Bognor Photographers (R-Z)

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Professional Photographers in Bognor (R-Z)

Alfred Reynolds - James Russell & Sons - James Scott - Campbell Sinclair - Frederick Smith -  Frederick Stone

Alfred REYNOLDS ( born 1853, New Sampford, Essex )

Alfred Reynolds was born in New Sampford, near Thaxted, Essex in 1853. His older brother Samuel Reynolds ( born 1848, Thaxted, Essex), a master carpenter and cabinet maker, moved to Bognor and around 1867 he set up a cabinet making business. Alfred Reynolds joined his brother in Bognor and in 1870 they combined to establish a business at 27 High Street, Bognor. The firm of Samuel & Alfred Reynolds began as a cabinet making business, but in the 1870s the brothers widened their business interests. Samuel and Alfred Reynolds expanded their business premises by acquiring the neighbouring shop at 29 High Street, Bognor. Advertisements in the 1870s state that the Reynolds brothers were in business as 'Auctioneers, Appraisers, House Agents, Cabinet Makers, Upholsterers and Undertakers'. ( In 2005, the firm of Reynolds & Co. was still providing Funeral Services from 27-31 High Street, Bognor Regis).  In 1878. Samuel Reynolds, Alfred's brother, resided at 8 Belmont Street, Bognor, the address from where Alfred Reynolds operated as a photographer. In the 1881 census, Samuel  Reynolds is recorded at Allford Lodge, 8 Belmont Street, Bognor, with his wife and six children. Samuel Reynolds gives his occupation as "Upholsterer & Auctioneer". In 1881, Alfred Reynolds, described as an "Upholsterer & Cabinet Maker", aged 28, is shown living with his twenty-nine year old wife Susan (born c1852 Shepherds Well, Kent ) and their four year old son Albert Edward Reynolds (born c1877, Bognor, Sussex) in Lyon place, Glamis Street, Bognor. Alfred Reynolds and his family moved to Sittingbourne, Kent, where he became a shopkeeper, dealing with general house furniture. His son, Albert Edward Reynolds died in Sittingbourne in 1888 at the age of 11.


[RIGHT] A view of Bognor's High Street, photographed in 1898. Samuel Reynolds and his brother Alfred Reynolds ran a successful cabinet making business at 27-31 High Street, Bognor from 1870 until the early 1880s. Alfred Reynolds operated as a photographer from an address in Belmont Street, Bognor around 1878.



[ABOVE] A photograph of the James Russell & Sons' studio in Lennox Street, Bognor. The old man in the horse-drawn carriage is possibly James Russell himself. James Russell (1809-99) established a studio in Chichester in the late 1850s and set up branch studios in Worthing, Littlehampton, Petworth and Bognor. The Lennox Street studio was closed down around 1881.

James Russell, the founder of the Russell family of photographers, was born in West Wittering, Sussex, in 1809 and died in Chichester in 1899. James Russell established his photography business in Chichester in the 1850s. By the mid 1860s, James Russell had formed the firm of J. Russell & Sons with his photographer sons. During the 1870s, James Russell & Sons established branch studios in Worthing, Littlehampton, Petworth and Bognor.

Russell & Sons established a photographic studio in Lennox Street, Bognor around 1876. A branch studio at Lennox Street, Bognor is mentioned in an advertisement for James Russell & Sons, which appeared in Chapman & Co.'s Worthing, Littlehampton, Bognor, Arundel & Chichester Almanack for 1877. Around 1881, the firm of Russell & Sons gave up control of its studios in Worthing and Littlehampton and closed the studios in Bognor and Petworth, in order to concentrate on its newly established photography business in London.




Click on the link below to read a full account of the photography business founded by James Russell (1809-1899)

 James Russell & Sons


[ABOVE LEFT] The reverse of a carte-de-visite  produced by James Russell & Sons of Lennox Street, Bognor. [ABOVE RIGHT] A photograph of  a man in a bowler hat taken at the James Russell & Sons' studio in Lennox Street, Bognor. (c1878)


James Thomas SCOTT (c1825 - 1886)

James Thomas Scott was born in Clerkenwell, London around 1825. Around 1847, James Scott married Amelia (born c1826, London) and set up home in Islington, where two daughters were born - Amelia (born 1849) and Alice (born 1852).

By 1855, James Scott and his family had moved down to the Sussex seaside resort of Bognor, where James Scott established himself as a tobacconist. (Melville's 1858 Directory of Sussex lists James Scott as a tobacconist on the Steyne at Bognor). Two sons were born to James and Amelia Scott during their stay in Bognor - Walter Osborne Scott, who was baptised at South Bersted church on 14th October 1855 and his brother Robert James Scott who was born in Bognor three years later in 1858, being baptised at the parish church of South Bersted on 3rd October 1858. James Scott was first recorded as a photographer in Bognor in 1859. The 1859 edition of Kelly's Directory of Sussex lists James Scott as a photographer at The Steyne, Bognor.

