Hastings Photographers (Bradshaw)

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Professional Photographers in Hastings

George William Bradshaw - William Stephen Bradshaw & Sons

 

William Stephen BRADSHAW & Sons  - William Stephen BRADSHAW (1833-1915) and his sons - George William BRADSHAW (1858-1917) & William James BRADSHAW (1859-1921)

 

George William BRADSHAW (1857-1917)

[ABOVE] Detail from the trade plate used by the photographer George William Bradshaw in the mid 1890s when he was operating the Memorial Studio in Robertson Street, Hastings.

[ABOVE] Portrait of an unknown man, photographed at the London studio of  W. S. Bradshaw & Sons (c1892). William Stephen Bradshaw was a veteran London photographer who had acquired the former studio of The London School of Photography at 103 Newgate Street in 1876. William Stephen Bradshaw, with the aid of his two sons, George William Bradshaw and William James Bradshaw, also operated studios in Hastings, Sussex, and Pretoria in South Africa.

George William Bradshaw was born in 1857 in Shoreditch, London. George William Bradshaw was the eldest child of Jane Painter Marsh and William Stephen Bradshaw, a professional photographer.

William Stephen Bradshaw, George's father, was born on 4th November 1833 at Edgware in North London. William Stephen Bradshaw began his photographic career in 1856 when he found employment as an assistant camera operator with the London Stereoscopic & Photographic Company *. Later that year, William Stephen Bradshaw married Jane Painter Marsh (born 1833, Beaminster, Dorset) in his home town of Edgware [ Marriage registered in the District of Hendon during the 3rd Quarter of 1856 ]. George William Bradshaw, the couple's first child, was born in the East London district of Shoreditch during the 3rd Quarter of 1857. A second son, William James Bradshaw, was born in Shoreditch on 6th August 1859. It is likely that during this period, William Stephen Bradshaw was employed as a photographer at the London Stereoscopic Company's photographic portrait studio in London's Cheapside.

By the time the 1861 census was taken, William Stephen Bradshaw and his family were living at 17 Brighton Terrace, Bishops Road, Bethnal Green. Jane Bradshaw gave birth to three daughters during the family's stay in Bethnal Green - Jane Eliza Bradshaw (born 1862), Ada May Bradshaw (born 1865) and Nellie Bradshaw (born 1870).

The London Stereoscopic Company*, William Stephen Bradshaw employer, was one of the most commercially successful photographic companies and a leading producer of carte-de-visite portraits. In the capital, The London Stereoscopic Company's main rival in the production of carte-de-visite portraits was The London School of Photography**. At the height of its success in the mid 1860s, The London School of Photography was operating from eight branch studios in London. Around 1874, William Stephen Bradshaw joined the rival firm and worked as a photographer at the London School of Photography's studio in Newgate Street. In 1876, William Smorthwaite (1822-1893), the new proprietor of The London School of Photography, began to sell off his London studios. William Stephen Bradshaw, together with another photographer Thomas Peter Godart (1848-1928), purchased the London School of Photography's studio at 103 Newgate Street, London E. C. in 1876.

Although owned by the partnership of Bradshaw & Godhart, the studio at 103 Newgate Street retained the famous brand name of The London School of Photography. On 29th January 1878, the partnership between William Stephen Bradshaw and Thomas Godart was dissolved and the studio continued under the name of W. S. Bradshaw. William Stephen Bradshaw was to retain ownership of the studio at 103 Newgate Street until he retired from the business in 1902.

When the 1881 census was carried out on 3rd April 1881, William Stephen Bradshaw and his family were residing at 103 Newgate Street, London, the site of Bradshaw's photographic studio. On the census return, William S. Bradshaw, the Head of Household, is described as a "Photographer", aged 48. George W. Bradshaw, William's twenty-three year old son also gives his occupation as "Photographer" and was presumably assisting his father in his Newgate Street studio. William Stephen Bradshaw's wife Jane and their three daughters Jane, Amy and Nellie are recorded at the family home in Newgate Street, but there is no mention of his second son, twenty-one year old William James Bradshaw. William James Bradshaw (1859-1921) was also a professional photographer and there is some evidence that he was operating as a photographer in South Africa in the 1880s and 1890s. William James Bradshaw does not appear in the index of the 1881 census and he might have already arrived in South Africa by this date. After William Stephen Bradshaw established the firm of W. S. Bradshaw & Sons in 1885, he mentioned in his publicity that he had branch studios in the Sussex seaside resort of Hastings and in Pretoria, South Africa. By 1887, W. S. Bradshaw's eldest son, George William Bradshaw, was running the branch studio in Hastings and it possible that William James Bradshaw was in charge of the South African branch studio in Pretoria.

