Bexhill Photographers (J-P)
Click here to return to Home Page
Professional Photographers in Bexhill (P)
J. J. Payne - J. Perry - Arthur Bruges Plummer
J. J. PAYNE [ probably John James Payne, born 1878, Derby - died 1953, East Riding of Yorkshire ]
|The photographer J. J.
Payne appears to have been John James Payne, the son of
Sarah Ann Bannister and Joshua Payne, a plasterer from
Derby. Joshua Payne (born 1855, Derby) had married Sarah Ann
Bannister (born 1855, Burton-on-Trent) at Burton-on-Trent in
1876. John James Payne, the couple's first child, was born in
Derby during the 2nd Quarter of 1878. John James Payne was
joined by two sisters - Emily Payne (born 1881) and Helena
Payne (born 1885).
At the time of the 1901 census, twenty-three year old John James Payne was employed as a "Plasterer" and living with his parents and two sisters at 41 Holmes Street, Derby. Sometime over the next two years, John James Payne abandoned his father's craft of plastering and turned to photography.
Early in 1903, J. J. Payne arrived in Bexhill-on-Sea and took over George Edwin Swain's photographic studio at 69a Devonshire Road, Bexhill-on-Sea. On 28th February 1903, J. J. Payne, who described himself as an "artist and photographer", announced in the Bexhill Observer that he would be opening his photographic studio on Monday 2nd March 1903. The studio at 69a Devonshire Road, Bexhill-on-Sea had been specially constructed in 1891 for the photographer James Ernest Stanborough (1862-1941). By 1902, the studio was in the hands of the photographer George Edwin Swain (born 1866, Luton) who sold the studio to J. J. Payne the following year.
J. J. Payne operated the photographic portrait studio at 69a Devonshire Road, Bexhill-on-Sea between 1903 and 1904.
[ABOVE] A newspaper advertisement announcing the forthcoming opening of J. J. Payne''s studio at 69a Devonshire Road, Bexhill, on Monday, 2nd March, 1903 ( Bexhill Observer, 28th February, 1903).
[ABOVE] A modern photograph showing the site of J. J. Payne's photographic studio at 69a Devonshire Road, Bexhill-on-Sea. When this photograph was taken in 2008 the building was occupied by Priceless Tools, which stands between Chique hairdressers at No.67 and Quinns Deli at No. 71. The studio at 69 Devonshire Road was specially constructed for the photographer James Stanborough in 1891 and was in continuous use as a photographic portrait studio from 1891 until 1915. The Bexhill photographers who worked at this studio included James Stanborough, George Swain, J. J. Payne, Otto Brown and Leon Balk.
Arthur Bruges PLUMMER (1859-1932) - Proprietor of Bexhill-on-Sea's First Permanent Photographic Portrait Studio
[ABOVE] An advertisement for Arthur Bruges Plummer (1859-1932) who, around 1887, became the proprietor of the first permanent photographic portrait studio in the Sussex seaside resort of Bexhill-on-Sea.
[ABOVE] The trade plate of the photographic firm of A. & G. Taylor, taken from the reverse of a carte-de-visite produced at A. & G. Taylor's Brighton branch studio at 34 Kings Road, Brighton (c1884). Around 1886, Arthur Bruges Plummer became the Managing Partner in A. & G. Taylor's Brighton branch studio.
[ABOVE] A notice in the London Gazette of 19th July 1887, announcing the dissolution of the partnership between Arthur Bruges Plummer and brothers Andrew and George Taylor of the photography firm of A. & G. Taylor. Arthur Bruges Plummer had been the Managing Partner in A. & G. Taylor's Brighton branch studio at 34 Kings Road, Brighton, but parted company from Andrew and George Taylor in July 1887 when he decided to establish his own photographic studio at 3 Devonshire Terrace, Bexhill.
[ABOVE] A detail from a photograph of Brighton's Kings Road, showing No. 34 Kings Road, Brighton (the dark, flint-faced building in the centre of the picture), the site of A. &. G. Taylor's Brighton branch studio .
