographer, showing branch studios at 349 Kingsland Road, East London , 34 Upper Street, Islington, North London, 184 Fleet Street, City of London, and at Brighton  (c1887).This carte indicates Royal patronage with the words "By Appointment" and pictures of the Royal crown and the three feathers emblem of The Prince of Wales.

Richard Cartwright - "Royal Patronage" and his Photographic Studios in Brighton

Sometime between 1887 and 1888, Richard Cartwright started to refer to Royal Patronage in the advertisements for his photographic studios. The words "By Appointment", together with pictures of the Royal Crown and the emblem of the Prince of Wales, are printed on Cartwright's cartes-de-visite around 1887. Later, Richard Cartwright was to claim that he had "personally photographed H. R. H. The Prince of Wales and other members of the Royal Family". There is no record of Richard Cartwright receiving a Royal Warrant or becoming an official photographer to the Royal Family. It is highly unlikely that Edward, the Prince of Wales and heir to the British throne, would pay a visit to one of Cartwright's London studios. Richard Cartwright's main London studio in Kingsland Road was in London's East End and served a predominantly working class population. There had been other examples of photographers having the luck to capture a shot of a member of the Royal Family at some public event and afterwards indicate on their photographs that they were Royal Photographers.

It was not uncommon for professional photographers to claim Royal Patronage without the authority of the Crown and in 1884 there was a test case in which the photographic firm of A. & G. Taylor was successfully prosecuted for using the Royal Arms without authority. The fact that the only penalty from this legal action was that A. & G. Taylor were compelled to remove the Royal Arms from their premises and printed publicity and then fined "a nominal one shilling, with two shillings cost", clearly did not deter Cartwright from implying Royal Patronage in his advertising.

We can date Richard Cartwright's first use of the "three feathers" emblem associated with the Prince of Wales to around 1887, the year that the London photographer probably opened his two studios in Brighton. From around this date, carte-de-visite photographs produced at Richard Cartwright's London studios at start to carry the words "and at BRIGHTON". Commercial listings that appear in three Brighton directories issued for the year 1888 show Richard Cartwright with a photographic studio at 63b North Street, Brighton. W. T. Pike's  Brighton and Hove Directory and Local Blue Book, published in 1888, lists R. Cartwright of 63b North Street in its list of photographers in Brighton. Page's General Directory for Brighton & Hove (1888) and Walser & Gristís Popular Shilling Directory for Brighton, also published in 1888, both list R. Cartwright as a photographer at 63b North Street, Brighton. Additional evidence is provided by surviving cartes-de-visite from Cartwright's Brighton studios which can be dated to about 1887 or 1888. These cartes carry two studio addresses in Brighton -  63 North Street, Brighton and 108 King's Road, Brighton. The King's Road address given on the reverse of Cartwright's photographs is misleading as his studio was situated in the King's Road Arches on the Lower Esplanade of Brighton's seafront. There was a photographic studio at No.108 King's Road at road level, but this long-established studio was owned by the firm of E. Hawkins & Co., which four years previously had acquired these King's Road premises from the famous photography firm of Hennah & Kent.

Richard Cartwright's Studios in Brighton

[ABOVE] An 1895 map of Brighton showing the location of  Richard Cartwright's portrait studio at 63 North Street, Brighton (marked by a red dot) in the shopping area of Brighton and his seafront studio in the King's Road Arches .(marked by a blue dot) which faced the beach. The numbering of the King's Road Arches was not consistent in the Victorian period. In 1888, Cartwright's studio in the King's Road Arches would have carried the number 108 but around 1893 the Arches were re-numbered and Cartwright's studio address changed to 148 King's Road Arches.

[ABOVE] Edward, Prince of Wales (1841-1910) the heir to the British throne, photographed in 1890. The Prince of Wales did not become King of the United Kingdom until his mother Queen Victoria died in 1901. From around 1888, Richard Cartwright claimed royal patronage  from Edward, Prince of Wales

[ABOVE] Publicity on the reverse of a carte-de-visite produced by the photographer Richard Cartwright around 1888 claiming that he had "personally photographed H. R. H. The Prince of Wales and other members of the Royal Family". This carte gives Richard Cartwright's Brighton studio addresses as 63 North Street and 108 King's Road Brighton, yet the latter address should read  "King's Road Arches".

