Professional Photographers in Hailsham
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Edwin Isaac Baker - Edwin & Lela Chell - Charles Hollamby - James Lawrence - Herbert J. Unwin
|[ ABOVE ] The front and back of two carte-de-visite portraits by Edwin Isaac Baker of High Street, Hailsham. The portrait of the woman dates from the late 1880s. The back design was first used by E. I. Baker around 1880.|
|Edwin Isaac BAKER
A Bookseller and Stationer in High Street, Hailsham.
Active as a photographer in Hailsham from 1868 to 1896.
Edwin CHELL (c1851-1927) & Lela CHELL (1870-1937)
| Edwin CHELL
(c1851-1927) & Lela CHELL (1870-1937)
Active as photographers in Hailsham from around 1897 to 1913.
Edwin Chell was born around 1851 in Cheddleton, near Leek, Staffordshire. In the 1881 Census he is described as a "Farmer's Son" aged 29 and is shown living with his mother and elder brother John Chell (born c1848, Dilhorn, Staffordshire) at Basford Grange, Cheddleton. Edwin's mother Mrs Ann Jane Chell ( nee Steele - born c1828, Cheddleton) is recorded as a widow farming 200 acres. George Chell, Edwin's father, had died in 1865.
In 1893, Edwin Chell married Lela Constance Godfrey ( born 1870, Pokesdown*, near Christchurch, Hampshire ), the twenty-two year old daughter of Lavinia Lansley (born c1837, Kimpton, Hampshire) and William Godfrey (born c1837, Egham Surrey ), a cabinet maker of Christchurch. [ * NOTE : Pokesdown is now within Dorset ]
Edwin and Lela Chell moved to Hailsham, where their first child, Godfrey, was born in 1894. A second child, named Lily, was born around 1896. Three more daughters followed - Ivy ( born c1897, Hailsham ) Nellie ( born c1899, Hailsham ) and Mollie ( born 1901, Hailsham ). At the time of the 1901 Census, the four daughters are shown living with Edwin and Lela at their home in Hailsham.( Their only son Godfrey had died in 1899 at the age of four ). Two more children were born in Hailsham after the 1901 Census - a son named Leslie Steele Chell in 1902 and a daughter Norah in 1905.
Edwin Chell and Lela Chell, had been taking photographs from their home at 9 Alexander Terrace, High Street, Hailsham since about 1898. Like other Hailsham photographers, Edwin Chell could not initially earn a living by photography alone. In the 1901 census, Edwin Chell gave his main occupation as "Life Insurance Agent". However, sometime before 1905, Edwin and Lela Chell set up a photographic studio at 64 & 65 High Street, Hailsham, which they operated until 1913.
Edwin Chell ended his days working as a milkman in Hailsham. He died on 17th December 1927 at the age of 76. Mrs Lela Chell died ten years later in 1936, aged sixty-six.
[ABOVE ] Cabinet portrait of a Young Woman from the studio of Edwin & Lela Chell of 64 & 65 High Street, Hailsham. (c1908)
|Charles HOLLAMBY (1817-1891)|
Active as a photographer in Hailsham from around 1865 to 1882
Charles Hollamby was born in Hailsham around 1817. Hollamby had been working as a shoemaker in the town since at least 1841. In the 1841 Census for Hailsham, Charles Hollamby is described as a " Shoe Maker - Journeyman" and is shown lodging in the High Street, at the home of John Holman, the town's School Master. In 1843, Charles Hollamby married Mary Hook (born c1821, Withyham, Sussex). By 1859, Hollamby had established a boot and shoemaking business in the High Street of the town. In 1861 Charles Hollamby was employing two men and one boy in his shoemaking business. Mrs Mary Hollamby, his wife, had her own "Straw Bonnet and Tuscan Hat" manufacturing business in the High Street.
Around 1865, Charles Hollamby purchased some photographic apparatus. When the Post Office Directory for Sussex, was published in 1866, Hollamby is listed under the heading of 'Photographers' in the Trades section. An advertisement in The Hailsham Commercial Advertiser of 1869 declared: " Charles Hollamby, Boot & Shoe Maker, High Street, Hailsham . PHOTOGRAPHIC PORTRAITS TAKEN DAILY."
Charles Hollamby is listed as a photographer at Hailsham in local trade directories from 1866 until 1882. He was still working as a bootmaker at the time of the 1891 Census, when he was seventy-four years of age. Charles Hollamby died in December 1891 at the age of 74 and he was buried at the Hellingly Union graveyard on 28th December 1891 ( Grave No.411 ).
[ RIGHT ] An advertisement in the 1869 edition of The Hailsham Almanac and Commercial Advertiser for Charles Hollamby, Boot & Shoe Maker, and Photographer of High Street, Hailsham . Below Hollamby's advertisement are notices for his wife's straw bonnet business and the rival studio of Edwin Isaac Baker.
James LAWRENCE (born c1828)
LAWRENCE (born c1828)
Active as a photographer in Hailsham in 1861.
James Lawrence was born at Bethlem Green (Bethnal Green) in East London, around 1828. In the 1861 Census for Hailsham, James Lawrence is described as a "Photographic Artist", aged 32 and is shown lodging with sixty four year old Mary Tutt in the High Street of Hailsham. He was probably an itinerant photographer without a permanent studio. James Lawrence is not recorded as a photographer in the Sussex Post Office Directory of 1862 and makes no appearance in later Sussex directories
Herbert John UNWIN ( born c1874)
John UNWIN ( born c1874)
Active as a photographer in Hailsham from around 1897 to 1899
Herbert John Unwin was born in 1873 in Folkestone, Kent. He was the son of Uriah John Unwin (born c1851, Folkestone, Kent), a bricklayer, and Sophia Jane Martin (born c1848, Rye, Sussex). At the end of 1896, Herbert John Unwin married Florence Chittenden (born c1869, Elmsted, Kent) at Folkestone.
Shortly after his marriage, Herbert Unwin moved to Hailsham in Sussex, where he took over the bookselling and photography business of Edwin Isaac Baker, who had been Hailsham's leading photographer between 1868 to 1896. Baker had sold his photographic studio and bookshop in Hailsham's High Street to Herbert Unwin before emigrating to the United States in December 1896. Naming the bookshop "The Library", Unwin operated the photographic studio in Hailsham's High Street until around 1899. By the time the 1901 census was taken, Herbert Unwin was working as a photographer and living in Tupsley, near Hereford, with his wife and young daughter Gladys Winifred Unwin (born 1898, Hailsham ).
[ABOVE ] A badly stained advertisement for H. J. Unwin, Bookseller, Stationer Librarian, and Photographer, of The Library, High Street, Hailsham, published in Sumfield's Hailsham Almanac and Directory for 1898.
Click here to go to A History of Professional Photography in Hailsham
Click here to go to Directory of Photographic Studios in Hailsham 1860-1910
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