In the 1860s, James Scott established a photographic studio at Ryde on the Isle of Wight. It appears that from around 1865, Scott was the proprietor of The Isle of Wight Photographic Establishment in Monkton Street, Ryde, which was, according to newspaper advertisements,  only " two minutes walk from the Railway Station". Kelly's Post Office Directory of Hampshire, including the Isle of Wight, issued in 1867, lists James Scott as a photographer in Monkton Street, Ryde. By the time the 1871 census was taken, James Scott was living with his wife and four children at 61 High Street, Ryde. The 1871 census records James Scott as a forty-six year old photographer. Hill's Commercial Directory of the Isle of Wight describes James Scott as a "Photographer, stationer, tobacconist and news agent" at 61 High Street, Ryde. When the 1881 census was taken, James Scott was recorded at his new studio at 21 High Street, Ryde. James Scott's wife Amelia, described on the census return as a "Photographer's wife", aged 55, is shown residing at a house in St Thomas's Square, Ryde, with her eldest daughter, thirty-two year old Amelia, and her two sons Walter Osborne Scott, aged 24, and Robert James Scott, aged 22. Also living in the Scott household was Mrs Amelia Scott's nine year old grand daughter, entered on the return as Nelly A. Scott. This child was apparently the illegitimate daughter of James Scott's eldest child Amelia Scott. (Nelly had been christened "Nelly Amelia Elkins" at All Saints Church, Ryde, on 26th January 1873. The baptism register records the mother of the child as Amelia Scott).

In the 1870s and 1880s, James Scott was assisted in his photography business by his two sons,  Walter Osborne Scott (born 1855, Bognor) and Robert James Scott (born 1858, Bognor). In Kelly's 1875 Post Office Directory of Hampshire, including the Isle of Wight, Walter Scott was listed as a photographer under his own name at 21 High Street, Ryde and in Kelly's Directory of 1880, Walter is entered as a photographer at the family home in St Thomas' Square, Ryde. By 1883, Walter Scott had been joined in his photography business by his younger brother, Robert Scott. Stevens' Directory of the Isle of Wight, published in 1883, records the studio at 21 High Street, Ryde under the name of the "Scott Brothers". During this period, their sister, Miss Amelia Scott, was listed as a "tobacconist" at the same address.

James Thomas Scott died on the Isle of Wight in 1886 at the age of 61. [The death of James Thomas Scott was registered on the Isle of Wight during the 4th Quarter of 1886].

After her husband's death in 1886, Mrs Amelia Scott moved to Wanstead in Essex with her younger son Robert. In the 1891 census, Robert J. Scott is recorded as a thirty-two year old photographer living with his widowed mother in Wanstead, Essex. By 1895, Robert James Scott had moved to the seaside resort of Bournemouth, where he established a photographic studio. In Kelly's 1895 Directory, Robert James Scott is listed as a photographer with a studio in Holdenhurst Road, Bournemouth. During the 2nd Quarter of 1900, Robert James Scott married farmer's daughter Violet Wilmington Locock (born 1874, Luppitt, near Honiton, Devon). In the 1901 census of Bournemouth, Robert J, Scott is recorded as a forty-two year old photographer. Robert James Scott ran a photographic studio in Holdenhurst Road, Bournemouth from 1895 until around 1920. After Robert Scott's death, the studio at 203 Holdenhurst Road, Bournemouth was continued by his widow Mrs Violet Scott. ( Kelly's 1923 Directory lists Mrs Robert James Scott as a photographer at 203 Holdenhurst Road, Bournemouth, Dorset).

James Scott's eldest son Walter Osborne Scott, like his younger brother Robert James Scott, settled in Bournemouth. In 1900, Walter Scott married Emma Sloley  in Bournemouth and established a photographic studio in Old Christchurch Road, Bournemouth. At the time of the 1901 census, Walter Scott was living with his seventy-five year old widowed mother Mrs Amelia Scott at an address in Bournemouth. Walter Scott is described on the 1901 census return as "Photographer", aged 44. Kelly's 1903 Directory of Hampshire lists Walter Scott as a photographer at 228 Old Christchurch Road, Bournemouth. Local trade directories published between 1920 and 1923, record Walter Scott as a photographer at 30 Seamoor Road, Bournemouth.

[ABOVE] An old hand-coloured print showing the seafront at Bognor in the early 1820s, from a drawing by William Daniell (1769-1837).