 

and 108 The Beach, BrightonCarte-de-visite Portraits taken at Richard Cartwright's London Studios (1886-1888)

[ABOVE] A portrait of a young woman, photographed by Richard Cartwright of 34 Upper Street, Islington, and 349 Kingsland Road, East London (c1887) [ABOVE] The trade plate of Richard Cartwright, Photographer, 349 Kingsland Road, East London and 34 Upper Street, Islington, North London "and at Brighton" (c1887). Negative Number 434. [ABOVE] A portrait of a child sitting on her father's lap, photographed by Richard Cartwright of 349 Kingsland Road, East London and 34 Upper Street, Islington (c1888)

[ABOVE] The trade plate of Richard Cartwright, Photographer, 349 Kingsland Road, East London and 34 Upper Street, Islington, North London "and at Brighton" (c1888). [ABOVE] A portrait of a smartly-dressed lad leaning on a balustrade, photographed by Richard Cartwright of 349 Kingsland Road, East London and 34 Upper Street, Islington "and at Brighton" (c1888). [ABOVE] A portrait of two lads photographed by Richard Cartwright of 349 Kingsland Road, East London and 34 Upper Street, Islington  (c1887).

Carte-de-visite Portraits taken at Richard Cartwright's Brighton Studios (1887-1890)

[ABOVE] A portrait of a man with his two children, photographed by Richard Cartwright of  63 North Street, Brighton and 108 King's Road (Arches), Brighton (c1888) [ABOVE] A portrait of a young woman, photographed by Richard Cartwright of  63b North Street and 108 The Beach, Brighton (c1887) [ABOVE] The trade plate of Richard Cartwright, Photographer, 63B North Street Brighton and 108 The Beach, Brighton (c1887). Cartwright's London studio at 34 Upper Street, Islington, passed to the London photographer Augustus Lupson in 1887.

[ABOVE] A portrait of a teenage girl posed in front of a fur-draped chair, photographed by Richard Cartwright of  63 North Street, Brighton and 108 King's Road (Arches), Brighton (c1888) [ABOVE] The trade plate of Richard Cartwright, Photographer, 63 North Street, Brighton, 108 King's Road (Arches), Brighton and at London  (c1888) [ABOVE] A portrait of a young woman holding a letter in one hand and a roll of paper in the other, photographed by Richard Cartwright of  63 North Street, Brighton and 108 King's Road (Arches), Brighton (c1888)
 
Richard Cartwright in Brighton (c1887-1898)

Richard Cartwright opened a photographic portrait studio at 63b North Street, Brighton around 1887.    (Richard Cartwright is recorded as a photographer at 63b North Street, Brighton in W. T. Pike's  Brighton and Hove Directory and Local Blue Book and Walser & Gristís Popular Shilling Directory for Brighton, both published in 1888).

Surviving carte-de-visite portraits taken around 1887 at Cartwright's Brighton studios, carry two studio addresses; one at 63 North Street, Brighton and the other at 108 King's Road (Arches) on Brighton's Lower Esplanade, which bordered the beach. In the years between 1887 and 1890, Cartwright's publicity on his Brighton cartes details these Brighton studio addresses followed by the phrase "and at London". The phrase "and at London" suggests Richard Cartwright had retained ownership of his London studios after moving down to London, but David Webb's research shows that Cartwright had disposed of both of his London premises by 1887. The studio at 349 Kingsland Road, Hackney had closed its doors by 1887 and in the same year the Islington studio at 34 Upper Street was sold to the hairdresser and photographer Augustus Lupson (1829-1912).

When the census was taken on 5th April 1891, Richard Cartwright, his wife Margaret and two of their children were residing at the living  quarters attached to the studio at 63 North Street, Brighton. Richard Cartwright is recorded as a 53 year old photographer at 63a North Street, Brighton. Richard Cartwright's daughter, Alice Jane Cartwright (born 1860, Camden Town), is entered on the census return as a 30 year old "Photographer's Assistant". No profession or occupation is given for Richard William Cartwright, Richard Cartwright senior's 17 year old son, but we can assume he was serving his apprenticeship in photography under his father.

