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Professional Photographers in Worthing (F)

  Fielder & Co ( George FIELDER ) -  Annette & Blanche Fox - Samuel Fox

FIELDER & Co ( George FIELDER )

George FIELDER (c1847-1914) was active as a photographer in Worthing from around 1877 to 1881.

George Fielder was born in Fritham, a small village in Hampshire, between Fordingbridge and Cadnam, around 1847. George Fielder appears to have been a member of the Fielder family, which ran a stationers and picture framing business in Chichester in the 1860s. Around 1865, Fielder & Co., Picture Frame Makers & Stationers, opened a photographic studio at their Fancy Repository in North Street, Chichester. The Fielder & Co studio mainly produced carte-de-visite portraits, the most popular format in portrait photography at that time. George Fielder, although apparently a junior member of the family firm in 1866, was primarily involved with the photography side of the business. The 1871 census, records George Fielder as a "Photographer's Shopman", aged 24, boarding at No.13 Orchard Terrace, Chichester.

In the December Quarter of 1872, George Fielder married Sarah Wilkins (born 1841, Ashling, Sussex), the daughter of William and Lucy Wilkins of Funtington. The marriage was registered in the Westbourne District, which covered Sarah's home parish of Funtington, which was situated 5 miles north-west of Chichester. In 1875, a son, named Ernest, was born to George and Sarah Fielder in Chichester. Around 1877, Fielder & Co. decided to set up a branch studio in Worthing. The firm acquired the photographic studio at 16 High Street, Worthing, previously occupied by Josiah Russell (born 1839, Chichester) one of the sons of the well known Chichester photographer James Russell (1809-1899). George Fielder, together with his wife Sarah and two year old son Ernest, moved to Worthing to manage the Fielder & Co branch studio. The transfer of Josiah Russell's Worthing studio to George Fielder may have been arranged by John Fielder (born c1836, Fritham, Hampshire), who had married Ruth Russell (born 1837, Chichester), Josiah's sister.

George Fielder managed Fielder & Co.'s Worthing studio for about four years until around 1881.  George Fielder. A son and daughter were born in Worthing during this period - Nora Kate Fielder was born in 1877 and William Fielder arrived in 1879. George Fielder operated from 16 High Street, Worthing until around 1881, when he returned to the Chichester area. Kelly's Directory of 1882 lists Fielder & Co. at 36 High Street, Worthing, but this studio was in business for only a short time

When the 1881 census was taken, George Fielder and his family were living in Oving, three miles east from Chichester. George Fielder is described in the census return as a "Photographer", aged 34. It appears that George Fielder moved from Sussex to Wimbledon some time in the 1880s. The Chichester firm of James Russell & Sons had a branch studio at 28 Wimbledon Hill, 2 Hill Road, Wimbledon, Surrey and it is thought that George Fielder was for a time employed as the manager of the Wimbledon branch.

George Fielder died in 1914. His two sons, Ernest Fielder and William Fielder carried on the photography business. In 1928 the two brothers bought a booksellers and stationery business at 54 Wimbledon Hill Road, Wimbledon. Over seventy years later Fielders was still operating in Wimbledon, selling books, stationery, office supplies and art materials.

 
 

[ABOVE] Carte-de-visite portrait of a young man with a book by Fielder & Co. of 16 High Street, Worthing (c1880)

Click her to view photographic work by Fielder & Co. of Worthing

Samuel FOX (1801-1867)

Annette FOX (born c1844, Ireland )

Blanche FOX (born c1846, Dublin, Ireland)

Kate FOX (born 1851, Fishbourne, Sussex )

Advertisement for Samuel Fox's Worthing Photographic Institute in Bath Buildings which appeared in French & Son's Directory of Worthing, published in 1859.

 

Samuel Fox was born in Workington, Cumberland on 5th July 1801, the son of Samuel and Ann Fox. Samuel was baptised the following year at St Michael's Church, Workington on 8th August, 1802.