Arthur Bruges Plummer was born at Siddington, near Cirencester,
Gloucestershire, in 1859, the third son of Anne Herne Bruges and
Stephen Matthews Plummer, a gentleman farmer of Siddington. Stephen
Matthews Plummer (born c1824, Siddington, Gloucestershire), a wealthy
farmer, had married Ann Herne Bruges (born c 1830, Nettleton,
Wiltshire) in 1857 in the Wiltshire district of Devizes. This union produced
at least seven children - Seymour William Plummer (born 1858,
Cirencester, Gloucestershire), Arthur Bruges Plummer (born 1859,
Siddington, Glos.), Annie Matthews Plummer (born 1860, Peasemore,
Berkshire), Stephen Coventry Plummer (born 1862, Peasemore,
Berkshire), Jane Herne Plummer (born 1865, Peasemore, Berkshire),
William Herne Plummer (born 1865, Peasemore, Berkshire) and Catherine
Herne Plummer (born 1872, Speen, Berkshire).
Stephen Matthews Plummer died at his residence at The Castle, Speen Hill, Berkshire, in 1879, aged 54. Mrs Ann Herne Bruges Plummer, Stephen Plummer's widow, moved with her six children to a residential street in Speen, Berkshire, near Newbury. The 1881 census, records Ann Herne Plummer, described as a fifty year old widow, living with her three daughters - Ann, Jane and Catherine - at 9 Beaconsfield Terrace, Speen. At the time of the 1881 census, Mrs Plummer's three grown-up sons were boarding in the northern suburbs of London with Mrs Mary Fegarty at 32 Marquis Road, Hornsey, Middlesex. Stephen Plummer was working as a clerk and the eldest brother, Seymour Plummer, had found employment as a "Ship's Broker", but twenty-one year old Arthur Bruges Plummer gave his occupation simply as "Gentleman", which suggests he was not working but was receiving funds from his late father. More money probably came Arthur's way in the Summer of 1881, when his mother died at her home in Beaconsfield Terrace, Speen, at the age of 51.
In 1884, Arthur Bruges Plummer married Clara Elizabeth Batchelor (born 1862, St John's Wood, Middlesex), the daughter of Elizabeth and Robert John Batchelor, an upholsterer from Willesden, Middlesex. [The marriage of Arthur Bruges Plummer and Clara Elizabeth Batchelor was registered in the London district of Fulham during the 4th Quarter of 1884].
Arthur Bruges Plummer in Brighton
By 1886, Arthur Bruges Plummer and his wife Clara were living in Brighton. The couple's first child Stanton Bruges Plummer was born in Brighton during the 3rd Quarter of 1886. It was during this period that Arthur Bruges Plummer became the "Managing Partner" in A. & G. Taylor's Brighton branch studio at 34 Kings Road, Brighton.
Andrew Taylor (born 1832, Aberdeen, Scotland) and his brother George Taylor (born 1840, Aberdeen, Scotland) had established the photographic firm of A. & G. Taylor in 1864. Within twenty years, A. & G. Taylor had become one of the largest photography firms in Britain with an extensive chain of branch studios. By 1884, the firm of A. & G. Taylor was operating from 45 branch studios, including four in central London and six in the United States. George Taylor had vowed that he would not rest "until I have placed a portrait in every home in England, Scotland and Ireland". To this end, Andrew and George Taylor had established photographic portrait studios in all the major towns and cities of England (Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham), Scotland (Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee), Wales (Cardiff, Swansea, Carnarvon) and Ireland (Dublin). A. & G. Taylor had also opened studios in Paris, New York, Boston and Philadelphia.
Around 1882, A. & G. Taylor established a photographic portrait studio in the Sussex seaside town of Brighton. The Brighton branch studio of A. & G. Taylor was situated on Brighton's seafront at 34 Kings Road, Brighton, a few doors away from the Old Ship Hotel. George Taylor and his older brother Andrew Taylor appointed Arthur Bruges Plummer as the Manager of their studio at 34 Kings Road, Brighton. As part of the business package, Arthur Bruges Plummer also became a partner in the Brighton branch studio. The firm of A. & G. Taylor provided each of their local managers with a partnership interest in a particular branch studio, because this would provide, in the words of George Taylor, "a greater incentive to use his best efforts than even a payment by commission could supply".