Around 1887, Richard Cartwright had opened a studio on Brighton's seafront in one of the Arches which supported the recently widened King's Road (see the map and illustrations below). For over a decade, from 1887 until his death in 1898, Richard Cartwright senior took photographic portraits of holidaymakers on the stretch of beach near the Shelter Hall and Bolla & Biucchi's seafront restaurant.

Richard Cartwright divided his time in Brighton between his conventional photographic portrait studio at 63b North Street which was located in a parade of shops in the centre of the town and his seafront business based in the King's Road Arches. At his North Street studio, Richard Cartwright produced standard carte-de-visite portraits, where the subject was photographed in front of a painted backdrop and pictured alongside a variety of studio props, including richly upholstered chairs, fur-draped boulders and  large lumps of tree bark. On Brighton's seafront, Richard Cartwright photographed holiday-makers and day-trippers in the natural surroundings of the pebble-strewn beach. Cartwright's seaside customers were posed on conveniently placed wooden benches or pictured leaning against the wooden hulls of large sailing boats. The ready availability of fishing nets, buoys, coiled ropes, capstans etc. meant that Richard Cartwright could dispense with artificial props.

[ABOVE] The trade plate of Richard Cartwright, Photographer, 63 North Street and 108 King's Road (Arches), Lower Parade, Brighton (c1888). The phrase "and at London" printed on this carte-de-visite suggests that Richard Cartwright was still running his studios in Hackney and Islington, yet he had sold his main studio in Kingsland Road and his Islington branch studio in 1887.

 

[ABOVE] A late Victorian map of Brighton showing the location of  Richard Cartwright's portrait studio at 63 North Street, Brighton (marked by a red dot) and the stretch of beach (shaded in yellow) served by Cartwright's seafront studio in the King's Road Arches.

[LEFT] A late Victorian map of Brighton showing the location of  Richard Cartwright's portrait studio at 63 North Street, Brighton (marked by a red dot) and the stretch of beach (shaded in yellow) served by Cartwright's seafront studio situated in the King's Road Arches.

During the 1850 and 1860s the coastal road between Grand Junction Road and Western Street had to be widened to accommodate the increasing carriage traffic. Between 1883 and 1887, the road and promenade running along King's Road was subject to further widening and improvements. The widened King's Road was supported by a row of arches under the main carriageway. The smaller arches were used by fishermen to store their nets and equipment, but the larger arches were big enough to house fishing boats of a considerable size. The Lower Promenade also underwent improvements, including the construction of the Free Shelter Hall and the provision of railed staircases and slopes leading from the main road to the beach. Richard Cartwright converted one of the King's Road Arches near the Free Shelter Hall into a photographer's shop and darkroom and worked as a photographer on the beach from 1887 until his death in 1898.

 

[ABOVE] A picture showing the row of arches below Brighton's King's Road ; a detail from a watercolour painting by Sir David Muirhead Bone entitled "Whit Sunday at Brighton". This painting shows the small arches immediately to the east of the West Pier. The larger arches used to house seafront businesses are in the far distance (See 1893 photo below).

 

The King's Road Arches in the early 1890s

During the 1890s, the King's Road Arches on Brighton's Lower Esplanade were used for a variety of purposes. The smaller arches were used as storage space for fishermen and other tradesmen (e.g. John and Richard Harman who used Arch No.101 were fishermen and pleasure boat proprietors). The larger Arches were converted into shops and businesses and provided spaces for restaurants, tea rooms, American bowling saloons, shooting galleries and club rooms. A surprising number of the King's Road Arches provided workrooms for beach photographers. In 1893, there were half a dozen beach photographers housed in the King's Road Arches.

[ABOVE] A photograph taken on the Lower Esplanade of Brighton's seafront in 1893, showing the Rotunda and Free Shelter Hall in the centre of the picture. On the extreme left of the picture is Bolla & Biucchi's Tea & Coffee Rooms situated in one of the King's Road Arches. Richard Cartwright's seafront studio, which was next door to Bolla & Biucchi's Tea & Coffee Rooms, is outside the frame of this photograph, but the stretch of beach where he took photographic portraits of holidaymakers between 1887 and 1898 can be seen on the right of the picture.