  *The London Stereoscopic Company was founded in 1854 by George Swan Nottage (1823-1885). As the name indicates, The London Stereoscopic Company produced stereoscopes and stereoscopic photographs, but the firm also owned a number of photographic portrait studios in London. The London Stereoscopic Company  became the largest manufacturer of stereo views in Britain (The London Stereoscopic Company's catalogue of 1858 listed over 100,000 stereoscopic cards), but when the demand for stereo views declined in the early 1860s, the company concentrated on the production of carte-de-visite portraits and from 1863 the firm was known as the London Stereoscopic and Photographic Co.

**The London School of Photography opened a photographic portrait studio in London's Newgate Street in 1854 under the management of Charles William Quin. Samuel Prout Newcombe (c1823-1912), the proprietor of The London School of Photography, opened ten branch studios in London between 1857 and 1868. Newcombe was succeeded as the proprietor of The London School of Photography in 1870 by William Smorthwaite (1822-1893).

 

William Stephen Bradshaw of The London Stereoscopic Company and The London School of Photography

[ABOVE] Portrait of an unknown man, a carte-de-visite portrait produced by the London Stereoscopic Company at 54 Cheapside, London (c1865). William Stephen Bradshaw worked as a photographic operator for the London Stereoscopic Company in the late 1850s and early 1860s. [ABOVE] The trade plate of the London Stereoscopic Company as printed on the reverse of a carte-de-visite portrait (c1865). This carte-de-visite was produced by the London Stereoscopic Company's studio at 54 Cheapside, London. [ABOVE] Portrait of a man with a beard, a carte-de-visite portrait by Bradshaw & Godart, successors to The London School of Photography at 103 Newgate Street, London (c1877). Negative No.114114 [ABOVE] The trade plate of Bradshaw & Godart, "Successors to The London School of Photography", 103 Newgate Street, London, as printed on the reverse of a carte-de-visite portrait (c1877). William Stephen Bradshaw was in partnership with Thomas Peter Godart from 1876 to January 1878.
[ABOVE] A vignette portrait of a distinguished man with white side whiskers, a carte-de-visite portrait by W. S. Bradshaw, "Artist in Photography",103 Newgate Street, London (c1880). [ABOVE] The trade plate of  W. S. Bradshaw, "Artist in Photography", 103 Newgate Street, London, as printed on the reverse of a carte-de-visite portrait (c1880). William Stephen Bradshaw was keen to point out that he was the successor to the famous London School of Photography which had been established in 1854. [ABOVE] A portrait of a young woman, a carte-de-visite portrait by W. S. Bradshaw, "Artist in Photography",103 Newgate Street, London (1888). Negative No.134179. [ABOVE] Vignette portrait of a young woman, a carte-de-visite portrait produced by W. S. Bradshaw of The London School of Photography, 103 Newgate Street, London. (c1898). William Stephen Bradshaw was based at 103 Newgate Street, London until his retirement in 1902.
 
William Stephen Bradshaw & Sons of London, Hastings & Pretoria

[ABOVE] The trade plate of  W. S. Bradshaw & Sons, Photographers, 103 Newgate Street, London, as printed on the reverse of a carte-de-visite portrait (c1888). William Stephen Bradshaw was joined in his business by his two sons George William Bradshaw and William James Bradshaw. George William Bradshaw operated the studio in Hastings, Sussex and presumably William James Bradshaw was in charge of the South African studio in Pretoria, Transvaal.

[ABOVE] Portrait of an unknown man, a carte-de-visite portrait produced by W. S. Bradshaw & Sons of London School of Photography, 103 Newgate Street, London. William Stephen Bradshaw had brought his two sons, George William Bradshaw and William James Bradshaw, into a business partnership around 1885. William Stephen Bradshaw was based at 103 Newgate Street, London until his retirement in 1902.

By 1884, William Stephen Bradshaw had established a second London studio at 52 Cheapside, London, a former branch studio of the original The London School of Photography. William Stephen Bradshaw was based at 103 Newgate Street, London, and it likely that one of his two sons operated the branch studio at 52 Cheapside. Around 1885, William Stephen Bradshaw established the firm of W. S. Bradshaw & Sons by bringing his two sons, George William Bradshaw and William James Bradshaw into the business. By March 1885, the name of W. S. Bradshaw & Sons was attached to the studios at 103 Newgate Street and 52 Cheapside. When William S. Bradshaw's youngest son William James Bradshaw left England for South Africa, the firm's studio at 52 Cheapside, London was acquired by The Art Photographic Association, managed by James Michael Rourke.

By 1885, George William Bradshaw had been working as a photographer at his father's London studio for about ten years. William James Bradshaw, George's brother, had left England for South Africa and had established a photographic studio in Pretoria, which his father advertised as a branch studio of W. S. Bradshaw & Sons. Around 1886, William Stephen Bradshaw acquired Constantine Jennings' photographic studio in Hastings, which was placed under the control of his eldest son George William Bradshaw. From this date, the firm of W. S. Bradshaw & Sons advertised three branch studios - 1) 103 Newgate Street, London [W. S. Bradshaw], 2) The Memorial Studio, Robertson Street, Hastings [G. W. Bradshaw], and 3) Pretoria, Transvaal, South Africa [W. J. Bradshaw].