After two or three years, Arthur Bruges Plummer decided to leave Brighton and the firm of A. & G. Taylor and establish his own photographic portrait studio in the nearby seaside town of Bexhill-on-Sea. A notice placed in the London Gazette on 19th July 1887, announced that "the Partnership" between "George Taylor, Andrew Taylor, and Arthur Bruges Plummer, carrying on business as Photographers, at No. 34 King's-road, Brighton, in the county of Sussex, under the name, style, or firm of A. and G. Taylor, has been dissolved, by mutual consent, as from the 13th day of July 1887." Arthur Bruges Plummer apparently left A. & G. Taylor on good terms, as the notice went on to state that "all debts due to or owing by the late partnership will be received and paid by the said George Taylor, Andrew Taylor". Andrew and George Taylor already had a replacement lined up to take over the management of their branch studio at 34 Kings Road, Brighton. In 1886, the photographer Robert Bourne was introduced as the Manager of the A. & G. Taylor studio at 34 Kings Road, Brighton and presumably in the following year he was invited to become Arthur Plummer's successor as the "Managing Partner" of A. & G. Taylor's branch studio at 34 Kings Road, Brighton.
[ABOVE] An advertisement for Arthur Bruges Plummer's studio at 3 Devonshire Terrace, Bexhill, which appeared in the Bexhill Chronicle newspaper on 14th April 1888.
[ABOVE] Sir Arthur Desmond Herne Plummer, Lord Plummer of St. Marylebone (1914-2009), the Leader of the Greater London Council from 1967 to 1973, was the grandson of Arthur Bruges Plummer, Bexhill's first resident professional photographer.
|Arthur Bruges Plummer
In the middle of the 19th century, Bexhill was a small village in Sussex situated between Eastbourne and Hastings. During the 1880s, the area south of Bexhill village was transformed into an exclusive seaside resort by Reginald Sackville, 7th Earl De La Warr. In 1861, Bexhill's population was just over 2,000, yet by the late 1880s the population of the new seaside town had reached almost 6,000.
Many businessmen were attracted to the rapidly expanding seaside resort of Bexhill-on-Sea. Robert John Batchelor (1825-1910), Arthur Bruges Plummer's father-in-law, moved down from North London in the mid-1880s and established an upholstery business in Westbourne Terrace, Devonshire Road, Bexhill-on-Sea. The firm of Batchelor & Son, upholsterers and furniture dealers, are recorded at 7 Westbourne Terrace, Devonshire Road, Bexhill-on-Sea in local trade directories during this period.
Arthur Bruges Plummer, while serving as the Managing Partner of A. & G. Taylor's photographic portrait studio in Brighton, had witnessed at first hand how lucrative retail photography could be. Around 1887, Arthur Bruges Plummer established his own photographic portrait studio at 3 Devonshire Terrace, Bexhill, close to Bexhill-on Sea's Railway Station.
On 14th April 1888, an advertisement for Arthur Bruges Plummer's studio at 3 Devonshire Terrace, Bexhill-on-Sea, appeared in the Bexhill Chronicle newspaper. The advertisement detailed A. B. Plummer's scale of charges. The first copy of a a carte-de-visite portrait would cost a customer 1s 6d, but the unit price could be reduced considerably if the customer ordered multiple copies. Three copies of the carte-de-visite portrait would cost 3 shillings and a dozen copies could be obtained for 6 shillings, bringing the unit price down to 6d. The larger cabinet portrait would cost 2s 6d at Plummer's studio, but a dozen copies of the cabinet format portrait could be had for 15 shillings. Vignette portraits, where the image was blurred at the edges to suggest a crayon portrait, carried an extra charge. Twelve copies of a "cabinet vignette" photographic portrait would cost 18 shillings. Plummer was proud of his reasonable prices. At the foot of the advertisement in the Bexhill Chronicle newspaper, Plummer stated that "Notwithstanding the low rates of charges, the work produced will be found of great delicacy and finish and in every way equal to the productions of the most expensive studios."
Arthur and Clara Plummer's second son, Arthur Herne Plummer was born in Bexhill-on-Sea during the 2nd Quarter of 1888. During their stay in Bexhill-on-Sea, Clara and Arthur Bruges Plummer produced at least three more children - Harold Francis Plummer (born 1890, Bexhill), Clara Plummer (born 1893, Bexhill- died 1893, Bexhill) and Kathleen Claire Plummer (born 1895, Bexhill).