King's Road Arches : 1893 Directory

King's Road Arches : 1894 Directory

[ABOVE] Extracts from two Brighton directories showing the entries for King's Road Arches in 1893 and 1894. In the 1893 street directory, Richard Cartwright is recorded as a photographer at 108 King's Road Arches, Brighton. The following year, Richard Cartwright's photographic workshop was still located next door to Bolla & Biucchi's Tea & Coffee Rooms, a few arches away from the Free Shelter Hall, but it has been re-numbered. In the 1893 street directory, the address of Cartwright's photographic workshop is given as 107 & 108 King's Road Arches but by the time the next edition of the directory was published in 1894, the Arch Number had been changed to No. 148. To confuse matters even further, the numbers on the Arches were adjusted again, a couple of years later and by the end of the century, Cartwright's seafront studio, now run by his son,  Richard William Cartwright, is listed at 146 & 147 King's Road Arches.

 

Mrs Margaret Cartwright (1836-1929)

Mrs Margaret Cartwright was born Margaret Fair in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, in 1836, the daughter of Anna and Samuel Fair, a tailor of Charlotte Street, Great Yarmouth. Samuel Fair (born c1796) had married his wife in Great Yarmouth around 1824. Margaret Fair was baptised in Great Yarmouth on 12th September 1836. Margaret was one of at least 5 children born to Samuel and Anna Abigail Fair. Margaret's siblings included Elizabeth Fair (born c1826), Samuel Fair (born 1829), Jane Fair (born c1832) and Richard Robert Fair (born 1838).

Margaret Fair married Richard Cartwright (born 1836 Finsbury, North London) in the East London district of Bethnal Green in 1856. The couple produced seven children, six daughters and one son - Margaret Abigail Cartwright (born 1857), Elizabeth Augusta Cartwright (born 1859), Alice Jane Cartwright (born 1860), Rose Lavinia Charlotte Cartwright (born 1862), Anna Harriet Amelia Cartwright (born 1864), Lily Bertha Cartwright (born 1867) and Richard William Cartwright (born 1873).

During the early years of her marriage to Richard Cartwright (senior), Mrs Margaret Cartwright was busy raising her seven children, but when her daughters grew up sufficiently to help her with her domestic duties, Mrs Cartwright was able to play a more active part in her husband's photography business. When the census was taken in Hackney, East London, on 3rd April 1881, Mrs Margaret Cartwright was entered on the census return as a "Photographer", aged 42.

Mrs Margaret Cartwright probably continued to assist her husband in his photographic studio after he transferred his business from London to Brighton around 1887. During the early 1890s, Richard Cartwright senior was assisted by his daughters and his son Richard William Cartwright (born 1873), but when her husband died at the beginning of 1898, Margaret Cartwright had to become involved once again in her husband's photography business. From 1898 until 1901, the studios at 63b North Street, Brighton and 146-147 King's Road Arches were under the control of Margaret Cartwright and her only son Richard William Cartwright ( local trade directories list the studio proprietors as R. W. & M. Cartwright ) (i.e. Richard and Margaret Cartwright).

By 1901, Mrs Margaret Cartwright had retired from the photography business, leaving the studios in the hands of her son Richard William Cartwright. Mrs Cartwright lived in Brighton for the rest of her life. Mrs Margaret Cartwright died in Brighton in 1929 aged around 92.

[ABOVE] A portrait of an unknown woman, photographed by Richard Cartwright of  63b North Street and 108 The Beach, Brighton (c1887)

 

Richard William Cartwright - Photographer active in Brighton between 1898 and 1930

[ABOVE] A portrait of a teenage lad wearing a flower in the button-hole of his jacket, photographed at the studio of  R. W. Cartwright & Co. at 63 North Street, Brighton (1902). Richard William Cartwright became the proprietor of his father's photographic portrait studio at 63B North Street, Brighton in 1899, the year that Richard Cartwright  senior died.