William James Bradshaw in South Africa

It appears that W. S. Bradshaw's second son William James Bradshaw (born 1859, London) left England for South Africa before 1885. In the late 1880s, William J. Bradshaw was probably working as a photographer in Pretoria in the South African province of Transvaal. At this time, the firm of  W. S. Bradshaw & Sons was advertising branch studios in London at 103 Newgate Street (run by William Stephen Bradshaw), in Hastings at 51c Robertson Street (proprietor George William Bradshaw) and Pretoria in South Africa (presumably managed by William James Bradshaw). I have not traced any photographs produced in Pretoria, South Africa under the name of "W. S. Bradshaw & Sons" and it is likely that in Pretoria the studio went under the name of William J. Bradshaw. [ A similar situation existed in Hastings. Although the firm of W. S. Bradshaw & Sons described the Memorial Studio in Hastings as a branch studio, it seems clear that the studio premises at 51c Robertson Street was under the control of George William Bradshaw. From 1887 until about 1901, when the studio was sold to the photographer S. H. Shaw, trade directories list the proprietor of the studio at 51 Robertson Street, Hastings, as George W. Bradshaw. Although George W. Bradshaw's photographs taken in Hastings carry the legend "Branch Studio of The London School of Photography, Newgate Street, London, E.C.", the company name of "W. S. Bradshaw & Sons" is not printed on the photographs produced at the Robertson Street studio ].

It is possible that William J. Bradshaw worked as a partner in the firm of Plumbe & Bradshaw, which had a studio in Koch Street, Pretoria, in the late 1880s or early 1890s. William James Bradshaw does not appear in the index of the British census of 1891, so we can assume he was still working as a photographer in South Africa at this date. By 1901, William James Bradshaw had returned to England and when the census was taken on 31st March he is recorded as a 41 year old  photographer residing in Hornsey with his father and mother. William James Bradshaw is entered on the census return as an unmarried man. William James Bradshaw did not marry until 1908, when he was 48 years of age .

[ABOVE] Two trade plates of the photographic firm of Plumbe & Bradshaw, Koch Street, Pretoria, South Africa. It is a possibility that William James Bradshaw was a partner in the firm of Plumbe & Bradshaw in the early 1890s.

George William Bradshaw in Hastings

In 1885, George William Bradshaw married Clara Jane Le Gassick (born 1863, Maida Vale, Paddington, London), the twenty-two year old daughter of Margaret and John William Braund Le Gassick, a London tailor. [Marriage of George William Bradshaw married Clara Jane Le Gassick registered in the district of Wandsworth during the 3rd Quarter of 1885]. John William Braund Le Gassick (born 1825, Westminster), Clara's father, had been a partner in the London tailoring firm of Anstey, Le Gassick & Guthrie until his death in 1864. From this date, Mrs Margaret Le Gassick (c1836-1914), Clara's widowed mother, supported her children by running a tailor's trimming warehouse in London.

William Stephen Bradshaw had apparently set up a photography business in Pretoria, South Africa for his youngest son, William James Bradshaw (born 1859). When William Bradshaw's son George married in 1885, it seemed a good time to provide his eldest son with a studio of his own. In 1886, the firm of W. S. Bradshaw & Sons purchased Constantine Jennings' photographic studio in the Sussex seaside resort of Hastings.

Towards the end of 1886, George William Bradshaw, accompanied by his young wife, arrived on the south coast to take over Constantine Jennings' Memorial Studio in Robertson Street, Hastings. A photographic portrait studio had been operating on the top floor of the building that spanned 51-52 Robertson Street, Hastings since 1864 (see panel below). At the beginning of his tenure, Bradshaw retained the name "The Memorial Studio" for his business premises in Robertson Street, but within a few years the proprietor's name "George W. Bradshaw" dwarfed the studio's traditional name.  Although the firm of W. S. Bradshaw & Sons described the Memorial Studio in Hastings as a branch studio, it seems clear that the studio premises at 51c Robertson Street was under the control of George William Bradshaw. From 1887 until about 1901, when the studio was sold to the photographer S. H. Shaw, trade directories list the proprietor of the studio at 51 Robertson Street, Hastings, as George W. Bradshaw. Although George W. Bradshaw's photographs taken in Hastings carry the legend "Branch Studio of The London School of Photography, Newgate Street, London, E.C.", the company name of "W. S. Bradshaw & Sons" is not printed on the photographs produced at the Robertson Street studio.