It appears that Arthur Bruges Plummer was the first person to establish a permanent photographic portrait studio in Bexhill-on-Sea. ( Previously, Bexhill was served by itinerant photographers, such as Alfred Harding and his son Alfred junior, who were lodging at the Wheatsheaf Inn, Little Common, Bexhill, at the time of the 1881 census). Unfortunately for Arthur B. Plummer, his monopoly in the production of photographic likenesses in Bexhill was not to last very long. By 1888, photographer Charles Ash Talbot had opened his Rembrandt Studio in Station Road, Bexhill. Plummer held on for another year ( In February 1889, A. B. Plummer, "Artist and Photographer", was offering a cabinet portrait and a carte-de-visite portrait at a joint price of 1s 6d), but by the Summer of 1889, he had closed his photographic studio in Devonshire Terrace. By June 1889, Plummer's business premises at 3 Devonshire Terrace, Bexhill was occupied by tea and coffee merchants Deacon, Deacon & Co. and a Servants' Registry Office run by two sisters, Mary and Anne Brett.
Arthur Bruges Plummer abandoned photography and invested in new business ventures. In the 1892 edition of the Bexhill Chronicle's Directory to Bexhill-on-Sea, Mr A. Plummer is recorded at 8 Laburnham House, 7 Western Road, Bexhill-on-Sea. In the late 1890s, Arthur Plummer was the owner of apartments at 8-9 Albany Road, Bexhill-on-Sea. The 1901 census records forty-one year old Arthur Bruges Plummer as a "Coal, Coke & Builder's Merchant", residing with his wife and four surviving children at 1 Sea Road, Bexhill-on-Sea. Kelly's Hastings & St Leonards Directory (with Bexhill) - Buff Book published in 1901 lists A. B. Plummer as a coal merchant at 1 Sea Road, Bexhill-on-Sea. By 1911, Arthur Plummer had retired from business. The 1911 edition of Kelly's Post Office Directory for Sussex lists Arthur Plummer's private residences as 3 Sackville House, St Leonards Road, Bexhill and Hillrise, Kiln Bank, Little Common, Bexhill. Arthur Bruges Plummer died in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, in 1932, aged 73.
Arthur Herne Plummer (1888-1978), Arthur Bruges Plummer's second son, married Jane McCormick at Trinity Church, Hampstead on 28th June 1913. The couple's first child, Arthur Desmond Herne Plummer was born on 25th May 1914. Arthur Desmond Herne Plummer later became a Conservative politician and Leader of the Greater London Council. Knighted in 1971, (Arthur) Desmond Plummer was elevated to the House of Lords in 1981, becoming Baron Plummer of St Marylebone.
[ABOVE] A detail from John Downsborough's 1887 plan of Bexhill showing the roads leading from Bexhill Railway Station. When Downsborough drew this plan, the entrance of the the railway station was situated in Station Road, north of the railway line. In 1891, a new railway station building was built south of the railway line, opening into Station Square (Devonshire Square). Station Square was at the top end of Devonshire Road. The buildings around Station Square (coloured in blue) correspond to the photographic view of the approach to Bexhill Railway Station [see PHOTO, right]. Devonshire Terrace (coloured in red) where Arthur Bruges Plummer opened his photographic studio around 1888, was a row of five buildings on Devonshire Road, between Western Road and the railway line. Plummer's studio was at No. 3 Devonshire Terrace, which, according to Arthur Plummer's advertisements, was "Opposite The Devonshire Hotel" and "Close to the Station". The Devonshire Hotel (coloured in yellow) was built in 1886.