[ABOVE]  R. W. Cartwright & Co. listed as photographers at 63b North Street and at 146 & 147 Kings Road Arches, Brighton, in W. T. Pike's Brighton and Hove Directory published in 1911. Four of the five photography firms listed in the extract above were working as beach photographers.

[ABOVE]  R. W. Cartwright & Co. listed as photographers at 146 & 147 The Beach, Brighton and High Street, Shoreham on Sea, in Kelly's 1915 Directory of Sussex.

 Richard William Cartwright and the Formation of R. W. Cartwright & Co.

Richard William Cartwright was born at 349 Kingsland Road, Hackney, East London in 1873, the seventh child and only son of Margaret and Richard Cartwright, a London photographer. Richard Cartwright senior (c1836-1898), Richard W. Cartwright's father, had opened two photographic portrait studios in Brighton around 1887, when his son was a teenager. Richard Cartwright senior operated a conventional portrait studio at 63b North Street, Brighton and ran a beach photography business on Brighton's seafront from a shop situated in the King's Road Arches on the Lower Esplanade.

Early in 1898, Richard Cartwright senior died at the age of 61 and his photography business was taken over by his widow Mrs Margaret Cartwright (c1836-19929) and her only son Richard William Cartwright. From 1898 until 1900, the proprietors of the studios at 63b North Street, Brighton and 146-147 King's Road Arches were listed in local trade directories as R. W. & M. Cartwright (i.e. Richard William Cartwright and Mrs Margaret Cartwright) but by 1901, Mrs Cartwright had retired from the business, leaving the studios in the hands of her son  Richard William Cartwright. From 1901, the studio at 63b North Street, Brighton went under the company name of R. W. Cartwright & Co.

[ABOVE] The trade plate of   R. W. Cartwright & Co. , photographers, 63 North Street, Brighton (c1901).

In 1899, Richard William Cartwright married Ada Emily Baker (born 1875, Brighton), the daughter of Emily and Richard Baker, a draper who specialised in black mourning cloth. The following year Richard Cartwright's wife Ada gave birth to a daughter named Elsie Lillian Cartwright [birth registered during the 3rd Quarter of 1900].

When the 1901 census was taken, Richard William Cartwright was recorded with his wife and nine month old daughter at his studio at 63b North Street, Brighton. Richard W. Cartwright is described on the census return as a twenty-seven year old "Photographer (Employer)" working "at home". Residing with Richard Cartwright and his family were Richard's father-in-law, sixty-one year old widower Richard Baker and Ada Cartwright's younger sister, fifteen year old Elsie Baker. The 1901 census confirms that Mrs Margaret Cartwright, Richard's sixty-two year old mother, was no longer actively involved in the photography firm of Cartwright & Co.

After the census was taken, Richard Cartwright and his family moved out of 63b North Street and found a home just outside Brighton. The Cartwright were not living in central Brighton when Richard and Ada Cartwright's second child, a son named Harold William Cartwright, was born in 1902 [birth registered in the district of Steyning during the 4th Quarter of 1902]. Mrs Ada Cartwright, Richard's wife, died in the district of Steyning early in 1906, at the age of 31 [death registered in the district of Steyning during the 1st Quarter of 1906].

In 1906, Richard Cartwright was a thirty-five year old widower with two children under the age of six. At this date  Mrs Margaret Cartwright, Richard's seventy-year old mother, was still living in Brighton and was presumably helping her son to raise his two children. In 1909, three years after his first wife's death, Richard Cartwright married again. Richard Cartwright's new wife was twenty-seven year old Frances Ellen Brazier (born c1882, Brighton), a former confectioner's assistant. When the census was taken on 2nd April 1911, Richard Cartwright and his new wife were living above a Maynards' confectionery shop at 62 Western Road, Brighton. Living with Richard and Frances were Richard Cartwright's two children from his first marriage, ten year old Elsie and nine year old Harold, but it appears that Mrs Frances Cartwright was expecting Richard's third child. A son named Paxton J. R. Cartwright was born in Brighton during the 3rd Quarter of 1911. Two more sons were to follow - John G. Cartwright in 1915 and Peter F. Cartwright in 1922.