G. W. Bradshaw, photographer of 51c Robertson Street, Hastings, is listed in the commercial section of Kelly's Directory of Sussex, issued for the year 1887. An advertisement for George Bradshaw's photographic studio also appeared in the Hastings & St Leonards Visitor's Guide published around 1887. The advertisement announced that George W. Bradshaw "from the London School of Photography" was now operating "The Memorial Studio, Robertson Street / Cambridge Road", previously occupied by Constantine Jennings. Another notice in W. T. Pike's Hastings and St Leonards Directory and Blue Book for 1887 pointed pointed out that "George W. Bradshaw (late Constantine Jennings)" had been "13 years at the London School of Photography", which suggests George had been working as a photographer at the London branch in Newgate Street since the age of 16. One would have thought that this period of service was more likely to be applied to George's father, William Stephen Bradshaw (1833-1915), who had been the proprietor of the London School of Photography at 103 Newgate Street, London, since 1874. However, an item printed in the Hastings & St Leonards News of 18th April 1890 repeated the claim :

It is a thing not very widely known, that the London School of Photography have a branch in Hastings at the Memorial Studio, Robertson Street, till lately conducted by Mr. Constantine Jennings. Mr. G. W. Bradshaw, who was for 13 years at Newgate Street, will always be glad to give advice, and execute orders for oil paintings and all kinds of enlarged photographs, having had very great experience in that particular branch of his profession.

[ABOVE] Cabinet portrait of a bearded man produced by George W. Bradshaw at his photographic studio at 51d Robertson Street, Hastings (c1895). From 1887 to 1891 Bradshaw's studio address was given as 51c Robertson Street. From 1892 to 1899 the studio was listed at 51d Robertson Street, Hastings, but reverted to No 51c in 1900. From 1864 until 1880 the address of the studio was listed as 52 Robertson Street, Hastings, but when Henry Constantine Jennings re-opened the studio as The Memorial Studio in 1881 the studio address was given as 51c Robertson Street, Hastings.

The Memorial Studio, Robertson Street, Hastings

[ABOVE] A photograph taken in the late 1890s showing G. W. Bradshaw's Memorial Studio at 51-52 Robertson Street, Hastings. This view shows how the elaborate four-storey building straddled Robertson Street and Cambridge Road in Hastings. Robertson Street is the road on the left and Cambridge Road can be glimpsed behind the lamp post on the right. Bradshaw's Memorial Studio was located above street level at the top of the tall narrow building and could be entered through the main entrance at 51 Robertson Street or from the rear entrance in Cambridge Road.

[ABOVE RIGHT] A detail of the photograph on the left showing the studio premises at the top of the building. A sign in the central window reads: "BRADSHAW'S PHOTOGRAPHIC STUDIO".

 

The Memorial Studio in Robertson Street, Hastings

[ABOVE] A photograph taken in 2006 showing 51-52 Robertson Street, Hastings. Moons Jewellers occupies No 51d Robertson Street, Palace Estates is at No.52 and the newsagents Sweet Selection is at the end of the row at No 52b Robertson Street. The Memorial Photographic Studio located at the top of this row of buildings carried the number 51c Robertson Street between 1881 and 1890. The studio had a rear entrance in Cambridge Road.

When George William Bradshaw arrived in Hastings to take over the running of Memorial Studio in Robertson Street, Hastings, around 1886, the photographic studio at 51-52 Robertson Street had been in business for over twenty years.

The studio premises above 51-52 Robertson Street had been specially designed and built "for photographic purposes" by a Mr Plummer, under " the direction of a skilled practical photographer" named Francis Ross Wells (1834-1893) around 1864. The building at number 52 was equipped with a north-facing "glass-house" studio which was pronounced " the Best Lighted one on the South Coast ". After a brief business partnership with a photographer named Hodges, Francis Ross Wells operated the studio at 52 Robertson Street on his own until 1867, when the business passed to John Beetham. After Beetham's departure, the studio was occupied by local photographer Thomas Mann junior (born c1839, Hastings). After Thomas Mann junior died in 1874 at the age of 34, the studio was taken over by Robert Bell Hutchison (born c1849,Tunbridge Wells, Kent). Hutchison ran the studio from 1874 to 1876. The studio then passed to Thorpe & Friederich - a short-lived partnership between photographers William Edward Thorpe and Walter Ulrich Friederich. Around 1877, the well-known Hastings photographer John Wesley Thomas (1831-1908) took over the studio from Thorpe & Friederich. By March 1881, J. W. Thomas had sold the Robertson Street studio to Henry Constantine Jennings (born 1843, Paris, France).

An article published in the Hastings & St Leonards Observer on 17th December 1881 (the year that the studio passed from J. W. Thomas to Henry Constantine Jennings) described the premises as a "magnificent studio" and gave the opinion that "the studio in Robertson-street is one of the most perfect in the kingdom". The article went on to enthuse : "To obtain a better north light - that beginning and end of everything in artistic photography - does not exist anywhere. The spaciousness of the camera-chamber is likewise worthy of special mention, for so large is the apartment that not only can every possible variety of individual posing be presented, but groups of fifty or more can be taken ..".