The Location of Arthur Bruge Plummer's Photographic Studio in Devonshire Terrace, Bexhill
[ABOVE] A photograph of the approach to Bexhill Railway Station taken in 1890. A new railway station building, situated south of the railway line and facing Station Square (Devonshire Square), opened in 1891. Devonshire Terrace, which faced Station Square, was at the top end of Devonshire Road, between Western Road and the railway line. Arthur Bruges Plummer operated a photographic studio at No. 3 Devonshire Terrace, Bexhill, between 1888 and 1889. An advertisement for A. B. Plummer, Artist & Photographer of 3 Devonshire Terrace, Bexhill, which was published in April 1888, mentions that his studio was "Close to the Station". In 1902 the railway platform was extended eastwards to Sea Road and a new, larger railway station (Bexhill Central) fronting Sea Road opened on 30th June 1902. Arthur Bruges Plummer's studio at 3 Devonshire Terrace was at the far end of the row of buildings on the left, beyond Western Road. According to Arthur Plummer's advertisements, his studio was "Close to the Station" and "Opposite The Devonshire Hotel". The porch of the Devonshire Hotel can be seen centre-right at the entrance to Station Square. The building on the corner of St Leonard's Road, at the far right of the photograph, is The Library, a lending library owned by Lyne & Co.
Acknowledgements & Sources
Thanks to Marcel Safier of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, for providing the copy of the notice in the London Gazette of 19th July 1887, announcing the dissolution of the partnership between Arthur Bruges Plummer and Andrew and George Taylor (of the photography firm A. & G. Taylor).
PRIMARY SOURCES : Census returns : 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901, 1911 ; Gloucestershire, Berkshire, and Sussex Trade Directories: Post Office Directory of Gloucestershire (1856) ; Harrod & Co.'s Bristol Post-Office Directory and Gazetteer, with the counties of Gloucestershire (1859) ; J. G. Harrod & Co.'s Royal County Directory of Berkshire (1876); Kelly's Post Office Directory for Sussex (1882,1887,1890,1891,1893,1894,1897,1899,1905, 1911) ; W. T. Pike's Brighton and Hove Directory and Local Blue Book (1887,1888,1889); Page's General Directory for Brighton & Hove (1880,1883,1884, 1885,1886, 1887, 1888, 1889) ; Walser & Grist's Popular Shilling Directory for Brighton (1888) Downsborough's Guide and Directory of Bexhill-on-Sea (1887,1888,1889,1890); Pike's Directory of Hastings, St Leonards & Bexhill - Blue Book (1901,1903) ; The Bexhill Directory Year Book (1891,1892,1894,1900,1901,1902,1903,1904, 1905);Kelly's Hastings & St Leonards Directory (with Bexhill) - Buff Book (1901, 1902, 1903).
Newspapers : London Gazette (19th July 1887) ; Bexhill Chronicle (14th April 1888, February 1889, 1902, 1903) ; Bexhill-on-Sea Observer (1899, 1902, 1903)
OTHER SOURCES : Books and articles : "Photographers to Her Majesty" by Roger Taylor (1987) in "Crown & Camera: The Royal Family and Photography 1842-1910" by Frances Dimond and Roger Taylor (Penguin / Viking 1987); The Victorians: Photographic Portraits by Audrey Linkman (Tauris Parke,1993).
Websites : Records of Baptisms & Marriages ( IGI ) on Family Search website ; Registers of Births, Marriages & Deaths at the FreeBMD website ; ; National Archives website;
Index of Bexhill Photographers
|Bexhill Photographers (A - B)||Alice Armstrong - Balk & Brown - Leon Balk - Bodom and Hawley - Hjalmar Bodom - Bridgman & Robbins - Otto Brown|
|Bexhill Photographers (C - D)||William Morris Crouch (The Sackville Studio) - John B. Currie - The Devonshire Studio|
|Bexhill Photographers (E - H)||Edgar Gael - Alfred Harding - A. D. Hellier - John Hicks - P.H.Hilson|
|Bexhill Photographers (Jacklett)||Joseph William Jacklett (J. W. Jacklette) - Bertha Duke (later Mrs Bertha Jacklett) Mrs J. W. Jacklett|
|Bexhill Photographers (J - O)||J. J. Jarrett - J. W. Jarrett - Miss M. Jarrett|
|Bexhill Photographers (P- Q)||J. J. Payne - J. Perry - Arthur Bruges Plummer|
|Bexhill Photographers (R - T)||
William J. Reed - Thomas Robbins - Robson - Sackville Studio (W. M. Crouch) - Leonard Snelling - James E. Stanborough - George E. Swain - Charles Ash Talbot
|Bexhill Photographers (V -Z)||
Emil Vieler - Herbert Vieler - J & E Wheeler
Click here to return to Home Page