Richard W. Cartwright continued to operate a photographic portrait studio at 63B North Street until around 1913. From this date, Richard W. Cartwright concentrated on his seafront photography business in the King's Road Arches. Around 1915, R. W. Cartwright & Co. briefly operated a branch studio in the High Street of Shoreham-on-Sea. The firm of R. W. Cartwright & Co. were still listed as seafront photographers at 146 & 147 King's Road Arches, Brighton, when Kelly's Directory of Sussex was issued for the year 1930. This means that the Cartwright family of photographers had been taking photographic portraits of holiday makers on Brighton's beach for a period of 43 years or more.

 

The Cartwright Photographic Portrait Studio at 63b North Street, Brighton

[ABOVE] An extract from the Brighton Street Directory published in Kelly's Directory of Sussex in 1899, detailing the occupants of some of the commercial buildings in Brighton's North Street. The London photographer Richard Cartwright  senior (born c1836) had operated a  photographic portrait studio at 63B North Street, Brighton from around 1887 until his death in 1899.  After Richard Cartwright senior's death, the studio at 63B North Street was run jointly by his widow Mrs Margaret Cartwright (born c1836, Gt Yarmouth) and her son Richard William Cartwright (born 1873, Hackney).  In this street directory published in the year of Richard Cartwright senior's death, the proprietors of the studio at 63B North  Street are listed as R. W. & M. Cartwright. The Cartwright photographic studio at 63B North Street closed around 1913. [ABOVE] The buildings numbered 56 to 64 North Street, Brighton, photographed in 1933. Richard William Cartwright (born 1873, Hackney) operated a photographic portrait studio at 63B North Street between 1898 and 1913. The building at 63 North Street was converted into a 450 seat cinema by Charles Latham in 1911, but the firm of  R. W. Cartwright  & Co. continued to run their photographic studio on the same site. The cinema, known as the Bijou Electric Empire, shared the building at No. 63 North Street with Cartwright the photographer (63B),  a stockbroker (63B) and a fruiterer named George W. Kelley (63A). Eventually, around 1913, Richard W. Cartwright closed his portrait studio to concentrate on his seafront photography business in the King's Road Arches. In 1915, the name of the Bijou Electric Empire cinema was changed to the Princes Cinema. In this photograph, the business name of "HART, Manufacturing Hatters", which dates from the 1850s can be seen in raised lettering on the side of the building at No. 62 North Street, Brighton.
 

Cabinet Portraits produced by R. W. Cartwright & Co. of 63 North Street, Brighton

[ABOVE] A cabinet portrait of a middle-aged woman, photographed at the studio of  R. W. Cartwright & Co. at 63 North Street, Brighton (c1900). [ABOVE] A cabinet portrait of a young woman, photographed at the studio of  R. W. Cartwright & Co. at 63 North Street, Brighton (c1902).
 

The Cartwright Family and Beach Photography on Brighton's Seafront

[ABOVE] The Beach and the Lower Esplanade, Brighton, photographed in 1898. When this photograph was taken in 1898, Richard Cartwright senior (born c1836, Finsbury, North London) had been taking photographic portraits of holiday makers on this stretch of beach for over a decade. When Richard Cartwright senior died in 1898 at the age of 61, his seafront photography business was continued by his son Richard William Cartwright (born 1873, Hackney). The Cartwright family worked from a photographic studio in the King's Road Arches, on the left of the photograph, from 1888 until 1930 and beyond. A camera on its tripod can be seen at right centre of the beach between the boats, next to the stout lady standing with a child dressed in white. In the foreground, a group of holidaymakers encircle a beach entertainer dressed in a Pierrot costume.
 

Richard Cartwright senior - active as a Beach Photographer in Brighton between 1887 and 1898

Richard Cartwright senior (c1836-1898), a London photographer established a beach photography business on Brighton's seafront around 1887. Richard Cartwright worked from one of the Arches under Brighton's King's Road. Richard Cartwright had a shop and workroom at 107 & 108 King's Road Arches (later re-numbered 146 & 147 King's Road Arches). Richard Cartwright operated as a beach photographer on the stretch of the seafront which ran between his workshop located next to Bolla & Biucchi's Tea & Coffee Rooms and the Free Shelter Hall.