George William Bradshaw operated the Memorial Studio at 51 Robertson Street, Hastings, from 1887 until about 1901. By the time Kelly's Directory of Sussex was published in 1903, the studio at 51c Robertson Street, Hastings was occupied by Sidney H. Shaw.

 

The Memorial Studio

[ABOVE] A photograph taken in 2006 showing the location of the Memorial Studio at 51-52 Robertson Street, Hastings. The first photographic studio on this site had a business address of 52 Robertson Street, Hastings. The Memorial Photographic Studio located at the top of this row of buildings carried the number 51c Robertson Street between 1881 and 1890.

[ABOVE] A detail of the photograph on the left showing the decoration on the facade at the top of 51-52 Robertson Street, Hastings. The word "STUDIO" is carved in the stone facia at the top of the building near the roof.
 

[ABOVE] An advertisement for George Bradshaw, photographer of The Memorial Studio, 51c Robertson Street, Hastings, which appeared in the 1891 edition of Pike's Hastings & St Leonards Directory. Bradshaw claimed he had previously spent "thirteen years" at the London School of Photography.
 

Carte-de-visite portraits by George William Bradshaw of Hastings

[ABOVE] The trade plate of  The Memorial Studio, Robertson Street, Hastings (Proprietor : George W. Bradshaw) [c1888]. The Memorial Studio was previously held by the photographer Henry Constantine Jennings (born c1843, Paris, France). Jennings sold the Memorial Studio in Hastings to the London firm of  W. S. Bradshaw & Sons around 1886. George W. Bradshaw was in charge of the Memorial Studio until around 1901. [ABOVE] Portrait of a man with a beard, a carte-de-visite portrait from The Memorial Studio, Robertson Street, Hastings (Proprietor : George W. Bradshaw). [c1888] [ABOVE] Details of Bradshaw's Studio, Robertson Street, Hastings. [c1890]. The proprietor of the studio was George William Bradshaw, the eldest son of London photographer William Stephen Bradshaw. George Bradshaw's Hastings studio is advertised as a branch studio of The London School of Photography in Newgate Street, London which was owned by George's father William Stephen Bradshaw. [Negative No. 10076a]. [ABOVE] Portrait of a girl with a book, a carte-de-visite portrait from Bradshaw's Studio, Robertson Street, Hastings (Proprietor : George W. Bradshaw). [Negative No. 10076a]. [c1890]
[ABOVE] Portrait of a woman wearing spectacles, a carte-de-visite portrait from the studio of George W. Bradshaw, Memorial Studio, Robertson Street, Hastings. [Negative No. 15888a] (c1895). [ABOVE] The trade plate of George W. Bradshaw, Memorial Studio, Robertson Street, Hastings, taken from the reverse of a carte-de-visite portrait. [Negative No. 15888a]. (c1895). [ABOVE] Vignette portrait of a woman, a carte-de-visite portrait from the studio of George W. Bradshaw, Memorial Studio, Robertson Street, Hastings (c1892). [Negative No.12587]. [ABOVE] Details of Bradshaw's Studio, Robertson Street, Hastings. (c1892). [Negative No. 12587]. The proprietor of the studio was George William Bradshaw.
 
Views of Hastings by George William Bradshaw
In advertisements, George W. Bradshaw described himself as a "Studio and Out-Door Photographer". The majority of the surviving photographs by George Bradshaw are portraits photographed at his studio in Robertson Street, but a few out-door views by Bradshaw do exist. (see below)
 

[ABOVE] A view of  waves crashing on Hastings seafront by George W. Bradshaw of The Memorial Studio, Robertson Street, Hastings. Cabinet card (c1888). This cabinet card photograph by George W. Bradshaw shows a crowd of people on the seafront watching rough seas drenching the promenade at Caroline Place, near Breeds Place, Hastings. This view dates from George Bradshaw's early years in Hastings when the name of "The Memorial Studio" was more prominently featured on Bradshaw's photographic mounts.   

 [PHOTO : Courtesy of Kristina of Thespian Net]

[ABOVE] A view of the Albert Memorial Clock Tower in the centre of Hastings by George W. Bradshaw of The Memorial Studio, Robertson Street, Hastings. Cabinet card (c1888). This view dates from George Bradshaw's early years in Hastings when the name of "The Memorial Studio" was more prominently featured on Bradshaw's photographic mounts. George Bradshaw's studio was located in the building on the left at the end of Hastings' Robertson Street. The awnings of the shops of John Elmslie, provision merchant, (No. 60 Robertson Street)  and Albert George Wellerd, butcher (No. 59 Robertson Street), can be seen at the bottom left-hand corner of the picture.