By the early 1840s, Samuel Fox was living in Ireland. Samuel Fox's wife Catherine was a native of Ireland and a daughter, Annette, had been born in Ireland around 1844. A couple of years later, a second daughter, Blanche, was born in Dublin. It is possible that Samuel Fox was working as a daguerreotype artist in Ireland from around 1843 to 1846. In an advertisement of 1859, Fox proudly states that he is " one of the oldest and most experienced photographers " practising in England, which suggests he was a photographic artist in the early years of photography. After a period in Ireland and possibly a spell as an itinerant photographer, Fox arrived in Sussex around 1850 and set up home in Fishbourne, a village situated a mile and a half from Chichester. A daughter, Catherine (Kate), was baptised in Fishbourne on 27th April 1851. Samuel and Catherine Fox's fourth daughter, Anna, was born a couple of years later, and was baptised in Fishbourne on 31st July 1853.

 By 1859, Samuel Fox had established The Worthing Photographic Institute at Bath Buildings, near Worthing's seafront. In an advertisement placed in French & Son's Directory of Worthing of 1859, Fox announced that "Portraits by every known process" would be taken daily at the Worthing Photographic Institute in Bath Buildings. This studio was situated in Bath Place, next to the Royal Sea House Hotel on Marine Parade. Fox's premises in Bath Place was to be the location of a photographic studio in Worthing for the next fifty years.

At the time of the 1861 census, Samuel Fox and his family were living at Bath House, Bath Place, Worthing. Samuel Fox is entered on the census return as a "Photographic Artist", aged 58. Also listed at Bath House is Samuel's wife Mrs Catherine Fox, who gives her age as 44 and her place of birth as "Ireland". Also recorded in the Fox household are the couple's four daughters - Annette, aged 17, Blanche, aged 15, Kate, aged 10, and eight year old Anna.

Around this time, Samuel Fox dropped the old-fashioned sounding name of  "The Worthing Photographic Institute" and gave his own name to the studio. From 1862, the address of his studio is given simply as "Samuel Fox, Bath Place, Worthing " in trade directory listings.

[ABOVE] The trade plate design on the reverse of a carte-de-visite portrait by Samuel Fox of Worthing.(c1865)

Samuel Fox died in Worthing early in 1867 at the age of sixty-five. [ Death registered in Worthing in the March Quarter of 1867 ]. The photography business passed to his widow, Mrs Catherine Fox and his eldest daughters, Annette and Blanche Fox.

ABOVE] A portrait of a woman cradling a baby in her arms, a carte-de-visite photograph by Samuel Fox of Worthing ( c1865).

[ABOVE] A cdv portrait of a seated woman, taken by Samuel Fox of Worthing ( c1865).

 

The Misses Fox

After his death in 1867, Samuel Fox's studio in Bath Place was continued by his two eldest daughters, Annette and Blanche Fox. The photographic portraits produced at the studio in Bath Place carry the name "The Misses Fox, Artists & Photographers, Worthing", but Kelly's Post Office Directory of 1870 names the proprietors of the studio specifically as Misses Annette and Blanche Fox. The 1871 census records the Fox family at 4 Palmerston Terrace, Worthing. Samuel Fox's widow, Catherine, declares on the census return that she is living on the income from the photography business. Annette Fox, aged 25, and Blanche Fox, aged 23, both give their profession as " Photographic Artist". Nineteen year old Kate Fox, had apparently joined her sisters in the family business, as she, too, is described as a " Photographic Artist".

The studio of "The Misses Fox" ended with the marriage of Annette Fox to John Powell Warren ( born 1845, Richmond, Surrey), a railway clerk, in the Spring of 1871 [ Marriage registered in the East Preston District of Sussex in the June Quarter of 1871 ]. In 1874 Blanche Fox married John Fisher Challen (born c1845 Petworth), who later ran a wholesale grocery business in Golden Square, Petworth. Kate Fox, the youngest photographer in the family, married in 1878. Anna Fox, who was working an actress in 1881, married in 1883.

The photographic studio at Bath Place, Worthing, was eventually acquired by the firm of Russell & Sons. Around 1881, the studio passed to Edward Pattison Pett, who later, in 1893, sold the business to Walter Gardiner and Annie Gardiner.

 

[ABOVE]  A portrait of a man standing by a chair, a carte-de-visite photograph from the studio of Annette and Blanche Fox of Worthing.

The trade plate of "The Misses Fox", Artists & Photographers of Worthing. The two sisters who operated this studio were  Annette & Blanche Fox, the eldest daughters of Samuel Fox .

 

 

 

 

 

 

[ABOVE] A portrait of a woman standing by a chair, a carte-de-visite photograph from the studio of Annette and Blanche Fox of Worthing

 

 

     

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