There is evidence that Richard Cartwright senior produced his seaside photographs in the form of collodion positive images on glass. (See illustration on the right).

Richard Cartwright senior took photographic portraits of holidaymakers in the area of the Free Shelter Hall for over a decade, between1887 and his death in 1898.

[ABOVE] A collodion positive portrait on glass of a couple seated on a bench on Brighton beach, photographed by  Richard Cartwright senior around 1887.                                            [Photo : Private Collection]
 
Richard William Cartwright - active as a Beach Photographer in Brighton between 1898 and 1930

[ABOVE] A coloured picture postcard of  Brighton's seafront, showing the Kings Road Arches on the Lower Eplanade, as seen looking west from the top of the Shelter Hall (c1910). Cartwright's studio can be seen with the blue and white striped awning, immediately to the left of Bolla & Biucchi's Restaurant. The West Pier is in the distance on the left . The Metropole Hotel and the Grand Hotel dominate the parade of buildings on the Upper Promenade of King's Road.

After the death of Richard Cartwright senior in 1898, Richard William Cartwright (born 1873, Kingsland,London), the photographer's only son, took over the beach photography business on Brighton's seafront. Richard William Cartwright operated from a double arch at 146-147 King's Road Arches under the company name of  R. W. Cartwright & Co. Initially, the younger Richard Cartwright might have produced collodion positive portraits on glass or even "ferrotype" portraits on thin sheets of metal, but from around 1910 most of his output was in the picture postcard format. Richard Cartwright junior was active as a beach photographer in Brighton from 1898 until at least 1930. The 1930 edition of Kelly's Directory of Sussex lists R. W. Cartwright & Co. as a firm of photographers at 146 & 147 King's Road Arches, but Cartwright's name is absent from the catalogue of professional photographers detailed in the 1934 edition of Kelly's Sussex directory.
[ABOVE] The Beach, Brighton. This coloured postcard shows the crowded beach and, on the left, the traders' stalls and businesses on the Lower Esplanade. (Postcard dated 1916). On the left, in front of the Shelter Hall, can be seen Bolla & Biucchi's Restaurant. Richard Cartwright junior had a shop and photographic workroom next door to Bolla & Biucchi 's Restaurant from 1898  until 1930.
 

Picture Postcards of Holidaymakers on Brighton Beach produced by R. W. Cartwright & Co. of King's Road Arches

[ABOVE] A group of men on a works outing to Brighton, photographed on Brighton beach, near the Free Shelter Hall, by Richard William Cartwright or one of his operators (c1912). Richard William Cartwright (born 1873, Kingsland, London) was the son of  Richard Cartwright senior (c1836-1898), a London photographer who established a beach photography business near the Free Shelter Hall around 1887. The photographer's credit on the reverse of the postcard reads: "R. W. Cartwright & Co., Photographers, North St., & Kings Rd Arches, Brighton" which indicates that the photograph was taken before 1913, the year Richard William Cartwright closed his studio at 63b North Street, Brighton.

[ABOVE] The photographer's credit for R. W. Cartwright & Co. on the reverse of the picture postcard illustrated above (c1912).

Richard William Cartwright was active as a beach photographer in Brighton from 1898 until around 1930. Richard Cartwright's shop and darkroom were located in the King's Road Arches near the Free Shelter Hall (see the two picture postcards above). Cartwright's business premises at 146-147 King's Road Arches were next door to Bolla & Biucchi's seafront restaurant & tea rooms at 148-149 King's Road Arches and were in close proximity to a busy stretch of beach thronging with holiday makers and day trippers.

Richard Cartwright would invariably pose his sitters on a wooden bench conveniently placed in front of the Free Shelter Hall or photograph them perched on the boats that were lying on the beach close to the lower esplanade. Examples of Cartwright's beach photographs, including a charming picture of a young girl on a donkey, can be viewed on Rendell Williams' excellent website Sussex Postcards.Info.