George William Bradshaw in Hastings (continued)

[ABOVE] Cabinet portrait of  two sisters by George W. Bradshaw of 51d Robertson Street, Hastings (c1895). From 1892 to 1899 the studio was listed at 51d Robertson Street, Hastings, but reverted to No 51c in 1900.

George William Bradshaw became a founder member of the Hastings and St Leonards Photographic Society in 1888. Bradshaw attended the inaugural meeting of the Photographic Society held at the School of Art in Claremont, Hastings on 22nd October 1888. The Hastings & St Leonards Photographic Society was open to "all interested in Photography, Amateur or Professional". Mr Wilson Noble, M. P. for Hastings and "an enthusiastic photographer" was appointed President of the Society. Over thirty people attended the inaugural meeting, the majority of whom were amateur photographers. Among the amateur photographers who gathered at the School of Art were a bookseller, a brewery manager, a printer and at least four clergymen. About a quarter of the membership of the Hastings and St Leonards Photographic Society were professional photographers. The professional photographers who attended the inaugural meeting included Henry J. Godbold, Melancthon Moore, George Pearson, Charles Ash Talbot and William A. Thomas. At the inaugural meeting, George William Bradshaw was chosen to serve on the sub-committee which was to draw up the rules of the Hastings and St Leonards Photographic Society. Algernon Brooker, a chemist who organised the first meeting of the  Photographic Society and served as Honorary Secretary set up a store selling photographic apparatus and chemicals at 52a Robertson Street, which was next door to George Bradshaw's studio at No. 51c.

In March 1890, George Bradshaw was promoting "the platinotype process of photographic printing", praising "the permanence of the results and the beauty of the tone." [The Platinotype,  was a contact printing process which employed platinum as a sensitizer instead of silver. The resulting platinum prints were totally free from surface gloss and less susceptible to fading]. When this advertisement for Bradshaw's "Platinotype" photographs was placed in The Hastings & St Leonards Times at the end of March 1890, his studio address is given as 51c Robertson Street. By the end of 1890, George Bradshaw's studio address was more frequently listed as 51d Robertson Street, Hastings and it continued in this form until about 1900.

When the 1891 census was taken, George William Bradshaw was residing at 6 Braybrooke Road, Hastings with his twenty-eight year old wife Clara. George W. Bradshaw is entered on the census return as a "Photographer", aged 33. No children were listed at the address.

By the time the 1901 census was carried out on 31st March 1901, George William Bradshaw  and his wife were residing in Reading St Giles in Berkshire. George W. Bradshaw gives his profession as "photographer", but there is no evidence that he was running a studio in Reading. Bennett's Business Directory of Sussex published in 1902 still lists G. W. Bradshaw's studio at 51d Robertson Street, Hastings, but it is likely that by this date George Bradshaw had already sold his Hastings studio. Kelly's Post Office Directory of Sussex of 1903 lists S. H. Shaw as the proprietor of the studio at 51c Robertson Street.

George William Bradshaw died in the Sussex seaside town of Eastbourne in 1917.

 

William Stephen Bradshaw at 103 Newgate Street, London

William Stephen Bradshaw ran the studio at 103 Newgate Street, London from 1876 until the mid 1880s, first in partnership with the photographer Thomas Peter Godart (1848-1928) and then as sole proprietor. Around 1885, William Stephen Bradshaw joined forces with his two photographer sons ( George William Bradshaw and William James Bradshaw ) to form the firm of  W. S. Bradshaw & Sons.

By 1891, William Stephen Bradshaw, was living at 62 Norwood Road, South East London with his wife Jane and their two unmarried daughters - Ada, who was 25 years of age, and twenty-one year old Nellie.[ William's eldest daughter Jane Eliza Bradshaw had married James Frederick How in Wandsworth in 1887 ]. In 1893, Nellie Bradshaw married Thomas Wagstaff.

When the 1901 census was taken, William S. Bradshaw is recorded at 8 Windermere Villas, Hornsey with his wife Jane. William Bradshaw is entered on the census return as a sixty-eight year old photographer. The following year, William Bradshaw retired and sold his studio at 103 Newgate Street. W. S. Bradshaw's eldest son, George William Bradshaw (born1857, Shoreditch, London) sold his Hastings studio about the same time in 1902.

William Stephen Bradshaw died at Barnet in 1915 at the age of 82. [Death registered in the district of Barnet during the First Quarter of 1915].

William James BRADSHAW (1859-1921)

William James Bradshaw, was born in Shoreditch, London, on 6th August 1859, the second eldest son of William Stephen Bradshaw (1833-1915), a London photographer.