In the mid 18th century Bognor was a small fishing village on the Sussex coast. After visiting Bognor in about 1784, Sir Richard Hotham (1722-1799) a London hatter, made plans to develop the village into a fashionable seaside resort. In 1785, Sir Richard Hotham purchased land at Bognor and over the next fourteen years he spent over 60,000 transforming the village into an attractive bathing place for wealthy visitors. Before his death in 1799, Hotham had built a large hotel, a library with adjoining reading rooms, a number of shops and facilities for bathing in warm sea water. Hotham also financed the building of fashionable housing at Hotham Place, Hothampton Crescent and Long Row. Although Hotham's scheme was not a financial success, the development of the town coincided with the growing popularity of sea water bathing. In 1824, sea water baths were built near The Steyne at Bognor. In 1801, Bognor had a population of about 700, but by 1851, when the census was taken, there were about 2,700 people living in Bognor and the neighbouring village of South Bersted. As Kelly's 1851 Directory of Sussex noted, prior to 1785, Bognor was "but a small village, inhabited only by labourers and fishermen; but from the mildness and salubrity of the air, the eligibility of the extensive beach for bathing, and its extensive sea views, it has become a fashionable summer resort and watering-place". James Scott established his photographic studio on The Steyne in Bognor around 1858, when the seaside resort was attracting a good number of seasonal visitors but had not reached the height of its popularity. A branch railway line did not reach Bognor until 1864 and Bognor Pier was not opened until 1865. By this date James Scott had left Sussex and had opened a photographic establishment in the seaside town of Ryde on the Isle of Wight.

[ABOVE] A mid 19th century print of Bognor seafront based on a sketch by the artist and engraver William Henry Bartlett (1809-1854).


Acknowledgements & Sources

I am grateful to Raymond V. Turley, author of the comprehensive study "Isle of Wight Photographers, 1840-1940" (University of Southampton, 2001), for providing details of James Scott's photographic career in Ryde, Isle of Wight. Thanks also to Gordon Childs who has included details of James Scott and his sons Walter and Robert on his very useful website Isle of Wight Photographers.

SOURCES : Directories : Melville's 1858 Directory of Sussex ; Kelly's 1859 Directory of Sussex ; Kelly's 1867 Post Office Directory of Hampshire (including the Isle of Wight); Kelly's 1875 Post Office Directory of Hampshire (including the Isle of Wight). Census Returns : 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901. Books : "Isle of Wight Photographers, 1840-1940" by Raymond V. Turley (University of Southampton, 2001) ; Directory of Hampshire Photographers by Martin Norgate (Hampshire County Council, 1995) ;


Campbell SINCLAIR 

 A photographer named Campbell Sinclair is listed at 33 High Street, Bognor in a local trade directory of 1906.

 Frederick SMITH ( born c1844, Westbury, Buckinghamshire )

Frederick Smith was born in Westbury, Buckinghamshire around 1844. Frederick Smith went on to establish a photographic studio at Franklin Place, Chichester in 1878, but for a brief time he was based in Bognor. Frederick Smith and his wife Annie (born c1847, Hawkhurst, Kent) were living in Bognor when their first child, Annie B. Smith, was born in the town around 1872.

 Frederick (Fred) STONE ( born c1836, Barnstaple, Devon )

Frederick Stone was born in Barnstaple, Devon around 1836. After working in Exeter, Devon, where his first two children were born, Fred Stone, his wife and their two infants travelled to Sussex .On his arrival in Bognor around 1870, Fred Stone established a photographic studio at No 4 Somerset Terrace, Lyon Street, Bognor, near the town's railway station. The 1871 census return records Fred Stone residing with his wife and children in Lyon Street, Bognor. Fred Stone is described by the census enumerator as a "Photographer", aged 35. Also living at the house in Lyon Street is Fred's twenty-nine year old wife, Fanny ( born c1842 Exeter) and the couple's three children - three year old Fanny, William, aged 2 and baby Joshua, who had been born in Bognor in 1870 ( birth of Joshua John Stone registered in the Westhampnett District in the September Quarter of 1870). Fred Stone operated the studio at Somerset Terrace until 1875, when he sold the business to William Pankhurst Marsh, who became Bognor's leading photographer. No trace of Fred Stone or his family can be found in the 1881 census return, so it is possible that he emigrated after selling his Bognor studio in 1875.



[ABOVE] Carte-de-visite portraits of children taken by Fred Stone at his studio in Somerset Terrace, Bognor (c1872).

[ABOVE] Fred Stone's trade plate design on the reverse of a carte-de-visite


Click on the link below to see a listing of photographers active in Bognor between 1847 and 1910 :

Directory of Photographic Studios in Bognor (1847-1910)


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