[ABOVE & RIGHT] Two picture postcards of holiday makers on Brighton beach produced by R. W. Cartwright & Co. of  Kings Road Arches Brighton (c1914). These two postcards are featured on Rendell Williams' website Sussex Postcards.Info. Larger versions can be viewed on Sussex Postcards.Info via the link below.

 
To view examples of R. W. Cartwright & Co.'s beach photographs and to read an account of the firm's activity in Brighton, please visit Rendell Williams' excellent website Sussex Postcards.Info. by clicking on the link below :

 R. W. Cartwright & Co. of Brighton

 

Acknowledgements & Sources

I am grateful to Rendel Williams of the Sussex Postcards.Info. website and the contributions made by Mike Green of Barcombe.

PRIMARY SOURCES - Street and Trade Directories : W. T. Pike's  Brighton and Hove Directory and Local Blue Book (1888,1889,1892,1896,1897,1898,1899,1900,1901,1902,1903, 1904,1905,1906,1907,1908,1910,1911 & 1912) ; Page's General Directory for Brighton & Hove (1890,1891,1893, 1894 &1895) ; Walser & Grist's Popular Shilling Directory for Brighton (1888) ; H. & J. Barnes' Popular Directory for Brighton, Hove and Preston (1895,1896) ; Towner's Brighton and Suburban Directory (1896,1898,1899, 1900,1901,1902,1903,1904,1905,1906,1907 & 1908) ; Kelly's Post Office Directory for Sussex (1887,1890,1891,1893,1894,1897,1899,1911,1913,1915,1918,1922,1924,1930 & 1934) ; Post Office  London Directory (1882) ; Business Directory of London (1884). Census Returns: 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901 & 1911

OTHER SOURCES - Books : A Directory of London Photographers by Michael Pritchard (PhotoResearch, 1994) ; Victorian and Edwardian Brighton from Old Photographs by John Betjeman and J. S. Gray (B. T. Batsford Ltd, 1972) ; The Encyclopaedia of Brighton by Timothy Carder (East Sussex County Council Libraries,1990)

WEBSITES : Births, Marriages & Deaths Records on FreeBMD ; 1881 Census & International Genealogical Index on LDS Family Search. Census returns were also explored on the UK Census Collection featured on the ancestry.co.uk website, 1901 Census Online and the 1911 Census website. Rendel Williams' Sussex Postcards.Info. website. My Brighton and Hove community website. I am grateful to photoLondon for providing details of Richard Cartwright's London studios on The Database of 19th Century Photographers and Allied Trades in London: 1841-1901 (based on the research of David Webb) which is featured on the photoLondon website.

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Index of Brighton Beach Photographers based in the King's Road Arches

PHOTOGRAPHER'S NAME

The Beach, Kings Road

Kings Road Arches

Kings Road Arches

OTHER BUSINESSES

 
 

1887-1888

1890-1893

1894-1915

   
Richard CARTWRIGHT (Senior)

 

 107 & 108 Kings Road Arches

148  Kings Road Arches

  Notes
Richard William CARTWRIGHT (Junior)

 

 

146-147 Kings Road Arches

  Notes
Frederick COLLINS (Junior)

The Beach, Kings Road

 126  Kings Road Arches

166 Kings Road Arches

bowling saloon  
William DAWSON

 The Beach, Kings Road

The Beach (near West Pier steps)

65 & 66 Kings Road Arches

restaurant, food & drink & kiosk, fresh fruit stall Notes
Walter FLOWERS    

156 Kings Road Arches

bicycle depot, restaurant  
Thomas Frederick FOULKES

46 Kings Road Arches

 131 & 138  Kings Road Arches

174 & 181 Kings Road Arches

   
William LABLE (LEBL)    

186-187 Kings Road Arches

   
Joseph Peter MANNING

38 Kings Road Arches

149 Kings Road  Arches

193 Kings Road Arches

   
Frederick & Ralph MARKS    

185 Kings Road Arches

   
William TICKNER senior

101 Kings Road Arches

78 & 79 Kings Road Arches

113 & 114 Kings Road Arches

boat builder  
William TICKNER junior    

113 & 114 Kings Road Arches

boat builder  
Lewis WHY  

170 Kings Road Arches

  rifle shooting range  

 

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