By 1881, William James Bradshaw was probably working as a professional photographer in South Africa. An advertisement for W. S. Bradshaw & Sons published 1885, refers to a branch studio in Pretoria, South Africa. It is likely that William James Bradshaw was in charge of the South African branch studio in Pretoria. It is possible that William J. Bradshaw later worked as a partner in the firm of Plumbe & Bradshaw, which had a studio in Koch Street, Pretoria in the late 1880s or early 1890s

By 1901, William James Bradshaw had returned to England. At the time of the 1901 census, William James Bradshaw was residing in Hornsey and working as a photographer. In 1908, William James Bradshaw married Annie Jane Draper (born 1878, Derby). This union produced two children - Nancie Ethel Bradshaw (born 1909, Poole, Dorset) and Arthur William Bradshaw (born 1914, Poole, Dorset).

The death of William James Bradshaw took place in Dorset on 8th April 1921, when he was sixty-one years of age.

[ABOVE] A portrait of the photographer William James Bradshaw (1859-1921). William James Bradshaw was a partner in the firm of  W. S. Bradshaw & Sons from around 1885. William J. Bradshaw spent his early photographic career in South Africa and managed the firm's branch studio in Pretoria, South Africa.

The 1911 census records William James Bradshaw, his wife Annie and daughter, Nancie living in Poole, Dorset. William James Bradshaw declared on the census return that he was living on "Private Means".

[PHOTO : Courtesy of  Jeremy Bradshaw]

[ABOVE] The trade plate of  W. S. Bradshaw & Sons of London, which mentions the branch studios in Hastings, Sussex, and Pretoria in South Africa.

[ABOVE] The trade plate of  W. S. Bradshaw & Sons of 103 Newgate Street, London, as printed on the reverse of a cabinet portrait produced in 1890. William Stephen Bradshaw retained the name of The London School of Photography on his publicity and advertising. Above the date of the photograph is an establishment date of 1854, but this refers to the founding of the original London School of Photography by Samuel Prout Newcombe. W. S. Bradshaw did not take possession of the London School of Photography's studio at 103 Newgate Street until 1876.
 

A Cabinet Portrait of Jakob Kehrli and his wife Ellen Reeves taken at the studio of William Stephen Bradshaw at 103 Newgate Street, London

Jakob Kehrli was born in Switzerland around 1858. [The birth of a child named Jakob Kehrli was recorded Utzenstorf, Bern, Switzerland on 9th October,1858 and the parents' names were given as Anna Maria Lenz and Niklaus Kehrli. On his marriage certificate Jacob Kehrli names his father as the late Nicolas Kehrli, a farmer by profession]. At the time of the 1881 census Jacob (Jakob) Kehrli was residing in London. Jacob was living alongside Charles Feis, a Bavarian watch manufacturer, at 10 Barlett Buildings, Farringdon, London. On the census return, Jacob Kehrli is described as a 22 year old of "Clerk" (possibly employed by Charles Feis, the watch maker who rented out a room to the young Swiss worker).

During the First Quarter of 1883, Jacob (Jakob) Kehrli married Ellen Reeves in the North London district of Islington. A few years earlier, Jacob's bride-to-be, Ellen "Nelly" Reeves was working as a barmaid and lodging at 73 Wynford Road, Islington, North London.

Ellen Reeves was born in 1858 at Soberton, a small village in the Meon Valley of Hampshire, the daughter of Martha Reeves, an unmarried mother. Ellen's mother, Martha Reeves (born 1838, Swanmore, Hampshire) was the daughter of Mary Ann Hall (c1802-1879) and John Reeves   (c1795-1872), a "Day Gardener" and labourer from Droxford, Hampshire. Ellen Reeves had a twin sister named Maria Reeves. On 1st October 1858, both girls were christened at Newtown Church (Holy Trinity), a church 2 miles south of Soberton. The births of Ellen Reeves and Maria Reeves were registered in the Hampshire district Droxford during the 4th Quarter of 1858. Because her mother was unmarried and without the support of her husband, Ellen Reeves and her twin sister Maria were brought up in the home of their grandparents, John and Mary Ann Reeves. At the time of the 1861 census, Ellen Reeves and Maria Reeves are recorded as 2 year old grand-daughters living with John Reeves, a 66 year old 'Gardener' and his 59 year old wife, Mrs Mary Ann Reeves, at a cottage in 'Hundred Acres', Soberton, Hampshire. Ten year later, when the 1871 census was taken, 13 year old twins Ellen Reeves and Maria Reeves were still residing with their grandparents at 'Hundred Acres', Soberton. By 1880, both of Ellen's grandparents were deceased and Ellen Reeves had to support herself, eventually finding work as a barmaid in an Islington public house. At the time of the 1881 census, Ellen's sister, twenty-two year old Maria Reeves was employed as a 'Domestic Servant' but was now living in Portsea, Hampshire with her mother Martha (Reeves) and her new husband George Alfred Gillham (born c1843, Portsea), who worked as a 'Stoker ' in the Royal Navy. Martha Reeves had married George Gillham in Portsea in 1880.


Jakob Kehrli and his wife Ellen Reeves produced three children -  Frederick Edmund (born 1884, Clerkenwell, London), May Ellen (born 1885, Islington) and Adolph Ernest (born 1887, Islington). Mrs Ellen Kehrli, Jakob's wife, died in Islington in 1890 at the age of 31. [Ellen Kehrli's death was registered in the London district of Islington during the Third Quarter of 1890].
 
At the time of the 1891 census, Jacob (Jakob) Kehrli was living at 67 College Street, Islington, London, with his three children Frederick Edmund (aged 7), May Ellen (aged 5) and Adolph Ernest (aged 3). Jacob Kehrli is recorded on the census return as a 32 year old widower working as a "Watch Importer's Manager". Interestingly, thirty-two year old Maria Reeves, Ellen's twin sister and Jacob's "Sister-in-Law" was living with the Kehrli Family, serving as their "Housekeeper". On 22nd July 1891, at 67 College Street, Islington, Maria gave birth to a daughter named Violet Ellen Maria Kehrli. The birth was registered by Jacob Kehrli who declared on the certificate that he was the father of the child. Violet's mother is named as Maria Kehrli (formerly Reeves), but there is no documentary evidence to show that Jacob and Maria ever married.

There is a record that Jakob Kehrli married again in 1894, four years after the death of his first wife. [Jakob Kehrli married either Ann Perkins or Ann Phillips in the London district of St George's, Hanover Square, during the First Quarter of 1894].

It is believed that Jakob Kehrli and his family left England sometime after his marriage to Ann. Family stories suggest that Jakob Kehrli returned to Europe and possibly set up home in Paris with his children and new wife.

[ABOVE] A Cabinet Portrait of Jakob Kehrli and his wife, Ellen Reeves, photographed around the time of their marriage in 1883 at W. S. Bradshaw's studio at 103 Newgate Street, London. Jakob Kehrli married Ellen Reeves in the district of Islington during the First Quarter of 1883. Ellen died in 1890, leaving Jakob Kehrli a widower in his early 30s with 3 children - Frederick Edmund Kehrli (born 1884, Clerkenwell, London), May Ellen Kehrli (born 1885, Islington) and Adolph Ernest Kehrli (born 1887, Islington). A birth certificate dated 1st September 1891 indicates that Jacob (Jakob) Kehrli produced a fourth child with Maria Reeves, Ellen's twin sister. The fourth child, a daughter named Violet Ellen Maria Kehrli, was born on 22nd July 1891 at Jacob Kehrli's home at 67 College Street, Islington, London.

 It appears Jakob (Jacob) Kehrli married again in 1894 to a woman named Ann. No further records for Jakob Kehrli and his children can be found in England after 1894 and it is believed that he returned to Europe, possibly France, shortly after his marriage to Ann.

[PHOTO : Courtesy of  Mrs Hanni Mead of Blandford Forum]

 

Acknowledgements & Sources

Thanks to David Webb, the London photohistorian, for providing additional information on William Stephen Bradshaw and George William Bradshaw on the photoLondon website. Thanks to Kristina of Thespian Net for allowing me to reproduce the cabinet view of Hastings seafront by George W. Bradshaw. Thanks to Jeremy Bradshaw for supplying the portrait of William James Bradshaw and providing details of the photographer's family. Jeremy Bradshaw is the grandson of William James Bradshaw.

I am grateful to Mrs Hanni Mead of Blandford Forum for providing the cabinet portrait of Jakob Kehrli and his wife Ellen Reeves (1858-1890), which was photographed at William Stephen Bradshaw's London studio.

SOURCES : Books : A Directory of London Photographers, 1841-1908 compiled by Michael Pritchard (PhotoResearch 1986, 1994) ; Primary Sources : Trade Directories :  Kelly's Post Office Directory for Sussex (1887, 1890, 1895, 1899, 1903); Hastings & St Leonards Visitor's Guide (c1887) ; W. T. Pike's Hastings and St Leonards Directory and Blue Book (1887, 1888, 1889, 1890, 1891, 1892, 1894) ; Kelly's Hastings and St Leonards Directory and Buff Book (1900) ; Bennett's Business Directory of Sussex (1902) ; Kelly's Directory of Kent, Surrey & Sussex (1891) ; Newspapers : Hastings & St Leonards Observer  (17/12/1881, 27/10/1888; ); Hastings & St Leonards News (26/10/1888; 29/03/1890, 18/04/1890 ). Census Returns: 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891 & 1901 ; Websites : Database of 19th Century Photographers and Allied Trades in London: 1841-1901 on the website photoLondon ; Albumen photographs of the 19th Century on the website annona.de which features photographs by Plumbe & Bradshaw of Pretoria, South Africa. University of Leicester's Historical Directories : Searchable Digital Library. FreeBMD ; International Genealogical Index on LDS Family Search. Census Records on The National Archives website. 1901 Census Online.

 

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